A guide to navigating your way through Mudd

Erik Wyse

(Eric Murray)

I’m sure everyone has heard the common warning now that the library is a dangerous place, not to be entered into by the weak. I can only support this statement. When I enter the library my heart starts racing, and not just because I just walked past a cute college co-ed with whom I may never have a nervous conversation. No, this constant palpitation is part of the fight or flight response.
Whenever I enter the library I get this intense feeling that drives me to run away, run around the whole library or start hurling various volumes from the periodical section at an unassuming stranger. Luckily for most people, I don’t usually rush into beast mode upon entering the library. If this were the case I probably wouldn’t be writing this article right now; instead, I’d be going to UW-Oshkosh.
The library is one of the last standing places that belong almost wholly amidst the common sphere. People from various tribes, whether the tribe of the white hat, the tribe of the Chaco, or the tribe of the mongoose, to name a few, congregate in one common space. These tribes hold different beliefs and can often be at war with one another. The library is primarily a place of peace but any misstep can trigger tribal warfare on a scope that would rival the greatest of historic wars. Everyone remembers the story of a student entering the library with his sunglasses still on. This was taken as a sign of disrespect and disregard for all in the library and this student was subsequently eaten; his bones are still displayed in the archives section of the library. With the imminent threat of death always present, students take certain precautionary measures to ensure their personal safety and keep the peace between neighboring tribes.
The most common tactic is to enter the library with headphones on the ears. This lets everyone know that the subject has come in peace, is in his or her own world and would not like to be bothered and is not in the business of bothering others. Another approach is to immediately go to the bathroom or take a drink from the drinking fountain upon entering the library. These acts serve as a way for the subject to pay homage publicly to the library gods, Barnes and Noble, in order to be protected in the space of the library.
After performing these acts of homage the subject is untouchable and will receive nothing more sinister than a wayward glance from the surrounding hostiles. Offering a vinegar-based drink to a fellow library entrant is not advisable under any circumstance, the most likely outcome being the death by guillotine of the offender. The better tactic is to offer an ice cream cone or candy. In the case that the person being offered said candy or cone is a diabetic, the best course of action is to leave the library hastily lest the offender become embroiled in a life of servitude. These stories are quite graphic in nature, and I apologize for that, but it is necessary for these issues to be talked about at length.
We have seen the terrible threats the library poses, but it is not without its possible benefits. Alliances can be forged among the shelves of the library. Historically, most relationships start in libraries. I myself have been trying for some time to meet the honey of my dreams in the library. I often go to the drinking fountain and spill a little water over my face. I then proceed to flip up my head in a strong motion and wipe the excess water off of my chin as I walk to my place of study. I appear to be studying, but really I am just trying to communicate through body language to the attractive girls that pass by me. I try to inhabit a look that rests between pensive and downright stressed out and overworked to the point of exhaustion, my hope being that some lady will approach me in an attempt to comfort me and perhaps do some of the reading I really should be doing for me. My tactics have not worked up to this point, but I remain hopeful.
I hope what you will take from this article is that the library is a supercharged place, complete with dangerous perils and wonderful possibilities, and a lot of death.