>>> Points in Case
By staff writer Court Sullivan
Issue #17 – December 2002

-Every morning after a party my roommate and I wander around the room hungover and dehydrated clearing away just enough trash to live above the poverty line for the rest of the weekend. Every now and then while throwing empty beer cans and bottles into the recycling (i.e. trash) bin, we’ll come upon a “wounded soldier”—an opened, unfinished beer for those of you living in a hole since freshman year. I’ve never understood this term though. You wanna know who the REAL wounded soldier is? It’s ME!—the guy who spends twenty painstakingly hungover minutes picking up all the OTHER beers he drank all night long before passing out halfway through the last one! This one beer will NOT get my respect, damnit!

-There are two kinds of people who can party every night and get away with it: the ones who study during the day and the ones who seem relatively unaware they are about to get kicked out of school. The only difference is that the first ones will disappear for days at a time during midterms or finals and return as the nightly drunks, and the second ones will disappear for semesters at a time and return as third-year freshmen.

-If you’ve ever had to read a book for class, you’re probably familiar with the “pre-reading text prediction.” This involves making accurate calculations of net reading by subtracting out worthless sections like the introduction, prologue, epilogue, appendices, and bibliography. Then once you’ve gotten an accurate count, you can read the book jacket summary, call it quits, and assure yourself that there wasn’t really THAT much to the book anyway.

-One time I was reading a 200-page book for class and suddenly on page 53, there appeared to be a long section full of pictures. After a twenty-page pictorial celebration, the text finally resumed…on page 54—about the same time that I lost complete control and ripped the pictures out, yelling “You lying bastards!!” This is when you know you have read one too many books for class.

-Over the years, I’ve developed numerous webs of lies for being late to class. One of the most elaborate happened a few semesters ago after I showed up ten minutes late for the first five Spanish classes (which were held five days a week). On the sixth day of lateness, I decided to tell the professor that the location of my previous class across campus made it impossible for me to ever come to class on time. For authenticity purposes, I threw in the fact that it was actually more like fifteen minutes, but I would try to hustle. Then it got kind of weird because even when I was early, I would have to wait around to preserve my lie. Every other class I would hide in the snack room downstairs watching the clock and then run upstairs to class to appear out of breath. I think it was worth it though.

-How annoying is it when people talk to you in terms of their schoolwork? One time I was studying next to a friend at the library and I asked him when he was going to go to sleep. He said, “Well, the law of marginal utility tells me that my productivity is slowly diminishing as it gets later, so I think I’ll use the substitution effect and go to sleep instead of studying any more.” I’m like, “Just shutup and give me a ride home! Nobody cares about your damn economics class!”

-I hate to reinforce the stereotype, but sororities can be really dumb sometimes. I visited another college where apparently a sorority had organized a philanthropy contest in which Greek organizations would vie to collect the most pop-top rings from soda cans. Okay, seriously, if you really wanted to do something good for the environment, why would you snap off the ring and throw away the can?! It’s like having a canned food drive and awarding the group that brings in a spoonful of food from as many cans as possible.

-Speaking of philanthropy, here’s a moral question for you: if I “steal” canned goods from our fraternity’s food drive collection and use them to pay off my library fines during our school library’s “cans-for-fines” program which donates them to a charity anyway, is that wrong?

-Have you ever noticed when people you don’t know very well ride in your car, you never know what type of music to play? So you end up having to tune the radio to a “third-party mainstream station.” Then everyone sits there and endures shitty music while you worry that they might think you actually LIKE overplayed, mainstream hits (which you probably do). I always keep a “safety CD” just for these situations. You know, some obscure indie rock group that you can pretend is “super-talented” and “still underground.”

-Speaking of underground, isn’t funny how everyone has at least one “major connection” to some pop culture figure? And every time that person comes up in conversation they have to guard their connection jealously. Take a musical artist for instance. Apparently John Mayer used to play his rickety-ass acoustic guitar in our campus coffeehouse for like $50 every week. Now every time he comes on MTV this girl I know is like, “Oh oh!! I used to tune him out every week while doing my homework and drinking coffee! He even played me a love song one week I think! No, wait, he used to WRITE songs for me! Wait, wait…this song is about me! I OWN John Mayer!!”

-Every year the pre-frosh seem to get younger and younger. Sometimes I’ll spot a cute girl touring the campus and I try to reassure myself that many of them are in fact eighteen years old. But then I move my eyes over a little and the father is staring right back at me. Whoa, shit! That’s too weird!

-Guys, have you ever been to a bar and gotten “the look” from a girl across the room, but then it turns out she gives it away like Chinese food samples in a shopping mall? Sometimes I’ll tell my friend about “the look” and he’ll be like, “Yeah! She gave me that look too!” I’m always like, “Fuck! He knows about ‘the look’ too! For those three seconds I actually thought we had something special!” There should be some rule that prohibits girls from giving “the look” to more than one guy in any group. That way at least we’ll keep biting the toothpick on those free samples.

-And that brings me to this month's Failed Hookup Quote of the Month, brought to you by Chris M. of Penn State. While cheating on his girlfriend at a party, his cheatmate says to him, “Hey, isn't that your girlfriend over there?!” To which he replied, “Oh, she likes it when I hook up with other girls….but just to be safe, let's move behind that wall over there.” Nothing like killing two relationships with one stone.

-Even in these post-Napster days, most college kids still get their music online. Seems like a new place pops up every time the latest place gets sued and shutdown. But you know, I still have the same problem that I’ve always had: “searcher’s block.” Why is it that every time I get ready to download some songs, I suddenly can’t remember a single song I wanted to download in the past two weeks?

-Kids are becoming more and more dependent on Instant Messenger every year. Last semester I told a freshman that I had just finished playing an IM flag football game and he thought I meant online. I’m not sure which was worse, the fact that I was standing outside the intramural field or the fact that NO ONE PLAYS FUCKING FLAG FOOTBALL ONLINE!!

-Can you believe they make alarm clocks so reliable? As many times as I've screamed at my alarm clock for causing me to miss a class or two-thirds of a Saturday, not one single time has it boiled down to mechanical error. It would appear that alarm clocks are 100% accurate. Could there BE a worse device never to be able to attribute blame to?!

-The crazy thing about human alarm clock error is that it’s the same mistake every time: the good ol’ “red-dot trick.” Just when you think you know alarm 1 from alarm 2, and AM from PM, the dot starts playing tricks on your mind. I think it would be funny if they made up some generic rhyme for alarm clocks kind of like the “Beer before liquor, never been sicker” thing. It could go “Dot on top, you done fucked up again!”

-Speaking of waking up, how hard is it to wake up in the morning when you go home for winter break?! My body refuses to function at home on less than ten hours of sleep, although twelve is optimal for peak do-nothing-anyway-during-the-day performance. I blame my bed for being too comfortable. I think for every three hours I sleep at home, each layer of padding absorbs about half an hour of energy. I actually tried sleeping in a sleeping bag on the floor one night to see if that would help me wake up. Turns out I needed two extra hours to compensate for waking up every half hour in annoyance—imagine that. Oh well, the red dot was on top anyway.