If you read my last column, you’ll know already that calendars are a mystery to me. I tried to strain my noodles with a calendar once, like they say on the Internet, but it didn’t work very well. The pages just got really soggy and some of the noodles had ink on them. Talk about eating your words.
But the last week of The Reporter issues has finally come around, and with it comes my last column of the year. As I promised in the last issue, this column will be a ranking of my top five Reporter memories I’ve made over the many, many year I’ve worked here.
Despite the definition of ranking literally meaning that the items in question are positioned based on how much or little I appreciate them, I wanted to add that I love all these events a lot, and will be thinking about them frequently once I have to slum it up in a 9-to-5 after I graduate.
Coming in at number five is the late, LATE night we spent in the Reporter office due to the Student Government budget meeting. We usually get out around midnight, preposterous but normal given the circumstances. But when your fate lies in the hands of a group of bickering college students debating whether or not the men’s bathroom trash can should be allocated additional funds per fiscal semester, it’s safe to say the night drags on.
Despite the long hours, we were rocking it out in the office (except Julia. She was struggling. We laughed at her.) All of us finished our work super early, and we ended up playing Uno in the hallway outside under the dim lights of the CSU, muzak humming quietly in the background. Mohamed won all three rounds. Still not sure how.
Number four is the time I got my work crush’s digits and texted them, and then acted shocked when they actually responded. The office was turned into a therapy room as I ran laps around the cubicles, asking the rest of the editorial staff what I should text back in response.
I was obsessed. I debated whether I should use commas or not to seem more relaxed over the phone, which acronym to use as a response to their joke so I don’t sound like a psycho, and even how many minutes I should wait to text back so they don’t think I’m waiting for them to respond. Stay tuned to see if we get married or not.
In third place, McDonald’s ice cream cone runs. None of us here like doing our jobs if we can’t help it. That’s not what we signed up for! As such, we tire quite easily. All it takes is a few taps at the keyboard to warrant our hands, and therefore minds, completely useless.
One time, Julia and I ran to McDonald’s (we actually drove. Could you imagine if we ran though?) and picked up a sensible seven ice cream cones for the Reporter crew. The workers were a little upset, probably because they couldn’t lie and say their machine didn’t work.
After Julia and I held the seven ice cream cones in our hands, the thought quickly bounced between our two individual brain cells back and forth like a game of Plinko that there was no way we could bring all these desserts home without spilling them. We threw them all in cups and shoved them in a drink carrier tray, but by this point the ice cream was already melting, dripping lazily down my leg as we sped back to the office. They were less cones and more milkshake-esque (Milkshesque? ) by the time we got back to the office.
In second place are the quick trips to KwikTrip I’d go on after production nights. By “I,” I mean me and Julia, because I’d make her drive me.
Gas stations late at night are a truly unique, unreplicable experience. One time in particular, while we were standing in line waiting to be checked out, a man approached us.
“Excuse me,” he said politely, as he shuffled past me and Julia. His arms were overloaded with gas station paraphernalia: cat litter, a Redbull can, a pack of batteries, and a cheeseburger. I thought extensively on how those items could possibly correlate. A battery-operated cat that has trouble staying awake?
As I pondered on these questions, the man continued past us two, and walked right out the door. Without paying. Julia and I looked at each other, perplexed. Did he really just shoplift in plain sight?
We looked around. Nobody seemed to notice except for us. I guess in order to shoplift, it’s not about being able to run fast or sneak around stealthily. It’s about confidence. I hope that cat has fun eating batteries.
In first place for my favorite Reporter memories is the freestyle rap nights we’d have. We have two pool noodles in the office, for reasons unknown. One of them has a bite-sized chunk taken out of it.
My personal theory is that some stranger chomped into it, thinking that it tasted like strawberry because it was pink. It’s a pretty strong theory actually, especially coming from someone trying desperately to hide the secret that they were the one who bit the pool noodle.
Sometimes, these noodles turn into microphones, as we freestyle rap over YouTube beats. Despite all of us majoring in Mass Communications, we suck pretty badly at rapping. “At the variety seh-eh-ction,” “Spit flames hot like Emma’s hair,” and “let’s walk a little more, I wipe them all on the floor” are my three personal favorites to come out of these nights. If you want to see a video of them, Emma has them all filmed in painstaking detail.
For the last time, things to think about.
Write to Joey Erickson at firstname.lastname@example.org