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Davis, California

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Column: Will Long

On Saturday night, I was wearing a purple women’s power suit and a wool turtleneck vest that was much too small, introducing myself as Reverend G.A. Sweetwater.

I was traveling with two Irish nuns who had a taste for gin, Sister Nancy and Sister Bernadette. We were listening to “Got Your Money,” and the question was raised, “what would Ol’ Dirty Bastard (ODB), aka Roll Fizzlebeef, aka Osiris the One do?” We figured he’d allow for more gin. Sister Bernadette ended up napping in a garden, I committed one of the most egregious of rookie mistakes (the drunk dial), and Sister Nancy went from Irish to Jamaican. You might have heard us if you were anywhere between the 113 and J Street.

I had good reason to celebrate. I had just found out I was going to be writing a column for The Aggie, a column you may or may not be reading as we speak (so to speak).

I was very happy when I learned that I was going to become a real-life writer, but there was also a substantial amount of dread lurking around, too. It’s a strange feeling writing these words, knowing that more than 18 but probably fewer than a million people are going to read them. Who knows, maybe my column will really blow up and I’ll get a book-deal. Then I can say ‘peace out’ to you suckers and go live on the moon.

Jokes aside, I promise to be as interesting as possible. I won’t bore you with any sesquipedalian tergiversation – an ambiguous use of long words. Well, I did just there. I’ll refrain from such jackassery again.

Look to my column for a break from your daily life. It’s a chance to see through my eyes, a chance to learn from what can go wrong. For example, I once masqueraded as an Albanian foreign exchange student. I was talking to some girls about how the newest movie showing in my old neighborhood was Independence Day, some 12 years after the film’s release.

One of those girls then introduced me to Besmir. Turns out Besmir was a real exchange student from Albania. He was not pleased with me. Go figure.

The lesson I learned was to only pretend to be Albanian when I can really pull it off. I’ve not tried it since, but I gleaned some wisdom from the experience. Perhaps I can instill some of my vast knowledge into whoever honors me by reading this column.

I’ve been in Davis for what seems like five years – although it’s only been four and a few odd weeks – and I like to think I know my way around the place. This column will be geared to that tune. No politics, no eclectic poetry reviews, no hideously long tirades about why people shouldn’t have sex without consulting their astrologists.

A sexual pun, on the other hand, is a lot of fun, so I’ll try to squeeze that in whenever I can (that’s what she said). Oh, what fun we’ll have this coming year.

To end this introduction, I will leave you with some of Yamamoto Tsunetomo’s tried-and-true samurai philosophy, applicable even to your daily Davis life:

“There is something to be learned from a rainstorm. When meeting with a sudden shower, you try not to get wet and run quickly along the road. But doing such things as passing under the eaves of houses, you still get wet. When you are resolved from the beginning, you will not be perplexed, though you still get the same soaking. This understanding extends to everything.”

As scholarly as I am, I learned that from a film. Props if you can tell me which one.

WILL LONG used that samurai wisdom last year and he survived. E-mail him how you endure the rain at wclong@ucdavis.edu.



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