The first time I met Peter, he was at Steer Roast sucking on the biggest bong I had ever seen. The thing was about six feet tall and could belch out enough fumes to keep all the past, present and future members of the Grateful Dead happy for a week. As I saw him sitting there with his blank stare and long unwashed hair, I said to myself, ``Echo, babe, anybody with that much of an oral fixation has got to be worth knowing.'' It was love at first sight. Or something.
Peter was the perfect boyfriend for me. He was a carbon-based form of life with the correct plumbing and no needs other than a constant supply of sinsemilla. I, myself, had very few needs other than my weekly case of long-neck Coors and the occasional oral gratification that Freud-boy had no problem providing. It was the perfect relationship, if you could call it that.
Since I had never expected much out of Peter, it very much surprised me that he could be capable of an act of heroism for which future generations of MIT students will forever be indebted. For it was he, my pathetic stoner loser boyfriend Peter, who single-handedly took on the MIT administration and stopped the installation of the most abominable work of public art ever devised. It was Peter who stopped ``Mold Mountain'' from being built in front of the Student Center.
We were sitting in Peter's room one boring Tuesday night, him puffing on his micro-bong (he saved the macro-bong for parties), and me sucking down my first Coors, when this geek from the hall burst through the door. After ten minutes reassuring Peter that it was just Kim the Nerdette and not the DEA, and that as far as I knew, Kim was not a narc, Kim broke the news.
``You guys seen the Tech today?''
``Huh! Yeah, dude. Huh!'' Peter said. He had this annoying constant laugh whenever he was stoned. Which was anytime he was awake.
``I never read that fucking rag,'' I said, ``what about it?''
``There's this article in the front page about this sculpture they are going to build in front of the Student Center.''
``Huh! You read the articles? Huh! What a geek! I just read Jim's Journal. Huh! It's funny as shit, dude.'' I often wondered how Peter got through life, let alone MIT.
``Let me read it to you guys: `Organic Sculpture Planned for Student Center' The MIT Corporation announced yesterday that the 1% for the Arts building fund connected to the Student Center renovations will be used to install an environmental sculpture by renowned German artist Otto. The sculpture is entitled `Mold Mountain' and will consist of fetuccine alfredo provided by ARA and left out to decompose in a twenty foot diameter plastic container....''
``Kim,'' I interrupted, ``will you kindly remove your head from up your ass? You are reading the Daily Reamer. It's a fucking joke.''
``I wish it were, check it out.''
I took the paper from her hands. I almost dropped my beer (but not quite). The Corporation assholes had signed a deal with some pompous one-name waste-of-DNA to build an ``organic environmental sculpture.'' I said to myself, ``Echo, WHAT THE FUCK?! WHEN DID THIS SHIT HAPPEN!? HOW CAN THEY FUCKING DO THIS?! I'M GONNA RIP THE INTESTINES OUT OF THIS FAT BASTARD ARTISTE AND I'M GONNA MAKE ME SOME REAL ENVIRONMENTAL ART!''
``See, it's for real. People are sending flamegrams to the Corporation people right now. If you would like to join us, we could use more help.''
``Huh! Fuck that!'' Peter said, exhaling locoweed smoke.
``Peter, you dumbfuck! This is horrible! This is the worst crap I have ever heard of! FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, THIS MAKES TRANSPARENT HORIZONS LOOK LIKE REAL ART!''
``Huh! E-mail's not gonna help shit.''
``Well, it's a first step,'' Kim responded, ``we seek to form a student coalition so that we may get our voice heard and so we can...''
``Huh! Yeah, right. Huh! That'll work. Huh!''
``Well, Thomas Paine, what the fuck do you suggest?'' I asked, for once pissed off at Peter's total antipathy.
``Huh! Fire with fire. Huh! You'll see.``
I went with Kim. I wrote some of the vilest, most offensive e-mail that the world had ever known, but to no avail. The Corporation pressed on with the project, telling the Globe what a great coup it was for the Institute to have obtained a world-renowned genius like Otto. The deluge of flameage had no effect whatsoever.
Meanwhile, Peter was growing distant. He stopped going down on me, although not on the micro-bong. I was getting frustrated and desperate. Not only was I going to have to see a huge bowl of increasingly decaying pasta every time I went to LaVerde's, but I was getting so desperate I contemplated going to a dorm party in order to get laid. The horror. the horror.
Whenever I broached the subject of Mold Mountain with Peter, he mumbled something about how something would soon happen, something wonderful. I told him, yeah, sure.
Exactly three weeks after Kim burst into the room, she did again. Again I had to talk Peter back from the ledge and tell him Kim was not a narc. This time, Kim had more interesting news.
``You guys seen the Tech?''
``Shit! What did the bastards do this time?'' I asked, bracing myself for the latest outrage.
``Some guy ran through 8.01 lecture yesterday wearing nothing but a jockstrap, a Radio Shack fireman's helmet, sunglasses, and, I quote, `what appeared to be a polish sausage protruding from the jockstrap.' ''
``Okay,'' I answered.
``It gets better. The guy yelled `Down with Mold Mountain' as he ran through the room.''
``Who was this guy?'' I asked.
``They don't know, they didn't catch him. Plus everybody was so busy looking at the sausage and the fireman's helmet that nobody saw the guys' face.''
``Huh! That's fucked up, dude! That's cool!'' said Peter coming out of his catatonic phase. ``That is fucking bizarre,'' I concurred.
The next Tuesday it was the same thing. Kim burst in, Peter tried to jump out the window, I talked him down.
