Oberlin Blogs

Once upon a time in Stevenson dining hall,

November 7, 2008

Joe Dawson ’12

"Are you tired? Because I've been screaming at you outside your window every night for the past week."

I had just walked into a weird conversation at dinner.

"I don't think that's how it goes, Mike," I offered, assuming he was trying to remember a tired-ass pickup line I think I heard first in seventh grade. "Isn't it, 'Are you tired? Because you've been running through my dreams all night,' then she swoons?"

As it turns out, Mike had been making up his own new and exciting pickup lines, to be used at various campus gathering places the next weekend. I was quite intrigued. I remembered a sweet one about how a polar bear weighs just enough to 'break the ice.' Adorable, right? What girl wouldn't go weak-kneed when a quirky but interesting-looking chap asks them "How much does a polar bear weigh?"

My answer was: "not as much as you!" Mean, I know. I couldn't ever actually say it to anyone (who actually uses punny pickup lines anyway?), but I felt fine saying this to Mike. He's quite svelte, and knew I was joking anyway. We went back and forth for quite some time, coming up with quality lines for the ladies, and some lame ones as well. Our friend Kiron got involved soon after, and Ginny joined in after that. Ginny didn't seem to understand the point of the game ("Are you a candle? Because I want to light your fire." Come on Ginny, we wanted bad lines), but again, we were happy for the company. It helped to have so many people when the creative juices started to dry up, and one of us would start a clever phrase, run out of steam halfway through, and have to be saved by someone else. We stayed until the staff kicked us out of Stevie, and started to walk in a general homeward direction. A fork in the worn sidewalk gave us pause (it wasn't worn, but that sounds pretty, doesn't it?). My path was south, towards South. Everyone else was going north or east, toward North, or perhaps East. We sure know how to name dorms around here. This was to be our parting spot. I don't think any of us wanted to leave, because we actually spent another half hour under a light pole at that fork in the sidewalk, elongating our slick pickup line inventory the whole time.

I really feel like I'm going to remember that autumn eve for a long time, I'm not sure why, though. I really enjoyed being creative, and immature, and just bouncing funny stuff back and forth between people. I almost said 'riffing' there, but I think it sounds like I should be on a VH1 special if I say we were 'riffing.'

Recently Oberlin hosted famous author Michael Pollan, who my friends said was great (I missed this one); and a famous violinist, Takako Masame, who was amazing, according to my friends (missed her). I wish I had time to enjoy these great events, but I find myself spending a lot of time in dining halls with friends until 8 or so, which is when the powers that be inform us that they really want to go home to their children. I guess I miss the Oberlin events, but I certainly don't miss the Oberlin people.

Similar Blog Entries