My trip to Dallas has come and gone without me achieving my main goal: gaining enough weight to eat for free at the Heart Attack Grill. Alas, I will have to be content with my modest achievements at the NFL's National Debate Tournament like a shiny shiny semi-finalist medal for Congressional Debate.
But we all know Nationals isn't about the debate rounds. It's about bonding with your debate team, meeting hundreds of nerdy debaters (who you then friend on facebook), and exploring a new city. We did plenty of exploring in Dallas, despite the unbearable heat. One night, as we wandered the West End in search of food, we landed at the Spaghetti Warehouse. Maybe the pasta was phenomenal, maybe I was just starving. Either way, more memorable than the food was the coke. First of all, in Texas, sometimes the coke is made with sugar instead of the corn syrup we're used to, which is very cool. But back to my anecdote.
Our waiter was a friendly guy named Deryck. His parents made up for misspelling his name by giving him superhuman intelligence. He didn't write anything down yet kept all of our drinks, meals, and checks straight. I was extremely impressed before he had even brought the first refill of coke. Matt Campbell, one half of our policy team, was the lucky recipient of the first refill. He thought Deryck was joking when Deryck handed over a pitcher with a little black straw in it. "Everything's bigger in Texas!" we joked, and we all got out our cameras to take a picture.
While Matt got to work on the pitcher, Deryck noticed that Allen's glass was getting empty. He returned with a big salad bowl that he filled with coke and ice. Whoa. Deryck was getting serious.
We all got out our cameras for the second time and stuck our straws in the bowl to help Allen out.
As Deryck monitored our progress, the level of coke in Matt's pitcher didn't slip his attention. He soon returned with a refill.
Yes, that's a giant metal bucket. Yes, that's a giant pixie stick emptied of its contents serving as a straw. Yes, that's the third time I got out my camera in one meal to take a picture of a beverage.
How come I have significantly more pictures of boys drinking coke than I do of people dressed to debate? There's one of life's unanswerable questions for you. All I can say is thank you, Deryck, wherever you are. You changed the lives of one handful of debaters that night in Dallas and we will not forget you.
Oh, and the strawberry-scented air surrounding me is reminding me to tell you to get ready for my next post.