January 16, 2003

College Enemies Revisited I know

College Enemies Revisited

I know it seems unbelievable, but I occasionally make enemies. This was not always the case. In high school, I was more determined to make friends with everyone than risk alienating myself from even the lowest cliques. I was the little A student, trying to keep my grades high so teachers would praise me, while also trying to hide my nerdish leanings from classmates who knew I was nerdy anyways. I didn't like the concept of enemies, and I really believed, if I tried hard enough, I could go through life without making them.

Alas, it was not to be. I made a bona fide enemy my senior year in Tokyo, without even trying really, and I was mortified to learn somebody didn't like me. As the year progressed, however, I started to enjoy the fact that somebody detested me. It was a relief to learn I could have an enemy and still pretty much live my day-to-day existence without it really affecting me in the least. I decided that maybe having enemies wasn't that big of a deal. After all, it made me more fully appreciate those who are my friends.

Well, college rolled around the next year, and it didn't take me much more than a couple of weeks to discover my first two college enemies were pretty close at hand; just across the dorm hall from me actually.

I didn't know them, but I hated them almost instantly. From what I could gather, they were a couple of ex-high school jocks who couldn't cut it in college athletics. Now, I played football, but not particularly well, and I wrestled fairly proficiently, but I never let it get to my head because, in the end, I preferred video games and nerding out. These two wonks, however, swaggered up and down the halls speaking far too loud about how great they thought they were, and playing over-animated games of catch with balled up socks. They liked to be seen and heard, and they insisted on leaving their door open at all times, whether they were blaring their God-awful music, or engaging in an irritating argument. I started referring to them as Wuss One and Wuss Two, because they addressed each other as "Wussy," "Wuss," or the degrading combination of "Wussy Wuss." Consider the following dialogue:

WUSS ONE: Hey, Wussy, what are you going to do tonight? Are we going to the casino or what?

WUSS TWO: fuck you, Wuss. I'm not going to decide. You decide, Wussy Wuss. I'm on the phone.

WUSS ONE: Well, get off the fucking phone Wussy Wuss. It takes an hour to get to the casino, so we gotta get going.

As unbelievable as it may seem, they could continue like that for up to an hour. The mindless banter I could handle, but the blaring music I could not. Many was the time during those first few weeks that I had to ask them politely to turn it down, which they would do, and then 10 minutes later turn it back up. I knew I had a breaking point, and it was about to be reached.

After my fencing class early one morning, I caught the bus back to Lourdes, showered, and fell in for a much needed nap. I figured I had, at least, two hours of deep slumber to indulge in.

Well, about halfway into my nap, and a nice little dream involving me, Cindy Crawford, a clown, and a stellar orgasm. Okay, there was no orgasm (and truthfully, no clown), because before I could attain that wondrous state, the most God-awful music ever to assail the ears came blaring from across the hallway from the room of Wuss 1 and Wuss 2.

I'm a happy person. A laid back person. A person you would like to meet and probably trust with your children should you go away for awhile and need a babysitter. There are, however, two things you should know. Number 1: do not wake me up unless you have a damned good reason. You will regret this. Number 2: if I'm having a Cindy Crawford nocturnal emission, there is no such thing as a damned good reason. If you see me sleeping and I have a smile that spreads from ear to ear, and my blankets appear to be hovering mysteriously around the groin area, you should let me sleep.

Thus, when I was awakened by a blaring stereo, the good-natured Ryan Rhodes you would be pleased to meet was nowhere to be found. Instead, I was filled with blind rage. There could have been two little old ladies listening to Big Band music and I still would have ripped into them.

As it was, I stormed across the hall into the room of Wuss 1 and Wuss 2 (their door was always, ALWAYS, fucking open), and I let loose a string of expletives that had the resident assistant running down the hall to find out what was wrong. Wuss 1 got right into my face and started screaming back at me.

"It's fucking 10:30 in the morning, you fucking wussy!" he shouted. "We can play any fucking music we want! Go back to your fucking room and shut up!"

"You'll turn that music down right now, or I swear I'll toss that stereo and all your speakers off this third floor and won't think twice about it!" I yelled, throwing in a good chest push on Wuss 1 to augment my point.

"Ooooh, big fucking words, asshole!" he said, pushing back. "You don't see anyone else upset about the music do you? Go fuck yourself!"

