Dingus & Diligent: A Tale Of Two Students

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Let us travel to a hypothetical university campus. Here, in this parallel world, the autumn rain dampens two first year engineering students as they board a bus on the east side for their very first day of higher learning. They do not know one another and are about to have vastly different experiences.

First, we have Diligent, a nice boy who has always done what he believes is best; he helps little old ladies cross busy streets and has always earned high test scores. Diligent sits near the front of the bus, politely making small talk with the driver and the other passengers. Diligent is always friendly.

At the back of the bus, in his headphones, sits Dingus. He believes anyone who hasn’t listened to the Grateful Dead’s American Beauty all the way through isn’t worth talking to. He isn’t excited today and finds the friendly stranger at the front of the bus unbelievably annoying.

Having gone on a pre-semester tour of the campus, Diligent rushes out of the bus, knowing precisely where he’s going to go. He’s been waiting for orientation all summer and is flushedwith anticipation and excitement.

Dingus, however, has never visited campus before today and the process of finding out where he needs to be seems as though it may require some small effort. Not fond of exertionof any kind, Dingus instead finds a group of smokers who seem as though they might have avague interest in the Grateful Dead and soon comes to find that he’s among Arts students.

At orientation, Diligent takes notes about upcoming events in his agenda. He believes organization is the key to success and so he keeps to a strict schedule. The loud music and exuberant student representatives bring great joy to Diligent; he can see himself in their shoes and wonders how he will go about joining the SRC.

Outside, Dingus has already gotten in with a bad crowd. He and the Arts kids have ventured to a beat-up Chevrolet Cavalier without a regulation parking pass. As the leader of this pack lights a marijuana cigarette and passes it to Dingus, the university parking authority happens to be walking near-by.

“Hey! What do you kids think you’re doing!?” barks the officer.

The doors to the Cavalier swing open and in clown-car fashion, the Arts students pile out andsprint away. As the Arts students scatter, Dingus notices a burning sensation coming from his crotch. Smoke starts billowing as he runs to catch up with his new posse. The heat gets more intense and before he knows what is happening, flames shoot up from his pants. Once out of view of the security officer, Dingus finds a puddle and lunges crotch-first to douse the blaze.

Back at orientation, Diligent has volunteered for an obstacle-based racing competition and isteamed with a cute girl from Ireland named Gwendolyn. They come dead-last in the race, but their adjoined bungling has reduced them to laughter and tears. She decides to sit with him after the game is done.

With orientation day coming to a close, Dingus and Diligent wait for their bus back to the East-Side. Diligent, smiling, has offered to volunteer for the SRC at special events and laughsto himself as he receives a text from Gwen. Back in his headphones, Dingus stands scowling,drenched in mud and pant-less.