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If you go chasing ‘archies’

Bob Masters | Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Oh, it was a fine, fine day on South Quad. A day perfect for leisurely strolling or making daisy-chains. But alas, there were papers to turn in. What to do, what to do?

The DeBartolo cluster was packed to the gills. The building manager of O’Shag still stood silently stupefied, wondering where his computer lounge had gone. Yes, for young Bob, the world had turned upside down. He felt further and further and further away from WebFile by the minute.

Dear reader, this is all very true and all very, very remarkable, as you’ll soon see. While pondering how to print my semester-ending research paper last month, I stood outside of Bond Hall and watched as an “archie” ran by. With his sleep-deprived eyes twitching and North Face jacket twirling, I heard the archie say to himself “the blueprints are late! The blueprints are late!”

Thinking he was on to something, I, the good English major, followed him down the architecture hole. (I was to find out, of course, that this “hole” was actually the side door to Bond.)

“Kind archie, please, could you direct me to a computer lab?” I politely implored. But no sooner did I speak the words, than did the archie disappear.

To be more precise, it was rather more of a decreasing than a disappearing. To my astonishment, I had grown 10 times as tall as I had been on South Quad. As I gazed around the increasingly smaller room, I happened upon a peculiar bottle. It was a Mountain Dew Code Red with a note reading “Drink Me” attached. I quickly imbibed this favorite drink of the architecture student and returned to a normal height.

Suddenly, coming into focus before me was a door. Being the perfect height now to enter, I snuck in. As I walked out into the next curious world, I saw two men standing with their arms around each other’s neck. I read the name tags on their Adidas warm-up jackets to discover that they were brothers, Tweedle-Ty and Tweedle-Davie. What in the world were they doing here?

“South quad isn’t any fun,” said Tweedle-Davie. “All people want to talk about are Bowl games.”

“Supposedly,” added Tweedle-Ty. “Please don’t tell anyone we’re here. If you keep our secret, we’ll turn your paper in for you.”

I couldn’t bear to stay with them. Just then, out of the corner of my eye, I saw a most remarkable apparition. It was a big, body-less smile and I paused to hear it laugh. As I listened, its body came into focus. It was the Chesire Accountant.

“Find a job yet, artsy?” The Chesire Accountant asked. “I’ve been offered a consultant position with a leading investment firm. And you?”

I certainly didn’t feel the need to chat with this ever-so annoying creature. Luckily for me, it faded away as quickly as it had appeared, but not before suggesting I continue my adventure in architecture land by visiting the Mad Dissertater.

Taking a break from footnoting his dissertation, I found the Mad Dissertater drinking tea with the Hookah Smoking Graduate Student. Noticing me noticing them, the pair spoke at once.

“You, boy, quickly. Compare Plato with Heidegger.”

“I can’t.” I answered.

“No, not Kant!” The Graduate Student bellowed, the hookah falling from his shocked mouth. The Mad Dissertater didn’t move his eyes from his research. He merely offered a snooty chuckle and went back to the Penguin Classic Edition he was highlighting. I saw their attention turn. The tiny radio on their tea service was tuned to NPR and a brand new “Talk of the Nation” was about to air. I took the opportunity to scurry away but not before I began to lose all hope of ever printing out my paper.

It got curiouser and curiouser from there. I chanced to come upon my best printing hope, the Bond Hall cluster. But, as my luck would have it, the ResLife Queen had converted it into a human chess board.

I heard cruel cries of “off with his head! Twenty hours of service!” I made it to the print release station but pawns and rooks quickly surrounded me, their accusing looks discovering I was not an architecture student. I was a stranger in a strange, strange land.

But wait. What was that I had in my pocket? Yes, it was everyone’s favorite dining hall treat, a spicy sea nugget. I took a nibble and I grew even larger than before.

With my tiny paper pouring off the printer and into my hands, I burst through the ceiling and escaped to the safety of O’Shag, far, far away from architecture land.

Before I left, I glanced back into that strange world. There was Tweedle-Ty. He was booking a flight to Seattle. Curious indeed.

Bob Masters is a senior English major. He can be contacted at amasters@nd.edu.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.