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norma knows

for the moment


For some reason, I haven't been able to pick up a single book for my new classes this semester. They have been sitting on my bookshelves looking at me disapprovingly and having contests to see which one can collect the most dust. Instead of studying, I've been contemplating the sexiness of Billy Joe, the lead singer of Green Day (What a babe!), and waiting for "When I Come Around" to get played on WFNX. I dunno, I just can't seem to shake the reading period slacker mentality. Besides listen to the radio, all I do is sit in the dining hall, debate my caffeine addiction, watch the snow fall, and see if I can pick four classes that all show at least one Disney film during the semester. I've also been practicing my telekinetic powers, trying to get Action Man to call me by willing him to do it. I think it worked once.

It seems that my readers have been having similar problems. None of them can get off their asses either. They're all spending too much time engaging in non-academic activities and getting into trouble.

Dear Norma,

Because I have no life, I stayed in Cambridge for intersession, holed up in my room, playing on the information superhighway for hours on end. I found some fun stuff on the news groups, and decided to download it. I was only going to print the pictures out and send them to Newt Gingrich. Really I was! I'm not at all sexually excited by pictures of women having sex with pigs (or ferrets and chickens either, for that matter)! But then a Crimson reporter called to tell me that anyone could see what I had down-loaded off the 'Net. he didn't believe me, Norma! What if he calls my mom? My coach? My kindergarten teacher? (And she thinks I'm such a good kid!) What should I do, Norma? Nabbed on the 'Net

Dear Despondent,

First of all, I don't believe you either. I think you're in serious denial about your interest in bestiality. It's okay, though. There are resources that can help you deal with your inner turmoil, in a non-directive and affirming fashion. Harvard has wonderful peer counseling groups that would be happy to help you; they might even turn your problem into a new poster.

Second, as for the Crimson reporter, you have two choices. You could kidnap him, lobotomize the information out of his brain and then destroy any evidence he might have; or, you can pray to God (or whatever entity you might do that with) that he has ethics enough not to use information like that for evil. The first choice is illegal, and the second may be wishful thinking. For your sake, I hope he's a good person, even without divine intervention.

Dear Norma,

At first, I thought it was morbid curiosity, but now I'm really worried. My roommate has been watching the O.J. Simpson trial non-stop! He reads everything in the press, listens to all the talk radio, and gets into wild debates in the dining hall with anyone who makes the mistake of sitting next to him. I think he's obsessed. He just told me he wants to splice a cable wire so we can get cable...and Court TV. And worst of all: He thinks O.J. is innocent. I'm scared, Norma, very scared.

Concerned in Cabot

P.S. I'm also sleeping with his girlfriend.

Dear Concerned,

I think it's clear that your room mate has a serious addiction that has just been diagnosed: "O.J. Addiction" (see The New England Journal of Medicine, January, 1995). I think tough love is the only way to help your roommate. Get four or five of his closest friends together, lock him in a room, and yell at him for being so stupid. If that doesn't work, you could drug him and send him to McLean. Whatever you do, don't let him know you're boinking his woman. That would bad, very bad.

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