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The Milton (Office Space) Alan Garner (Hangover) Guy I knew in Real Life
Have you ever had a friend who combines the elements of the following?
Who was Luke?
Squinty eyes with transition lenses that never quite make the transition fast enough or completely, were windows to a soul who was obviously sheltered from the world, until he stepped on campus our Freshman year.
Free from parental guidance, he indulged in candy bars with such focused euphoria, it is as if he were having an erotic out-of-body experience (unaware of his surroundings) whilst devouring his confection. I describe the experience he was having as "erotic" because I don't know how else to relate our shock of seeing him eat a candy bar with moans and grunts amidst chews, slurps, licks, and juicy sucking sounds that drowned out all other sounds, even the frantic crinkles of the wrapper. Some hours later, it would occur to him that he indeed retained the freedom, desire and resources to autonomously devour another candy bar. The moment this happened he cracked an open-mouthed smile and his eyes lit up as if he solved a great mystery. He would point upwards with one finger to quiet the rest of us down, and the first few times we did just that, anxious to know what he just thought of that was infinitely more important than our present chatter. He slowly stood, as if not to give away too much too quickly (lest somebody beat him to the stash), and he proceeded silently to the door, backing his way out of it. Maintaining his smile, he would bump into the door (he reached behind to open the latch) grinning at us as the door closed. We got up and followed him to another room where, evident by the sounds, he would already be engaged in an almost sadistic devouring of another poor candy bar. Seemingly unaware of our presence, and our disgusted reaction, he continued until snapping out of it, with ample remains and spoils of his recent conquest covering his hands and face.
Freshman year, first couple days living in a dorm and sharing a communal shower, you immediately adapt to the "norm" of wearing a large towel around your waist as you walk to the shower room. Girls walk in the same hallway since the building is co-ed, and you have a chance to impress them with your coolness. Well, not Luke... Cool guys wear towels to the communal shower, he wore just his whitey tighties...
Luke walks the hall to the showers sporting his whitey tighties!
Clearly, he wasn't impressing the girls just cutting through to go to Scheide Music hall (Scheide means p***y in German), The light pierced his eyes that had heretofore been protected by his transitions lenses, the poor soul couldn't see and regressed to walking like a toddler, his whitey tighties as his diaper, he waved his fingers around as "feelers" in this alien environment through which he navigated, aghast girls and all. He had a towel, but he carried it as if it were his baby blanket.
Inevitably, "THE HORROR" came to pass...
All these elements came together in an event my friend Stan (Luke's roommate experienced one night in the dorm room they shared. Stan first expressed to me something had happened, I asked what? He replied: "the horror". For almost the entire lunch, all I could get out of him were the two words "THE HORROR". Eventually I learned the details of what happened, as Stan recounted them to me in vivid detail.
The sudden "Candy-bar-can-be-eaten-NOW!" realizations began to occur to Luke at odd times of the day... and night. Whatever restraint may have existed before, if any, was unchecked one night as Stan awoke to the awful sound of another candy bar being victimized. Whether by instinct or fear (certainly not curiosity at this point), Stan, still waking up, directed and switched on his reading lamp from its spot on the bottom bunk. What he saw, he could only describe to me as "the horror" for the first 15 minutes of lunch the next day. Luke was just about to climb the ladder right in front of Stan to his top bunk, but was repelled, whitey tighties first, by the light as if pushed. Stumbling backwards, he extended his chocolate-covered finger/feelers defensively, as if to reach out towards the light to apprehend its position. Blind and squinting more than ever, he simultaneously opened his chocolate-smeared face and let out an animalistic shriek. This shriek, as it was recounted to me very accurately by Stan, a talented vocal performer, was never replicated entirely for many years.
This changed when I first viewed the "Lord of the Rings" movie by Peter Jakson, and heard the scream of the ring-wraiths. The scream of the ring-wraiths and "the horror" are both polyphonic, awful sounds that are indeed unforgettable.
Here is how it all ties together- the scream of the Ringwraiths was recorded by scratching plastic cups together, the kind you see in a college dorm, the kind cheap beer goes in along with quarters and ping-pong balls. Oh, the college days. Oh, to live in a dorm where interesting people like Luke and Stan grace your everyday life to make it more fun. Also, living life away from home allows a freedom that breeds crazy situations. Consequences don't ruin the fun yet, especially the Freshman year. You would never experience the horror if you could avoid it.
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