Shawn Goes Animal-House on me During my Shower; Obscene Phone Caller–College Memoirs: Life at Roanoke–November 1992, Part 1

Pat Robertson Screws Up

I bought a Bush/Quayle button in the Campus Shop one day, and displayed it proudly on my jacket.  One day I went to sit in the Pub, probably because Julie was there, and she saw my button.

She cried in dismay, “Bush?!  But I thought you were so cool!”

I laughed.  Hey, she thought I was cool!

So many people around school talked about Clinton and said they were voting for him.  One day in Fiction class just before the election, someone said with confidence that Clinton was going to win.  I laughed inwardly, knowing from Pat Robertson’s infallible predictions from God that Bush was going to win.  On the night of the elections, I waited eagerly for the results.

I sent in my vote early, since I had applied for an absentee ballot from Indiana and it was to be mailed before the actual election.  (Things are done differently there than in Florida; the absentee ballots have to be received by election day.)  It felt so good to finally vote for the first time ever.

I didn’t even think of voting for someone other than Bush, since it would be useless to vote for a loser.  Of course, I still felt that none of the candidates was the best this country could offer.

I went out for a while, but when I came back, Clarissa told me the projected winner.  I couldn’t believe my ears when she said–

Clinton had won.


How could this be???  God had told Pat that Bush would win, just as He’d told Pat so many other things that had come true.  God knows the future, so how could Clinton have won?  It just wasn’t possible!  There must have been a mistake!  It would all be sorted out in the morning; maybe some votes they’d missed would show up, and a recount would show that Bush had won.

I watched The 700 Club every night, waiting for Pat to explain himself.  Then on Monday the 9th, Ben Kinchlow finally asked him about it; a man had come up to him with tears in his eyes and asked, “What happened?”

Pat said, “I guess I missed it.”  He didn’t know what happened, either, but he suggested three things: Maybe he missed it, since we “see through a glass darkly”; maybe God just won’t override free will; or maybe the way Bush ran the war changed things (remember Jonah and Ninevah, how the prophecy of destruction did not come true because of Ninevah’s repentance).

That was it?  My faith in his predictions began to falter.  I mean, this was major.  He had said, look at your track record; up till now, his had been perfect as far as I knew.  But if one of his predictions could be wrong, any of them could be wrong, and you wouldn’t know which one until after the fact.

Peter is PW

On the 5th, I went to sit with Julie at lunch, seeing James with her (heart flutter!).  But then as I set my stuff down beside her, I looked up and saw who’d be on my left: Peter!

He looked agitated, but I stayed cheerful, especially with James at the table.

When I went up to the line, I saw Peter leave, and Julie yelled after him, “Peter, you’re retro PW!”–meaning, he wasn’t going out with me anymore, but was still p***y whipped.

Everyone at the table laughed.  Frank said, “Retro PW.  I’ll have to remember that.”  Julie said, “You have so much control over him, Nyssa.”

James joked that if I’d stayed with the Phi-Delts, I could’ve partied with the Zetas, and exercised my control over Peter.  (How did he know I quit? or that I was pledging in the first place?)


On the 6th, Clarissa told me that, on the stage steps in the Bradley, someone made a chalk drawing around Paul and his dog Maizie!

On Saturday the 7th, Darryl told us that a two-person fight at the previous night’s Zeta toga party almost sent somebody over the (second floor) railing.  Jennifer was right: The other Greek organizations were having problems with unity.

That evening, I stayed with very-latecomer Shawn after dinner as he waited to go through the sports banquet line.  It had to be after the attendees of the banquet went through.

We had a nice chat, during which he not only nearly emptied the salt shaker into the pepper shaker, but poured salt on the table and made pictures (some lewd) with it.  I playfully hit him once or twice, as well as I could from across the table.

Not wanting to chance having to wrestle someone for the Grossheusch lounge TV, he asked if he could watch Covington Cross with Clarissa and me.

He sat on the floor between the beds as I ironed, and later on Clarissa’s bed.  We found the show wasn’t on, so began looking for other things to watch.  Finally, at 7:30, we found Coming to America just starting.  They’d seen it already, but I hadn’t.

Clarissa’s mother called while I was in the bathroom, so Shawn left the room and turned off the TV so Clarissa wouldn’t have to have her call the guest room.  I decided to take this chance to get a snack from the Krueger vending machines (the doors were not locked in those days).

Shawn also decided to leave–things to do.  But before he left, and by the guest room, he gave me a hug.  As usual, he lifted me up.  I said, “Why do you never spin me around anymore?”

