By Ellen Efstathiou
This interview has been edited for increased length and less clarity.
(For the past month, I have become aware of a certain guy that lives in my hall. We shall call him “toothbrush guy” until I learn what his name is. Toothbrush guy has caused a ruckus in the hall because of what he does when he brushes his teeth.
He walks. Weirdly. Imagine a baby giraffe trying to do a balance beam routine. Weirder than that.
Luckily, my room is right next to the lounge, so when he is alone there, I decide to calmly interview him on why he does this.)
ME: WHY DO YOU WALK LIKE THAT WHEN YOU BRUSH YOUR TEETH!?
TG: What are you talking about?
ME: The whole town is talking about it! The way you walk when you brush your teeth!
TG: You mean a normal walk?
ME: That is not normal. This is a normal toothbrush walk.
(I demonstrate walking.)
TG: I’m pretty sure that’s how I walk.
ME: It’s not. You know, if you’re going to be hostile I might have to take drastic measures.
TG: Fine, what do you want to know?
ME: Well, if you’re so certain that you walk normally, then how about you explain to us how you walk.
TG: Like everyone else. I put one knee in front of the other, I don’t use my hips at all, I stick my neck out as far as possible so I don’t spill any toothpaste on my toes. I care a lot about my toes.
ME: Hold on. Are you not wearing shoes in the bathroom?
TG: Absolutely not. I find that constricting.
(If you are listening to the audio tape of this interview, you will notice that there is a long pause here. There is a long pause because I had to run to the bathroom to throw up. Eventually, I return to the lounge.)
ME: Okay, it’s time I say this. This interview isn’t just for personal curiosity. We’re all concerned for you.
TG: Who’s “we”?
(It is at this moment that everyone else that lives in our hall comes out of hiding and reveals to toothbrush guy that this is in fact an intervention. Even toothbrush guy’s roommate, the person he thought was his friend, is there. Betrayal sets in.)
TG: What’s going on!? What’s the matter with walking a little ridiculous!? Why don’t you all just mind your own business!? I’ve worked hard to become the man I am today, and you aren’t going to take me down because you think that I walk a little silly! Have none of you ever walked goofily while brushing your teeth? Are all of you perfect? I don’t think so!
(Some of our hallmates look down, embarrassed. These people are weak and anything they said in this interview has been stricken from the record.)
ME: You fool. You absolute fool. This has nothing to do with any of us. This is about you and your abysmal walk. It’s an embarrassment to the great institution that is the Barrows dorm! This dorm is sacred and you have ruined it with your walk! If you don’t clean up your act, you’ll be removed! Sent to live with the squirrels! Transformed into the new Yeobie!
TG: Wait, that’s a thing that can happen? I thought that was a myth.
(Now our RA, George Achoo, takes over the interview.)
RA: It’s not a myth. We learn about it in RA training. You have a week or you’ll become a squirrel.
(Toothbrush guy runs out of the lounge, crying.)
ME: I think that was a great success!
(Everyone agrees with me because I am a great neighbor and an excellent interviewer.)