About the Author
I picked up to a machine-gunning voice: “The dean wants you in her office, immediately, first thing this morning.”
The voice was that of a secretary, maybe an assistant, probably a soccer mom. Her tone was unmistakably tacky and a little smug as if she was personally offended by what we’d done. She sounded oh too happy to do the dean’s ominous bidding. The dean wants you in her office, immediately, first thing.
I dressed and slumped across campus. As I walked into the dean’s office, a thought whispered: Blame it on the early ‘90s. There I was, in Dean P______’s office, not hours after the crime, with the full knowledge of what we’d done as well as the guilt, embarrassment, hangover, and lies to go with it. It’s outrageous, really, to think how she talked to me, that careful dean of a woman who wore sundresses with flower prints, who smelled of Talco powder. When she reiterated my alleged crimes, my cameo in our heist, she did so in trademark mock guttural tone – one I was well-acquainted with, having been raised by a forever-fuming suburban mother.
“Real big shots, you two,” she spurted red-faced, arms aping, “What’d you think? You were a tough guy, terrorizing a women’s bathroom?”
I squirmed a bit in my chair. I reminded myself she didn’t have any evidence.
“And the water damage!” she continued. “South wing’s carpeting, ruined! It’ll take days to mop the floors up. Days!”
I could imagine the flooding, but went on pretending my face didn’t. Come on, do it. Blame it on the ‘90s. I mean it was to blame, wasn’t it? That was where Juggy Fats got the idea, from Home Alone.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” knowing exactly what she was talking about. “I was in the athletic center this morning. I don’t know anything about flooding or vandalism in Ryder Hall.”
“Oh yeah?” Dean P______ mocked. “Oh yeah? Then explain this.” She threw a deck of pictures at me. Almost perfectly, they fanned out across the desk, chronologically displaying our wave of destruction. In a flash, I saw the foot of water in the bathroom, the spattering of sketched penises on the doors, and finally the side-by-side pictures that incriminated us: the shirtless picture of Juggy Fats and me leaving Ryder Hall next to the picture of Juggy Fats and me coming into our dorm. Both pictures displayed Juggy Fats’ repulsive gut. And, in both pictures, there was just enough pixel resolution to make out a demented skull smiling at me from his wrinkled, bulbous gut.