“It’s good, but is it Cannon,” Colin Briber

The ceiling tile was stained a very a discomforting brownish, greenish color. As he returned his gaze to eye level, Calvin couldn’t help but wonder how the tile had gotten that way, but if he had to guess, he had a pretty good idea. At that very moment, as if Calvin had been thinking aloud, Harry, bong in hand, swaggered into the room and, after brief consideration, took a seat next to his roommate on the couch.

Calvin watched patiently as Harry occupied himself with the glass water pipe for a solid 7 minutes before he finally had to break the silence.

“When did you get back from class? I thought you had lab until 6 on Fridays?” Dealing with uncomfortable silences had never been one of Calvin’s strong suits.

“They let us out early on good behavior” said Harry, coughing a bit as he smiled at his own joke. “Nah, my T.A. was sick today so lab got cancelled.”

Smiling to himself, Calvin reached for the bong, now on the coffee table, as Harry began to update him on the mental slow-cooker that is his accumulation of thoughts from throughout the day; regaling Calvin with, among others, the tale of how he finally was able to test his theory that the “best way to way to wear boat shoes without socks is to buy them in the next size up.”

Exhaling one last cloud of smoke, Calvin put the bong back down on the table, with the hopes that it would distract Harry long enough so he could bring up what had been weighing on his mind since earlier that day.

“Okay, Harry. Listen. I was thinking a lot today.”

“Alright. About what?”

“About our little backyard project.”

“Your project” corrected Harry, who was steadily losing interest at the mere mention of this topic. He turned ever so slightly towards Calvin, showing his almost-undivided attention, as he once again picked up the bong from its familiar place on the coffee table. “But go on.”

“So I was looking at our initial design, and I realized the only reason we haven’t been able to launch is because at the moment of ignition there hasn’t been nearly enough pressure inside the main chamber,” Calvin obliged eagerly.

“Your design,” said Harry, gesturing for Calvin to continue.

“You see without a very specific amount of pressure-,” began Calvin, only to have Harry interrupt him.

“Alright hold up a minute, Jimmy Neutron,” laughed Harry, placing the water pipe back down on the coffee table. He cleared his throat as he sat up. “Let’s just clarify a few things. First off who are you trying to impress right now? You’re building a potato cannon in our backyard; using a big-ass PVC pipe, some rubbing alcohol, and a can of body spray. True that this potato cannon does have the potential to fire cans of beer at unnecessary speeds, which if you ask me is a total game changer, but for all intents and purposes it’s still just a potato cannon. You can’t honestly be this excited about what is effectively my little brother’s science fair project.”

Calvin waited patiently for his friend to continue, but was confused when Harry showed no signs of doing so.

“Well?” asked Calvin impatiently.

“Well, what?”

“You said ‘first off’,” pointed out Calvin, “which heavily implies that you have more to say.”

“Oh,” said Harry, briefly entertaining this opportunity to talk more and quickly deciding against it, “I have no follow up.”

“Okay,” said Calvin, who was starting to feel annoyed, “regardless. If we get this thing to work-”

“If you get this thing to work.”

“If I get this thing to work,” continued Calvin, who was definitely annoyed and needed to and gather his thoughts for a moment. “If I can get this thing to work, I think it’ll be insanely dope.”

“Yes. Yes. Once that potato cannon is done, you’ll be the talk of the town,” said Harry, making no effort to hide how much he enjoyed Calvin’s annoyance. “Albeit in my mind the population of the town in question is comprised almost entirely of fifth graders.”

“You know what? Screw you man. This thing is cool and I know I’m not the only one who thinks so,” said Calvin, moving from the couch to the adjacent armchair and sulking into the mind-numbing content coming from his phone.

“Come on man, don’t be such a bummer,” said Harry. “Why are you so dependent on the success of this potato gun? Do you really have nothing else going on in your life?”

