David Maraniss‘ much-hyped biography of Barack Obama is finally out today, and its full of fascinating details about the President’s younger — and less polished — days.
One of the grosser tidbits relates to a sofa known as the “Barf Couch,” which was an integral part of Obama’s dorm room decor during his freshman year at Occidental College in California.
According to Maraniss, the Barf Couch earned its name during the first trimester of Obama’s freshman year, when a classmate who lived across the hall in Obama’s Annex dorm got wasted and threw up all over himself and the couch.
“In the manner of pallbearers hoisting a coffin, a line of Annexers lifted the tainted sofa with the freshman aboard and toted it out the back door and down four steps to the first concrete landing on the way to the parking lot.”
Despite its unappealing name, the couch later became the centre of the Annex social scene, and the preferred sleeping perch of Obama’s college friend Jeff Yamaguchi, or “Guch.”
Apparently, the Barf Couch was just the tip of the iceberg of Obama’s freshman dorm revelry. According to Maraniss’ account, the Annex was pretty wild:
“The hallway was a free-for-all forum of sorts, with permanent conversation on life, philosophy, sex, politics, school. It was also home to the impromptu Annex Olympics: long-jumping onto a pile of mattresses, wrestling in underwear, hacking golf balls down the hallway toward the open back door, boxing while drunk. Then there were the non-Olympic sports of lighting farts and judging them by colour, tipping over the Coke machine, breaking the glass fire extinguisher case, putting out cigarettes on the carpet, falling asleep on the carpet, flinging Frisbees at the ceiling-mounted alarm bell, tossing pizza boxes to the floor, and smoking pot from a three-foot crimson opaque bong, a two-man event involving the smoker and an accomplice standing ready to respond to the order ‘Hey, dude, light the bowl'”
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