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MIT student blogger Snively '11

Got any threes? by Snively '11

Go fish!

The floor on which I live, Conner 2, has a large TV. A large broken TV. As such, yesterday evening found a large majority of the residents of Conner 2 sitting in the floor lounge, eating Hsin Hsin (a great restaurant right across the bridge in Boston), and talking. That’s right, talking, no smash brothers, no mariokart, no zombies, just talking. We talked and talked and talked and talked, until eventually, the subject turned towards, well, fish.

One thing you’ll notice if/when you attend MIT is that e-mail mailing lists are the lifeblood of this place. They’re kind of like the MIT equivalent of the Facebook group. Everybody’s on a bajillion mailing lists and never bothers to take themselves off of any of them. One particularly interesting mailing list is called “Reuse.”

I’d say almost every student is on Reuse.

The idea behind Reuse is that if you ever have something that you no longer want, you just set it out in the hall, put a sign on it that says Reuse (the sign is actually optional) and then e-mail this mailing list with an item description and a location. Said item is now free game and the first person to get to it gets to have it. Items range from the boring (old clothes, magazines, etc) to the awesome (couches, projectors, computers, hard drives, etc). While most students are on Reuse, I suspect that most of the actual claiming of goods is courtesy of East Campus. A random number, pulled out of thin air, is that 75% of Reuse fodder probably is in East Campus right now.

Anywho, Reuse, the other day an awesome Reuse post got mailed out. It was as follows:

Currently located outside the PDL (35-307)

A 6 foot tall, 8 foot long fish with teeth made of metal and plastic. The plumbing for the water screen all still works. It has wheels for easy relocation but it would probably be good to bring a friend to move it. Also, it looks really cool.

Take and post.

I’ll admit, I’d seen this fish before. In fact, I know the guy who made it, so it made for a great story to tell everybody in the floor lounge while we ate our Chinese food. I regaled them with stories of how the massive fish had been built, how it was a beautiful work of art, how water flowed gracefully across its screen, but also how they’d built it in the hallway and nobody had been able to get it down from the third floor because it was too big to fit anywhere. After my fanciful bit of storytelling I realized that I simply couldn’t describe the physical appearance of this fish in such a way as to convey how awesome it truly was, so it was time for a field trip. I asked if anybody wanted to go look at the fish and Rob ’12, Brandon ’12, and Dorothy ’12 all jumped at the opportunity.

We headed towards campus from the dorm and ran into Becky ’12, another freshman on the floor.

“Hey Becky, want to go look at a big fish?”

We kept going and saw Sara ’12, another Conner 2 freshman, coming towards us.

“Hey Sara, want to go look at a big fish?”

Our group of six now headed to building 35, walked up stairs, realized that maintenance had blocked off the hallway, walked downstairs, walked down a hall, walked upstairs, turned right, and then saw a giant fish.

Everybody’s reaction to this fish is generally the same. It involves a certain amount of swearing, shock, and disbelief. Take minute to relieve yourselves of these things and then we can continue on with our story.


Ok, so, we have this giant fish. THEN, OMG, IT ATE SARA!

After admiring the fish we talked about why it was still there, how nobody could get it out. That’s when, and I can’t remember exactly who, but, some genius freshman decided that it’d be a good idea to take the fish back to the dorm. Erm, sure, why not, I guess we could carry it down these 5 flights of stairs, we have enough people. Thus begins the “Move the giant metal, PVC, and wooden steampunked fish screen across the campus to the dorm” adventure!

We each grabbed a corner, lifted the fish, and started very carefully down the stairwell. We twisted and maneuvered the fish expertly. We took a short rest on a landing

but then continued down the stairs and made it outside. Once outside we were a trip across the street and down dorm row away from getting to the dorm. We began.

We got stuck.

We continued. The crosswalk was too far away to get to, especially since there was construction on the sidewalk for quite a ways, so there was a spectacularly dangerous, exciting, illegal, and hilarious moment where we waited for a break in the traffic on Mass Ave and the pushed the fish as fast as we could right across the street, playing a very large, metallic, real-life mod of Frogger. We made it to the other side, started pushing the fish again, and right when we made it to dorm row the entire fish lurched forward and there was a sickening crunching noise. The front left wheel had sheared off. Not willing to give up, we hoisted the fish up and carried it the remaining distance back to the dorm.

Once at the dorm we really had no idea what to do with it so we just set it on a bench outside the main door and ran up to our floor to tell everybody what we’d done. People started filtering outside to observe and shortly we had a crowd of about a dozen Conner 2 residents all staring at a large fish, laughing, and trying to figure out what to do with it.

Just as we were discussing hoisting it onto our roof deck with ropes our housemaster walks up, on her way back to the dorm from somewhere. She looks at us. Then she looks at the fish. Then she looks at us.

“What is this!?”
(That’s her with the red hair)

“It’s a fish! Hey, um, where do you think we can put this so it doesn’t get thrown away?”
“Um, well, um.”
“How about our floor, will it get taken?”
“Well, probably not, but how would you get it there?”
“The stairs!”

You could almost hear her brain working. She looked at the fish and visualized the stairs.

“I’m not sure that’s going to work . . . ”
“Sure it will!”

At this point our GRT’s (Graduate Resident Tutors, graduate students that live on each floor) walked up.

“Hi Nathan! Hi Susan! Do you like our fish???”
“Yeah, it’s great!”

