I rarely got in trouble as a kid. Sure, I received the occasional detention for talking in class, but those ended shortly after I began copying lines from the blackboard. The worst punishment was staring at a picture of the nine eight planets for a half hour while contemplating my transgressions. The teacher then asked what I had learned, to which I replied that not all planets have rings. And one is red. He cut the detention short and I went back to worshipping most authority, with the exception of camp counselors who forced me to make lanyards.
So imagine my surprise when I was written up within the first two weeks of freshman year. We were hanging out in Riepe when an RA barged in, searching for telltale red cups. “Don’t show her your real ID!” a wise friend instructed. Completely missing the point, I handed over my Palm Beach County library card. The RA squinted at me, unsure if my dim-wittedness was an act, and wrote down my name. Nothing ever happened, but there’s a small part of me that’s still waiting for the Gestapo to storm my apartment, demanding a confession and money for my overdue books.
Every April, Fling coaxes out this dormant adventurous side in all of us. Whether it’s the sunny weather that inspires our summer freckles, general campus glee or the large (ceramic) squirrels on Locust, there’s something about this weekend that strips away our wintry dispositions. Pretending we’re at Woodstock (’69, not ’99) gives rise to Rent-esque attitudes that convince us the clichés underlying “No Day But Today” are wildly true.
Somehow, then, banging on Chestnut 202 and telling its inhabitants how to rearrange their furniture doesn’t seem so outlandish. Or intrusive. Fling is wonderful not only because we’re not penalized for giving an inebriated Spanish presentation (I really am sorry, Profesora Saigal), but also because the giddiness of the weekend highlights the potential energy April fosters. It’s like sneaking out to TP Mikey Bernstein’s cabin — even if you get caught, you’re thrilled you did it.
I’m not advocating abandonment of safety or common sense this weekend. But embracing some hedonistic rituals is a perfect way to herald the arrival of spring. So, break out the sunscreen and the George Foreman (the grill, not Tracy Jordan’s child) and enjoy yourselves — even if it means surrendering your library card.