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Chester Cheetah Takes Thermodynamics

Back in sophomore year Knaus and I still clung to the desire to study engineering, and as a result we took a Thermodynamics class together. This was a 80 minute class twice a week. We passed the time in our own ways. Knaus would keep a countdown of seconds left until class was over, and sometimes he would poke me awake and point at his “T-600s” scribbling with a rare-Knaus bright-eyed smile. I would pass the time by engaging in nostalgia – recanting the “near… far…” skit from Sesame Street. I would get right in his face and say “neaaar”, then lean back in my seat as far as possible for the complementary “faaaar”. I am lucky Knaus did not stab me in the face with his count-down pen.

One on particular Friday we had an exam in Thermodynamics. The class was in Knox 20, a room meant to hold several hundred students. Knaus, Wolf, and I had some important party to go to that night, that I cannot remember at all. We were all anxious to go, particularly Wolf. The exam was at 7PM, after which we had to make a stop at Knaus’s parents house. It had been decided we would all meet at the dorm. Wolf foresaw being left behind, so he insisted on going to the exam with us. He would entertain himself by taking the exam also.

By the time I returned to the dorm at 5PM Wolf was sitting jittery at his desk and drinking his brandy form his bottle labeled “Yak Piss” so no one would drink it. Anyone who knew Wolf would not have been surprised if he really did have a bottle of Yak piss. I had no such drink as I wanted to remain sober for the upcoming exam, not that it helped. Knaus finally arrived and drove us over to the Amherst campus.

We all took sat down tot take the exam. I kept looking up between questions to see how Wolf was holding up. I half expected to see the effects of the brandy kick in and see him passed out. Not at all! Wolf seemed invigorated by his caper. He was busy scribbling away. After a few people started to filter out I noticed Wolf exit the exam room.

When I completed my exam I existed and found Wolf discussing the details of the exam with one of those engineering nerds who always sat in the first row. Wolf was giving this A student a raw deal”. The guy saw so hyped up about engineering he would blurt out his final answer with no prodding – he probably went back to his dorm and read more Thermodynamics, or designed a bridge, just for “fun”. I walked past Wolf and pretended not to know him in order to not foil his fun.

Geek: “What did you get for number two?”
Wolf: “What did you get?”
Geek: “I got 12 calories.”
Wolf: “Oh, I was pretty sure I did the problem right, but I got 18 calories.”

When Wolf had driven the geek away I asked him what he wrote on his exam. He wrote out that long bear in the woods joke for one answer, and another he showed all his work with “Professor Warner needs a good butt-fuck”. I doubt he earned extra credit. He signed the exam “Chester Cheetah”. His hope was Professor Warner would be so irate that he would explode during the next class, but nothing was ever publicly mentioned of Chester Cheetahs foray into Thermodynamics. It is ironic Wolf is the Engineer now.

When Knaus was finished we piled into his car and drove over to his parent’s house, above the “Ceramic Dreams” store they owned. What Knaus needed at the house was unknown as he corralled us into his sparse room and left us there for 20 minutes. We were both fearful to exit uninvited. While passing the time, in almost complete silence (in order to avoid the extreme ire of Knaus in his lair) we spied his large pile of unpaid parking tickets.

Eventually Knaus let us go, and his mom forced a candy bar in our hands. We then helped Knaus carry his stereo equipment down the stairs. The stairs had a rolled up carpet along it’s length. We proceeded down the soon-to-be flight of stairs. Knaus was first, I was second, and Wolf brought up the rear.

I had both arms full of stereo equipment. Knaus would have castrated me on the spot had I damaged it in the least.

Side note: we really do paint a dreadful picture of Knaus, albeit true.

I felt Wolf push my left shoulder from behind. Thinking he was engaged in tom-foolery trying to push me down the stairs for fun, when I was helpless, I gave my shoulder of firm shrug to torque his hand off me. In fact, Wolf was still drunk from the “Yak Piss” earlier in the day, and tripped on the carpet at the side of the stairs. He tried to catch his balance on me, but my shrug sent him ass-over-tea-kettle down the stairs past both Knaus and I. As we looked in surprise at Wolf splayed on the floor at the base of the stairs, Knaus gave him a stern look, “You knocked my candy bar out of my hand!”

Wolf claims he was not drunk, just clumsy. Why you would rather be known for lack of agility than just drunk?

The OFFICIAL STORY is he was drunk.


One Response

  1. An excellent telling! No need for me to add my version. I stand by my story that it was my clumsiness that day as I only had 2 shots of yak piss before going to the exam. It had worn off by the time I finished, which is why I exited having gotten bored with writing Knaus’s bear joke.

    Louis – this means nothing to the others, but one of the students I freaked out with my telling of the answers was Andy Grosser, who somehow didn’t realize I wasn’t in his class.

    Finally, the big party that night was the infamous ‘rum and coke’ party that ended with me smashing the florescent bulb in the hall and diving into the vomit bowl. I’ll get around to telling that one at some point.

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