ABANDON ALL HOPE YE WHO ENTER HERE is scrawled in blood red lettering on the side of the Bank of America kiosk at the corner of Mass. Ave and Wendell Street. Fenno takes out $100 in crisp twenties and, exiting, notices a girl standing on the roof of North Hall, perilously close to the edge. Dashing across the street he calls out, “Miss, are you okay?” at which point their eyes meet and Lindsay H’s salty tears begin skydiving down six stories to the grass beside Fenno’s feet.
Minutes later, Lindsay, eyes swollen and bloodshot, is being consoled over a Venti White Chocolate Mocha with extra whipped cream and a futile skim milk substitution. “Nobody ever goes in. Nobody ever comes out. It’s like Willy Wonka’s goddamn chocolate factory,” she whimpers, explaining her dissatisfaction with North Hall.
“Look, you’re just not getting out enough. Why don’t I take you on a tour of the Square?”
“Fine. But just so you know, I’m not sleeping with you.”
“Deal,” said Fenno, realizing that altruism would have to entirely supplant his raging libido as the motivating force behind this good deed.
Taking a circuitous route around the stand of Michael Bublé CD’s to avoid an awkward run-in with Bruce Hay, Fenno and Lindsay head towards their first stop: Boston Tea Stop.
“So, where are you from originally?” asks Fenno, commencing the perfunctory spat of placid back-and-forth questioning that goes on between newly-made acquaintances. “Rome, Georgia, actually.”
“Well, you know what they say – when in Rome,” interjects the unctuous Brian Johnson, appearing out of nowhere.
“Um, do I know you?” wonders a startled Lindsay.
“Not yet, but you will. All the ladies know me. As in ‘know’ me. As in biblically. As in… well, basically I am trying to tell you I have a lot of sex. A lot.”
“Well, we’ll have to take a rain check on that, BJ,” Fenno says as he whisks Lindsay away from the law school’s vaginal lodestone.
Entering the Square, the two pass a homeless man gingerly stroking his dog’s mottled fur. “I don’t have much change,” lies Fenno, “but I have some food you could feed your dog.”
“This isn’t dog food, it’s people food,” shouts the man, irate now, holding a quesadilla al pastor wrapped in foil.
“It’s from Boca Grande, sir. Trust me, it’s dog food” counters Fenno, walking away.
“That was mighty kind of you,” utters Lindsay. I think it’s great when people realize that animals come before humans. That’s why I support Barney Frank’s new legislation proposing that all pets be rescued and placed in palatial kennels -to be hand-fed cubes of filet mignon and foie gras and sleep in cages made of Swarovski Crystal – before a single human is ever cared for in the event of another disastrous hurricane.
“I couldn’t agree more,” mutters Fenno.
Overly pleased with her display of political savvy, an oblivious Lindsay stumbles over what appears to be a grey, hairy boa constrictor, slithering along the sidewalk in front of the Coop. Shrieking in terror, she has to be calmed down by Fenno, who introduces Lindsay to “One-Dread.”
“Hello, little girl. My name is One-Dread, and I haven’t washed or cut my hair since Prohibition. Could you spare some change to help me feed the mice harbored inside my giant dreadlock?”
“Fenno! I need to get the hell out of here. I haven’t seen so many indigent people since Anderson Cooper’s Kattrina special.”
“Some soothing bubble tea is the perfect antidote for that liberal guilt. Come, we’re almost there.”
At Boston Tea Stop, Lindsay admits she has never tried bubble tea before but thinks she likes it. “It’s a bit cloying,” she explains, “but I kind of like the way the balls feel in my mouth.”
Fenno tries to stymie a growing erection by picturing 2L Matthew Justus shaving his ass hair with a pink Venus razorblade. It works.”So what’s with all the board games and the Street Fighter console? And where are all the hipsters?” asks Lindsay.
“Calm down, we’ll have plenty of time to check out the hipsters, Trustafarians, and other angsty suburbanite subculture posers later at ‘the Pit’ near the T-Stop.”
“Fine, Fenno. But you know, tapioca balls aren’t cutting it in terms of sating my hunger. I need some food. What’s close by?”
“I know just the place,” says Fenno, leading Lindsay to Phatt Boys. They take a seat next to Justin Shanes, who is eating by himself.
Fenno offers to sit with him but is rebuffed. “Guys, I’m trying to write this year’s Parody. It’s gonna be hilarious, we’re making fun of how evil law firms are… and the Socratic method… and how small the rooms in Gropius are. Basically things that nobody here ever jokes about!”
“Uh, yeah. That’s some fresh material, good luck with that.” But Justin has already returned to his notebook to write lyrics to “Don’t Phunk with My Hark.”
Doling out menus, the waitress introduces herself as Cathy and begins a pitch for the ‘Phatt Club,’ where “fifteen points gets you a free appetizer, eight-hundred points earns you a personalized bar stool, and for two thousand points you can have your way with me in the women’s bathroom for seven minutes. I’ve had vaginal rejuvenation surgery recently, and I must say – I’m tighter than a balloon knot.”
“Um, I think I’ll just order a Diet Coke and the Fish and Clits. Chips! I meant chips.”
“I’ll have the Jalapeño Bacon-Cheddar Belly Busters,” says Lindsay, “but is it possible to get the Lard Ranch dipping sauce on the side?”
Stomachs bloated and arteries sufficiently clogged, Fenno and Lindsay make one final stop at Herrell’s for ice cream. Inside they spot Khalisha Banks, Lauren Brooks, Janet Temko, Betsy Grossman, Lexi Nunn, Mitch Webber, David Burd, and Justin Butterfield.
“What are all you Harvard Law students – from various sections and classes – doing together at Herrell’s?” asks Fenno quizzically.
“Well, Fenno, this week’s edition of ‘Fenno’ didn’t have nearly enough students mentioned in it. There’s nothing at all about Sarah Brenner’s seventeen-years-after-the-fact bat mitzvah, or Kevin Brogan’s attempt to protest the military recruiting policy switch by parading around campus in a rhinestone-studded teal thong with matching wife-beater. That’s why we’re here – to fulfill that need.”
“Wait, I’m Fenno. What are you talking about? You guys are getting all Breakfast of Champions on me, why does everything always have to end up being meta?”
“Kurt Vonnegut is an anti-Semite,” pipes up an irate Mitch.
“Uh, thanks. Let’s go, Lindsay, I’m getting claustrophobic.”
Outside, happily licking her Burnt Sugar ice cream, Lindsay realizes that they have done nothing in the past three hours but eat. “Isn’t there anything else to do here?”
“Not really, unless you want to deposit a check. Food and banks, kid. That’s pretty much it.”
“Wow. You know, I don’t feel much better than when I was up on the roof. Why leave North Hall for this?”
“You’re right. In fact, next time you’re considering jumping, give me a call. I’ll join you.”