It was winter break of 1993. I was a junior in college, and I had yet to ever stay up all night. Sure, I’d pulled some late nights, but I’d always turned in for at least a couple of hours. As winter break rolled around, my friends kept telling me about their all nighters. I’d head home from Denny’s at 1 or 2 AM, declining their invitation to continue the evening’s fun and frivolity.
Well, my parents went out of town for a long weekend, so the opportunity presented itself.
I was going to stay up all night. On purpose.
Well, the evening started at someone’s karaoke party, complete with Chinese laser disks with translations of lyrics that were questionable at best. The party brok up around 1, so we headed out to Denny’s where the caffeine consumption began. It was a modest start, just two large cokes, but it was a start and there would be more.
After Denny’s we went to my house and sat around playing Magic: The Gathering. The game was fueled by something like eight cups of coffee with way too much sugar and left over cookies and an improvised confection that a friend had made using “flour, butter, chocolate, and all the sugar in the house.”
Somehow, the card game carried us through to the dawn. While everybody else crashed on the floor, I took a shower and went off to work at the campus post office.
I was wired! I was ninja mail sorter. Envelopes were flying to their correct places. Piles of mail vanished in a flash. I was in a caffeine-powered zone, and I made short work of my shift.
Finally, I went home and dragged everybody out to the park to have a picnic of Kentucky Fried Chicken. Because that’s what you do after an all nighter, right?
Needless to say, the crash, when it came, was not fun.
A few months later, as an encore, I did another alnighter, this one a product of academic procrastination. I had a cup of coffee at 7:30 on Monday and went all the way through Bible study at 7PM onTuesday with no other caffeine. And I produced twenty-nine pages of academic gold in that time frame.