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February 24, 1974 - Image 3

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1974-02-24

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

tony schwartz
marty porter
contributing editors:
howie brick, chris parks,
laura berman



ma gazine

page four-books
page five-resident
page six-looking back

Number 18 Page Three

February 24, 1974


Now you


it, now you don't:

Talking shop

with a

First of two parts
ning-quick appraisal of the res-
taurant as the waitress led us to our
seats. His eyes traversed the tables,
noting tips, silverware and packs of
cigarettes. His nostrils took in the
mingled scent of people and their
meals. His ears heard the boasts of
college boys and the hearty laughs of
"Did you see that?" he whispered.
"The watch that Jewish chick has on;
it's got diamonds all around the sides.
My mom had one of those once. It's
worth a couple hundred bucks."
Jefferies is a petty thief. His pro-
fessors call him an undisciplined gen-
ius. His bosses call him a hard but
cocky worker. He calls himself a thief;
"a damn good one too!"
The son of a wealthy executive, Mi-
chael is an a t t r a c t i v e, intelligent,
slightly aristocratic college senior
who, like most of his friends, has nev-
er wanted for anything in his life.
" NEVER stole anything because I
really needed it," he explains. "I
just steal to get away with it or some-
times if I see something I like but
that I =would never buy for myself.
See that gold cigarette case that guy
has? I'd never buy something like
that, but I sure wouldn't mind having
With the glint in his eye. telling
that he was showing off, Mike slipped
a heavy glass ashtray into the inside

Inever stole anything because
it. 1 just steal to get away with it
times if I see something I like but tho
never buy for myself."

pocket of his corduroy sportcoat. The
motion was swift and deft, almost im-
perceptible, and obviously well prac-
ticed. "I use the things for bookends,"
he joked.
Jefferies lit up a cigarette and with
his sure magician's hands slid the
ashtray back across the table under
the first bit of falling ash.
"When I was a little kid," he ex-
plained, "I really dug stories about
Robin Hood. That guy got to steal, all
he wanted without anyone ever mak-
ing him feel guilty for it. Then when
the adventure part of it was over,
he gave most of the stuff away any-
way. I sort of do that. I gave bikes to
a couple chicks last summer. But I'm
no Robin Hood, no Marxist either. I
don't believe that property should be
communal. When I steal a bike, I go
out and get a nice hefty padlock even
if I have to pay for it. I'd call the po-
lice if I saw someone stealing one of
my bikes."
Mike was beginning to warm up. He
took obvious pleasure at talking ex-

pertly and freely abc
ten; you don't hav
this meal if you don'
just walk out. What
alright, I just wan
that there's nothin
away with if you k
and the convers
the moment to teac
the waitress's legs an
chael spoke of dev
pollution control,l
law, probably throug
talked seriously oft
fear to confront the
trial giants on the p
and the cocky thief
cus. In his place sa
unselfish crusader v
and worlds to save.

steak. Jefferies leaned back in his
chair and let a look of self-confident
I needed satisfaction recapture his handsome
features. "I could tell you stories all
night," he smiled.
or some-
"Once, in high school, we were driv-
e I would ing around in a van, and we saw this
truck delivering liquor to a party
store. So with the driver sitting up
front in the cab figuring out his or-
der, all six of us took a case of whis-
key apiece, loaded them up in the van
and drove off." He laughed long and
out his skill. "Lis- hard. "Jesus Christ that was funny."
e to treat me to The stories went on: records stolen
t want to. We can from department stores in used shop-
we do is .. . well ping bags with the receipts still stap-
ted to show you led on, bottles of Boones Farm drunk
g you can't get ouickly and disposed of in cul-de-sac
now what you're corners of supermarkets, coats tried
on and walked away with, bicycles,
stereos, newspapers and candybars.
Mike's voice wound its way gracefully
sation turned for through each of his stories, pausing
hrs n tured r momentarily for comments or maybe
hers and grades, praise ,at the end of every tale.
Id the future. Mi-
oting himself to DRAGNET'S Sargeant Friday warns
possibly through that sooner or later every crook
,h journalism. He omitsmarts himself. Michael Jefferies
the government's hasn't yet. "Not only have I never
e nation's Indus- gotten caught, but if I do, my old man
ollution question, has enough pull to keep me out of
faded out of fo- trouble. In a way, that's sort of bad.
t an idealist, an It takes a lot of the adventure out of
with places to go it.


But like all glimpses into the fu-
ture, the image was fleeting and dis-
appeared with the last few morsels of

Jon Crane is a senior in journalism.
The name Michael Jefferies" is a pseudo-
nym in the story.

