The Eighth Page

A Boy and His Pet Monster

On that beautiful Friday, the day the Spanish refer to as “La Dia de la Head of la Escuela,” (Head of School Day) I trudged my way over to the humble, centrally located dorm of Bartlet. I was not heading over to Bartlet just for the chance of seeing Stephen Fee ’03 in his underpants. Oh no. Of course not. I was there on business. I had made the trek because a dear friend of mine, Harrison Henry Stephen Goldstein ’05, had invited me to attend a motion picture with him. He called us a cab, and we were ready to go. As the cab arrived, I realized this outing would not be the romantic jaunt I was hoping Harry and I would share together. Mac King ’05, Alex Lebow ’05, Vinny Feliciano ’03, and the monstrous fiend himself, Tom Dimopolous ’03, would all be accompanying us. As the cab pulled up, Vinny decided he would sit in the front seat, using his senior status as a reasonable justification. When Dimop pointed out that he too was a senior, Vinny went into a vague explanation about his ethnicity as rationalization for his riding shotgun, using the phrase “plight of my people” on more than one occasion. Dimop couldn’t argue with such a convincing case, which left the five of us – Lebow, Harry, Mac, Dimop and me – sitting in the back of an ’87 Chrysler Sebring Sedan. Now let me reinforce the idea that Dimop is not the most petite of people, and the Chrysler Sebring Sedan is not the roomiest of automobiles. I think the best way to replicate how I felt on that trip is to climb inside your sock drawer and have someone slam it shut. Then inflate a raft inside the sock drawer and have Franklin Davison ’05 sit on it. But nonetheless, we managed to fit in the cab, and we were ready to roll. It was at this point that we realized our cab driver could not have been a day older than 12. He was sitting on a phonebook, had braces, and was wearing a bib. He made Ali Holliday ’06 look like Nat Smith ’04 (1904). We were not ones to be picky, however, and I don’t believe any of us could have left the car if we’d wanted to, so we stuck it out. The cab driver turned out to be a pretty nice guy and to have a penchant for comedy. During the course of our ride to Lawrence Cinemas, the little guy joked about girls, young girls, young girls in Nathan Hale, Iraq, Forrest Gump, “special needs people,” the Columbia Space Shuttle, Mexicans, the homeless, the po-po, and Murgatroyd, the monkey from Thai Basil who lives with Christian Vareika ’05. The latter half of the trip turned into a psychedelic dream, perhaps due to the lack of oxygen in the packed vehicle. Everywhere I turned, there were faces, so many faces, and Dimop was getting bigger and stronger, and his mouth was getting larger and larger, and his attempt to ingest me was cut short only by everyone’s screaming as our cab driver narrowly missed hitting a green Ford Astrovan. Once we arrived at the theatre, we came to the startling realization that at some point during the car ride we had lost Lebow. We suspect that he was enveloped amoebically into Dimop. We bid adieu to our charioteer and headed into the theatre. We saw The Recruit, which proved to be a superb cinematic diversion. Next, we made our way to the arcade. We each had a turn on the shooting game available, and compared the ratings we got. Vinny performed well, with a rating of “Natural Born Killer,” and Mac King followed up well with a rank of “Deadly,” so needless to say, Dimop was disappointed with his rating of “Harmless as a Tree Squirrel.” We all told Dimop that though he’s harmless as a tree squirrel, he’s at least a very large tree squirrel. I blacked out at this point due to an overdose of the cotton candy they sold at the theater. I awoke the next morning, lying on the floor of a small room in Bartlet. I looked up and saw Stephen Fee in his underpants, marking a perfect end to a perfect voyage.