Humor: Murder on the Orientation Express

Humor: Murder on the Orientation Express

Photo Credits: CAITLYN SAMPLEY / AGGIE

“May Otto the Arboretum Otter rest his soul”

You know, there is something about a tangle of strangers pressed together for days with nothing in common but the need to go from one building to another, and maybe see each other again when the school year starts.

I see evil on this campus. A student has died. You assume they were killed? Indeed, he was murdered. If there was a murder, then there was a murderer. The murderer is with us, and everyone at orientation is a suspect. 

Was it Cal Fogetta Boutit, the boy man who never learned how to use a public restroom? We all saw him walk into the shower and ignore the warnings about bodily fluids wrecking the bathroom piping as he “fell asleep in the shower.” That stall was an abstract oil painting by the end of 60 minutes — as was the crime scene. Perhaps there is some correlation. Or perhaps, things are just getting messier.

What about Misty Bloomingdale, heir to the Bloomingdale family? She claims innocence now, making friends with everyone, sweet as can be. At the end of September, you’ll wave to her from across the room at a party, and she’ll pretend to not see you. She’s with real friends now.

Or how about miss goody good, Tracy Valentine? She’s from a strict Christian family, raised devout, all cashmere stockings, skirts and headbands. Still reserved and curious — so curious, you’ll see her snorting coke off someone’s body at a kickback Winter Quarter. Just a wild child waiting to break out, or wild enough to kill?

And then there’s Jackson “Alaskan” Pollack. You’ll be roommates and talk endlessly at orientation, make up a handshake, possibly make out under the climbing wall at “How Do You REC?” You’ll never see him again. Maybe he transferred, maybe your schedules never lined up or maybe he avoided you because you had a cold sore and you know he contracted herpes from you, god why are you such an idiot Gregory? Or maybe, just maybe, he’s on the run.

Why not John Bon Ron Shawn? At orientation, you’ll avoid each other — whether by choice or chance. You’ll run with different crews, lounge in different lounges, go to different talks. Then, in your SOC 001 class, you’ll sit next to each other, spending the rest of that quarter scraping by for that C-, bonding over Dutch Bros and Late Night Cookies. You’ll be best friends — and then he strikes. Well, possibly. If he is the murderer, then definitely.

There are so many other suspects. The Douche from LA who already “started his own tech company.” The Party Girl who finds God with Davis Christian Fellowship. The Weird Guy who eats milk sandwiches at the DC. Who among them could have committed such a crime?

Who am I, you might ask? What are my credentials for this subject?

My name is Conner Shaw, and I am probably the greatest orientation leader at UC Davis. Welcome to the UCD Orientation Express. 

Written by: Conner Shaw — cjshaw@ucdavis.edu

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