Booth and Buggy are not the most fun Carnival traditions

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Ah, Carnival: a mini spring break celebrated with inebriated afternoons, overpriced Ferris wheel rides, and the constant clanging of booths being built in the back of Morewood Gardens. Last year, I had a room that faced the parking lot. I didn’t sleep during Carnival (or the days immediately preceding Carnival) because of the relentless sound of machinery and manual labor. As if the noise itself wasn’t horrible enough, I had to hear it for days and days on end. My limited slumber was constantly interrupted by eager booth builders, and I was angry — so angry that I didn’t do anything but complain about Carnival.

This year, my room faces the frat quad — certainly a source of commotion, random chants, and many drunken mistakes — but I hear far less noise than when I was stuck by the parking lot. I actually get a chance to sleep. As a deprived college student, sleep is one of my favorite hobbies. Getting those precious hours of slumber back into my life gives me a less cantankerous view of Carnegie Mellon’s celebratory tradition. So now, instead of feeling fury, I just think Carnival is hilariously overrated — but still a little bit amazing.

When we are first-years, upperclassmen and advisers talk about Carnival as a super-fun event filled with entertainment and no class and rainbows and butterflies. Everyone tries to convince you to drive a buggy, or push a buggy, or build a booth. So as a first-year, although I wasn’t tricked into driving a buggy (and still haven’t been, thankfully), I had this grand, though vague, idea that Carnival would be all about the long-standing Carnegie Mellon traditions of pushing little girls down hills and building shacks in a parking lot. Then Carnival happened. And it was a delicious and ridiculous extravaganza.

We certainly do deserve a rest. Carnegie Mellon has the tendency to break people’s souls (as though breaking our wallets isn’t quite enough). Carnival is a welcome pause from the insanity of papers and exams, presentations and projects. But then comes the ridiculousness of Carnival: The rides close early and are too pricey to even consider, and Pittsburgh’s horrific weather system ruins everything. When my friend got excited and shouted “It’s going to be in the fifties for the first half of Carnival! That will be so nice!” I knew that Pittsburgh had brainwashed yet another naive mind. Luckily, the ridiculousness of Carnival is what allows the greatness to come out. We students, with nothing to do except spend cash on rusty rides, come up with some alternatives to tired Buggy and Booth traditions.

We just party. Every night. Every day. Until we can’t party anymore. And then, we can just take a nap and start partying again. (Unless we can hear what is going on in the Morewood parking lot. In that case, we will not sleep, we will continue partying.) A wise mantra, if I do say so myself.

During Carnival, everyone is frivolous and frolicks all over the place. People start visiting friends they haven’t hung out with since the beginning of freshman year and perhaps won’t see again until next Carnival. If it is nice outside (“nice” apparently being defined by most students as that balmy 50°) people are likely to be making out all over the Cut in their slut apparel. There are drunk dials galore, especially around 2 p.m. The hangovers and having to ask your friends what happened the night before, and where that mysterious stain came from, may not be so fantastic, but they are the costs of having a kick-ass time! It’s all pretty fantastic and amazing, like I said.

It must be horrible to be so faithful to Booth and Buggy. It takes a lot to get up that early in the morning and push a person inside one of those things, or to stay up all night using power tools. You all may not be the lucky ones who can get trashed while watching Oprah mid-afternoon, but you still deserve kudos. (Except, again, for those of you who wake us Morewood residents. Keep it down!) To assuage any jealousy you avid participants might feel, let me assure you that most students will down more than enough shots for you. So don’t you dare feel neglected.

The real festivities of Carnival guarantee a good time. Carnival is ridiculous! Ridiculously glorified. Forget what Carnival is supposed to be — rides? Booths? Not at all! Embrace our interpretation of it instead: PARTY!