One in 2000: Angus Beal ’03

So today, I want to talk to you about fashion.

Fashion? Whh-oooa. You’re trying to blindside me here, aren’t you?

No, no.

I know nothing about it.

That’s not true. I wanted to ask you about the trademark “Angus” style, one that people would automatically think of when they thought of you. Not that I really know you, but we did go camping your first year with WOC. Do you remember?

Was it Mountain Day?

Yes.

That was a good camping trip.

With a raging fire.

Yes, we pretty much kicked it in the fire direction.

Yeah? kicked it?

We had a big fire.

Oh, I just use “kicking it” in terms of finishing something, like we stomped all over the fire or something.

No, no we were kicking it.

Yeah, I get it. But to get back to fashion, I wanted to ask about the shorts issue.

Ah, the shorts issue. That’s a fantastic question. I think it’s good for this to be clarified on campus, because I assume the follow up question is, “Why are you always wearing shorts when it’s bloody cold outside?” And the answer is that, here at Williams, we walk between super-heated buildings and for you to be outside with shorts on for 10 minutes is not a big deal. But if I were outside for a couple of hours, if I were going hiking, I wouldn’t wear shorts.

Would you wear shorts skiing?

Yes, yes I would. If the proper conditions were there. In fact, this summer, I definitely wore shorts while boot-skiing. And that was really fun.

Just boots, or short skis?

Just boots. It was a big field of snow, very steep, very exciting. But when you fall down, that’s not as much fun, but some funny sounds result from it. This woman who was with my friend Nick and I fell, and she was definitely wearing short shorts and made this really high-pitched squealing sound. It was very funny.

And to follow in the steps of some illustrious fashion magazines, tell us a little bit about the outfit you’re wearing now. Like the hat for example.

This hat? It has a great story. It’s almost 80 years old. My great-grandfather, Lee Hollander, whose names I have as middle names, knit this hat and it was his excursion hat and he went with it on all his adventures. It’s come with me on all my trips and adventure excursions. My greatest fear is losing this hat.

And the purple vest is quite nice. Very Williamsy.

I wore it all through high school.

Maybe it was foreshadowing.

Actually, I didn’t even wear it here for my first two years because I thought everyone would think it was a Williams vest. It’s only since I’ve gotten back that it’s been all right to wear it because people won’t think I’m strutting around being “Williams this, Williams that, I’ve got Williams on my chest.”

Are you anti-Williams apparel?

Ehh…a little bit.

And is there a difference between wearing Williams apparel on-campus and wearing Williams apparel off-campus?

I haven’t really tried either one too much, but I think wearing anything too gaudily “Williams. This is my college,” is not my style.

I understand that. I don’t have a bumper sticker on my car.

I don’t have a bumper sticker on my car either. Mostly because I don’t have a car, but also I don’t want to advertise it like, “this is who I am.” It’s sort of doing someone’s advertising for them. Williams is a great college, and I love it more and more every year, but I don’t need to be its advertising source.

Are you a man of iron principles, strong moral fiber?

Some principles yes, others no.

Then they’re not really principles. Or does it depend on the situation, sort of a malleable principle?

This is going to be a tough question to answer because I can’t think of an example.

Well, the advertising issue seems to be a pretty strong one.

Yeah, it is, but I can see myself breaking down in certain situations.

And really quickly, what about the shirt?

Well, I got the shirt at the ABC sale.

Ooooo, nice acquisition.

It’s a great place.

Yes, but I’ve had some hit-and-miss experiences. This fall I bought a coat that turned out to have three-quarters length sleeves and was made for a very square woman. Very square. I think what happened was I tried it on over a backpack, so I thought it fit.

You mean, you don’t tend to wear your backpack under your coat always? It’s very chic.

You just got back from Africa, right? Anything crazy happen there?

Yeah, I was in Botswana and I got my head shaved by these really drunk guys in a shack on the side of the road called “Y2K haircuts.”

So, what do you think of the pizza bagel that they introduced while you were away?

Haven’t tried it yet, but I’m sure it’s delectable.

Actually, it’s not. They don’t toast the bagel before they put it in the microwave to melt the cheese.

That’s idiotic. Any toaster artist knows that you must toast, then apply your wet condiments.

Artist with an “e” or not?

Artiste-eee? Yeah, sure. We’re all French here anyway.

[Louisa Pitt ’04 walks by with her sister.]

Whoa, that was bizarro-world.

What? I didn’t hear what you said.

Well, you know when two siblings look exactly alike?

Yes, but that’s not really the case for my brother
and I. You see, he’s short and squat.

Like you on your bad days.

Um, yes, exactly. He also has really coarse, dark hair, and mine’s more fine.

Do you often describe your hair as “fine?”

Not really.

How’s your hair?

Oh, it’s fine.

Did you do anything else cool while you were in Africa?

One of the coolest things I saw was the Tsodioo Hills. We drove out through deep sand roads in a big Land Rover and ran over a snake by mistake. That was bad.

Aren’t you not supposed to run over snakes because they can flip into your car? That didn’t happen, did it?

No, because I really killed it when I hit it. A Land Rover’s a pretty big vehicle, but it was later identified as a Green Mamba, which really freaked me out.

Why?

Because it’s the second most deadly snake in the world and they are not to be harassed, played with, or run over by vehicles. It’s just not good form to run over a snake.

You were going into its habitat, it wasn’t going into yours.

Actually, it was in the road, the car’s habitat.

Moving on, do you have any illegal appliances in your room that Fire Marshall Bill would not be happy about?

No, although I had a kerosene stove last year.

Did you fire it up? Probably not, since the room’s super-heated, right?

No, it was fine. The heat’s under control.

To end on a Winter Study-ish note, do you partake in any snow sports?

I love all snow sports. My favorite is sledding.

Any sledding hot spots?

Bee Hill, by far. It’s really not a hill for amateurs. The Thunder Bolt is quite nice, too. I was there today, but couldn’t really go sledding because I hurt my tailbone sledding in a rock quarry in Maine. It’s a little embarrassing, especially because this old man saw me hurt my tailbone, because this rock flew out from behind the sled, and he basically spent the next 20 minutes talking about my rear while his grandson was meandering around. I’ve never had anyone talk about me like that before.

Was it oddly flattering, or just uncomfortable?

No, he just really wanted it to be surgically reattached to me because he thought it was wrapped around the rock that I hit.