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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Monday, June 24, 2024

Michael Goetzman | Spotlight

No one wants their real names in these Spotlights. The simplicity of background checks combined with the Internet's hold on an increasing amount of our personal information gets us all paranoid about what future employers might find gathering dust in cyberspace. So, it should be no surprise that the Duke wanted his name withheld. Nonetheless, I hope that the alias I've created, BJ Sambrosafich, will ring a few bells, for his real name rhymes with it. If no bells were rung, he told me that you might be able to identify him by the fact that he has "three nipples and shaved pubic hair."

I met BJ for the first time around 3:45 last Sunday morning. I guess you could say his reputation preceded him, since I had heard numerous stories about his debaucheries and had often seen him boisterously chat with buddies outside humid frat houses. Most who don't know him personally have probably been struck by fits of laughter or anger upon hearing of his absurdly hilarious, sometimes crude, Tucker Max-esque exploits.

In fact, he prides himself on his ability to summon the aura of Max, declaring, "Oh my god, I love that dude" when I pointed out their similarities. For those who are unaware, Tucker Max ascended to the heights of pseudo-celebrity among male college students after publishing his raucous book, "I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell," in 2006. You can probably tell from the title that it's a pretty deep read -- stuff for the little bit of Virginia Woolf in all of us. The collection of supposedly true tales recounts Max's sex- and alcohol-fueled adventures which, like BJ's, verge on the impossibly outrageous.

You might understand, then, why I felt that a simple and sedate interview just wouldn't work with BJ. No, an experiential interview would be the only way to go. I'd be like that starry-eyed kid in "Almost Famous" (2000) who followed the band around and fell in love with groupies, all the while grappling with the pressures and pleasures of being a naive youth.

Unfortunately, I was informed that BJ, like the band in "Almost Famous," was busy -- "doing the nasty," among other things. As the night dragged on and I couldn't get a hold of BJ, my chances at even a regular interview seemed shot. But at 3:30 a.m., in a last-ditch effort, my cohort and I decided to try to track him down in West. And, by some freakish and uncanny serendipity, we found BJ in a female's room, dazed but coherent and willing to chat.

Among declarations of love for Tucker Max and a story recounting the time his buddy TEMS'd him for trying to defecate in the shower, BJ told me he has a "Jesus complex," which would explain his Halloween costume this year: a bloodied Jesus carrying a huge cross.

I know what you're thinking: "It must've been BJ that put those bags of doo in Sophia Gordon. He must be the fragrant vagrant!" But pump the brakes, Speed Racer. His culpability is yet to be determined. When asked if he was guilty of the crime, he said, "Can you just say 'yeah' for literary purposes?"

As you've probably gathered, BJ, ever the mischief-making iconoclast, like Dennis the Menace and Johnny Knoxville before him, likes to shake things up a bit. Some might have taken offense to his Halloween costume, just as many have gasped in dismay upon hearing tales of his foolhardy crusades. For better or for worse, though, it is characters like BJ that bring vitality to a campus that might otherwise be plagued by a stagnant and stunting uniformity. In a sense, he's The Primary Source personified. We don't always agree. Heck, we may downright hate each other. But when the dust has settled, I'm glad to have him around.

After carousing together, I asked Beej if he had anything else to say. "Yeah," he said, "I like long walks on the beach and the Eiffel Tower."

A fact I'm sure any future employer of BJ's would love to find on the Interweb.

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