There are a great number of things here at Brown that, as Rhode Island’s own Peter Griffin would put it, “really grind [our] gears.” Whether it’s unyielding precipitation, the lack of anything to eat after 2 a.m. or the absence of cone-worthy food items, there’s an awful lot to complain about when one’s feeling particularly piqued. Enter FlogDailyHerald, a chance for us to bring to the attention of the Brown community those things that are particularly irksome to the entire campus. Think of it as a chance for us to shout from our
electronic proverbial soapbox, “REALLY?!.”
Of the numerous forms I filled out the summer before I got to Brown, the Residential Life Housing form remains the most important. I had heard stories of late night parties and blaring music, so I decided to put down a preference to live on a ‘Quiet Hall,’ as I need my eight hours of sleep.
In August I learned my room assignment and realized I was on a ‘Quiet’ floor in Woolley Hall. I (silently) rejoiced.
I can almost hear you yawn from here, or wait… no, that’s just my roommate. But I’m sure you’re mentally echoing him. ‘He wanted quiet housing and he got it. That’s the shortest and most boring story I’ve ever heard.’
But wait, the plot thickens.
My first night in my dorm I set the alarm for 8:30 a.m., fluffed up my pillow, and then tried to imitate a log. I had barely fallen asleep when I was awoken by what sounded like a firework exploding in the Sayles Organ. Still half stuck in the realm of dreams, I thought I was about to die young. However, when I looked outside, what I had thought to be the sound of impending doom turned out to be… a garbage truck.
I admit the necessity of taking out the trash, and realize that trucks are built for utility and not for stealth. But this particular truck, I swear, revels in being an impromptu alarm clock. First it honks twice, a sort of preliminary warning, like a singer clearing his throat before bursting into song. Then it moves forward to occupy center stage—right in the middle of Meeting Street.
Perfectly positioned in front of Pembroke Campus, the truck starts lowering the trash compartment. But not as a mother gently lays down her child, rather like someone dropping well… garbage. The large metal waste container clatters and clangs on the ground like an impassioned drummer, ’til it eventually stops rocking and falls silent. This entire ritual takes a mere 10 minutes but at the end of that short time span nearly ever single student in Em-Wool is wide awake.
Before I return to my rant about the truck, let me briefly describe the reactions of the populace to this unwanted alarm clock. Upon hearing the honking most students just stir in bed. But by the time the waste container drum solo begins most are wide awake and raging with animal passion. The language they use, while instructive and often hilarious, is scarcely suitable for an article of this nature, so I’ll skip lightly over that. After venting their rage they try going back to sleep, dreaming longingly of a world without garbage trucks.
Meanwhile, our band-on-wheels, having collected the garbage, mistaking the cries of consternation as those of encouragement, decides to perform an encore. With great gusto it revs up its engine, honks yet again and moves on to another location leaving behind incomplete dreams and REM cycles.
So what can we do about this auditory outrage? How do we silence these deafening decibels?
After intensive research and poring over many students’ schedules (well, to be perfectly honest, I’ve only consulted mine), I have concluded that most Brown students get up at around 8:00 a.m. All the Brown administration has to do is to tell that blasted discordant dumpster to turn up at around that hour. It will serve the purpose of waking people up far more effectively than any alarm clock and the trash will get cleared as usual.
I hope the Brown administration has taken note of my elegant yet simple solution and will implement it immediately.
Now excuse me, I have to go and make up for lost sleep.
And oh, always remember, let sleeping woollies lie.