The identifying trademarks were visible when the border officer lifted the tarp to reveal the cylindrical barrel.
This story began after my best friend Charles and I attended the San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders Football game Nov 16, 1997.
Charles and I met and became close friends when we were 23-years-old, in the Marine Corp and after our time in the Corp was completed in the San Diego area. We found work and individually met two beautiful women, fell in love, married and later we were blessed with beautiful children.
We had a once a month ritual of attending the San Diego Chargers football game and our time together has become legendary with memories of a lifetime.
We always arrived several hours early to tailgate with all of the trimmings. But on this occasion, our parking lot neighbors were a young group of college kids on one side who arrived extremely drunk, and on the other side was a group of young Navy guys and gals who brought enough liquor for us all twice over and who were also just as drunk.
I realized Charles and I were the mature older adults when we used a blanket from our car to provide privacy for one of the Navy women when she went number-one utilizing a traffic barrel. Of course being the responsible adults, we did not peek, but the barrel location became a toilet and regurgitation location.
The Chargers loss, 38-13, so our slow walk back to the cars was depressing. We sat around talking about the game when I recognize the traffic barreled everyone used earlier was a San Diego Chargers ice cooler barrel.
I took a sip from my beer, fortunately not from the barrel cooler and thought it better not to mention it to the group. But suddenly one of the ladies from the Navy’s group who brought the barrel cooler scream to her friend. Do not stick your hand in the cooler! It has “Pee” inside!
Suddenly everyone turns to the friend who is holding a can of beer above the cooler then drops it back into the cooler and the splash is yellow. Ugh!!!
Everyone who took beers and sodas from the cooler began to heave their guts. The sight of 8 people simultaneously heaving their guts was almost comical.
Both groups were so disgusted with their discovery, they loaded up their trucks and drove away into traffic with heads hanging out of the windows and those in the back of the pickup truck leaning over the side heaving their guts.
Charles and I were still laughing when Charles said; if we pour out the melted ice, beer, sodas, and pour some bleach inside we have a brand new San Diego barrel cooler. I agreed, and we poured the out the contents and placed the cooler in the rear of my truck, and we left shortly after that.
When I arrived home, I was excited to tell my wife of our adventure, but she said there was no way the cooler would grace the interior or be allowed inside the fence of our home. She refused to let me park the truck inside the garage. So, the barrel stayed in the rear of the pickup covered with a tarp parked in the driveway.
A couple of months later Charles and I drove into Tijuana Mexico, and when we returned through the border checkpoint. The border guard checking the rear of the pickup noticed the tarp covering the cooler and asked what was inside. I said “nothing, and after a losing season of 4-12, I was no longer a fan of the San Diego Chargers, and I asked did he want it?”
When he said yes, I was surprised and yet happy since I had forgotten about it being in the back of the truck and I knew my wife would never allow it in the home no matter how much bleach I used.
He lifted it out of the pickup when he said he was a fan. Another guard walked over looking at the cooler, and they both smiled when they waved me on.
As we drove away, I was glad I no longer had any identifying trademarks of the San Diego Chargers, but more importantly, my wife was happy. 🙂