>>> Text-Heavy
By staff writer E.E. Southerby
October 6, 2002

As a writer, and as a comedian, it's important that I distance myself from my material, lest it become too passionate and involved. As such, you may have noticed that the majority of stories so far were about other people, not about myself. The reason for this is simple: I did not believe that I had put enough distance between myself and the jokes about me for them to be funny. The first part of this week's column is an experiment, of sorts: It includes re-writings of what was to be my first ever column, a week into September. It may be funny, depending on your level of cynicism. If it tanks, I'll never try this sort of thing again. What can I say? I don't like taking chances. Anyway, after that overly dramatic intro/cry for help, here's what happened:

-I do NOT, to clarify, live in the dorms. I wish I did, it's mostly the reason why I came out here. But I don't. It wouldn't be so bad if not for the university's endless series of events aimed at making people who live off-campus feel like crap. They had a separate orientation for people in the dorms (it was a non-stop 7-day party wherein everyone made friends for life) and a different one for people who live off-campus (we had lukewarm coffee). This place is like Nazi Germany—I kept waiting for someone to ask me where my armband was.

-You think that's bad. They subdivided the off-campus orientation: They let all the off-campus first year students (who all came from Victoria, and therefore still had all their friends from high school) clot together in their cliques, leaving me (the only transfer student) with fifty retired people who were going back to school. Then they gave us a lecture on what to do if your son/daughter is sick on the day that you have to give a presentation. Ok: a) I don't have a son or daughter, and b) Even if I did, this wouldn't necessitate a lecture. When I brought these logical points up, all the geezers started shushing me and throwing their dentures. Whoo! Party!

-The people in residence got to do the following during their week-long orientation (I was excluded from all these events): Go to the beach, an IMAX movie, explore downtown, go clubbing, see a hypnotist, have a barbeque, have an ultimate frisbee tournament, scavenger hunt, pizza night, and have a res-wide dance. My theory is that they just wanted to make the off-campus crew appreciate the classroom portion of university that much more. Either that, or the organizers are assholes. Come to think of it, there's no reason it couldn't be both.

-The only activity that was mutual to both on- and off-campus people (I'm not sure if the university actually refers to those who live off-campus as “people”, but I will for simplicity's sake) was “Front of the Line Day”. This is the day when you're taken around campus in small groups to get your textbooks, gym passes, student cards etc. before school starts so you don't have to wait in giant lineups. That's great, except for two things: 1) All the upper-year students with any degree of foresight already knew about the lineups, and had gone to get their textbooks a week or two early. 2) The people in residence had front of the line day the day before the people off-campus, so by the time I got there, all the textbooks were sold out and there were giant lines anyway. What they must have meant by “Front of the Line Day” was really “Back of the Line Day”.

-The frosh week closing ceremonies was named the “President's Day of Welcome and Barbeque”. Through some oversight for which I'm certain someone got fired, the people who lived off-campus were permitted to attend (but we had to stand in a corner, cordoned off from the real students). By the end of the week, everyone had already formed close bonds with the people in their building, so I stood all by myself in line for an hour and a half waiting for my free burger and drink while watching everyone else chit chat with their friends and make out with their roommates. Also, they were out of iced tea.

-Now playing: In an attempt to make me feel better so I can finish the rest of this newsletter without bursting into tears, while at the same time feeling oddly à propos: “Wish We Never Met” by Kathleen Wilhoite. The musical equivalent of eating ice cream straight out of the container.

-I was sitting in class the other day when I noticed a strange trend. You know how it used to be the cool thing to do for guys to wear jeans too low, so you could see their underwear? Now I see girls doing it! Their asses are hanging out of their pants like nobody's business. The thongs they all wear do nothing to stop the titillation. This brings white trash to a whole new level. Now, instead of going to class and learning anything, I spend my time (through no fault of my own) thongspotting. That's just great. Like I need MORE distractions in my life. I haven't been this horny in a scholastic environment since junior high school.

-More proof that this school is just an overglorified trailer park: Because of the impending threat of increased tuition fees (don't get me started), some “students” set up an “organized” protest by the library. They put up these giant signs that said “FUCK FEES” and chanted “Kill Gordon Campbell” (who, apparently, is responsible for this and has a worse rep out here than the Nazi party). I was thinking, “yeah, this is classy. I can't believe the government has no respect for university students. They're so much more mature than they're given credit for.” Fuck fees? Fuck the students who put up signs like that.

