If you’ve gone to the Deece recently, you may have noticed it’s been a little more chaotic and busy than usual at dinnertime. Moving through the first floor is a series of “Are you gonna walk this way or that way?” interactions and long ice cream lines. I have just about abandoned all attempts to find decent seating and so I take a walk up to the Wes Anderson-inspired second floor. Being the old man that I truly am, I’d like to complain that the second floor is getting louder, too. The third floor starts to look more and more appealing, but why have we stopped at three floors? I’m suggesting we build six more.
Let me walk you through it. Say you’ve grown tired of the first three floors. Now you’ve got more options. The fourth floor is styled like a coastal BBQ restaurant in the Deep South. Not the conservative, discriminating South, but the liberal pocket South where they say things like “y’all means all” and only say “bless your heart” when they mean it. The coastal part means a nice sea breeze comes through the windows every once in a while. It also means there’s random clumps of sand on the carpet everywhere. If you listen closely, you can faintly hear a pelican trying to swallow a basketball. But maybe the fourth floor isn’t for you.
The fifth floor is home to a miniature Colosseum, so the whole thing is significantly smaller and there’s only about twenty seats in it. Also, all of the seats are just stone slabs. For entertainment, an orange cat comes out to the center of the Colosseum and chases around an RC car. He is both admired and feared by spectators. This is the only other floor besides the first that has food on it. They serve egg salad sandwiches. But maybe the fifth floor isn’t your thing.
The sixth floor is styled like the pirate town in the “Pirates of the Caribbean” ride at Disney World. The ceiling is extremely high and every single wall is painted black as the night. Are you still in the Deece, or are you now in British-controlled Haiti? Have dinner with a large cast of animatronic pirates that regale you with their tales of mischief and plunder, all of which is repeated after thirty seconds. Is that Jack Sparrow in the barrel over there? He is perpetually in that barrel. Don’t fall in the water! It is full of live eels.
The seventh floor is populated by twelve chess tables and all those old Russian guys who were playing chess outside at the end of “The Queen’s Gambit.” You can play chess against them, but if you get confused about the rules and have to ask one of them, they will respond by nodding their heads and saying something rude in Russian under their breath. You will feel bad.
The eighth floor is extensive grand piano storage. How did they get all of them up there? Multiple helicopters. The only place to set down your food in this room is either on a very sticky floor or on top of a grand piano. Don’t feel bad about making a mess on one of the pianos, though. They’ll never be used anyway. Let’s move on to the last floor.
You’ve walked all the way up to the ninth floor of the Deece. Your friends have all gotten lost at this point or passed out from exhaustion trying to climb the stairs. The elevator only goes up to the fourth floor, so it’s quite a walk. You made it. Look at you. This is a real achievement. You see that there are two massive oak doors at the top of the stairs. They’re too heavy for you to pull. Luckily there’s a handicap button. The doors slowly open. It’s a quiet room. It’s got a sleek, modern design, so everything is just an ugly gray. The south wall of the room is just one large window. There’s a floor sign that tells you to take off your socks before entering, but to keep your shoes on. You comply. There’s one long table in the room, but it’s empty—it’s just you in there. There’s also a karaoke machine in the corner. You decide to go over to the window wall. As you look up, the blue sky moves into a deep black. You look down at a thick layer of clouds, but there are pockets of blue underneath. You can see the horizon. It’s curved. You might never leave the ninth floor.