The man, the myth, the legend

Why so serious?

Bi-Line columnist Katherine Hur on set with Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

Bi-Line columnist Katherine Hur on set with Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

His name is a legend that freshmen have only caught whispers of.  His legacy is one that not even Marty Wild’s indispensable role in The Blind Side can compete with. He’s killed two stones with one bird, he knows who let the dogs out, and he’s more interesting than the most interesting man in the world.


In the bygone days of yore, one could shine a searchlight emblazoned with the fifth letter of the basic Latin-script alphabet during times of need. According to legend, a mysterious figure dressed in green and ecru would appear, dole out a hearty serving of lunch, and ask you about your most recent exploits as a star member of the equestrian team.

Recently, however, Westminster has been the target of a highly organized squadron of vandals, as evidenced by the gaping holes in Pressly and the missing library. No culprits have yet been identified, but among the prime suspects are Lovett and Dr. Clarkson. These hoodlums have also axed the distress signal, crushing the students’ only method of contacting authority figures and rendering Eugene’s whereabouts unknown. To track down his elusive figure, I approached the eyes and ears of the school.

It is a little-known fact that Student Co-chair Michael He, known as MiHe by his contemporaries, enjoys frequenting dingy pubs and seedy clubs of the OTP variety when not resolving international disputes and running competitively (for Homecoming king). Once, at Willy’s Mexicana Grill, I heard him telling Mr. Peters over a basket of chips and a medium cheese dip that he found the ambiance and dim lighting of clubs constructive to productivity, but this was a bald-faced lie, as he really goes to mooch the free Wi-Fi.

After telling my mom to pick me up in an hour, I stepped into a shady bar and sauntered up to the counter.

“One orange Fanta, on the rocks.” The bartender slid over an unopened can and a glass. I took a sip and glanced around my surroundings. Amidst fellow underage teenagers and heavily tattooed thugs, I caught the incandescent glow of a TI-nspire CX CAS and the man himself, hunched over a bowl of salted peanuts and wasabi peas.

“Do you have the goods?” he asked when I sidled over.

I passed him a hefty leather pouch of fifty Chuck-E-Cheese tokens, all counterfeit. While he tested the validity of each coin, I took out my phone and pretended to send a few messages, creating the impression of having friends. Eighteen fake texts and two trips to the bathroom later, I was surreptitiously slipped a scrap of paper with several coordinates written in Pig Latin. Google Maps traced a route, but the street names sounded suspicious, so I relied on primitive instinct instead.

The trek was long and arduous. A squirrel compromised my roller blades, forcing me to complete the last twenty miles barefoot, and a motorcycle gang clad in matching leather jackets stole my Pokémon-themed lunchbox. After a brief respite, during which I unsuccessfully attempted to discover how many licks were truly required to reach the center of a Tootsie-Pop, I drew upon the last reserves of my strength and turned a sharp left.

A majestic waterfall came into sight. It would have been the perfect opportunity for an Instagram, #nofilter, but duty called for urgency and also my phone camera is subpar. On a sudden whim, I withdrew a grappling hook from the deep recesses of my jean pockets and rappelled into the cascading water, sailing gracefully into the wall of a cave.

The darkness was blinding. I was not born in the darkness, nor molded by it, and the time it took for my pupils to adjust to the dearth of light would have been better spent organizing the sporks in my kitchen by size and then model number. A flock of bats flew at my face, but I welcomed them with open arms. As they dissipated, I saw a figure standing in the distance. Smiling. Familiar.

“Joseph Gordon-Levitt,” I said, sorely regretting the fact that I’d neglected to brush my hair that morning. “You’re not Eugene. Can I have your autograph?”

“Sure, but you have to get out of the shot,” he replied. “We’re trying to film a movie.”

And that was how I met Joseph Gordon-Levitt and landed a minor role in the Director’s Cut of The Dark Knight Rises as ‘Girl in cave.’ While it’s true that I was unable to find Eugene and bring him back to the new turquoise and lime of Malone Dining Hall, rest your fears, dear readers.

Because he’s the lunch man the Upper School deserves, but not the one it needs right now.