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The Dartmouth
May 20, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

THE CAPTAIN'S LOG: Safety and Security Fanfic

I should lay my cards on the table straightaway: I think I am a fan of Safety and Security. And instead of meting out the usual dose of punishment, I'm going to take some space to, in a mildly twisted way, give them a thank you.

Obviously, I don't mean that Safety and Security doesn't ever screw up -- they do, and it's good that people remind them. In all fairness, however, I doubt any human being charged with "keeping college kids from getting drunk and acting ignant" could avoid breaking down and committing an unreasonable search at Bones Gate every once in a while. It happens. Besides, I can imagine my own frustration at such a job -- the dismissal of Imaginary Safety and Security Officer Entress would likely follow soon after I started tazer-gunning every inebriated student inconsiderate enough to remind me that his parents pay my salary.

Occasional Fourht amendment faux pas aside, however, I've had nothing but pleasant interactions with the folks at Safety and Security. They don't fit the mold of the stereotypical cop -- that insecure, mustachioed Napoleon intoxicated with his or her own power to harass people with impunity.

Instead, like much of the College staff, they seem to be refreshingly down-to-earth people with marriages, full-time jobs, and enthusiasms for things like horseshoes and mustards. Plus, by and large, the Safety and Security people seem genuinely more interested in keeping people safe than aggressively arresting people. That's why Safety and Security walkthroughs aren't called cuff-throughs or prisoner round-ups.

One could object that Safety and Security officers do not act like cops because Safety and Security officers are not, in fact, actually cops. It's true, of course, that Safety and Security officers are not policemen; in light of that, however, their amiability surprises me all the more. The only group stereotypically surlier and more malicious than uniformed policemen is uniformed non-policeman. Just think about the mall security guards of your pre-adolescence. Their faces were stuck in a sneer of pure evil and you know it.

It comes down to this: Safety and Security does a frustrating job (and sometimes a futile one -- when has anything short of the fear of hell stopped Americans from drinking?) with surprising patience and grace, and I respect that. For all that they do, I got to thinking I should probably offer tribute of some sort.

I guess I could, like Phi Delt, throw a party in honor of my favorite Safety and Security officer, but I don't have their physical plant, ethanolic audacity, or deep pockets. Moreover, much of my appreciation for Safety and Security comes from the fact that I have limited contact with them. Not that I've had no contact -- I even worked under Safety and Security as Commencement and Reunion security one year -- but I appreciate their essentially light touch. But how can people like me, without any day-to-day meaningful contact with Safety and Security express their appreciation.

Since no one collects the Safety and Security trading cards, or writes letters to their favorite officer hoping for an autographed photo (or in-person tazing), discovering the properly oblique way to realize my mild fandom has proven difficult. A card sent to the office above Student Health Services? Too impersonal. Building a rival snow sculpture of a Safety and Security Rav-4 and its heroic driver? Too much work. Lurking around the punch-in clock and dropping money and packs of cigarettes whenever an officer passes? They might think I was trying to solicit inappropriate favors. So would I, really.

Then, finally, I came upon an idea that was both excellent and creepy at once: I could write laudatory fan fiction (fanfic for short) about Safety and Security characters! For those not in the know, fanfic is perhaps the socially inept way for someone to connect with the stories that speak to them. Harry Potter, Nash Bridges, Quantum Leap -- almost any production, no matter how bad, will spawn an internet community of avid fans eager to extend the narratives of their favorite characters.

Writing fan fiction is easy, since the characters are given and as the internet will show you, it can be done while drunk. Simply drop familiar characters into a story you've just spun up, inject some sex where the story would probably be better without it and voila! You're on the fanfic front. Of course, there's only one problem: the lives of the Safety and Security officers aren't a TV show (yet. Thank goodness FOX doesn't read The D). They're real people's lives, and as I understand it, writing fan fiction about them would be akin to libel.

While I could say that it was time we brought about the brand new genre of fan non-fiction, I'm going to respect the private lives of Willie & Co. and let that lie. Rather, I'm going to challenge this College to write their own fan fiction about Safety and Security using, where possible, fictional names, places and weapons. What's your incentive to do this? It's threefold. If you're the creative type, this might be the story that makes your sorority sisters finally take you seriously as a writer.

Or, if you're just an average rage-monster, you can finally put to paper (or PC) the defining incident with Safety and Security that shaped your freshman year in a way, and you can do it in a legally inconsequential way (not applicable to pending court cases).

Finally, if the story is reasonably good (a high standard for fan fiction), tasteful and amusing, I'll personally give it publishing consideration on the Jack-O-Lantern's soon-to-be-reinvented website.

So you get to tell your best on-campus story and be part of a media revolution. Possible sexual partners will be all over you. If you need some ideas to get you started, here are a few: bicycle patrolmen who moonlight as inventors, lounging in the steam tunnels, walkie talkie messages misinterpreted: a moose (on the loose!) busting up room parties (of werewolves!), love in the patrolcar (between moose and werewolves!): and spies infiltrating DDS.

Happy Writing, oh, and thanks, Safety and Security.