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CAUTIONary Tale: An Exclusive Interview with the Trapped Traffic Cone

If you’ve found yourself walking past the College of Fine Arts at any point during the last few months, then you’ve already witnessed a particularly peculiar sight: a bright orange traffic cone, trapped firmly beneath the asphalt of Commonwealth Avenue. Surprisingly, the trapped cone is not a CFA art installation, but has been behind the increase in double-takes, finger pointing, and bruised shins on campus. And while thousands of students, faculty, and assorted canines have scurried past this campus oddity, few seem to see the traffic cone as a suffering victim of a harrowing event. We sat down with Mr. Cone (who asked to remain anonymous) at his spot of submergence to ask about the incident, his condition, and the upcoming semester:

The Black Sheep:
Good morning, Mr. Cone. How do you feel?

Mr. Cone:
Like a million bucks!!! Hold on, make that a billion. Heck, a trillion! My body has never felt better. Wait, can I change that trillion to a quadrillion? Woot woot!!!! I’m eating well, getting tons of rest, and I’m in the best shape of my life!

TBS:
Really?

MC:
No. I’m a fluorescent orange piece of plastic who can’t feel anything below mid-cone. I have insomnia, crippling neck stiffness, a fully affirmed commitment to nihilism, and a bathroom situation as messy as my student loan payments.

TBS:
You have a degree?

MC:
I’d rather not talk about my BA in creative writing from Emerson.

TBS:
Fair enough. So, could you tell us what you remember about the incident?

MC:
It was a day just like any other. So I thought. Called to do a simple sit-and-watch late night construction job, you know, make sure no pedestrians fall into a sidewalk manhole at 2a.m. Normal stuff. So there I was, minding my own business with the manhole crew, when the sidewalk paving crew, AKA a-hole patrol, comes crashing through. So they start going on about how they need to repave Comm Ave before fall break or President Brown will unleash his fury on them blah blah blah, so they start paving.

As a traffic cone, I obviously can’t move unless somebody else moves me, and none of the crew could hear me yelling at them (due to the cone-human language gap*). As they say in the cone world, I was a sitting cone. The last thing I remember was everything fading to black, thanks to the asphalt and my chronic claustrophobia. I was in a comatose state for two weeks, have been out of it for fourteen weeks, and… well… here I am. Still.

TBS:
Truly a remarkable story. Would you say it’s been a rough adjustment?

MC:
Uhhhhhh, yeah. Ever had dog pee on you like you’re a rusty fire hydrant? Happened nine times this past week. On the bright side, the dog urine kept me warm from the winter cyclone bomb. During the break, I lived off of melted snow and sidewalk salt.

Oh, and that one drunk dude who dropped his Chipotle bowl. Man, was that a night to remember… but all in all, I’m miserable. It’s like that movie 127 Hours, except it’s been four months and I’m not James Franco. I’m a godforsaken traffic cone.

TBS:
Have you felt any support from the BU community?

MC:
In fits and starts. The student body has started to acknowledge me more. Less jeers and more pitying looks. Someone almost put their gum on me and then decided not to, which I appreciated. Obviously, I am disappointed in the BU administration, but at least they’ve stayed consistent in their quest to make this campus a living dumpster fire to walk around.

TBS:
Amen. Finally, what are you hoping for with this new semester?

MC:
Hopefully a mild winter so people can notice I’m still here. Also a lawyer would be nice. Or just a really, really, really strong person to pull me out. Or just, like, anyone….anyone….

*Special thanks to Cesar Millan for his translation help with this interview. 

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