>>> Text-Heavy
By staff writer E.E. Southerby
Volume 52 – October 5, 2003

Now Playing: “Travelling Soldier” by The Dixie Chicks

Today's column is very, very special. The reason is threefold. Fold A: I'm tragically out of ideas. Fold B: There is no ‘Quote of the Moment'. Nobody said anything funny this week. Not even me. (Note: I just reread this column and realized that Fold B is a bold-faced lie. I'd delete it, but my backspace key doesn't seem to be working.) Fold C: I'm pretty drunk right now, so we should see some interesting grammar. Enjoy! Here's what happened:

-Things You Learn In College When You're Sick: I just tried Neo Citron and vodka. It's not bad.

-Every class has one loud person. You know the guy or girl who always raises his or her hand and answers every question, hoping to nail down that 5% class participation portion of their grade by never letting anyone, including the professor, get a word in edgewise. Sometimes these people don't even speak on-topic, so the classroom becomes some weird metafictional Monty Python sketch, as in the following Quote of the Moment: Professor: “So, we can see from the following example that Moliere was trying to… yes, what is it, Peter?” Peter (arm raised): “What goes along with schizophrenia? My father!” Maybe it runs in the family.

-There is no worse place to be on campus than the Financial Aid office. They must have some kind of weird military training over there. They just assume anyone who walks into the office is some deadbeat bum looking for a handout. I go in there to inquire about my student loan, and this lady with a moustache yells at me to come back after 2pm, for absolutely no discernable reason. So I do. The place is closed! I'm surprised they didn't just board the place up permanently and hang swastikas from the ceiling.

-This week is the annual UVic Poster Sale (motto: Making Original Monets Look Affordable By Comparison). All the students flock to the poster sale like moths to a candle, eager to spend their hard-earned student loan money on tacky and overpriced ways to decorate their dorm rooms. Why doesn't anybody just get a goldfish, or one of those weird upside-down pyramid things they sell at Pottery Barn? What the hell is up with those?

-You can tell what kind of person any given student is just by following them around the poster sale and watching what they buy. You've got the people who buy Klimt reprints. They're the angsty, over-wrought arts students who probably work for the school newspaper. You've got the ones who buy black-and-white movie posters from movies everybody's heard of but nobody's ever watched, like Scarface. These are the science students who like to think they're pseudo-intellectual because they've done away with color. Then you have the people who buy that big poster of the two girls making out. Those are the engineers, and this is as close as they'll ever get to seeing any action.

-I love the college posters that pass for comedy. You ever seen this one? “Marijuana… At Least It's Not Crack!” Wow. That's edgy. You know what's edgier? Smoking crack. Or how about the one that compares women to beer, like in that email forward I keep getting? Who the hell would pay $16 to permanently hang on their wall a copy of an email I delete seven times a day? I'm waiting for a poster to come out that tells me how to increase my penis size, buy Viagra without a prescription and get a low-rate mortgage. I'd buy that.

-They're also selling posters I can't even imagine anybody buying. There's a Winnie the Pooh poster that says “Let's Be Friends” in giant pink lettering. Putting that one up in your room is riskier than financing the next Fast and Furious movie. (“Is that…pink lettering? Sorry, I don't think I can keep making out with you. I'm gonna go next door to the engineer's house and look at the lesbian poster instead.”)

-Ever gone into somebody's room and the walls are completely covered with posters of naked people? It's like stepping into a weird soft-porn museum. Be on the lookout for boxes of Kleenex strategically placed throughout the room. And don't ever walk around in there barefoot.

-Top poster scientists working in secret underground labs have created an alternative poster-hanging technique to thumb tacks: Sticky-Tak. It looks like plastecine and holds your posters up without putting pinholes in them. It also costs eight dollars. I just use bubble gum.

-I've spent well over $200 at the poster sale so far. Taking into account the hundreds I spent last year and all the posters I brought from home, sheets of glossy paper are now, by far, the most valuable things in my room. I'm afraid my house will be robbed one day, and my furniture and clothing and computer will remain untouched, but my walls will be totally bare and I'll look like a loser. Especially with all that chewed-up gum that's stuck there.