It was true. Ever since the beginning of October, it was as if the school year had taken its parking break off. Any remnants of the sorry excuse for a social life that Calvin had grown accustomed to, had disappeared into a depressing sea of weekly assignments that was as much a part of being a Junior in college as the instinctual desire to get as little sleep as possible. It had been so long since Calvin had done anything remotely fun; even the obnoxious house parties that he so desperately despised started to present themselves in an entirely new, and appealing, light. One that didn’t make him want to vomit. He was moving into a routine

“Hey Calvin, put your damn phone away for a second,” said Harry.

“Why? There’s nothing better to do,” said Calvin, still sulking.

“Nothing better to do? It’s Friday, my man! We can literally do whatever we want today; and realistically, we only need to anticipate minor consequences. At the most,” proclaimed Harry.

“You know even after knowing you for 17 years, I still have yet to figure out what your definition of a ‘minor consequence’ is. Does being detained count? Because I feel like a large portion of your stories end with that.”

Harry thought about this for a moment, amused by the thought of having his own definition for something, “If I had to guess, I’d say a minor consequence is identical to that of a normal consequence, except with a minor one my level of intoxication causes me to not give a damn.”

Calvin, who was finally beginning to cheer up, started to smile. “I envy your positive outlook on substance abuse and consequential punishment.”

“Yeah man. Consequential punishment is the best kind of punishment,” Harry laughed, “Speaking of which, what’s black and sits at the top of the stairs?”

Confused by the seemingly random question, Calvin was about to respond when all of a sudden the door to he and Harry’s apartment burst open, and in entered a young man by the name of Peter Wallace, someone who could only be described as an incredibly “unique individual.”

A very outgoing fellow, Peter Wallace, while being undeniably small in stature, managed to carry with him the presence and personality of a significantly larger person. In a wonderfully clichéd fashion, what Peter lacked in brains, which admittedly was quite a bit, he certainly made up for in heart. In Layman’s terms, Peter was stupid but sweet. Although he had only known Calvin and Harry for the last two years, he had become deeply intertwined into both of their daily lives. Peter himself attributes this to the fact that “a lot can happen in two years.”

Upon letting himself into the apartment, Peter found himself a seat amongst his two friends, immediately picked the bong up off the coffee table, and began to partakes, all of which came as no surprise to Calvin and Harry.

Placing the bong back on its coffee table, Peter looked up at his friends, asking them what the latest was, exhaling a comically large cloud of smoke as he spoke.

“Not much, man. I’ve just been explaining to our resident ‘boy genius’ here that there’s more to life then a working potato cannon,” Harry told him.

“Wait, what?” exclaimed Peter, sitting up so excitedly and with so much force that it actually startled Harry, causing him to knock over the bong, leaking its unappetizing liquid onto its table.

“Goddammit, Pete!” yelled Harry, who was already on his way to grab a dishtowel from the kitchen area.

“You actually got it to work? Like, with actual potatoes? How is it? Is it awesome? What about beer cans?” inquired Peter, who was far more interested in the progress of the potato cannon then Harry’s moans of complaint.

“Not yet, but we’re ridiculously close!” said Calvin with an equal to, if not greater than, level of excitement. “See I have this theory about the pressure-“

“Enough about that stupid potato cannon, Calvin!” interjected Harry, now throwing a towel down on the product of the bong’s incontinence. “And you, Peter! How can you just sit here and indulge this self-destructive behavior? I honestly don’t know who I’m more disappointed in right now. You, Calvin, or the goddamn bong!”

“Hey, be nice to Bong. Playing the blame game is not gonna help him get a handle on his bladder issues,” countered Peter, knowing full well that he was pushing Harry’s buttons.

Picking up on this, Calvin found that he couldn’t help but poke fun as well. “Yeah Harold. Pete’s right. And for that matter, neither will blaming our- sorry- my dope potato cannon. Maybe you should stop looking at other people to blame, and start looking at yourself.”

The two boys chuckled at their own jokes as Harold- sorry- Harry, returned to the kitchen area in order to refill the bong with fresh water. Returning to the group, he sat back down and began to utilize the newly restored water pipe for its intended purpose. Passing the bong to Calvin, Harry let out a series of decently sized coughs, a small puff of smoke escaping with each.

