By staff writer E.E. Southerby
Volume 5 – October 13, 2002
Ah, Canadian Thanksgiving. A long, carefree weekend where everyone I know goes home to see their family and have them do their laundry. I, of course, am on the entirely wrong coast for that kind of luxury (the west coast), so I'm stuck here doing homework and cleaning the puke off my playing cards (more on that later). Here's what happened:
-It's autumn in Victoria. I don't know how this happened. One day I was walking around in shorts and a t-shirt, then I wake up the next morning and I can see my own breath and all the leaves have turned orange and brown. Bipolar, much? I used to look forward to autumn back home, because all the mosquitos would die. There are no bugs in Victoria, though, so the only noticeable difference is the cold. I never thought I'd miss all the genocide the insect kingdom has to offer.
-The cold hasn't stopped us from partying hard. It just means that when we go to a club, we have to use the coat-check. Great, as if the lines weren't already long enough. I never know how much you're supposed to tip the coat check person. It's not like waiting tables, where you have to be nice to people while carrying giant plates of hot food for sub-minimum wage. We're talking about using a coat hanger, people. This isn't rocket surgery. I'm always like: “Here's 50 cents. Thanks for not looking through the receipts in my coat pocket. Good night.”
-I am officially opposed to hand-stamping. You know when you go to a club or a bar, and they stamp your hand with permanent ink so you can prove you paid the cover charge even though nobody ever checks? I don't like it. We went bar-hopping last weekend, by the 12th club we visited my hands looked like an old passport. I forgot my jacket at one bar, so I went back. The bouncer asks to see my hand stamp, and I'm like “it's here somewhere. Check the third knuckle.”
-Ever see someone you kind of know while walking to class and you feel obligated to start small talk. You're always like “Hey, how are you?” and they always answer monotonously: “Fine, how are you?” And then you answer “Fine.” and then you go your separate ways? When you think about it, that's a pretty weird thing to do. Yet I end up having that conversation about 18 times a day. I wish there was some way to just skip it, but there isn't. The other day I asked someone how they were and they left out the word ‘fine' and just answered: “How are you?” That's right: He answered my question with the exact same question! You can't DO that. I was like “you didn't answer my question, jackass. I was doing fine but now I'm not anymore.”
-Our theatre history professor was sick this week, and we were supposed to have a test. So the test was cancelled and everyone cheered. Nice. Good thing the teacher didn't die, we would have probably had a parade.
-Why are people always so happy when a test is postponed? Does nobody ever study? I had studied the whole day for that test, and then the teacher doesn't show up. Pissed me right off. Now I'll have to wait a whole week before I can forget everything I had learned.
-Because everyone was so thrilled that our test was delayed, someone suggested that we make the teacher a “get well soon” card showing how much we cared (that he wasn't dead, I guess). You know how theatre students sometimes say things they don't mean? Well, one random jackass submitted this week's Quote of the Moment: “But we don't WANT him to get better. We want him to stay sick forever so we don't have to take the test.” Isn't that classy? I hope these idiots don't end up giving the teacher a “get well later” card instead.
-I, of course, took the time to point out the flaw in the logic of the “get well soon” card. Even if we (not me) took the time to make a “get well soon” card, if we (again, not me) gave it to the teacher when he came in next week it would mean he would receive it after already getting well. It would be the most pointless thing in the world, and they'd still have to take the test. If even a portion of the time they spent planning greeting cards was devoted to studying, maybe they'd be further ahead. They'd still fail, mind you. But they'd be further ahead.
-I think the best part about going to school 5000 kilometers from home is booking airline tickets for Christmas. The first day of classes, the professor invariably says “Do not make travel arrangements until you know the exam schedule. If you miss your exam because of travel you will fail.” At the same time, there are signs for travel agencies all over campus that say “Book now! Seats filling fast!”. Of course, they don't tell us the exam schedule until November, but according to my travel agent, if I don't book a plane ticket TODAY I'm not going home for Christmas. What is this, a freaking logic problem? Why the hell don't they put up the exam schedule now? I have enough stress in my life dealing with greeting-card nimrods, I don't need this kind of pressure.
-So, at some point, you have to make a choice: Wait until the exam schedule is posted and buy a last minute plane ticket that costs twice as much and isn't on the dates you want, or buy a (non-refundable) plane ticket in advance and pray to whatever God you believe in that you won't miss any of your exams. I chose poorly.
-Airline tickets may very well be the biggest ripoff in the world. My plane ticket cost my nearly a thousand dollars after taxes. Oh well, now the next time my friends or family ask how much they're worth to me, I'll have a numerical answer.
-This week there was a school-wide protest (called the “Day of Defiance”) wherein angry hippie-elitist college students stood outside the school to rant about how high tuition fees were (they're the lowest in Canada) and throw rocks and flaming sticks at effigies of Liberal BC Premier (I think) Gordon Campbell. I walked past these douchebags on my way to class and they asked, or more accurately yelled at, me to join their “demonstration”. I was like “yeah, right. I think since I've already paid my tuition fees I'll go to the class I've paid for instead of standing around outside in the cold.” Turns out protesters don't appreciate my level of defiance.
-People are so boring. Whenever boring people start talking to me I have a tendency to zone out. Remember that scene in “Wayne's World” when Wayne left the show halfway through, leaving Garth all by himself, and Garth is just sitting there staring blankly at the camera with his mouth half open going “eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee…” in a really quiet, high-pitched voice? I'm like that.
