MADISON, WI—An attempt by old college friends to relive a fun night out from more than 20 years ago went perfectly Friday, with no one involved experiencing the innate futility of trying to recapture the glory days of their youth, sources later confirmed.
The group of former best friends—who met outside their old sophomore dorm, went to the Plaza Tavern, drank $2 pitchers of beer, and sang along to the 1990 Jane's Addiction song "Been Caught Stealing"—said they felt as hopeful and invincible as they did two decades earlier, and that at no point did any one of them stop to think that what they were doing was absolutely pathetic.
"At first I wondered if an attempt to reclaim our former glory would force us to come to grips with the inevitable passage of time and the sad weight the intervening years has placed on each of us," said 42-year-old John Colvin, adding that the former classmates hardly talk anymore and lead completely different lives now. "But no, it was perfect. There were no long, uncomfortable silences or melancholy realizations that we can no longer relate to one another. And at no point did anyone go to the bathroom, look at himself in the mirror, and finally accept that things just hadn't turned out the way he'd hoped."
"We hit the late-night burrito place, flirted with college girls, and weren't humiliated by any of that," he added. "It was fun."
According to Colvin, the group began planning the night on Facebook, an act that didn't make them feel desperate or pathetic in any way. In addition, three of the friends said that having to drive 90 minutes to recreate one night from their 20s was "awesome" and "great" and in no way demoralizing.
Walking through the quad to Ian's Pizza along the exact same route they took in 1991, the men passed their old haunts and remarked on how they once again felt as if their entire lives were ahead of them—free of painful divorces, unrewarding jobs, and the sleep-apnea breathing masks two of the five now wear because of their obesity.
The young college students surrounding them, they said, did not give them the urge to immediately turn around and go home out of overwhelming embarrassment.
"The best part is that we never came off like creepy old men, and we never felt as if the potential we once had to do great things was now lost to the cruelty of time," real estate salesman Tom Hammond told reporters, adding that Friday night would always be remembered fondly and never regretted as a bad idea. "It's really reassuring to be able to recreate one's younger days so effectively and accurately. I didn't cry or become overwhelmed with shame or anything."
"When we finally made it to the Tavern and started dancing, I didn't feel anything like a sad and empty shell of my former self" Mark Snyder, 42, said. "Nope. I was 21-year-old Mark again. And smiling whimsically when I hear the words '21-year-old Mark' doesn't suddenly make me grimly aware of my own mortality in any way, either."
Witnesses told reporters that the middle-aged men did not seem out of place or awkward, and said they never once questioned if maybe the grown adults should be at home with their families. Onlookers noted that it was hilarious, and not at all depressing, when the 40-year-olds began shouting the same college cheers they yelled in the early 1990s.
"They were awesome," said waitress Samantha Jefferies, adding that she was flattered when the group inquired about her major and whether or not she had a boyfriend. "And when they asked me to take a picture of them posing in the same exact way they did for a photograph back in 1991, they certainly didn't come off as trapped in a very sad self-delusion."
The assembled group of balding, paunchy men reportedly ended the evening in the same spot they did years earlier and exchanged similar high fives.
According to sources, the men looked very cool doing so.