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The Tucker Max Stories

Tucker Goes to Campout, Owns Duke Nerds

This is the first story in my second book, Assholes Finish First. Buy it on Amazon, or get a signed copy.

I went to law school at Duke, and as you may know, basketball is huge there. The demand for tickets, even for grad students, far outstrips the supply. In order to solve this problem, the people in charge make grad students camp out in a field to get into the lottery for the chance to get tickets. They expect you to spend a weekend sleeping in dirt and checking in every time they blow their whistles, like a fucking homeless kindergartener. You think I’m exaggerating, don’t you? This is taken directly from the Duke grad student website:

“Welcome to Duke! Let’s get right to the most important issue on your mind: How can YOU get season tickets to this year’s men’s basketball games in Cameron Indoor Stadium? Eligibility to purchase tickets is determined via the Graduate and Professional Student Council Basketball Ticket Campout. Campout for Duke Men’s Basketball season will be held starting at 7:00pm on Friday, September 8, and runs through Sunday, September 10, at approximately 7am.

The rules are simple: make it through the weekend without missing two attendance checks and your name is entered in a lottery. Lottery winners are then drawn and each of these lucky individuals is eligible to buy one of the 700 graduate and professional season tickets…

But Campout isn’t just about basketball tickets. With almost 2000 students representing nearly every program and department at the University in attendance, this is also the premier graduate and professional student social event of the year. Campout is an excellent opportunity to bond with your students in your own program and make friends in other programs.”

The bolding is theirs, not mine. Not only do they want grad students to spend their limited free time toiling in a parking lot, they are condescending about it. Either that, or they’re just fucking retarded—do they really think that being stuck in a parking lot with 2,000 nerds is “the premier graduate and professional student social event of the year”? Not going to a bar or to a party with your friends, or, God fucking forbid, ACTUALLY GOING TO THE GAMES. Nope, to them, the coolest thing a grad student can do is to root around in filth. I want tickets, so I have to go.

OK, fine. But if those Duke basketball tools are going to make me sleep outside for two nights, I’m going to make them pay. And not just by getting drunk and fucking their ugly girlfriends. It took me a few days, but I finally figured out how to completely ruin the event for everyone who sucks, while concurrently making it awesome for me and my friends. About two weeks before the grad student campout was to start, I was in the law library, intently focusing on my computer screen when my buddy Hate walked up.

Hate “What are you up to?”
Tucker “Ordering something online.”
Hate “What, a Russian mail-order bride?”
Tucker “Better. A bullhorn.”
Hate “What for?”
Tucker “For Campout. Look at this one, dude: It has a one-mile range! And a 110-decibel siren! It’s made for police use!”
Hate [ten-second blank stare] “Jesus have mercy on our souls.”

I paid extra for 2nd day delivery. When the day of arrival came, I was so excited I stayed home from class. Waiting for the delivery guy felt like Christmas, except without the part where your parents drink all the present money and wrap up things from your room as your gifts. Credit and Hate stayed home that day too, not because they were excited about the bullhorn, but because they are dicks. They wanted to taunt me until it arrived, knowing the anticipation was slowly killing me. (That, and none of us ever went to class anyway because law school is ridiculously easy.)

Credit “Max, I haven’t seen you this excited since Brad Pitt took his shirt off in Fight Club.”
Tucker “Credit, you’re Jewish, your best friend is black, and your girlfriend is a cheating whore. Even if I were gay, I’d still have it better than you.”

When the FedEx truck finally showed up, I sprinted to the front desk. I scribbled my signature, ran back to my room, tore open the package, loaded the batteries I already purchased, then cautiously put the bullhorn up to my lips and whispered:

“Hello.”

My voice boomed out of the bullhorn so crisp and loud it shocked me. I felt a strange new power surge through me. It was like I drank from the Holy Grail. I took a deep breath and bellowed:

“WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!! CREDIT, I AM THE GREATEST MAN ALIVE!! HATE, I’M FUCKING INVINCIBLE!”

I ran out of my room into the living room. Hate was jolted forward in his recliner, white-knuckling the armrests with a look on his face like he’d just seen the devil. Credit had the same exasperated expression he got when he learned the student parking lot was a full mile away from the law school building.

