Two Lands, One Ruler

By Anna Brown 

Two Gregs, two offices, one building and a never-ending trend of pranks. This was how it all began.

It was back in 2007 when Gregory Bowdler moved into the Riverside building from the 4th floor of Plant Hall at the University of Tampa (UT). Directly across from his very own office was an empty office, soon to be filled by Gregory Darby.

Now their offices face each other. This only meant one thing to both of them: time to scheme. Pranks became a daily routine for Bowdler and Darby. The scale of pranks became so extreme that establishing their offices as separate lands, under their rule, was the only answer. Bowdler established his office as Gregtopia and Darby as Gregland.

Attacks on each land consisted of a popular, yet violent use of rubber bands and other office supplies. The two lands are somewhat civil to date, but that doesn’t stop them from pranking others.

This was one of many witty gags and jokes that happened regularly in the Enrollment Processing Office (EPO) under Bowdler’s ultimate rule.

Bowdler works in EPO as the Assistant Director of Enrollment Communication in Document Imaging. He is a graduate student, currently working towards his masters of science in instructional design and technology. He graduated from UT in 2005 with a bachelor of arts in communication and a minor in speech and theater.

Bowdler resides in Gregtopia daily with plenty of student workers who love nothing more than to “play along” under his rule. Samantha Cossum and Johanna Bermudez are two student workers under Bowdler’s rule. Both are sophomores; Cossum has worked for him for about five months and Bermudez, a year.

The reporter sat down in Bowdler’s office- Gregtopia- and began to ask the two students about their boss- ruler. Just before the two could answer, Bowdler walks in; sits down and the room became quiet. He politely asked what was going on and was informed Cossum and Bermudez were to answer questions about him. He replied with a quick, “You think these people know me?!” Everyone laughed and continued the interview with Bowdler in the room.

Cossum couldn’t contain herself; she began laughing through her words “Greg is an excellent man! The best boss I have ever had the pleasure of having!” Bowdler was pleased and nodded at her sarcasm.

Bermudez on the other hand was a little shy. Bowdler quickly swooped in to break the silence by explaining, “Its just cause she thinks I’m too cool for words, or she refuses to say bad things about me.” More laughter filled the land of Gregtopia.

His rival across the hall, Darby of Gregland, has known Bowdler for five years. Their relationship blossomed when they discovered each other’s love of shenanigans. Both Bowdler and Darby reminisced on their most favorable and effective prank: the exploding rubber bands.

“Darby climbed on top of shelving and put boxes in front of him so they couldn’t see him” Bowdler explained, “I would hold conversations with people while Darby shot rubber bands at them and around them and I would act like I didn’t see them. We would just wait for the person to figure out what was going on.”

Darby began to laugh, “He kept a straight face the entire time as they landed on his shoe and his shoulder….” his laughter replaced his words and he couldn’t finish his sentence.

After all the laughing and sarcasm and jokes, Bowdler revealed something else. He leads two different lives. He rules in another land far far away from admissions. It is known as the land of UT Athletics.

He is the voice of UT volleyball, baseball, soccer and lacrosse. He has announced for them for the past five years.

Yes, he is the voice you hear echoing around campus; waking you up from your afternoon nap (if you live in Straz hall or Stadium).

In 2007, Bowdler received his opportunity to shine when a request was made from the UT Sports director to Public information. Public information, (whom Bowdler has worked with in the past), knew exactly who to choose.

Bowdler prides himself with his announcing. Before each game, he plans, he writes, he reads, he rereads, he practices, he dedicates himself to the importance of each game.

“I feel I put on a performance, I believe I put on the character of an announcer when I do my announcing, where as other people kind of ….talk,” Bowdler comparing his announcing skills to others.

The interview was coming to an end. Darby of Gregland quickly interjected, with a closing statement: “No matter how much we may hate each other from Gregtopia and Gregland, I do find him rather enjoying to be around.”

Bowdler then asked if he could add one more thing, “I would just like to say, I can’t believe I ate the whole thing…that’s going on my tombstone” Confusion and then laughter came from the citizens of Gregtopia.

Bowdler then packed up his things. It was time to travel to the land of the volleyball courts.

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