Just how wild should the girls and boys of Yale go during spring break?


My father recently tried to explain something he called “liability” to me during a discussion about off-campus housing. His mumbling, British accent and use of the word “doodawg” in the place of every noun made it impossible to actually understand anything he said. But I’ll tell you what I inferred from his sporadic, irritated guffaws: Yale can’t always cover your ass when you’re not floating in the sustainable amniotic fluids of its wood-paneled womb.

When my father was making angry noises at me, he probably was not envisioning the reality of my suitemates losing control — making too much tea in our kettle or hanging National Geographic posters with duct tape instead of sticky tack. He was probably thinking of those other Yale students who have been known to misbehave (i.e., light things on fire). So to keep you arsonists and other rebels-without-causes out of some Floridian prison that not even deans can spring you from, here are some simple guidelines.

Don’t be Tara Reid. Naked parties at Yale are kind of gross. But at least here at Yale other people consciously make the decision to go out on a Saturday night to see your potentially funky anatomy. Don’t force it upon strangers. Put that away. The rest of the world is not ready.

Don’t poop in closets. This isn’t a joke. Someone actually defecated in my floor’s fire closet a few months ago, and it took us a long time to locate the origin of the smell of human feces, and even longer to convince the guys across the hall to clean it up before the custodial staff killed us in our sleep. This isn’t an issue of properly representing an institution that is supposed to select for the best and the brightest. This is an issue of acting like a human being, a human being who doesn’t take a dump in other people’s living spaces.

Watch the made-for-TV movie “Spring Break Shark Attack” before you get in the water and before you leave your drink uncovered near any psychotic frat brother named J.T.

After learning to fear killer sharks, revisit the “Gilmore Girls” episode where Paris and Rory go to Florida for spring break and then proceed to watch “The Power of Myth” rather than take part in drunken festivities. True, they also kiss, but I’m going to stress the Bill Moyers part as something to emulate.

Do what the airport officials tell you. They don’t have grass-fed burgers in Guantanamo.

Stop with the fascist vandalism. Don’t build a swastika sandcastle. There won’t be a panel on the psychology of hate; you’ll just get lots and lots of crap beaten out of you.

Avoid tankinis. No one looks good in a tankini. You just look like all of your upper-body fat has been made into a fleshy fruit roll-up wrapped around your waist.

Don’t let anyone convince you to get your hair braided on the beach. If you do allow some bad friend to talk you into it, avoid beads at all cost.

Stay away from video cameras, unless Christiana Amanpour is there. You can do whatever she’s doing. I’m pretty sure she’s never worn, let alone removed, a tankini on tape, so you should be safe.

That said, Yale will probably send an emergency team to chopper you to safety if you cause yourself any serious bodily harm. And who am I kidding? People are probably nursing starving meerkats back to health in the Kalahari Desert, or teaching blind babies how to tango, not doing belly-button shots with the cast of “Viva la Bam.”

Perhaps you shouldn’t listen to me at all. I’ll confess that senior year of high school I spent spring break in the inoffensive-sounding city of Montreal, where I proceeded to get kicked out of a hotel bar for playing an illegal game of poker, and then watched a friend get stabbed in a knife-fight on the street. He was carried into the ambulance screaming, “I am a machine!” and recovered quite nicely.

Summary: What would Bill Moyers do?

Emma Allen, unlike Molly Green, will not be greasing her tits for spring break.