>>> Text-Heavy
By staff writer E.E. Southerby
Volume 98 – September 12, 2004

“Brought to you by Pepsi”

Now Playing: “I Will Wait for You” by Connie Francis

I just found out that Pepsi is the official cold beverage supplier at my University. I think that's pretty cool, because up until now I was thinking that the official cold beverage supplier at our school was water. And now for something completely the same. Here's what happened:

-The first week of school is a lot like the aftermath of a nuclear holocaust. Nobody has any food. Nobody has Internet access. You can't reach anybody because the only people with a cell phone have one from out of town so every time you want to call them it's a long distance call even if they're only a block away. I swear if I see anybody on campus with an extra eyeball on their forehead or some other horrible mutation I'm so out of here.

-The food situation is a little bit of a catch-22. If you have to take a bus to the grocery store you can never buy anything heavier than a loaf of Wonder Bread from a store with a name like Billy's Way-Mor Expensive Mart because if you do you'll have to carry it back on the bus with you and it will be really, really awkward. But if you're lucky enough to know someone who has a car, and you actually head out to Price Club, you'll spend $200 on microwave burritos only to find, upon returning home, that they don't fit in your freezer. So the first night you're forced to eat 86 microwave burritos and the next night you have to take a bus to get some more Wonder Bread.

-Quote of the Moment: If you have to use a computer in order to, oh, I don't know, write a sub-par comedy newsletter, you will be forced to use the campus computer lab. Be sure you don't accidentally step into the Macintosh computer lab, because you will be surrounded by some of the most frightening people on the face of this planet. Oh, sure, at first they'll seem really friendly. But then you ask one small little question like “Why is there no right mouse button?” or “Where is the computer's floppy drive” and they'll go into an entire sermon on hexes and stack dumps and all sorts of made-up bullshit until eventually they finish up with (and this always happens) “It's just better! Trust me, ok?” Oh, well. At least the case comes in Creamsicle.

-I know four people who got a parking ticket while they were waiting in line for an hour to get their parking permits for the year. For whatever reason, they fail to see the humor in that. Maybe they'll laugh when they get another parking ticket while waiting in line to pay for the first one.

-Some schools have a keg party for frosh week. Some schools hire a live band. At my school, you get a free hamburger and a warm Diet Mountain Dew. If we were any lamer we'd all get free tickets to the Yu-Gi-Oh movie.

-The first week is the best time of year to make friends. Here's the way it works: On the first day of class you introduce yourself to someone else, who's name you promptly forget. Then you shake their hand. During second class, you acknowledge that person with a friendly nod and perhaps a tip of your cap, so as to indicate that you two are indeed still friends despite never having had any sort of conversation or remembering their names. On the third class, you ignore them altogether, and try to avoid eye contact so you don't find yourself in a potentially awkward situation. By the fourth class the person you met a week ago is just a distant memory. And that's how college students make friends.

-Where you sit on the first day of class will say a lot about you to the rest of your peers. If you sit in the front, you will be considered a keener, or “dork.” If you sit in the very back, people will think you're a slacker. And if you sit in the middle of the class surrounded by all the people you met while you were enjoying your diet Mountain Dew, people just assume you're a bitch because you're obviously more popular than they are. They're all just jealous.

-I bet the bars in college towns just live for the first week of September. The campus bar had a lineup of two hundred people by 2PM. On a Wednesday. There's something very unsettling about waiting in line to get into a bar before lunch time. Especially if you're missing class to do it.

-You know how sometimes professors ask you what you'd prefer to be called? Like if your name is Alex they'll say “So do you go by Al or Ali or Alvin?” And you're like, “No, sir. My name's not Alex at all. It's actually Emmanuel.” And the professor asks you if it would be okay if he calls you Alex anyhow because Alex was his son's name and he misses him dearly, and you kind of remind him of his son even though you're of a completely different race than he is? No? Then you should come on down to my school, where every day is like a Monty Python sketch (“Is that a dead parrot, Alex?”).

-In case anyone was wondering, my current tally of days I've lived in my new place without unpacking currently sits at nine. If it hits two weeks I may need to start dusting my luggage. Maybe put a tablecloth over the top of some stacked up boxes (each bearing some mutant spelling of the word “miscellaneous”) in my living room, call it a coffee table. That'll be pretty swanky.