Graeme & Andrew: Best Friends For Life*

Clara Rozee (3L) and Maud Rozee (1L)

*SPONSORED CONTENT: Ultra Vires contributed a personalised profile to this year’s law school Promise Auction. Graeme Rotrand and Andrew Lynes were the generous co-winners.

When we arrive in the Birge Carnegie student lounge for this interview, the room is filled with laughter. Graeme and Andrew are already there. Andrew is relaxing in a chair by the door, his feet propped up on a table; Graeme is standing across the room, chatting with another student. Andrew smiles in greeting when he sees us, but Graeme is still caught up in his conversation. After a few more Simpsons quotes, Graeme crosses the room and sits in the matching armchair beside his friend.

The two men strike a handsome pair under the buzzing fluorescent lights. Andrew wears a light green shirt which sets off his eyes; Graeme is in his trademark purple V-neck sweater. They are obviously at ease in each other’s company. During the photoshoot for the interview, Graeme leaps comfortably into Andrew’s lap to pose for the camera.

The pair breaks into giggles at our first question: “When did you two first become friends?” “Friends? Really?” Andrew says in mock surprise. He and Graeme lock eyes affectionately. The two initially met in 2007, in their first year of undergrad, but the relationship didn’t flourish until fate brought them together again at the same law school.

A mutual love of the Simpsons, alcohol, and trivia quickly formed an unbreakable bond. After winning their first-ever U of T Law Trivia Night together as part of team Thundercougarfalconbird, Graeme and Andrew went on to run the trivia night, as well as a lunchtime trivia tournament. The men also share a strong interest in Ultra Vires. “We love Ultra Vires,” says Graeme, his judgment predictably impeccable. Adds Andrew: “Definitely! We usually have UV reading sessions after each issue comes out.” “We also both love [Ultra Vires Editor-in-Chief] Brett Hughes,” Graeme gushes.

Graeme jumps to answer our questions first, while Andrew listens patiently, supporting Graeme’s answers with gentle corrections and clarifications. Andrew is the Frog to Graeme’s Toad.

Our planned questioning doesn’t last long. Graeme can’t resist interrupting with interesting facts about Andrew. He informs us that Andrew’s hometown, Burlington, is the natural habitat of the Jefferson salamander. “You know all this trivia about me!” Andrew says. Graeme jokes that the Jefferson salamander “isn’t named after the president, it’s named after the TV show.” “That’s a good one,” Andrew laughs generously, an encouraging twinkle in his eye.

If there are any cracks in this rock-solid friendship, we didn’t see them during our time with Graeme and Andrew, or “Graemdrew,” as their admirers call them. The pair maintain that they’ve only ever fought about who likes their mutual friend, Ryerson Neal, more. “Graeme’s a pretty hard person to fight with because of his tenuous grasp on reality,” Andrew says. Graeme claims, “[Andrew] tried to fight me once but I caught him in a logical loop.” Graeme goes on to recount the story of how they once teamed up to slay a ferocious alligator in the Trinity College quadrangle.

What do they like best about each other? Graeme goes first: “I was always proud he was a tall man.” Andrew responds, “I love your sweater.” (We obviously weren’t the only ones who noticed how fetching Graeme looked in his purple V-neck.) Graeme declares that Andrew is “magnanimous in defeat”; Andrew laughs. The two also appreciate the time they spend together. “I like his cool basement apartment,” Graeme says. Andrew adds, “He’s a wonderful host in Montreal, where we go to Osheaga every year.”

Sadly, the future of the pair’s friendship is unclear. “I didn’t plan on the friendship lasting after graduation,” admits Andrew. “I’m going to find a new and better version of Andrew,” Graeme states.

Still, their friendship will go down in law school history. “They’re a real life buddy comedy,” UV Editor Brett Hughes comments. “Their friendship reminds me of Taylor Swift and Katy Perry,” says Students’ Law Society (SLS) President Andrew Wang, in a strange and ambiguous comparison. “That’s right,” says Andrew Lynes. “We’re the original odd couple.”