Building Snowmen On the Hill

Michael Vail ‘24

Reporter Prodigy In-Training

This morning, I had the privilege of speaking with freshman Steven Davidson, Class of 2024 (he’s a first-year here at Holy Cross), about his latest activities in the first month he spent on campus. Upon my arrival, he euphorically trudged through the snow to greet me.

“What’s up, man?” he exclaimed, allowing me no time to introduce myself, “I just made the coolest thing ever! Check it out!”

I still don’t know if it was the childish excitement in his voice that intrigued me so. Perhaps it was simply my yearning for a story, as I am a newly-recruited reporter, and surely I will not take my promotion lightly. I guarantee that.

Anyway, I followed Steven to his creation. “So what is it you wanted to show me, Mr. Davidson? Sorry, Steven? May I call you ‘Steven’?”

“Oh, absolutely, Steven is fine! My name doesn’t matter right now. What does matter is—dun da da duuuun! (he made a foolishly theatrical gesture here that I won’t bother describing, because I wish I didn’t have to witness such a scene, and as a reporter, I feel inclined to spare you the second-hand embarrassment of knowing)—Patricia the Snowman!”

In front of me stood, at a miraculous two feet, four inches (yes, I brought measuring tape with me, because a qualified reporter always comes prepared), a snow… thing. I think. Snowman. Snowwoman? It had pebbles which acted as lifeless eyes and what seemed to be poorly-spread ketchup over the top as hair. The creature also donned a $140 belt from the bookstore, which I had seen before, but never believed anyone would actually purchase. All in all, I wasn’t entirely sure what I was looking at. “Excuse me, Stewie, but could you explain what this is?”

The poor thing looked offended. “It’s ‘Steven’. And she is none other than Patricia, the snow queen I built in only a few short hours!”

“Hours?” I gasped. “But it’s so small. What could have possibly happened to take you this long?”

Yet another offended glare from Simon. “The snowman kit I got from Hogan only contained a very small amount of snow. If she could be bigger, she would be, but I could only work with what I had!” he scolded, stomping his foot into the two feet of fallen snow.

Now, it embarrasses me to admit this, and I hope none of you think less of me, but I was speechless. He had made an excellent point. And against my best wishes, I could not come up with a retort.

“So, ah, I guess you will be heading out soon, now that you’ve finished building… Patricia,” I guessed.

He sighed, glanced at Patricia, and spoke softly: “I suppose this is goodbye for the time being, my love. But I swear to you, I will get another snow kit tomorrow, and build you up stronger and more beautiful than before!”—he snapped his head in my direction— “And you, sir, will most kindly give your blessing to her good health, until the next time we meet!”

Again, I was startled. “Surely I will. It was a pleasure interviewing you, Sullivan.” He grimaced and walked away. All things considered, I deemed the ordeal a success.

That evening, as I made my daily excursion to Cool Beans, I witnessed someone urinating out of a fourth-floor Brooks window, directly onto the snowman.

A grotesque drawing I made of the snowman using my laptop trackpad, which is somehow not as grotesque as the real thing.
Image by Michael Vail ‘24 (why am I taking credit for this?)

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