Hobnobbing with Bob

Kirkland House Security Guard Bob Butler

"Bob," begins a young woman who has just entered the Kirkland House breezeway with an air of mischevious conspiracy, "basically I need the meat on him!" Bob flashes a charming grin, leans back and smiles. "Just send a bevy of pretty girls up to his room. He'll like that...."

"Secret Santas," Bob explains, 'are really big in this house."

After eight years as the Kirkland House security guard, Bob Butler really "knows his kids," he says. And so every December, he is able to provide accurate personality profiles and appropriate gift suggestions for Secret Santa participants.

Once she's gotten the "meat on him," the inquisitive Santa thanks Bob for the advice. Then she reveals her own holiday desires: "If my Secret Santa happens to ask, tell them I want ten of the hottest Kirkland guys performing [as] Chippendales, in the dining room, down to their boxers...." This is "a tall order," but Bob promises her he'll "do [his] best."

Bob feels his responsibility is to "just help the kids." After all, who else is going to be there at one in the morning when you realize you've locked your chem notes in the dining hall? And although Bob isn't above threatening residents with a whole year without any toilet paper, Serena L. Davila '95 confides that Bob is really "the security guard with the teddy bear heart."

Bob is notorious for his "wacky, witty, wise sayings"-- "Bobisms," some label them. While he doesn't exactly exude "sparkling optimism" and "bubbling effervesence," (he might be more comparable to "Saturday Night Live's" 'Grumpy Old Man,') he is, nevertheless, the acknowledged, beloved house personality.

One Bob fan, attempting to describe the magic that is Bob, was at a loss for words. "Bob? Where to begin...." Indeed, Bob is a man of many passions. This same champion of the video game "Roadblaster" showed considerable acting talent as Prince Charming in a past House spoof of "Cinderella."

Bob has seen "a lot of crazy things" in his eight-year tenure at Kirkland; the unpredictable antics of his residents are a perpetual source of amusement. Unfortunately, not everything can be dismissed as harmless, rowdy fun: though he is reluctant to "bust chops," occasionally Bob must "stop kids from doing what they want, because it's [his] job."

When he's not wandering the far corners of Kirkland house, Bob can be found in the superintendent's office, leaning back in a worn wooden chair. He sings a few bars of a favorite 50s tune along with the radio, awaiting the nightly visit of his "coffee girl." This widely-coveted post is bestowed on an especially favored resident who has displayed a particular talent for following directions, since Bob's nightly coffee must be prepared according to precise specifications. "One sugar, one cream, lightly stirred, counter-clock-wise," he explains with finesse.

Otherwise, Bob maintains he's generally a simple man with relatively simple tastes. "After all," he claims, arms outspread, "what you see is what you get."