Back in the days, partying with friends was rampant. One of the parties, at my best friend's house, was memorable indeed.

A few cases of Heineken filled the fridge instead of the normal chow as the only semi-sober one dialed for pizza. The arrival of the pizza was a grand occasion as it was almost all devoured within seconds; the remaining portion was put in the oven, you know, to keep it nice and warm. As the beer fridge was running low, the guys decided that we needed some chicks at the party and that we should all go looking for them. (note: when you have fifteen drunk guys wandering the streets, nothing good can happen.)

Long story short, we did not find any female companions and were forced to return to our dwelling and back to finishing the task at hand, drinking beer. Here's where it gets interesting. Fiddling with the keys, my friend finally turned the knob. As he opened the door, we realized that we were just covered with black, thick smoke. (Quick way to get sober)

At this point in time, we both run into the smoke-filled apartment with our shirts over our faces to see what is going on. The smoke creeps out into the hallway and triggers the fire-station smoke alarm. I run for the windows and frantically open them all for the smoke to escape. My friend rushes in with a fire extinguisher and heads for the kitchen dodging beer bottles that have become obstacles. We realize what has happened; before departure on the quest for women, someone managed to turn the oven on, forgetting that the pizza inside was still in its original casing, the cardboard box. The box with the pizza went up in flames, thankfully, only inside the oven.

Once the burning pile of cheese, bread, pepperoni and cardboard was extinguished, our next goal was to hide all the beer bottles before the fire and police department showed up at the door. We managed to stuff every hole, crack, corner, crevice, pillow, garbage can, and even the bed with beer bottles, somehow thinking that the authorities won't find them. Well, once they arrived, they obviously did; but, to my surprise, they were totally cool about it. They told us that they did some pretty wild stuff when they were our age and that next time, we should just be more careful. I was pretty sure they would just take us in no questions asked. Perhaps it was because we were all shaking, or perhaps because this probably doesn't happen often. It did take them half an hour to clear the smoke with an industrial fan though. Whatever it was, I thank them, I learned a lot from that night. I think that's when I was finally hit with reality

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