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A run at immortality was hastily cut short after rising junior Caleb Kennedy’s finances were abruptly pulled by his parents Kenneth and Diane. Within reach of equaling fraternity legend Freddy “The Ferg” Ferguson’s 35 consecutive nights spent at a college bar around the Georgia Atlantic University campus back in ’97, Kennedy was in peak form to blow the record out of the water.
“We knew we were witnessing history right before our eyes.” said roommate Joseph Henderson.
But during that fateful 29th alcohol-fueled day in, all of Kennedy’s cards were declined when trying to open a tab at his beloved Greek watering hole, Salty Hog.
“I didn’t think much of it,” chimed in a stoic Kennedy. “Bank of America puts my account on hold at least four times a month to verify transactions. It never makes sense, either. Like they won’t blink when I drop $1100 at a Bass Pro Shop out of state, but when I hit up the Micky D’s around the corner late night for 3 dollar menu McChickens they’ll shut the whole thing down. I ended up just having Daniels spot me the rest of the night to keep the streak intact.”
Kennedy quickly discovered this was not a temporary financial hindrance after a scathing hour-long phone call the next morning with his parents.
“We let Caleb stay for the summer with the impression that he’d take summer classes and put in a few days a week at our family friend’s law firm as an intern,” voiced his concerned mother, Diane. “You can imagine how his father reacted when he discovered that his son not only did none of what he promised, but was spending our money all willy nilly like.”
Kenneth Kennedy could not be reached for comment, but Caleb confirmed that he and his father have not been on speaking terms since.
“Lesser men would have just gave up on the dream,” added Henderson. “But I could see the fire in Caleb’s eyes that he wasn’t going down without a fight.”
Kennedy rubbed together every nickel he could find in the fraternity house, survived off the unappetizing brownies Chi Omega’s Jessica Jenkins had baked and put in the fridge two weeks prior, and set up a GoFundMe to back his quest. An outpour of support came funneling in from all around the university and $700 was raised to keep him “in the mix for 36.”
Unfortunately, Caleb suffers from uncontrollable shot buying syndrome (USBS), and blew every last penny raised over the next two nights out. The streak came to an anti-climatic end after 31 long-fought, intoxicated days — four short of tying the record.
“There was no doubt in my mind that I could have doubled ‘The Ferg’s’ record if this was purely a physical sport,” declared an unflappable Kennedy. “My liver was just starting to hit its stride, and with a proper benefactor, who knows how long I could have kept it going.”
But this high stakes game cost him dearly.
“How much exactly? My relationship with my father, for one. I’m not sure you can put a monetary value on that. Burning that bridge and still coming short… It’ll haunt me for the rest of my days.”.