I enjoy a variety of odd pass-times. The vast majority of them are ways to make people feel uncomfortable. One of these is making weird faces at people across the Bon.
The majority of the time, I know the person to whom I am showing odd expressions, but, there is nothing quite satisfactory as seeing the expressions of the people who see me and do not know me.
Another one of my favorite pass-times is people watching. The Bon is a prime environment for this activity. Nearly everyone goes there at some point in the day and the variety of people who do go there is quite impressive, considering the size of the university.
If you watch long enough, trends arise. You have your table hoppers who sit at three tables or more per meal, and the individuals who come in, choke down their meal, and then book it to wherever they need to get to next. Next, you have the individuals who stay in the Bon for several hours, stay at the same table, and sit with multiple waves of people. Finally we come to the individual who sits alone. …
For some people, sitting alone is not a problem. They merely found an open seat at a table and sat down. Quite often, these people are joined by their friends. But it gets interesting when they are joined by complete strangers.
These first time exchanges are exceedingly entertaining. The newcomer begins by sitting across the table from the loner, literally as far away as he or she can. The original sitter acknowledges his or her existence in as few syllables as possible.
The next stage consists of asking the really boring questions: What is your name? What is your major? What year in school are you? The majority of the answers to these questions are forgotten before the meal ends.
From this point, the relationship can go a few different ways. The first, and most common, is that the two occasionally see each other on campus. They will acknowledge each other, maybe remember each other’s names, and then go on with their lives not quite knowing what the other person’s name was.
On the other hand, the two table talkers may discover they have several classes in common. Soon they are going to the same study groups and then just studying together. The next thing you know, they are dating and then it is Ring by Spring (after all, this is George Fox).
I prefer a different method. Occasionally, I will choose to sit alone at a table and enjoy a meal without conversation (this would be when I do quite a bit of my people watching). Every now and then, a stranger will sit next to me and we will go through the above mentioned formalities. Then the fun begins.
I eat everything with a fork including cold cereal so, right off the bat, the newcomer is already wondering. The next thing I do is point out someone random at another table and say, “Hey, that chick/guy was checking you out.” On the outside, the individual may not even let it show concern, but on the inside, he or she will always wonder.
Perhaps I am a nut, but I am an incredibly happy nut. More people should try tactics like this. That way, when you see the person again, you can point out the person and tell your friends you really freaked him or her out.