Alum Not Recognized In Favorite College Bar
Purdue University alum Austin Tilton, 25, recently entered into Harry's Chocolate Shop Bar & Grille, the center of the university's nightlife for generations, but reportedly went "unrecognized" by the entire wait staff and gathered patronage, according to those close to Tilton as well as Tilton himself.
The recent non-status that Tilton encountered upon entering the bar came as a great surprise to him and his girlfriend, Heather Keaton, who Tilton had brought with him from Chicago.
"We were down there for a football game -- Heather went to Ball State, but she didn't mind going -- and thought it would be cool to see if anyone I know was hanging out in Harry's, or maybe get a free drink from the bartenders I still know," said Tilton. "Turns out I wasn't familiar with a single person in there. Usually it was like, 'Hey, Tillie! The usual?', but yesterday it was like I was just another regular, face-less customer. What the hell?"
Also expressing disappointment and surprise was Keaton who "thought that this would be like a reunion or something, because he talked it up like he was the Chocolate Shop mascot."
"But when we walked in," she added with a disappointed tone, "we got a bunch of blank stares by those that noticed us at all."
Keaton added that the pair was forced to buy their own drinks and sit down by themselves while "Austin kept looking at the door for anyone who might remember his face."
"It was just really pathetic," she said.
A graduate of the class of 2001, Tilton has been labeled as having "delusions of grandeur", "nostalgia fixation" and "reality confrontation disorder", otherwise known as the "Jeremy Piven Syndrome".
"The way he described that bar as being, ‘the place where everything went down back in the day', I was waiting for the red carpet," lamented Keaton. "He told me things like, ‘We'd get there at 2:00 PM and not leave until 2:00 AM'. Well, we got there at 7:00 and didn't leave until 7:30 – an excruciating half-hour – until he gave up and conceded to the fact that no one remembers or cares who he is anymore – not in Harry's, at least."
In addition, Tilden spent a large portion of the night pointing out places of various importance to his college life, which Keaton "couldn't keep up with and couldn't care less if I could have."
"'That's where I used to live, that's where I used to drink coffee, that's where I spent my 21st birthday, that's where we used to get tacos after a night of drinking'," said a patronizing Keaton as she paraphrased her night with Tilden. "No shit you got tacos there, it's a Taco Bell!"
In an effort to raise Keaton's enthusiasm and explain his non-presence at the bar, Tilton complained that he actually did have friends who came to West Lafayette with him from Chicago to see the Purdue-Penn State football game, and who would've "backed him up" on his claims, but were "just too tired to go out after the game."
"What kind of people have we become?" he shouted, becoming angry. "Is this adulthood? I thought that at least I could find someone I knew in there to hang out with, but it was, like, all new people in there. Even Sandy, the red-headed bartender with the freckles who used to give me free shots, was gone. What good is life?"
Tilton and Keaton allegedly wandered the streets before returning to the hotel where their other friends had begun watching television or were already asleep. Those who were awake to hear the pair come in, however, expressed little surprise at Tilton's actions.
"Austin is like that," claimed fellow alum and friend Rob Stills. "He seems to think that he's going to be remembered throughout Purdue history or always have some pad to crash at, but, and let's be honest here, we're all has-beens. Why can't he just give it up and join us? He'll save part of his liver, at least."
While many college graduates return to their universities to attend various sporting events and other functions, few maintain the vigor that Tilden does in clinging to under-graduate delusions.
"He just never learned that college actually ends," said Stills. "I mean, who doesn't wish we could go back and have all those, ‘I'm too high to go to class' days, or times when you could convince your friends to copy their own homework, put your name on it and turn it in? Life goes on, man, and while he lives in Chicago he's lamenting the fact that no one in this shitty town recognizes him? Sick."
Typical reactions to the entrance into the "real world" often embrace the new-found independence that a job and income provide. While not rejecting the college ethos, typical patterns of excessive money spending, driving in suddenly-affordable fast cars and sport-fucking often compensate for a loss of the self-destructive and fun-as-hell lifestyle of the modern collegiate.
"Not so with Austin," stated Keaton. "Just like the earth belongs to the living, college belongs to the students. Sorry, Bluto, but your day is up."
"Jesus, come on, guys," Tilden pleaded to Keaton and some of his friends as they were preparing to leave. "Let's go crash a frat party or something."
Despite his last minute efforts, Tilden and Keaton returned to Chicago on Sunday, and resumed their lives as an engineer and accountant, respectively, and have not mentioned the event since as of the date of printing.