"I'm telling you man, there're no cameras in West, we'll be fine." First mistake. My accomplice, who has asked to remain anonymous (name rhymes with Villain Lammer), was a bit unsure about the whole thing, so I told him a few things that I thought were true. They weren't.
As I now know, there are a lot of cameras around campus, 169 in total. But I never feel like I'm being watched. Certaintly not in a Big Brother sense where "if you steal"—I prefer the term borrowed—"a table, we'll find you the next day." Let me fill you in on the whole plan.
The idea was to borrow a table from the second floor of West for a few nights. I lived on the floor last year and would occasionally use the table in my room. You know, for that game with the red solo cups and a few Ping-Pong balls. Not a drinking game though, because that would be against the rules, so we play with water. Just as much fun with twice the hydration.
The table also works well as a place to put things on, but apparently people have known this for years. Anyway, once I thought about getting that table back, I couldn't let it go. It would be great, and since no one would notice (wrong), and they definitely wouldn't file a missing table report (wrong again), we would be fine. And did I mention I didn't think there were cameras? We would return it in a few days; it would be as though nothing had ever happened.
So after I persuaded my friend, we put the plan into action. Getting the table wasn't the hard part. I mean, we weren't acting suspiciously since all we were doing was borrowing it; we just walked in calm and collected. But from there, things started to go wrong. First off, This table was heavy, and it didn't lend itself to being carried by two guys who collectively can't match half of Dan Findley's bench numbers. So there was quite a lot of noise when it came to carrying it through doorways. And then there was the small matter of carrying a table, in broad daylight (we figured it was the best time), from West to Baxter.
It's not far when you're walking, but the difficulty level increases when carrying a table. And yet in spite of all these issues, we made it. We sat the table down in my room, looking forward to a couple of days of table-full fun. Or so it would have been had Randy Nichols not been on our tails.
Randy, or Raaaaaaaandy as he is popularly known, sent me an email the next day to call him. I thought it had to do with a crime to report, since I also cover the crime beat for this paper. In a way, I wasn't wrong.
His first words to me on the phone: "Zohran, do you have any knowledge on the whereabouts of a bench from second floor West?" I couldn't believe it, and yet I kind of did. But before we established ourselves as the worst borrowers in history, I needed clarification: "A bench or a table, Mr. Nichols?"
By the end of the conversation, I had admitted to having taken a table from second floor West without asking anyone, and also to having been an idiot in the process. At this point, you might be expecting a "f--- the system," but I have to admit I got nothing but love for Randy. He was a good man about the whole thing, still gives me a handshake whenever I see him, and has made sure I'll never borrow a table again. Here's to the man with the deepest voice I've ever heard and the trendiest wrist-bands on campus, continuing to catch idiot table-snatching thieves for years to come. And to my meeting with my dean next week.