Tucker “Holy shit! The volume’s only at 6! It goes up to 10!”
Credit “Everyone is going to hate us.”
Hate “Max, you aren’t really taking that thing to Campout are you?”
Tucker [into the bullhorn] “We are friends and roommates, and yet… I feel like you don’t know me at all.”

I turned it down to 2—loud but still a manageable indoor volume—and spoke to everyone exclusively through the bullhorn for the next week. It became a part of me, a natural extension of my arm. I put it down only to shower and masturbate.

You know how when you pine after something really badly, like a cool toy or a new car or whatever, once you get it, it’s never as good as you imagined it would be? This was the opposite. This was so much better than I could’ve ever dreamed. No possession of mine, before or since, has ever completed me the way that bullhorn did; it embodied all of the characteristics that I consider most essential to myself… and amplified them.

Arguing: I was pretty good at debating with people before, but now, I had a permanent trump card. How can you win an argument against someone who is louder than a chain saw? Even if you’re completely right, you’re wrong, because I have the bullhorn.

Humor: Everything you say becomes one level more humorous through a bullhorn. Stupid becomes passable, passable becomes funny, funny becomes hysterical, and hysterical becomes Dave Chappelle doing Rick James. I think this is because a bullhorn makes you so loud that it puts you on an imaginary stage. Just being the center of attention primes people to think you’re funny—how else does Dane Cook get laughs?

Confidence: I was not lacking in confidence beforehand, but add a bullhorn and I became superhuman. It was like having a gun, except better. Walking around with a bullhorn gives all the authority of a gun, without any of the toolishness or danger of it accidentally discharging in your sweatpants. People just assume you’re in charge and defer to you.

It was as if one internet purchase had suddenly made all things right in the world. Maybe the Duke nerds are right. Maybe this will be the premier social event of the year.

Campout started on Friday at 7pm, but me, SlingBlade, Credit, Hate, Jojo, and GoldenBoy got there about 5pm, so we could park our RV in a prime spot. As we pulled in and started to get situated—which for us entailed setting down the cooler and sitting around it drinking—I pondered my tactics.

Tucker “Alright fellas, what should my bullhorn strategy be?”
Hate “Break it. Or set it on fire. Anything that will get that fucking thing out of your hand.”
GoldenBoy “Aren’t you just gonna get drunk, yell at people, and not worry about consequences? Do you know any other way to act?”
Tucker “There is wisdom in your words.”

At 7pm they blew the whistles for the first check-in. The Head Campout Nerd was giving instructions with one of those tiny little megaphones you can buy at Home Depot. He saw me and came over all excited, like we were friends: Nerd “You have a bullhorn! I have one too!” I immediately saw this encounter for what it was: my first chance to assert dominance over Campout. In the most condescending tone possible I said:

Tucker “Aren’t you the cutest! And look at the toy Santa brought you for Christmas! You must have been a good boy this year!”

The dude visibly deflated. Here he was, hoping for a Bullhorn Buddy, and instead he got, well… me:

Tucker “What the fuck is that, a Speak & Spell or a See ’n Say? The frog says ‘Ribbit’!”

He was about to say something, but I put my bullhorn right in his face and hit the siren trigger:

EEEEEERRRRRRRRRRRNNNNNNNNN

Tucker “Don’t bring a knife to a gunfight, motherfucker. Take your Fisher-Price ‘My First Megaphone’ and get the fuck out of my face. This thing is made for riot control! I run Campout now, bitch!”

The dude sulked off like the old lion that gets his ass handed to him by the younger lion and won’t be seeing any more lion pussy. It was awesome. Only minutes into the start of Campout and I had savaged the only challenger to my authority!

Tucker “To be the man, you gotta beat the man! And now I’m the man! WOOOOOOOOOOO!”
GoldenBoy “Rick Flair quotes? I know we’re in North Carolina, but come on.”
SlingBlade “Tucker is so proud of himself. He just bested a pimply, insecure 130-pound public policy student. Next up, Romper Room Smackdown.”

