Hayley Brooks & Ali Kokot | On the outside, looking Fl(in)g


Think Twice | How local businesses and out-of-towners perceived our Spring Fling


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Haley Brooks & Ali Kokot
Think Twice

Photo by Hayley Brooks and Ali Kokot


Spring Fling suspends reality. After our introduction to a camel and naked-Wigger-filled Fling last year, we were unfazed by a bumpin’ Cruise America RV parked on the corner of 40th and Pine streets this weekend.

When we barged in, we met Tufts senior Paris Kallitsantsis, who had road-tripped down with eight of his Boston buds. “This Spring Fling was much better than ours at Tufts,” he explained.

Although Kallitsantsis didn’t have friends friendly enough to stay with, he brought his own bed and hosted his own party at Penn — all on four wheels. Apparently Spring Fling is a “shitshow” not to be missed.

We’ve heard enough from the lay Penn student, the Social Planning and Events Committee gods and Vice President of Public Safety Maureen Rush. The raw numbers of burgers grilled, bottles bought and flingers flung have been calculated and served to us in many a Daily Pennsylvanian article.

It’s the outsiders like Kallitsantsis that provide a fresh perspective on our shenanigans. From the guys at Allegro who served us pizza at 3 o’clock in the morning, to the accepted students who toured Penn for the very first time — we were curious about how Fling fared for those on the periphery.

Though they’re not the ones who will call the Judgment Day on us, these flingers-by-association have formed perceptions of Penn’s defining culture through this party weekend.

The estheticians at Adolf Biecker know just as much about the happenings inside Penn’s lady-parts as they do those inside Smokey Joe’s.

These women saw an influx of Penn females wanting to wax their arms, legs and vaginas to “get ready for Spring Fling,” esthetician Veronica Gilbert revealed to us. Specifically, “bikini and Brazilian waxes were pretty booked up.” We wonder why.

From small talk with her regulars, Veronica deduced that this past weekend featured drinking, carnivals, parties at downtown clubs and a petting zoo in a frat house. Three out of four ain’t bad, right?

While these ladies serviced some of us before the partying began, we can’t neglect those who helped everyone rally on.

Wawa Inventory and Merchandise Manager Michael Callahan was happy to see a “significant increase” in business this weekend. Students filled his store on 37th and Spruce streets to maximum capacity Friday night.

Callahan ran out of stocked water and Gatorade after the concert, forcing him to hand bottles through the refrigerators to Flingers a la Tropicana commercial.

While no one got too rowdy at Wawa, one creative individual constructed a catfood-can totem pole in the middle of an aisle, Callahan recalled.

With a chuckle, he recounted the irony surrounding students’ behavior this weekend. “You guys will be our hedge fund managers in a few years, as we throw [you] out for being a slobbering drunk,” he said.

Like Callahan, Allegro Pizza and Grill cashier Nick Tensoglides said this weekend demonstrated “college kids doing what college kids do.”

“There was a little dancin’,” he recounted. “One guy had good moves I was like, ‘nice, damn!’”

Since Tensoglides and his fellow cashiers are also of partying age, they appreciate Penn students’ humor. Cashier David Moore especially enjoyed a bon vivant who “stood on top of a chair, pulled his pants down to his ankles and started dancing and waving his arms in the air.”

Like the caravaners, pre-frosh Adam Weiss came to get a taste of the all-encompassing Penn spirit.“It definitely showed the Penn work-hard-play-hard idea,” he said, adding “every time anyone would hear the word ‘pre-frosh,’ they were so welcoming and excited.”

So from the outside in, we’ve received confirmation that we were collectively silly this weekend. But as Weiss perceived, herein lies the Penn zeitgeist.

We were pleasantly surprised to find that none of these peripheral players were patronizing toward us or the weekend’s antics. Some were amused, others fascinated and bewildered — but none condescending.

When surveying the state of his RV in the aftermath, Kallitsarsis said, “we’re not getting our security deposit back, but it was definitely worth it.” Drive safe boys.

Hayley Brooks and Ali Kokot are College sophomores from Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. and New York, N.Y., respectively. Their email addresses are hayleybethbrooks@gmail.com and alikokot@gmail.com. Think Twice appears every Tuesday.

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