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.