The testosterone rush of my victory—on top of the beer I’d already drunk—put me into what could be called an “aggressive” state. Conversely, I was surrounded by the type of passive, fearful people who’d chosen to stay in school to avoid the conflict and consequences of real life. This meant I had in front of me a weekend where I could say or do anything I wanted, without worrying about anyone being able to talk over me. This must be what narcissist heaven is like. Beer in one hand and bullhorn in the other, I began my symphony of awesome:

[to a dude in a Star Wars T-shirt] “Be honest, how many times have you jacked off to a picture of Princess Leia in her metal bikini?”

[to a group of grad school students] “You look like the type of people who would criticize a misspelling in a suicide note.”

[to this guy who had blond hair, was kinda fat, and wore thick glasses] “If this were Lord of the Flies, you’d be dead already.”

He foolishly turned to respond.

EEEEEERRRRRRRRRRNNNNNNNNN

Tucker “Silence! I’ve got the conch now, Piggy!”

[to some random nerd] “How hard was it choosing between the midnight showing of Rocky Horror Picture Show and Campout?”

[to a chunky girl] “Have you been tested for hoof-and-mouth disease!”
Chunkygirl “What?”
SlingBlade, who at this point was warming up to the idea of the bullhorn, took it from me and piled on: SlingBlade “Tucker, you have it wrong. Clearly she has mad cow disease.”
Chunkygirl “Fuck you!”
Tucker “You’re right! She’s frothing at the udder!”

Some European-looking dudes in Diadora shorts walked by.
Tucker “Fact: Soccer is a game invented by European ladies to pass the time while their husbands cooked dinner. Go practice your throw-ins, you cheese-eating surrender monkey!”
GoldenBoy “You just seamlessly stole a King of the Hill quote and a Simpsons quote to form one insult. I’ve never been this impressed by plagiarism.”
Tucker “I’m awesome even when I steal.”

Many beers later, I saw what looked like a hot girl far over on the other part of the parking lot.

Tucker “Man, look at her!”
Jojo and Credit looked over, and immediately started laughing at me. A lot.
Tucker “What? She’s hot!”
As she walked closer, it became very evident she…was a he.
Tucker “Come on, he has waif legs and those tight skinny jeans and long hair—how was I supposed to know it was a douche Marxist and not a girl?”
Credit “He has a beard, Tucker.”
Tucker “Does he? Shit, maybe I’m drunker than I thought I was.”
Jojo “Yeah, that’s it.”

Everyone had a great time laughing at my expense. To this day, Jojo brings this up approximately once a month. It happened TEN FUCKING YEARS AGO. He’s like a woman; he never forgets anything.

Tooling on idiots is fun, but I still have a penis, and it still demands its pounding of flesh, so we decided to see what good-looking—or at least willing—girls we could find at “the premier graduate and professional student social event of the year.”

Dealing with grad school girls can be tricky. At Duke there were four distinct types: insecure, fearful types hiding from the real world; the super-serious ones so brainwashed by the unreality of academia they aren’t even human anymore; the ones just looking for their Mrs. degree; and the sluts. Of all the types of women, I like sluts the best. Mainly because they are the most receptive to me putting my penis in their vagina.

A group of cute girls who looked like they might be game walked by.

Tucker “Ladies, you can’t be the first, but you can be the next.”

They looked at me suspiciously, as they should. Most of the time I don’t know what’s going to come out of my mouth, and sometimes, well… it’s dumb. I’ve found the best thing to do when you stumble is to pretend that nothing happened and just drive forward.

Tucker “In addition to the bullhorn, we have beer! And we will share it with you!”

They laughed a little but didn’t come over. I decided to go for the high-risk play. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Tucker “Look, here’s the deal: If you’re into immature, sexually compulsive men who drink too much and need to be the center of attention at all times, you are going to find me very attractive.”
SlingBlade [grabbing the bullhorn] “Don’t talk to this man. He has herpes simplex 1, 2 and 3. This was a public service announcement brought to you by SlingBlade.”
Tucker“IT’S IN REMISSION, ASSHOLE!”

