Thursday, March 20, 2008

Never underestimate...

(Posted by John Olson)

If there’s one thing I’ve learned about Ada Silapiruti, it’s that she always has the ability to take a situation, and transform it into a more humiliating situation. A gift she inherited from her mother.

This sounds like an insult, and let’s be honest… it is. But it’s really more of an insult to those around her. Because people often attempt to forecast Ada’s choices and abilities and limitations… And she constantly puts those people to shame. I suppose the best way of describing it, is that she doesn’t play by the same rules that the rest of us do.

For example, there was the time she was ornery about vacationing in Chicago (Ada hates “coldness” in all forms except popsicles, hip-hop, and revenge). In fact, this story is about ice-cold revenge. She not only managed to have a wonderful time, she also managed to deprive me of all my insulating accoutrement, leaving me nigh on frostbitten for an entire weekend. This of course was unfortunate, but not specifically humiliating… Not humiliating, that is, until she succeeded in flagging the only radical Islamic cab driver in all of Chicago. Wrapped in my hat and both of my scarves, she looked like a mail-order bride from Saudi; and without any cover I looked like the great white hope. The ride was long, humiliating, and she loved every minute of it.

That’s really what I mean--she can twist any situation to her favor, while simultaneously demonstrating how much of fool you are for ever underestimating her ability to do so.

The best examples of this have to do with the activity that Ada despises more than any other on earth… and that includes, consequently, neuro-surgery. I refer, of course, to “studying.”

I like to think that she would never have survived molecular biology without the precious aid of her resident English major… And my assessment has not changed. In that situation, biology was the turbulent sea, I was her life raft. But of course, I was also playing with fate, and my hubris would be my downfall.

My first warning should have been the infamous “Walk of Shame.” You see, I was bombarding Ada with every guilt trip I could imagine in a rather pathetic attempt to convince her to fight her drowsiness, stay up, and study… the test being the following morning. She of course would have nothing to do with it, seizing every opportunity to pass out as undetectably as possible. Eventually, I gave up and asked, “Ada, what will it take for you to stay awake and study for this test?”

–By the way, never put the ball in her court… she look like a novice, but girl can Play.

Her proposal was that in order maintain arousal, she paint my toenails while we study. At first I was resistant to the idea, but after she explained to me that it was “clear” polish, I caved in. I admit I didn’t understand why anyone would purchase “clear” … I thought maybe it was like base coat. You know, like priming the walls before you paint them. (That’s the world I live in).

She painted my toenails with “nothing” and we studied all night. We both did well on the test in the morning, and everything went swimmingly. Until that is, I left to walk across campus. It was a beautiful, bright shining day, and I was strolling from one end of the campus to the other… enjoying the warmth in my tee-shirt, and shorts, and Birkenstock “Jesus” sandals. Everything was fine, until I began to notice that something about my general gravitation was forcing every passerby to stare at me with a most quizzical and almost painful expression.

Upon looking down, where should have resided 10 healthy toenails, was now a blinding collection hot-pink wonders. Apparently, by “clear” Ada had meant, “UV-activated.” In the noon-day sun, these hot-pink nuclear reactors were emitting enough light to burn the retinas clean off your eyeballs. I suppose that’s the reason why although the multitudes were staring, they couldn’t look directly at the event horizon… “ground zero.” I tried curling my toes under as I walked… but the duck-waddle approach only drew more attention.

I had a meeting that day with the IU head of English, Doctor Stephen Watt. But that’s how Ada rolls.

The killing blow, was the night before the final. This time, she received a guilt trip from both me and Yen Yung Chu, my Taiwanese roommate and go to science machine… (face it, the boy’s a computer). This time, beautification included, there was no dealing with her. She was tired, she was going to sleep, and damn the consequences.

While Ada slept (not studying), we stayed up all night (studying). I was a little disappointed she was going to do so poorly, but in the end I respected her decision.

Yen beat my score by 6 percentage points.
She beat Yen by 12.

Never underestimate Ada. Just don’t. You’re mocking the gods.

She’s a notorious procrastinator. And she often has this glazed over look behind which you are certain that nothing intelligent or productive can possibly be operating. But you will not only be wrong. You will be personally and publically humiliated.

Remember that the next time you think the situation looks bad.

I say this honestly… You never know what to expect.

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