Seven tips on how to survive the Cubicus

| Bas Leijser

‘The Lister’ is a biweekly series created by Bas Leijser, a UT MSc-student, who seeks to create order from chaos through the use of listicles. This time, he enters the infamous Cubicus building and shares seven tips on how to survive it.

The following events are inspired by a true story. Please do not try going into the Cubicus yourself.

'A rat in a maze is free to go anywhere, as long as it stays in the maze' – Margaret Atwood, 1985


08:40 – 0 hours in

It was a bright cold day in April, and the doors of the Cubicus slowly opened. As if the building wanted to give me one last chance to escape, it seemed to wait for an eternity before the second set of doors opened. When they finally did, I foolishly stepped forward, not knowing what I was getting myself into.

Survival tip 1: Do not ever go into the Cubicus.

09:20 – Half an hour in

Finally I have found the damn staircase! This place is a maze. I ascend the uninviting, concrete monstrosity to the second floor, and still cherish the hope that I might make it to the second half of my lecture.

09:45 – One hour in

I am now truly lost, as well as convinced that the architect of the Cubicus based its design on Crete’s Labyrinth. I have not yet found the Minotaur, but I am sure that I will find something equally horrifying inside.

Survival tip 2: Bring a rope and, like Theseus, use it so you always know your way back.

Five hours in

I swear I have been to this hallway several times already. I am looking for ‘vleugel B’, but honestly, at this point I am unsure whether it exists at all. Maybe in an alternate universe.

Survival tip 3: Never, ever, go to one of the upper floors of the Cubicus. It’s a death trap.

Ten hours in

I realize that it must be past 6 PM now. The building is closed. I will have to spent the night here. On the bright side: I stumble upon another staircase and make my way to the first floor again.

Twelve hours in

I am reminded of the Rule of 3: It takes 3 minutes to die without air, 3 days without water, and 3 weeks without food. I have plenty of air, but to survive I may need to break the Holy Rule of 1: ‘Guys shall not enter a women’s bathroom’. For some reason, this place seems to have women’s bathrooms everywhere I look.

Survival tip 4: Be female. Toilets and fresh water will be everywhere.

Fifteen hours in

My phone is dying. With the last bit of battery left, I finally call the number that any reasonable person would have used hours ago. I call Dominos.

Sixteen hours in

The pizzaboy calls me and says he’s in front of the entrance, but can’t find me. I tell him that I’m just behind the entrance. The fool believes me, enters the building, and now he and the pizza are trapped in here with me. And so the hunt begins.

Survival tip 5: Order pizza to solve all your problems.

Twenty hours in

No sign of the pizza boy yet. With my throat parched, and my tongue a lump of clay, I become a sinner. I enter one of the women’s bathrooms. I immediately discover one of the strongest fallacies known to man: that women’s bathrooms do not stink. Holy shit, they do. So, I have to go about my business quickly. I open one of the faucets and drink enough water to drown an elephant.

Two days in

I missed my second daily window to escape. This building, this monster, somehow led me to a lecture room without windows. I could not see whether it was light or dark outside, and so I slept. For more than twenty-four hours, apparently. Who designed this?

Survival tip 6: Do not enter the room with no windows.

Unknown amount of days in

I do not know how long I have been in here. I found the pizzaboy, dead, a few days ago. Madness and an axe to the face killed him, which I totally had nothing to do with.

I swear.
The pizza was good though.

Maybe being lost in the Cubicus isn’t so bad after all. And at least I am not alone here. There are plenty of ghosts and… other things, to keep me company.

Soon, maybe you will join me as well? Better check your schedule.

Survival tip 7: Quit your studies and run.

Stay tuned

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