The fact that this exchange not only made  them laugh out loud, but also got them to come hang out with us, should be all the info you need to know which grad school group they fell into. But there was a bonus: They were in nursing school. We hit the slut jackpot! Slutty nurses not only want to fuck you, they want to take care of you too. They do you, then they do your laundry. This’ll be better than Shark Week!

We talked for a while (without the bullhorn), when, just making conversation, I asked one girl about her favorite movie.

Girl “I love John Cusack, especially in my favorite movie, Better Off Dead.
Tucker “Oh no…”
SlingBlade “Did we ever establish why Lane Meyer couldn’t be bothered to pay the paperboy? Why he tortured him for the entire movie, without any reason?”
Girl “That was funny. ‘Gimme my two dollars!’ I liked that.”
SlingBlade “So you think that’s cool, to take goods and services from people and not compensate them? Two dollars is a meal! That’s two double cheeseburgers off the McDonald’s dollar menu, which can be the only source of protein for those of us whose parents abandon all financial responsibility for their children at age 18.”
Girl “Umm… calm down. It’s just a movie.”
SlingBlade “Whatever. You’re clearly a selfish whore who would run over a puppy for a guy who shows the mildest interest. I’m sure you and Tucker will get along swimmingly.”

The best part about hanging out with SlingBlade is he makes me look nice by comparison. This girl wore a T-shirt that said FRONT LOADER on it. I couldn’t figure out what it meant. She wouldn’t tell me. This annoyed the fuck out of me, because I am smarter than she is.

Nurse “Well, if you’re so smart, you should be able to figure it out.”

Motherfucker. She leaves me no choice. Now I have to break her self-esteem, sleep with her, and steal the shirt. I use a basic and well-worn tactic: I subtly disapprove of her for various reasons, so that she’ll be forced to seek my validation. By sleeping with me. You know, the classy and mature way to get women. One particular exchange I remember:

Girl “I’m not a slut!”
Tucker “I mean, I want to believe you, you seem like a really nice girl, but… that’s not what those guys over there said about you.”
Girl “They did not! What guys?”
Tucker “I don’t know, they left already.”
Girl “They did not!”
Tucker “Well, let’s try a little test. Now, you know everyone has their price, so how about this: Would you sleep with a guy for, let’s say, 100 million dollars?”
Girl “Well, I mean, I don’t know… yeah, probably… I guess.”
Tucker “OK. Would you sleep with a guy for 10 million dollars?”
Girl “I don’t know, maybe.”
Tucker “OK. Would you sleep with a guy for 10 dollars?”
Girl “No, of course not.”
Tucker “Why not?”
Girl “Are you kidding? I’m not doing that.”
Tucker “We’ve already established that you’d sleep with a guy for money, now we’re just haggling over the price.”

I guess she doesn’t have to learn history to be a nurse, because she thought my little Winston Churchill impression was funny and original. It went on like this for another several hours, me playfully disapproving, her seeking approval, until we snuck off to the back of my SUV and I gave her my full endorsement.

It was about 2am by the time we were done. After we finished, we both wanted to get back up and start drinking more. Plus, I think she was disappointed in my performance. That, or the fact I had been drinking, sweating, and blasting out meat farts all night made me smell like a Pakistani cabdriver. Whichever.

It had been pouring rain for over five hours, everything was soaked, and people were starting to go to bed. Which SlingBlade and I decided meant a prime opportunity to fuck with people.

But before I get into that, let me digress for a second to set the scene. The most important thing you have to know about Campout is that it’s not the same for everyone. There are two places to be: You can rent an RV or U-Haul, park it in the parking lot, and sleep in that, or you can pitch a tent in the field, which is at the bottom of a small hill. Even though the parking lot and field are only yards apart, they are very different worlds. RVs are nice; they have toilets, electricity, TVs, refrigeration, beds—all the comforts of modern life. Tents suck. They are nothing but walls made of thin fabric. You essentially sleep on the ground. Given the choice, most people would take the RV. But it takes money to rent an RV for a weekend, and the vast majority of grad students are broke.

Therefore, a divide develops naturally between the haves and the have-nots. The law students, business school students, and med students tend to be the ones with some excess money, so they rent the RVs and get to sleep in relative luxury in a nice clean parking lot. Pretty much every other grad school student—from political science to divinity school to environmental sciences—is stuck pitching a tent in the field below. If it’s a normal September weekend in North Carolina, this is not really that bad an arrangement. But this weekend it had been raining for days leading up to Campout, including that Friday. This meant the field the poor grad students were camping out in was completely soaked—quite literally a quagmire. It was like a huge mud-wrestling pit, except filled with loser nerds instead of bikini girls.

Which brings us back to the story: SlingBlade and I had, up until this point, spent all of Campout drinking and hanging out in the parking lot. We hadn’t paid any attention to Tent City. That was about to change. This was the moment I had been waiting for all week. I was Tucker Maximus: enslaved camper for an unwanted weekend, coerced supplicant for tickets that should rightfully be mine. And I would have my vengeance, in this life, right now.

Tucker “Tent City! Behold, you live in filth! Your refugee camp for poor nerds is a cesspool of poverty and excrement! You are dirtier than the abandoned children of Bowery whores!”

Some of the people who were out of their tents looked up at me quizzically.

Tucker “Tent City, do you realize how bad you smell? You are swimming in urine and feces. And for what? Crappy tickets to watch a shitty basketball team? You are a Christian Children’s Fund commercial!”

One of them yelled out, “Shut up!”

Tucker “Tent City, query: Was it really worth it? Was it really worth the $30 you saved to spend the weekend mired in squalor and filth? [sniff sniff] I smell poop and bad decisions.”

Someone yelled out from Tent City, “Shut up and go to bed!”

SlingBlade [taking the bullhorn] “Mom, is that you?!? STOP EMBARRASSING ME IN FRONT OF MY FRIENDS!!”

Four or five other law student friends came to join in. These weren’t even my real friends, who were all asleep or being “mature.” These were just guys who knew an awesome idea when they saw one, and they stood around drinking with us and laughing while SlingBlade and I continued to fuck with Tent City.

Tucker “Tent City, you are sleeping in mud and excrement. Don’t believe me? I just pissed on this hill. Do you know what gravity is? Ask the physics grad students, they’re down there with you because studying the underlying mysteries of the universe doesn’t pay for shit!!”

Someone yelled out, “You know, there are things called BATHROOMS!”

Tucker “Toilets are for pussies and poor people!! I am a conquerer!”

Eventually some of the nerds had had enough and started congregating at the base of the hill. At its top, the hill is about 15 feet high and a good 15–30 yards from the people at the bottom. It was far enough away that you could see the people and interact with them, but not so close that you were near them in any physical sense.

RandomNerd “What gives you the right to keep us awake?”
Tucker “Because I have a bullhorn and you do not! Your fancy book learnin’ should’ve taught you that the strong do what they want, and the weak endure what they must. Now bring me your finest meats and cheeses, and be quick about it!”

There were about six of them, and they all kept yammering at me. It was hilarious.

Tucker “I’m sorry, I can’t hear you over the sound of how awesome I am. Please speak up.”

They actually yelled louder.

Tucker “Again, I can’t hear you, because… I HAVE A BULLHORN.”

They kept jabbering at an even louder volume, and this one dude in particular was fuming. He kinda stepped forward wildly gesticulating at me.

Tucker “I want to keep doing this to see how long you will argue with a man who can speak 100 times louder than you. I bet you are sociology grad students; only an overdeveloped sense of justice can create this kind of indignation.”

A few of them actually chuckled, and one girl nodded her head—I WAS RIGHT! Three of them, including the supermad dude, were soc grad students! And of course, this just made him madder. There is nothing funnier than a disproportionate display of inappropriate and overwrought anger. You know, when someone really fucking loses their cool and completely explodes over something small? To me, that is the height of comedy, and I was determined to make this dude flip his shit.

Tucker “Oh, this is just awesome. Define ‘post-structuralist’ for me.”

