In a perplexing turn of events Friday before break, sophomore Billy Redrick’s enthusiastic “hello” caused unwarranted levels of emotional distress for another student’s normally relaxing ride around campus as she was forced to consider what level of friendship would require her to stop her bike.
“When he shouted “hello” and smiled so big at me after I waved to him, I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to do,” said junior Angela Popper, describing the incident. “Normally I never acknowledge anybody with more than a slight raise of my hand except like my best friend, but there was just something about this. Usually acquaintances don’t stop their bikes to talk to each other, but with a ‘hello’ that enthusiastic, I got super confused.”
While Popper recovered from the initial shock, she still reports feelings of anger and fear moving forward.
“It’s just such a slippery slope, you know. If I have to say hello to my RCC from last year, then how do you draw the line there? Next thing you know, I’m going to have to stop for all the TAs who work at the Lair.”A major consequence of this event affecting the entire student body are the pivotal societal implications it has. “If we’re redefining how acquaintances are supposed to act to one another so that they’re more outwardly kind and friendly, I’m really going to have to reexamine things,” Popper said. “I mean, this is going to impact me every day for the rest of my life. Who the fuck has the time and energy to express concern over somebody you had PWR 2 with?”
The Stanford University Department of Public Safety released a statement in support of keeping acquaintance friendliness at a low level, citing Redrick’s behavior as having the potential to trigger a spike in the rate of bike accidents and social anxiety on campus. The statement added that it’s honestly just easier for everyone to stick to a safe level of cool aloofness.