14 April 2008

Boot 'n Paddle - April 11, 2008

Yesterday I got so excited that a person standing next to me exploded. That got me even more excited! Right now, thinking about that person’s explosion, I am getting so excited that I need to scream! Now everyone down the hall is getting excited. Madison is so excited that she just put her head in the sleeve of her sweatshirt and is stomping around like an elephant. She’s yelling, “Your community-based consersvation won’t hold me down!” Brent just lit his computer on fire he’s so excited. Glen just got so excited that he has hives; he’s rubbing his body on the carpet to ease the itching but his face is really showing some excitement. Brit is searching the Internet for palindromes and screaming them at the top of her lungs. “No, it never propagates if I set a gap or prevention! Rats live on no evil star!” She’s getting really excited. “Straw? No, too stupid a fad: I put soot on warts!” Ace won’t stop wiggling. He just fell off his bed and is madly wiggling on the carpet next to his roommate, Glen. I’ve never seen two people so excited! Justine is standing inside her room with both hands on her door handle repeatedly pretending to slam the door shut but then stopping an inch from the impact saying, “Whoa, that was close!” Cameron is so excited that he is coloring all of his clothes solid black with a sharpie. Dakota is tonguing the air like a lizard. June is smashing ice on the floor of her room yelling, “It’s snowing!” Kiren and Rick are so excited that they decided to order ten subscriptions to a science fiction book of the month club. Now, they’re even more excited. Ricky is biting his lip to hold in his shrieks of delight and Kiren is shaking Rick by his shoulders yelling, “Do you realize what we have just done, my friend?!” Ariel just passed out she’s so excited. Parker’s mouth is wide open, her entire face aching to scream, but no sound will come out. She’s that excited! Sam is eating all of the T-shirts that Cameron is coloring black, forcing Cameron to color more. They’re both getting really excited.   Ariel just came to and is screaming, “The President needs to know about this!” over and over again. Theo is sitting at his desk nodding his head up and down and occasionally slapping himself. Megan’s ears are bleeding she’s so excited. Perry is standing in front of the mirror yipping and saluting himself. Elsie is so excited that she is putting on all of her roommate’s clothes on top of one another. “Nope, not there yet!” she just yelled. And its all got me thinking, isn’t it nice that I know everyone’s name? 

09 April 2008

Boot 'n Paddle - April 5, 2008

It’s late right now, this column is eight or so hours late, I have a drawing due tomorrow at 8:30 am that I haven’t started, my bad spot is itching like crazy, and all I can think about is how sick I am of Pileated woodpeckers, especially those on our campus.

            Here’s what I’m thinking about Pileated woodpeckers: First of all, are they paying tuition? That is, of course, a joke question, but they aren’t. They aren’t paying tuition. What do our tuition dollars go towards? Okay, fair. Sure they don’t go to class, nor do they eat is the dining hall. But guess what? A large portion of our payment goes towards maintenance, and residence. These freeloading mutts fly around our campus, living in our trees. Not only that, to live in these trees they have to peck out they trees’ insides (the trees’ soul). They do the same thing to eat. More holes! No, thanks. I would rather these turds eat at Dana than litter our lawns with wood chippings, ruining the trees in the process. We should work out a system where the peckers eat our scrap Dana food. I hope they don’t like Mac and Cheese triangles because of those I never have leftovers.

            Then there’s the principal of what they are doing. Imagine this scenario: Me. Out next to a tree completely naked (birds don’t wear any clothing), with an axe chopping away at a tree day after day. To me that sounds illegal. So why are these birds not being prosecuted?! I’ll tell you why, because the burden of proof is on the prosecution and no one has enough gumption to stand up to these savages!

            Here’s an idea… When I was younger my family had a fish tank full of brightly colored fish, and one day it and the fish were gone. My Dad told my brother and me that he put some in our pond and the brought the others to our town’s college for experiments. I thought this was really cool and my Dad said we could visit them in the laboratory anytime. We, St. Lawrence, just built a new science building that is huge and I’m sure somewhere in that building there is someone who thinks it might be fun to use the Pileated woodpeckers for experiments. And what do experiments do? They help people and birds. Couldn’t we just round up these creatures and bring them to the new science building for research and testing? Or we could just flush them down the toilet like my Dad actually did. 

30 March 2008

Boot 'n Paddle - Almost Caught Up!

Due to the fact that this is appearing in a newspaper and that I have a bit of news, I’m going to tell ya’ll something that has had a dramatic effect on the past two weeks of my life. Ya’ll? Wow, this excitement is really making me fresh! I should also point out that while there seems to be a lot of farce in this issue of the Hill News this Boot ‘n Paddle is one hundred percent authentic.
Here’s what happened: A couple of days before spring break I came home from jai-alai practice and had a parcel waiting for me in front of my bedroom door from my friend, Pete. It wasn’t wrapped, nor was it in an envelope, so initially I was irritated by Pete’s lack of presentation. However, I then picked up a note that Pete had written and I forgot all about my annoyance. Here’s what the note said:

“Alex, I found these in the snow by the 24 hour room at ODY… either these are yours or you have a secret admirer. –Pete”

Now, besides letters that I’ve written to myself, I’ve never had a secret admirer, so these words gave me goosepimples. Along with Pete’s note was a pile of old newspaper clippings. I thought, “Boring,” but then something caught my eye. I noticed that the clippings were my very own Boot ‘n Paddles! Someone, not me or my parents, had cut out ten or so of my columns and collected then in a group! It’s not like they cut them out and put them in a drawer somewhere; they were carried around campus and as far as I can tell were taken out of a backpack outside of the library and admired to a point where they got so excited that they dropped them in fit of delight.
This is a pretty neat story and it makes me feel pretty good, but there’s a problem. Someone out there was/is seemingly very enthusiastic about Boot ‘n Paddle, and now they’ve lost their collection! (There is, of course, the possibility that there was a disgruntled fan that reached such a level of discontentment with my column that they took their Boot ‘n Paddle collection and ditched it by ODY… I’m just saying that because I’m trying not to sound arrogant but let’s face it, that scenario just isn’t plausible.)
So that’s my story. It was a great day.
Below is a little note that I wrote for the individual who lost his or her Boot ‘n Paddles. If you are not that individual, please respect our privacy and don’t read the following section. Thanks!