He actually started to define it! Like an idiot I laughed instead of letting him finish, and he immediately realized the joke was on him. Fortunately, all of us laughing at him must have taken him to his breaking point, because he walked a few steps up the hill and, shaking with anger, busted out this unforgettable quote:

SociologyNerd “‘Against stupidity, the gods themselves contend in vain!’… Friedrich von Schiller!”
Tucker “HAHAHAHAHAH! Did you just quote a German philosopher at me? You’re standing in mud and piss at 2am, and you just quoted a German philosopher at me?”
SlingBlade “I think he’s calling you out.”
Tucker “OK, I can play this game too. ‘Stop ya cryin’ heifer, I don’t need all dat!’… Mystikal!”
SociologyNerd “‘Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something’… Plato!”

I can quote rap lyrics until the sun comes up. But instead, I opted to come over the top and play the nerd trump card on him:

Tucker “Let’s settle this once and for all. I’ll give you the chance to save Tent City. Throw something at me—anything you want—and if you DON’T throw like a girl, I’ll leave right now. I swear on my bullhorn.”

The Sociology Nerd paused, thought about it, got a look of unbridled hatred on his face, adjusted his glasses, and stormed off in a huff.

SlingBlade “HAHAHAHAHHHAHA!!! IT’S LIKE LITTLE LEAGUE ALL OVER AGAIN!”
Tucker “You can run away to your burlap sack, but it won’t save you from my bullhorn! I am the ruler of Tent City!”

All of the nerds got mad, but their anger never went beyond passive-aggressive complaining. People came and went, some people tried to yell over us, some tried pleading, some tried reasoning, and some just threw things (all like girls). By about 3am, we’d woken up and pissed off enough people that something resembling a mob had assembled. But they STILL wouldn’t do anything other than mill around and be angry. One tool in particular was fed up.

Tool “If we come up there, you’re through!”

Unlike this bald-headed tool, I knew my Greek history, so I said the same thing to him that the Spartans said to Philip of Macedon when he sent them a message saying, “If I enter Laconia, I will level Sparta to the ground.”

Tucker “If.”
Tool “Yeah, IF, buddy, IF!”

It’s frustrating when you make a smart joke, and even a nerd doesn’t get it. OK, fine, let’s see if he can detect condescension:

Tucker [in baby voice] “Who’s dat widdle guy down dere making all dat big noise? He’s jus so leetle! Coochie-coochie-cooo!”

That did it. Four of them got up their courage and ran up the hill. I know the one dude had just “threatened” me, but in the moment, it honestly didn’t even occur to me that they would try to get physical. These grad students had taken our relentless mocking for hours because they were pussies. I mean, pussies are pussies—it’s not just a word.

When they got to the top of the hill, they saw all my friends behind us that they couldn’t see from down below, and they kinda stopped and milled around for a second, unsure of what to do. You know that scene in Braveheart where the two guys pretend to be lost so they can get the English to chase them, and the English take the bait, only to run into a huge group of Scots over the hill, and they become the prey? It was like that. Except with nerds. Seeing their body language completely change, I figured this out… but was in such disbelief, I put the bullhorn down for a second:

Tucker “Wait… did you storm up here… thinking we’d run off?”

The embarrassed silence was all the confirmation I needed.

SlingBlade “HAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHHAHHAHHHAHAH! Oh my God, that’s so precious!”

I fucking lit them up:

Tucker “WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO??? NOTHING!! YOU’RE GOING BACK DOWN TO YOUR MUDDY GHETTO! YOU CAN’T BEAT ME! I HAVE A BULLHORN, AND YOU HAVE NOTHING, BECAUSE I AM SMART AND YOU ARE STUPID! NOW GET THE FUCK OFF MY HILL, YOU FUCKING PUSSIES!”

They milled around for a second more, then walked back down the hill. I don’t know if I’ve ever felt more like a real warrior in my life.

Tucker “TENT CITY, YOUR PITIFUL ASSAULT HAS BEEN REPELLED! I AM YOUR CONQUERER AND YOU ARE ALL MY SUBJECTS! BOW BEFORE ME!!” [to SlingBlade] “This is so awesome! This must be like what Alexander the Great or Genghis Khan felt like!”
SlingBlade “Jesus Christ, you are delusional.”
Tucker “To be the man, you gotta beat the man! WOOOOOOOOO! And at Campout, I’M THE MAN! WOOOOOOOOO!”

