Running Bare

It’s time for another update on the Fourth Floor of Q-Hall in Deseret Towers. The latest is that yes, everyone is still loony, and that they are now running around naked for no reason.

See, a few weeks ago, I mentioned some of my friends in a column. A guy named Marc and a few others had just read the column together and had broken off into little discussion groups to analyze its content. I believe this was the column about the Guys on My Floor Who Laugh a Lot for No Reason, which was a particularly deep one, as you’ll recall.

Anyway, Marc wondered aloud what he would have to do to get himself mentioned in a future column, and someone suggested he go to another floor and run naked around the halls. Someone else suggested he wear a ski mask so as to hide his identity from any bystanders who might be standing by, and Marc asked me if he could wear his shoes and socks “for traction.” I of course let him; after all, it was his dignity.

So he undressed (behind a closed door, lest we see him naked) and put on a towel, a ski mask, and his footwear. He and I, accompanied by Alen — as in most legal ceremonies, we needed two witnesses — then went up to the fifth floor via the stairwell, but just as we were about to open the door that lets onto the floor, the Resident Assistant from that floor opened it first and saw us.

Pause for a moment, if you will, and imagine that you are an R.A. for Deseret Towers. You are a sophomore at BYU; you are probably a returned missionary. You are about to take the stairs down to the lobby, but when you open the door to the stairwell, you see: two fully-clothed men and one man who is wearing a towel, a ski mask, and shoes and socks. What would go through your mind?

Really? You think so? At BYU?

That’s apparently what this guy thought, too, because he said, in a stern, authoritative manner, “What’s going on?” Improvising quickly and brilliantly, Alen and I said, in harmonious unison, “Nothing,” and went ahead and walked onto the fifth floor, as though we belonged there. Marc, as soon as he saw the R.A., quickly scuttled down the stairs back to the fourth floor. The R.A. went ahead down the stairs as well, which was good, because if he had followed Alen and me back onto the fifth floor, he would have soon realized that we really had no purpose in being there, and that what we in fact did was take the elevator back down to the fourth floor, where we belonged.

So we put the plan on hold for a few hours, and then the three of us went down to the third floor. We figured it was safer there. Marc shed his towel, ran a complete lap around the hall, grabbed his towel, and bolted up the stairs. It was finished. He was a man now, or at least that’s what he thought.

This disturbs me very greatly. To think that as a journalist, I have the power to make people do strange things like this. To think that newspapers can really have such a profound effect on people. To think that I am affecting people’s lives so greatly and yet making so little money doing it.

(Eric D. Snider is a freshman at BYU. He is from Lake Elsinore, Calif., where people generally keep their clothes on most of the time.)

The Marc in question here went on to become one of the original Garrens cast members, and he continued to be with that group for several years. He is a very funny and talented actor, and I've worked with him many times, though usually under more clothed circumstances. Many people in the dorms did things so they could be mentioned in my column, but this is the only time it ever really worked.