[The Aristocrat Restaurant along Dewey Boulevard in the 60s featured what was then called as DRIVE-IN DINING.]
In college, one cannot really avoid doing those mischievous things. Sometimes, you do it due to peer pressure; and sometimes too, just for the thrill of it. Those mischievous capers, those peccadilloes are not akin however to the grand mischief committed by a duo of college students then in the 1920s in Chicago, USA. This grand mischief (in fact, a grand felony) was even dubbed as the “crime of the century” from what I learned when I read a book about Clarence Darrow, the best American criminal lawyer. The book among others, narrated about Darrow’s masterful skill in getting his clients, those two (2) rich teenagers who seemed to have become so ignorant about the sense of remorse; out of death row.
That pinnacle episode in Darrow’s lawyering career which pertains to the saga of teen-aged Nathan Leopold and his lover, Richard Loeb, served as Darrow’s crowning glory as the most clever legal eagle in the US then. Leopold and Loeb conspired to kill just for the thrill of it (in fact the duo said it was some kind of experimentation), a similarly wealthy 14 year old lad by the name of Bobby Franks. But that’s another story, back to UP Diliman…
I was still then a sophomore in UP Diliman when I got recruited by my classmate in San Beda High School, Brod Ernesto “Ernie” Tolentino (Batch 66) into the Pi Omicron Fraternity.
As a neophyte, I would hear from my older brods particularly those who stay in the dormitories, about their nocturnal adventures which would include stealing the undies of those pretty coeds who are residents of Kamia, Ilang-ilang and Sampaguita ladies’ dormitories. But I never was in any way, part of this. What I know was that those pretty coeds would customarily hang their hand-washed undies near the windows of their rooms to expedite drying.
Brod Carlos “Bong” Panlilio, Batch 66, one morning was crest-fallen, he was even so tensed and so strained. Brod Bong narrated that an employee from the Aristocrat Restaurant located along Dewey Boulevard came to their house in Loyola Heights that morning, bringing with him the unpaid chit for a drive-in meal taken by TEN (10) other brods including him. The employee-waiter of Aristocrat even demanded the return of the plates and the spoons and the forks. It was good that it was he who answered the door bell, Brod Bong recounted, for as he continued narrating, if it were his Dad, or one of the maids who would report the matter to his parents, he will surely be severely castigated and the fraternity will not be able to hold further activities in their commodious lawn.
Brod Bong actually filched, on that very moment, from their kitchen’s drawers a dozen of dinnerware and a lot of cutlery just as to assuage the employee-waiter that the chit will be paid and that he is replacing the plates, spoons and forks with a better brand of dinnerware as the plates were with his other companions to that drive-in dining affair. Brod Bong asked for time and told the employee-waiter to return the following day.
Brod Bong said that he, including the other brods, have to raise the money for the unpaid chit as the employee-waiter conveyed a threat from Aristocrat’s management that a criminal complaint will soon be filed.
Actually, Brod Bong drives a nice Kombi Volkswagen van which would accommodate about TEN (10) riders and after frat meetings, the brods would do a joy ride along Dewey Boulevard as traffic was not a problem then. Actually, from UP, cruising through Quezon Avenue then, it would only take about 15 minutes to get to Dewey Boulevard. And as the brods would get famished, the usual stop then and even until now is the Aristocrat which then featured the drive-in type of dining. Actually, you can eat inside your car while the waiters would wait on you, shuttling back and forth from Aristocrat’s kitchen to the parking lot. The waiters actually even provide some kind of tray which can even be attached with ease by way of a bracket, unto the car’s opened windows. And for the heck of it, the brods thought that a caper such as this, eating and running thereafter would be some kind of thrill. But when the brods did that caper once again, the brod tasked to cover the car’s plate, perhaps too excited and much satiated thereafter with the luscious chicken honey barbecue dish, forgot about it while Brod Bong’s Kombi van whirred out of Aristocrat’s parking lot. Fortunately, the unpaid chit was paid. And I was not part of this caper either.
The caper crafted by Brod Jamil Lucman (Batch 66) was even more sophisticated. It pertained to a well-patronized restaurant located inside the domestic airport in Pasay City then (I forgot the name already). The actors-brods however have to incur some expense, actually an old travelling bag would do or a cheap valise, but must be filled to its brim to make it really look bulging, with old newspapers. The brods with seemingly hefty and bulging traveling bags would arrive inside the restaurant, one by one, and would order food. All the bags will be heaped into one place at one corner of the restaurant. And one by one too, the brods will sneak out from the restaurant with valid excuses (i.e. to pee at the CR, to check on the flight, to buy a magazine, etc.) until one straggler is left behind. And the straggler needs to be the best actor of them all. But usually, the restaurant manager even if the straggler leaves with just a sly excuse, would feel assured as the bulging traveling bags are aplenty. Well, I never said that Brod Jamil was part of this, for I know that he only crafted this modus but never took part in it. I myself never became an actor of this caper.
What I am ready to owe up to, is the FAKING of the HAIR tickets. And this is how it begun.
When Brod Jun Olalia (Batch 66) was Grand Omicron, he summoned me one day and asked me: “Walter, di ba meron kang kamag-anak na may imprenta?” [English translation: “Walter, is it not that you earlier told me that you have a relative who operates a printing shop?”]
When I answered Brod Jun, affirmatively, he replied to me in this manner: “OKEY, WE WILL HAVE A VERY IMPORTANT PROJECT.”
And I will narrate about this somewhat long story in my next BLOG.