“I don’t want you to puke,” he said.  Away from the view of my door, he held my sides, then began pinching me.  “Have you lost weight?”

“I hope not.  I don’t need to lose any weight.”

He started doing a skin graft test on me and going on about where girls should be, compared to guys.  He thought about kissing me, but hurried out, saying he’d better not.  “It’s too dangerous.  Your roommate might come out.”

“That’s why it’s not dangerous,” I said.

We walked on a ways together on his way back to the dorm.  He said he “didn’t like doing that” (I forget what “that” was), but I said it’s fun.

The next day, around 4pm, I’d been writing “Candida.”  Shawn called to ask if I wanted to come over, so I made notes on what to do next in the story, then went over in the drizzle.  I found new concert pictures on his wall and the Whiteheart tape Emergency Broadcast playing.  Shawn said,

“What did you mean by saying ‘It’s fun’?”

I said, “Some of the things, yeah.”  I then sat in the chair in a way I hoped would look cute.  Out of the corner of my eye, he appeared to be looking at me.  I listened to the song “Montana Sky” until Shawn asked for a back rub, saying he’d give me one.  I knew where that would lead.

I came over, and things went as usual.  For a time, he wanted to hold and kiss and caress me; but afterwards, it turned into yet another lecture.

He again suggested ways to do my hair, tried to make my clothes look “sexy.”  He complained that I never put my hair up like other girls did.

Actually, that semester I had already put my hair up in an intricate and pretty style I had made up in high school, when I used to put my hair up all the time as a freshman.  I figured that because I had long hair, grown out so I could wear it like my idol Princess Leia, I should use it by putting it up all sorts of ways.

Then one of my friends complained that I never wear my hair down.  I started wearing it down all the time, but still put it up during the summer to get it off my neck.

Also, now in college, I saw Melissa wear her hair up occasionally and get complimented for it, and did not want to be outdone by her when I had all sorts of cool hairdos in my repertoire.  So I began wearing it up occasionally at college as well, though not often because Wisconsin gets cold.

I hated the whole lecture from Shawn, feeling like I wasn’t good enough the way I was, like everything about me was wrong.  Finally, I told him how bad his lectures made me feel.

“I’m going to give you a complex,” he said.  “You’re going to walk around wondering, ‘Is my hair all right?’  All right, I’ll stop.”

I said, “I’m afraid of talking to you because I always fear you’ll start telling me what I do wrong.  I feel like I’m on an examining table, and you’re trying to find out what’s wrong with me here and what’s wrong with me there.”

He suggested a bet: Every time he did not notice me doing my hair a different way, he owed me a pop.  Then it was changed to a kiss.  He said he was always picking me apart like this because he recognized things in me that he found in himself.  He said, “Tell me if I start lecturing you on something I do myself.”

Then Clarissa called.  She had come to Grossheusch and asked the RA to call Shawn’s room to see if I was still there.

It was almost 8:00, and Clarissa–being all alone in the room as it got dark, having the synopsis of my vampire story “Candida” in her subconscious, was freaked out when a poster slowly fell off my wall, making noises all the way.

She came up, and I said, “I told you there weren’t any ghosts in the suites!”  She and I left; I went to the Muskie for dinner, but stayed because the college was showing JFK on the TV.  Just a few tables away from me sat James!  Glee!

One day, Shawn called me over; when I went in the door, I found him playing his Sega with–James!  They were playing hockey.  I didn’t even know that Shawn and James knew each other.  Then the game ended and James left.  I don’t recall him saying much or flirting, so there’s nothing to tell.

Since I now knew Shawn and James were friends, I asked Shawn if any of his friends ever talked about me.  To my great disappointment, he said no.

But I do find it a great shame that I didn’t press the matter further, and tell him my feelings for James.  He probably would have been more than happy to help me–or else he would’ve gotten jealous, and wanted to be my official boyfriend.


On the 10th was a cultural thing put on by the Japanese students in the Pub: They served sushi and green tea, both of which I tried (liked the sushi but not the tea), and played a sumo wrestling match on a TV.  It was a lot of fun.

Probably around this time, Cindy told me that one of her friends, Randy, who had been best friends with Peter freshman year, now had ended the friendship:

Peter came over to his house while Randy had relatives over, and started bragging about smoking weed.  So Randy kicked him out of the house.

So now I had more things to pray for him for: smoking, cussing, drinking–and now pot.  Shawn also saw him sometimes at Zeta parties, coming up to him with a drunken greeting.  Shawn did not believe in underage drinking, and didn’t think much of him for this.

