By: David Gales

Dear Binston Swongo, 

I’m the person who stole the couch from the Gates lounge. To be honest, I wasn’t even sure I would be able to do it, and it was on a dare from my girlfriend back home, and I was drunk, and I’ve never stolen anything before, and I feel really bad about it, and it’s taking up a lot of room in my dorm, and everyone is so mad at whoever stole the couch and there are all these YikYaks being posted about it and I have nightmares about the couch and wake up in a cold sweat and I don’t know what to do. Help! 



Dear Concerned, 

Listen buddy, I hear you. I do! I remember that during my first year at Grinnell someone dared me to steal one of the blackboards off of the wall in Noyce. I know, I know how that sounds, but I promise you it’s very possible. My first roommate, Tim Tommson, was SUPER into the Maker Lab on campus… like, concerningly into it. One evening, I got home from class and he was setting up metal scaffolding in the middle of our dorm room. I asked him what it was for, and he told me he was “making his own Muppet show.” I never found out what it was supposed to do–he ended up going to the hospital with second degree electrical burns. 

Anyway, Tim had all of these toolkits that were crazy expensive and he only used them once or twice a month. I looked through them one day and I found the largest crowbar I’ve ever seen in my life. I thought it was a stage prop, no joke. So I brought it to my Stars for Stoners class in my backpack (I had to empty out the main pockets first) and after the lecture, when everyone was shuffling out the door, I used the commotion to pry one of the blackboards off of the wall. 

I realized at this point that I hadn’t really thought about what to do after I obtained the blackboard. So, I took it outside between Noyce and the HSSC, leaned it against another blackboard, and then left. Not very exciting, I’ll admit, but hey, at least it was a fun story. 

A few days later, the S&B ran an article about the blackboard. A bunch of people were theorizing that the same person that stole the nutcracker that year from the dining hall had tried to take the blackboard, but really it was just me. I did it. I did it, and you want to know the best part, Concerned? I don’t even remember why. I don’t remember who dared me to do it. I don’t remember why they dared me. I don’t even remember what month of the year this was. The single funniest and most significant moment of my college career and I don’t even remember the details. Maybe Noyce is a memory black hole. Or maybe long COVID is just hitting me really hard. Who knows! 

Anyway, I hope you remember this whole encounter better than I remembered mine. College is all about making those wacky, stupid decisions, and then paying the price in blood when the Butcher-King knocks on your CA’s door and demands tribute for your actions, you know? Live life large. 

Oh, and as for what to do with the couch… I literally have no idea. Maybe put it on the roof? 


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