The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

SMU professor Susanne Scholz in the West Bank in 2018.
SMU professor to return to campus after being trapped in Gaza for 12 years
Sara Hummadi, Video Editor • May 18, 2024


Chapter Eight: Hats at Pat’s

It was early Friday night. Peter, Walter and Liz were sitting in the back corner of Kuby’s discussing their plans for the evening.

“What’s going on tonight?” asked Walter. “I feel like doing something. The only thing is nothing is going on.”

“I heard about something at Al-Amir,” said Peter.

“Perfect!” exclaimed Walter. “I love Al-Amir. Let’s go.”

“Yeah, that sounds like fun,” added Liz.

“I don’t know why I mentioned that,” said Peter. “I hate dancing.”

“Really?” said Liz.

“Yeah, he’s weird,” said Walter.

“Why don’t you like to dance?” Liz asked.

“I don’t know. I just don’t. I think it’s stupid,” responded Peter.

“And he’s not good at it,” added Walter.

“That too,” conceded Peter.

Liz had an idea. However, she was not sure how it would be received. But after a moment of thought, she decided to put it out in the open anyway.

“I received a Facebook invite from my friend, Pat, for a theme party in his apartment,” said Liz.

“Well, alright, now we’re talkin’,” said Walter. “Where’s his place?”


Peter and Walter looked at each other in shock.

“Austin?” said Peter.


“Screw it,” said Walter. “Let’s go.”

Peter, Walter and Liz paid their check, left a tip and briskly walked back to their respective rooms to pack for the weekend, remembering to bring his or her favorite hat for the party, as Liz instructed them.

Then, as planned, they met at Walter’s truck.

“Just throw your stuff in the bed,” instructed Walter.

“Shotgun,” called Liz.

“Oh, nice,” said Walter.

“Yeah, very well done,” said Peter. “It’s a good thing I brought my pillow.”

“That was a good decision,” said Liz.

“Especially now,” added Walter. Worried that the energy from their initial decision to embark to Austin on a whim was dying, Walter quickly decided to pick things up. “All right, enough lollygagging. Let’s go.”

Although their trip was spur of the moment and late in the evening, the drive to Austin would take them only three and half hours to get there, meaning they would arrive a little after 11 p.m., just in time for the party.

The trip happened so fast. It seemed as though it took them no time at all to reach West, a town roughly halfway between Dallas and Austin, home to the Czech Stop where a weary driver can always find wonderful, homemade klobasneks, not to be confused with kolaches. And as they pulled in to Austin they cranked it to “Soulja Boy,” that is Liz and Walter cranked it. Peter does not like to dance.

As they turned onto Congress Avenue, the song ended, and the three decided to stop at Amy’s Ice Cream for a quick snack before they headed over to Pat’s.

With their ice cream in hand, Peter, Walter and Liz found a bench near the road and sat down to enjoy their treats.

“Wow, that really worked out well for us,” stated Walter.

“Yeah, that drive wasn’t bad at all,” said Peter.

“I still can’t believe we drove to Austin,” said Liz.

“What do you mean, you can’t believe it?” said Peter. “It was your idea.”

“Yeah, but these things never work out like they’re intended,” Liz replied.

“Yeah, everything has sort of fallen into place,” said Peter.

“I know,” said Walter. “I had a full tank of gas to get us here, which prevented us from stopping at a gas station and thinking about what we were doing while we were filling up, and it just so happens I live here so we have a place to stay.”

“It may just be one of those things where everything works out,” said Peter.

“It seems to be,” Walter reiterated.

When they finished their ice cream they went back to Walter’s truck and headed toward Pat’s apartment where they encountered their first obstacle of the evening. As they drove up and down the street in front of Pat’s apartment, they could not find a parking spot.

Liz called Pat to find out where they needed to go. After Pat got over the shock of Liz being in Austin, he quickly volunteered to walk outside and help locate a parking spot, which, according to him, were always hard to come by where he lives.

Luckily, they soon found a spot on the side of the road. It was tight, but Walter did a pretty good job of squeezing his truck between the two bordering cars.

When they finally parked and stepped out onto the sidewalk, Pat, wearing a wide-brimmed sombrero, greeted Liz with a hug and introduced himself to Walter and Peter.

“So who all is inside?” asked Liz.

“It’s your lucky night, Liz,” said Pat. “Khaki is here, Jennifer, Lawson, Corwin, Greta, Charlotte, Scott, a whole bunch of people.”

“Wow, do you guys to get together often?” she asked.

“We try to get together about once a month, you know, to keep in touch,” he replied.

“That’s cool,” she said.

“Yeah, let’s head on up.”

Pat turned around and started heading toward the entrance of his apartment complex. Liz and Walter followed him.

Peter was bringing up the rear so Liz went and grabbed him by the hand. “Come on,” she said. “I want to introduce you to all my friends.”


Peter, Liz, Walter, and Pat turned around to see what the sound was.

Walter’s truck was wobbling.

In a flash, Walter tore after the car that hit his truck. The car was still driving away.

After Walter jumped in front of the car, forcing it to stop, Peter ran after him with the intention to help. Pat and Liz watched in astonishment.

The driver who sideswiped Walter’s truck did not want to cooperate. At first Walter tried to get him to pull over to the side of the road, but he quickly gave up and called the cops because the driver kept idling into him, trying to get him to move out of the way.

A few onlookers soon came over to help as well, noticing the belligerence of the driver who was still continually bumping Walter with his car. Then, after numerous failed attempts to get the driver to pull over, one of the onlookers who came over to help got in the car with the driver to have him pull over.

“Hey, Walter, move out of the way,” said Peter. “This guy’s going to make him pull over.”

Walter, still on the phone with the police, listened to Peter and moved over to the side of the road, allowing the car to pass.

But the car, instead of pulling over, tore down the road with fury, the helpful onlooker still in the car with him.

Walter and Peter could not believe it. Peter stood there in amazement as Walter, still on the phone, told the police what had just happened.

As Walter was later told by the police, the driver who sideswiped him led the police on a high-speed chase down MoPac, a highway in Austin, before surrendering to them at his apartment. The helpful onlooker who had been in the car with him escaped unharmed.

However, after filling out a police report, Walter was no longer in the mood to party or mingle. He wanted to go to his house and call it a night.

So the trio said goodbye to Pat, and Liz thanked him for the invitation. Pat expressed his remorse and hoped they would be able to come to his apartment some other time for a party.

On the drive to Walter’s house, Peter, Liz and Walter sat in silence. Walter was deeply angry and upset, and Peter and Liz were still shocked that their night had ended so terribly.

Then, out of nowhere, a water balloon, hurled by a group of 13-year-old boys splattered across the windshield of Walter’s truck. The trio was neither startled nor surprised. In fact, after what had just happened, it felt about right. And without saying a word they continued on in silence, each hoping that tomorrow would prove to be a much better day.

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