Enough with the Fire Alarms at B-Dorms Already

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By Nash Wills, Co-Editor

Shout out to the moron who caused the fire alarm to go off at 7 in the morning on Tuesday of this week.

The fire alarm during it's constant vigil
The fire alarms on constant vigil

Like the rest of my fellow B-dormers, I too was snug asleep in my cozy bed when BZZZZZZ!!!! I was roused from a slumber by the all-too increasingly familiar song of the fire alarm. Oh what a joyous tune to which to awake. ‘Twas almost as if we were in a military barrack in basic training, waiting for the drill sergeant to bust in and start banging pots and pans in our ears at zero five-hundred hours. I almost even stood at attention when it all started.

And standing at attention after the fire alarm wouldn’t actually be too far from the truth, right? How many emails have we received reminding us to “evacuate your dorms and go to the evacuation site,” conveniently located a morning’s jog away over at the parking lot between the Commons and the Mail Room, as soon as you hear the fire alarm? No one ever does it though, and can you blame them? Think of it as a classic experiment in Pavlovian psychology. Just like with his salivating dogs, we too will become conditioned to ignore the “imminent danger” signaled by the fire alarm after it goes off 25 times and there is never any fire.

The life saving evacuation procedure for B dorm
The life-saving evacuation procedure for B dorm

Oh, but it’s for everyone’s safety they say…Repeatedly preparing for a fire in the A-B dorms is like repeatedly preparing for a hurricane in Kansas. Just look at the structural layout of the two buildings. Standing at a harrowing 2 stories high, they are made of solid concrete, spread out across the length of a football field, and separated room by room with multiple fireproof doors. The only fire that would justify the current evacuation procedure would have to come from a napalm air raid. I’d do better going out to The Fish to post up by the pool for 30 minutes. If it looks like the inferno is coming closer, don’t worry; I’ll just slide into the water.

But I’m no troublemaker. I respect the system. So after 10 minutes of incessant buzzing on Tuesday morning I finally gave up, got out of bed, put some clothes on, and walked outside. And wouldn’t you know it, I was duped. Everyone else had successfully proven their superior tenacity. I was the only one outside. Except for Bahar, she got duped too. As we made empathetic eye contact she told me, “I’m going to kill them.” Well said Bahar, well said indeed.

For those who don’t yet know, the entire fire drill process takes place over the course of 3 separate phases, each one increasingly worse than the next. So if by chance you thought that the actual alarm and evacuation were it, then you’d be sorely mistaken. Step 3: Security must come through and inspect each and every room. Now normally this wouldn’t be too much of an issue, but when it’s 7 in the morning and you are pissed off and still running around in boxers, the last thing you want is for some dude to come into your room operating under the assumption that “you started it.” Being optimistic as I am though, I figured that, given the circumstances, step 3 wouldn’t be necessary. I crawled back into bed and just as I was reentering the REM cycle, ready to put the whole ordeal behind me as if it was just a bad dream, KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK!!!! SECURITY!!!!

On Tuesday morning I was Nacho and Nacho was me
On Tuesday morning I was Nacho and Nacho was me

My Aunt Di used to have this terrifying Chihuahua named Nacho. Nacho was one of the meanest little devils I’ve ever come across. Huge Napoleon complex. Whenever we would occasionally take care of Nacho there was always one rule you had to follow, and if you didn’t heed to it, it could potentially mean your life: Never, under any circumstance, mess with Nacho while he’s on his bed. Dude was super territorial. I’m talking 0 to 60 in under a millisecond. If he even thought you were thinking about making an approach all hell would break loose. I never quite understood where Nacho was coming from on that front. All of that anger…

The reason I make the Nacho allusion is because I finally got a glimpse into the nature of his plight on Tuesday morning. Thank God my blinds were closed because when that security guard came a knockin’, for a split second I transformed into an evil, vengeful Chihuahua with blood on my mind. While simultaneously attempting to tame my animal instincts and appear polite, I opened the door to the security guard with only my boxers on and an expression that must have made me look like a smiling hyena. Poor security guard. Poor not only because I’m sure he had to go through a similar interaction 40 more times after he finished up with my room, but also because he had to see me in my boxers. I’m sorry, security guard.

A snapshot of me welcoming in the security guard
A snapshot of me welcoming in the security guard

I digress…In all of my annoyance and frustration, I have strayed from the true purpose of this diatribe: To call out the moron who set off this aforementioned series of events that resulted in the ruination of a perfectly good Tuesday for the 50+ people who call B-dorm home. Although my anger has since faded from Nacho levels, I’d be a liar if I said that it has completely dissipated.

Curiosity has gotten the better of me since, and because I personally have never even come close to finding myself in a situation where I could potentially set off the B-dorm fire alarm at 7 in the morning, I’m having trouble understanding. So maybe you could please explain: What the hell were you doing? Smoking inside? Frying up a pan of bacon or sausage? Blowing out an abnormally large candle? None of it adds up. I truly cannot fathom why you would be doing any of that in a dorm room at 7am on a Tuesday.

The ancient hallowed text of Hammurabi coming to Thunderbird soon
The ancient hallowed text of Hammurabi coming to Thunderbird soon

And you want to know the worst part about it all? The unnamed pyromaniac has gotten away with it. In all of their vast carelessness, I’d be willing to bet they haven’t even considered that their actions actually affected other people, too. Yes, dear Das Tor readers, the arsonist walks, nay lives, among us. Unknown and without accountability, they clumsily walk the campus, and it’s only a matter of time before their negligence results in another alarm. Who knows when it will be, who knows how it will start.

This is, therefore, a call to arms. After contemplating the myriad of repercussions that this human fire alarm trigger should have to face, I’ve concluded that a temporary re-institution of the Hammurabi Code should be sufficient. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. It would only be fair that for every person whose morning was ruined by the accused, each should be entitled to go by the Unnamed’s room on an early morning of their choosing and pound on their door, riling them from their precious slumber. Then, and only then, will justice be served.

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