Tuesday, May 4, 2010

"A Brave New World...Populated By Guys With No Necks"

When September rolled around and it was time to leave home for St. Mary's University I experienced not one twinge of hesitation. I think it's because I'd been sitting a bit too close to the Home Fires for a year and was suffering from third degree smothering. My escape was a tremendous liberation.

Me and a friend left for Halifax a week early to see the sights and I instantly fell in love with this city. As a small-town hayseed I remember shuttling all around the city on these wondrous public transportation vehicles (called "buses" if I recall), gaping up at twenty-two story building like a yokel, seeing movies earlier than three months after release ("Oooooo, 'The Abyss' is playing at 'The Oxford'"!) and dining haute-cuisine style at the now defunct and now dubiously-named "Lawrence of Oregano" for a bona-fide, grown up repast of...uh... spaghetti.

Up to that time, tt was like the greatest vacation I ever experienced and I'm eternally grateful to my friend's older brothers who let us crash at their place for so long. I wasn't homesick for a second but that had less to do with my parent's hospitality and more to do with having sensory overload every single waking moment.

Eventually it was time to move into residence. I've been told you spend about six months of your life in line ups and I'm pretty sure I missed half a semester doing just that. Eventually I received my room key and went up to the Eighteenth Floor in the Loyola building and opened my door.

It was like a broom closet complete with a barely functioning window, a vintage World War II era desk, an unwieldy cheap plastic chair that inexplicably weighed about a metric ton and threatened paralysis if you sat in it more than four minutes and single bed that looked like it belonged in an army barracks. I just stood there dumbfounded for a moment...

...at the sheer beauty laid out before me. I swear in that same instance a shaft of light came into the window and hit the floor as if I'd just found the hiding place of the fabled Lost Ark. I was free, I was home and I was in heaven.

Not too seconds later, in a sight to match the bed's military bearing, a mountainoid of a human being with a Johnny Unitas haircut filled the door frame, casting a shadow across the floor that I swear gorilla-pressed the friendly sunbeam I'd glimpsed mere moments ago into oblivion.

I looked up, summoned my courage and attempted to address the goliath with hair so precise you could calibrate scientific instruments with it.

"Uh, hi," I managed, offering a hand up to sacrifice. "I'm...uh..."

"FROSH!" the colossus barked, matter-of-factly.

Crap. I'd been warned about this. First year students were often subjected to legendary levels of abuse, often doled out in direct proportion to how much of a douchbag you were. I had to play this carefully.

"Uh, yeah, I'm just about to move in..."


Double crap. I'd paid for and managed to get a single room by some miraculous alignment of the heavens. I wasn't about to surrender it easily...

"Um...okay," I muttered.

"WELCOME TO SMU (pronounced "Smuh-yoo", for all the uninitiated) 18'TH FLOOR LOYOLA, FROSH!"

The titan extended a kongish-sized hand and I watched in terror as he shook my entire forearm. Instantly I had shades of getting my blood pressure checked to the power of fourteen.

The gargantuan turned around (which took about thirty seconds, I timed it) and then lumbered away.

I praised myself for my composure. I needed a change of pantaloons and my forearm would surely require a setting but I'd survived the encounter no worse for wear.

And it's a damn good sight. Turns out most of the seniors on the floor honestly looked similar. Mercifully most of my fellow frosh were Lilliputians like me, and we all tried our best to walk carefully amongst the sleeping giants.

Turns out by the time the upperclassman in question moved in quite late and I guess I'd said enough funny and self-depreciating things to get a reprieve.

With the first hurdle down I was ready to take on anything...or at least I thought so.

EPIC: http://www.smu.ca/ My beloved university.

BONUS EPIC: http://www.halifaxinfo.com/ My beloved adopted town.

ANOTHER BONUS EPIC: http://www.metacafe.com/watch/216478/big_guy_versus_little_guy/ What was I so worried about?

FAIL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1UlRG5VDP6I A much more likely scenario.


Anonymous said...

Too funny. You would have been half his size at the time!

Julie Gray said...

Loving the blog Dave! Keep it up! I can't wait to see what's going to happen next.
Julie Gray