I proclaimed sovereignty over Tent City for another ten minutes in various different ways, and after vowing to return the next day to continue my rule, we went to bed. After twelve hours of dedicated drinking, we’d finally hit our wall.


The Next Day

We didn’t wake up until around 2pm. Once we beat back our hangovers with a 12 pack, SlingBlade came upon this one RV with an awesome spread of food—not just cheap hot dogs and sausages, they had gourmet shit. Judging by the quality and quantity, they were those rare type of grad students who actually had real money of their own, not just government loans. This can mean only one thing: business school tools.

In order to go to business school, you have to have worked for a few years and been good at it, so most of them have money saved. As a result, they not only have cooler stuff than the rest of us, they think they are better’n everyone. I decide to fix that for them. I moseyed over, grabbed one of their bottles of wine, and started chugging it. A girl gasped out loud.

Tucker “Well, I’m sorry, your highness, but I happen to think wine tastes better out of a bottle!”

The entire group looked at me like I had just dropped a steamer in their shrimp platter, except one girl who laughed, so I talked to her.

FunGirl “So you’re the bullhorn guys? I heard them planning your demise this morning in Tent City.”
Tucker “I will crush their puny rebellion. Blood alone moves the wheels of history!”

As I housed their food and hit on the cute girl, SlingBlade tried to run interference before our inevitable eviction, but one bitchy girl was quite persistent:

BitchyGirl “Your friend brought a bullhorn to Campout? I mean, who does he think he is?”
SlingBlade “You must be lucky enough to not have met Tucker.”
BitchyGirl “Why is he drinking our wine? And eating my pâté?”
SlingBlade “He has what the DSM IV refers to as Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Also, I believe that he is out of beer.”

I think the fact that I was flirting with her friend actually pissed her off more than me drinking the wine and eating her goose liver. She was the type who would cockblock endangered pandas at the zoo.

BitchyGirl “Can I ask you a question?”
Tucker “If you wonder whether you’re fat, you probably are.”
BitchyGirl “Uhh… no, what I wanted to ask—”
Tucker “Yes, you could stand to lose a few pounds.”
BitchyGirl “And you don’t think you could stand to drink less?”
Tucker “Daddy drinks because otherwise he can’t justify having sex with you.”
BitchyGirl “Have sex with you? HA! You wish!”
Tucker “You can pretend you aren’t into me to keep up appearances, but you know you’re moist right now.”
BitchyGirl “UGH! I could not find you more unattractive. You’re slurring your speech, you have a shirt on that is two sizes too small, is covered in mustard stains and says FRONT LOADER on it, you reek of cheap beer and sex, and you clearly have a drinking problem.”
Tucker “Drinking is a problem only if you’re not good at it. To me, everything you listed is proof that I am very good at it.” BitchyGirl “You disgust me.”
Tucker “I will not apologize for being awesome.”

At some point we found ourselves at the Porta Potties. SlingBlade went into one, but I had to wait because the other was occupied. He came out laughing.

SlingBlade “I just dropped a deuce that could sink the Titanic.”
Tucker [I was so in shock, I put the bullhorn down] “You took a dump in a Porta Potty? What is wrong with you?”
SlingBlade “Alcohol has made me impervious to your attempts at shaming.”

The guy in my Porta Potty came out. As I opened the door to go in, I recoiled in terror.

Tucker “OHH! That is AWFUL!”

He started walking away, like everything was just fine and dandy.

Tucker “Hey you, come back here. Do you know what you just did in that bathroom?”
Guy “Yeah… I uh… sorry about that, man.”
Tucker “Come here and smell this.”
Guy “What?”
Tucker “DO IT NOW!”

Thus is the power and authority of the bullhorn: The guy actually walked back to the Porta Potty and took a sniff.

Guy “Yeah, so?”
Tucker [angry astonishment] “Yeah, so? That smell is not [air quotes] ‘just went to the bathroom.’ That is felonious assault on a toilet. You have raped my olfactory senses. Apologize.”
Guy “What?”
Tucker “APOLOGIZE RIGHT NOW!”
Guy “OK, fine…whatever…I’m sorry.”

