At exactly 11am on the first of April, I made the first call. Then it was time for mimosas! Champagne flutes half filled with champagne (well, very cheap sparkling wine, but champagne sounds much more pretentious!) then topped with orange juice. Next, we set up the balcony. Normally it was empty, a cooler off to one side. We moved two chairs and a small glass-topped end table outside. My roommate Lindsey’s car was parked directly below our second floor vantage point, with my trusty tank-like Chevy Nova a few cars down.
We set up the chairs and table to face the other side of the large sprawling parking area. Four rows of cars, as well as the rows bordering the apartments, made for a huge parking lot. Most nights it was still pretty packed, but days were much better. We sat our mimosas on the table along with a pair of binoculars.
The night before, our good friend Matt had thrown a huge bash for a very special occasion. Well, not really. He’d had the party because it was Saturday night, and many, many people came to his apartment to celebrate with him. We had been among them, finally leaving around 2am, though the party lasted a few hours more. We’d all had a great time, with Matt being a very happy and entertaining drunk.
As great as Matt’s party had been, that morning we were having a party of our own. Partway through our first mimosa, I saw that our first guest had arrived. He pulled up directly in front of Matt’s apartment, leaving his car idling as he ran to the door. Holding a bulky hot-bag in his right hand, he rang the doorbell with his left. No answer. The Pizza Shack driver rang again. After checking the apartment number and the address on the pizza box, he rang again. On the fourth try, the door opened.
Quickly slamming our mimosas, we took turns handing the binoculars back and forth. Matt slowly opened the door. He was still wearing last nights’ party clothes: a rumpled untucked shirt, wrinkled khakis, no shoes and only one sock. Matt had obviously still been unconscious and was definitely not yet functional. He had an expression of pain on his face. He shook his head a few times, then closed the door on the pizza guy. My own work experience had taught me that returned pizza equals free food for the drivers, so I wasn’t feeling sorry for him.
Another mimosa, and a few more calls later, we were set for our next guest. This time, Chinese food. Matt opened the door again, now wearing only a pair of boxers. The driver didn’t seem to notice, but then again, delivering in a college town guarantees you’ll see and hear some crazy things. Judging by the nauseous look on Matt’s face, he wasn’t feeling Chinese food. After a brief argument, Matt closed the door. The driver had not even left the parking lot when the next guest pulled up.
Tony’s Subs were a real treat. On the rare occasion where I could afford something other than neon orange mac and cheese, I’d sometimes treat myself to a sub. Matt, now wearing only a towel, didn’t seem interested in having a meatball sub. It’s my personal favorite, so I felt he was making a mistake, but to each their own. We went back inside for more mimosas. The main event was about to start, and we needed to be ready.
When next we saw Matt, he was dripping wet, wrapped only in a towel. He was very animated, talking to a driver from Dice pizza. As they stood there, an old blue Chevy pulled up bearing the words “3 Star Pizza”. Right behind him, was a red truck. And a green station wagon. And an ancient white Pinto. Each had plastic displays attached to the top of their respective cars. More subs, pizzas and Chinese, as unfortunately Greenville was a sit down dining town, with not many options available for delivery. They made up for that by having many, many pizza shops.
Matt, still in just a towel, was now standing on his lawn, surrounded by five drivers. Now half past noon, he was finally holding a pizza box, apparently just not feeling subs or Chinese. As the last driver pulled up, he found a small crowd pointing at him, laughing loudly. Seeing the smiles, I laid down the binoculars, and we toasted an April Fools Day to remember. Then I went inside and ordered a meatball sub.