68 - The Michigan Daily Weekend Magazine-Thursday, September, 18, 1997
®Weekend, etc. Column
BATHROOM BLUES AND SHOWER SERENADES
The Michigan D WeekenI Maga
0.4 ~ a pfof heArt.....
THE CRISP LADY GOES HoLLYWO
As the school year gets into groove,
and the pace of life begins to reach a
nauseatingly frantic tempo, I am
increasingly reminded of how few
places of solace, rest and relaxation
seem to exist.
Sure, there are always natural hide-
aways like the Arb, or maybe a good
hangout place like a favorite restaurant
or cafe. But I'm talking about a place
where one can hide from the public eye.
A place where it's perfectly acceptable
to be yourself for maybe an hour or so.
A place like the bathroom.
Now, now, get your head out of the
toilet (intentional pun), I'm not talking
about anything perverted.
But the bathroom is literally a place
where you can let it all hang out -
where you can make funny faces at
yourself in the mirror, trying to tell what
you'd look like if your nose weren't so
pointy, or if your ears didn't stick out so
Even better, you can sing in the
shower almost as loud as you want,
and aside from a couple angry knocks
on the door from your irritated room-
mates, no one will be able to do a
You see, as grimy and funky as bath-
rooms can get - particularly bath-
rooms like my own, which haven't
been cleaned in so long that certain
types of bacterial scum actually refuse
to live there - bathrooms are sacred
In no other room of the house -
including bedrooms - is the law of pri-
vacy so strictly adhered to, making the
bathroom the perfect place to let a few
out-of-key croons take flight.
Once you're in the shower, it doesn't
matter what kind of music you like,
how well you sing or even what order
you sing the songs in.
You make the decisions, you choose
whether to sing in a high or a low note,
whether the theme of the day should be
rock, soul, rap, R&B or some twisted
version of reggae.
No one to criticize you, no one to
make demands, no one to tell you the
way anything should be done.
With decent acoustics and a better
imagination, you can go from a
stressed-out college student with no
future and boring classes to Al Green
performing in front of a packed house
(hopefully with your clothes on) -- all
before your shampoo starts to lather up.
What better place than the shower to
lose yourself in song, forgetting about
the worries of signing up for LSATs,
applying to grad school or finding a job
- much less finishing that
paper for this afternoon's
The older we get, the more
it seems we have to conform
to others' expectations -
ideas about what we should be
or ought to be, instead of what
we want to be.
In this sense, even the bath-
room isn't entirely free from
the outside influence. Women
use the bathroom to put on
makeup or do their hair, all in
an attempt to conform to soci-
ety's standards of beauty and
acceptable appearance. Men shave and
comb their hair for essentially the same
But at least there will always remain
the sanctuary of off-key harmony in the
shower, if nothing else.
You may be thinking to yourself, "I
see people whistling or even singing to
themselves all over the place."
A courageous few do exist. Often,
though, they're branded as weirdos, out-
casts from society.
I have also tried singing in public, sort
of. A couple of years ago, while mowing
the lawn at my mom's house, I decided
that the lawnmower made enough noise
to drown out my notes and make it safe
to sing. I wailed my heart out.
The experiment seemed successful,
until the next day when our next-door
neighbor - an elderly lady, harmless
enough - beckoned me over to her
side of the fence.
"Was everything all right
the other day?" she asked
earnestly, a look of concern in
her crinkled brows.
Uncertain as to what she
was referring, I asked her to
'All I know is, about five
o clock, I heard some of the
worst hollerin' I've ever
heard. Thought maybe some-
CHRIS body was hurt, or maybe an
FARAH animal trapped in the garage."
ARAH'S Needless to say, said ani-
°AUCFT mal was yours truly.
_______ I wads kepl ltintied
by the incident, but -e moral of the
story seems clear:
We may not have all been born with
voices like the Velvet Fog, but most of
us are lucky enough to have bathrooms.
And in bathrooms, we can be ourselves
and sing all we want - without some
old lady telling us we sound like
wounded men in the throes of death.
Unless, of course, you happen to like
having old ladies in your bathroom ...
but let's not think about that one.
- Chris Farah is a Michigan Daily
sportswriter You can e-mail him at
I never liked her. Not one bit, I tell
you. She doesn't care about me, or
about how I'm going to balance my
course load this semester, how I'm
going to make it from the Perry
Building to East Engin in less than 10
minutes or if I'm closed out of the one
class I've been waiting to take for years.
I push her but-
tons and get no
The CRISP lady
just doesn't cut it
Especially with the
prospect of James
Earl Jones now
entering the pic-
Sure, it's a long
Jennifer Petlinski shot. There's the
Daily Arts Editor cost of getting the
mated system redone, whih runds
like it could become complex. And then
there's the fact that the administration
won't even listen to what the James Earl
Jones For CRISP Lady Task Force has
to say until the group gets a certain
number of signatures on a petition.
Well, gosh darn it, everybody. Get on
that petition and sign away. I mean,
we've got a bunch of students with
apparently a lot of time on their hands,
ready to fight for the cause, and we've
certainly got nothing to lose.
After all, what can be worse than the
CRISP lady's voice? And how great
would it be to have James Earl Jones?
Maybe you need some convincing.
Let's take it purely from an entertain-
ment standpoint, shall we?
Reason No. 1: Inspiration When you
hear the CRISP lady tell you that you
have an 8:30 a.m. Communication
Studies class, you have the potential to
get really pissed off. Even if you knew
that you would be registering for it, you
still may notice that she comes across
sounding mean, like she's gloating that
you have to wake up that early.
Of course, this wouldn't be the case
with Jones; the man has the power to
move mountains with that voice. I mean,
think about what Mufasah's (Jones')
voice did to Simba in "The Lion King."
The poor little lion couldn't get his dead
daddy's voice out of his head for the rest
Qf the movie.Why-e e dd tey keep
flashing back to it? Because it was so
damn moving. And what about Darth
Vader? People listen to that.
If Jones tells me I have an 8:30
Comm class, then you better believe
that I, and probably a slew of other stu-
dents, will be there. With that deep, pur-
poseful, get-down-to-business, bellow-
ing voice, Jones will convince me that I
have a purpose in life: to get to Comm
at 8:20 with time to spare, pen in hand,
ready for the challenge. None of this
CRISP lady business. She can't even
convince me to make it to my discus-
sions. Now what good is that?
Reason No.2: A Star Is Born Here's
my favorite reason because I've always
wanted to be in a movie. With Jones on
the voice-automated system, we all
have the chance to star in one. Just pick
your favorite Jones movie. Maybe it's
"Return of the Jedi," "The Hunt for Red
October" or "Coming to America" or
"The Sandlot' if you have bad taste.
Pretend Jones is actually conversing
with you through the phone, feeding
you lines. Feel free to add dialogue as
you wish. (Please note: Do not, in the
meantime, though, forget to be pressing
the buttons as you register, or Jones
may have to return you to the main
menu and hang up on you.) This "Star is
Born" reasoning can be dangerous
then; you have to be aware of the
b6undaI4s between fantasy and reality.
Then maybe in a few years, after the
system gets really fancy, we'll be able to
hear a "Choose Your Own CRISP
Adventure" over the phone. For exam-
ple, "if you choose "Masculinity in
Crisis," Section 001, 008, your life will
enter a semester-long period of decay in
which you will feel like you're dying a
slow death twice a week ..."
This, of course, will add to
of purpose that Jones will giv
dents as we attempt to register
As you can see, there are
benefits to having Jones rep
CRISP lady. God knows we c
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