>>> The Rollercoaster of Drama
By staff writer Simonne Cullen
July 11, 2004

It didn't take very long to come up with a name for my column. My friend Nancy and I invented the rollercoaster concept my freshman year. There we sat in my room the Sunday morning after a long, drama-filled weekend trying to figure out how so much drama could happen to our friends in 24-hour time frame. Not even 24 hours, more like 8. From 9 at night 'til 4 in the morning there was just an surplus of hookups, random acts of drunkenness, hospital trips, several costume changes, flying trapeze acts with no nets, etc. Small schools in small towns are literally their own circus acts. Complete with amusement park rides.

People get on and off our rollercoaster of drama all the time. At one point we had sixteen people involved in an “episode,” if you will. No one is immune to the coaster, and no one can escape it's wrath. Hell, the fun-loving community of imported Jamaicans on our campus were sucked on board for a while. There are rollercoasters at every university, but the drops just seem much more intense at small schools just because they happen so damn frequently.

On a side note I love reality shows. Who doesn't? Last summer's shows were horribly addicting and this season's lineup looks even better. Kids choosing their new mother on national TV, extremely attractive people consuming maggots and cockroaches taken from the projects of Harlem, and women choosing money over “love.” Jessica Simpson is dumber than ever and Nick Lachaey continues to ride the coaster of ignorance as he disregards her stupidity time and time again. But not one of these shows can compare to the realty show that is our lives, and the priceless drama surrounding it that doesn't have commercial time. But what is that one thing that keeps us coming back for more? The gossip. Which is directly tied to the rollercoaster of drama.

No matter what anyone tells you, guys gossip just as much as women do. Gay, straight, or bi, y'all be talking a lot of shit. Locker room banter is customary before and after practices. A tradition if you will, by trying to see how many other guys on the team the captain's girlfriend has screwed. Or making fun of a sexual encounter that didn't go as smoothly as planned, “She queefed? Wow man that happens all the time when you're going at it doggy-style. Did you just keep going?” “No man I laughed so hard I farted.” Seems harmless enough, but that girl will be referred to as “Little Queefer” from that point on in the locker room forever.

Whereas guys can talk about good-humored gossip, girls are just plain old vicious. You guys aren't afraid to say the name of your victim out loud (unless it's your buddy's slutbag of a sister). Girls talk so much shit though, that in order to avoid any eavesdropping on the conversation we come up with malicious nicknames for our prey. Sometimes girls just use the letter of the first name: “K got crabs from C at W's party, who, by the way, hooked up with G in D's bed which had stains on it because he hasn't washed his sheets since B dumped him on New Years for his best friend PP.” Fucking novices.

Ladies, you're in college now, not high school. That one letter shit won't cut it here. You've got to have exceptional code names for those you're talking smack about. Hell, a really good code name can be used in front of the person it belongs to while talking shit. It's an elite art form really. Here are some examples, sometimes blatantly obvious, other times not: C-Cubed, poofy, pigtails, pecs, ninja, sketch, herpes, skidmarks, sir-sweats-a lot, browntooth, southy, hickville, midget, B.O. Railroad, Chin-a-licious, and the pink closet. Like I said before, artform.

Gossip is one of America's favorite pastimes for women. Men have baseball and Miller Lite. Ladies have gossip and shopping. Bigger schools have less to gossip about, seeing as the gossip just stays between your social circles. But when you go to a school with only 1200 hundred students you have no choice but to accept the fact that the entire student body is your social circle. You don't believe me? I know gossip about incoming freshman that aren't even here yet! That's how crazy the gossip is at small schools. Everyone knows everything. Apparently a certain celebrity's granddaughter applied here and whether she is coming here or not is irrelevant. The point is we're going to have a celebrity on campus and while she's buying dorm room knickknack and Crate and Barrel she has no idea she's become our new celebrity.

When I say celebrity, I mean the popular students everyone talks about. Small schools have their own J Lo and Ben Affleck couples. They have their own Keith Richards drug addicts, the Tommy Lee's (rarely with Pam Andersons by their sides), the Barbie dolls, the John Mayer guitar playing scrubby studs, and usually a whole dedicated frat house of Kobe Bryants. Why does everyone converse about their extracurricular activities? Some say because they have nothing better to do, others theorize it's because they're jealous. I say it's because if we didn't gossip then everyone would be having academically-enhanced, intellectually-stimulating conversations—and those don't really compare to the Little Queefer story.

I once made out with a guy at four in the morning on a Saturday night and by eleven at Sunday brunch I had two of my friends rush up to me and ask me the details. Which normally wouldn't be a big deal if it weren't for the fact that they arrived back on campus from a weekend field trip twenty minutes earlier. That's right, even if you're not on campus you can still get the gossip within five minutes of returning. Welcome to the bubble.

At one point or another gossip will always catch up to you. Somewhere along the lines someone receives the wrong information and passes it along not knowing it's incorrect. Thus begins a series of confrontations. The traditional public dispute usually begins with some wild-haired girl with a glazed crazy look in her eye storming up to you like, “Why you be talking shit about me hoe?!” and ends with a literal shit storm where one person either winds up in the hospital with their jaw broken so they can't spread malicious gossip anymore or a giant food fight takes place in the eating hall where you slam the girls face with mashed potatoes.

Usually when a guy confronts someone about gossip it's for two reasons and two reasons only. One, you said something about his girlfriend and he promised her he'd straighten it out with his fist. Or two, his manhood's reputation is called into question and he's got to confirm that his penis size is bigger than your pinky finger and that he doesn't kiss like a frog. Guys let me tell you something: if the girl cries hysterically when you confront her, she is telling the truth. While it's true that girls enjoy nothing more than a good cry, we'd like to reserve our tears for movies rather than trying to prove our innocence to the guy we've had a crush on for the past eight months.

The other common form of confrontation is the elusive IM conversation. It's not a conversation really, but a series of notes sent to you while your away message is up. For example, after a long day of classes you get home ready to crash and check your IM. There is a message up from someone saying, “Hi this is Trisha. I don't know why you're spreading rumors about me but it needs to stop. Now.” The receiver at this point is thinking one of two things: “What did I say about Trisha this week?” or “Who the fuck is Trisha?” Because the only way you're off the hook is if you don't know her. Otherwise, truth be told, somewhere in the past two weeks you've mentioned you heard Saggy Scrotum gave her crabs.

Of course you have to respond to her, but only when her away message is up because that's how she IM'ed you. Some say you're supposed to acquire more maturity in college. This is not one of those opportunities. So now she will reply to you only when your away message is up because heaven forbid you actually have a real conversation to straighten this out. So now there is just a series of IM's while the other person is away that will span the time frame of two years and when you see each other at parties you avoid all eye contact because you're not quite sure what to say to her in person. By the end you've both created a lifetime feud through Instant Messenger even though you technically share an offline wall with each other. Because you live next door to the Little Queefer who refuses to get off this damn rollercoaster.