>>> Text-Heavy
By staff writer E.E. Southerby
Volume 55 – October 26, 2003

Now Playing: “Miss Misery” by Elliot Smith

One of my many pet peeves, along with useless small dogs and useless large dogs, is the unfortunate tendency people have to be late. I'm not sure if it's because they're lazy or because they don't like me, but I've noticed that some of you (by which I mean all of you) don't seem to put any importance on keeping appointments. I'm not really sure where I'm going with this introduction, since I just finished off a box of wine and I can't even feel my arms, so I'll just cut this unstructured rant off right here and skip to the column. Here's what happened:

-When we were younger and used to skip classes, the most important thing in the world was coming up with an excuse. Among the popular choices were “I was sick” and “I had an appointment”, followed closely by the unverifiable “The bus was late”. These days I don't care anymore. If I'm ever asked why I missed class I'll usually say “Because I slept through it” or “I was tired”. Even if the class was at 4:30pm.

-The weather here has been really, really bad. Seattle had the rainiest day in recorded history this week. That was special. Over here, it hasn't stopped raining, even for a second, in the last 72 hours. At this point we're basically rounding up two of every animal.

-Why do people come to class late? It really bugs me. Instead of just missing class and picking up the notes at a later date, people always seem to show up for the last fifteen minutes, and they'll be really loud and wet and they'll always sit right beside me and ask: “What did I miss?” I always tell them that we just concluded an hour-long lesson on tact. That's usually around the time they ask me to ‘borrow' a pen.

-Casual Greeting Misfires are the worst. It's when you're late for class and you see someone you know, so you wave and say ‘Hi, how's it going?” with the intention of keeping on walking but then the other person stops and begins a conversation with you. I keep wanting to interrupt and tell them: “I didn't actually care how you were doing. I was just being polite.” I could do with less friends.

-There are people I know who intentionally set their clocks ten minutes fast so they're not late for class. Whenever I point out that they could just set their alarms ten minutes earlier, people tell me “It doesn't work that way”. You have got to be kidding me. That is just the stupidest thing I've ever heard. If the only way you'll ever get to class is by playing make-believe with the time-space continuum, then maybe university isn't for you.

-While we're on the subject of time, and the telling thereof, a lot of people ask me about the rules of Kosher. I don't know why I'm expected to know this, but I do. Basically, keeping Kosher means you're not allowed to eat cheeseburgers. This is because you're not allowed to combine meat and dairy products. According to the ‘rules', after eating dairy you have to wait two hours before eating meat, and you have to wait six hours when going from meat to dairy. Of course, these rules were written thousands of years before the invention of stopwatches, so I imagine they just used little Jewish kids. (“Ok, Shmuel, count to a thousand so I can have my Brie!”)

-How come nobody's ever late when they're going to do fun stuff? People are always saying things like: “Sorry I'm late for the study session.” It's never: “Hey, sorry I'm late for our evening of drinking and hitting on hot girls.” There has to be a reason.

-Quote of the Moment: One of my professors finally stepped up to the plate and scolded a student for being chronically late. She said: “You know, you'd be late for your own funeral!” Everybody laughed. Then the student in question didn't show up to class for the rest of the week. If the student turns up dead before the semester's over, there are going to be some serious questions asked.

-Off-Topic Corner Revisited: How awful would it be to work as a dominatrix nobody listened to? You'd be like: “Bend over! Please? Come on, Bend over, damnit! Can't you see how ridiculously I'm dressed?” The Disrespected Domme: I should write a poem about this.

-I don't think there is any facet of life where people are more often late than in paying back money they owe their friends. I just got through collecting for a pack of gum I ‘lent' someone in sixth grade. And the worst is when people try to pass their debts along to others, as in the following example: “Hey, you know that $10 I borrowed from you a really long time ago? Well my friend owes me $10, and he's got this other dude who owes HIM money so if you ever see him, just collect it from there.” I'd have a better chance of getting my money back if it was buried under twelve feet of concrete on Neptune.