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I Went To the Oberlin Rave: A Harrowing Account

by Thomas Toddlerson

art by Dasha Klein

[originally published July 2021]


In order to get into the tragedy that was this past weekend, I must preface this article with some very crucial context: I am a baby.

That’s right. I’m a burper, a spit-upper and a crawler, but I am also so much more than that. I am probably much smarter than you. I was plucked out of my first day of daycare when I was caught reading Infinite Jest instead of playing on the slide with the rest of my cohorts. As a baby genius, I chose to go to Oberlin and challenge the social quo instead of attending another run-of-the-mill baby college.

As Oberlin College’s first and only openly baby student, I was excited to hear about a real rave on campus. Babies. Love. Raves. Because as we all know, where there’s a rave, there’s binkies. Why is this? Having done extensive research into rave culture, I started to notice a pattern between MDMA users and the usage of binkies in order to satisfy the side effect of teeth grinding. Binkies are essential to the teething stage in my early oral development and are kind of like boob, which is so cool. Ever since arriving at Oberlin I have had to restrict my teething practices to the confines of my own crib. While I am no drug user, unless you consider sand to be a drug, which I am working on, I have been itching to openly teethe in public without the shame of my elder peers. I expected this to be the best night of my life, but what came next scarred me.

I strut in with a binky in my drooly little mouth, kandi on both of my chub chub arms, and this steampunk tophat my dad said everyone was going to think was cool. And all I see? Just a bunch of sweaty normcores, doing beer and weed, with not even a single piece of kandi to share. I hit the dancefloor and all the big kids are just bouncing around, no even doing all the cool rave dances like holding glow sticks. So there I am looking like a literal newborn and I can feel a temper tantrum coming on. Some guy points at me and says, “Is that a baby? Who brought their baby to a rave?! And especially in that STUPID steampunk tophat!” Oh no. Not here! And I let it out. Wweeeeeahhhhh wweeeeeaaahhhh. That guy is literally in my stats class! But he’s right. They’re all right. I am just a stupid tiny baby in a comically huge steampunk tophat and a binky in my slobber gob.

If this Oberlin place really wants to foster an accepting and loving environment, how about rave with kindness. Rave with empathy. Rave like it's the early 2000s and you just ditched your hometown for New York CIty honey! And stop asking me about Boss Baby 2. I hate Boss Baby 1 and 2!!! Baby Corp is a pretty twisted corporation that obviously paid for the whole movie in order to distract you guys from what's really going on up there! The next time you see a baby at a rave don’t question it. Don’t demean his ginormous and extremely heavy— some would say too heavy for his very tender head— steampunk tophat he obviously paid hundreds of dollars for. Instead maybe join him in what could be a binktastic night. So yeah, goo goo effin ga.

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