Thursday, July 21, 2005

These are my peers?

I've mentioned before that I went to college at a nerd school. This came up in conversation at work today, and nobody really believed me when I said that Case Western Reserve University is, in the immortal words of Sarah Boumphrey, "the most socially retarded place on the planet." Let me give you an example.

There were 114 people in my dorm freshman year, and almost everone in the dorm was crazy to some degree or another. Some were normal-but-a-little-crazy (for example, one of them was just crazy enough to marry me) and some were completely out of touch (for example, one did not shower until Thanksgiving). The really crazy ones had nicknames such as Chode Boy Phil, Mad Mike, Penis Boy, Phil Next Door with the Poor Conversation Skills, and even one whose friends called him Hitler. But this story is about Steeler Steve and Beethoven Brian.

Steeler Steve was a decent enough guy. He got his name, of course, because he was from Pittsburgh. Other than that, I liked the kid -- he was pretty friendly. I also may have liked him because he was overweight, uncoordinated, and unathletic, and I liked to think that that's basically what most the yinsers in Pittsburgh look like.

Beethoven Brian (so named because, like Beethoven, he was a genius on the piano but a little crazy in every other respect. And yeah, I know that Beethoven wasn't the composer who went nuts, but Chopin Brian isn't alliterative, is it? You got the point) was pretty quiet. He was tall and thin, looked like he could be a scrapper.

Let me set the stage for you. The dorms on the north side of campus are big squares, with the stairs and bathrooms in the middle. In two opposite corners were small study rooms. One had a few desks/study carrels and the other had a table and chairs.

On this particular day, Beethoven Brian was studying in the lounge with the table and chairs, which happened to be the one just three doors from my room. Well, Steeler Steve wanted to use the room. So in he goes, and says to Beethoven Brian, "I want to use the study room. Get out." Beethoven Brian, not surprisingly, said no. They argue for awhile, tempers flaring a bit. Eventually someone suggests that they just share the table in the room. And why not -- it's not like either of them wants to spread out paper or anything, they're just reading from their respective notebooks. So they sit on opposite sides of the table and apparently peacefully coexist for a bit.

Eventually, Beethoven Brian had to go to the bathroom. Fearing that Steeler Steve would lock him out of the study room, Beethoven Brian grabbed Steeler Steve's notebook and ran to the bathroom. When he came back, Steeler Steve had locked the door to keep Beethoven Brian out, and had also turned off the lights in the room. So not only could Steeler Steve not be studying because Beethoven Brian had his notebook, he couldn't study even if he had anything else because he was sitting at a table, by himself, in the dark. So Beethoven Brian knock-knock-knocked on the door until, finally, Steeler Steve opened it up. They proceeded to have the following exchange in the doorway.

"Let me in," said Beethoven Brian.
"No," said Steeler Steve. "Give me my notebook back."
"No, let me back in. I was there first."
"No, give it back."
"No, let me in."
"No, I want my notebook."
And with that, Steeler Steve reached to grab the notebook out of Beethoven Brian's hand.

Big mistake.

Before Steeler Steve's chubby hand could even get close to the notebook, Beethoven Brian jacked him in the face with a right cross. Supefied, Steeler Steve stumbled out of the room and shoved Beethoven Brian into the wall which just happened to be directly across from my door. Steeler Steve stalked off toward his room, but like I said, Beethoven Brian is a scrapper and he wasn't about to let Steeler Steve get away with it that easily. He grabbed Steeler Steve and bulldogged him into the water fountain, gashing him above the eye. By the time a few of us caught up with them to get them separated, Beethoven Brian had Steeler Steve in a headlock and had wedged him between the wall and the edge of the water fountain, and was just wailing away on his face.

We pulled them apart and sent them to their respective rooms. Final tally was two black eyes, a gash above the eye, and a cut lip.

So, don't ever tell me that you had more nerds at your school than I did. I guaran-damn-tee that I'm the only guy here who went to college with guys who got into a fistfight -- not over a girl, not over money, sports, or while drinking -- but over who got to use a study room.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


-E, your crayfish-cutter-upper pal

PS congrats on the married thing