Mansfield Fox

Law student. Yankees fan. Massive fraggle. Just living the American dream.

Saturday, April 30, 2005

Caesar's Bath

Here's a certain irony: after a few days spent pining for someone (anyone!) to tag me in the "Caesar's bath" game, when I finally got hit (by Will) I discovered that I had nothing to say. I mean, squa nuthin. Not a single idear. 'Twas ugly. (Hard to believe, I know.) So I've been pondering, and I think I've got a decent list. Enjoy.

Here's how the meme works: "List five things that people in your circle of friends or peer group are wild about, but you can't really understand the fuss over. To use the words of Caesar (from History of the World Part I), 'Nice. Nice. Not thrilling . . . but nice.'"

1: Sushi. This isn't as much of a problem now as it was in college, when I had a couple of genuinely sushi-mad friends, but I still don't really get it. Leave aside that seaweed, in which everything seems to be wrapped, is one of the foulest tasting substances known to man. Or that the raw fish itself is a slimy, disgusting mess. What bothers me is the radical-Luddite nature of the enterprise: the ability to make and control fire is one of the great human achievements. Why turn our back on it?

2: Tequila. I'm not anti- The Strong Stuff. And I'm not about to tell you an embarrassing story about That One Night in College. It's that I don't like eating or drinking things that taste bad. And tequila is the most aggressively bad-tasting consumable I've ever encountered. I'll happily join you for gin, vodka, whiskey, even rum if need be. But tequila shots? Why not just go lick the toilet?

3: Casino/Online Gambling. I actually sort of see the appeal of this. Having one time gambled at a casino, it was actually kind of fun. There's a real thrill in playing (what are for me) high stakes games, of a kind that can't be replicated in your friend's basement on a Wednesday night. That said, I don't see the appeal of becoming a casino or online gambling regular. Even if you're good (and playing a decent-odds game) and your winnings exceed your losses over time, a couple of unlucky nights in a row could set you back several hundred dollars. Which, when you're a law student living off of Saltines, Chinese food and Miller High Life, is a serious hit. But maybe I'm just a wimp.

4: BAR. The house beers are lousy. The pizza's only palatable compared to the house beer. It's always sardine-packed with snobby undergrads and scandalously clad townies (and vice-versa). The dollar drink specials only last for an hour and a half, one day a week, and, as I've pointed out, you're paying a dollar for beer that, in a sane world, people wouldn't drink for free. It's impossible to get served at the bar, the bathrooms are disgusting, and the coat-check room is a disaster. And yet, somehow, people like the place, and I keep getting sucked back in.

5: Vacations. Lots of people like to travel. I do not. Vacations are expensive, they're stressful, people always want to go places where fair-skinned people like me get sunburnt. If I have a couple days free from responsibility I like to stay at home, sleep in, watch TV or read. For activities, maybe go see a movie or take a walk around the city. I'm not anti-vacation, per se. I'll go someplace distant for a sufficiently compelling reason: to see a friend or a historical/cultural site (I'd love to see Rome), or (when I was younger) to evade the nation's drinking age. I just don't understand the idea that travel qua travel is a good thing.

And now, to pass Ye Baton: among law students, I'd like to hear what Death, Action J and The Brainerd have to complain about. And in an attempt to launch the meme out of the law students orbit into which it seems to have fallen, I'm going to try (and probably fail) to pass it to Zorak the Embittered Mantis, Eve Tushnet (the Great Generatrix of Memes Past herself) and Justin Torres of The Thing Is....

UPDATE: Ha! Victory!

UPDATE AGAIN: Double-plus victory! But who can really dislike Chinese food? (Obviously, the stuff she's getting is insufficiently cheap and MSG-laden. - ed.) Since when does this blog have an editor?