During my first year at Kent State (90-91), the rule was you had to live in the dorms. This was fine with me, despite my preference for apartment living. Why? Well, I didn’t know anybody in Ohio, so I thought there was no better way to meet some people and make some friends. It didn’t take long.
My roommate was a guy named Charles Elkins, a tall dude from southern Ohio. For those of you who don’t know Ohio (and why should you?), the difference between northern Ohio and southern Ohio is rather significant. Northern Ohio wasn’t all that much different than New England, with exception to some minor cultural differences and cheaper beer! Southern Ohio was more like Kentucky. Anyway, Charles had a small accent and it didn’t take long before he called my bed “the envelope.”
You see, apparently back then when I fell asleep, that was it – I wouldn’t move, turn, jostle or anything. I’d wake up in the same position I fell asleep in, making it look like the bed was made, even when I was in it. When I woke up, I’d rise and simply fold the sheets back over in one quick motion and presto – the bed was made in under five seconds. He was amazed by this. I was indifferent. But word got around about the amazing envelope bed and I became known for it. Kinda funny. That said, I’d rather be known for my amazing sleep simplicity than for being lightweight – and Charles was a lightweight who, and I don’t think this is revisionist history, always seemed to throw up after two beers.
Then there was John Horton, whom I ended up rooming with a year or two later – and whom I remain friends with today. When I first met John, I couldn’t stop laughing because he had this television in his dorm room which appeared to be straight from the dark ages. He loved it, though, because a) it had one of the first remote controls on the market, the Zenith Space Commander, which looked something like this and b) because for some odd reason, John has always seemed to embrace the fact that he’s about 25-30 years behind in technology. It’s not a slight at all – John’s a really good natured guy and he’d be the first to admit it. Anyway, he’s a writer for the big Cleveland daily newspaper these days and chasing around three kids. Every other year on average in March, we still type up our predictions for the MLB regular season and playoffs and mail them to each other – then we don’t open them until after the World Series. That’s always good for a laugh.