October 3, 2003  
Volume 97, Issue 21  

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Boy crushed by a window, dies

That's Wong with you?
Brian Wong

A&E Editor

Last week, a window almost dropped on me.

It was Thursday. I walked into my media, information and technoculture class at Thames Hall and took my usual seat. Only the right-hand section of the classroom has windows, which is where I sit. The windows are about three feet high, while my seat is nearer to the centre of the room so there are still about three chairs between me and the pane.

At exactly 2 p.m., there was a crushing thud right next to me. I turned around and saw the window pane had toppled over - all on it's own. It smacked right on the table and shattered into a zillion pieces. Tiny sprinkles of glass shot out in our direction, though luckily we weren't hit.

Here's eerie thing number one: I had just come from attending a lecture in philosophy 153: The Philosophy of Death. Eerie thing number two: today's MIT lecture was about Dada and Surrealism.

And if there's anything surreal or unexpected that can shock me out of my ordinary, everyday, wake-up-go-to-work-go-to-school existence, it's falling glass.

Yeah, I could've died or been severely injured. But the possibility of death or being a bloodied-up mess of a student with shards of glass protruding from my body didn't really freak me out.

What is unsettling would be the reason for it: BOY CRUSHED BY WINDOW; DIES. How embarrassing would that be? And what the hell would I tell people in heaven?

"Hi, I'm Steve. I died after a ten-year battle with cancer."

"Hi, I'm Shelley. I died in a burning building while trying to save the six-year-old daughter of my neighbour."

"Hi, I'm Brian... a window fell on me."

I don't want to go out like that. I just don't feel like I've accomplished enough or done anything worthwhile that it would be okay if I died without some advanced notice.

Freak accidents happen to people all the time and there's no shame in dying from falling off your bike, getting trampled at a Pearl Jam concert or engaging in asphyxiophilia.

However, I still hope when my time is up, it won't happen while I'm wasting hours chatting about trivial things, eating a bag of Tostitos or procrastinating.

But perhaps it's my fate - destiny has already ordered a gigantic, shiny clock to fall on me.





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