Through Hard Work, Perseverance, Teen Learns To Like Beer

Mike Hartford, junior at Taft and Adams high school, proved the worth of hard work and determination by conquering the inertia of his non-drinking past, and overcoming the struggle to finish off a full sixer on his own by finally learning to enjoy beer.

Though it was an uphill climb for the drinking-disabled student, the teen has become a role model to many who think that beer is "icky", or that getting drunk is for "losers". In Hartford, they have a role model who demonstrates the benefits of aiming for the stars and having a profound tolerance.

"Trying something new is never easy, and I'm not going to pretend that getting over the misconception that beer is supposed to taste 'good', or learning to not puke on your friend's couch is a cakewalk," admitted the overachiever, "but it's worth the battle when you turn the corner and find that all your hard work has paid off. If I can give the youth of this nation one bit of advice it would be this: let's get drunk and screw."

Hartford was not always the inspirational go-getter that he is now. Friends say that before he got to high school Hartford would often make outrageous claims that he would "never get drunk", and that beer tasted like "crap". Concerned for his social status and eventual need to get laid, friends tried to have an intervention, but found that it was best to let Hartford make his own path and come to understand himself the benefits of pounding brews.

"Once when we were, like, 14 we got my older brother to get us some Zima," said childhood friend Keith Peterson, "but Mike wouldn't touch it. I mean, it was there for the taking. All he had to do was give in and let us pour it down his throat, but he just kept his mouth shut and wouldn't budge. We feared the worst when he told us that he couldn't be friends with us anymore, because a person with anti-social problems like that needs a support team, so we hung in there for him and, sure enough, eventually he came around on his own."

Hartford credits his supportive friends for setting him on the right path. Without their help, he says, he might still be an honor roll student with no hope of ever having fun. Neither would he have lacked the wherewithal to get hammered and paint the word "Jizzmobile" on the side of Mandy Reid's Dad's Jaguar, which, according to witnesses, was "fucking sweet". Not only did they help him get over his fears, but are still there with him every step of the way.

"Dan is always the first one to take out the beer bong when his parents go out of town," Hartford proudly said of friend and mentor Dan Gayton, "and most students don't get exposed to that kind of rigorous work load until they get to college, but these aren't your average teens I hang out with. These kids are motivated, adventurous, and, holy shit, I'm fucking wasted."

Hartford is grateful to his friends for inspiring him to prepare for the challenges that lay ahead of him when he enters college life, assuming that his falling GPA will not prevent him from being accepted into Dayton University's business school where he intends to matriculate. Many new students come to a college campus without the ability to finish a full can of beer, and that, according to Hartford, is something that can lead to falling behind one's peers in real-life skills like shot gunning, bonging or avoiding the cops.

"These days, just about anyone can get into college, but what happens on your first night on campus when you're wandering around and someone offers you a beer?" asked Hartford, otherwise known to his friends as Ten Beer Steer. "If you don't know what you're doing, and if the groundwork for success hasn't been laid, how do you expect to get up to the level of accomplishment that your friends are at? I am grateful for every party I've ever been to -- they have all made me a better person, and I wouldn't be the same person I am now if my buddies hadn't called me 'ass-sucking fag' whenever I failed to chug a full beer, or written 'I Like Cock' on my forehead for my Mom to see when I passed out after three drinks."

Hartford continues to influence and encourage others to do achieve their dreams, even ones they don't know they have like draining the whole bottle of Jose Cuervo from classmate Kim Johnson's parent's liquor cabinet.

"I want to be like Mikey H. when I get to high school," said Timothy O'Conner, seventh grader, whose sentiments were echoed by a group of eight of his friends who then asked, "Do you think he'd buy us some beer if we let him borrow our dads' Playboys?"

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