The following is an excerpt from the journal I wrote after attending Philmont Scout Ranch with the Boy Scouts from Troop 68 in 1986. The full journal can be found HERE.
“Ever get sick on sasaparilla? It is not a pleasant experience. I know. I speak from experience. After supper and clean up we hiked the short distance from our camp to the Abreu Cantina. Our first bit of business when we arrived was to order a pitcher of sasaparilla and have a few chug-a-lug contests. Pitchers were emptied and new ones were ordered.
Chug-a-lugging gave way to a game called quarters. Quarters is played by each person attempting to bounce a quarter off the counter into a glass of sasaparilla. If successful he could then pick someone to drink the glass. I found it to be any interesting game. It is also hard on the stomach if you lose to often. Or, if the winner likes you too well. I watched the Scouts play it and they were not having any luck getting the quarter into the glass. So, being the suave leader that I am, I entered the game. It was not one of my most brilliant decisions. The Scouts started to dunk the quarters. And guess who was chosen to drink a lot of the brew?
We drank six pitchers of sasaparilla within thirty minutes. Gerry, Robert, and I seemed to have drank the most of that. Our stomachs were not ready to handle this type of abuse. We went outside to get some fresh air and try to settle the rumblings and pains that were beginning to occur within our bellies.
Robert and Jeff walked off toward the stream. Robert was grumbling about a stomach ache. Jeff told Robert that he had a way to make him feel better. Jeff stuck his finger down his throat to demonstrate how well it could work. Robert did not need to use his fingers. As Jeff was laughing, Gerry, who happened to be close by, walked up to them to see what was going on. When Gerry saw that Robert was ridding himself of his drinks he also bent over and joined him in the activity. Though not by choice.
Gerry and Robert had their backs to me when I saw them. Jeff was standing next to the two bent over figures, laughing and having a good old time. I like a good joke so I started walking toward them. I turned back as soon as I realized the nature of what was going on. If I had continued to them any further, I would have joined them, and thus made it a threesome. Robert asked the staff of Abreu for a shovel to clean up the mess. They told him not to worry about it. It was an occupational hazard that came along with the cantina.”