Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Dorm Wars

This is a true story about the joys of dorm life:

It was a night like any other. Roomie Ava and I were settling down for the night, climbing up into our bunks (what we liked to think of us as the "second floor" of our little Dupre apartment) and getting ready to submit to Morpheus. We were all tucked in when we heard a rustling sound from the door. I peered over the foot of my bed to find a few sheets of paper being stuffed under our door. A message, mayhap?

I hopped out of bed and grabbed the paper— but it contained no message. It was just used computer paper from the Dupre lab. Someone was polluting our doorway with paper litter— and as I stood there, more started to shimmy in. Quietly, I leaned forward, rested my hand on the handle of the door, and with the speedy reflexes of a girl with no athletic aptitude to speak of, flung the door open, startling the perpetrators on the other side— who were none other than our neighbors. We had a laugh and said good night. I shut the door, locked it and went back to bed.

About ten minutes later the rustling started again.

The next morning we woke to a newly fashioned recycled doormat— perhaps the stunt was a thoughtful gift from friends who knew how passionate Ava is for the environment, and how passionate I am about home furnishings? Or perhaps not. . . Regardless, Ava and I decided to share the gift with our neighbors, moving it out into the shared hallway where it could serve a greater, communal good. Our neighbor, and culprit #1, Shawn, converted his whiteboard into a placard, entitling his masterpiece, "Le Papier" (pictured: click for bigger images).

I eventually picked up the "masterpiece" (recylcing it, of course). Now, it might have ended there, a friendly dorm skirmish between neighbors, shuffling an abundance of paper around our halls. But Ava and I felt we could do one better.

Being the organized ladies that we are, roomie and I had a drawer in one of our dressers where we kept odds and ends, like Tupperware and paper bags from grocery runs. We hadn't yet found a use for any of our archived Target bags, but now an opportunity seemed to present itself. We put our heads together and formulated a plan to make an even grander aesthetic addition to our little hallway.

At first, we were going to wall Shawn in— but we innovated a couple of other ideas to make a portal through which he and his roommate might exit, thus giving them the option of leaving the installment up permanently, should they like our work. Laboring late into the night, under a cloak of hushed conspiracy, we cut and taped together our own brown and red archway to be fitted over the neighbors' door. Once our brainchild had come to fruition, the next task was execution. College students keep pretty late hours— the occupational hazards of being inherent procrastinators, thus staying up late to put it up wasn't a viable option if we didn't want to run the risk of getting caught. We decided our best bet would be to set our alarms for an inhumane hour (something like 4 in the morning— pure anathema for a species used to starting its day at 9:40). We were up before the sun had even crested the horizon, and sneaked as quietly as we could with the noisy, crinkling grocery bag into the hallway to install our Creation. Pictured are the fruits of our endeavor (Note the Che Guevara cameo— a poster-must for any serious, self-respecting Mac student).

Bleary-eyed and triumphant, Ava and I left our adjacent door propped open and waited, with sleep-deprived anticipation, for Shawn's exit. It was all well worth it when his door clicked open, followed by a pause (in which he was undoubtedly registering the great brown impediment and the perusing the little messages I'd taped on the inside for him to read:
Top: "Good Morning"; Middle: Handy directional arrow; Bottom: "EXIT").

And then, resigning himself to the doggy-door, he dropped to his knees and crawled out the doorway, Ava and I laughing on the other side as he emerged.

Shawn's roommate thought it was great— as he earnestly informed us over lunch. Shawn perhaps, was less enthused. The "Ode to Target" Archway had disappeared before noon. Shawn's only response: