Thursday, May 31, 2007

Daily Survival Guide: May 31st, 2007

By Doug Branson and James Mundia

Stealing is stealing…unless you are a college student. In that case the crime turns into a muddled, subjective mess that would make Tolstoy’s heart thump. Most normal people have something inside them that distinguishes right and wrong. Most also have something inside that negotiates that same dualism in situations of survival or common sense. Doing well at college is, often times, about both of these situations.

Like white lies, students at universities deem the theft of some items as acceptable. The only way to prevent this kind of theft is to recognize the items, understand how they are stolen, and why they are stolen.

So without further ado…

Four things you absolutely, under no circumstances can leave in front of college students if you ever want to see them again. (In no particular order)

1. Pizza

As a college student I don’t buy into all the stereotypes that are associated with our breed. We aren’t all strapped for cash, we aren’t all on a diet of ramen noodles and 2 liters of Coca Cola. But one stereotype I gladly accept is that we do eat a ton of pizza. On the main street adjacent to my university we have at least four establishments that deliver pizza. That’s before ever getting to the chain pizzeria’s, like Dominos and Pizza Hut, that surround the campus.

With pizza being in abundance and relatively cheap, if you know the right deals, one wouldn’t think that this would be an item so easy taken without permission. But leave a fresh, hot, unguarded pie in front of a hungry pack of students and it won’t be long before you come back and some guy takes a break between bites to say “Is this for everybody?” He of course asks this after devouring half of the pizza, leaving hardly anything for the “everybody” he is imagining. And the pizza being in your room and on your bed apparently didn’t give him a clue to the answer to his query.

What are you going to do? Call the police? Beat it out of him? If he thought you could do that he wouldn’t have bothered to take a piece in the first place. Besides you’re weak from lack of food anyway and he is refreshed.

At an informal event at a student organization on campus, some members of the organization decided to order pizza for the others. Five minutes after the pizzas arrived they were gone. One of the members that ordered the pizza was stunned that it was gone so fast. Why? You are mixing three things that students, in fact mankind, holds dear: free, food, and marinara sauce. This isn’t necessarily a theft but it goes to the point of how valuable this item is to college students.

Your hard earned money went to buy that pizza so you must protect it. Never leave a pizza unattended around other students. And if someone asks for a piece you can take one of several measures.

1. The New York Method: Stick a piece of pizza in your mouth. Chew loudly and obnoxiously. Stare at the person. Repeat steps until the person becomes frustrated and walks away.

2. The Socratic Method: Question the existence of the pizza itself.

3. The Kosher Method: Charge accordingly.

2. Batteries (AA’s to DD’s)

It seems as if the only thing technology hasn’t changed in our society is the reliance, in some form or fashion, on batteries. Where is my fusion powered universal remote? Batteries are still an essential element to college life. They operate items key to our existence.

Alarm Clock: They can’t screech like a banshee without a couple of AAs.

Remote Controls: If you’ve ever taken an economics class you don’t have the extra five seconds to get up and change the channel. Especially since your alarm clock’s batteries are dead and you woke up 20 minutes late.

Wireless Video Game Controllers: Eliminates the pesky bathroom break from interfering with Halo 3 Beta.

Boombox from 1993: You bought it right as they went out of style. Then you came to college and suddenly it makes you “That Guy” again. But you haven’t changed the batteries since 1996.

Batteries are not only in demand they are expensive in college dollars. Four batteries can cost as much five bucks. And that’s if you’re lucky enough to find a four pack. Whenever you need batteries the most is when the only store left open is Wal-Mart and they only have packs of 24. Suddenly you’re buried in AAs and you leave the other twenty in the box laying on your desk.

This is when the college thief strikes. When you are most vulnerable. Are you really going to miss two batteries in a pack of twenty four? For a male thief, all he has to do is distract you for a mere second and he suddenly has a much larger bulge in his pocket. You look back awkwardly and know the only two options are that he has either stolen your batteries or is really happy to see you. Either way, you can’t take the chance that it is the latter. For a female battery thief, let’s just put it this way. They don’t make those massive pocketbooks for nothing.

High demand, supply is costly, theft is relatively simple. It doesn’t take a ECON major to figure this stuff out. The only way to keep this kind of theft from happening is to own more things that require batteries. That way when you have to buy the 24 pack you won’t be depressed about it.

I suggest purchasing 8 universal remotes and a Furby.

3. T-Shirts

Like pizza, when T-shirts are lying around most students don’t automatically think, “I’m going to steal those.” They assume that they have every right to the T-shirts as anyone else, or they assume that they are being given out for free. This is not only a ridiculous assumption to make but results in some odd combinations of students and T-shirts. No way you can convince me that every skinny, white male that wears a “Great Breasts Are Worth Having” shirt donated money to breast cancer research.

College students think they need T-shirts. For some it’s a matter of economics, others just like to have an odd assortment of outerwear, and a rare few are working on “My College Life” quilt. Whatever category they fall under they are hungry for 100 percent cotton and they will stop at nothing to get it.

If you are selling T-shirts:

--Keep an eye on the shirts at all times.

--Bring a bottle of ink with you. Every 25th person or so, after the purchase, throw the ink on them and yell “Thief! Thief!” They will run and you will scare any would be T-Shirt fiends.

If you are giving T-Shirts away:

--Beware of fake moustaches, fake ids, and bilingual speakers. Remember these theives are crafty and ruthless.

--I recommend an elaborate retinal scan system. But if you’re strapped for cash you can just punch everyone you give a T-Shirt to in the arm. If it's summer time the bruise will show and they won’t be able to get by you again.

4. Alcohol

This one is pretty self-explanatory. If you are silly enough to leave the liquid gold out unattended you deserve the eventual and sober disappointment.

Find a bush or a wall, any niche will do, be creative. Just make sure your DD knows where you put it because you are likely to forget.

Or you can purchase this T-Shirt but make sure no one steals it:


Don’t be a victim of crimeless theft. As a college student you have enough to worry about with drinking violations, assault, and actual theft to be dealing with these large inconveniences. College can be a dangerous place if you don’t keep your mind right, your eyes open, and The Daily Obsession bookmarked. Stay tuned for more Daily Survival Guides in the future.