Drinking for Drivers | City | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice
Pin It

Drinking for Drivers 

Local Matters

Burlington -- The sound of honking car horns is rarely welcome -- unless you're a college student kicking back beneath an 8-foot-long banner that reads, "U HONK, WE DRINK." Then it's good times.

Eight students -- five men and three women -- have been playing this drinking game two or three nights a week during rush hour on the porch of a two-story house at the intersection of Colchester and East avenues. "It seems like most people who go by, it puts a smile on their faces," says Matt, the group's spokesman. He says they got the idea from the wildly popular website,


Klatch Members maintain their anonymity on a recent Tuesday afternoon, but agree to pose for a photo. All but one attend local colleges; the other guy says he goes to the University of New Hampshire. Every 20 or 30 seconds or so, a car goes by and the driver honks. Some raise their fists and shout encouragements. The porch sitters raise their cans of Bud Lite, bottles of Smuttynose, and plastic cups full of Southern Comfort. "It's not just the cars that honk," Matt adds after a swig. "We get the Red Cross, fire trucks, UPS, FedEx, the cops. You name it, they love it."

But not everyone loves the sign. "Sometimes people say, 'I'm glad you're not my son,'" Matt admits. Lieutenant Mike Schirling of the Burlington Police Department also confirms that the cops received a noise complaint about the house on Friday, August 26, at 4:30 p.m. But Schirling says the guys weren't fined. "We arrived and it was quiet," he reports.

Schirling explains that the drinkers are well within their rights, as long as they're not causing a riot, making too much noise or allowing underage drinking. He notes that the officers who responded to the noise complaint checked IDs -- everyone was over 21.

Matt says he realizes that some people might think the students are promoting drinking, but he doesn't agree. "We're trying to promote happiness," his friend interjects, beer in hand.

Did you appreciate this story?

Show us your ❤️ by becoming a Seven Days Super Reader.

Got something to say? Send a letter to the editor and we'll publish your feedback in print!

Pin It

More by Cathy Resmer

  • Turning Point Center Fights Addiction With Crafts and Community
  • Turning Point Center Fights Addiction With Crafts and Community

    Burlington's Turning Point Center is a refuge for Vermonters who are trying to find their way out of drug dependence. In the stairwell leading to the center, a mural depicts a giant hand reaching down to a solitary slouching figure. Just outside the center's door at the top of the stairs, is another message: "You are no longer alone."
    • Dec 13, 2017
  • The Tech Issue — 2017
  • The Tech Issue — 2017

    • Oct 18, 2017
  • More »

About The Author

Cathy Resmer

Cathy Resmer

Cathy Resmer is Seven Days' deputy publisher. She's an organizer of the Vermont Tech Jam, and compiles a weekly tech e-newsletter every Monday. She also oversees Seven Days' free monthly parenting publication, Kids VT, and is an enthusiastic wrestling mom... more


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Seven Days moderates comments in order to ensure a civil environment. Please treat the comments section as you would a town meeting, dinner party or classroom discussion. In other words, keep commenting classy! Read our guidelines...

Note: Comments are limited to 300 words.

Latest in City

  • What's New This Summer at 16 Burlington Waterfront Spots?
  • What's New This Summer at 16 Burlington Waterfront Spots?

    It's hard to imagine that the curving Lake Champlain shoreline of Burlington Bay was once littered with oil tanks, industrial barges, timber and pollution-spewing smokestacks. A few remnants of the working harbor remain, but the stretch between Rock Point and Oakledge Park is increasingly a place for recreation, restaurants and pleasure boating. Some 30 years after the City of Burlington used the public trust doctrine to win a court battle and reclaim big chunks of the waterfront from the railroad, its transformation continues. Here's a look at pending and possible changes, large and small, along the 4.5-mile lakeside stretch. Changes include North Beach improvements, new bike path construction (and exercise stations), a brand new sailing center, more paid parking and marina construction.
    • Jun 6, 2018
  • More »

Recent Comments

Keep up with us Seven Days a week!

Sign up for our fun and informative

All content © 2018 Da Capo Publishing, Inc. 255 So. Champlain St. Ste. 5, Burlington, VT 05401
Website powered by Foundation