I hurried out of Isla Vista Theater, released early from an evening class. Excited, I pedaled to the Thunderdome, where Bob Dylan was to perform in 45 minutes. I stood in the massive queue patiently, the anticipation building within me. At a quarter to 8, clutching my ticket and ready to bare my student I.D. in all its un-photogenic glory, I approached one of the CSOs screening the eager attendees.
“Backpacks aren’t allowed,” he said.
Heart stopped, jaw dropped. “You’re kidding me,” I barely managed to say.
Wait a minute, I thought. You have an enormous sign detailing prohibited items: cameras, wallet chains, etc., but backpacks are not listed on said sign. And you’re telling me after I’ve waited in line for half an hour that I now have to leave my spot, find a place to stow my bag and come back only to stand in line even longer? No way. At this point, the only thing that stood between me and the doors to Dylan was this CSO.
Unwilling to abandon my position, I offered, “You can search it if you want.” Yeah, that’s right. I’ll let you violate my private space and search all the compartments of my bag. All two of them.
The officer refused, mumbling something indiscernible.
“What about other women who are allowed purses?” I argued. If my bag had only one strap, would that be permissible? That must have been the case, since there were multiple shoulder bags inside the auditorium with the same volume capacity as my modest backpack. Yet again, only mumbles and grumbles from the officer.
By this point, I was extremely vexed. So here’s this CSO who is supposed to be enforcing rules – except he’s not doing such a swell job of the “force” part.
Grow some balls, buddy, and exercise all the authority your lemon-meringue-colored polo shirt demands. You’re not going to let the little freckled redhead in the miniskirt upstage you, now are you? But he did.
“Do you have a supervisor I can talk to?” I asked, not wanting to waste any more oxygen squabbling with someone upon whom logic and reason were obviously lost.
“They’d tell you the same thing,” was the response.
Good to know, guy, but that’s not what I asked you.
In the end, I did get in. I did get to enjoy the show. And I did get to see Bob fuckin’ Dylan. But my encounter lingered and continued to perturb me.
In addition to being lax in their demeanor and illogical with their regulations, the CSOs failed to execute their duties to the best – or even worst, for that matter – of their abilities, seeing as the fellows in front of me enjoyed a joint that was easily the girth of and at least twice the length of my pinky finger.
Fantastic. Nice to know the CSOs have their priorities straight. Real comforting to know that they’re doing their job and making sure all those wicked girls concealing scarves and Greek literature lecture notes aren’t being permitted access to musical concerts.
It’s reminiscent of the IVFP and their attention to confiscating kegs instead of focusing on genuine civil concerns such as, say, protecting the properties and security of students. But that’s a different tirade for a different day.
Rachel Granzow is a sophomore classics and religious studies major.