Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Rachel is Stupid: Episode One

Hello, and welcome to the premiere of our new show, where our star, Rachel, demonstrates just how foolish she can be. While it would be easy to give you a taste of this daily, we thought we'd just save episodes for special occasions. And what a special occasion today was, ladies and gentlemen, for Rachel seriously considered chaging her major to Stupid today... and it was only noon when she considered this! Let’s go into Rachel’s brain and hear things from her point of view.

First, we must flash back to a few days ago, when I told Adrienne that she could use my pots and pans to make some pasta, as her kitchen supplies had not yet arrived. I had already made my pasta and was halfway through my delicious Italian dish when Adrienne came into my room. The following conversation ensued:

ADRIENNE: Hey, what did you use to take he pot off of the stove?
ME: (is this a trick question?) My hand?
ADRIENNE: Well, I just thought that since the handle is metal, it might be really hot.
ME: Oh, yeah...

And now we come to today's instances. I had no classes so I decided that, before my appointment that night, I’d check some things off of my to-do list: do laundry, go to the library, check out the gym, buy some actual dinner food, etc. So I make to do the first on the list- laundry.

I had been very responsible. Though I have no laundry bag and cannot find one ANYWHERE to purchase, I’m a former Girl Scout, and therefore had been stashing my laundry in a sturdy cloth bag from Curves. I picked up this bag and also my wallet, because I thought maybe laundry wasn’t free to do here as it is at my home school. 'I am so prepared,' I thought. 'I am a laundry-doing wizard. I will go down in the history of laundry-doing. I am the Rudolph of laundry.'
So I made my way to the laundry building (no machines in the dorms) and when I got there, I couldn’t get in. I pulled on the door, but nothing happened. I pushed, because here, doors have handles and not flat metal panels when they want you to push them. Still, nothing happened. Then I noticed an electronic black box to the right of the door and waved my card in front of it- bingo! I went in with my laundry to find that thankfully, the machines were basically the same as at Arcadia. It did indeed cost money to do the laundry, which kind of sucks- guess I won’t be doing it every week like I do back home. So I loaded up the machine, fed in the coins, closed the door and tried to leave… and I couldn’t. The door was locked. There was a lock above the handle of the door- maybe if I twisted it… Nope. It just twirled around and around and wouldn’t let me out.

This was embarrassing. I was locked in the laundry room. How was I going to get out? Adrienne and Laura were in class, so I couldn’t even make a humiliating “LIBERATE ME FROM THE LAUNDRY ROOM!” call. I kept trying to get out, trying to look like I was just chilling by the door when people passed (because normal people just chill by doors.) Finally, I looked around desperately and noticed a few buttons that looked like light switches on the side. I contemplated what might happen if I pressed them. They might blow up the building. But then at least I’d be out. So I pressed one. And lo and behold, the door unlocked! I was free! But I still felt stupid for being stuck in there for so long (even though it was only about three minutes.)

While my wash was washing, I thought I’d go to the library, print out a receipt I needed and get a play I am supposed to read. As I mentioned, the library is kind of intimidatingly large. I went to a computer to try and log and it wouldn’t let me, so I found a librarian. “Could you tell me how to print out a receipt for a booklet I need for class?” I asked. They stared at me. “A book for class?” the woman asked. “Yes, a receipt for it. I heard we have to have it printed out in order to actually get it.” More staring. “We don’t deal with the books for the departments,” the man said. “You’ll have to speak to your head of department about that.” “Where did you buy it?” the woman asked. “On the e-shop,” I answered. “No, we don’t deal with that,” the man insisted. “We only have books and journals to check out, not to purchase.” “No,” I insisted. “It’s not a book, it’s a- a- a- a…” I couldn’t think of the word that they called it. I was creating a language barrier that didn’t exist. I had begun to use odd, jerky hand motions to try to represent a book that wasn’t a book but a collection of papers bound together by a wire. Obviously, I wasn’t doing it well, because they stared like it was their job. I was frustrated and therefore close to tears because crying is my response to everything.

I did not cry, though. Eventually, I got it across that I just needed to print something out, did so, and went in search of the play I needed. I followed the directions to the drama section with my call number, which began with PR. The last section was PN. Okay, it must be in the adjacent room. I entered and looked at the first shelf; PT.

WHAT?! The shelf I needed was the Grimmauld Place of shelves, except I wasn’t the Secret Keeper and so had no idea how to find it. Eventually I did and got a copy of the play with the proper editor and made my way to the checkout area.
Here’s the thing about checking out books at Queen Mary. There is not a person involved, save the student doing the checking out. It’s a machine. This was completely new to me. Basically, what you do is you scan the barcode on your i.d., punch in your PIN number, and then lay your book in this glowing blue box underneath the screen. I kind of expected it to be beamed somewhere, but then the machine spit out my receipt and bade me remove the book from the (non) beaming machine. Thus ended my adventure in the giant library.

