Sunday, August 8, 2010

Course Overload #6: "Magical Mystery Dorm"

The morning of Aug. 25, 2004 was a beautiful one indeed. The birds were singing, the sun was shining, and the weather was perfect. Well, it was probably like that. I didn’t really notice or care, because it was the first day of my junior year of college. I had become so bored in the last days of the summer that I had resorted to asking for more hours at work, which was truly the act of a desperate man.

The little piece of paper the college had sent me a few weeks ago said that I should come in and register at 1:30 p.m. (That is, before I lost it.) That meant that I had plenty of time to get ready at my own pace.

So of course, there I was driving to the college at 8:30 a.m. Everything was going as planned. However, about 10 minutes before reaching my destination, I noticed a distant, multicolor glow. There were vibrant greens, deep yellows, blue diamonds, red balloons, and purple horseshoes strewn about the morning sky. The whole scene could be summed up in one phrase: magically delicious. It was hard to take my eyes off of it, and as I got closer to my destination, the sight became brighter and brighter. There was something captivating about it, like pouring Jell-O mix into your pool and tricking the neighborhood kids into going for a swim. I had to know what it was.

To my surprise, the origin of the inescapable light was right on the campus itself. As I pulled in and went to park in my usual spot, I got stuck behind a line of commuters. All had stopped their cars and were gazing at the source of the brilliant light; most standing outside their cars, the keys still in the ignition and loud music still blaring. Some had even climbed onto their roofs to get a better look.

I thought that perhaps this was the Second Coming, and while opening my door to get a better look, I wondered if classes would be canceled the next day. Standing outside of my car, I finally had a decent view. There, in front of me, was some sort of space station or something, roughly 50 stories tall and filled with row after row of smiling freshman girls. Above it were 10,000 rainbows. Hundreds of leprechauns, each riding a unicorn, poured sunshine and true love out of their magic pots onto the elegant structure.

“Someone must have forgotten to take home their mansion last semester,” suggested one onlooker.

“Looks more like a castle to me,” replied my friend Ashley from two cars ahead, wiping a tear from her eye. “I hear that the phones are telepathic in there. All you have to do is think about calling someone, and you speak to them through your mind.”

“Castles don’t have phones, Ashley,” I muttered, still in awe. “What is this thing, anyway?”

“Why, that’s Wonka Hall,” said a man in a purple jacket and silly top hat. “It’s the new dorm for freshman girls.”

“Why slap me and call me Susan! That’s Willy Wonka!” I screamed.

“Yes, it’s true,” said Wonka, proudly taping the side of the mega-dorm with his cane. “I designed Wonka Hall. During the summer months, my Oompa-lumpas built it at night, under the cover of darkness.”

I starred up at the mammoth dorm. All sorts of fancy gadgets stuck to the walls, presumably pumping happiness and comfort into all the rooms. Then I thought about how all of my junior and senior friends lived in what boiled down to tents with severe heating problems.

“The rooms have all the modern conveniences,” continued Wonka. “For example, the toilets don’t flush with water, they flush with cotton candy. And wait until those freshman get a load of the elevator!”

I couldn’t stand it anymore. It had been a dream of mine since boyhood to flush my toilet with cotton candy. I had to see it all for myself.

“Can I go inside? I’d love to see what you’ve –”

Wonka cut me off angrily. “No man has ever seen the inside of Wonka Hall!” he informed. “That is… not without a Golden Ticket…”

Suddenly, I remembered registration! Oh no! I had wasted so much time drooling over the new dorm, I’d forgotten all about my classes! It was already 9:13 a.m., which meant that I had less than seven hours before I missed registration completely! I’d have to move fast!

“Quick, Mr. Wonka! This giant dorm of yours is great and all, but where am I supposed to park my car now that all the parking spaces you built over are gone?”

“You don’t get a parking space,” replied Wonka.

“Why!?” I asked, running back to my car.

“Because you’re a COMMUTER,” replied Wonka with a crazed laugh.

“That doesn’t make any sense!” I yelled, jumping into my car and speeding away in search of a parking spot.

After parking my car somewhere in the next county and taking a cab back to the college, I managed to register with a mere six hours to spare. By then Wonka had disappeared, so I never did get to see the inside of Wonka Hall. I later attempted to take an online tour of the dorm, but the second I logged onto the school’s network, I contracted some sort of vile computer virus that threatened to blow up Canada if I ever turned on my PC again. The last thing my speakers ever played was a woman with a British accent yelling, “Man alert! Man alert!”

But you know something? As I thought about it, I realized that I don’t need cotton candy toilets or unicorns on rainbows to be happy, because I have the love and support of my friends, and a great college experience I’ll never forget.

That is, until I spray painted my name on a parking spot just outside of the MST building. Now I don’t need no stinkin’ friends, because I have a parking spot! In your face, Wonka! HA HA HA!

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