The unbearable annoyance of being

So we did it. There was enough outrage, enough bitching and moaning that the accursed Powers That Be gave in and gave up. Louie's has returned triumphant and slightly grease-stained. And we, the eating public, win all around. We have somewhere to eat after nighttime campus events, and Louie's, trying to make up for the money lost by the absurd decision to close during their most profitable hours, is giving us all kinds of neat stuff, like the potato bar and ranch dressing as a free part of the condiment bar.

It's successes like this that can turn one into an activist. So I'm hoping to get a bandwagon together for some of my personal issues. If we all throw a fit, maybe something will happen about these things. Granted, none of my peeves have the financial aspect involved in the Louie's debacle, so we may be looking at an industrial-grade hissy fit. But I have faith in the whining capabilities of this campus. Don't let me down.

First and foremost, I present a problem afflicting one of the most-trafficked buildings on campus: Modern Languages. I, myself, spend almost all of my time there, and a very troubling issue has arisen. Between noon and 2 p.m. each day, the women's restrooms on the third floor (which, in the twisted, Escher-esque world of Modern Languages, means the first floor) run out of toilet paper. Normally, I wouldn't complain about this; just ask for a handout from the next stall and move on with your life. But the amazing consistency of this deficiency makes one wonder if this is being done on purpose. Every day, for weeks now, lines reminiscent of Communist-era Russia form in the restroom. As someone heads for an open stall, a bitter, tormented voice mutters "No paper." One more squirming soul takes her place at the back of the line.

How long must this horror go on before the restroom fairies realize how much paper to stock the restrooms with? This ain't rocket science. I have now taken to carrying a travel-pack of Kleenex in my backpack, which makes me feel like I'm turning into a mom.

Second on the agenda is my pedestrian problem. Last fall I got myself a bike. Despite the observation from an old, dear friend that seeing me on a bike was like seeing a coffee table take up skiing, I have enjoyed my two-wheeled adventures around the university area. I'm no Tour de Tucson type; my beach cruiser doesn't do hills. But a nice tourist pedal down the Mall gets me to class. Unfortunately, the pedestrians also en route to their destinations have no regard for bike lanes. I expected this from cars. It's the people thing I can't understand.

Earlier this week, I narrowly missed an adorable 3-year-old girl who had been dragged into my path by her oblivious dad. Pedestrians, hear me now: Bikes move fast and are not as maneuverable as feet. You have a better chance of avoiding me than I have of avoiding you. Do not take an extended, oblique trajectory across bike lanes; get across quickly and directly. And here's one you may have forgotten: Look both ways before you cross a street, ANY STREET. I'm warning you now, as finals approach and I wind up with four papers due in three days, I will no longer care about my own well-being and will run you down just for fun. I'm getting cranky.

Speaking of cranky, the Parking and Transportation goons are getting more feisty every day. Sitting outside the aforementioned, toilet-paperless Modern Languages a while back, I noticed a fellow bicyclist locking his bike up in the bike parking area between Modern Languages and Psychology. In fact, he was locking his bike to the very sign which identified the area as bike parking. Not two minutes later, a P&T goon showed up to boot the poor guy's bike, because it was illegally locked to a sign. A sign that read "Bike Parking." Am I the only one noticing the irony here? I really hope the guy contested that ticket on the grounds of rampant stupidity on Parking and Transportation's part.

So there are three of the things that make my day that much more difficult. None of them are quite Louie-caliber, but I think they're worth a slight uproar. Be angry with me, not at me. And if you need a Kleenex, you know where I'll be.

M. Stephanie Murray is a junior majoring in English literature. Stay out of her way. Her column, 'What Fresh Hell?' appears every other Wednesday.

By (columnist)
Arizona Daily Wildcat
April 16, 1997

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