If life is too much, clobber somebody

By Dan O'Shea

Hi. It’s me again.

If you’ve just joined us, welcome to Northern Illinois University, or Great America-DeKalb, the jewel of the Midwest.

Whoa, I almost didn’t make it here. You know, the strangest things happen on New Years Eve. One minute, everything seems perfectly innocent and low key. You’re dirty dancing with the neighbors to the Banana Boat song with a crock pot on your head and a live lobster sticking out of your pants.

The next, you wake up in the back seat of a ‘72 Buick with a lousy radio stalled along Route 66 somewhere in Oklahoma, and it’s the middle of January already. I guess it was a mistake adding NyQuil to my Alabama Slammer.

Lobster and crock pot are nowhere to be found. (Aren’t those two words that just really go together? “Crock” and “pot,” I mean.)

All looks pretty bleak, but then you say, “Oh, but it was all good fun. I just needed a way to release all the aggression I built up over that Noriega thing.”

Question: Have you ever felt like throwing your elbow out in front of somebody riding past you on a skateboard?

I know I have. No personal hatred involved, of course. Just a little exercise in aggression release. You need something like that, you know.

Out there on that untamed frontier called the Real World, it’s said you really need a lot of aggression releases. I guess it’s mostly because work is too competitive, you hate your bosses’ guts, you’re 30 years old and you’re not married yet, and the damn paper boy always chucks the Tribune onto the roof! God, that really pisses me off!

Chill, Dan.

Personally, I think college is a lot more hectic than Real World livers’ lives (What?) are. Is the Real World actually out there, anyway? The way people talk about it, it almost seems like a cruel rumor somebody started at a house party around here to scare all the seniors.

Anyway, everybody needs an aggression release. That’s why anybody at all goes to see movies like Commando and Leatherface.

So, why the skateboard thing, Dan? (Well, nobody else asked.) The skateboard theory comes from an incident that almost occurred about three and a half years ago when I was a lowly freshman. No offense intended, lowly freshmen.

I was on my way back to Stevenson North after a terrible day of tests and late homework and every other thing. Besides that, it was humid as hell. The air felt like melted peanut butter.

From in back of me, I hear skateboard wheels grinding along the sidewalk. I know this kid is going to pass me on my right and come within about three inches of me. A-ha, now it’s my turn to dish out the pain. I’ll gently jut my elbow out in traffic and this kid will never know what hit him.

Then, just when I was about to yell, “Eat pavement, swine!” and feed him some funny bone, he hopped the curb and crossed the street. I did feel better though, a little.

Holding in all your aggression is unhealthy. You’ll spontaneously combust. Do some damage instead, or at least think about doing it.