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Colors, shapes, tastes, and textures

Lisa is my friend who goes to Stanford, and I always preface stories about her with that fact, even after people have pointed out to me that it’s lame; everyone has a friend that goes to Stanford, quit trying to be special. Nevertheless. I’ve always wondered what it would be like to go to an ultra-prestigious school, the kind where actors, rock stars, and politicians send their children. Lisa’s stories are probably the closest I’ll ever come to knowing, and so I treasure them, tucking them discreetly away like love letters from an ex. From what I gather, Stanford is a very different world from UW. Lisa lives in a campus-sponsored co-op full of vegans, where everyone takes turn cooking organic, meat-free meals, cleaning common areas, and doing other chores. There are few rules and no RA to speak of, and they don’t even lock the front door at night, let alone during the day. Nearly everyone comes from money, and so it’s just not a big deal. Such an institution simply could not exist at UW, and those of you who’ve lived in the dorms know how true that is. Lisa called me last night at 2am, and updated me on the state of things in Palo Alto.

Apparently one of her friends actually wants the job of Lamest School Mascot, the Stanford Tree. Trees aren’t generally very threatening or aggressive, nor are they given to leading cheers or driving mini-bikes like our beloved Harry the Husky. Why anyone would want the somewhat dubious honor of being derided not just by the people who know they’re inside the costume, but everyone who sees them prancing about in the green spandex-and-felt getup, is beyond me. In spite of this, her friend is actively seeking to be crowned the new Tree, and is undergoing a series of stunts (read: painful public humiliations) to that end. Last week he danced naked, save for some body paint, in a statue garden until the cops came and broke things up, very delicately I’m sure. Next week he plans to be suspended naked (I don’t understand the reason for all the nudity either, I’m just relating what I’ve been told) in some arrangement of rope from a campus monument. I sincerely hope, for his sake, that whoever is tallying the points for this bizarre competition takes due note of his efforts.

The stunt this weekend was the hand-delivery of two dozen cakes to the fraternity across the street from Lisa’s co-op, the execution of which interrupted our phone call; I got the rest of the story today. It’s worth noting that Ben Savage goes to Stanford, and Lisa knows him. The campus newspaper ran an article about him two years ago in which they referred to him only as “Fred Savage’s little brother,” and he drunkenly mistook Lisa for Gwenyth Paltrow at a party once. Suffice it to say that Lisa’s life, while far from being rife with Ben Savage, involves him far more than most. Anyway, it turns out that Ben lives in said fraternity, and Lisa dropped a cake on his foot. After that, all the cakes were placed in the kitchen area, and according to Lisa, “a million sorority girls in their tight black party outfits came out of nowhere and swooped in on them,” like they were hiding in the crawlspaces waiting. Maybe they were.

“Are you sure they were sorority girls? Eating cake?” She’s sure.

Oh, and the title of this post has nothing to do with anything, just a memorable phrase Lisa used last night to describe something or other, and resembles the Foo Fighters’ second (and best) album, The Colour and the Shape. The purpose of this post is to avoid studying for STAT. Now you know.

Posted in Musings.

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