On December 4, the Mirror ran an article called “The Best Acting in Years” about the November 12 school play Lion in Winter.  Derek (from the pepper steak incident), Steve, Darryl, probably Ned, and others truly were excellent actors.

The play was both depressing and funny.  Derek seemed to love playing a prince.  As a black man, he didn’t look related to the king’s family, but that didn’t matter in a school play.  All that mattered was, he made me forget I was watching Derek and think I was watching a prince.

Steve played a whiny Prince John, and he did it so well that we wondered if he’d had a lot of practice as a kid.

My monthly paycheck wasn’t much.  I only made about minimum wage for ten hours a week, which at the time was $4.30 an hour.  But I felt rich, since the cost of living is so low for a student on a college campus who only pays for laundry, snacks, Muskie meals, and other things.  And Food Service workers got Muskie coupons.

During football season, guys wore both Packer and Bear clothes and hats.  The Bear fans were gutsy, since the Packers and Bears have been bitter rivals for years for some reason.  Sometimes a pre-game show would be on the Muskie TV when I got dinner; one of the sports announcers could never just say “Bears.”  He always said it “BEAArrrrrrrs,” in a derogatory tone.

Obscene Phone Caller 

Krueger Hall was soon afflicted by an obscene phone caller.  Some thought he used to be a janitor or security guard at the school.  He supposedly wasn’t anybody actually at the school; he always caused double-ringers, which meant off-campus.  But somehow he always knew where to call to find the girls on campus.  Krueger was his favorite target.

Occasionally he called other places.  One night around 3am, Clarissa and I were awakened by our phone ringing.  We listened to the ringing, then barely a split-second after it stopped, the phone in the guest room rang.

Once, when the obscene phone caller called Rachel, she actually had a whole conversation with him, asking him questions and such.  We were shocked; “Isn’t that dangerous?” we cried.  But he kept calling her, and she kept chatting with him.  It was funny.

Pearl had an answering machine, and put a message on it which went something like this: “You have reached the room of Pearl and Cindy.  If this is the room you want, please leave a message.  If you want Sharon, you have the wrong number: dial 388.  If you are an obscene phone caller, dial 371 for Rachel.”

Shawn Goes Animal-House on Me During my Shower

On Friday the 13th, I had seen The Lion in Winter the night before.  It was performed from the 12th through the 14th.  Clarissa was a prop-person, so she was usually gone until past 10, maybe 10:30, because the long play started at 8.

Around 9:00 on Friday, Shawn (whom my intuition had told me to expect) came by.  I guess it was good that I decided I was too busy to go play a game with Dori, Pearl and others.

I was busy watching certain TV shows and recording songs off CD’s onto a tape.  I’d also just opened up a bag of sour cream and onion chips and held it in my hand–though I’d had misgivings about buying this on a night when I strongly suspected Shawn’s visit.  He owed me three kisses for not noticing my different hair styles, you see.

He came over, I told him what I was doing, and he looked at my CD’s.  He picked out three of them, and said, “I want to go give these to P— [a friend of his in InterVarsity] to play.  We’ve been working on a shack.”  (Habitat for Humanity was doing their Shantytown thing again, same as the year before.)  “Maybe I should give these to him–say, ‘I have a gift for you, P—.'”

“You’d better not!” I said.

“I’ll be back in 15 minutes.”

I had to get up at 8:00 the next day, early for a Saturday, to work the pre-home-game breakfast shift.  I planned to shower that night so I could sleep that late and still have plenty of time to get ready.  Next day was Family Day, so Shawn planned to spend it with his family.  I don’t recall meeting them–I guess I just wasn’t important enough to introduce to his parents; shucks.

He came back around 9:30 or 10.  Not long afterwards, Clarissa returned.  I’d already told her that Shawn and I were a little more than just friends, or two people on a truce.  (She’d thought I couldn’t stand him, which wasn’t far from the truth.)

He asked to watch some recordings Clarissa had made of Star Trek:TNG.  Shawn tried to share my back rest; when I got up for something, he took it over.  So I lay against the right arm, which was surprisingly comfortable.

His fingers began to roam, making me squirm, worrying that Clarissa would see.  He moved me to the left side of the back rest, which I discovered was so he could do what he wanted out of Clarissa’s sight.  I had trouble getting comfortable again.

