From the Files

On account of I am tired and also bored of my own self, I offer up this piece of literary history from my freshman year in college.

It reminds me, when I read it, of how I wanted to be a lawyer, and how I love researching laws, and how I am a darn good debater. Furthermore, it reminds me of what a giant buttwad my freshman RA was, and how I told him once, "You remind me of this guy I used to know."

"Yeah?" he said. He sounded interested, like he was totally going to make a move on me if I'd just give him an opening. Ha! Dummy!

"Yeah," I said. "I totally hate him now." And it made me laugh to see his face fall, and it made me realize that words have power, and that I can use that power for good or, in this case, for evil. Evil is more fun, I think.


All Wet
by Mei Flower

"You missed!" The shout reached the window as someone handed me another cup of water. I tossed the water through the screen and laughed as the guys playing stickball on the ground cursed loudly. "Missed again!" came the call. I decided that two was enough and started down the hall to take the car out to the freshman lot (Pig Lot, we called it, because it used to be a farm). Before I reached the end of the hall, though, a very irate Resident Adviser opened the door with a band and strode angrily onto the floor.

"What room do you live in?" he growled. I eyed him warily, wondering what his problem was. "Uh ... nine seventeen." I practically ran out the door to get away from him and his toxic anger.

When I returned, I stopped in my friend D- W-'s room, the site of The Great Water Dump. She informed me that we were both being written up, because--according to our RA--"... it's illegal to throw anything out of the windows." Well, I thought, that's just peachy. Hello, I'm Mei Flower, and I am a criminal.

The more I thought about my "crime," however, the angrier I became. Throwing water is just a prank, not something worthy of a write-up. It's not like I had thrown bong water, or hot soup, or bleach. It's not on the same plane as tearing elevator doors from their frames or instigating potato gun fights, both of which had actually occurred in our building. No one had informed me of any rules that prohibit objects from being thrown from windows. The sheer idiocy of the situation made my blood boil. Poring over every student manual and handbook I could find, I prepared my defense: there were no complaints from the other stickball players; there was nothing in the Residence Life Handbook about throwing things out of windows; there were no injuries. Everyone else thought it was a great joke and laughed up at us ... except the RA, who had gotten drenched earlier--not by us, but by a different person, who lived on a different floor in a different building. D and I had gotten caught, that was all, and now the RA was going to punish US since he couldn't get the other guy.

The Hall Director set up a meeting with D and me--she had been implicated as an accessory because she was in the room when I had thrown the water. The RA glared at us, but I think he was actually kind of sorry things had gone so far. Not my problem, I thought, because I was fixing to knock his case to pieces, and dang if I didn't present an airtight case to the jury Hall Director, complete with Exhibit A: the Student Handbook and Exhibit B: a completely uninjured Resident Advisor and Exhibit C: two of the smartest and most innocent-looking girls on the Ninth Floor.

He really couldn't do anything BUT decide in our favor, and I was pretty smug as I listened to the RA give his argument.

"I don't really think there's anything wrong with throwing water out of a window," he began. Darn tootin', I thought. "It's just ... well, since you live on an Honors Floor, other students follow your example." This was the first I'd heard that. Really? Other people called Nine South THE CONVENT, on account of we didn't party or drink or stay up late on Saturday nights (because we had to be at church early on Sunday morning. We were not exactly the paradigm for the College Experience.). "Sure, this time it was just water," he continued, "but it could encourage others to throw other things. Next thing you know, it'll be pumpkins, or ... televisions. Did you know that if you threw a penny off the top of the Empire State Building, it could kill somebody if it landed on their head?"

I was so dumbfounded by this argument that I couldn't pull my thoughts together quickly enough. "Objection!" I should have said. "False analogy! Speculation! Irrelevant!" But I didn't. I kept my mouth shut and for my efforts, was sentenced to one (1) night of doing rounds with the RA of my choice (guess who was not on my list).

Since the water was not, you know, LETHAL, there was no reason for a formal write-up; in other words, this would not go on my Permanent Record. There were no other complaints, no other water-throwing incidents, and no one ever threw a pumpkin out a window. I served my time, wore my stripes, and learned my lesson, namely, that there are two types of people in this world: those who have a sense of humor, and those who are All Wet.

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