The cheerful, bubbly tone that came pre-programmed into my cell phone exploded into the serene night air.  My body spasmed as it was unceremoniously jerked out of a dream having something to do with store-brand cream cheese and a rhino spelling bee.  Grabbing my phone, I carelessly thumbed ‘snooze’ rather than’dismiss’ and cursed; my sleep voice grumbling a few octaves lower than normal, I drew out the foul vowel.

I lumbered heavily off the cliff that is my bed, which stands about four times higher off of the ground than normal to ‘maximize storage’ as my mom puts it. Then I told her I could open a warehouse under there to rent out storage space and she didn’t get the joke and said I should really just focus on getting settled in before I started to make any big plans.

Tripping over the rug, I loped over to my roommate’s bed.

“Liv” I grumbled.

“Hmmghh” she managed and rolled to face me.

“Elfing” we croaked together.

That was when I began to really wonder why I had signed up to be a part of this marvelous annual tradition.  To welcome newcomers to the school, sophomores volunteer to surprise firsties (no, we don’t say freshwomen) with goodies left at their door, installed in the dead of night so that they will find them in the morning.  Sounds nice, right?Well, it gets creepier.At 3:00AM on the first night of elfing, tradition had us tiptoeing downstairs to our Elfee’s (creative, I know) room with handfuls of newspaper, masking tape and previously-ripped-out magazine pages. Our number one goal was to not wake up the little buggers as we somehow taped the newspaper over their doorjamb so they’d wake up, open to door and (hopefully, with enough momentum) walk into/through the wall of paper.

You wouldn’t believe how not quiet masking tape is when you most need it to be. Pull it slowly, it sounds like the drowsy deflation of a whoopee cushion. Pull it fast, it sounds like the building is being torn open by Reptar.

Lucky for us, our elfees were across the hall from each other, so we were able to help each other out with the installation process.  Once the newspaper was more or less covering the door and we had used up every cringe face in the book, it was time to hang up the magazine ads.

We spent the night before on our salsa-stained rug tearing out magazine ads and altering them in stalker-y ways in favor of our elfees, with whom we are well unaquianted.  Ads that said “Want gorgeous, flawless skin this winter?” became “Stefanie is gorgeous, flawless” … the power of a black sharpie and brute pressure.  A beautiful, toned model man on display to sell some undies is now thinking, “Oh golly, I’m so depressed I can’t even put clothes on ever since Rachel left me alone here after an amazing night” We could’ve shortened that one a bit…  A picture of an orange wearing sunglasses, sipping orange juice from a straw was given a thought bubble: “orange you sad you aren’t Anna?”

Pretty witty.

Believe it or not, the school endorses this rather than fining us for hazing.

In this context, the heart symbol is meant to say: “I hope this past week has been exorbitantly less horrible for you than it has been for me. Lacklusterly,”