Feb 012010
Authors: Erin Nalli, Savannah King

As journalists, we are all for free speech, the right to expression and all that jazz. But it seems to us that this rule should not apply to those who are universally hated with a fiery passion, almost without exception. You know who we are talking about. Oh, yes: The Plaza People.

Because free speech does not include a disclaimer for those who are annoying, your only choice is to exercise your right to ignore them whole-heartedly. If only it were that easy. These people, as we all know, are as ruthless as Tony Frank’s beard and Chuck Norris combined.

It takes the highest level of skill to avoid them. This sort of talent can take years to properly hone –– but never fear. Savannah and Erin are here. And we shall teach you our ways. To make this guide as quick and efficient to use as possible, we have broken the Plaza People down into their classifications, followed by the best means that can be used to avoid their specific attacks:

1. The Biblethumpers: They believe some sort of divine power condones their annoying behavior making them especially nasty. They don’t seem to realize that threatening people with hell is not the best way to make friends. Usually you can just stand in a circle and ridicule them with hard questions, but you should beware of the plain-clothed Biblethumpers.

If someone approaches you with the line “Can I ask you a few questions?” make up a previous engagement. Quickly. But some of these people do hand out free candy. It’s OK to accept it –– it’s from Jesus.

2. The Crunchy Granola, Dirty Hippy-Dippy-Trippy, Should’ve Gone to CU, Birkenstock With Socks Wearing Tree Huggers: These people are not to be deterred by the simple cell phone or iPod ruse. Oh, no. There are baby seals dying and dang it, they must save them.

They will stop you. They will ask questions you can’t possibly say no to, such as, “Would you like to save the Earth?”

First off, wear deodorant. The fresh smell alone may throw them off their game enough to allow you escape time. If this fails, run like all hell while screaming, “Global warming can only do good when it comes to these nasty, sub-zero temperatures.”

3. The Coupon Moms: No matter how much you protest that the university already sent you 20 coupon books, they simply will not believe you. So suck it up and take the book. It’s free. We all like free, right? Plus, nice soccer moms are usually handing them out. You just can’t be mean. If all else fails, give them as gifts when money is short.

4. The Zombies: Granted, these are seasonal. But to those of us not playing the game, (aka those of us who live in reality) Zombies are nothing short of terrifying. Pay attention to the Collegian (Yay, shameless plug!) so you know when the Zombies will be invading campus.

Then, whatever you do, don’t wear scarves during this period in time. In fact, don’t wear any accessories of any kind. You could be mistaken for a human, and then these Zombies will lose their freaking minds. Also, don’t take sharp corners. They tend to be crouching behind them.

We understand that these people strike fear into your heart, and we hope this guide provides you with the tools to make your life a bit easier. Use these tactics to start –– we’re sure you will develop your own take on them in time. Potentially you could even write a book and sell it to incoming freshmen. We get 50 percent of the profits. Each.
Erin Nalli and Savannah King are staff designers for the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com._

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