Spotlight: The guys of 1702 Jefferson

By Nora Clancy

These Mac seniors share a comfortable house on the corner of Jefferson and Davern. They have a peaceful relationship, claiming to never have conflicts, and couldn’t bear to discuss their imminent disbanding when graduation comes. They chatted with the Spotlight about friendly sports competitions, first-year mischief, and their retirement from “raging.”

What is the essence of 1702 Jefferson?

BERGMAN: I like to describe it as a real house for a real family.

VAN WAGENEN: It’s way too nice for us to have this house.

FERNANDO: We usually sit around this fire and have our meals. We’ll cook fresh fish and meat and have a glass of wine.

BOSMAN: Terrence makes us fried chicken sometimes.

So who is in charge of the “family” here?

VAN WAGENEN: Eric is definitely the mother.

BERGMAN: Shut up, John.

BERGMAN: Someone has to do the nagging to keep this place clean.

BOSMAN: Terrence is kinda like the stepbrother that doesn’t follow the rules. He’ll come out of his room, say some mean things to people and then go back to his room.

ROBINSON: I don’t know if you noticed, but they keep the house really cold. I like to wear

shorts and tee shirts, so I keep my room warm.

VAN WAGENEN: He’s got a space heater up there.

FERNANDO: You just have make him feel guilty to get him out of the room. We tell him you have to come out, you never come out with us because you’re always in your room. Then a little tear roles down his cheek…

So you boys have been keeping to your house lately. Why haven’t you been out and about more this year?

FERNANDO: We used to go out a lot last year.

BERGMAN: We used to rage harder, but we are just so old now.

How do you define “raging?”

FERNANDO: Oh my god, I don’t want to go there…

BERGMAN: I will give you a definition. But it’s not about us, though.

BOSMAN: Raging is when you’re not really in your body anymore. You’re outside your body looking at yourself. You don’t really know exactly what you are doing.

BERGMAN: You’re just this ferocious creature.

Is raging allowed inside Jefferson?

FERNANDO: Not everybody can handle it.

ROBINSON: Like myself.

BOSMAN: Terrence just has to go to the club to get his real rage out.

BERGMAN: To Escape Ultra Lounge.

ROBINSON: Escape is just like a big house party in Chicago.

VAN WAGENEN: Did you hear about that guy that got shot in the head at Block E the other day?

ROBINSON: People get shot in the head all the time where I’m from.

BERGMAN: So, yeah, Terrence likes Escape and Derek likes to put the futon on the ground and sleep.

ROBINSON: I don’t just like Escape. I like to dance. I’m not a big fan of drinking and sitting around.

Have you taught any of your housemates your moves?

ROBINSON: I taught Bosman the A-town stomp. That went well. I was gonna teach Bergman some moves. But at Plums last night, man. I never knew that he had that inside him.

BERGMAN: All the dudes tell me I’m a really good dancer and all the girls tell me I’m a terrible dancer. I do what I can.

Your ping-pong setup has a reputation for being pretty hard-core. Is there a household passion for the sport?

BOSMAN: We got this ping-pong table and our lives changed drastically. Like it went from being a house all about video games to a house all about being active and healthy. Its not just about ping pong its about a healthy lifestyle. We’re not just sitting around playing childish games, you know. Yeah, getting fit and drinking V8 juice.

Do you compete against each other?

BOSMAN: We play some other guys…Jake comes over. What’s Jake’s last name?

BERGMAN: Jake Depue. Yeah, he’s nasty. We have a big tournament coming up in about two weeks. We’d like to hype it.

Who is the current reigning champion?

ROBINSON: Me.

VAN WAGENEN: That’s a matter of some contention.

ROBINSON: I’m terrible, actually.

VAN WAGENEN: I’ve never played Terrence, but it would be a battle over who’s the worst in the house because the other three guys are all very good.

BERGMAN: It depends if you factor in style or not. Brendan’s style, for example, is just wack.

BOSMAN: Derek just likes to fault on his serve—very, very lazy.

FERNANDO: Oh my god, you lout.

BERGMAN: Stick up for yourself, man!

