Why the hell did I go to Wayland Baptist University?
Upon considering my current attitudes, theological stance, and world view in general, the answer to the question “Should I go there?” would be “Uhhh…no.” But even in my religious days, anyone could see that this was not going to be a good fit. Anyone that is, except for me.
Wayland Baptist is a very traditional school based upon Southern Baptist principles. For those of you that did not grow up in the Bible belt and have no idea what the fuck I’m talking about, just think super-mega-ultra conservative old geezer fucks and you will be just about on the money. Even in that time period of my life I was extremely odd, anything but a conformist, and without a doubt the furthest thing from conservative dogma.
And, even then, fucking with these folks was so tempting that on many occasions I could not help but indulge myself.
For example, I remember talking with a friend of mine in the music department one day. The conversation went something along the lines of:
ME: Hey, you should thank Satan that you are here today bro.
POOR BASTARD (PB): What? What are you talking about?
ME: Well, without Satan there would be no need for a private Christian university for you to attend… right?
PB: (Blank, unbelieving stare)
ME: Don’t you think you should thank him right now?
PB: I think I want to hit you.
The look on his face was priceless. You could see the confusion and doubt cross over him like a cloud. This was confounded by his realization that now he had a desire to commit physical violence by beating the crap out of me. Another sin to confess… unless, of course, he gets the O.K. from Baby Jesus. That is not a farfetched idea either. After all, Baby Jesus did sign off on The Crusades, The Inquisition, and Catholicism. Ordering his humble servant to pop me in the mouth does not seem like that big a deal when you stack it up against genocide.
Wayland was the kind of place where Chapel was part of your degree plan and you HAD to go every Wednesday at lunch time. Wow. This extra degree (no pun intended) of collegiate nanny-state did not come cheap either. Tuition for Wayland, while not like Harvard or Yale, was not cheap.
I had another buddy named Bullfrog, who had a temperament more suited to my personality and was more apt to enjoy my shenanigans than many of the other students. He worked at Wayland’s Radio Station as a program director and DJ. Many nights he would invite me up to hang out with him and to put Dr. Froth on the airwaves. Many nights Bullfrog also got into quite a bit of trouble. Incidentally, those nights tended to be the same ones.
This was also during the period of time in which I had opened my first business, the recording studio “Studio Pierce.” Using my new access to this great technology, I was able to produce a PSA that ended up getting aired on the Wayland station. It was a good anti-child abuse message, but since it was a creation of mine, it was horrendous. We used a $2500 Nueman microphone to capture the subtle nuances of me punching a fresh head of lettuce multiple times to simulate the beating of a child by a drunken, evil father figure. Yep…despite the positive message that we don’t want little kids to get their skulls bashed in, people still complained. I think Bullfrog only got to air that one time before it mysteriously disappeared along with a warning from the upper echelon to never play that again. Ever.
The last time I was allowed to even ENTER the room with the broadcasting equipment was a sad day. Bullfrog was trying to get someone, anyone, to call in to the station for requests and give-aways. We knew all the geezers were listening but no one was calling. That’s when I grabbed the microphone and said “Oh, yeah… We also have a captive platypus up here in the booth with us and if these phone lines don’t light up in the next thirty seconds I’m going to kill it.”
It was like magic. All the phone lines immediately lit up with calls. A few minutes later some of the heads of the media department came by with campus security to make sure I could find my way out of the building. So considerate of them to show such concern for my welfare, but I was just starting to get results. Oh well, that is the way it goes.
But the cream of the crop for Wayland madness comes from an assignment I did for an English Lit class. If your assignment leaves people with deep emotional scars and the possible need for therapy; shit, you did a good job.
The assignment was simple: write a monologue from any point of view that you wish and read it in front of the class the next session. While some people might have complained about this assignment, I was thrilled. I was just given a hall pass (granted it was by someone that did not know any better) to be as fucked up and weird as I wanted to be. Bwahahahahaha.
I was currently working nights at a Best Western Hotel, so I had plenty of time to really work hard on my monologue. It is unfortunate that I do not have a copy of this anymore as I would love to share it with you in its entirety. Rest assured that it included sinister pumpkin gods, ritual skinning of children, demonic sacrifice, other murderous violence, and all the disturbed goodness I could cram into three pages. All I can remember is the first line started something like:
“To the parents of children that I was forced to skin, I am truly sorry. But I had no choice for the Pumpkin God does not accept failure, and he is not as forgiving as the other, lesser gods…”
If any of you are familiar with monologues than you will know that it is really all about the delivery. To make sure I did this properly, I dressed in all black for the next class, made sure not to talk to anybody and just sat in my chair and twitched randomly as I stared around bug-eyed in a nervous fashion. This behavior, strange even for me, did not go unnoticed.
