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Thanking the ‘TCPD’

David Barrett | Monday, February 16, 2004

So, in an effort to curb off campus violence and extend its ubiquity ever more into the lives of its students, NDSP has created a secret taskforce that we will now refer to as TCPD. Put simply, this assembly of butt-kickers makes Safe Walk seem, well, sophomoric. Rather than knocking the icicles off my roof and salting my sidewalk, Turtle Creek chose to serve and protect me by accommodating this exciting initiative with open arms and a renovated townhouse. Initially, this raised a few uni-brows, especially those of occupants in adjacent buildings who feared that the heightened police presence would impede on their late night partying and fence peeing. However, these fears were soon and subsequently allayed upon reassurance from the officers that they were there to keep the peace, not to meddle in their neighbors’ private affairs. Yet it is not in their blood to turn a deaf ear to late-night carousing, especially if that carousing is keeping them up.The aforementioned neighbors happen to be friends of mine, and enjoy, on occasion, a quick wrestle before bed. In no way should this be taken euphemistically. These guys are from the classical Greco-Roman school, and simply like to engage one another in a little gladiatorial combat before brushing their teeth and washing their face. It is completely harmless, but totally vulnerable to skepticism.So, a couple of them are going at it pretty hard a couple of weeks ago. Epically they sparred. Ankle-locks, oil checks – they barred none. They waged back and forth like this for what seemed like minutes, until their new neighbor finally burst through their door with gun drawn and feet placed. Apparently he mistook the repeated thuds against the wall, coupled with screams of wild indulgence, to be some far more guilty pleasure than the wrestling duel it, in reality, was. Understandable, kind of. He let them off with just a warning, and a request that they keep it down next time.My first experience with TCPD, however, came this past Friday, at a time I did not expect it, but in a situation where I desperately needed it. I was walking back from the Bombay Boutique on Edison right around closing time with some completely random girl I met there, when I heard some loud, obnoxious shouting coming from a group of guys behind me. I dismissed the taunts, homophobic in nature, as intended for somebody other than me. Seeing that they outnumbered me six to one and, unlike me, were without a female companion, it was not an illogical conclusion. But ignoring them only further riled them up.Perhaps these guys were a little disappointed with how they knew their night would end, sweaty and unconscious from an all-out wrestle romp, and thought that embarrassing the helpless kid up ahead might help ease the pain. Chances are they, like every other male at this school, were high-school multi-sport standouts angry at the world because the inter-hall football season is now over. Let it go, guys. Regardless, they stopped yelling and started running to catch up with us.Enter TCPD.The benefits of being promoted from NDSP to TCPD are countless. Rather than tooting around campus on a 10-speed in a chinstrap, members of TCPD are each given a Dodge Neon with a recycled Le Sabre engine and a custom blue paint job. Undercover, they are told to remain inconspicuous, which everybody knows is impossible when behind the wheel of such a car.Anyway, just as things were about to get really ugly, I spied a blue Neon coming our way. Before I knew it, the trigger-happy officer was out of his car flashing his piece and saying, “Who got the problem, huh punks?” As he interrogated them, I ambled home and cooked a pizza, thankful for TCPD’s intervention in what could have ended in my embarrassment. I am here today because of TCPD, and am forever in their debt. However, there still is work to be done. For one, they can really help me out by keeping high school students out of my parties. I simply cannot be held liable. Secondly, they can rough up the big guy who comes around every weekend asking first for jumper cables and then for some spare change. I have reason to believe he does not actually need jumper cables. I, too, was a skeptic at first, more worried about how my life would be made worse rather than better by their presence here at Turtle Creek. But now, I could not be happier with what I have seen out of them. They are not simply NDSP’s sister organization, or some Safe Walk spin-off. They are the real deal, and we are lucky to have them. Just remember that if you want to wrestle, you will have to do it quietly, and I am sure you will agree with me.

David Barrett is a senior economics and philosophy major. His column appears every other Tuesday. He can be contacted at [email protected] views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.