Had we not been drinking for 24 hours straight, and had I not conquered an entire city the night before, I don’t think I would have tried this. But the bullhorn had emboldened me:

Tucker “Now apologize to the toilet.”
Guy “Dude, what?”
Tucker “Repeat after me: I am very sorry and greatly embarrassed that my excretory system could produce such a smell. I promise to eat more bran to prevent such things in the future. Please accept my apology.”
Guy “Are you nuts?”
Tucker “I SAID DO IT!”

I was pretty much joking with the guy, and fully expected him to either walk off or punch me in the face. There is just no legitimate reason to obey me. I was just some drunk idiot yelling at him with a bullhorn…but he gave in and basically said it. After he left, I stood there in mild shock.

Tucker “Did I really just use the bullhorn to make a dude apologize…to a port-a-potty…for taking a smelly dump?”
SlingBlade “That thing is too powerful. It’s like the One Ring that rules them all. After Campout, we have to find a volcano and throw it in.”
Tucker “Let’s make Hate do it. He hates the bullhorn, plus he’s short like a Hobbit.”
SlingBlade “Credit can go with him. He’s a Jew, like Gollum.”

We chilled the rest of the afternoon and evening, planning out how we would fuck with Tent City again that night. But this time, the nerds had come prepared. They must have had spies watching us, because before we even got to the ridge to start our second assault on Tent City, they were standing there with a DukeCop. Still drunk on alcohol and the testosterone rush of the previous night, I decided to handle this the logical way, as Lord Tucker Max, Tent City Conqueror:

Tucker “What’s the problem, Officer?”
DukeCop “You need to stop using the bullhorn.”
Tucker “What? Why?”
DukeCop “The proper response to a lawful order is not ‘Why?'”
Tucker “But officer, I don’t think you understand,” [I hold it front of his face as if he hadn’t seen it yet] “I have a bullhorn.”

You know that look a cop gives you when he’s so confused that he doesn’t even know how to respond? If you don’t know that look, it means you haven’t had enough fun in your life. He gave me that look.

DukeCop “You have to stop using the bullhorn for the rest of Campout.”
Tucker “Officer, I can’t stop. I am the ruler of Tent City!”

It was at this point the cop realized I wasn’t crazy or stupid, just really drunk.

DukeCop “You’re not in charge, you’re not even on the Graduate Council. I am a law enforcement officer, and I am giving you a lawful command. You can obey it, or I can arrest you and confiscate the bullhorn.”

I was not prepared for this gambit. I turned to SlingBlade:

Tucker “What do we do?”
SlingBlade “Stop using the bullhorn.”
Tucker “Isn’t there some way around this?”
SlingBlade “I don’t know. I don’t take Criminal Procedure until next semester. But I don’t think so.”
Tucker “Does it matter that he’s a campus cop and not a real cop?”
SlingBlade “We’re on Duke’s campus. He also has a taser. Taser beats bullhorn.”
Tucker “Shit.”

On Day 1, I subjugated all of Tent City. On Day 2, I was defeated by a single rent-a-cop. To fuck with me, SlingBlade took the bullhorn from me and addressed Tent City:

SlingBlade “You are safe to go back to sleep. Tucker has been bested and the bullhorn problem is taken care of. I repeat, the bullhorn problem has been taken care of.”
DukeCop “Hey! That means you too. NO ONE gets to use it again. If I have to come back, you’re all getting arrested.”

As I started to go back to my RV, head hung low in shame, I could faintly hear someone yell out from deep within Tent City:

“I guess the man got beat! WOOO!”

Motherfucker. Even ten years later, it still upsets me that my reign as conqueror lasted only a single night. I had so many people left to insult and piss off.

It’s OK though, I got the last laugh. In the intervening years, my notoriety has made it so that all those people who were there, when they tell other people where they went to school, invariably have to answer this question, “You went to Duke? Did you know Tucker Max?”

I may have lost the battle, but I won the war.

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