One in 2000: Brendan Kinnell

Dorm: Carter 24

Favorite Unprintable Curse Word: [golly!]

Hometown: Bridgeport, NY

Hometown Hero: It would have to be me.

Favorite Broadway Musical: Mighty Ducks 2: the Musical on Ice

Favorite Book: Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man, followed by Harold and the Purple Crayon.

Favorite Musical Instrument: Drums

Favorite Five Albums: U2: the Joshua Tree, Pearl Jam: Ten, Led Zeppelin: III, R.E.M.: Life’s Rich Pageant, Autobahn: Nagelbett.

College Council elections are coming up, and some of the spots are uncontested. Why do you think so few people are running?

It’s hard and it’s a lot of work. And no one wants to take a lot of time putting up all those posters. And the job is hard, too. A lot of people depend on you, and you take a lot of crap – behind your back even.

Kind of like what I’m doing right now?

Yeah, I mean, you sit down at dinner and what do you talk about? The weather?

You talk about how College Council sucks?

Exactly. Why don’t they do this? Why don’t they do that? But do I do anything about it? No. I let other people do it for me. I’d rather not run, so I can make fun of the people who are running, who are working their butts off. No one wants to do it, but everyone thinks they can do a better job.

Why did you come to college?

My mom made me.

Why Williams?

It has the best snack bar in the East. I’ve been coming to the snack bar since I was eight. I’ve been in love with it.

Will the sun rise tomorrow?


How do you know?

By experience.

Does it bother you that the only reason we have for relying on past experience is past experience?


Tell me something about yourself that most people wouldn’t know.

I played Pee Wee Herman in fifth grade for an Odyssey of the Mind competition. Odyssey of the Mind is where you take a group of seven students and you compete. And we had this thing where you had two minutes to do a play in which we presented seven morals. We did Aesop’s fables, but instead of Aesop and Aesop’s gang, we had Pee Wee’s Playhouse and we had Chairy and I don’t even remember their names. One of my good friends was the cowboy and that puppet Randy, and he had Randy attached to his [buttocks] and so he’d turn around and bend over and that was Randy. But anyway, I was Pee Wee and I had to do all that high-pitched laughing and everything. I made my own suit, because you couldn’t have any help. I sewed it; it was really bad. Most people don’t know that about me.

What law would you most like to break?

Well, I break a lot of laws already. . . Well, I don’t want to put anybody else in danger so – well, isn’t that the basis of laws?

Some would argue that we have laws to protect each other’s rights and property.

How about hitchhiking? Is that legal?

I think it’s legal in some states.

See, first of all, people think it’s illegal everywhere, which it isn’t. I think that too many people are afraid to hitchhike because the world is unsafe today. People don’t trust each other as much as they used to. I don’t think, anyway. I don’t know, though – I’ve only been here for twenty years.

What did you do last night?

I went sledding with Loren Peterson. And we didn’t have any sleds, so we were going to tape him up and put him in garbage bags and send him down the hill, but we didn’t do that. I think he would’ve liked it.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I might want to be an architect, or a math teacher. I like to teach people.

I hear you like to teach people a thing or two on the basketball court.

That’s right. Actually, I sometimes get carried away and think I’m a little better than I am. It’s a good thing there are a lot of people who are better than I am to put me in my place. I think that’s what Williams College is all about.

You think being put in your place is what you get out of Williams?

No. I think you get some really good friendships. That’s probably the most important thing I’ve gotten, I’d say. Because if you’re not having a good time, why do it?

Aren’t you a Math major?

Funny you should mention that.

Tell me about the funniest experience you’ve had at Williams.

Well, it happened at Burger King, and it’s kind of crude, but here goes. Kevin and I are in line at Burger King, and we hear this car pull up, and the guys in the car are making some commotion and they’re obviously racing to be first in line. So there are three of these guys, and one of them clearly gets out in front, so the other two sort of slow down, and they’re kind of waltzing up to the door. Meanwhile, this other guy is already in line, and he’s standing right behind us, but before the two of his friends come into Burger King, a man and his daughter come out of the bathroom and get in line. This guy behind us hasn’t turned around, and he’s got this smile on his face, because he’s won the competition. Now, he’s wearing kind of a long parka. You look at him, and he has this nifty little idea, so he lifts up his parka, and squats down and passes gas right in the direction of this man and this girl. He’s smiling and chuckling and he turns around, and he has this look on his face. It was really funny. One of the biggest shames, by the way, is the closing of that Burger King.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Yeah, as far as my hometown hero is concerned, I’m not trying to be cocky, it’s just that no one has ever come out of Bridgeport.

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