As a Kenyon student, you’ve been in this scenario too many times before. You’re making small talk with that one distant relative, co-worker or peculiarly attractive tollbooth attendant when they drop the A-bomb of questions on you: “So where do you go to school?” You gulp, clench your fists, and squeak “Kenyon.” What comes next is the most abominable nine-word-phrase in the English language: “Wait, wait, wait … you go to school in Kenya?”
Don’t let them get their cheap, cliched laugh! Here are Five Ways You Can Avoid Being the Butt of the classic Kenya/Kenyon Joke:
- Clear your throat and calmly point to your hi-lar-i-ous “Kenyon Is Not Near Uganda” shirt – Tell everyone who gave you shit for wearing it for a straight month to suck it. As far as precautionary measures go, this is the best $20 investment you can make before visiting any sort of inquisitive relatives.
- Namedrop an actual Kenyan college – “Ahaha yes! Kenyatta University in Nairobi. You know, the capital? It’s funny because I was thinking about applying to Africa Nazarene University – but I just absolutely fell in love with KU’s campus. They shot Kiliberali Sanaa there, ya know….” If those aren’t doing it for you, feel free to consult this list of Kenya’s other prestigious colleges.
- Speak Swahili – “Yes” is Ndiyo. “No” is Hakuna. “I hope your knees fail you at a very young age” is a little trickier, but with a little gumption, Nami matumaini magoti yako kushindwa wewe katika umri mdogo sana becomes a snap to say in absolutely no time at all!
- Counter with a lamer joke – “Well, it’s better than going to school with a bunch of reindeer, amirite? Ha-HA! Reindeer… like venison. Because you go to Deniso—” and at this point you start crying hysterically while muttering something about your dad. While this tactic is certainly effective, it should really only be used on strangers. Aunts are just too touchy-feely for this sort of thing.
- Start discussing the Kenyan conflict – It’s safe to assume that people with the gall to make a joke that lame probably aren’t very smart, and therefore, aren’t too interested in international affairs. Drop a line like “No, no, it’s actually in Ohio – but speaking of Kenya, when do you think al-Shabaab will finally end their reign of terror in the capital? It’s been eight months forchrissakes! EIIIIGHT MOOOOONNTHS! WHYYYYYYYY?!” and nobody will ever try to make small talk with you again. Ever. Nailed it.