“So why are you so against this dope-ass potato gun?” asked Peter, taking the bong from Calvin. “You do realize that if our boy here is correct, which he usually is, it should be able to shoot friggin’ beer cans, right?”

“Of course I do, and I admit that it would be awesome, but only for like 2 minutes. After that we’ll right back where we started. A couple of college kids, stuck sitting around on a Friday night. Nothing will have changed. If I’m going to waste my time on something ridiculous and childish, I at least wanna get a good story out of it” explained Harry, taking bong from Peter.

“Nothing will have changed? Are you serious? Dude, literally everything, and yes I mean literally not figuratively, will have changed,” said Peter

“Oh yeah? How do you figure?”

“Because we’ll have an awesome potato cannon,” Calvin answered.

“That also fires beer,” added Peter.

“That also fires beer,” repeated Calvin in agreement.

“Jesus Christ, you guys,” said Harry, unable to hide the smile on his face. “Fine. Let’s get this shit over with.”

“What are you talking about?” laughed Calvin.

“You heard me, Ferb. I know what we’re gonna do today.” Harry said as he slammed bong down onto its table. “We’re gonna finish your dumbass potato cannon, so we can finally move onto something worthwhile.”

“Wait are you serious?” Calvin asked with disbelief. “You’re going to help me finish my potato cannon?”

“Absolutely not. I’m going to help you build our potato cannon,” corrected Harry. “If I’m gonna waste my Friday night building some glorified Stomp Rocket, you can pretty much guarantee that I’m taking credit. Besides, if I don’t help you now there’s basically no chance you’ll actually get around to doing it yourself and I’ll have to hear you bitch and moan about it for the next year and half.”

“I can’t in good faith deny any of that.”

“Okay, fellas. If we’re actually gonna do this, we’re gonna need to prepare ourselves, mentally,” Peter added as he picked bong up off its table.

Looking first at each other, then at Peter, then back at each other, and then finally at Peter again, Calvin and Harry responded in unison.


Passing Bong to Peter, Calvin looked down at all the components of their admittedly silly, yet undeniably cool, science fair project, which were laid out on he and Harry’s kitchen table. Before him was a large PVC pipe that had a removable cap on one end and a small hole drilled in the side of it; a can of generic body spray; a potato; a roll of Duck Tape brand duct tape; a small disposable lighter; and a can of Natural Light, the self-proclaimed “smooth pilsner with all natural ingredients™.”

“Okay guys,” began Calvin, who was having trouble containing his excitement, “as I was trying to say before, the reason I haven’t been able to get this thing to fire is because there hasn’t been enough pressure built up in the tube prior to it being lit.”

“Ah of course!” exclaimed Peter, clearly only pretending to understand what Calvin had meant.

“Okay, so obviously Peter and I get what you’re saying, but, for all the lovely people listening from home or on that long drive to work, you should probably give that explanation another go, but simpler this time, for their sake” said Harry, taking Bong from Peter while poorly attempting to hide the fact that he was equally as lost.

“Essentially, what I’m saying is that the potato or, depending on the situation, beer can, sits too loosely in the pipe because it isn’t big enough,” said Calvin, laughing as he spoke.

“Okay. So what do we do?” Peter asked him.

“Easy. We take this roll of Duck Tape brand Duct Tape, and wrap it around the potato like twelve times; same goes for the Natty Light can, which is roughly potato sized,” explained Calvin.

“Alright, definitely sounds easy enough. What’s the body spray for?” asked Harry,

“It’s the propellant.” Answered Calvin, and noticing both Harry and Peter’s blank expressions added, “it’s how we make it go boom.”

After removing the PVC pipe’s end cap, spraying a large amount of body spray into that end, reattaching the cap, and using Duck Tape brand duct tape to wrap both the potato and the beer can exactly twelve times, the cannon was ready for testing. For an added measure they decided to prepare two extra potatoes and beer cans because they knew if they were successful they were going to want to use it more than twice.

