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November 19, 2002

Dear Diary

Things I mean:

I am really, really sorry. This column is not normally home to things I sincerely mean. This is an exception.

Back to the well:

Dear state of Illinois,

Way to be worse than your cousin Ohio in every important measure of state quality, specifically college football prowess.

Thanks,

Pete

How to beat me up

Home: I am completely defenseless in the morning. If you catch me asleep or naked, I can virtually guarantee that you could beat me up. Punching me in the face while sleeping would send a nice message. During the afternoon and evening, I tend to lock doors and stay away from windows. However, pretending to be a deliveryman would probably work, and you'd definitely get in a punch or two.

P.S. When you knock on the door, say "Candy-Gram" and then jump kick me through the wall.

ATM: I don't use ATMs all that often, but when I do, it's usually around noon in the Reynolds Club basement. Pros: My back is turned, so you can sneak up on me.

Cons: Lots of witnesses, and I might see you coming in the mirror. There is also a surveillance camera. Pretend to be a CitiBank activist, dress up like a gorilla, throw chocolate cake mix at me, then hit me with giant foam mallet.

At work: Well, it's a coffee shop, so nobody's stopping you from coming in and beating the crap out of me. It would be a nifty move if you bought coffee from me and then threw it on my face. It wouldn't be all that nifty, since my face and eyes would get burned, but I'd appreciate it aesthetically, at least. Forgive me if I don't say which coffee shop. Aw, who cares? Second floor coffee shop, in the Reynolds Club. I won't give you my work schedule. That kind of takes the fun out of things. Anyway, buy a samosa, pay for it, mash it into my face, stuff some dollar bills in my mouth, and then dive headfirst out the window.

In the office: I am in the basement of Ida Noyes for a few hours every day. Sometimes I sit with my back facing the door, so you could nail me with a 2 x 4 and kick me around and then run out. There aren't any cameras. But I am feisty, especially on my home turf, much like the Confederates during the civil war and what not. Come in, ask me if I saw this, hold up a copy of MAROON and then punch me through it. Pull my pants down, take picture, mail it to my middle-school crush.

Bathroom: I go to the bathroom all the time. You could really beat the crap out of me in the bathroom. Some of the bathrooms I use are reasonably well populated, but there are a few sleepers where you could really kick the living snot out of me in the second floor bathroom of Cobb. If you ambushed me and locked me in the stall, it could be hours before somebody finds me. Look for me at 3 pm-6 pm on Monday afternoons. Grab my hair and bash my head into a pipe, stick head in toilet, maybe dress me up like a mummy using paper products.

Library: Reg, 4th floor reading room, north wall, east side. I sit facing the window. Jump on my back, aggressive tickling, maybe an ankle lock, run away yelling misleading political slogans.

On street: I walk down 57th St. Monday and Wednesday mornings at about 7:50 a.m. I tend to walk on the south side of the street. I'm surprisingly agile, so a frontal attack is probably not the best option, unless you're tough, in which case you don't need my advice anyway. I figure I am particularly vulnerable to cars coming onto the sidewalk and/or blindside clotheslines. Driving past and throwing rotten fruit at me is worth consideration. I wear a blue hooded sweatshirt and dark slacks most days. I do occasionally take alleys, so be advised. Also, you could try getting me when I'm walking home from the Maroon office very early on Tuesday and Friday mornings. There is a very good hiding place by the back stairs of my apartment. I won't tell you where that is, you'll have to do some research. I formally recommend that you lure me into a corner with a dollar bill on a string and then throw a net over me and reenact the "Ewoks are going to barbecue Han Solo and Chewbacca" scene.

General advice, tips, & tricks:

• I hate getting punched in the face. I don't imagine most people enjoy it. But if you're looking to maximize output and minimize input, punch me in the face.

• The basement might not be the nicest part of the house, but it might hurt the most, if someone punched the house there, if you know what I mean.

• Insults are good. I don't have self-esteem problems, but that doesn't mean you couldn't give me self-esteem problems.

• Necks: Everybody has one. I'm no exception.

• In re: robbing me after you've beat me up: My bag: There's nothing worth having in it, unless you want photocopied readings about the 1893 Columbian Exposition and a couple burned CDs, and all those deposit envelopes I'm hoarding. My wallet is a lot like my bag, except filled with smaller items of little to no value. On a normal day, I don't wear too much jewelry. Then again, you never know. You never know.

Holy shit! I remember when there was a Little Caesar's next to the UDF on Bagley. We got pizza from there every Saturday when I was a kid and then my dad asked my sister and I trivia questions all day, sometimes before we even finished our pizza. And that's why I'm awesome. They wrote good letters at that Little Caesar's, as I recall.