Rules of Engagement: The H-Bomb Edition

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Rumor has it that a worrying front is coming in from the North. And I’m not talking weather. Turns out that those Cantabs up in Hellville, Mass(-hole) somehow developed the misconception that we are willing to host their grossly malformed bodies in our suites, on our futons, in our personal space. This sends chills down my spine. Much as I am loath to, dear readers, I can only respond in one way — it’s time to raid Science Hill and mix up some arsenic. Desperate times and all that, right?

Yeah … no.

So, let’s be honest about this whole Harvard-Yale thing. We aren’t the excessively antagonistic rivals of the past. Violence and bullying just aren’t really kosher in our post-PC-but-still-kinda-awkward era. More often than not, we’ve traded battles of wits for tournaments of really rather sloppy flipcup. Harvard, take note: no bulldogs should be strangled to mark this glorious anniversary.

Instead, we’re going to be nice. Gracious, even. That’s what Dean Gentry, our residential college masters and all of Yale’s administration want from us. And we all kinda have that weird over-achieving-kid authority fetish. So, despite the cold Winthrop House floors I was subjected to last year at Harv-nerd (lolololol, right?), and for reasons completely separate from my craving for the moral high ground in any and all situations, I’m here to give you a handy guide to how best to care for your visiting Cantab.

Rule #1: Rinse in vodka regularly and keep out of direct sunlight. Yes, Harvard kids are smart, ambitious and generally have some third skill like being a highly skilled astronaut or having balanced the budget of some small country. But they’re fairly insufferable and kinda gross. So never let Rule #1 slide. Seriously. You’ll live to regret it — unless those Medusa eyes of theirs get to you first.

Rule #2: Self-preservation for the soulless. Your responsibility to your guest safety-wise, Elis, is to point out the blue phones, warn them about Dixwell and Dwight and explain that ‘RONNELL HELP ME’ is da Have’s version of the bat signal. Cantabs will — and should, if they want a true adventure and aren’t wusses — lose their friends, phones and self-respect. Once that happens, they need to know how to navigate their way back to someone who knows what the “Pit” is and just how many times they’ve made out with Elizabeth Warren and/or Larry Summers there. Stuff gets real in this town. And they need to be aware of that. Because, quite frankly, Harvard kids wouldn’t be able to tell sketchy from an Alpha Delta delivery. (Rule #2.5 states that all Yalies must use every opportunity possible to take a dump on Harvard. It’s just a thing. You agreed to it when you signed that mandatory Yale Health form, silly.)

Rule #3: Don’t be that predator creep. This reporter was just chillin with a friend in Silliman the other day. Everything was fine. There was sunlight, and unidentifiable food. But then he opened his mouth: “so, I agreed to host, and I’m hoping to get someone really cute …” C’mon guys. There are just so many reasons why this is wrong. I’ll leave the more complex, ethical and headache-inducing ones to some EP&E type looking to win our grudging respect/his or her parents’ love. But here’s what it boils down to: so much awkwardness it boggles the mind and makes that one dry residential tailgate seem like the glory days at Sig Ep. Plus, you don’t need to stoop to desperate situations. You’re so much better than this, dear reader. Or, if you’re not, I’m sure we can figure out some way to assert that you’re beautiful on the ‘inside.’ Leave the Cantabs to breed within their own — I hear that makes genetic disorders more likely, and maybe a couple of quirks would do hominus Harvardus some good.

Rule #4: Thou shalt have no other gods before Handsome Dan. As much as you may like your transient pet Cantab, remember where your loyalty lies. Harvard kids are fair game for any but the most obviously scarring of torments. So this weekend is your chance to use all those backup plans you thought up pre-college to ruin your suitemates’ lives if they were horrid. Feel free to blast Katy Perry (God, that new single’s phenomenal), walk around in that one shirt you wore to Highlight that’s never smelled the same since and leave half-eaten G-Heav sandwiches in every corner. Take a leaf out of your friendly neighborhood section asshole’s book and show off those 17 obscure facts and theorems you memorized for an emergency situation with a professor. They’ll feel right at home. Oh, and remember to paint a Y on your guests’ faces while they’re asleep (or, like, have a freshman do it).

Rule #5: Distance yourself at The Game, and just don’t speak if we lose. So, like, this could happen. It’s fine. Smirnoff and a sympathetic shoulder are all you need to convince yourself that constant blows to your school’s athletic pride don’t really affect you. “We’re more fun, okay” is both true and medicinal. Head home to the section-less, paper-less, stressful-asshole-less Thanksgiving you so truly deserve. At least we don’t have school on Monday. #winning #trendyandyouknowit.

This guide should be your shield against that looming scourge of crimson. Stay warm in your Yale gear; keep your friends close but your Cantabs closer — and more miserable. And remember to scrupulously avoid them next year in Cambridge.

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