Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Fried Slice: Unparalleled Levels of Awkward

My brother mentioned recently that out of all the stories I told about my years at Bob Jones University, not one ever began with "hey, I once knew this one person who was completely normal." I realized that this is completely true. Granted, the average, every day person rarely ever makes a good character in a story, but it's absolutely amazing how many downright awkward people there are at Bob Jones University.

Now, I managed find and befriend some very normal, very awesome people, but for ever one regular individual, there are probably three who instantly make a room feel extremely uncomfortable. That's what this post's about: those wonderful folks who add a little awkward flavor to all of our lives.

The first semester of my senior year, I took a class for my creative writing minor called Writing for Children. The nice thing about a small university is that your classes also tend to be small, so our little band was able to be a little more casual and candid during the hour and fifteen minute sessions. In between workshops, projects, and lectures, we'd sometimes get to peruse and discuss children's literature. One morning, the teacher read Love that Dog by Sharon Creech, and we discussed it.

Now, I am personally convinced that many children's authors actually hate their intended audience, and Love that Dog pretty much confirmed this, because the much beloved dog dies in the book, and dies hard via a car. It made me feel sad for the little boy in the book. That's what good books do, however cruel they are: they make you relate to the character and feel some compassion for their hurts.

But not this one girl.

When the teacher read the part in the book where the dog dies, this one very nice but very awkward girl said, "BAHAHAHAHA!!! OH MY GOODNESS THAT WAS HILARIOUS!!! WASN'T THAT FUNNY GUYS?!"

If not in so many words.

As you can guess, no one else laughed. We sat there, looking around, all...awkward now. I mean, it's pretty well known that Old Yeller's death in his self-titled novel is not exactly a great moment of comedy.

I'm not sure where it comes from, but there is just something about a few of the students at Bob Jones University. Hand them a tragic story, and all of a sudden they turn into Michael Scott making a Chris Rock joke in front of Darryl and Stanley, and all of a sudden they feel it necessary to assure everyone that their friends are, indeed, ethnically diverse.

True story.

1 comment:

  1. Oh yes. I remember that. I also remember wanting to throw my shoe at her.