Due to the fact that none of them wore watches, the digital appliance clocks from around the apartment were all, for various reasons, set to vastly different times, and that none of them had the common sense to regularly check their phones (not that they’re entirely to blame for that, since seventy five percent of their primary friend group was currently in the same apartment, standing over a homemade potato cannon) the three young men were completely oblivious to the fact that it was already 12:30 am. Regardless, Calvin, Harry, and Peter unanimously agreed that the best place to go test out there masterpiece was the old playground adjacent soccer field that was down the street from Calvin and Harry’s apartment building.

As they were heading out Peter suggested they each take a turn with Bong once more before they left. Calvin and Harry agreed.

With that, the three friends returned to the couch and adjacent armchair and passed Bong around one last time. Never breaking rhythm and never breaking order.

Calvin took Bong from Harry and passed it to Peter.

Peter took Bong from Calvin and passed him to Harry.

Harry took him from Peter, and with that they were ready to go.

The group gathered their supplies and headed for the door, but not before Harry made sure to place him back on his table.



Forty-five minutes later (Peter insisted they stop at McDonald’s first, which happened to be in the complete opposite direction of their original destination) the three boys, cannon in tow, arrived at their local park. The time was now 1:53 am.

Calvin loaded the first potato into the cannon, which had already been primed with body spray back at the apartment. They had decided on the way to the park that Harry, who was the largest of the three, was to hold the tube, Calvin would light it through the hole in the side, and Peter, standing fifteen or so feet to the right, would film the whole thing with his phone’s camera.

Assuming their positions, Calvin shouted out to his friends to ready themselves.

“Alright guys, you ready?”

“Ready,” replied Harry,

“The camera is rolling!” yelled Peter.

“Okay, here we go. 5… 4… 3…” Calvin felt an overdramatic bead of sweat roll down his forehead as he counted down. “2… 1…”

Calvin sparked the lighter and was immediately faced with an enormous explosion and an intense wave of heat and fire, the force of which knocked both he and Harry to the ground.

Reeling from the explosion, Calvin was greeted with an intense ringing in his ears. He looked over to Harry who had been knocked off his feet and now had an incredibly dazed look on his face. Calvin looked to his right and saw Peter running up to him.

“Holy crap, that was insane! I bet you could hear that explosion for miles! Are you guys okay?” asked Peter excitedly.

“Ugh apparently,” replied Calvin. “How bout you, Harry? How’re you feeling?”


“Yeah, Harry’s fine,” said Calvin, rubbing his neck as he pulled himself to his feet. “What the heck happened? Why in the world was the blast so strong?”

“I don’t know, man,” replied Peter as he helped Harry up, “Could it have been the extra gasoline?”

Upon hearing this Calvin froze in his tracks and slowly turned to face Peter.

“Say Petey? You want to maybe run that by me one more time?” asked Calvin with a surprising amount of patience.

“Oh. Yeah. The Gas. I added a good amount of gasoline to the cannon before we left the McDonalds.”

“How and when did you manage to do that?” asked Calvin, who at this point was more impressed then angry.

“Well while you were in the McDonald’s bathroom I ran across the street to the gas station and bought some gasoline. I put it in a spray bottle that I stole from the restaurant’s supply closet,” answered Peter.

“And where’s this spray bottle of gasoline now?”

“Uh. That’s a very good question, and you’ll have your answer as soon I do.”

“Okay. Let’s get back to the matter at hand. What in the world possessed you to add extra gasoline to our cannon?” asked Calvin, visibly starting to lose his temper.

“I really wanted it to work!”

“And did it?”

“I mean technically it did fire, but I think the potato exploded before it even left the tube. That being said, we did technically launch a potato, albeit the parts of one.” responded Peter sheepishly. “Though in all honesty, it was pretty hard to see because of how dark it is out here.”

Harry, who finally was able to gather himself, pulled Calvin aside before he could react to Peter’s painful honesty.

“Hey maybe this gasoline bullshit was a blessing in disguise,” Harry said softly to Calvin.

“What makes you say that?”

“Well think about how ridiculously far the beer can will fly with fire power like that.”

