The drunken fever of Little 500 has subsided into a dull hangover as students prepare for finals. More than a dozen students are curled up in chairs and bent over their laptops in the South Lounge at the Indiana Memorial Union. Starbucks closed hours ago and the eyelids are drooping.
Two students occupy one of the notorious leather couches, prime napping real-estate during the day. One slowly works his way through a final paper as another flips through a copy of Sports Illustrated.
Enter Rory Hondo Coyote Derryberry.
Yes, that’s his real name. He has two IDs to prove it.
Derryberry isn’t here to study. As he walks into the lounge, he makes a beeline for a couch across from the two students. In one fluid motion, he collapses onto it in an act that could almost be called graceful — if he wasn’t intoxicated.
The two students look up in concern, contemplating if they should help him. As Derryberry pulls his hands up in front of his face, they decide he is probably all right.
They weren’t the only ones who spotted him. Two IU Police Department officers make their way to the couch about 15 minutes after Derryberry collapsed.
The officers approach Derryberry and begin to tease him, the two students recall. They crack jokes, asking if he needs a blanket. No? Maybe a bedtime story. How about a binky?
Derryberry is up-front with the officers. When they ask him how much he’s had to drink, his answer is simple.
“Too fucking much.”
He’s lying back on the couch, feet propped up on the cushions. He tells the officers his name, and they radio it in to dispatch.
“Rory Hondo Coyote Derryberry,” the officer says. The dispatcher doesn’t seem to believe him. He repeats the name, this time spelling it out.
The officers continue to question Derryberry, but their tone is light, even playful. Derryberry is respectful, the word “sir” often slipping into his slurred speech. His carefree giggle mixes through it all.
“Maybe we should just take him to jail because it would be fun,” the first officer says.
“No,” the other replies. “He’s too happy to take to jail.”
“I didn’t realize that was a factor,” one woman studying says.
The officers lead him out through a back door, by the green awning. They watch him walk, jokingly encouraging him to place one foot in front of the other.
As they stand on the steps outside the Union, the conversation is casual. Derryberry’s relaxed. The officers are entertained. The time inches closer to 2 a.m.
The first officer tells Derryberry to walk down the steps and wait by a white van in the road. A cab’s coming to take him back to Teter Quad, he says. It’s unclear what’s happening. Are they really calling a cab? Or are they just trying to keep him calm until they get him back to the police station?
“Were your parents tripping on something back in the day when they named you?” the first officer asks Derryberry as they wait by the curb. They can’t control his last name, the officer jokes, but at least they could have spared him with the others.
Derryberry laughs, claiming he doesn’t know.
“You really never asked?” the other officer asks.
As a Yellow Cab pulls into view, Derryberry starts apologizing for his intoxication.
“No, it’s cool, I’ve been there,” the same officer says. “I’ve been there, bro.”
The officers guide Derryberry into the back seat of the cab. They close the door, laughing as the cab pulls away.
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