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An Evening with Laura

Except to change one identity into the second person to preserve anonymity, I have not altered the following events. They occurred, exactly as written, to the best of my recollection, within a one-hour time span this evening. I have recorded them as evidence of the inevitable transformation that seems to occur when one goes to college. You see, I formed a theory while in high school that when people go to college, they become assholes. I hoped that this metamorphosis was avoidable, but if it is, as you can tell from the following evidence, I have not discovered a means of escaping it.

5:21 p.m.

"The exam is the day after tomorrow, right?" a student inquires.

"That's right," says our math teacher. "One more day. One more day," he adds, half-singing. He wonders to himself, "That's a song from Les Mis, right?" before turning to a student with a question, as everyone begins to consult within their groups about the problem at hand.

Over at our table, I inform you, "Actually, it's 'One Day More.'"

5:35 p.m.

"So the lower limit would be fifty percent?"

"That's right."

"But if the election was fifty-fifty, he wouldn't win. It would be a tie," I pipe up.

"Well, if you want to take fifty-one, or fifty point oh-one, or something..."

"Actually, you should go from the lower limit to fifty percent, and then subtract that from one," I snot.

"Well, yes, but I'll accept either..." The class moves on.

"My way is more correct," I whisper to you.

6:12 p.m.

"Jeremiah was a bullfrog!" a boy bursts out singing along with the half-audible cafeteria radio. "My girlfriend used to love this song. I know all the words," he bragpologizes to his wondering friends. Out of sync with the radio, he sings as they gather up their trays. "If I were the king of the world, tell you what I'd say..."

Without looking up, I remark to you, "Tell you what I'd do."

You look at me wonderingly.

"It doesn't make sense otherwise; it has to rhyme with 'make sweet love to you'," I explain.

"All night, you've been nitpicking. 'Actually...'" you imitate. "You're a fanatic."

"Actually, I'm pedantic."


- Laura