By Thomas Johnston
LOS ANGELES, CA– In an uncomfortable yet touching modern-day meet-cute, long-time roommates Julian Smith and William Li finally became acquainted today in the living room of their apartment following an inexplicable router malfunction.
Smith, who has not been outside in almost four months since move-in day in August, prides himself on his ability to live a life virtually free of all human contact. “If this pandemic were a contest, I would be winning. My uncle works on the development team at Grubhub, and we’ve worked out a deal where my meals are delivered to my window via drone.”
But there was one thing Smith couldn’t account for – the WiFi going out. “I felt like the walls were caving in. What am I supposed to do now? Read books? But then what will my fingers and ears do?” He knew he had to go fix the problem, and fast, or he would miss his favorite streamer reading his hilarious donation message aloud.
To Smith’s surprise, somebody was already working on it. He spotted Li, who he has cohabitated with for months now, crouched in front of the malfunctioning router, visibly distressed. After several agonizing seconds of awkward silence, Smith spoke up. “Have you tried unplugging it and plugging it back in? I’m Julian, by the way.”
Li, who reportedly looked nothing like his Facebook profile picture, briefly acknowledged the suggestion and fixed the problem. But now, a new problem arose: he had to make small talk.
“I’m studying computer science.” he began, unprompted. “How about yourself?”
Smith, trying his best to act surprised and engaged, responded “Wow! Me too, what are the odds?”
“Well, considering that approximately 6 percent of USC students study CS and a tragic 67 percent of them are male, the odds of this pairing would be about 4.02 percent” Li said. Smith, who probably would still be single regardless of the male-female ratio in computer science, nodded in agreement.
Internet connection may have been lost that day, but a new kind of connection was found. At press time, the students were observed engaging in a bit of friendly banter in morse code, transmitting messages using a series of knocks on the wall from the safety of their respective bedrooms.