Thursday, August 26, 2010

Free Food

There are so many ways for an enterprising young gorilla to survive on less than a dollar a day on this wonderful campus. Not that Gonga actually makes less than a dollar a day, but he sends most of what he does make to his extended family. When you have four maiden Aunts and a half dozen nephews and nieces, besides your own brothers and sisters needing support, you become quite ingenious in ways to save money.

Hence Gonga’s perpetual search for the free lunch.

I know, you’re thinking, “There’s no such thing as a free lunch.”

Allow me to correct you. For Gonga, there is such a thing as a free lunch. He just has to look hard for it.

One prime way of sniffing out free food on campus is to hang out in Lowry Mall from around 11:00-1:00. If someone plans to give away food, they often do it in the heart of campus. Another good spot for handouts is Speaker’s Circle. On occasion various groups hand out everything from coffee to hot chocolate to sugar cookies and cupcakes.

Another method involves the use of Gonga’s campus e-mail account. Just like every other student, he receives the weekly MU Info announcement. Every week, he opens that e-mail, hits “Ctrl”+ “F” and searches for two words. The first word is “food,” and the second is “soda.” He carefully imprints the time and location of each event in his brain, knowing that one more meal will allow him to send just that much more home to his family.

And when all else fails, he goes dumpster diving.

At least, that’s the cover I display for Gonga. It helps to hide my identity. But my mission remains the same. To help all people, everywhere, for whatever reason. My goal is to prevent you from resorting to dumpster diving. I know textbooks cost a lot. But it’s still not worth it. Trust me on this one.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

My Best Friend

I found out last week what “BFF” stands for. I had always wondered why girls would call each other BFF’s. My far too active imagination came up with many possible meanings, none of them flattering, and none fitting the personalities of the girls who made such brash statements.

Then someone told me. Best Friends Forever.

Oh. That sent my mind on another road trip. If so many people had wonderful BFF’s, who was my BFF? Obviously, this had very little to do with my current mission. But the current mission was going a little slow at the moment, so I allowed myself to be distracted.

It had to be someone I could respect, someone I could look up to, someone with more wisdom and intelligence than I. Someone I could rely on to be there when I needed him, through thick-and-thin, to the bitter end, and all that jazz. It took an arduous 120 seconds, but I think I finally found him.

You can see him in the picture above. My BFF. Thomas Jefferson.

Talk about a guy with intelligence! I mean, it takes a considerable amount of brain power to manage to get a hold of a piece of property as big as the Louisiana purchase. And without him, there would never have been the Morrill Act of 1862. And without the Morrill Act, there would never have been thousands of acres of land to be sold to fund higher education. What am I talking about? I’m talking about MIZZOU! Good ‘old M-I-Z Z-O-U rah!

Why do you think this place exists? Because Thomas Jefferson, my BFF, signed that treaty in 1803.

This guy has been my friend for 207 years. Talk about someone who sticks with you through thick and thin. He’s always sitting there on the quad, re-enacting that glorious moment who he signed my life in existence.

At least, my current mode of existence into existence. Because the university means classes, and classes mean textbooks, and textbooks mean jobs, which means existence.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Mirror Monologue

“Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?”

That is something Gonga never says.

I tried it myself once, and the mirror cracked. That may have been because I decided to say it while testing the nail my roommate had inserted into the wall in my bedroom. The problem was that he had pushed the nail into the wall with his brass knuckles and neglected to locate a stud. Nails stay in drywall just fine on their own. But they don’t seem to handle the weight of a mirror very well.

“Who am I?”

I do look at the mirror and ask myself that. But I usually just get blank looks.

It’s easier for Gonga. He looks in the mirror and says, “I am Gonga, Gonga I am.” And the gorilla in the mirror grins back in a rare feat of triumph over his facial paralysis.

Gonga loves the way he looks. The idea of poor body image has never crossed his eyes. He especially loves the bright red of his T-shirt. If you ever see him walking through a glass door on campus, you’ll notice him pause and look at his reflection. The red always makes him happy.

This is good, because Gonga must stay happy. His bouncing good humor is an integral part of the cover I have so carefully constructed. The mirror gives me blank looks because I have carefully effaced my personality. Without Gonga I must be bland, flat, and unmemorable. Like a good spy, people should not recall what I look like.

I smile, but on the inside, where the mirror cannot see.

“Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who sells the cheapest books of all?”

If you give me a blank look, I will come after you, and you will not know I am there.