But my day wasn’t over (nor is it now, as I wrote this.) Because I still had more on my to-do list. I needed to get some real food and so did Laura, so we headed off to Sainsbury’s. We decided to take the bus because it’s been kind of cold today. As you know, I just got my Oyster card yesterday, so I thought I was set… until the low, disapproving beep (as opposed to the high, “welcome on board!” beep) sounded when I pressed my card to the “touch in” button in the bus.

I didn’t know what to do, but I figured I’d ask the bus driver on the way back. I probably should have gotten off the bus; technically, I hadn’t paid. But I didn’t. And punishment for this was swift. Sainsbury’s is only a few stops from the school, and we were just one stop away from the one we needed. At this stop were literally twenty neon green-vested police officers, and it seemed that they were checking the buses for people with offended passes, a.k.a ME.

I tried to act nonchalant, but it’s like when you’re onstage (or anywhere, really) and you’re told to just act normally and you suddenly go, “…How do you do that?” Two policemen got on either end of the bus and started working toward the middle, where Laura and I were standing. The front policeman found that a man next to me was holding a problem card and kicked him off the bus, but before he got to me, he was distracted and went to the front of the bus again. The back policeman was still coming closer, and I knew that I was going to be kicked off. How humiliating. Their scary scanning was just like 1984, and I wondered, if they found out that I was a holder of an offending card, if I might be exposed to the rats. But just as the back policeman raised the scanner to look at my card, his colleague outside called the him, he got off the bus, and we pulled away. WHOA. Once I recovered, I was just annoyed with my card. I was not allowed on the bus on the way home; I have no idea what’s wrong with my card, but I have to find out before my appointment today so I can actually get there.

So there are all of my adventures before three p.m. today. When I got home, I engaged my drug of choice to help me calm down: Gilmore Girls. And after the theme song had played, I heard a knock on my door. A girl was standing there. “Hi,” she said in an English accent. “Are you watching Gilmore Girls?” “Er… yes,” I replied. “I thought so! I love that show, and when I heard the music, I thought that I wanted to meet the person watching it. Hi, I’m Emmie!” So I’ve finally met one of my flatmates. She’s very nice and invited me to hang out with the others in the flat, which is a relief, because everyone in the flat has basically been scurrying around Adrienne and me, the only two new people in the flat. Now maybe we can get to know them :)

Oh, and by the way, thanks for all of the comments, everyone! My inbox was filled with them when I got up this morning and it was wonderful to read all of your thoughts! Comments are love :) Check back where you wrote, because I'll be responding!


DivaDea said...

Look, you little twerp, I cannot be laughing out loud like this at work! ;)

I have Gilmore Girls on my list. Hope to get to it soon. But I've just started Desperate Housewives, so it could be a while.

Rachel said...

Haha, sorry, I'll try to contain myself ;)

GG is AWESOME. My roommate last semester and I watched the first six seasons in order and it just underlined to a fan of many years how good it is. I always feel wittier after I've watched it.

Mrs. Flury said...

Oh, my, Rachel! I just love the way you write--I'm there with you in your thoughts. My favorite from today is "the Rudolph of laundry."

I, too, would have been freaked about being locked in the laundry room. You don't know it's going to be for only three minutes while you're stuck.

But, I am proud of you for being resourceful and figuring things out in all of these situations. By mid-semester, you'll be ready to star in an episode of "Sherlock"!

Stennous said...

My dear, dear Rachel, I have a question, first: Does this mean there will be an Episode Two? If so, can we submit suggestions or ideas for Rachel's next near-mishaps in which she is saved by her own wit and the vicissitudes of fat?

This sounds like it would make an excellent short film--maybe we can make it the next Enscribe short. I can just imagine Jon being very amused at the title... On second thought, considering your close call with the police and Enscribe's history with authority, perhaps we should forget about it. Although I do somewhat enjoy the idea of rat exposure. :p

I suppose the laundry room incident now fully qualifies you for that espionage position you wanted after that trip to DC. You can add that to your resume when you apply for the job. Rachel Diamond: Professional Laundry Room Door Opener.

I am both amazed and appalled that you have befriended a British person solely through Gilmore Girls. I shudder at those awful memories of subjection to G.G. in your living your. The hours. The pain. I think I've been scarred for life. But I am glad to hear that you've acquired a delightful British friend.

To be wholly honest, I believe my favorite part was the beaming library self-checkout machine. I suddenly envisioned Scotty beaming up your play, and a very curious Spock examining it after its arrival on the Enterprise. Kirk: "Status report, Mr. Spock." Spock: *raises eyebrow* "Fascinating, Captain. I don't believe I've ever seen an original in this good a condition before." Dr. McCoy: "I didn't think Vulcans could appreciate the emotional undertones of literature." Spock: "On the contrary, Doctor...." And so forth.

Rachel said...

Stuart, there will most definitely be an episode two; remember who is writing this blog. And considering how close I came to getting into trouble with the police, I can't believe I wasn't on an Enscribe mission, LOL.

Re: the espionage crack- hey, I didn' WANT the positon, they RECOMMENDED me for future missions. I am an in-demand spy.

GG is the elixir of life.

Anonymous said...

at least you got all these awkward moments done early in your stay.

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