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When household items attack

The last time I saw Alison, she gave me an umbrella to walk to the party with. It was mostly broken and sported zebra stripes on its proud canopy. As soon as I opened it, I couldn’t stop myself from saying “someone’s feeling fabulous!” She’d been trying to get rid of the thing for a while, so I walked home from the party in the rain with it shoved into my coat pocket. Then last night, Kelly came over to watch a movie, and it was raining by the time she left, so I jumped at the opportunity to pawn the thing off on someone else. She was wearing a faux fur coat and a pastel blue leotard over black leggings, so it matched her outfit perfectly, like it was meant to be. She seemed to be having a hard time getting it open, so I tried to bully it into submission without realizing her finger was poised right between two movable parts of the shaft. I gave it a mighty shove, and the umbrella popped open, taking the top of Kelly’s finger with it. I’d pinched her so hard blood was gushing out of her mangled digit. I bandaged her up with a band-aid, all the while repeating how sorry I was, oh God how sorry I was, while Kelly laughed and told me to quit making such a big deal of it. She’s a trooper. My greatest fear is that now the umbrella has tasted blood, it will want more. The thing’s obviously cursed; when an object is passed from person to person, each one glad to be rid of it, occasionally mauling its new owner for sport, you can say with some certainty that bad hoodoo is involved, or bad joojoo at the very least.

I managed to register for the three most popular classes on campus. There were people squatting in corners and hanging from the rafters in all my lectures today, and fully a third of my department showed up for AI trying to get in. Good luck with that, people. The creative writing class I’m trying to add has a waiting list fifty people long, and I’m starting to grow sullen. I have a script running on one of the CS servers that checks the course page every minute and calls my cell phone as soon as a spot opens up, but someone needs to drop the class in order for the whole scheme to work. If you’re in ENGL 284 and you’re reading this, please do a poor CS major a favor and take one for team.

My first article for the Daily runs tomorrow (today) in glorious printed form, and I can’t wait to hear what everyone thinks of it. Actually, I already have at least two opinions after running into Michele and Evan at Safeway. Evan likes it, but according to Michele, “you use too many big words. If I didn’t know you and I read it, I’d think you were an ass.” Just like that, she swept my confidence out from underneath me as neatly as a magician yanking off a tablecloth without disturbing the place settings. Those of you who know me will attest to the fact that I generally have too much confidence when it comes to anything remotely academic, but this is my first time being published, and I’m a little antsy. I’ve never been received by an audience that doesn’t know me personally, and I’m wondering how they’ll react. I had the photographer at the Daily take three different pictures for the mug shot to accompany my byline, experimenting with different poses and attitudes. I wanted to go for a sarcastic half-smile, but I couldn’t make it look natural for some reason, so I ended up settling on a neutral stare. I just hope it doesn’t come off too wide-eyed, like a deer caught in the headlights.

Posted in Musings.


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