Idiosyncratic Desk Shift

6.7.02 INT. MCGLINN HALL CLERK DESK 12:34am NIGHT

the prop­er word to describe my desk shift last night is idio­syn­crat­ic. the class of 1962 is stay­ing in McGlinn this week­end. in 1962 Notre Dame was still an all male school. through­out my four hour shift i heard a steady stream of ‘back in my day’ sto­ries and advice for liv­ing. it was to be expect­ed and accept­ed, reunions are times for nos­tal­gia, but the life lessons i gar­nered were not from their advice but from their behav­ior. they were drunks. the lot of them. decay­ing jaun­diced men with red puffed and watery eyes, dou­ble­fist­ing beer in their shak­ing liv­erspot­ted hands. laugh­ing, yelling because they are too sloshed to talk qui­et­ly, won­der­ing where the liquor store is, where is the beer tent, is the bar at the hotel still open, where do col­lege kids go drink nowa­days, have i heard what bar oth­er peo­ple are going to. the entire evening i think every ques­tion had some­thing to do with alco­hol. if you want your child to remain a vir­gin, send them to notre dame the only catch is they’ll leave an alco­holic. what made it even more sur­re­al was that the radio was play­ing one of the great­est clas­sic rock albums of all time, David Bowie’s The Rise and Fall of Zig­gy Star­dust and the Spi­ders from Mars. the whole album. straight through. no breaks. i tried to enjoy it but the 60 year old drunk­ards insist­ed on telling me the things that were required of them back in the day. (show­ing their jock­ies in order to go to mass to make sure they did not have paja­mas on under­neath and that was just the begin­ning) and telling me how nice i have it now. yeah it is bet­ter than what they had but in my opin­ion times change and ND is always about 15 years behind the times.

i fin­ished Cat’s Cra­dle today. all i can say is ouch. you don’t real­ize the sub­tle­ty of vonnegut’s satire until the very last para­graph and then you real­ize just how stu­pid human­i­ty is. go hoosiers.