The Goons of Westwood | Quinn Satterlund
Disclaimer: This story is partly fiction
As I sit here, in my cramped, movie theater chair, I reflect. I am currently on the last day of a two-day Model UN conference at UCLA, called BruinMUN. I am unprepared, unmotivated, and going stir-crazy. These last couple hours have amiligated into a jumble of alien words – unmoderated caucus, motions, Tunisia – all of which mean nothing to me. In my time here, I have counted 378 wall tiles, 39 brunettes, and 1 person watching Avengers: Endgame. I do not regret coming to Model UN – I’ve always wanted to go, and I’m glad I finally experienced it. Obviously, I shoulder part of the blame, as I’m sure if I actually made preparations it would have been much more enjoyable, but alas. Some of the people here are very nice – I have made friends with the delegates from Brazil and Cambodia, and I do find it interesting that, despite having many on-and-off conversations about what’s going on, I still do not know their names. It’s a strange anomaly, where one can be “acquaintances”, and still know nothing besides their country and school. In the immortal words of Ron Swanson, “I once worked with a guy for three years and never learned his name. Best friend I ever had.” Still, the peace is relaxing, and I much prefer it to the events that had taken place the day before.
Yesterday, on Saturday, November 4th, I woke up at 4:33 AM to get ready. I hastily grabbed my duffle bag filled with essentials (a plain cotton tee, a pair of jeans, [why are they called a pair of jeans? It’s only one piece of clothing], and a toothbrush), and headed down to the car. My very kind and loving mother had agreed to drive me, which allowed my half-asleep brain to start processing what exactly I had signed up for. I hopped out of the van, checked in with our MUN club leader, and began the journey to Los Angeles in my friend’s car. The drive was quick and uneventful, and we soon arrived at our hotel, staying only long enough to drop off our bags. As soon as we stepped foot onto the campus, we were amazed at the sheer amount of people there. The plaza was packed to the brim with high school students, all dressed to the nines as they waited for the introductory ceremony to start. My friends and I explored the square for a few moments until we were led into a great hall. A swift, explanatory speech was given and we were sent off to our meetings, eager to prove our worth as model delegates (Well, not me. I was there just for the hell of it). As I entered the room in which I would spend the next 7 hours, I finally realized what I had gotten myself into: purgatory. To my left was my friend's country, Germany, to the front was a group of kind seniors whose country was Brazil, and behind me was the mysterious Gonzo, who was Czechoslovakia.
Thankfully, the exhilaration of just being there was just enough for me to not fall asleep, but I could tell that in a couple of hours, I would be finished. I quickly settled into the routine of what would occur, not exactly sure what was happening, as every few minutes I would turn to either Brazil or Germany to ask what was happening. The first hour ticked by slowly, and I knew something must be done, otherwise, I would lose my mind. Soon, the first note reached me, and the countries around me hatched a plan: send as many notes as possible to distract our brains from having to learn. We blazed through a fresh pack of Post-It notes as we declared war, made puns, and created fake amendments to pass. Through this, time went by much faster, and it soon became a battle of one-upmanship: who could pass the most outrageous note – and get away with it. Back and forth we went, steadily increasing the level of intensity until it reached a boiling point. As Brazil went up to speak, Gonzo, wrote a disgustingly perfect note, one that I knew I could not top. It read:
The Country of New Zealand would like to declare snuggle war on Cambodia. Do you accept?
Love, NZ <3
I read the note, a look of revulsion stationed on my face. I buried my face in my hands as Gonzo passed the note to Cambodia, a group of naive freshmen, telling them it was from New Zealand, a very attractive blond. They laughed, knowing it was from Germany, and sent back a grotesque response that shall remain unstated. However, one fatal mistake was made. They jokingly sent the message back to New Zealand, expecting it to reach Germany – which was not the case. It took only moments before New Zealand read the note, and showed it to her friend, horrified. She raised her hand, and I turned to Gonzo, eyes wide: This was the end. As much as I loved Cambodia, I knew that they were nerds, and would immediately rat us out if the heat was turned up. Gonzo, who had been watching the note the whole time, immediately understood the severity of the situation. He only had a couple of minutes before Brazil would be done speaking, and New Zealand would be called on. Something had to be done, something drastic. With a deep breath, he unleashed the most unpleasant, phlegm-filled cough I had ever heard, interrupting Brazil. Our proctor, noticing the silence, motioned for Gonzo to go outside, and he did so. I sat in my chair, sweat dripping down my forehead as I waited to see what Gonzo would do. I stared at the clock, as the seconds ticked by. Had he left? Was it every man for himself? How could he do this to me? Brazil was winding down their speech, and I knew the end was near. I soon came to terms that I would be expelled from MUN, and decided that I would take the blame to protect Germany and Cambodia. Brazil was on their closing statements, and I knew we only had a few seconds before New Zealand would be called on. And then the blaring started. The most obnoxious, scream-like siren was blasted into the room as lights flashed—the fire alarm had been set off. Our proctor quickly made us line up, and we left the room, leaving everything behind. As we headed towards the field, I heard heavy breathing behind me: it was Gonzo. He fell into line in front of me, and without saying a word, placed something into the palm of my hand: it was the note. I quickly crumpled the paper, and swallowed it, the only evidence of our crime now in my stomach tract. We had survived, and it was all due to Gonzo. The firefighters came and searched the building, but could find no trace of a fire. The administrators assumed it was just some lone college student pranking MUN, and we were sent back to our committees. When we arrived in the classroom, New Zealand searched for the note, but to no avail. Without the note, she gave up and went on with her day, and so did everyone else.