After blowing our on-campus housing deposits on back-to-back-to-back screenings of ‘Fast and Furious’, Thingfight is exploring other options for our secret headquarters next semester. We’re not quite ready to settle down in the family-friendly Ashford area, and all the good College of Arts and Sciences dumpsters filled up in early February, so it’s come down to two locations: a split-level volcano below the Charles River and a three-bedroom Beacon Street pyramid. Normally, we’re strongly opposed to using our Thingfights for personal purposes, but we were also strongly opposed to ‘Seventeen Again’ and that still happened. With an eviction from the Hyatt (Boston University’s personal pyramid) fast approaching, we have to ask ‘- volcanoes and pyramids: what if they fought?
There’s a lot to love about volcanoes. You’ll occasionally see a trashy pyramid-shaped hotel (oh hey, Hyatt, didn’t see you come in) while volcanoes are the centerpiece of every respectable mini-golf course in the greater Jersey boardwalk area. Works of art constantly portray the majestic and powerful volcano – ‘Dante’s Peak,’ the Jonas Brothers and the first draft of ‘Titanic’ are just a few. There’s something for everyone in volcanoes ‘- ‘the floor is lava’ is always a fun rainy-day activity for the very young and the very senile. The incredibly phallic nature of an enormous eruption of burning passion gets the 18-to-24 demographic. And the lava, melting innocent villagers as they try in vain to escape its slow march of death, is a huge draw for the soccer moms. The volcano’s current tenant is the disfigured and disgruntled Greek god Vulcan, wed to the most unfaithful of goddesses, Aphrodite. Unfortunately for mortals, Vulcan blows off steam through natural disasters. Pompei? Aphrodite’s little fling with that pansy messenger boy Hermes. Krakatoa? Stubbed his toe pretty hard. Since the moody Greek took permanent refuge in the fiery depths, the volcano has consistently served as a haven for schemers and evildoers, becoming the symbol of destruction for all mankind holds dear.
Pyramids really aren’t that different from volcanoes ‘- in scientific terms, they’re both brownish, triangly and awesomeful. The main distinction is that volcanoes are made by Mother Earth and pyramids are made by slaves. The pyramid is the pinnacle of upper- class snobbery, the social model that places the rich atop the poor like popular, leggy blonde cheerleaders over the porky heffers. King Tut’s tomb’s inscription of the sun, a dog with a bird head and an ice cream cone, as we all know from elementary school hieroglyphics, translates to, ‘I guess we made these pyramids way too big so we have to fill them with bowling alleys, an aquarium and an Olympic-sized swimming pool, which is only impressive because the Olympic games don’t exist yet. Can we get a bird-dog with an ice cream cone for a head in that aquarium?’ Nowadays, this structure gives rise to clever game shows that send preteens into hidden temples in pursuit of new VCRs and Super Soakers. It’s the beacon of wealth, staring us all down from the back of our dollar bills.
So far, our discussion has only amounted to characteristics that can’t provide a meaningful fight. Lest the structures animatedly rose from the ground and grew combatable limbs made of some mason-and-magic-dirt combo, they can only fight by comparing how human civilization interacts with them. Break the pyramid’s clich’eacute;d image of being Egyptian and consider the ziggurat. This Lego-esque wonder has all the same attributes, but with the all-knowing eye replaced by a badass human sacrifice pedestal. This practice was likely a man-made imitation of the stereotypical island nations’ ‘lava luau,’ a sacrificial festival in which a damsel is thrown into a volcano (think a plank walk, only more exotic). Chances are if it was the late 5th century, you lived in a tribal village in South America or Pacifica, and there was an eclipse, you would be in some way affected by a human sacrifice. Volcano sacrifices were usually made to please the Hawaiian god of fire, Zacc’ra E’ffa’ran, involving bamboo latticework to make the death plank and press box. The big finale of the night was usually a simple push into the lava in which the volcano did much of the grunt work. Pyramid sacrifices were a bit more intricate, given in honor of Quetzecourtneycoxarquettezoatle, Mayan god of intricate human death, and involved a colorful preshow of bloodletting, an intermission, a dazzling climax and a concessions counter full of popmaize and Soda Blood.
While you were reading, we signed a lease on our winner, the volcano. Pyramids have an almost StuVi-fied level of appeal, but nothing, not even baking soda and vinegar, can replace the warm feeling of coming home to an active volcano. Sure, there are more than a few risks, but we’re used to that; it’s why we wear flip-flops in the Warren Towers bathrooms.