Fishbowl Fears: No Trespassing?

By Amanda Eakin

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It’s common knowledge that there are off-limit areas in Convo. If you have the nerve – or stupidity – to wander into a section you do not belong to, prepare to face the consequences. The evil eye, angry whispers, maybe even a verbal assault. I’m sure there have been times the oblivious victim has been forced to move, all because a clearly-defined territory has been invaded.

Along this line of thought, for the longest time rumors have been circulating about the dangers of wandering into the Fishbowl. You know, the big glass human display case planted squarely in the center of Convo.

“I heard about this one guy who got pantsed!”

“No, it wasn’t just his pants that came down.”

“Oh, and if you can’t stand swearing, don’t go in there; those theater kids will cuss up a storm within five seconds flat.”

Yes, the “theater kids.” This clique, along with the international students, has been known to claim the Fishbowl as their territory, their unofficial parking pass in Convo.

With this in mind, I decided to have my meals there for several days.

Why? Because I wanted to see if anyone would approach me and promptly inform me I was in the wrong spot or, at the very least, stare me down while I chomp away on my Eakinator sandwich (shameless promotion here, sorry).

It would have made an excellent story: “Hostile attack in the Fishbowl: a Collegian reporter gets viciously accosted while having lunch.”

Turns out, the grandiose scene I had envisioned was disappointingly different from what actually happened.

Upon walking in, I did get a few stares. I felt a twinge of excitement here, wondering if someone would say something. It never happened. Instead, people went back to whatever they were saying and ignored me for the rest of the time I sat there. I came back the next day, and still the same thing happened.

Maybe I just got lucky. Maybe if I had come in at a different hour, or a different day, things would have been more interesting. I would have gleefully revealed how horrific my experience was while trying to sit in an area that is supposedly off-limits. Maybe the Fishbowl dwellers knew I was observing them.

…Or maybe the rumor overshadows the truth once again, distorting facts to a point beyond credibility.

Isn’t that what we do, though? Any incident that may have happened in the past could have planted the rumor seed to eventually grow into an overwhelming tree of lies. From then on, one lie could branch off into another, and then another, and then another. The details of incidents that are passed down from one person to the next will inevitably change to suit the needs of the one telling the story.

So if Johnny launches an egg roll across the room, it might be retold as him directing the food missile at an outsider, regardless if that was the truth.

That isn’t to say I’d be willing to risk sitting in the Fishbowl again.

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