When the tenants of 368 Brock signed their lease, they had no idea that they would live next to the most frequented walking path in all of the Kingston student ghetto. The path is often considered treacherous terrain for most of the Queen’s student body, with frigid ice fields or vast muddy oceans depending on the season. On any given day, hundreds of students can be seen sliding through the mud on the way to class. However, Barney Fundley, Nursing ‘17, was pleasantly surprised when he managed to reach the jowls of Aberdeen using the cut-through on his daily morning commute to class, all without feeling any dampness in his socks by the end of the trek.
“I always kind of expected a little bit of foot wetness taking the path, and I’ve faced a lot of adversity on this journey to walk across with dry feet at last,” Fundley explained. Accomplishing this feat wasn’t easy- Fundley had to enroll the services of a personal trainer at the ARC to strengthen his long jumping and agility to the levels required to defeat the unique terrain in the shortcut. Three weeks of the program were spent practicing hopping over progressively larger distances and the next three weeks were spent on general cardio exercises. The ARC has even explored commercializing this program to offer the specialized training to a larger group of students. The service, called DryFoot Fitness, would provide the intensive training program for a small registration fee of $175, and non-cancellable recurring monthly fees of $275.
Scout Vroman, Commerce ‘19, did not have similar success. “I had just purchased some sweet Timberland kicks from Heel Boy down on Princess, and was ready to give them a whirl through my daily shortcut. I barely made it past the piles of old recycling, and somehow managed to dodge several garbage bags strewn across the alleyway, but was no match for the giant puddle of mud right past the fence!”, Vroman recounted. He ended up having to miss his lecture to return home and throw on his second pair of fresh Timbs. This time around, he decided to just take Division street down to Earl, swung a right until he reached the ARC, cut through the ARC to the JDUC, deliberated whether to walk through on the top floor or the bottom, decided on the top floor because he could catch a whiff of QP and satisfy his crippling alcoholism, scrambled across Union and University, remembered he was going to Goodes, jaywalked back across Union, and arrived at class.
The disrepair of the shortcut has many local tenants wondering why the landlords haven’t taken better care of their property. A recent investigation by the Kingston Whig-Standard found that the properties surrounding the area actually have been devoid of landlords for the past 25 years. One student living in a student unit nearby, who is also an employee of Heel Boy, had no comment when asked if he had any involvement with causing these inconvenient and dirty pathways, constantly causing people to need to purchase new Timbs. Another student living nearby, an employee of the ARC who spearheaded the DryFoot Fitness initiative, also had no comment on if he had any vested financial interest in ensuring that people needed strong thighs and quick reflexes just to clear the obstacles present along the shortcut.