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Davis, California

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Column: Two kinds of people

I know last Thursday must have been miserable for you. A day spent weeping over pumpkin pies and drowning sorrows in gravy and stuffing. Well, my friends, wipe those tears away. Lo and behold, today I have a brand new story for your reading pleasure.

Unfortunately, this will be your last dose of me for a few weeks, so enjoy it as you struggle through these days ahead. Finals week is upon us.

Last Sunday I was flying here from Burbank Airport at the ungodly hour of seven in the morning, when suddenly the plane convulsed. We had hit a slight patch of turbulence.

My first immediate thought was that the cabin walls would collapse around me, sealing me in a fiery coffin as we plummeted through the clouds to meet cold earth and twisted steel in a final embrace.

My second immediate thought was that if I were immolated in a plane crash, at least I wouldn’t have to take any more finals.

Moral of the story, I really hate planes.

Anyway, it’s that time of the quarter where people go huddle in the library study lounge like refugees, sweating bullets as they cram those last bits of information into their brains.

Or so I hear.

I’ve never really studied for finals, or classes at all. (Advanced moon-rocket science has always been a piece of cake for me.)

I always get a kick out of people studying at midnight on a Saturday. I don’t think it’s worth it. My advice to you is simple: Forsake your studies and go hang out with your friends.

Before you scoff at me, let me lay some justifications down.

First of all, at this point in the quarter, you either know what you’re doing or you don’t.

“But Will!” you might exclaim, “I know I’ve been binge-drinking all year. I failed the midterm. I ditch class twice a week but I swear to God, if I get an A on the final, I’ll be all right! And I know I can do it!”

Props to you if you can, but from personal experience, your study habits are your study habits and they’re set in stone. I’ve tried to fool myself by saying, “I’ll really do it this time. I’ll read an hour each night!”

The guy in the depths of my head usually greets this notion with a dismissive wanking gesture. He’s usually right, too.

Don’t waste your weekend nights studying. You pay for more than classes here. You buy the college experience as well. Besides, with all these damned tuition hikes, you might as well have a good time while you’re at it.

One of my good friends is graduating this quarter, a self-proclaimed legend of Davis who graced the front page of The Aggie last year for being drunk on a roof on Picnic Day. Ironically, it was in an article about students drinking less. Go figure.

Anyway, as a fifth year, I’ve been steadily losing allies here in Davis, friends who have weathered four years of schooling with me suddenly swept away by a diploma and a commencement speech.

Soon enough I’m going to have to find some girlfriends or a drug habit to help me pass the time. (Preferably the first, although the latter doesn’t sound so bad if you know a guy).

So instead of sequestering myself in the library, I’ll be enjoying these last weeks before another batch of close friends leaves town. A lot of you still have a few years to go, but I’ll tell you first hand, it goes a hell of a lot quicker than you think. Get out there and drink beer with your friends. Your GPA won’t really suffer. Books will sit on a shelf, friends won’t. (Maybe they will. That’s a bad metaphor.)

A night spent with your buddies drinking whiskey and watching The Good, The Bad and the Ugly will probably be remembered fondly, unless you go too heavy on the whiskey, in which case your buddies will remember it fondly for you.

A night spent watching the clock and drinking taurine-flavored synergy drinks in the 24-hour study lounge might give you premature gray hair and a heart attack at 40.

Whiskey and The Good, The Bad and the Ugly? Or gray hair and a heart attack. Hmmm.

Well, I’ve sold myself on the idea. A bottle of Old Crow and the greatest western of all time it is.

As Tuco Benedicto Pacífico Juan María Ramírez aka The Rat aka The Ugly would say, “There are two kinds of people in the world, my friend: Those with a rope around the neck, and the people who have the job of doing the cutting.”

As William Christmas-Farnsworth Long aka Billy Christmas aka The Golden Raccoon aka me, I’ll say something along these lines:

There are two kinds of people in the world, my friends: Those with flash cards in their hands at midnight, and the people who have the pleasure of drinking PBR and riding past the library.

WILL LONG wants you to know William Christmas-Farnsworth Long is, in fact, his real name. He has a birth certificate to prove it. Also, he was born on 4/20. Drop him a hollar-note at wclong@ucdavis.edu.


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