Where The Wild Things Are

Archbold Gymnasium as a jungle

By Roxanne Broda-Blake


By Roxanne Broda-Blake : Illustration by Helen Pavlac

The screech and thump of Lady GaGa. The testosterone-heavy air. The animalistic stench. The male grunts. The female chattering. Everything in Archbold Gymnasium screams carnal. It’s a jungle of college mating rituals -- even better for a field study than frat row on Thursday night.

Watch closely as the frat boy lurches around a tangle of beat-up machines. Like a big, disproportionate monkey, he is on the prowl. See the way his shoulders hunch, the way his arms swing heavily at his sides. His sense of pride derives from the heavy objects he lifts.

The choreography of his courting dance evolves. He hefts a large weight to attract attention. Then, he lifts it repeatedly, heaving and straining so his muscles bulge and his sweat flows. He imagines this will arouse the female. His scent fills the room, clouding her nostrils and judgment. He lumbers back and forth and repeats this show for at least half an hour.

The female species here usually consists of a waif. She may not respond directly to the male, but her garb reveals all. She sports “leggings” -- skin-tight legwear worn as pants that also doubles as daywear. These excite the male. She is tiny and looks almost breakable -- a size preferred by males due to easy domination and quick inebriation. She makes high-pitched babbling noises into a shiny, expensive mobile phone, exhibiting both popularity and supposed intelligence. The noise-making becomes competitive between females, causing tense, passive-aggressive bitchiness. The noise primarily serves to attract attention. What she actually says is completely irrelevant.

Welcome to the jungle of Archbold Gym. Keep your muscles flexed and machete ready.