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Sobell: C+ | Grade It Now!
Dead Man's Party

Oh, sure, there's the Las Vegas strip. But two industrious Western Las Vegas University students are more interested in a personal kind of strip, if you know what I mean. The scene is a lot more artistically lit and framed than what your typical dormie gets when they're about to a) get lucky, and b) spark off the latest round of gossip up and down the hall.

Many network-friendly depictions of copulation ensue. And then God punishes the fornicators by killing them and leaving their cooling remains to be heckled by a clutch of cynical CSIs. But in His infinite mercy, He effects a miracle and puts the female fornicator -- "fornicatress"? "Fornicatrix"? Anyway, through some divine agency, the chick died with her bra on. Perhaps she suffered brain death after her underwire cut off her circulation. Brass quickly tells us that Trip Wilmont and Paula Levine have two things in common: they're both 18, and they're both dead.

As everyone rolls on down the hall, Liam the larval CSI calls out, "Hey, Grissom, when you went to college, did you live in the dorms?" "Surely you jest," Gil deadpans in response. Well, it's your loss, Gil. Sara heads off further discussion of Gil Grissom, Undergrad, by musing, "They say a B.A.'s worth a million dollars in extra income over a lifetime." Gil shoots back, "Yeah, but the present value of college tuition is about the same amount." Har dee har. Also, Sara overstated by a little; according to the U.S. government's "The Big Payoff: Educational Attainment and Synthetic Estimates of Work-Life Earnings" (warning: PDF), a high school graduate is likely to earn $1.2 mil over the course of their lifetime compared to the $2.1 mil someone with a bachelor's degree is likely to pull in. That's only $900,000 more. Better to go on for the master's degree, where you're likely to pull in $2.5 mil over your lifetime. And if you're lucky, your student loan payments won't wipe out that $400,000 earnings differential between you and someone who escaped college after only four years!

Ahem. I appear to have gotten a little pedantic here. Sorry about that. To get back to Gil, Sara, and Liam's comparative economics seminar, Liam asks, "So you're saying college isn't worth the expense?" "I'm saying it depends on what you learn," Gil shoots back. I'm thinking Gil could have stood learning a little about human nature in the dorms.

Anyway, Brass corrals the stray CSIs and leads them into Trip's room; Trip and Paula were discovered only after Trip missed a pivotal basketball game this afternoon; the R.A. got Trip's next-door neighbor to jimmy the lock, and the paramedics took off after looking around and saying, "Yeah, the bodies are dead."

The CSIs troop inside. Gil looks around at the incredibly plushy mattress and box spring, the two pink, dead bodies on the floor, and the generally clichéd dorm décor. Sara comments, "Music, alcohol, candles. Kid was a regular Romeo." Gil replies, "For never was a story of more woe, than this of Juliet and her Romeo." Liam reminds us that sixteenth-century England was not without its bawdy humor: "Condom wrapper." Ah, mood-killer. How we do love thee. Gil rescues the scene by taking in the condom and quipping, "So much for safe sex."

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