Some more conversation and then we decided it was time to get the fish inside, upstairs, and settled into its new home. The first flight of stairs was no issue because it was a normal, wide, long flight of stairs. Here’s the fish after having successfully reached the top.

Oh, that’s Dan ’11 hiding behind it. Next it was time to actually enter the dorm, which required the assistance of the ever-important Sam ’11 and Megan ’11, door holding extraordinaires.

After getting the fish into the dorm we carried it over to the stairwell. That’s right, stairwell. Meaning circular, tight, and vertical. Not a happy environment for a 6’x8′ heavy metal fish. The following chunk of blog is going to be a mix between text and images, in stream-of-consciousness style:

“And with all the gracefulness of a large aluminum fish, it entered the stairwell.”

No, no, it’s stuck. Push it that way. No, the other —

I can’t, wait, what’s happening. Its tail is caught, try to shove it, watch out for the light!

“This is a bad idea you guys. There’s no way this is going to work.”
“It’s going to work.”
“What’s going on out . . . HOLY SH**! WHERE’D YOU GET THAT FISH!?”

“Wait, what?”
“Push it that way! Tail down and towards the wall, head up, but avoid the light. Careful Dan!”

“Where did this come from?”
“Snively found it.”

“Hey, did you guys ever figure out how to . . . oh dear.”
*thumbs up!*

“It’s been 20 minutes, can we take a break?”
“But we’d drop the fish!”

“Nothing to see here, nothing to see here, just, you know, don’t go into the stairwell.”

In the end we ended up retreating from the stairwell, taking the fish off of its wooden frame, and then taking it upstairs. It now lives happily in our elevator alcove, greeting everybody who comes to visit.

An that, my friends, is the story of the big fish.

28 responses to “Got any threes?”

  1. Dane says:

    Wow. That was amazing. Hilarious, too. Quite an adventure, there. Has the fish eaten anyone else yet? If you could set up a camera to catch the reactions of random people who pass it, you’d probably get some amusing images.

    Also, first.

  2. Alex says:

    That’s so cool! Only Snively would think of going to see a big fish… Lol.. Second!

  3. Natalia says:

    Haha, an evening well spent! That looks like fun. :3

  4. Rick'13 says:

    Wooooow!! what a great specimen! Snively you have great fishing habilities.

  5. benjamin says:

    that is really cool.

    what was the fish built to do?

  6. Ester says:

    I want to see this fish. How long do you think you’ll keep it for?

  7. Anon says:

    I seriously wonder what passing cars (and the people in them) would think of a big fish crossing the street with its posse following it.

  8. jose says: can cook a great dish

  9. wesh says:

    Hi snively,
    You almost knocked yourself out of the front page.

    Anyway, why don’t you paint the fish.It looks kinda depressed.And fish that are depressed don’t taste very well.

  10. renacat says:

    Ha…I was just wondering if it would be too stalker-ish to ask for an explanation of that reuse claim. Congrats on an awesome dorm decoration! =D

  11. Emily says:

    OH that fish, Snively! I was wondering why you recommended that I read your blog for today. hahaha. I never saw it finished, but it looks pretty cool.

  12. Ashwath says:

    Nice!!! I like your fish.

  13. pranay says:

    hi.I am pranay kumar of class 11th,studying in brv ,india. I have a dream of getting into mit ,but the subject i wish to take ,instrumental enginnering is rare. So i just wanted to know if my subject is available in MIT

  14. Snively says:

    Click for a list of majors. If one looks like it may have what you’re interested in, e-mail the department head or somebody else associated with the department and ask them.

  15. Ehsan says:



    When you were first describing the fish you wrote, (“6 foot, 8 foot”)

    And I think you meant 6 foot, 8 inches.

    Oh and what is that black tube sticking out of the fish?

  16. Brian says:

    You guys running it across the street reminded me of the Seinfield episode where George has to race his frogger arcade console across the street before its power runs out and high score disappears…. except that your fish didn’t get obliterated by a truck..

  17. Jim says:

    Wait…you mean there was an elevator?!

  18. Kevin says:

    Hilarious post Snively. You win the internetz.

    And in response to the title of this post. Go fish

  19. las1 says:

    The fish is 6 foot by 8 foot. That’s what Snively said the reuse posting indicated. Looks 6 foot by 8 foot to me!

  20. Piper says:

    You should carve out the fish, give people swords, stuff them in said fish, and have a Trojan fish war with Burton 2.

  21. Dot'12 says:

    there was an elevator, but it happened to be built for human use, NOT huge 6 by 8 foot metallic fish.

    the black tube is for water that can circulate throughout the fish and wash down the projector screen so that you feel like you’re underwater while looking at the screen.

  22. Alex says:

    That fish looks pretty deadly!!! raspberry

  23. Vaibhav says:

    haha – The fish ate a student!! – Hilarious story though…:D
    But why was the title “Got any threes?” – ans someone!!

  24. Ehsan says:

    @ Snively

    Where the heck do u get those contacts.
    Me want in

  25. Mary says:


    There is a card game called Go Fish. The object of the game is to get matching pairs of cards, so when it is your turn, you ask for the kind of card you need. (For example, “Got any threes?”) If the person you ask doesn’t have that card, they say, “Go fish,” and you draw a card from the pile. I hope that makes sense.

  26. Vaibhav says:

    Thanks…I’ve heard of Go Fish many times but have never played it….though the thought did strike my mind…