“Listen here, asshole,” and other ways to win class debates.

For those of you that have been reading from the beginning, I used to be in law school. For those of you that haven’t been paying attention, go catch up with the rest of us. We’ll wait.

Ready to go? Perfect.

So while in law school, we periodically had class debates. Especially in my criminal law class, because the professor was just as lazy as the rest of us and enjoying pitting us against each other to see what would happen.

One such debate was about whether a non-biological adult had a legal responsibility to a child they spent a lot of time with. Like if mom and dad split, and then mom had a live-in boyfriend, would the boyfriend have a legal responsibility to the kids. Not in a step-parent sense, because then there is a legal responsibility. The specific scenario was that a baby was injured and mom’s boyfriend knew mom was abusing the baby but did nothing, and then the baby died as a result of the injuries. We were debating whether or not the boyfriend should be criminally charged. This doesn’t matter right now.

Whatever we started debating, somehow the debate between me and this guy in the class (let’s call him Lt. D. Bag.) turned into an argument about reproductive rights. He was very conservative, and seemed to agree with Rep. Todd Akin’s theory of legitimate rape. When I pointed something out that completely derailed his argument, he came back at me with this gem:

“Of course you’re biased…you’re a woman.

You’re honor, this is the part where I leaped across the room and ripped out his throat and strangled him. No I didn’t.

His poor debate partner, a very sweet Southern gentleman from Georgia who was very good friends with me, threw up his hands and sat down, jumping ship. My debate partner, a wise cracking 80’s punk rocker wannabe, glanced over at me. I paused, raised an eyebrow (in that way that makes Indian boys who know what’s what dive for cover), and very carefully asked Lt. D. Bag if that’s the route he wanted to go on. Unfortunately for him, he was adamant to insist that women are too close to the issue to present unbiased and accurate opinions on reproductive rights.

I took another second, and looked at my professor, who gave me an amused nod to continue.

By that very same logic, I argued, wouldn’t men be too far removed from the issue to present unbiased and accurate opinions on reproductive rights? Wouldn’t the lack of a uterus and the ability to get pregnant detract from how carefully they evaluate reproduction? If erectile dysfunction is covered under insurance, shouldn’t birth control be as well? If birth control is unnatural, shouldn’t a chemical enhanced erection be as well?

 I ended my diatribe with “Just because you have a dick doesn’t mean you can act like one.”

My professor lost it, laughing his ass off as he awarded me the win. Lt. D. Bag looked over in frustration, and pointed out that I had been giving him a series of “mean looks” during his time to speak, effectively distracting him. My professor, his voice dripping with sarcasm and derision looked him in the eye and said,

“Son, if you, a large, tough, military man, can be so utterly terrified by a little girl raising her eyebrow, I suggest you rethink your legal career.”

And that’s how a bitch face won me extra credit.

 

 

Don’t be a sociopath.

Guys, I have a pretty intense case of Resting Bitch Face.

My tiny and delicate features just settle into an angry scowl unless I’m actively trying to appear pleasant. Which really isn’t that often.

Maybe it comes from years of studying bad guys, crazy people, and terrorists, or talking to exceptional stupid people about exceptionally stupid things. But I just always look grumpy.

And most of the time, I am not a grumpy person. Sarcastic, maybe. A little vindictive if you’ve managed to piss me off. But in generally, I am not always in a bad mood.

Unless you tell me to smile.

I will not smile all the time, dammit. You know who smiles all the time? Sociopaths, that’s who. Smiling for ages and ages makes your face tired and hides your emotions and before you know it you’re beaming beatifically while hacking people to pieces with a rusty hatchet.

Don’t hack people to pieces with a rusty hatchet.

Neighbors, Trains, or Earthquakes: the Mystery of the Shaking Apartment.

My second year in university I was able to move out of the dorms and into an apartment. Originally, Kat was going to live with us, so Anna and I signed leases for a three bedroom apartment off campus. But then things happened and Kat had to stay in the dorms, so Anna and I found a third roommate, a girl Anna had a lab with and who seemed normal at the time. That’s a story for another day.

The apartment itself was nice. Three bedrooms, three bathrooms, washer and dryer in the unit, and a shuttle to campus that usually worked. We checked it out a few times, and everything was fine.

And then we moved in.

We were both super excited, and on move in day got out keys and dragged our loads of stuff up three flights of very steep stairs. Our parents left, Anna’s to go home and my mom to go to my godmother’s house for the night, and we commenced our wild unpacking.

Suddenly everything started shaking. Anna and I looked at each other over boxes and bins, and groaned as we heard a train whistle come through the open balcony door. We hoped (in vain) that this was a rare occurrence, or that the trains only came through in the morning.

Fortunately, the trains were on a predictable schedule. Unfortunately, 2am was one of those scheduled times. I don’t know if it’s a normal train thing or the conductors in Oklahoma are especially sadistic, but we soon were aware of a long and wailing train whistle as it passed the student apartments every night. There was also a senior living community down the street, but I suppose after they took their hearing aids out they wouldn’t have much of a problem with the train whistles.

Aside from the train, there was a variety of things that would shake our little apartment. They boys across the hall, mostly. There were three of them, and they went up and down the stairs like a small herd of elephants. They set their fire alarm off almost every night, to the point where Anna and I would sneak takeout menus under their door and hope they took a hint. They didn’t.

Now, I’m not sure how common this next nugget of knowledge is, but Oklahoma is on a fault line. And along fault lines, it is common to get earthquakes. One night, as we were in our rooms, at our desks, I felt a small vibration, and thought nothing of it since it was around the time a train would go by anyway.

But then the shaking didn’t stop.

Either the boys across the hall were having a stair running contest at 10pm or it was an…earthquake.

The shrieks of the sorority girls crossing the parking lot ruled out the stair theory, so Anna and I did the last thing you should do during an earthquake: we ran down the stairs.

Guys, being outside, on seemingly solid ground, and feeling it shake under you is really bizarre.

It subsided in a few minutes, and we walked back upstairs. By the time we were settled back with our books, we got a text from the university’s emergency system telling us that there had in fact been an earthquake. Thanks, guys.

But yeah, that’s the story of the time we realized that the boys across the hall could shake the building just as must as a small earthquake.