Memories of my sophomore year fall formal remain largely a blur, consisting of only two select instances that have ingrained themselves in my brain forever. The first one, only because a photo exists: my boy Bootystank Joe chasing me down in a beer mug onesie with a toothbrush hanging from his mouth after I, wearing a fashionable Hawaiian, beamed him with a snowball.
The second one, learning of a method that would forever shape the course of my college career, one that can potentially save lives. A method that can turn even the simplest fraternity man into an American hero.
Now, right off the bat I’m going to make it clear that I am not a doctor. Not even close. Realistically, in terms of worth to society, I’m pretty close to the opposite of a doctor. My dad’s a doctor, but I’m not Dale Doback, and I know that that fact alone does not entitle me to the family business. Take everything I say from here on out as mere speculation on a possible addition to drunk caretaking procedure, and continue to follow whatever guidelines your organizations currently have in place for dealing with overly-intoxicated people.
The concept behind JanSporting is simple, and one that stems from the well-known fact that you should never let an overly-intoxicated person pass out on their back. If they do pass out on their back, they might vomit, be so smashed that they don’t realize they vomited, then choke on said vomit and die. It sounds like something you’d see featured on 1000 Ways To Die, but I can assure you it’s a very real problem. It’s how Jimi Hendrix died, as well as FIJI pledge Scott Krueger back in 1997.
The scariest part about Scott Krueger’s tragic death is that the brothers in charge of taking care of him on that fateful night told the court that they put him on his stomach with a trash can by his head in case he had to throw up. Sounds like how some would normally position a person who’s had too much to drink, right? Well, the FIJIs ended up leaving Scott unattended, he wound up on his back, and the rest is a sad reminder that drinking, while unbelievably fun, can be unfathomably dangerous.
So how can a drunk person be prevented from rolling onto their back? There are a few general methods. One of these is the time-honored recovery position. My preferred method, however, is JanSporting them.
To JanSport someone, the nearest backpack (preferably a JanSport, but any style or brand of knapsack will do) is stuffed with whatever’s around — books, jackets, empty bottles of booze, etc. — until it’s completely full. Then, it’s put on the drunk person’s back and tightened up all the way, kinda like a mom would do as she’s gearing up her little tyke for their first day of kindergarten. Unlike said mom, however, the JanSporter won’t be crying about how fast their special man has grown up. Instead, they’re smiling about how much longer the JanSportee has to live now that the backpack has prevented them from rolling onto their back.
It’s very important to note that you should never, under any circumstances, leave an overly-intoxicated person unattended, whether they’re in the recovery position, have been JanSported, or otherwise. As you know, drunk people are capable of incredible things, one of which could be weaseling their way out of whatever position in which you put them and onto their back. Furthermore, if you’re ever around someone who is showing any signs of alcohol poisoning, call the proper authorities immediately. The aforementioned methods aren’t meant to prevent someone who’s already drank too much from getting alcohol poisoning, only to prevent them from aspirating vomit as their body tries to clear out their alcohol-filled stomach.
If you can’t visualize all this by now, don’t worry — I’ve got you covered with some instructional videos. I brought in my buddy Boosh to play the role of “drunk person,” because he’s a drunk who also happens to be a person.
Here’s a drunk person when left on their back.
That’s no good.
Here’s a drunk person JanSported.
That’s still not the ideal outcome, but it’s a hell of a lot better than the alternative, and close to the best you’re gonna get when someone’s had too much to drink.
Drinking and college go hand-in-hand. And, as long as you’re careful about it, there’s no harm in going ham. Watch out for your fellow drinkers, though, because not everybody will, and somebody needs to. You could be the difference between their life and their death..