With that, I sprinted down the hallway, knocking on 12 dorm room doors. Eventually, 16 people emerged from nine rooms, and I asked them to join me outside of Wuss 1 and Wuss 2's room.

"Who here is really annoyed by the music coming from the dorm room of these two monumental assholes?!" I asked the bewildered throng.

As proof that I'm probably the luckiest son of a bitch ever, everyone raised their hand, although I think they were just stunned that I was mad enough to rally half the dorm wing wearing nothing but a pair of boxer shorts with a smiley face on them. Like I said, don't wake me up during a wet dream. Ever.

Confronted with a unanimous vote, and a resident assistant now aligning himself with my superior numbers, Wuss 1 and Wuss 2 capitulated to my demands. My demands were as follows:

"Now, turn that fucking thing down, for now and forever, and if I ever have to come out of my room again because your music is too loud, I'll wake the entire fucking dorm to make my point."

Then, drastically changing my tone of voice and volume, I turned to the crowd I had so rudely summoned.

"Thank you all, for coming out to support me. I'm going back to sleep."

Yet I stood there, locking eyes with Wuss 1 as the rest of the crowd disbanded.

"You just made a major fucking mistake today, wussy," warned Wuss 1 as if I cared.

"Yes, and I'm sure you're a real threat to me," I retorted. "Go crawl back with your little buddy there and engage in whatever ass sex you two dabble in. And keep the music down."

Obviously, our animosity toward each other only grew throughout the quarter, even though they never again blared their radio. It wasn't long, however, before they started taping pictures of naked men on my door with balloon dialogue such as "Ryan fucks me in the ass with his tiny prick," and "Call Ryan for great man sex, 555-5555" (only it was my number, the fuckers).

I responded late one evening with plastic jug of Log Cabin syrup and a three foot length of rubber lab hose (that I bought at Fleet Farm of all places), which I attached to the spigot of the syrup and ran under their dorm room door. I then squeezed and squeezed and squeezed until the bottle was crinkly and almost empty. The next morning, as they set foot on the syrupy carpet in front of their door, I bet you could have heard them swearing in Idaho. They tried steam cleaning their carpet, but it didn't do much good. They eventually opted to cut away a huge syrup soaked square and put down a rug. Just for clarification, the dorm I stayed in had concrete floors. If you wanted carpet, you had to measure and buy your own.

Not known for their originality, the Wuss boys reciprocated the stunt, apparently unaware that my own carpet stopped about three feet from the door, so I only had to mop up a puddle of syrup. They tried sliding tacks under my door, but I kind of saw the shiny objects on my concrete the next morning, so that didn't work out as they had planned.

And then, the big discovery. No, not big: HUGE. My room was adjacent to our dorm wing's bathroom, so the drone of the showers next door seemed to go on in perpetuity. One day, a friend was visiting and she asked what the two square metal panels were against my wall. It was sad because, even though they were quite large, I had never really given them much thought. Lo and behold, behind the tiles were the main valves controlling cold and hot water access to the showers. It didn't take me long to start playing with my newfound toy. It was simply a matter of time before either Wuss 1 or Wuss 2 would take a shower and announce their half-nakedness to the wing. I honestly can't remember which one was first, but I do remember giggling in anticipation, waiting for the water to turn on in one of the showers so I could exact anonimous revenge.

I started by turning off the cold water, because I thought scalding them would be too cruel. Eventually, however, I learned how to balance the hot and cold just right so they just couldn't have an enjoyable shower to save their lives. They would yell and scream and demand to know why the showers never worked for them, but they seemed to work fine for everyone else. Finally, after about a month of water fun, there was a knock at my door. It was dorm maintenance coming by to check why the Wussies were having shower trouble. It didn't take him long to see my fingerprints in the otherwise undisturbed dust of the pipes and valves. He let out a low, elongated grunt, which I suspect was a stifled laugh, and then he turned to me, smiling slightly.

"Um, don't do that any more," he said, and he walked out.

The hi-jinx subsided during the first quarter final exam period, and we never really resumed our war over the rest of the year. I think their need to focus on studying had something to do with it, because as far as I know they both flunked out and were never seen by me ever again after the first year.

Or, maybe they just didn't want to mess any more with the guy who controlled their showers.

Posted by Ryan at January 16, 2003 02:24 PM
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