>>> The Rollercoaster of Drama
By staff writer Simonne Cullen
August 1, 2004


It's funny how when we're sick we like to watch the movies of our youthful Christmas past. It's probably because you're doped up on Nyquil, antibiotics, mouth-numbing cough drops, Novocaine, Vicodin, or a combination of four out of the five that makes watching these John Hughes and National Lampoon movies socially acceptable in the middle of July. Mind-numbing as Home Alone is, you begin to ponder what would ever have happened to Kevin if he went to college. The kid may be able to fend off burglars using only Micro-Mini Hot Wheel cars and a BB gun, but would he be able to deflect the invasion and infestation of germs, diseases, and smarter viruses that infiltrate our dorm rooms? All signs point to no. He's Kevin Macalister, not MacGyver, M.D.

With August beginning tomorrow and most of the country packing up their bags to move back into dorms and apartments, maybe, just maybe, the freshmen who are more concerned about color coordinating their rooms and debating whether or not to bring their high school yearbooks could be forewarned about the imminent dangers floating around in the air that they about to breathe.

Mononucleosis

I hate people who call it the kissing disease. You want to know how it's really spread? Stupid freshmen girls that's how! Nothing is more inconvenient than catching mono, and believe me there are widespread outbreaks of it all over campus. Upperclassmen are normally immune to it at this point, but the freshman class certainly is not. Look at it this way, freshman girls leave their dorms in packs of eight or ten, right? They go to one party and stand there hovered in a circle by the corner for twenty minutes until finally one is brave enough to leave the pack and grab her own beer and drink proudly from it. But the cool refreshing taste of victory doesn't last long. Because right then all of her friends who tagged along want to try it too. “I just want a sip. I don't want the whole bottle.” “Oh can I have a sip too?” “Me too!” “Oh Maggie can I have a sip too?” Good God. It's hard enough to make a good impression as a freshman at a senior party, but believe me, you don't want to be the girls in the corner sipping beer for the first time. That damn bottle of Pabst Blue Ribbon gets passed all around the room before it gets back to its original owner, and by that time someone has just given and received mono.

So freshman, do us all a favor, pay the two bucks the seniors are charging you to drink with them and buy your own cup or bottle. Believe me, not only will it save you face, it will ensure that you can spend five more weeks of partying instead of sleeping through you first semester of college with sore throats and a headache.

Ringworm

Not to be confused with tapeworm. Sometimes ignorant people do that and freak the person with ringworm out. Anyway ringworm is quite common in college. Wrestlers get it from the sticky mats they pound each other on. Consequently, now that they have it, their sheets, blankets, towels, and cloths are infected. So the roommate usually gets it because boys just throw and pick towels off the floor to dry them off with, not knowing fully whose is whose. Other than the spread of this being easily preventable, having the skin fungus nesting itself as a red ring on your arm or stomach is just downright embarrassing. If a chick gets it she can easily cover it up with an abundance of foundation. Guys have to struggle through the constant parade of questions. “What's that man? Eww dude you have something on your neck? Yeah man that doesn't look like no hickey…” Research shows that this fungus is also common in the crotch region in men. So just imagine the questions that are going to be spawned in the locker room now buddy. “Who's been playing ring toss on your dick Frankie?”

Foot Fungus/Athlete's Foot

Anyone who enters a shower without flip-flops is braver than any astronaut I've never met. I'm no bio major, but I've lived with one, and seeing swabs of our shower floors under the microscope was enough to make me want to disinfect the bottom of my defenseless flip-flops when I got out. There are always a couple of bold individuals who attempt to defy the shower fungi and enter into the land of toadstool and mildew a' plenty. You will notice that these are the same guys who have a deep shade of yellow growing underneath their toenails. These are the same guys who wonder why they never get laid. No offense boys but when your feet have an extra layer of yeast growing on them, we can see that you're not exactly the pick of the litter.

The Flu

We've all gotten the flu. We've all had that refreshing vomiting through the nose experience. We've all been stuffy, sneezy, sore throat, achy breaky heart. We've all been secretly slipped a bottle of codeine from Nurse Carol. But it's the severe cases of the flu that I should warn you about. Only because I have witnessed this atrocity of the stomach firsthand my freshman year. Someone out there will have a severe case of the flu that not only includes vomiting from mouth, but the hanus vomiting through the anus. I figured rhyming it would overlap the dismal reality of it. Not so much the case huh? Anyway the point is, getting severe diarrhea is astronomically embarrassing. Especially for girls, because if you set Anus-Free in the communal bathroom you're going to be known as “Caca Girl” the rest of your college life. Which is way below being known as “Cankles” but not as bad as “Gonorrhea Breath”. But seriously, there were several witnesses who can back up my story on this one. There was once this poor girl who had the flu—the real nasty kinds—and unfortunately she had a relatively big decision to make because she was about to experience fluids coming out at both ends at the same time. No one on the floor ever used the middle stall after that unforgiving day.

Strep Throat

Every time someone goes to the nurse at my school with a sore throat she always asks whether we've been drinking too much, or whether we're going to have our period soon. Which is pretty insulting to the guys in my opinion, but that's neither here nor there. Strep throat is severely contagious and according to the health center can be caught orally by kissing, drinking alcohol, smoking pot, smoking the hookah, and anything else besides studying. Somehow I think there's a conspiracy there. I don't think little Kevin would fall for that reasoning, and now neither will your freshman.


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