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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Contact your local poison control center immediately

Published: January 27, 2006
Section: Arts, Etc.

As Brandeis Universitys go-to-guy for questions concerning serious life-altering issues, such as, Why does the university insist on stocking the bathrooms with toilet paper so thin that it disintegrates at the flatulence of a bacterium and you have to fold it in half in excess of 84 times before attempting use?, the future of peoples psychiatric health lays squarely at my fingertips. Some days I get so many questions that I dont even have time to copy my lab report from someone else seven minutes before its due.

I would like to share with you one of said questions today because I think it might have a profound effect on someone, somewhere, maybe, in some indeterminate and fabricated way. The question, brought to my attention by some guy that I am too lazy to make up a name for, is this: Rafi, why do you pretend that people ask you questions all the time? Do you think were stupid or something?

The short answer is no. The long answer is yes. Granted, its only a one-letter difference in length, but in journalism you learn that sometimes one letter can go a long way. For example, BBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBB.

See? That one took up an entire line.

Since were done answering that question, we can delve right into more important topics such as one-year anniversaries.

Now, one of the perks of being a humor columnist is that, short of inciting a race riot, yelling FIRE! really loudly in a crowded theater full of deaf people in sign language, or sending encoded messages to terrorists, I can write a whole slew of crazy stuff, and it doesnt even have to make any sense. So today I would like to share with you the craziest thing I can think of that makes absolutely no sense at all. The thing is, as of yesterday, I have actually managed to keep a female sedated enough to be with me for an entire year without her lowering an eyebrow in one of those how-exactly-does-your-brain-work looks and Im-about-to-cut-and-run-in-fear postures. I get those a lot, but surprisingly not from her.

How exactly did I do this? You may think it was through not recommendable amounts of over-the-counter analgesics. You know those massive dosages that the box tells you to contact your local Poison Control Center immediately for, such as when you wake up at 5:00am for a 7:00am flight and youre so tired that you mistake the Nyquil for the coffee and by the time you realize it youre fumbling around the kitchen mostly uncoordinated, heart rate slowing to that of an excited cadaver, trying to think of the last time you ever took a stroll over to your local Poison Control Center? Its only then that you realize youve never actually SEEN a real live Poison Control Center, start questioning the label for requiring you to get on your computer under the influence of enough depressants to kill you and do a Google search for some amorphous place that in all likelihood doesnt exist instead of just giving you the damn number for the Poison Control Center, and finally decide that you better start writing your will before the excited cadaver in your chest starts getting tired.

Well, it wasnt that. You may choose not to believe me, but I never drugged her twiceI mean once.

So what did it? The honest-to-God incredible truth, and I am NOT making this up, is that I have absolutely no idea. And THAT is the key to maintaining a healthy relationship.

Oh, its not as simple as it sounds. Having absolutely no idea how you did something requires a lot of hard work. Dedication, consistency, and periodic drunkenness are only the first steps. To keep a romance going, you need to be daring and original, willing to do what it takes, the seemingly impossible, including, but not limited to:

1. Smiling and nodding,
2. Long blank stares,
3. An undying commitment to each other that nothing but a really, REALLY good TV show can break,
4. Drinking lots of soymilk.

That last one might not be applicable to all relationships, but it certainly is to mine. Soymilk supposedly has calcium, which is a metal that you need for bone density and strength, or so she tells me. There are two ways to check if youve been getting enough calcium. The first is to dash in front of a speeding car and see if your legs break on impact. If they dont, youre fine. The second is to see if magnets stick to your thighs. If they dont, take more calcium.

Anyway, the female in question has taken such an intense personal interest in my bone density that youd think the fate of the free world hung in the balance of my femur. Currently, I have something over 250 Citrical calcium tablets designed for maximum absorption, 100 Viactiv calcium chews of active nutrition for women by women, and 94 Solgar Calcium Magnesium Plus Zinc tablets in case of accidental overdose contact your local Poison Control Center immediately all on my dresser right now. Its true. Theres also an old bottle of multivitamins thats been there since August that I dont use because they taste like laundry detergent. This is because theres laundry detergent in them. Its left over from the big Laundry Detergent in Luggage Explosion of 05. This is the only valid excuse I have not to take a multivitamin. I treasure it. This is why I still have the bottle.

At this point I feel compelled to quiz you all on what we have learned today. Question 1: If your girlfriend accosts you with a shattered look on her face and asks you, Yes or nohave you been having an affair with the director of the local Poison Control Center? You

A. Smile and nod
B. Initiate a long blank stare
C. Drink lots of soymilk
D. Contact your local Poison Control Center immediately
E. All of the above
It is now that I will break with journalistic humor columnist protocol and incite a race riot.
OK! First one to riot gets five bucks! READY! 321

Happy anniversary pretty one.