"How did this all begin?" Well, it began with the creation of the Strange Table in 1994, the root of all evil, so to speak. There were numerous events which contributed to this, and even we're not sure of all of them, but here's my explanation.
It basically started with the fact that after concert band, many of us flocked to the cafeteria. Almost everyone in band had forty minutes of lunch time afterward, mods 17 through 19. At the time, we were a bunch of freshmen with virtually no clue, but we'd been briefed by upper classmen as to which were the senior, junior, sophomore, and freshman areas of the CAF, so a group of us claimed and dominated the table nearest Uncle Bob's Hot Dog Hut. During this time, we all got to know one another better, and we were each definitely freshmen by nature. All exhibiting odd behavior, we were able to ensure that only our forum would join our table for that duration. However, we were not yet the Strange Table.
It wasn't until November that we began to try to choose names for ourselves. We wanted to have aliases with which to confuse and irritate others. One was Annoying, who exhibited the strongest ability to make people leave. Another was Prozac, because he was always tired and mellow (my inspiration for Drug Overdose). Another gained the name Sicko, because of his obnoxious jokes and adoration of the magazine we found on a recent band trip. Parin was always called by some insulting name like "Tool." Whenever we chased him away, he would come back because no one else would let him sit with them. Dude hardly ever ate with us, but he would always come around asking for 55¢ or showing us some radio he was rewiring, so we gave him the name of the word he mentioned at least once per sentence. Then there were we three, Who, What, and Why. I can't remember which was which, but only one of the three names stuck.
The band trip I mentioned was to Indianapolis to watch the Bands of America marching competition. Each hotel room housed four people, except the odd one on the third floor. This room held Sicko, Prozac, and a sophomore named Tim. It became the hang-out room for those of us who shared the lunch table, and it was through the reading material so kindly left for them by a previous occupant of the room that Sicko's true nature was revealed.
I think my name had been "Why" after that, up until the Wednesday of the following week. I endured my first breakup, and was torn emotionally. My behavior changed and I assumed the role of Dangerously Psycho, and when the ground beneath my feet broke away, I found our pathetic little lunch group to cling onto. Only now we weren't just a lunch group, we were something else. I was elected as our leader and we were united as a nameless group.
Niles West has a club named Images, which at the time was just a bunch of artistic beatnik wannabes. Every spring they produce a small volume of short stories, poems, drawings, and photographs which students submit. At about December of that year, they begin frantically realizing that no one cared, and offered some stupid consolation for submitting. (The following year, their slogan was "submit to Images and get candy!") That year, the gimmick was a contest with measly cash prizes to the authors of the three best short stories. Intrigued, I decided to write two, a serious one and a comical one.
Two days before the deadline, I was still staring at a blank screen.
With severe writer's block, I chose to create the silly one first. I wanted it to be pointless, yet something I could relate to, so I determined that the story would take place here at West and our lunch group would be the cast. The first thing that would have to be straightened out, though, was the names.
I called "Who" and asked him what his final name should be. He was no help, and I finally just asked him "How about we just call you 'Drum Boy' then." It was not a serious suggestion, but he said it was ok. I thought about it awhile longer and agreed.
As I completed my narration of a bunch of abnormal teenagers wreaking havoc, I was still left without a title or a name for the gang. Tired, I titled my work The Strange Table and Groundhog Day and printed it out.
The next day, with the satisfaction of my friends for the previous night's work inspiring me, I began the serious story. It was a tragedy about some teenagers. I was rushed at the end. It wasn't how I wanted it. I hated it. It sucked. I knew though that even if I hadn't done a good job on the serious story, there was still the Strange Table.
With the completion of my first and shortest Strange story, I had inadvertently begun a cult. By the time of my graduation, there were a number of students here at West interested in my narrations, and even more so across the country.
Oh, and it wasn't until my senior year that Images finally printed one.
This page is maintained by Dangerously Psycho of the Strange Society.