10 o’clock list: Terrifying Things I’ve Seen in the Woods of I-80 PA

The Into the Wild Bus

Having sat in the passenger seat on the journey from Kenyon to Connecticut what feels like one hundred times, the four straight hours looking into the woods of what I consider mountains on I-80 Pennsylvania have told many a frightening tale! Here are some things I may or may not have seen that chilled my bones.

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Late Halloween: Notable Kenyon Alumni Costumes

Imagine it: There is a Halloween party happening on campus and the pandemic has magically vanished. This party isn’t for students, though. There are alumni gathered, but not just any alumni. The party is full of notable alumni. You know, like famous people. Now that I’ve set this scene for this spectacular event, you might be thinking, “Gee Ella, this sounds fun! But where are the costumes?” 

Trust me, I did not come unprepared. In fact, I have a whole list for you of exactly what their costumes would be in this fever dream type of scenario. Sit back, eat an entire bag of discount candy you bought, and watch my masterful Halloween vision unfold before your eyes. 

  1. John Green as Hank Green. John Green is the type of guy who would definitely go for a quirky Halloween costume that earns a chuckle from unsuspecting party goers. For his costume, he would simply dress as himself and then put “Hank” on one of those sticky name tags. People would be like, “John, you were supposed to dress up for this!” and he would point to his name tag, causing a fun little giggle. I have to applaud the natural low effort here. 
  2. Paul Newman as a Farmer. Hannah Montana once sang about the best of both worlds, and honestly, that’s the vibe I’m going for with this costume. The country hat and overalls would pay homage to his Western film days as a cowboy, and yet, the idea of the farmer comes full circle to his organic foods line. He could even bring his own salsa to the party for a shameless self promotion and everyone would think it was the coolest thing ever. Truly a man who can do both. 
  3. Allison Janney as a Starfish. You know Allison Janney from The West Wing? Oh, that’s cool, but pretty basic. At this Halloween party she deserves to shine in one of her iconic roles that nobody seems to pay attention to: Peach in Finding Nemo. Yeah, you heard me. Allison Janney was in Finding Nemo. I’m envisioning a whole body suit of arms to really accentuate her height here and give her the credit she deserves. 
  4. Josh Radnor as a Skater Boy. I don’t know about you, but I get major “how do you do, fellow kids?” energy from Josh Radnor. This may or may not be from watching Liberal Arts, but that’s too much to unpack right now. He would go around the party telling everyone he’s Josh RADnor while calling them dudes. I feel like he would definitely try to break dance with starfish Allison Janney. 
  5. Rutherford B. Hayes as Himself. I’ll cut to the chase: if you have the name Rutherford, then you are obviously interesting enough to not even need a Halloween costume. Plus, he was more stylish than any Kenyon student currently on campus. Look at how he dressed on Google. Do it. You will see some button down coats that only he can rock. That is all I have to say.
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What Do You Mean You Like Him?

What Do You Mean You Like Him?

Seriously? Is this moderately not-ugly, generically dressed, fairly dry guy gonna change your life? Probably not, but you’re thinking about taking him home to meet your friends and maybe meet his parents.

He’s the peas to your mashed potatoes, hitchhiking on the forkful of your life, a pretty green to add to a perfectly smooth and buttery carb. But let’s be honest. What’s he really doing for you? Peas are gross and maybe they “complete” a meal, but they’re nothing. They just make things grainy.

He probably wears a beanie, still wears Vans, and listens to like Pink Floyd or Creedence Clearwater Revival and thinks he’s the shit. Or he only wears an ugly sweater with shorts year-round and thinks his D3 sport is a personality trait. Or he came from a major city and thinks he’s automatically better because he literally lives in the gentrified area of said city. There’s no in-between and they’re all trying to skateboard right now. Gross.

He has some redeeming qualities. Maybe he’s hitting up other girls but always ends up hooking up with you at five in the morning. Maybe he only ever leaves you on delivered for five hours and then doesn’t send ceiling pictures. Maybe he sent you a good morning text and asked you if you ate that day once, and now you think he’s gonna ask to cuff you. No. He never will. 

He probably doesn’t read. Isn’t that embarrassing? Like you obviously read if you’ve made it this far, but this man has probably never touched a page unless it was required reading. What are you gonna talk to him about? Football? Lacrosse? Another sport about strong men giving other strong men concussions? Are you gonna feign interest to impress A GUY? I have. It’s total garbage. 

What are you guys going to do? Watch NBA giants soar through the air like birds in your sweats together? Even if you get that far.

What’s his middle name? You like him and don’t even know his middle name? C’mon, you’re better than this. It’s not like you don’t want to know, you’re just afraid that if you ask he’ll get scared off and ghost you. Do you even have his number? Oof.

So the next time you dream about pulling up to his house in the Northeast during Christmas in a plaid red and green sweater, remember this: You only like the idea of him. In reality, he probably just sits in basketball shorts and plays Grand Theft Auto, hits up his boys, and then goes to sleep. Is that what you want? No. His skin is horrible and he’s going to make your skin horrible. 

You’re gonna end up super splotchy inventing scenarios where he’s just gonna be the greatest, then cry when he inevitably fails. Your friends from back home are annoyed at you for talking about him because they’re fucking guys like him too. There are no winners. Who’s worth that? You don’t like him. Stop. Unless he’s like a genuinely nice guy, then yeah, go for it.