Few people actually know that the MoCon Memorial DeathTennis Arena was named after another earlier building on the same site, the MoCon dining complex. When I look back on my days at Wesleyan, one memory always finds its way to the front of the soft gray folds of my Google lobe. When I think of the idyllic early spring of 2010, back before the biosphere over Wes was constructed, I remember the night this MoCon pulled up out of the ground and flew away, much like a spaceship, dangling wires and a hot water main.
It was one of my routine Tuesday forages for midnight graveyard mushrooms, and I was picking my way through the grass around the foot of the graves on the hill beside MoCon. I was a freshman, and as I remember, there were plans underway to have MoCon destroyed in the near future. I knew some people were upset, but I just figured they would probably build something sweet in its place, like a Roman-style bath or some sort of giant hot tub.
As I inspected the ground around one of the Clark family gravestones, I felt a strange sensation of being watched – I looked up, and sure enough, a small green, fuzzy gremlin was staring down at me from behind a giant, smudged MoCon window. “Hey, little guy,” I said, “are you here to forage for midnight mushrooms?” Suddenly I noticed these little gremlins all around me, appearing from nowhere at all! In terrible chorus they spoke:
“Foolish humans, you have broken the covenant,
You have squandered our gift to you.
‘MoCon’ is Gremlinese for ‘friendship,’
But you are no friend of ours.
We are here tonight to take our MoCon home,
And leave you to learn a lesson.
I felt a tremor run through the ground. Wild colors danced all about MoCon’s frame. It wobbled before my eyes, and suddenly the entire structure sprung upwards about a yard into the air, straining against its pipes. I wet myself.
MoCon broke free. It shot upwards and then stopped, hovering and turning slowly as small plants and rainbows showered off. I looked up at it, and it spoke in a voice like John Kerry’s: “Remember me,” it said. And then it flew off into space, gremlins cooing and making obscene gestures at me from the windows.
So that is why we have the MoCon Arena. Someday the gremlins may return, and I advise anyone looking for midnight mushrooms to keep a weather eye out for the gremlins. I saw them once.