Fourth Floor Fun

There’s been a lot of heated debate on the subject, but I think I can safely say, after four weeks of living here, that the fourth floor of Q-Hall in Deseret Towers is by far the most immature floor in all of BYU, and we’re awfully proud of it.

But perhaps “immature” isn’t the right word. Perhaps “fun-loving” is more accurate. One thing we like to do for “fun,” for example, is shave each other’s heads. Some guy named “Arnie” (I didn’t realize anyone actually had that name until I arrived here) owns a buzzer, and any time someone gets bored, they go to him and have him carve designs in their hair. I am not personlly included in the category of people who like to have Arnie shave their heads, as it is against my personal code of ethics to go near anyone who possesses electric shaving implements if his name is Arnie. The same goes for people named Rufus, Dave, and Gus.

But I think the best example of the prevailing attitude on the fourth floor, the one that pretty much speaks for itself, despite the fact that I am going to speak for it, is the way everyone behaved during Open House a couple weeks ago. Open House takes place every two weeks at BYU, and it is simply a period of time when the women are allowed to go into the men’s dorms, not just in the lobby, which they can and do hang around in all the time, but actually up into the men’s rooms!

(Before you get the wrong idea, let me assure you that the men’s doors must remain open, so that if there’s any fornication to be done, it will be done in full view of everyone else. Also, these things are always held on Sunday, which presumably is the day when people are least likely to fornicate in the first place, being weary from fasting and all.)

Anyway, in anticipation of the first Open House of the semester, several of the guys on the fourth floor turned the commons room into a discotheque, complete with a glittering ball hanging from the ceiling, which they made by purchasing a styrofoam ball and gluing several dozen little round mirrors to it. They also found the soundtrack to “Saturday Night Fever” (don’t ask me where; I don’t think anyone will admit to owning it) and blasted it on the stereo.

The reason for this ’70s resurrection (if you really think they needed a reason) was, obviously, to impress the women when they came to visit. And my, were those women ever impressed. They were impressed when the guys would grab them roughly by the arms as soon as they got off the elevator and shove them into the discotheque, practically ordering them to be impressed. They were impressed at how the guys hopped around and danced like a bunch of diseased birds performing a mating ritual. And most of all, they were impressed at how the guys cleaned up their bedrooms before their arrival, that is, if by “cleaned up” we mean “kicked everything under the bed and commanded their dirty socks to get up, walk down to the laundry room, and wash themselves.”

All in all, the girls must have had a swell time, particularly after Arnie offered to give them all haircuts, free of charge.

My first column for the Daily Herald (see the preface for more info on how I got the job). I think the whole thing is somewhat immature and not all that funny. My automatic dislike for the '70s goes against popular culture, which was just beginning to have a kitschy fondness for that decade; I should have realized that, rather than make weak jokes about it.

I actually got a letter in response to this -- an ominous warning of what was to come. In conjunction with my first column, a Herald staff writer wrote a brief feature about me. In that interview, I mentioned that I had graduated from the fictitious University of Humor and was a Trained Humor Professional. (You need to know that before reading this letter.)

To: Someone in charge of the weekly columns.

This letter concerns the article written by Eric Snider -- On the Light Side -- 'Dorm's Open House...'

His article proves he is not only 18 years old but that he is also ridiculously immature with his mention of 'fornication.' I guess he felt to throw this in so he could show how really clever he could be?? [Well, yeah...]

I also graduated from the University of Humor -- but, thank goodness, a different university than the one he did.

The letter was unsigned, and so it was not printed in the paper. Still, it was vaguely upsetting to start getting mail after only the first column...

Looking back on it now, I probably shouldn't have used a term like "fornication" so loosely (pardon the pun) in a public forum. I just think the word itself is used so often in religious settings that it has lost its impact. We no longer stop to consider the serious sin it refers to. This was no doubt the case with me, although the letter-writer apparently still takes it quite seriously.