Several people went before it was my turn. This was good. By having many “normal” performances already in place, mine would seem even more fucked up than it already was. I don’t remember any of the other monologues, save that they were all about very predictable, safe subjects. I listened to folks talking about selling a car, being stuck in traffic, trying to feed a stubborn baby, etc. There is one exception to my lack of specific memories about the other assignments. I do remember the girl that went right before me. She did a monologue from the point of view of a teapot.
How did that happen? If you are given the opportunity to do a monologue about ANYTHING in the fucking universe, how do you come to the conclusion that there would be nothing more amazing than to choose a damn teapot as your subject matter?
She described what it felt like to be heated up and then turned on her side to have tea poured out of her. She did not seem to have imagined a very exciting existence for her life as a teapot. You can’t really hold that against her though, because I suppose that being a teapot, frankly, would rather suck balls. It would be about as exciting as spending an afternoon counting ones pubes. Her monologue did nothing to change this impression of life as a kettle.
It was my turn, so I shuffled nervously to the front, the paper shaking in my hands. I pretended to start out by reading, but in truth I had practiced this to the point that I had it memorized. This allowed me to maintain insane eye contact with the other students. Teapot girl found herself victim to this in particular, because she was sitting behind the tables that composed the front row, directly across from where I was speaking.
As you can imagine, the content mortified and left most of the others in a state of unease. This was very obviously apparent on the face of Teapot Girl, who looked as if she had just walked into a zombie-cannibal-bestiality infused midget orgy for Satan. She was entranced by my tale yet repulsed and horrified as well. It was great.
Anyway, to make a short story longer, it was time to go that extra mile of insanity at the end for the big finish. In the monologue I wrote in an ending where I saw the Pumpkin God, who was obviously pissed, coming to get me. I gestured with a look of horror towards the window at the back of the classroom. A few people actually turned and looked which is even stranger since the class was on the third floor. It was at this time that I began to scream at the top of my lungs.
“OH GOD, THERE HE IS. DON’T LET HIM GET ME. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH”
Wanting to make sure that I drove the point home, I figured now would be the time to jump up onto the table. Amazingly, I did this without hurting myself, though that would have been an interesting addition to my performance. I landed on the table right in front of Teapot Girl, leaned down towards her and continued screaming like a maniac.
“RUN. RUN FOR YOUR LIFEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE.”
I could see her eyes were tearing up. She was so freaked out that I think she was about to burst into tears at any moment. She just stared at the table, wishing that I, or her, would disappear and peace could descend upon her little world once more.
It seemed like a good time to leave.
“RUN YOU FOOLS. FLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE.”
Turning from the shaking form of Teapot Girl, I leapt from the table and out the door of the classroom which just happened to be open for some reason. I was still hollering out random warnings of doom as I sprinted for the stairwell.
Other classes were disrupted and students and faculty had begun to peek out of doorways to see what all the commotion was about. I paid them no attention as I sped past as if all the minions of hell were chasing me.
“AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. SAVE US.”
Down three flights of stairs I raced, until I exited the building. At this point a quick check of my watch revealed that class was only half-over. I figured there was no point going back right now since there was a good chance that campus security was already in route. An encounter with security was not a necessary portion of my monologue so I just got a snack and went to the music department to hang out.
I heard, later on, from another guy in class that nobody in the room said a word for about five minutes. After that the professor, thinking of nothing else to do, went ahead and dismissed class early. People, at first suspecting that I had just wrote some bizarre fiction, now began to question as to whether or not I had really lost my mind.
Those questions were answered when I returned to class the next session and tried to pretend as if none of it had ever happened. Teapot Girl would never even look at me or speak to me again, which I found hilarious. The other students took the episode pretty well after they no longer felt in danger by it.
You would think that the professor would have been pissed as fuck over this, but he was not. In fact, I was the only one to get an “A” on the assignment. When I asked him about this he told me that it was very obvious that I had worked really hard on the monologue, which was more than he could say about the others.
So I got a top grade for babbling about skinning babies for a demonic entity, disrupting three floors of classes, skipping half of the class in question, and giving a poor girl a nervous breakdown. And people wonder why I never finished my degree. How could I have topped this? What the fuck would I have had to do for my doctoral thesis? The mind boggles.
Maybe if Teapot Girl had done her monologue about being Tea-Bagged the professor would have given her an “A” too.