-People are getting uglier, too. I hate it when an ugly girl's coming on to you (this happens to me all the time, as you can imagine) and you're trying to avoid her but she just keeps talking so you start zoning out and then later everyone calls you a mean person because you rejected her because she had an uncanny resemblance to the Elephant (Wo)man. They always accuse you of not seeing her ‘inner beauty', and how it's what's ‘on the inside' that counts, and how beauty is only ‘skin deep'. Uh huh. I don't care if she looks like a supermodel underneath those cloven hooves, I'm still not going to touch her where she pees.
-On a related topic, our school newspaper “The Martlet” (I have no idea what that word means) has decided to start running cigarette ads to boost its budget, despite the fact that nobody in BC smokes. In a rare display of journalistic integrity, they ran a huge story in the latest issue explaining the reasoning behind this brilliant strategy (Sample quote: “We're not in any way promoting people to start smoking. We're just trying to help people who ALREADY smoke choose a brand that's right for them.”) Despite this obvious show of public awareness, there has been a fairly large backlash. I'd be pretty pissed off about this too, if it weren't for one detail: THEY FORGOT TO INCLUDE ANY CIGARETTE ADS IN THE PAPER. Yes, that's right. They spent so long debating if and how to introduce the ads into the paper that they overlooked getting any to run. It would not surprise me in the least if I found out the people who work for the Martlet are all in my theatre history class. Thanks, Mensa.
-Why do we play drinking games? It's such a stupid idea, when you think about it. And it doesn't matter what game you play, it always turns out the same way. You get out the deck of cards, you sit around a table in a circle with a mickey of Rye or a Colt 45 and you say to each other “This time we're actually going to play right. We're gonna follow the rules and everyone's gonna have a good time.” 10 minutes later there's cards all over the floor, people are yelling at each other that someone ain't playin' right, and at least two people are passed out in a pool of their own vomit. Oh, now I remember why we play drinking games.
-This is a little off topic, but I've been wondering about the phrase “passed out in a pool of one's own vomit.” How often have you been passed out in a pool of vomit? Has it ever been someone else's vomit? Didn't think so. That makes the phrase a little redundant, in my opinion. It pisses me off almost as much as the phrase “He thought to himself.” I am Emmanuel, the grammar gestapo.
-All humour aside: A guy and two girl friends of mine went out to a club (I got in for free because I still had my hand stamped from last week). At about 1am, Rob (the guy) and I were ready to go home, but Eve and Nicole were having such a great time. So, being polite, and not wanting to sell them out, we went and sat by the bar for an hour, waiting for closing time. 2am comes around, and Rob and I are like “come on, let's go”, but Nicole and Eve kept saying “one second. Be patient.” The girls are standing around talking to these 2 old guys we don't know for nearly an hour. Rob has an 8:30am class the next morning, and we're both really pissed off that this is taking so long. At quarter to three Eve and Nicole come up to us and tell us to head home ourselves because they're going home with the two old guys We tell them it's really rude, and they shouldn't, and they answer “We can do whatever we want. It's our life.” NOW: I couldn't care less what Eve and Nicole do, as long as it's not at my expense. They want to get in a car with drunk old guys, fine. They want to risk getting raped and getting STDs, go ahead. Share 'em. It's their life, after all. But you NEVER sell out you friends. No matter what happens. You never sell out your friends.
-Now playing: “Kill the Rock” by Mindless Self-Indulgence. The music of people who have been sold out by their friends.
-It's been a bad week for me with the ladies. This one girl Louise told me, totally out of the blue, that she would rather make out with a girl than with me. Not that I had asked or anything. The whole thing would have really hurt my feelings and my ego, but then a couple of minutes later she actually did. My room turned into a freaking lesbian bordello. I have videotape.
-The world is divided into winners and losers. The trick is to be able to tell them apart. Here's how you do it: The winners are the ones who get to go home and spend time with their friends and family over the Thanksgiving weekend. The losers don't. Guess which category I fall into?
-Everyone always talks about how they love university so much that they never want to leave. They whine about how much they hate it back home and how great it is here. So now it's the long weekend and campus is completely abandoned except for me. It's really weird. We're only talking about one extra day off, but everyone evacuates like there was some kind of gas leak. Even the people who live too far away to go home for 3 days managed to find someone with whom to parasite themselves. Last night I went up to the dorms and got drunk with the 8 remaining losers on campus. I wasn't even friends with these people, but we bonded out of necessity. The whole thing had an Omega Man vibe to it. In retrospect, I regret impregnating them to repopulate the campus. It seems like overkill now.
-I met these really ugly slutty girls a few days ago, before everybody left. I'm not accusing them of being slutty, mind you. They were bragging about it. I can't remember any of their names or anything, because I was zoning out during our conversation. I do remember that one of them was from the Yukon and one from the Northwest Territories (or possibly Nunavut, even the residents of the territories can't tell them apart). As they put it, they were from “up north”. Not to generalize, but I believe every single person from “up north” is really slutty, deep down. There's just nothing else to do there. Northern Canada: Where the odds are good but the goods are odd.
-I don't want to brag, but we went out two nights in a row and both nights I ended up hooking up with a different random girl (and I did it without selling anybody out, glory be!) The morning after my friend Noelle told me that if I keep this up I'm going to get a reputation. Can you believe that? She said it like it's a bad thing! I would kill for that kind of reputation. Is there any way we can get some kind of ad campaign going? “Emmanuel: He has a reputation for making out with hot girls on a semi-regular basis.” I could put that on my business cards, it'd be great!
-And, finally, when did I become people's free personal tutor? Somehow people got the (false) impression that I'm really smart, so now I'm always getting phone calls from people asking for help with their papers, trying to arrange study dates, etc. One girl wanted me to help her with her Chemistry. I don't even take Chemistry! I've never taken Chemistry! I agreed to help her, though, because she was really cute. I really should start asking for money, or at least “favors” in return. But, alas, this girl wasn't from up north.