His professors call him an undisciplined genius.
His bosses call him a hard but cocky worker. He

calls himself a thief; "a damn

good one too!"

A lo
~CE UPON A TIME in an ugly
but adequate modern apart-
ment there lived four "sweet
young things," two of them 19, two
of them 20, all of them enterpris-
ing students at that citadel of rea-
son, the University of Michigan. As
fulltime students they had the lux-
ury to cogitate endlessly; in the
last of their sheltered years it
was commonly assumed by the
older generation that now was
their time to be idealistic, that
they should conduct themselves
accordingly and be happy.
Lynn: The "typical teenager"-
19, tall, skinny, long straight
blonde hair parted in the middle,
usual dress: jeans and sweater,
perpetually on a diet, also a vege-
tarian. Talkative, extremely ner-
vous about her prospects of get-
ting into the University's physical
therapy program, subject to a
variety of psychosomatic disor-
ders - constipation, diarrhea, and
eczema. Father's business: oper-
ates his own truck company; fam-
ily lives in Bloomfield Hills.
Peggy: Image of the ever-papu-
lar high school girl - 19, tall, low-
waisted, slinky, usual dress: jeans
and a pretty shirt, often wears
lipstick and nailpolish. Classical
blonde good looks, soft syrupy
voice, drops badly pronounced
French expressions here and there
for a droll effect, favorite ex-
pression "oh I know." Major:
ecology (water management).
Father's business: vice-president
of a leading auto corporation; par-
ents divorced; mother lives with
kids in Bloomfield Hills.
Winnie: The "lady" - 20, long
thing body, long shaggy black hair,
long nose, pale skin, a left eye that
twitches when her contact lenses
have been in too long. A former
"radical" worked for high school
underground paper, joined SDS as
a freshman at the University, lat-
er decided all that an egotistical
trip, favors conservatism; usual
dress: permanent press shirts,
matching slacks and vests of high
quality. Very pampered and sen-
SitiveLugr! ants tnon o an-.


1's den:
dress varies from the mismatched
casual to skirts and eyeshadow
depending on whim. On the peri-
phery of newspaper, photography,
literary circles in Ann Arbor, wai-
tresses part-time at a local Greek
restaurant; major: writing. Fath-
er's business: certified public ac-
countant for Internal Revenue;
Family lives in middle-class Phil-
adelphia suburb.
The four's initial conversations
were sarcastic which sufficed to
dispel the silence. The banter
deepened to chatter once the girls
became accustomed to one an-
other, such as their discussion
about virginity and what their
mothers "would do if they knew."
It soon became noticable that
Amanda sat many of the discus-
sions out for lack of comment such
as this one and the subsequent
ones the girls shared about their
science courses, about the TV, love
and marriage and how they would
run their houses. She also spent
less time at home than they did.
T GS came to a head with the
first confrontation, about three
weeks after they had moved in.
Amanda, coming from the shower'
one night, observed how the other
three were sitting talking in the
livingroom. She bolted down self-
consciously waiting for a break in
the conversation when she could
perhaps make a contribution. The
chatter came to a halt. Winnie took
a deep breath and addressed
Amanda the rehearsed words
with seeming nonchalance. "Well,
as long as we're all here we might
as well talk."
In a vicarious way of criticizing
Amanda which they were not yet
ready to do they unleashed their
anger on her boy friend Brad --
how he took over the apartment
when he came, turning on the re-
cord player or TV until they felt
they had to go to their rooms,
how he treated Lynn's boyfriend
Rick like a moron, how he acted
like he was always right, how he
had hung up that nude nicture in
their livingroom, and lastly how he
had told them they play little
games "like ignoring me." he had
said. "We know we play games
bit we don't want to hear about
them." Theh fiahndato Amanda.







guests," Winnie finished. Amanda
agreed although muttering that
nobody seemed to ask her permis-
sion around here. They then turned
to discuss the nude photo more
fully. It was an artwork of Brad's
that Amanda had hung on the liv-
ingroom wall: she had not con-
sulted the other three, reasoning
that they had decorated the entire
rest of the livingroom on their
own. And as thev professed them-
selves so sexually liberated with
their boyfriends coming in to
sleep over weekends she was sure
they would not be offended by the
sun-worshipping nude. When in-
formed by Winnie of Lynn's dis-
tress over the picture she had tak-
en it, replaced it with "inoffen-
sive geometry." Now they brought
the topic up again. Lynn ex-
plained that she herself wasn't
embarrassed by the photo it's just

