Things fall apart

Erik Wyse

Sirens ringing in my ears. The screams of Emily Bablitch sounding down the hallway. It’s Sunday morning, Jan. 9, 2011 and I’m in my room in the O.R.C. house at Lawrence University. Today is a day that will live in infamy – or until Jill Beck secretly removes it from the annals of history.
“Confused” does not adequately describe my feelings about this morning. Better to say I feel as if I’ve had my identity stolen, my kidneys taken and my eyebrows shaved off. Not a good feeling, to say the least. An hour of whirling dervishes later I come to realize that (A) Dr. Robert and Tommy Soft Hands’ room was looking like Danny Devito on a bad day, (B) our heat was gone, and (C) I wasn’t wearing any pants. It was quite a lot to happen in just one night.
This house experience has to be included among my all-time most memorable events at Lawrence. I’m going to forever refer to it as Deep Impact 2011. I can’t say I’m proud, I can’t take credit for this event, but being a member or “victim” of the house, I feel a certain strong connection to the event nonetheless. My other O.R.C. housemates echo my own sentiments. “I’m crying tears of joy for the new trampoline we have in the house!” exclaimed Mingus Kong.
The total damage to the house was immense, likened to the collapse of the guilds of old America. It started with fun and built to destruction. Dancing and jumping on the wooden floor. Too much pressure, too much Manishevitz. Seems like a regular Bar Mitzvah, right? Wrong: As one Dr. Robert became a man, the floor of his room regressed, sinking three inches lower than it should have been.
While the structural problems of the house were frightening and consuming in their own right, the loss of heat quickly became equally noticeable. Heat, that most wonderful commodity – something so many of us take for granted. After deciding it would be too much to start a fire in our living room, the O.R.C. house quickly turned the oven on full blast for a good, quick and green heat source. It just so happened we were baking a raisin nut bread.
I consider myself lucky among my housemates. Some of us did not make it out of the situation so well. Kyu-Po was missing for at least two days before we found him in our cupboard huddled among three leopard print snuggies, praying for the Gods of Beach Bliss to pay a visit to Wisconsin. This is the most horrendous situation, but deserves mentioning as a prime example of what can become of a man with no center to hold onto.
It was only days later, after finding Kyu-Po and consuming countless hot pockets purely for their scorching, burning heat – try eating a hot pocket for flavor – that we were informed that some creature had peed in our boiler exhaust outside. Something to be said for accuracy and determination.
I gladly say that now our house has returned to normalcy. For all those who may challenge our house’s integrity, I say: try traversing our new moat, try scaling our walls. Pee down our boiler exhaust; you can’t pee down our freedom. Destroy our floor – it doesn’t matter, our room will just seem bigger. We, the O.R.C. house, run together: We never die, we don’t believe in band-aids and we don’t use napkins. Try us. As John Muir is our witness, we will triumph.