When I discovered that my 10 p.m. rendezvous with Sarah Webb ’10 was going to prevent me from partaking in a certain toothsome entry ritual, my stomach grumbled with regret. However, with an experienced curtsy and a gentle twinkle of her eyes, Webb dispelled any resentment that I might have harbored. She used her supernatural powers to lead me on a half-hour expedition that touched on the South American cattle mutilator known as the Chupucabra, true love and possibly everything in between.
Tell me about yourself.
I don’t like loud noises or cameras. I buy people random balloons. I don’t do particularly crazy things, other than fencing, which kind of uses up all of the available crazy.
I’ve been told that your fencing injuries are rather epic.
Well, up until this year, I was the fencing champion of interesting injuries. This year I have competition, another freshman. But I’ve managed to get some pretty interesting bruises and had my arm cut open [rolls up sweatshirt sleeve and takes off band-aid to display minor cut at the top of her forearm], which makes that the second time.
I heard that your teammates refer to you and your boyfriend [Larry O’Boyle ’10] collectively as “Shlarry.”
I did not come up with it. I think most fencing couples do it though. Zac [Whitney ’12] and Kimmy [Samders ’12] are called Zamickey.
What’s it like stabbing your boyfriend?
It’s actually really good therapy. Seriously, if we’re having an argument, it’s really good to go have a 15-point bout. And by the end of it, we’ll have gotten our aggression out.
And lost blood?
[Pointing to arm] This doesn’t happen very often. I get interesting bruises, and sometimes they’re from my boyfriend. But they’re from fencing, so they’re … battle scars.
Fair enough … I tease him about that a lot. None of my particularly bad ones right now are from him though. And he’s usually apologetic.
I hear that you are writing a musical called Fencing: The Musical. Do tell –
He’s writing the musical. I’ll have no part in it. We both write fiction, but that’s not mine at all. I don’t think I could write a musical.
What’s the idea behind the musical?
Well, part of the idea is we’re completely insane. And part of it is we’ve been having some trouble with sharing our equipment room with the referees for basketball games. There’s been some friction. And so he’s writing a musical in which the fencing team becomes an a cappella group and a dancing troupe in order to raise money for an equipment room that doesn’t have any referees in it.
A noble cause for a knightly boyfriend.
Plus, there are really silly songs.
Back to “Shlarry.” I heard that your Facebook status was once “my boyfriend got me ninjas for Valentine’s Day.” Did he really?
[Nods excitedly] He arranged for several members of the fencing team to dress up as ninjas, which they’d done before, and attack us in our common room, and he fended them off with umbrellas.
Were you scared?
No! They were pretty easy to recognize, even in ninja costumes.
Describe a ninja costume.
All black with a scarf over your face and occasionally some plastic weaponry.
I’ll be on the lookout.
They usually don’t attack people who aren’t on the fencing team. I thought it was a very inventive gift though.
What’s your favorite mythical beast?
[Entirely unflustered] It’s probably a toss up between the Chupucabra, which is sincerely bizarre, and the Menehune. I’m not sure if Menehunes qualify as true beasts though. Chupucabras are goat vampires, and there is actually a really cool Web comic about them called Irrational Fears. And Menehunes are the Hawaii little people, a little bit like leprechauns, only less mischievous.
I’m not a mythical beast connoisseur, but who do you think would win in a fight – a Gryphon, or a Jabberwock?
I’m gonna have to go with the Gryphon, because we never actually find out what the Jabberwock is. Anything that’s part-Gryphon part-lion has probably got pretty good stats.
I mean, eagles are fairly ferocious, and lions are fairly ferocious, and if you put the two of them together and they manage to not eat each other, you’ll probably get along pretty well.
[Feigning comprehension, I press onward.]
I’ve been told that you’re quite fond of the Australian marsupial –
[Before I can finish] Wombat!!! I love wombats. I inherited this from my father apparently. My dad has a thing for wombats and kept four or five stuffed wombats in his classroom. I actually like tapirs better, but wombats are fun.
I’m sure they are, but what exactly is a wombat?
A wombat is a rather large and solid Australian marsupial. They’re apparently a lot cuter in imagination than in reality. I’m told if you run into a wombat with a truck, the truck loses. They’re a meter and a bit long, and rather solid. Different from how you’d imagined?
I guess so.
I actually really like Inez’s [Tan ’12] interpretation of a wombat as being a sort of flying bat, with an interesting shaped head.
That’s completely erroneous.
Well yes, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun. I don’t know why my father likes wombats, but he likes yaks too.
I once saw a mountain goat.
I have a funny mountain goat story! Larry and I were traveling around Wales together and one morning we were getting out of a bed and breakfast and we saw a mountain goat just standing on a picnic table, looking at us very regally. We’re just looking at the mountain goat going, “What the heck?” and the mountain goat is looking at us like, “Are you guys going to bother me?” Such a nice memory of Wales.
Now when I think of Wales I’ll think of the regal mountain goat.
That would be a good name for a band, actually.
I think it’s already taken.