that she would be embarrassed if
her mother came in the room and
saw it. "Don't you think it strange
that your boyfriend would give
you a nude picture?," Winnie
added. "Maybe for a bedroom but
not for the livingroom of a girls'
apartment," Peggy said. Amanda
replied that she had asked for the
picture because she liked it and
that "I guess we just think differ-
ently." To her that was not such
a problem she had merely to re-
move the manifestation of this
differentness, easy enough. They
then asked her if she liked sitting
in her room when they were all
playing cards or talking or watch-
ing TV. Amanda responded that
cards and TV bored her, that she
was basically a loner, but that she
didn't like being so lonely and
would try to participate more in
the future. "Did you know I was

being hostile to you lately?,"
asked Lynn. "I didn't notice par-
ticularly," said Amanda. "Well I
was!," Lynn assured her.-
THERE was an interval of three
weeks during which there was
some talk about Christmas, about
Winnie's visit to Chicago, and the
spectacular incident which Peggy
had given up her room one Friday
night so that Winnie and her boy-
friend John could share it and
Amanda, perceiving her own
room vacated to her surprise had
invited Brad to stay that night.
"You had to admit that looked
suspicious," Peggy confided to
Winnie. She and Lynn were al-
ready putting pressure on Winnie
to come out openly again Amanda
as they wished to do. So one night
the second confrontation occurred
when Gail suggested to Amanda
that "I think we ought to have a

little talk." Amanda sat down
wearily while the others filed back
into the kitchen.
Amanda: I'm on trial again.
Peggy: Oh no, not that.
Lynn: Haven't you noticed how
things are getting worse around
Amanda: No.
Lynn: Well, they have.
Lynn: We just don't like you,
can you understand? We just don't
like you.
Amanda: Well, big deal, I can't
understand why.
Lynn: We knew it would not
be enough for you, you're so damn
dense so we made a list. (Flounc-
es off to get it. List reads:.
1. Crazy, reallysick.
2. Food, never buys anything.
3. Noise in the morning and
at night, wakes up Winnie.
4. Junk on the floor, crumbs,

Peggy: (Grabs hold of a spoon)
Amanda, you know the way you
eat . . . (shoves spoon in-her
mouth) There's plenty of openings
in co-ops right down the street and
we already checked with the land-
lord, there's no hassle with t h e
Amanda: (Drily) Thank-you for
your consideration but I'm n o t
leaving so that's that.
Lynn: I don't understand you.
You are really sick. How can you
live in a place where nobody likes
Amanda: I've been doing it,
haven't I?
Lynn: I know if it were me, I'd
pack up my bags and leave the
next day.
Amanda: Well, if you refuse to
get along with me you'll have to
suffer for it. I agree you have a
problem allright, but it's not me.
Besides I don't need you, I have
other friends. As long as I pay
my bills around here I can stay.
Lynn: Well, we want you to
leave, and we're going to do every-
thing possible to get you out.
.Amanda: (On her way out)
Goodbye. Three peas in a pod ...

5. Dishsoap.
G. Hair in the sink.
7. Toothpaste, make-up
over the bathroom.
8. Books.
9. Bends spoons.
10. Contributed nothing
11. Eating habits.
12. No hassle with lease.
13. Humiliation, make up




Amanda: What's this about the
noise I make?
Lynn: You came in like an ele-
phant last night. There was no
excuse for it.
Amanda: Okay, I'm sorry, but
what about your TV, your noise?
Sometimes I have to inconvenience
myself to go to the library it's so
loud or maybe I want to get to
sleep before twelve and you make
it hard for me because you're up
talking and the walls are t h i n .
There's a lot of people around here-
with all their different hours so
there's bound to be a lot of noise.
You wake me up, Winnie, coming
in after going to the bathroom in
the middle of the night.
Winnie: Oh, I know, it's just
that when you close the door you

THE END came quickly. T h e
three stripped Amanda's "ex-
cess" books from the shelves, took
down her calendar from the kitch-
en wall and replaced it w i t h
their Snoopy calendar, removed
her notes from Winnie's bulletin
board, and declared that in the
future she would not be allowed
to use their pots, dishes or silver-
ware. They avoided talking to her
and snubbed her stubborn "h o w
are you's." Deciding to break the
problem down into separate com-
ponents Amanda talked first with
Winnie, her roommates, who
agreed to let her stay next semes-
ter only if the other two would
concur: if they would not she
would say nothing. Declaring that
irreversible damage had been
done, Lynn, claimed that it was a
knot too emotional to untangle
and Peggy reiterated that she
wanted nothing to distract h e r

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