Luckily for Harry, who was an avid proponent of making as big of an explosion as possible, Calvin was just the right mixture of tired and intoxicated to be very susceptible to incredibly weak arguments.

“Come on, Cal. What could possibly go wrong? I won’t drop it this time because I’ll be expecting the larger blast.” Harry promised with his trademark grin stretched across his face.

Much to the surprise of both he and his friends, Calvin agreed.

After a brief period of reorganization and set-up, all of which took about 20 minutes, the gang was ready for the second test of their, now-surprisingly dangerous, potato cannon turned beer bazooka. The time was now 2:45 am.

Once again, Calvin found himself, lighter in hand, kneeling at Harry’s feet. Harry on the other hand was also in his original position, only this time he made sure to use a significantly stronger grip this time around. Calvin looked to his right to see Peter standing a good twenty-five feet away, phone camera at the ready.

Immediately regretting everything he had just agreed to, Calvin began his countdown.

“Five… Four… three… two…”

Before Calvin could even think about saying “one,” intense red and blue lights, which he knew could only have belonged to what was quite possibly the last possible thing a group of college students outside at three-in-the-morning wanted to deal with, had filled the park. This mixed with the high intensity floodlights attached to the hood of squad cars abolished any signs of darkness that had previously occupied the park.

All of a sudden Calvin, Harry, and Peter were surrounded by what seemed like fifteen heavily armed police officers, but realistically was probably only three, maybe four at most.

In what had to have been some sort of record, the police officers gathered the group of dumbfounded young men into the back of a squad car. Calvin could only guess that they were headed to what one could only assume was a place Frank Sinatra himself would refer to as, “downtown.” Looking around the car, Calvin noticed each of his friends were reacting to their current situation, in very unique, yet equally worrisome, ways.

On his left side, there was Peter, who was sobbing uncontrollably, making no effort to hide this very personal moment from either his friends or the police officers in the front of the vehicle.

On his right side, there was Harry, who was noticeably unconscious, making no effort to hide this very personal moment from either his friends or the police officer in the front of the vehicle.

All jokes aside, Calvin was legitimately worried that their last attempt at the potato cannon had done any serious damage to his now noticeably unconscious friend. All of these of these fears were immediately put at ease when, out of nowhere, Harry awoke, from what was apparently a poorly timed nap, with a loud snort.

“Holy hell, Calvin. Did we get arrested?” asked Harry.

“Technically, I think the correct terminology is detained. But for all intents and purposes, yeah, Harry. We got arrested,” responded Calvin, with almost an admiration for how oblivious his roommate could be.

Peter was still sobbing. Loudly. Calvin decided it was probably best to let Pete work this one out on his own. He’d be stronger for it and, frankly, Calvin wasn’t any good at dealing with crying babies, let alone twenty-year-olds.

Turning back to Harry, Calvin thought it’d be best to check in on his friend who, just moments ago, had either been extremely asleep, or in the process of dying. In having to choose which of two twenty-year-olds to deal with; where one was quickly becoming more and more emotionally unstable by the second, and one who was quite possibly dying; Calvin felt like he could handle Harry’s situation significantly better.

In reality, Harry probably wasn’t anywhere near dying, he most likely just had a very minor concussion, but can you really blame Calvin for not knowing that? He’s a double major in English and Film Studies. The most he can put on the list of “Things I Learned in College That I Actually Need to Know” are obscure movie and television trivia facts like, “What was Bradley Cooper’s first movie?” and “What character from the hit 2001 medical comedy, Scrubs, was originally meant to be a figment of the protagonist’s imagination?” Admittedly useful stuff to know (Wet Hot American Summer (2001) and The Janitor, respectively), but nothing that would prepare him for a head-related potato cannon injury. Cut the guy a break.

“So how are you feeling man? You sure that last potato cannon attempt didn’t do any serious damage?” asked Calvin.

“What? Oh, don’t worry about it, man. I’m totally fine. Why?”

“Well because like 5 seconds ago you were noticeably unconscious,” answered Calvin.

