D-HALL - Ten chairs were lined up in the DHall last week in size order from shortest to tallest. Their names include: “Fiesta Chairs, Chair O’Brian, Chairy Pie, Chairing is Caring, Gooey Butter Cushion and BBQ Pulled Chairs.”
President R. King poured over a catalogue of over 918 designer chairs that encompassed styles from over 16 countries. Then, he went on a world tour to personally select the very best.
“I call this collection, La Posture de la Derriere, or, The Posture of the Butt. I subscribe to a school of thought that grew out of Plato’s problem of ‘chairness’. We postulate that, chairs do more than accommodate butts; in fact, they influence the personality of the sitter and the social texture of the area they inhabit. Historical records from thousands of years ago even depict chairs choosing their occupants in ancient times,” King said.
Grinnell’s Director of Furniture, Lighting and Interior Aesthetics, Monroe Dupi, described how seating operates within school culture. “We want to let our students make a statement about what Grinnell stands—I mean sits—for.
“Short and circular chairs evoke a medieval, mead-hall atmosphere. Do we want students merrily squatting in their seats and eating with their hands? Taller chairs with thin legs create a sophisticated, German-café look that might inspire students to cut up all their food before eating it, cross their legs, and talk about solar panel technology,” said Dupi.
Students opinions are largely positive. “I like Chairs O’Brien…but This Chair Gouda is nice too. Maybe if Grinnell bought a mix of chairs, everyone could be comfortable,” suggested Janet Silva ’19
President King elaborated on Silva’s suggestion. “In my recent memoir ‘Sitting Pretty or Pretty Sitting: The Story of My Ass’, I drew upon Drew Franklin’s (1991) post-structural paradigm concerning the symbolic topography of seats, surfaces, and perches to address how social hierarchy manifests in undulating patterns within cafeteria spaces. Essentially, if lowsitting students can see the tall, attractive, able-bodied clique that has the confidence, balance and proper form to plop their bottoms on the highest of chairs, then our admissions selectivity as rated by Princeton Review will go up about 67-69%, and that’s just within one year.”
Naturally, some students are suspicious President King’s intentions. “We think this is a ‘footin-the-door’ tactic,” said Gladie McGuire ‘17, an SGA senator, “so that President King can build a twostory, solid gold throne where the Whale Room is now.” McGuire mysteriously disappeared inside SHACS just days after this statement, but, under her pseudonym “Turtle,” she left an encrypted message on a mobile whiteboard on JRC second that read: THERE IS NO WHERE SAFE FROM HIS GAZE.”
When asked about these rumors, President King quickly replied, “Don’t be preposterous!” Then he added, with a secretive smirk, “I’m just trying to be…charitable. MUAH-HAHAHAHA!”