Facing Macƒ?TMs awkward epidemic, starting with you

By Michael Ferrera

The time you have been dreading has arrived, Macalester. The end is near. It is time to turn off the computer, and come out of your room. We need to talk, and it’s not going to be pretty. It’s now time to confront the awkward epidemic at Macalester.

I’ve gotten a research fellowship from Mac Reality and I have come to some stunning conclusions. The first of which is that at least 76% of Mac students use a designated driver when they “party” (but drunk driving is so much fun!) or keep track of how many drinks they’ve had during the night (remember, an Irish car bomb counts as 2 drinks because you drop the shot of Bailey’s and Jameson’s Irish Whiskey into the pint of Guiness!). Next I stumbled upon some data that shook me to my core. At first I wasn’t sure if I should share this information, but I think you’re mature enough to hear it. I’m going to do it quick, just like a band-aid. Two in nine Macalester students are painfully awkward.

There. It’s out. Hopefully it didn’t hurt. The first question to ask is, can that be true? Let’s gather a little data. Look around the lunch table at which you’re sitting. Oddly enough, there are nine of you. Seven of the guys there are quite charming and affable; definitely not awkward. Then there’s your old awkward friend Randal. Good ol’ Randal. Remember all the awkward things Randal did? You laugh at the thought. Dear Lord, Randal will amount to nothing. But wait a second. The statistic said that two in nine students are awkward…seven charming guys…one Randal….that means…that means…

Yes my friend, you may very well encounter this situation and realize that you are, in fact, painfully, woefully, depressingly awkward. The first step to recovery is admitting that you have a problem. Fear not, help is on the way in the form of your very own board certified life coach. Myself and “Razzle Dazzle” Rosenberg arranged it personally and since Macalester is an equal opportunity organization, everyone gets a life coach, even if you aren’t awkward (wink, wink). Along with this new service comes a completely (un)related hike in tuition to just shy of $75,000 per year. But that hike will be more than made up by the increased income you will receive after you graduate.

Do you remember Bill Clinton? Do you remember how much you loved Bill Clinton even though he cheated on his wife, lied about it under oath, and then tried to confuse the nation by contemplating the definition of the word “is”? The man was a genius! A charming, not awkward genius! There is no way you would have loved Bill Clinton as much if he were awkward. Can you imagine loving a Bill Clinton that said something awkward like, “See, the irony is that what they need to do is get Syria to get Hezbollah to stop doing this s**t, and it’s over,” or “There’s an old saying in Tennessee — I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can’t get fooled again,” or if he had almost choked to death while eating a pretzel? I think not, Macalester, and you’re lying to yourself if you think otherwise. He actually was so suave that he was able to fight a war in Kosovo, simultaneously ending genocide (fact check on that?) and diverting attention from himself. What a man. Frankly, I think we should have repealed the 22nd Amendment and declared this man Sovereign because you will never meet another man as amazing as Bill Clinton.
Now imagine yourself harnessing those intangible and indelible attributes and becoming a miniature Bill Clinton as you enter the workforce. One day your co-worker Terry might come up to you and complain that someone ate the meatball sandwich he had in the refrigerator, which was clearly marked as “Terry’s Lunch”. He will go on for tens of minutes explaining that “someone” must have no respect for the possessions of others and how “someone” should really pay him $20 for that sandwich (he’s a compulsive liar). You barely look up from your game of Text Twist to acknowledge him, but with marinara sauce stains all over your tie you will be able to actually convince Terry that he brought that meatball sandwich for you! It was obviously a gift since it’s your birthday, and Terry’s not the kind of guy to forget a birthday that easy! He’s such a nice guy, and the world definitely needs more people like him. Terry leaves the situation with a sense of self-worth and a new found respect for you and you leave with the satisfaction of a free lunch.

Now picture ol’ Randal in that situation. You can already tell that this is definitely not going to go well. Terry comes over all hot and bothered complaining about his gourmet meatball sandwich which he wrapped in that Subway wrapper to throw people off his scent. Randal is too awkward to think on his feet and charm his way out of this situation. A heated debate ensues and Randal actually ends up paying Terry $100 for the cost of his sandwich plus the pain and hardship he will have to endure by driving back to that “gourmet shop” during his lunch break. In the end, Randal tries to make a joke to calm Terry down but ends up being fired and charged with sexual harassment when his joke about Terry and meatballs goes horribly, horribly wrong. How could this have happened to Randal despite going through the program? Poor Randal transferred to Carleton before it got off the ground.