By staff writer Alex Willen

In Palo Alto, we have what’s commonly referred to as the “Stanford bubble.” You see, Palo Alto is the antithesis of the standard college town—there aren’t even townies, only rich, old people, and stores that college students can’t afford. Bottom line, there’s no reason to leave campus that doesn’t involve a liquor store or four Thai prostitutes.

In addition to being isolated, there’s the strange fact that our RAs are not huge douches. I was shocked when I got home for Thanksgiving freshman year and my friends from other schools were swapping stories about the drinking-related write-ups they had received from dorm staff who tortured small animals as children. As always, I assumed that my friends were exaggerating, so I went back to school and continued to blackout regularly with the blessings of my RAs. (Though, to be fair, it might have been more of an “Oh my God, you’re bleeding… and why do you reek of urine?” than a blessing—my memory’s a little hazy.)

In fact, come Spring Break, I found out that while my friends were exaggerating their girlish tolerances for alcohol, they were NOT joking about their RAs.

Learn how to talk to authority figures and you can control them like puppets.

As with most freshmen, I had epic plans of Mexico dancing in my head the entire winter quarter. And, of course, they collapsed as soon as I got home. Instead, I decided to go party with some friends at UCLA. Unfortunately, it was their Spring Break as well, so “partying” consisted of ten of us drinking vodka in a friend’s dorm room. Luckily, that friend’s neighbor also had a slightly more pathetic plan for the night: bringing an entirely male group to the dorm, henceforth known as “The Ghetto-Ass Mexicans.”

We drank vodka, and they freestyled badly. I wasn’t happy about the direction of the night. I drank more vodka. They tried to get me to rap. I continued drinking. I rapped. Apparently, as a drunk white kid rapping Biggie’s verses of “Dead Wrong,” I was entertaining. This pleased me.

Then nature called, so I wandered down to the bathroom. After a moment of reflection, I thought better than to waste my urine on a toilet, and walked past the bathroom to the door to the stairway and emptied my bladder on that. Feeling clever, I walked back to my friend’s dorm room, stopping only to spit on the way.


My alcohol-addled brain told me to ignore the shrill voice behind me. This was surprisingly good advice.


I turned around and realized what I was looking at—she stood in the hallway, a five-foot two pinnacle of authority, dressed in her dorm staff jacket. I immediately determined I couldn’t take seriously a tiny Asian girl patrolling the halls in her staff gear during Spring Break, when her residents weren’t even there.

“What did you just do?”

“What did YOU just do?” God, I’m good.

“What did you just do?”

“Nothing.” Authority: 0, Me: 2.

Visibly frustrated, she changed her tactics. “What’s your name?”

“Jeff.” If you didn’t care enough to read the byline, this is not, in fact, my name.

“Who are you here to see?”

“Jake.” It’s clever, because my friend isn’t really named Jake.

At this point, I decided my words were flying over her head, both literally and figuratively, and, more importantly, that I should leave before this woman found out who I was actually staying with. I walked into the elevator and pressed the first floor button. She stood in the elevator doorway, preventing the doors from closing. This annoyed me. I decided she couldn’t stop me from using the stairs. Halfway there, I realized that I probably didn’t want to use that particular door handle and that she wasn’t going to politely open it for me. Nonetheless, the dorm was big, so I wandered off to find another stairwell.

As luck would have it, my friends had realized I was gone, so the one to whom the dorm room belonged, who we shall henceforth refer to as Hobbit (he bears a striking resemblance and often doesn’t wear shoes), had come to find me. He succeeded and asked me where I had been, at which point the RA, feeling triumphant, followed us back to his room to inspect everything and make sure we were all safe (read: take out years of being made fun of in high school on us).

As soon as she was within feet of the room, she immediately declared that she smelled alcohol and demanded everyone’s IDs. I decided this was a reasonable request, and gave her my Vons Club card. She wasn’t amused. I considered challenging her to a fight to the death for insulting the Club family legacy, but decided this battle wasn’t worth fighting and gave her my real ID. She talked to Hobbit, who, by this point, wasn’t altogether too coherent. She looked around the room for someone who was coherent. She was disappointed.

By this point I’d sobered myself up, so she decided that I was now the responsible one. She demanded that I collect IDs, and I waited for her to leave. I’d forgotten, however, that I was talking to someone who had nothing better to do than patrol her dorm during Spring break. Not only did she stay and continue to bother me, within minutes two more RAs had shown up. Now, I’m not sure what three small Asian girls could do with a room full of drunks that one small Asian girl couldn’t, but I suppose that’s why I’ll never be an RA. Actually, no, that’s because of the alcoholism. Anyway, apparently she soon realized how unimpressed we were by her show of authority, and within a few more minutes I was chatting with two members of the LAPD.

Now, since I’m not retarded, I showed them some respect. Apparently, however, they weren’t looking for respect when they answered a call about drunks at a college. For this I give them some credit. Anyway, it is here that The Ghetto-Ass Mexicans return to our story. Apparently, their instincts had kicked in upon the arrival of the police, who were more clever than the drunk Mexicans had anticipated. One of the cops identified Hobbit, who at this point was near passing out, as the owner of the room.

“Son, why is there someone hiding in your closet?”

“Nobuddies hidin’ in my closet, occifer.”

At this point, the officer calmly reached into the closet and pulled out the fattest Mexican by the back of his shirt. Fatty looked like he had just shit himself, and the rest of us, including the other officer, laughed.

“Occifer I’m sorry I dint know anybud–”

“It’s fine, I believe you. Now tell me why there’s someone hiding under your bed.”

“Occifer I promise nobuddies under anythin.”

The officer grabbed the leg that was sticking out from under the bed (to be fair, Mexicans are more of runners than hiders) and ripped another one out from under the bed.

“I really dint kn–“

“I know, it’s fine. Everyone go to bed. Except you.”

Naturally, “you” meant me, and so it was that I spent the rest of my night chatting it up with the police. This was just about the point when the rest of the vodka caught up with me and my memory ended. But I didn’t wake up in prison or with a ticket, so I have to assume I’m a charismatic motherfucker. Still, from now on, I’m sticking with the Stanford bubble.