Why are you wearing matching nylon suits today?

BERGMAN: These are ping-pong outfits. The fabric sort of moves with your body. It knows the right places to give you energy.

BOSMAN: They have a loose back so you can follow through well and get a really nasty backhand.

Are they official ping-pong ensembles?

BERGMAN: Yeah, they’re official. Look at them!

BOSMAN: We played in a tournament and they saw, and we got sponsored by Weston Ping Pong.

BERGMAN: So then after we got sponsored by them we got like, you know, really excited one night at about three in the morning and decided to order them on the Internet. I guess that’s what really happened.

So you are really sponsored by Weston Ping Pong?

BOSMAN: “Unofficially” sponsored by Weston.

VAN WAGENEN: They don’t get any real benefits from it and Weston doesn’t necessarily know that they are sponsoring these guys.

I know you boys also keep in shape by “bringing it” on the courts. Where did you get the name for your team?

BERGMAN: The Bangers, baby!

BOSMAN: It started out as the “Big Blingers.” Eventually it went into the St. Bangers.

VAN WAGENEN: I think its actually short for St. Paul Bangers. We liked it because it’s kind of a double entendre.

BERGMAN: The team name needs to be intimidating, you know. We would always have Brendan make our intimidating, sort of violent phone calls the night before to the opponent. “Watch out for the Big Blingers, you guys are gonna get hurt tomorrow!” Stuff like that.

BOSMAN: It kind of worked against us this year, because the first four teams to play the Bangers didn’t even show up.

VAN WAGENEN: It was too intimidating.

How has the Bangers’ season been going so far?

BERGMAN: It’s been going radical.

VAN WAGENEN: Our last game got really heated. There were a lot of cheap fouls called, which then some how lead to really physical play. A lot of slapping of the wrists, and I got my nose broken. It was totally an accident, though.

Tonight is your championship game. How are you going to prepare for the game?

BERGMAN: I’ve been trying to get John to write some sort of hype speech to get us all stoked on the game. But he’s just the worst captain. Tommy was the best captain. He would spend hours preparing the speech. He used to live here in our basement, for about a month.

Do you entertain guests often at the Jefferson house?

VAN WAGENEN: Nick Werth, ’06 lived
here for like a week, too.

ROBINSON: He would be here at like eight in the morning wide-awake typing a paper or something. Or playing party poker.

FERNANDO: We have an honorary guest mattress right there.

VAN WAGENEN: Saad Khan, ’06 kind of lives here too onn the weekends. We try our hardest to make Saad sleep here.

Is it always fun and games around here, or have you experienced any tragedies this semester?

BOSMAN: One tragedy is that I ran out of my nut powder recently.

What exactly is “nut powder?”

BOSMAN: Its good for guys or girls. You can put it on sensitive parts of your body. It, like, gives you this little tingle. It keeps you crisp and fresh all day. It’s got menthol flavor to it. And it really kind of stings you. It kinda hurts sometimes if you put too much on. So you gotta be careful. A friend brought it for me from Thailand. I ran out, and I’ve been just kinda grouchy ever since I don’t have it anymore.

BERGMAN: He’s kinda going through withdrawal.

When you’re not worried about “nut powder,” do you guys spend your time cooking up fish for family dinners?

BOSMAN: Eric is one of the better fish cooks around town.

BERGMAN: I like to melt it in butter in the oven. Everything has to be very fresh.

FERNANDO: That explains the fishy smell around him all the time.

Is there more than one fish specialist in this house?

BOSMAN: I’ve got a fish dish I cook as well, “Tuna Bomb-Bomb.” There is also another thing, called “Tuna Surprise.”

What’s the difference?

BOSMAN: Well, freshman year in Caf’¨ Mac, Eric and I started putting a little sneaky pile of tuna under the cobbler. Then we put it back on the shelf and let people come take it. We’ve seen all kinds of reactions over the years. Just the other day we did it. And the guy, like, loved it! Tuna bomb-bomb is really my dish, it’s just a tasty casserole.

BERGMAN: That makes you the most motherly, making tuna casserole for us all the time, Brendan.