A high school ploy.
Underage drinking has long been a problem and my friends at West Anchorage High and I were certainly not strangers to that. But, getting away with it on a closely chaperoned school-sponsored trip took a bit of imagination.
At one time, the Alaska Railroad was so lightly used that it could be rented. And in a land where towns were fewer and furthar apart than they are today, that came in handy during basketball and football seasons. We could go by rail to at least a few away games in places like Palmer, which is about 45 miles from Anchorage, or to Fairbanks, which would be an overnighter. We could even dance on the way because there was a jukebox in the empty baggage car.
Thing is, if we wanted to imbibe in the presence of two or more alert and vigilant chaperones adults in each car, some problems had be solved. First, how do you get the stuff on board? Second, how can you keep from being caught drinking? And third, since someone may be found to be drunk, how do you guarantee that even the most thorough search will turn up absolutely nothing?
The solution has two parts.
First, the alcohol on board information must be restricted to those planning to partake. Second, the container(s) must be so innocuous that it can be used in the open without risk of discovery even by the person sitting next to you.
Clearly, that means that no can, bottle, flask, thermos, jar, or other obvious beverage container can be used. Oranges, on the other hand, are ideal. If you roll one around with enough pressure to loosen the pulp, then inject a little Vodka and let it stand overnight, you’ve got a Screwdriver which you can bring on board by the bag full.
Bring bags with and bags without and you can offer one or the other to absolutely anyone…