-What is with the female species? Much to the delight of all the guys I know, most girls here turn into turbosluts when they drink. They'll make out with anyone. By anyone, I mean (like I have to explain) “anyone except me”. When girls get drunk around me, more often than not they take it as an opportunity to tell me what they really think of me. I haven't been rejected so many times in one day since junior high school.

-I decided to do the poor student thing (despite the fact that I'm not poor and, since I'm in the theatre program, it could be argued that I'm not really a student, either) and get my hair cut at a school for hairdressers. I was under the delusion that these were barbers who had already done all their training, and this was just the last step in their education before they could work on their own without supervision. Not so! My “barber” was actually being taught things as she cut my hair. This is, without a doubt, the worst haircut I have ever gotten. Someone told me I look like Hitler without the moustache. Oh well, things could be worse. I could have ended up looking like Gordon Campbell.

-Don't you hate it when this happens? I was at a bar and I start talking to this girl and things are going really great. Then, after a long flirtatious conversation, she brings up that she has a boyfriend. Typical. There's a half-hour I'll never have back. She says she wouldn't mind being friends. Please! I already have friends! I don't need more. I think girls with boyfriends should have to wear buttons that say “Sorry, I'm taken” on their person so I don't waste my time talking to them. Or, better yet, they should be kept in cages locked away from the rest of the world so there's never any misunderstanding. I'm trying to get laid here, people.

-A few days ago, all the girls I know decided to go get tattoos. Now, I'm not offended by the concept of a tattoo, but I don't believe that “everyone else is getting one” is a good enough reason to get one. I also don't understand why people always choose such ugly designs for their tattoos. It's always some weird tribal design or a celtic symbol or a Japanese letter. What is wrong with the world? Why not something cute, like a rainbow or a unicorn? And, of course, the prime tattoo location is the lower back, right above the ass crack. This I don't mind so much. At least, while I'm sitting in class staring at a girl's exposed thong, I can learn a foreign language at the same time.

-College hijinks: My friends (although, in court, I'll deny they're my friends) decided to try and bail on a cab; that is, jump out a few blocks from our destination and run like hell. So we're running like crazy, certain that the cab driver is tailing us and probably packing heat, when one of the guys, Mike, remembers that he forgot his wallet in the cab. So he sheepishly walks back to the cab (which is still waiting there for us to come back and pay) and gets his wallet. Of course, Mike had no money in his wallet (surprise!) so he takes off again! This time, the cab starts following him down the road. Meanwhile, my friend Rick and I are watching this debacle from a nearby tree and basically wetting ourselves laughing. Eventually, Mike managed to elude the taxi by diving into some brambles. He cut his face and arms up pretty bad, but at least we saved $11.

-Later that same night, Rick got second degree burns when he poured scalding water all over his thigh in an attempt to make chinese noodles gone awry. 8 band-aids and a bucket of ice water later, Rick submitted this week's Quote of the Moment: “See? This is exactly why I don't cook.” Chinese noodles can be tricky, you know. God forbid he should ever attempt a TV dinner. We'd probably need the fire department.

-Every Friday is laundry day, which means my laundry gets done approximately every third Tuesday. Friday is just the day when I wake up and say to myself: “Gee, I should really do laundry. Or at least buy more underwear.” But I'm lazy, so I never do. That's why every Saturday is commando day.

-I went to see the Fine Arts (and crafts) advising office (it's really just a woman named Ann). She asked me why I was in the faculty of Fine Arts, and what I wanted to do with my degree. I told her that if I knew the answer to that then I wouldn't have come to the advising office in the first place. Seriously, isn't the purpose of her existence to tell me (or, in other words, to “advise” me) what I should be doing with myself? Ann makes my high school guidance counsellor look like Stephen Hawking. At least her desk was equipped with Reese Peanut Butter Cups. Mmm… delicious.

-And, finally. this week we had the annual University of Victoria Faculty of Engineering Bug Push. Basically, what happens is all the engineering students get really drunk and push an old Volkswagen Beetle around the ring road for 24 hours straight. This is supposed to raise money for charity. It's also proof that (contrary to popular belief), engineering students know how to have a good time. Apparently at around 2:30am the guy whose turn it was to steer got so drunk he passed out behind the wheel and the rest of the “team” pushed the Beetle into a tree so hard the airbag went off. What kind of psychotic charity event is this? It's just an excuse to drive under the influence. These kinds of stupid stunts really make me MADD.