[This edited version of the article appeared in the print edition of the newspaper.]
Mark Ratto: Pardon me while I chuckle at the thought of competition between Mesa Court and Middle Earth. We are better, everybody knows it; you know it, I know it, get over it.
Umar Hussain: Egregious.
Ratto: First of all, our location is not as prime as Middle Earth’s in Information Computer Sciences (ICS) or Engineering standards, but Mesa Court has the Student Center, houses all athletic events and we are a lot closer to the freeway, Umar.
Hussain: All right, first off, not many freshmen have cars so the freeway doesn’t even matter. Your mommy and daddy are going to come drop you off anyways. Second, you are not that close to the Student Center. You still have to walk through the arts department, across the bridge and through humanities. We just have to walk downhill through Langson.
Ratto: What? We just have to walk down the little hill and across the street.
Hussain: What if you are from phase- three Mesa? Jardin, Selva, Cumbre- those have to walk for about 30 minutes to either the Student Center or Commons, which by the way has the absolute worst food on campus.
Ratto: (Ignoring commons comment) It is funny you mention the names of our dorms. I can’t even pronounce the names of Middle Earth dorms because I don’t speak Elf or Elvish or whatever.
Hussain: Brandywine and Pippin are way better than Mesa. You have to concede that point.
Ratto: I know. I hate it, but I know.
Hussain: We feed commuters, kids from Arroyo Vista, Campus Village and even the kids from Mesa Court go over there. They know it is happening over there.
Ratto: Well, as Mesa Courtians, we understand and accept that the school is obligated to provide better food to you guys to make up for the poor quality of fun that is Middle Earth.
Hussain: Poor quality of fun? Preposterous! We have basketball courts located in front of Brandywine and the Brandywine Student Center. I mean, we are talking ping-pong tables, pool tables; you name it-we got it. They hold Madden tournaments there, Super Smash Brothers tournaments … anything and everything.
Ratto: Well, apparently the only way you can have fun in Middle Earth is with two controllers and an outlet. That is not how it goes down in Mesa Court.
Hussain: (Laughs) Your place is so miserable you have to resort to drinking.
Ratto: Resort? We thrive off of it!
Hussain: That is why the doors don’t even stay open in Mesa. They don’t foster friendship or family, which is what Middle Earth is known for.
Ratto: Friends and family? Whatever. I would hate all my friends and family if they came from Middle Earth.
Hussain: Well if your best friend is Captain Morgan, I guess you don’t need friends.
Ratto: Wow, I can’t believe you went there. What an abomination of integrity. Listen, whatever you want to say about drinking and boozing is thrown out the window for one simple reason: we house all of the official UC Irvine athletes. You know why? Because they are strong individuals and that is what Mesa Court is all about.
Hussain: You know what, our Middle Earth “athletes” will kill yours. Collegiate athletes are not even able to compete on dorms’ teams. We have great basketball tournaments, dodge ball tournaments and volleyball tournaments all year round.
Ratto: Sounds like my fourth grade playground.
Hussain: Playground on steroids.
Ratto: I would love to agree with you, but any of our athletes at Mesa Court can out bench-press the entire Middle Earth dorms. One person, faster than everybody, stronger than everybody – and probably a little more attractive.
Hussain: I’ll give you that.