PROCTOR — Even though COVID-19 forced Minnesota schools to finish their academic learning online, a resourceful group of seniors decided it would take more than a deadly pandemic to keep them from getting their graduation buzz on. Thus, the Proctor Class of 2020 Virtual Gravel Pit Keg Party was born.
Brad Bostwick, star quarterback for the football team, got the idea from his friend and teammate Trent Johnson. “I texted Trent and said ‘Dude, I graduated’ and Trent texted back with ‘Dude, me too’ and then I was like ‘but what about the coronavirus?’ and that’s when we figured out, being smart now and everything, that we could bang this rager out on the computers we been staring at for like a hundred months now.”
Brad and Trent immediately started preparing for their virtual beer bash. “We sent out a Snapchat to everybody in the class—well, except for the speech kids cuz they’re speech kids, duh—and gave them the Zoom Kegger Link and then Trent found this uber-cool background of a deserted gravel pit, and the whole thing just sort of detonated from there.” Before the soon-to-probably-be graduates knew it, they had an entire evening of dangerous, reckless, and potentially illegal virtual activities planned.
“We’re gonna be doing Simulated Beer Pong with VR headsets we swiped from the library that’ll also project various piles of sand you can bounce off of. And we’ll top off the night with an outstanding Zoom Leap off the fake pit walls into a giant virtual agate. Or whatever. Truth be told, I plan to be hammered, puking drunk by then.”
With the activities planned, and Zoom Kegger Link secured, the only thing these underage revelers needed was some alcohol. Cue the Proctor parents.
“My uncle had a gravel pit outside of Cloquet and you KNOW we hit it hard graduation night,” said Brad’s father, Ryan Bostwick (Proctor Class of 1987). “And these kids have lost so much already, I wanted to do something special. So I called up all the parents—except speech kid parents, of course—and we figured it out. Some of us have celebratory pony kegs, others donated cases of White Claw. A few of the uncool parents weren’t interested in helping their kids celebrate, so I guess those seniors will have to sneak a Hamm’s out of the garage fridge. But this is Proctor so there’s no shame in that.”
Bostwick stressed that the parents were responsible as they procured celebratory alcohol for their children. “We wore masks and kept six feet apart,” he said. “We wanted to do everything we could to ensure our kids could pull sand and gravel out of their butt cracks for a week, just like we did after graduation. Even if it is only virtual.”
Brian Matuszak has been trying to make Duluth funny for 35 years now through the writing, directing, performing and producing of live sketch comedy revues, as well as scripted plays. His current theater company, Rubber Chicken Theater, will be celebrating their 15th birthday in 2023. He also wrote a weekly humor column for the Budgeteer News, creating nearly 400 columns over seven years. He can be found on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook (@rchickentheater). His interests include geocaching, time with family, and singing along loudly and proudly to Barry Manilow, not necessarily in that order.