Harry, interested by his friend’s specific choice of words, had to press Calvin on this.

“Noticeably unconscious? As opposed to what?”

“You being unconscious and me not noticing,” Calvin matter-of-factly responded.

“So let me get this straight, and correct me if I’m wrong, but the only difference between being ‘noticeably unconscious’ and, I guess, ‘regularly unconscious,” spelled out Harry, looking at Calvin for confirmation that he was using the correct terminology. He was. “Is your level of negligence?”

Calvin took a moment to think before responding, “Yeah, more or less.”

“Quiet down back there!”

Calvin and Harry (and Peter) were startled by the sudden appearance of such a strong and confident voice emanating from the front of the squad car, which they had inconveniently forgotten that they were in the back of. Peter, who had finally calmed himself down by distracting himself with Calvin and Harry’s conversation, began sobbing again; he was even louder the second time around.

Harry, who was never very good at sitting still, was beginning to get very restless, and the reminder that he was in the back of a police care was not helping.

“Hey! The least you could do is tell us where the hell you’re taking us!” demanded Harry, who began banging on the barrier that separates the back and front seats in a police car.

“Come on, Harry. Please don’t antagonize the heavily armed men,” pleaded Calvin. “Don’t you watch the news?”

“Well okay. First off, No. I don’t watch the news,” pointed out Harry, “neither of us do,”

“Uh speak for yourself,” responded Calvin smugly. “I subscribe to ‘/r/worldnews’”

“Alright, not even you can be that much of an asshole. Going on reddit is not the same as ‘watching the news’ and you know it,” blasted Harry. “It’s all just a bunch of clickbait links to semi-interesting or relevant articles. Links I bet you never even click. I bet 90% of your daily ‘news’ intake, which you’re so proud of for some reason, is based on whatever you can learn from just the title of the articles.”

“That’s, like, not even half true,” defended Calvin, sheepishly. “You don’t know what I do on the Internet.”

“I’m not even going to make a porn joke right now. And I could. Easily. ‘All you do on the Internet is watch porn.’ Bam, easy. Didn’t even have to think about it. See, I could do that, and I could make a lot more porn jokes at your expense as well. But I’m not going to. That’s how serious I am right now. Think about that,” said Harry, completely serious.

He turned away from Calvin, putting his attention back on the car’s divider.

“Where in God’s name are you guys taking us? You know you won’t be able to get away with killing us, no matter how far into the dessert you take us. This isn’t Gotham City. We have rights!”

The gruff, deadpan, voice came once again from the front seat.

“No you don’t.”

Stunned into an uncharacteristic loss for words, the only thing Harry could think of to say was, “Well, okay.”

“See? There’s nothing you can do,” said Calvin, quickly taking advantage of Harry’s silence. “Just let this play out. Also please, for the sake of my sanity, and only my sanity because Pete’s clearly left a long time ago, stop antagonizing the men with guns. Do it for me. And I guess our weeping man-child of a friend, as well.”

Peter was still crying like a mad man.

Then, much to the surprise of all three boys, Petey even stopped crying for this, they heard the same gruff voice from before, only this time it was chuckling.

“Um I’m sorry officer, is something amusing you?” inquired Harry, who wasn’t even making an attempt at hiding the bitterness in his voice.

“Not much, son,” chuckled the police officer. “I just think you two make a cute couple. How long have ya’ll been together?”

“Uh what? No. Ha. No. Sorry. No. We’re not gay. No.” responded Calvin, who was extremely flabbergasted at the Officers insinuation.

“Oh really now? It’s just, well, you bicker like me and my ol’ lady do back home, and we’ve been married for twenty-two years.

“Seriously? Him? And Me? You thought, someone like, me. Would actually be with someone like him? No. That would never happen. Never. Not in a million years,” answered Calvin with incredible intensity.

At this Harry decided to place his two cents into the conversation.