I’m twenty-three and think you are really great. I’m worried about your lost B&Ps. I love breakfast foods but rarely eat breakfast. Would you like to eat corned beef hash with me sometime (for dinner)? I smelled the clippings that Pete gave to me and there was a trace of Vicks vapor rub… are you sick? Some of them smelled like bosco sticks. I’ve never had an email relationship before, but I think, I mean if you’re into it, that we should get one going? (aceato05@stlawu.edu) Let me know. :-)

Boot 'n Paddle - Still Catching Up!

St. Lawrence students email me all the time asking for details about me, Alex Eaton. They say, “So many of your columns seem to be fictional. In Boot ‘n Paddle # 15, you said you have a bald spot and I don’t believe it!” They tell me that they want to know the man behind the column. I usually write back a calm, mildly offensive note suggesting that they get to know themselves before they pry into other people’s lives. It seems to have worked.
However, as a result of a constant battle to try to reinvent myself, I’ve now decided that being open and forthcoming should be valued and practiced on a daily–– no, hourly basis. So, I’m going to put myself out there; I’m going to show this campus (and my parents who read this is Arizona!) who Alex Eaton really is. What better way to introduce myself than to give a sample of what I was like as a child, the basis for who and what I am today? This should also interest my parents as for most of my childhood I was under the supervision of a drifter named Gary.
I have chosen to print a story that I wrote in Kindergarten for the Cornwall Elementary School’s annul literary magazine. This particular story is called the “The Slug” and was accompanied by an illustration, peanut-like, and labeled “Slug.”

Once upon a time there was a fat slug. And he snuck out of the house. Then a kid fell and landed on him on his slimiest part. Then Indiana Jones came to save him. Then he whipped the kid. Then the kid got out his pistol and shot him.

I was a cute little kid.
Okay, sure there’s a certain degree of ambiguity at work… like why was the slug in the house? Who did Indiana Jones really come to save? Whose pistol did the kid use to shoot Indiana? Most importantly, did Gary write this story and try to pass it off as mine? We can’t be sure because Gary was killed with a pair of toenail clippers when I was ten, but I think that he probably did. For those of you who know me (you, now), I am not a very violent person. In fact, I rarely think about whips and firearms; Gary was very passionate about them.
So really, this story doesn’t give you much insight into who Alex Eaton really is. But do you see what happened? In setting up the story and explaining its significance you learned a considerable amount about me. You learned that I am hesitant to divulge details about myself. You learned about my parent’s role in my upbringing. You learned about Gary and the regrettable (and illegal… he was wanted by the police for selling his pee as lemonade) influence on my childhood and presumably my adult life.
I’m really glad I did this. Thanks to everyone who emailed me!

Boot 'n Paddle - Catch Up!

Last week I wrote about how we should all avoid collapsing far into the depths of the St. Lawrence social network, and the importance of acknowledging the reasons we are here, those which can easily become mundane. That was a recap; it seemed more lighthearted in the actual column. This week, contrary yet slyly complimentary to last week’s column, I want to stress the importance of frivolity.
Last year, I took a writing course during which the topic of daydreaming came up. People were self-conscious about the subjects of their daydreams, but there was no doubt that everybody did, in fact, daydream. However, there was one exception. A lowly, highly beauty shopped coed sitting in the front row. She expressed to the class that she didn’t really understand what we were talking about, that she had never “daydreamed” before and thought it sounded immature. I thought she sounded dumb.
Now I will say an opinion that I have and you will agree or disagree, but can’t argue with me because you’re reading a newspaper. Not daydreaming or fantasizing is indicative of a much larger characteristic of being a generally dull human being who will do little with their life. The individual I’m talking about has graduated already and I would try to imagine a day in her shoes but it’s tough imagining what it’s like not imagining.
What can we assume about the lackluster student? First of all, that she has no aspirations. You need to imagine something to aspire to it. Also, she has something very substantial on her mind constantly, probably gymnastics or sudoku, leaving absolutely no time for her mind to wander. Let’s also assume she is a horrible storyteller. And she is always very well kempt because she can’t imagine the right guy coming along and falling in love with her even though she’s just in her jammies. She’s awful and she’s out in society bringing other people down to her level of depressing nonbeing.
We need to steer clear of her approach to living. I fantasize on an hourly basis; it’s how I accomplish things. It’s how I will accomplish things. Plus, fanaticizing is fun. I don’t get that many chances to be a badass, but when I’m walking to class and I imagine a that I just got back to school after escaping a hostage situation in the Middle East, I am a badass. Then I go to class and feel way cooler than everyone else having not actually accomplished anything. There is, of course, a delicate balance between daydreaming and living in a fantasy world, but having real conversations with real people makes that issue futile.
You don’t have to daydream all of the time; it’s just a great way to stop taking yourself so seriously. Laughing, and joking are also good methods. All I am saying is we have a lot of cool kids on campus, kids that need to lighten up a little or they’re going to end up like my former classmate. If you ever need inspiration for fantasy, try going to Stewarts (see past Boot ‘n Paddle).