Ok so, April 2nd was World Autism Awareness Day and I tried to pull together an emotional, heartfelt post, but it was all over the place and my brain was like, “Sorry, you’re getting nothing cohesive outta me,” so I just gave up. Maybe I’ll get my brain to un-jumble before the end of the month.
(Spell check is telling me that “un-jumble” is not a word. You’re not the boss of me, spell check.)
Instead, I’m throwing it back and sharing a memory that popped into my head the other day and made me laugh out loud. This memory has almost nothing to do with Dude, except in the teeny tiniest of ways.
My last semester of college was one of the greatest times of my life. It was just what I needed after the terrible, awful, no good, very bad semester of Fall 2009.
One of the things that made my last semester so awesome was the running gag that occurred between our apartment and the apartment above us.
That winter, my three roommates and I noticed an uptick in suspicious noises emitting from our upstairs neighbors. There were four boys living up there. You expect some weird things when four college-aged guys are living together.
They tended to keep their weird noises to reasonable hours, so we weren’t bothered by them. We were just really, really curious why they seemed to vacuum every day (sometimes multiple times per day) and who walked so aggressively that it sounded like a four-legged giant stomping around.
On February 1, 2010, we couldn’t take it anymore. We had to know. So, we wrote them a letter and taped it to their door. (Please keep in mind that we had never met or communicated with these guys before–except through banging the ceiling with a broom when they were being particularly aggressive with their noise-making.)
By this point, we had spent hours (literally–do not underestimate the power of college kids’ procrastination skills) hypothesizing about the noises. Since the pounding footsteps didn’t sound as though they were made by a biped, we were completely sold on the idea that there was pony upstairs.
We were immensely disheartened when they did not honor us with a response.
Fast forward two months. A particularly noisy week from our dear neighbors elicited another letter from us. We had low hopes of a response, but were amused anyway.
THE NEXT DAY, THE MOST GLORIOUS THING HAPPENED.
After hurried knock on our door, we found THIS taped there:
We laughed. Heartily.
I left the apartment to go hang out at another friend’s place. When I returned later that night, I almost tripped over THESE:
I unlocked the door and walked inside. It was later in the evening, so none of my roommates were in the common room.
“Guys?” I called.
“Yea??” two of my roommates responded from their respective rooms.
“Why are there cinder blocks on our porch?”
They sprinted from their rooms and threw open the door.
We gazed dumbly down at the cinder blocks.
“JEFFEREY’S CEMENT SHOES!” one of us yelled as we all fell over laughing.
“Oh it is ON!” said another.
“But seriously,” my one roommate said when she could finally breathe again, “You don’t just randomly find cinder blocks laying around! They had to be on a mission to find these. Talk about committing to the gag.”
As the guys had promised to pick up the cinder blocks the next day, we left a message for their return trip.
Then, we plotted our rebuttal.
Never mind that I had a thesis to work on, one roommate had an art portfolio to finish, and another had lesson plans to write.
Instead, we headed to the dilapidated strip mall in town and hunted down the girliest toy pony we could find.
The boldest of our roommates army-crawled upstairs to avoid being spotted by our devious neighbors to the north. She placed Jefferey and his welcome home sign in position, knocked on their door, and sprinted back downstairs. We stood silently and waited as we heard one of the guys trudge to their front door.
A pause.. silence.. and then..
“YOU HAVE TO COME SEE THIS!”
Pounding footsteps thundered our ceiling. Then raucous laughter broke out.
And that’s the story of how we won the Infamous Pony War of 2010.
So where does Dude play a role in this?
Well, during this semester, I had convinced my friends to sign up for an Autism Speaks 5k during Autism Awareness Month.
Our team name?
Friends and family members who I solicited donations from asked me how we got the name. “Is Jefferey the name of a loved one of one of your team members?”
“Nope, it’s the name of the pony that lives in the apartment above me and my roommates,” I deadpanned.