“Wow. Really, Calvin? That’s your objection? Not the fact neither of us are gay? But that, if we were gay, there would be no way you would ever be with me? It’s not a homophobic thing; it’s a personal thing. Wow. Okay. Fine. You know what? I take back what I said earlier, you are that much of an asshole,” interjected Harry.

“Well can you blame me, Harry?” answered Calvin. “You’re like an incredibly messy and disorganized human being. Our personality types, just wouldn’t work. Plus I bet you’re into weird adventurous sex stuff. I’m pretty P.C. in the sack. There’s a reason the ladies call me ‘Old Faithful.’

“Because you blow your load like clockwork?” cut in Peter.

“Yeah, exactly! For the woman who needs to get down, but doesn’t want to compromise her work schedule. We could pimp Cal out. That’s like an easy thirty bucks, at the least,” laughed Harry, who was pleasantly surprised at his friends sudden regaining of his composure.

“You’d guys suck. If you guys pimped me out I would make bank. No question. It’s all just a matter of marketing me to the right customer,” added Calvin.

“Alright that’s enough of this shit.”

Out of nowhere the car came to a sudden stop and the door on Harry’s side of the car was thrown open. Stepping out of the car, Calvin, Harry, and Peter were surprised by what they saw.

“We’re… on campus?” asked Peter.

“Wait that doesn’t make any sense. We were driving for at least forty-five minutes. The park we were picked up at is, at most, a six-minute drive from campus,” pointed out Harry.

“Half that without any traffic,” added Calvin.

“Yeah well, like you said yourself, you were never actually under arrest. My partner and I decided to just drive around in circles for a while, just to screw with all of you,” said the police officer.

“It worked too!” laughed the officer with the gruff voice, which the three of them had become all too familiar with by now, who was still in the car. “Especially that tiny one. Do you always cry so much, boy? Or only when you’re scared?

“I was in a very uncomfortable situation and frankly I don’t really want to talk about it anymore thank you very much,” Peter quickly said without taking a breath.

“Wow. This was kind of a low blow. Aren’t police officers meant to fight crime, I don’t know, conventionally?” asked Harry.

“Well, maybe this will teach you not to set off explosions at three o’clock in the goddamn morning. That was a dick move, fellas.” The officer said this with a shrug of his shoulders.

“Fair enough. I guess,” said Harry.

With that the officer made his way back into this squad car and drove off into the night, his gruff-voiced partner’s laugh chuckling out of an open window and echoing in the night sky.

Harry turned to the other two boys as if he had something to say, but, deciding against it, began to walk towards he and Calvin’s apartment complex. Calvin and Peter, not knowing what else they should do, followed closely behind.

After a long silent walk back from campus, on top of what had been, without a doubt, the most bizarre interaction with law enforcement that any of them had ever had, ever, our three favorite troublemakers found themselves sitting on the curb just outside Calvin and Harry’s apartment building. They had no way of knowing the exact time, as all of their phones had died, but Calvin guessed it was somewhere between four and four-thirty in the morning. Understandably Peter decided to head back to his home for the school year, a small town house that he was renting with five other people. Only Calvin and Harry remained on that curb, and for whatever reason they made no effort to head up to their apartment. They simply sat there in silence waiting out the minutes until the sun came up. That is until a thought came into Calvin’s head.

“So, do you think this qualifies as a minor consequence?”

Harry, who was legitimately shocked that his roommate was able to make a joke after the night they just had, began to laugh quite hard as he remembered why Calvin was his best friend.

At this Harry and Calvin decided to finally head back up to their apartment and call it a night.

Back in the apartment, and after a few minutes of meaningless small talk, Harry and Calvin went off to their respective bedrooms; that is until one final thought entered Calvin’s head. The only unanswered question left from the failure that had been that night. One whose answer would have hopefully made it all worth it.

“Yo, Harry.”

His voice came through his closed bedroom door.

“Yeah, Cal?”

“I’ve gotta know, man. What is black and sits at the top of the stairs?”

“Oh that,” chuckled Harry. “Steven Hawking after a house fire.”




“Fuck you Harry.”

Colin Briber is the author of this story. He is 21 years old and often gets lost when walking home from school.