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It’s a Friday night, and you’re at your house off-campus drinking with some of your brothers and the girls from a few of your favorite sororities. The theme is paint party, because you give exactly zero fucks about your security deposit, and everyone is covered in a mix of alcohol, paint, and in a few cases, bodily fluids. It’s the definition of a shitshow, and the local “DJ” you recruited to blast house music for the night is making it work.
Suddenly, there’s a knock at your door. It’s the bitch from next door who would make the spawn of Cruella DeVille and The Wicked Witch of the West look like a pageant queen and Nobel Prize winner. Your risk management chairman answers the door and slurs out some kind of welcome, probably just, “Um…yesssh?”, and she proceeds to launch into an angry tirade about how you “don’t live in a college town” or you “need to be more respectful of the locals” despite the fact that her house is located where all the students in the area rent places. The cops then show up and everything gets busted, leaving one of your brothers to limp out the door because the OTPHJ he was getting was rudely interrupted. God. Townies ruin everything.
I’m sure the majority of us have had these experiences with one or more of our neighbors. Sometimes they can’t take a joke, sometimes they just hate fun. They even occasionally go online, figure out what chapter you are, and start yelling your creed over the back fence of your house. Good times. The fact is, townies do crazy things, probably because we drive them crazy. Though, one must assume any adult or senior living in a college town is a bit crazy to begin with. I’ve never heard any rational adult over the age of 30 say that they’d love to live in close proximity to a bunch of belligerent 20-somethings who think stealing everything that isn’t nailed down is a valid drunk hobby. That kind of dedication to impeding progress (Can you call what we do progress? Probably not, but I will anyway.) is something that takes real tenacity, and a box full of loose screws upstairs.
Most of the time, townies are not people you want to emulate. They’re like that “The only three letters I need are U-S-A”. guy. College towns, with some notable exceptions, don’t tend be places the wealthy and successful go to settle down with their families. Probably something about drunk mobs of freshmen roaming the streets like packs of feral dogs for the first three weeks of school. I damn near lost an arm to one of them once just because I had a bottle of Zelko on me, so it’s definitely not a family-friendly environment.
Does this mean all townies are terrible? Of course not. Some of them, with a bit of diplomacy and negotiation, will be downright cordial and welcoming, which means your off-campus party house will be safe from the tyranny of those who think the night ends at 10 PM. If you find a neighbor like that, keep them, because they’ll make your risk management so much easier. If not, the best way to deal with an angry townie is much like the way you deal with anyone who is trying to stop the party: deny, deny, counter-accuse, and contact your pledge brother’s lawyer parents. Whatever you do, try not to let them spoil the fun, because in this war for our very social freedoms, we cannot afford to take one step back against the insidious townie threat.