“I can smell the people-in-their-underwear-ness.”
The practice of showing up in Olin Library’s Info Commons in one’s underwear on the Friday of WesFest, and trying especially hard to look studious and nonplussed, has become something of a time-honored tradition these days, and so has our practice of protecting the identity of all participants. This year’s, in my opinion, was particularly impressive. My little group—we had just gotten out of a class—ran over to Olin and, initially a little afraid to participate in the festivities, ran up to the third floor mezzanine and peered out the windows. We soon realized, however, that we were face-to-face with a group in that mezzanine’s symmetrical mate, and that the people there had indeed stripped down. We had no choice but to do so ourselves, except for one of our number who bailed on account of a “see-through” bra. Our reading selections included Lydia Davis‘s new chapbook about cows.
It would be wrong to say that it wasn’t totally awkward. My bra and undies didn’t match, as I didn’t exactly wake up in the morning thinking I would be dragged into this tomfoolery. Two or three older gentlemen (one of them was apparently the provost?) materialized next to us. “This is very remarkable!” one of them crowed, and began snapping pictures with his camera phone. “I have to document this.” When the hapless tour group finally arrived, their number was dwarfed by the hundred or so (I counted by the number of Pokémon I had to paste on their heads) undies-clad students. One boxers-wearing lover of schadenfreude stuck out his arm like a rudder and allowed it to brush by every member of the tour group. There was a deathly silence. I don’t even think the tour group stopped to talk about the Info Commons being a building-inside-a-building.
Afterwards, people got dressed again at an impressive speed. “We’re all about to do a massive Walk of Shame,” one of my companions commented.The atmosphere on the front steps was exhilarating. I don’t know when this harmless event will undergo the same scrutiny as Zonker Harris or, dare I say it, Tour De Franzia, but we’d better enjoy things like this while we can.
Photoshopping by myself and Chelsea Goldsmith ’13.