Name, School: Rob Trump, CC ’09
Claim to fame: I co-wrote a couple Varsity Shows (113 and 114) and have done various other campus comedy things. Also, I am the reason for the existence of my admittedly vastly superior arch-nemesis, anti-rjt.
Post-grad plans: I’m moving to L.A. to try to write sitcoms. Those are pretty easy jobs to come by, right? I’ll probably have one in a month or two.
What are three things you learned at Columbia?
1. The people who are happiest here are the ones who find something they like doing more than they like sleeping. I like sleeping a lot, so this was hard for me, but I found it. Even better: find something you like more than either sleeping or partying.
2. Whiskey goes with everything, tonic goes with everything, but whiskey and tonic together are disgusting. It’s like gray and khaki. I learned this one really recently.
3. You can’t do anything without offending someone.
Justify your existence in 30 words or less.
I’m majoring in English and concentrating in Math. I literally studied reading, writing, and arithmetic. I am a student from a 50s PSA.
Favorite study spot?
Butler fishbowl. There used to be a tradition of people studying there loudly saying weird things every couple hours, and even when I didn’t know the people who did this, I loved it. I said, “hors d’ourves” once. That tradition should come back.
What was your favorite controversy in your time at Columbia?
Without a question, Ahmadinejad. The couple hours when James and I sat down to write the first draft of the V-Show scene parodying that were some of the most fun I’ve had here. Huge chunks of the dialogue were straight up copied and pasted from the actual transcript. It was a situation where reality was so ridiculous that you didn’t really have to change much for it to be funny. Like, come on, people laughed OUT LOUD during the actual event. Life in general is pretty absurd, but rarely does it produce punchlines as good as, “We don’t have any homosexuals in our country.”
Any battle wounds/war stories from the War on Fun?
Not really, but probably because I abandoned my sweet senior-year party room in Woodbridge for a Broadway single second semester. See, my roommate went abroad, and I thought I would be rocking a dingle for 5 months, but instead the university gave me a visiting foreign student from Germany. So now I refer to Woodbridge 5E as “Poland,” Broadway 727 as “Israel,” and the person who moved out of here and left the High School Musical poster behind as “the Palestinian.”
Sorry, Phillip! I don’t hate you for moving in, really! I just needed some space of my own!
Also, “rocking a dingle” sounds really gross for some reason.
Would you rather permanently give up oral sex or cheese?
Story time! My freshman year, when Bwog was doing Senior Wisdom for the first time, Zach Bendiner was going around to random groups of people and asking them what questions they would like outgoing seniors to answer. I volunteered this “would you rather,” which somebody at my high school originally asked me. Basically, I’m just bragging about what a great suggestion this was and how I totally altered senior wisdom forever.
And because you probably thought I was just being roundabout to avoid answering the question–oral sex.
What do you wish you could tell the Class of 2013 before they come here?
Don’t decide what you’re going to get out of college before you arrive—let what you enjoy once you’re here guide you. When I showed up, I thought I’d be a hard science major and go to medical school. It took me a couple years to work that out of my system.
Also, and sorta along with that, the fact that pretty much everybody was “the smart kid” in their high school creates a massive wave of identity crises your first year here, because now everyone is about as smart as you. After that clears, people realize how boxed-in they were by being just “the smart kid,” and start pursuing the things that actually make them happy.
I anonymously wrote one really mean Bwog comment a long time ago, then felt cheap about it and have always signed my Bwog comments since then. I mention this only because multiple people have brought it up to me as one of their favorite examples of the hilarity of mean internet anonymity. So I’m coming clean to them and everybody, now. It’s this one. It was about Miriam Datskovsky, whom I actually do, for the record, think is a very talented writer.
Another regret, on the same topic: there was a joke for 114 that James and I wrote but never saw the light of day because the creative team thought it was too offensive. I regret that we never even got to table read it. It went like this:
Barnard sex striker: “But all the students have turned against us. I saw on the Bwog that people were calling us ‘faggots.’ That doesn’t even make sense!”
Shapiro: “Come now, that’s just what Bwog commenters call people who have enough power to make them feel threatened! They said it about Bollinger, and they said it about Meghan McCain, and they said it about Matt Sanchez, and it didn’t make sense for any of…oh. Well. Yes.”
One more regret, as I feel my time running out: I regret pooping my pants in a downtown Citibank my freshman year. This actually happened, and I have never talked about it to anyone.