``The guy did it again, he went through 6.001 lecture yelling `Down with Mold Mountain', wearing a jockstrap, shades, a polish sausage and a Radio Shack fireman's helmet. The Tech wrote an editorial supporting him.''
That day I resolved to make a sacrifice: I started reading the Tech. This guy, who was soon dubbed Kielbasa Man by the Tech headline dweeb, was the talk of the campus. Vicious arguments erupted over whether he was a legitimate protester or a shameless idiot. The alt.sausage.man.run.run.run newsgroup went up soon after the second incident, with the overwhelming majority of flamers in favor of the man with the meat. The Thistle ran a whole issue devoted to the subject, and, although I couldn't quite bring myself to read it, I heard it was also favorable. The guy did all the major lecture halls: 26-100, 10-250, 6-120. Students started chanting ``down with Mold Mountain!'' after his visits, interrupting and, sometimes, effectively ending lectures. But that was nothing. He was building up to the most awesome display of rioting that the campus had ever seen.
Despite the growing popularity of Kielbasa Man and the increasing protests of students, faculty and staff, the Mold Mountain project had progressed. The aluminum stand, the transparent plastic bowl and the 2,000 word explanation of the attist's objective in designing the work were already in place for the grand opening on the Saturday of Spring Weekend. In fact the great Otto had flown over from Berlin to see the three tons of decaying ARA pasta dumped on the giant Rubbermaid bowl.
That Friday night was the first night of Steer Roast. I had plans to drink myself silly and screw the first thing that had the right appendages. Peter had not put out in over a month, and, had I cared about him, I would have killed him.
I was putting on my sluttiest clothes when he banged on my door.
``Huh! Hey!'' he said, clever as ever.
``Hi, Mr. Thumb Dick! What the fuck brings you here?''
``Huh! You want to, like, go see the new Star Trek at LSC?'' I think it was Star Trek XII, or something, the one where they travel in time to search for Shatner's original hair.
``No, Mr. Dead Man's Penis, the last I checked, they don't serve Coors at Kresge.''
``Huh! Okay. Do you, like, you know, uh, what do you think about this Kielbasa Man guy?''
``I would fuck his brains out in a minute.''
``Okay. Come over to my room.''
Out of a sense of curiosity I did. In his room, laid out on his bed, were the celebrated fireman's helmet, jock-strap and a Hillshire Farms Turkey Kielbasa.
``They're less greasy, you know, and I do have to eat the evidence.''
He really didn't have to explain why he had to go to Star Trek XIV or whatever, I understood. I told him I would meet him inside.
The 8pm showing was packed. I got there twenty minutes before and had to sit in the back of the auditorium. But that was okay, I knew I wasn't there to see a movie.
The slide show progressed in all its lameness, complete with the obligatory audience participation bits. They showed the previews of the two other movies that weekend, then went through four or five `No Smoking' slides before starting the feature. With impeccable timing, Peter ran in right as the house lights dimmed. He yelled his rallying cry as he raced down the aisle, then jumped onto the stage. His voice was remarkably loud, filling the auditorium with his one message:
``DOWN WITH MOLD MOUNTAIN!''
The crowd started booing until they made out who it was. In spite of his original reception, Peter pressed on with his message:
``DOWN WITH MOLD MOUNTAIN!''
Soon, the crowd caught on. Even with the film credits rolling behind him, he had everyone's attention. They soon took up his cry:
``DOWN WITH MOLD MOUNTAIN!''
Even the dumb-ass projectionist caught on. He stopped the movie but left the projector light on. Peter was bathed in not very flattering but still stunning white light. He repeated his mantra, over and over again, until every single soul had but a single thought:
``DOWN WITH MOLD MOUNTAIN!''
The crowd took a life of its own. For a brief moment I feared for his safety. There was murder in the air and I doubted it could be stopped. I was looking for the nearest exit when he held up his hands and the crowd quieted. There was an unbearable moment of silence as he surveyed the crowd. Then he yelled for the last time: ``WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU WAITING FOR?!?!?!?''
The crowd went apeshit. They climbed over each other on their way to the exits. It was the nerd stampede to end all nerd stampedes. By the time I managed to exit the auditorium they had already removed the bowl, and were destroying the stand and plaque. It was an epic moment: a thousand geeks carrying a plastic bowl that was twenty feet in diameter to the Charles River. The CP's arrived but did absolutely nothing. As I recall, the mob dumped it at the 300 Smoot mark.
Peter was nowhere to be found so I went back to the dorm. He came back some fifteen minutes later, wearing a trenchcoat over his K-man outfit. He smiled but did not say a word. Neither did I. The earth moved, a Red line train went into a tunnel, Michael Jordan dunked, all was well with the world. I polished off a couple of brewskis and we did it again. Life was good.
The little incident made the front page of the Globe. Apparently, this Otto character had been doing an interview with German TV in front of the installation when the pack of wild geeks descended on him. The physical injuries were minor, a broken arm, a punctured lung, a major concussion, but the psychological scars were said to be deep. ``I vill never vork in America again,'' he was quoted as saying. ``Zeese peepoll, Zay ah insane. No, never.''
The Corporation came up with some harmless non-organic compromise project for the Student Center. There had been so many students involved in the uprising that no major disciplinary actions were taken beyond cancelling the Spring Concert, and since it was Juliana Hatfield, it wasn't much of a fucking loss.
Peter and I had a pretty good run, almost two years. As it turned out, Kim really was a narc. Oh, well.