In my statistics class, I've been forced to find entertainment in my fellow classmates. At first I thought the young man with his arms and neck choked with tattoos would be most interesting--he got irrationally angry when the teacher was not explaining things to him, and would testily say "thank you" and stare pointedly at his hands after each interchange. I also was forced to find humor in the kiss-up girl in the first row so that she didn't annoy me (I later found out she wasn't on-the-ball because she's a statistics expert, but because she's already taken and failed the course once). But for the last few classes, my hero has been the Eating Boy. EB has great timing that makes everything he says unintentionally funny. His timing is because before he says ANYTHING, he stuffs about 5 animal crackers in his mouth, and continues to put them in his mouth as he talks.
The teacher often has to get a tall person to help her do things. EB is pretty tall, and usually obliging, but once she asked him to stand on his desk to turn on the projector on the ceiling, and he calmly put a cracker in his mouth and said "I don't do desks." She had to stare at him a few moments to realize he really wasn't going to budge. The teacher was, for about the fourth time, wanting to show us a slide she has of mammoth and elephant tusks, and how at the extremes, their normal curves intersect, and that you wouldn't be certain what kind of tusk you were looking at if it was in this intersection. This time, she began talking about a museum in Lincoln, Nebraska that has six full mammoth skeletons, and how astoundingly huge they are. For someone so stressed about the accelerated nature of this course that she rarely answers students' questions to their satisfaction, she can get off on a tangent. And with all the interesting examples that are used in the textbook problems, it's easy for all of us to get off on a tangent. Anyway, after a full discussion about mammoth bones and current digs in Nebraska, there was a silence as she sidled back up to the board to segue back into the actually math of the problem. Crackers (I like this name better than EB) finished chewing his mouthful and said "You are crazy about mammoths, lady." The next problem was finding the human threshhold to detect sulfur in wine. Tangent: "There are people who's whole job is to smell things! Like wine! And... perfume! And.... lots of things." Her tangent wasn't especially interesting in this case. And I don't know how many other things people get paid big money to smell. Anyway, Crackers said with uncharacteristic enthusiasm "Have you guys heard that thing about asparagus?" (no response from class) "Some people can actually smell asparagus" (no response) "In PEE." Another girl responds "Yes, it's one of those genetic things--you either can or you can't." I don't know what the teacher was doing at this point. After the class had no further response, Crackers stuffed his mouth, nodded sagely and said to himself smugly "I can. I can smell it."
Furthering occurrences that don't translate well into stories: at a bar the other night, a man came back looking for his wallet by our table, and found it! He was so overjoyed, he wanted to buy us all a beer. He left and came back several times, repeatedly expressing interest in buying us a beer. He said "Thank you! Thank you so much for guarding my wallet! Or... for not stealing my wallet!" (slight awkward silence on our part) "Or, for not having the wherewithal to turn around and look behind you!" He ended up buying us a pitcher of beer at about 1:58am. This was why we hadn't wanted a free beer--closing time. But we were glad to share in the man's overwhelming joy.
And here is something my boyfriend said the other night, about Juliet from Lost. "I would probably watch a porn with her in it." (I glare). "What? I would!" And just for the verisimilitude, picture Cliff from Veronica Mars saying this.
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