When I was a freshman at Stanford, there was no greater off-campus pleasure than a trip to Juice Club (now Jamba Juice). Since I didn’t have a car or an overwhelming desire to walk, these trips were infrequent, but always memorable. One trip was more memorable than the rest.

On May 11, 1996, I went to Juice Club with my friends Wenson and Courtney. Juice Club was pretty hoppin’ that evening so we were waiting in line for a while. At some point, I started to notice a somewhat tubby guy in a tuxedo standing in the corner of Juice Club and staring at me. He walks up to me.

Tuxedo Guy: Excuse me — are you a freshman?

Me: Yes.

Tuxedo Guy: This is going to sound weird but I just have this feeling that you should take the biggest risk you can senior year.

Me: Huh?

Tuxedo Guy: Senior year you’ll be presented with a risk and you should take it.

Then the guy just walks away.

Over the subsequent three years, I developed several theories about who this guy was and what the risk would entail, culminating with a Senior Year that was disappointingly devoid of any sort of risk opportunity. Some people suggested that perhaps it was the eccentric owner of Juice Club, who preys on the hopes and dreams of innocent freshmen. Wenson insisted that after the incident, he followed the man outside and he “just disappeared.” So he was obviously a ghost. Another popular theory was that it was me from the future. Which is compelling, but man I sure let myself go.

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