The Alumni Weekend Beer Garden is a tantalizing, esoteric myth among the University of Chicago’s undergraduate student body. The garden baffles college students, who do not yet know the joy of gathering with graduated peers and drinking on the University’s dime.
"What lies behind her mysterious white fence," undergraduates wonder aloud as they walk between the Harper and Regenstein libraries. "What is it like to feel such joy," they ask.
But this year, two adventurers decided to inquire into the depths of the Alumni Beer Garden. Donning naught but a second-hand trench coat, the two second years gathered their best fake ID and gave it a shot. Public Policy major Evan Cochran explained his valiant mission.
“I was walking back from Bartlett to procrastinate on the Quad before failing my Econometrics final, when I saw it. Dozens of smiling thirty-somethings in business casual, drinking beer—free beer. As an undergraduate man, I never get free beer. I knew I had to get in there.”
Cochran then grabbed best friend and co-conspirator Amy Phan and told her his plan. At first, Phan was skeptical, but the lure of free University beer proved too strong for her objections. After comparing fake IDs, Phan climbed on Cochran’s shoulders and the two marched bravely toward the beer garden.
“We were the 21st century Adam and Eve,” Phan said. “We begged the Lord for entrance back to the Garden of Eden and asked to see the forbidden fruit held within.”
Yet the fruit was not to be had so easily. When Phan and Cochran approached the gates, a University administrator-cum-bouncer abridged their journey.
The beer guardian asked a simple riddle of the pair. “Which class did you graduate in? Everyone gets a shot glass with their graduation date etched on it!” Phan, the cooler head of the two, replied with the plausible answer of 2017. However, a panicked Cochran answered from the trench coat’s midsection, “1928!”
Phan tried to blame Cochran’s outburst on her IBS, but the bouncer was not fooled. Screeching, he sounded the alarm.
“This is not a distinguished alumna of the University! These are two undergraduates in a trench coat! This happens every fucking year.” He then told Phan and Cochran to leave the premises before he called their Resident Heads.
And so, like the first man and woman, Phan and Cochran left the garden naked and cursed to a life of labor and pain. Dreams dashed, they returned to the depths of the A-Level to live out their sentence sober and disgraced.