Dr. Beads

Saturday, January 28, 2006

I’ve been having those gosh-darned school dreams again.

In the most recent one, I was moving into off-campus housing that looked to be a boarding house rather than a apartment or regular shared home. Unfortunately, I had misplaced my copy of the many house rules, and the other residents were running around in start-of-term panic and didn’t stop long enough to answer my questions.

However, I did get a brief look at a list of house rules, printed on a large piece of white cardboard or foamboard, that was propped on a couch. I learned that:

1.) This was a secure house, with guards (!) just inside the front door at night.
2.) Nevertheless, residents needing to visit the restroom at night were advised to call a guard, who would act as escort.
3.) Calling the guard to provide protection for a visit to a restroom far out of the guard’s way (i.e., on a residential floor) would result in assessment of a fee. (Either that, or visiting the restroom nearest the guard would result in a fee. I’m a bit fuzzy on this point.)

Clearly, this house was a scarier place than I’d expected. However,

4.) Residents were not to be alarmed by the sounds of the owners/guards making their rounds at 4 am.

After settling into my shared room on the second floor, I heard someone on the first floor calling for help. Though I was afraid that I might be breaking the rules by venturing out of my room after dark, I ran to the top of the stairs. An avalanche of wallboard and other building materials had slid down the stairs and knocked down a man, dressed in coveralls, who was now a few feet from the foot of the stairs. In my effort to reach him so I could help him get free, I half-slid down the now somewhat stabilized mass of stuff on the stairs. I worried that I’d be disciplined for coming to the man’s aid.

Gentle readers, was this a school dream, or a parable about terrorism, the Patriot Act, and the NSA?


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