It’s easy enough to overlook that Princeton has an extraordinary hard-working cleaning staff and grounds crew. By nature, their jobs are defined by normalcy; they are tasked with essentially “resetting” the campus to its perpetually photogenic state after the latest whatever has messed things up. Rarely should this be this more clear than in the wake of Princeton Halloween, where the student body straps to itself a great deal of shit to leave everywhere and chemically imbues itself with a heroic disregard for what it leaves everywhere. This particular year, I happened to find myself in a rare state of focus and clarity at the end of the night, and I decided I’d make a survey of the night’s leavings before the reset hit. What follows is a by no means exhaustive catalog of the detritus, damage, and general driftwood of campus post-Princeton Halloween 2012 (10/27), encountered by the author on his 4 AM walk from Terrace F. Club to Pyne Hall, from Pyne to the WaWa, and back to Pyne:
Discarded life preserver
Posters torn from Frist boards
Decapitated cigarette butt depository
Discarded yarn (powder blue)
Purple paper scrap
Single tipped bike
Smashed tinfoil cap(?)
Wire with glittery stars, discarded in bushes
A black ribbon
Pile of corn stalks (origin unknown)
Paper cutout of witch silhouette with open safety pin affixed
Single red feather
Tipped bike in Whitman archway
Clear sounds of a postgame in Whitman set to Third Eye Blind’s “Jumper”
Aggressive make-out session in Pyne Courtyard, on a picnic table
T—— in a tiger onesie, bearing a Ziploc bag of corn muffins from a pair of local dancers.
Newly grown outcropping of mushrooms
Unopened Dannon yogurt sitting on curb
Single Under Armour sock
Explosive vomit (the noun; a main chunk deposit surrounded by Nickelodeon-style splatter)
Grey & white cat stalking something
Princeton Borough Police cruiser watching the Wa
Ring of vaguely costumed grad students completed by Wa gobbler cardboard cut-out.
“What theory of modality do you have according to which that is not the case?”, a sentence intoned jestingly by a bald grad student in suit.
Grad student vaguely dressed as Wolverine vaguely flirting with sole female grad student, in black dress & pirate hat.
Grad student in bowler hat
Grad student in toga
Nass business manager Andrew Sondern
Woman buying NJ Transit ticket
Pair of rabbits
Then I helped C—— carry her bike to her room on the third floor because she couldn’t get her bike lock to work and was afraid it would be stolen. On depositing the bike in her small single, regret set in almost immediately.
Then I ate my shorti and went to bed