A Mind That Suits What doesn't kill me, makes me laugh... usually.

Sunday, August 08, 2004 :::
Vive la difference.

Blogging on the old Mac, so no fancy typefaces or links. Which is just to say that there should be an accent on the first "e" in "difference," but no accents are available, which is just as well, because then a dictionary would be necessary to find out which way the accent slants.

In any case, the Stanford University campus is often busier in the summer than it is in the school year, or so it seems, as people attending three-day,five-day, or two-week long camps and seminars jam the parking lots and wander around looking stunned by the beauty and the vastness of the place. But the West Coast's Most Wildly Overfunded Not-For-(Taxable)-Profit appears to have priced itself out of the market this year, as the campus is as dead as a doornail and the dorm where A Mind That Suits is parking his sagging carcass for three weeks has been cavernously quiet.

Except for a few days last week, though the explanation for that will come in a moment.

Last night, said Suits was wending his way back to the (really, quite luxurious) dorm he now calls home when he could hear the unmistakable giggling of two girls who were lost but not that upset about it. They chattered and chattered as they walked right past him, but when they saw three other men in front of them, they shouted out, "Have you seen a group of people playing capture the flag?" Only one of the men seemed to understand, and he just shook his head and soid, "No, sorry."

It was then that a certain pudgy, balding English teacher intervened and asked the girls some questions to try and sort out what they were looking for. As the only thing that lay before them was a vast ocean of undifferentiated graduate student housing, he reassured them that they needed to look more towards the sports complex, though that was not much help. The word "vast" was invented for the Stanford sports complex.

But this does not give the full picture of the situation, which quickly became downright silly.

For the other men were not really men, just very large boys. They were, in fact, members of the French Junior National Swim team, on campus for the Conoco Summer champions, which this year, of course, invovled second-stringers, as the first string is getting ready for the Olympics. But being second string and younger did nothing to prevent these boys from looking the part. Which explains why the girls asked them first, and not, well, you get the picture.

And the young girls, about 16 or 17, were here for the Nike tennis camp, which means that they quite nicely filled the standard, somewhat trashy uniform of today's high school girls, hip-huggers and tank tops. Which explains why the French boys, perhaps 19 or 20, did not wander very far even though they could not answer, or even understand, the young girls' questions.

So what A Mind That Suits saw, aside from two silly, overwrought--but very cute--girls, were three French swimmers giving the rear view an unashamed and lingering assessment, confirming once again that young men who look like they are carved from cold granite tend to have hot blood.

Plus ca change, plus ca meme chose, which is usually translated 'The more things change, the more they stay the same," but probably is more accurately rendered, "The more there is change, the more there is the same thing," but no dictionary is handy to check on that. With apologies for not being able to put the little squiggly thing under the "c" in "ca."

About the only way that the presence of such a collection of young men altered the prosaic world of a certain pudgy, balding English teacher was make him feel pudgier and baldinger.

Thank heavens they used a different bathroom.

::: posted by A Mind That Suits at 10:57 PM



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What doesn't kill me, makes me laugh... usually.

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