Then young Guinan said to young Ro on Star Trek, “I’ll bet you were a jumper.  It’s always the quiet ones–they look so innocent.”  All three of us laughed hard at that, but for different reasons: Clarissa thinking of herself, me of myself, Shawn probably of “troublemaking” quiet me.

At some point, he got control of the remote, found Animal House and sexy women, and wouldn’t let us turn them off, try as we did.  Once, in the bathroom, I said to Clarissa, “It’s like having a brother around, isn’t it?”  She agreed.

Mr. Octopus kept causing me trouble until Clarissa went to bed.  But it was late and I wanted to cuddle and go to sleep, so he decided to let me go to bed.

I told him I wanted to take a shower.  I went in the shower stall–and he began tormenting me.  He tried to get me to kiss him “because I’ve never kissed a girl in the shower before,” and to give me a goodnight kiss.

He also tried to get me to let him in the stall with me.  “I’ll clean that part of your back that you can’t reach,” he said.

If I let him, he would have jumped right in there with me, no joking.  I kept yelling, “Go away!”  (My suitemates were probably gone.  Clarissa would not have heard a thing with her hearing aid out, so she was no help.)

Something made the curtain fly up suddenly, exposing me, though he later claimed he saw nothing.

He stole my clothes and towel.  This greatly irritated me, especially when he did it a second time and left the bathroom, and I had to walk around naked to find them.

He told me, “You shouldn’t have let me watch Animal House.”  (As if we hadn’t tried to stop him!)

And this from a devoted Christian who reads his Bible and prays and listens to Christian rock and talks about youth group and thinks I’m a heretic for believing in ESP and my Mental Link with Peter…..Girls, you never can tell from a church membership, so beware!

After the shower, with my nightgown and robe on and my glasses off, I checked the lounge with my nearsighted eyes to see if he was still around.  I saw his jean jacket in a chair, and he tried to get my attention from the couch, but I didn’t see him, and went into my room.  Then I went into the lounge to comb my hair and visit with him.

A Les Miserables book sat on the coffee table; he picked it up, butchered the pronunciation (I know some French), and said I should do my hair like in the picture.  I growled at him for some time as he tried to do my hair.  I was tired, cranky and PMSing, and he wanted to comb my hair some odd way!

When he was finally about to leave and gave me a goodnight kiss, I had trouble getting anything out of it, even with my arms around him.  So he moved me along and down the short hallway, and pushed me onto the floor, with me underneath him.

Now came some heavy-duty kisses as he pressed his body against mine.  My body screamed to let him continue, but knew what it was leading to, so I finally stopped him.  Not then, not that time of the month, not there in the hallway!  Imagine my suitemates walking in on that….

Yet I wasn’t his girlfriend?  I was just a “friend”?  He didn’t feel that way about me?  Then why was it so easy for me to stir up his Irish blood again and again?…He left, and I went to bed.

I only got 5 hours of sleep, but refused to tell Nancy why, though she started to infer.  Then I worked with Dirk that morning, Dirk telling me to smile even though I was so tired.  I hate it when people tell me to smile as if I’m just Miss Grumpypants for not smiling for no reason.

My and Peter’s “song” came on the radio; he asked if I liked it; I said I do, but can’t listen to it.  He pushed, I said I’d rather not talk about it, then he went on about being trained as a counselor for his high school, people come in and out of his room all the time for such help, he’s always available when I want to talk, don’t let people get to me with their teasing because they see something in me they’re jealous of, etc.

Geez, too tired to smile and not wanting to talk about your romantic history with a near-stranger and now you need counseling?  Sheesh….

I waited for Shawn and wanted to see him all weekend, but he never came and I didn’t see him at meals, so he was probably with his family.  He did look at me oddly all week whenever I saw him.  I didn’t know why, though now I strongly suspect that he peeked, the scamp!


Cast of Characters (Work in Progress)

March 1992: Shawn: Just Friends or Dating?

April 1992: Pledging, Prayer Group–and Peter’s Smear Campaign

May 1992:

Sophomore Year 

Summer 1992:

September 1992:

October 1992–Shawn’s Exasperating Ambivalence:

November 1992:

December 1992:

January 1993:

February 1993:

March 1993:

April 1993:

May 1993:

Summer 1993: Music, Storm and Prophetic Dreams

September 1993:

October 1993:

November 1993:

December 1993:

January 1994:

February 1994:

March 1994:

April 1994:

Senior Year 

June 1994–Bits of Abuse Here and There:

July & August 1994:

January 1995:

February 1995:

March 1995:

April 1995:

May 1995: