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Davis

Davis, California

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

The Cap and Gown List

Dear ladies, gents and lady-gents, I’m going to assume if you read this column last week that you deduced two things. The first is that I look like a tweaker in my picture. The second is that I’m a tad lacking in the common sense department. You see, I seem to have little of it.

Instead of telling you my favorite Beach Boys song (“Don’t Worry Baby” but “Kokomo” runs a close second) and how much I hope to change the world, I decided to just jump into this column business like a drunk into an icy lake on New Year’s Day.

People distill quite a lot of social value in a name. As in, “You look like a Kiki” (I do not) or “Guys named Chaz are either gay or douchebags or both.” I don’t know how true these generalizations are, but I do find them pretty entertaining. At least till I find a raging exception.

Names are full of character. And they’re great conversation pieces! Ever met a hot chick named Bertha? Me neither, but it could so happen! I take pride in the colorful names I’ve picked to protect the innocents that are my roommates. Like Ernestine, who’s excruciatingly excited about the release of the upcoming High School Musical 3, in which I’m sure the dude will take the chick to prom and it will be all-magical and then at the end of the night he’ll look longingly into her eyes, kiss her chastely on the cheek, drive home and not jerk off. Just like real life.

As you know, my name is Michelle. My mom says I’m special, some say I’m random, most don’t know how I’m able to function. Neither do I, for that matter. They say that being a dog is like walking into a room and then forgetting why you just did. I identify with that, I do, but I also do things like spill acetone on my computer, get caught movie hopping into Jimmy Neutron (I don’t know what I was thinking either), and getting pulled over for a DUI whilse sober. Take from that what you will about my driving skills.

In any case, it’s nice to know that I’m not alone in experiencing what it is to be a Michelle. See, there’s this chickadee who’s also named Michelle but who I swear isn’t me because she’s my blonde counterpart. She’s been called out for sleeping in the back of a 300-person lecture hall and has had seven bikes stolen as of the halfway point in her college career. This isn’t counting the one that was run over by an ambulance right before her eyes.

These are things, we agree, that could only happen to a Michelle because our fabulousness comes at a price. So it’s no surprise that when multiple Michelles kick it, lots of crap goes down. And our lucky friend got caught in the crossfire. We’ll refer to her by her stripper name in case this whole college thing doesn’t work out and the backup plan comes into play, in which case Mommy and Dad will be so proud. More about stripper names to come in the future, I’m sure.

So there are lots of trees that sap and birds who crap in Davis and this keeps the car washes in business and sometimes cars pick entirely the wrong moment to eat shit. Case in point: You can be jamming out to a cheesy Leona Lewis ballad in said car wash when you realize that nothing works and that you’re kinda screwed. And this is what happened to two Michelles and one Lipstick Athens last Friday.

Nobody goes to this car wash, but on the day we were pushing Swedie the Swedish Volvo out of the car wash, braving wind and the rain inside a bit like a sick Disneyland ride with Jiffy Lubers laughing at the three sad bitches in sundresses flagging them down for help, people were lining up at this joint like teenyboppers at a Jonas Brothers presale. We ultimately found our saviors in Asian Auto Care, and yes, I documented this occurrence with my camera.

If you frequently trip on things, embarrass yourself in front of large crowds and wander into ridiculous situations, you may be a Michelle. And baby, you’re in good company.

MICHELLE RICK enjoys meeting all kinds of people, but especially drunks who jump into icy lakes. If you happen to be one, please e-mail her at marick@ucdavis.edu.

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