For the Nookie
My Dear Masses of Adoring Readers -- greetings. Indubitably, you're ecstatic to be reading another article of mine just as I too am filled with an unbearable ecstasy, bordering on orgasmic, to be sitting at my computer this lovely afternoon, rolling the words across my tongue and pondering what wisdom I should drop into your ready ears.
And as I ponder possible subjects, it strikes me to write about Our Blessed Homecoming. The idea strikes me not because my editor lured me into writing for the Homecoming Issue with the promise of a cookie. Certainly not because I misread the word "cookie" for another, more enticing form of compensation -- "nookie" (Oh, mine Deceiving Eye! Thou hast ever been my downfall!). No, I write out of the deep affection I hold for this "Greatest of Dartmouth Traditions."
I clarify the previous statement by mentioning that I will refer to Winter Carnival, Green Key, and in the future, Tubestock, as "The Greatest of Dartmouth Traditions" as well. I beg pardon for the ambiguity.
'04s, here's what to expect on the Friday of Homecoming:
You'll be in your rooms, of course, completing the last of your homework and studies in preparation for a weekend filled with volunteer service and your follow-up appointments at Dick's House ("Is my syphilis gone now?" "Um, we can't tell. Go home and wait an hour, then come back. Of course, we can't do anything for you after an hour either."). When the appointed time beckons, you'll get into two lines and walk with your buddy to your cluster meeting place.
I mention in passing the fact that you're going to be sober at this time. The complete and utter absurdity of an '04 with alcohol is hardly worth my attention. Here is my syllogism (based largely on the extensive knowledge I amassed during my first year of high school mathematics -- all of which I have retained): It is illegal for those under 21 to drink. Freshmen are under 21. Therefore, it is illegal for freshmen to drink. THEN, According to the Fifth Law of Logic as Understood by D Columnists who Exist Beyond the Bounds of Reason: freshmen do not drink. Ever. Under NO circumstances do freshmen drink.
Foolish freshman: "But sophomores certainly aren't 21 either. Neither are all the juniors!" The truth of the matter is that you, my darling '04s, are not only the best and brightest but also the youngest freshmen class ever seen at Dartmouth. Heretofore, all incoming students have been 21 years or older. In fact, you're reading an article written by a 22-year-old who only several weeks ago received her driver's permit
With the rest of your class, you'll wreak havoc in Hanover until "The Sweep" leads you to "The Green." You'll ignore "The Alumni" who, unless they answer to "Baker," "Berry," "Collis," or "Alumni Hall," matter not a whit. "There [will be] sporadic moments of silence when some of the newest members of the Dartmouth community will take to waving lighters hypnotically above the crowd. I have to admit, there was a certain surreal beauty to it, and to the hush that fell over us as the flames crept up the structure (not that I could see it, being only 5'2"). (Source: one '03, very close to my own heart, who is like unto God in her capacity for wisdom.)
The bonfire was one of the best experiences I had that night -- my freshman winter, I took to pressing my flesh against the heater in my room so that it would sear to a charred black in an attempt to recreate the experience. Quite successful, I must say.
As the raging inferno leaps higher and higher, you, the freshrats will run the gauntlet of savage upperclassmen two thousand and four times (Dartmouth Tradition!) until you collapse into a sordid heap of cracked skin, green face paint and '04 shirts. S&S will scrape y'all off "The Green" and toss "The Fragments" of your bodies into the care of your roommates so that -- climax of climaxes -- you spend the rest of the night participating in strictly non-alcoholic activities, such as ping pong -- merely half-cousins to the dangerously debauching evil we call "Pong" -- and dancing the night away in that consummate simulation of metropolitan night life -- "Poison Ivy."
Hurrah for big fires and increased social space!