Willipedia bachelors solicit companionship in Ephland

If a Williams College student doesn’t know of the student-run, witty and often hilarious search engine called Willipedia, then she needs to drag herself from the depths of Sawyer basement and reenter the world of sunshine and (more importantly) procrastination. If one is inclined to click the “dating” page, one will find the names of Will Palmer ’11, Brian Cole ’11, Daniel Franck ’11 and Heath Pruitt ’11: four guys with their hearts on their sleeves, advertising their availability as single men in the hopes of finding a date. To sweeten the deal, Pruitt adds that he “enjoys long bubble baths and multi-day love poetry readings.” Who could resist? I decided to set up a little speed dating opportunity with the guys in the hopes of finding out how these students came to advertise themselves on our very own Willipedia.

I chatted with Cole, Palmer and Franck first; Pruitt seemed to be otherwise engaged puttering around the fringes of Lehman basement, where my speed dating setup was happening. When questioned on how the ad came to be posted online, all three denied that they had anything to do with it and marked Pruitt as the culprit. In fact, Cole insisted that he has no problems with the ladies. “Girls come by all the time and knock on my door,” Cole said. “It’s a joke because so many women come by. Maybe he put himself on [the Web page] hoping that having his name next to mine would help him out.” I let that matter rest and moved on to the actual speed dating questions I had prepared.

First: What would be your preferred romantic getaway? Cole opted for “somewhere warm, lots of sand … I’m thinking the desert, maybe. Lots of cacti.” Strike one for Cole; deserts are much too dry. Doesn’t he know that the whole point of going somewhere with an ocean nearby is so your girl can strip down to a sexy string bikini and splash you flirtatiously? However, I soon found that the desert is a commonly beloved place among runners. Palmer started fantasizing about a “desert island [with] lots of sunshine, and a track where I can run quarter-mile repeats. When I thought things couldn’t possibly get any stranger, Franck chimed in that his getaway would be “that same desert island, where Will’s wearing his half-tights and I’m watching him run quarter-mile repeats.” I was left wondering if they knew the point of romantic getaways.

Second: If I were Santa and you were sitting on my lap, what would you say? Cole’s answer: “I hope you’re not a Catholic priest in the real world.” Franck responded with, “A fire truck. Something to that effect. No, a pet dog. A puppy! I like puppies.” Despite his indecision, the 5-year-old-like glee over presents was rather endearing. Palmer asked for “A sleigh ride to the North Pole.”

Third: If you were an alien with your very own spaceship, who would you abduct and why? “Ooh, that sounds a little sleazy,” Cole said. “I think I would abduct Annie Dear [’13] … she would be a good abductee for many different reasons.” Franck chose Dear as well, despite Cole’s protests. “I can go with Annie Dear, let her know there’s competition!” Look out, Annie! Palmer broke out of the mold and went for the gold with Carrie Underwood. I was starting to think that Pruitt’s motives in posting the ad included showing his friends that girls actually exist outside of the track team and celebrities.

I finished up my little question-and-answer session by asking them to whip out some pushups for me. Part of me wanted to pit them in competition against each other, but mostly I just wanted to see if they would actually do it. “Are you serious?” Cole said. “Shouldn’t we go out and run instead?” After being told that whoever did the most would get a bonus point, they reluctantly got on the floor. Palmer and Franck managed 30, though I noted that Palmer’s seemed much shakier and more painful. Cole got through 35, but I admit I still wasn’t too impressed.

I started wondering where in the world Pruitt had drifted off to when they told me I could find him down the hall. As I walked into the other room, my jaw dropped in surprise before I started laughing uncontrollably.

“Would you like some wine?” Pruitt asked as he stood there in a suit and tie, holding two elegant wine glasses. “Please sit down.” To top things off, David Kealhoffer ’13 was positioned in the background playing cello music.

His explanation for the ad was that “one of my friends needed a bit of help in that area,” and the idea was so funny that somehow all of their names ended up on the list. At the Santa question, he burst into laughter and answered, “Have I been naughty or nice?” That had just the right tone of interest without reaching the creepiness level of those people at Goodrich who sneak up behind unsuspecting girls without so much as an introduction.

He also had an original answer to my question, When was the last movie that made you cry? Turns out that Cool Runnings is not the happy-go-lucky flick that I’ve always thought. Pruitt says he’s “a sucker for the slow clap,” so that inspiring walk across the finish line was just a bit too much for him. Should I give him extra points for sensitivity or knock some off for crying over a movie at two in the morning? I decided it was a plus.

The highlight of our meeting, however, was when I mentioned that I had made the other guys do as many pushups as they could. “Wait, how many did they do?” he asked, walking over to where Kealhoffer was still bowing away at his cello. “Hey, David, do you think you could play something a bit more upbeat? I need some pump-up music.” Pruitt removed his suit jacket, got on the floor and whipped out 40 pushups like they were nothing.

So there you have it, ladies and gents. If you ever happen upon their little Willipedia ad and decide that you would really enjoy vacationing in the desert or crying over Cool Runnings, call one of these guys up and I’m sure you’ll have a great time. As for me, I certainly a fun time, and there’s no doubt who got the bonus points in my book.

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