By Jeffrey Carl
This was my first “humor” column for the University of Richmond Collegian. I was a Journalism Major and at the time the Greek Life Editor in my Junior year so I leveraged that immense power and influence to get an opportunity to fill in an open below-the-fold 1/3 page in the recesses of the Opinion section. At the time, few thought it would be an important debut to the world of comedy writing. These people were entirely correct.
We here at The Collegian pride ourselves on being responsive to our readers. And so I thought I’d take a few minutes and respond to some of the suggestions we have received from you, the readers, and show that we don’t just throw away all the mail we get that doesn’t include a sexual preference. In fact, all letters to The Collegian are read by every member of The Collegian’s staff, whereupon all spelling, grammar and style errors are circled in bright red ink and laughed at hysterically, and the writer is sent for a conference in the Writing Center. But here are a few of the more common suggestions we have received.
1. WHINING MORATORIUM
I. P. from New Jersey writes, “It seems that all anyone does at The Collegian is complain. Well, I’m sick of it! I hate complaining! Can’t you make it stop?”
Well, this is something that we have been looking at for a long time. The complaining endemic at The Collegian has come to grate on even the most embittered and cynical among us. A close friend of mine was one of the most prominent and renowned complainers last year. And as dear to me as she is, my fishing experience has taught me that when they’re flopping around and their gills have dried out, you should just whack ‘em on the head and get it over with.
One method proposed for dealing with constant complainers was a 25¢ fine to be assessed every time that a column contained the word “conformity,” “diversity,” “Rush,” “D-hall,” or “Shepard,” since they’re obviously bitching about something. This scheme was seriously considered until one of our more astute staff members pointed out that we don’t actually pay our columnists – maybe run by their rooms and throw some raw meat in or get their prescription re-filled.
The plan was then abandoned since these sanctions would leave the entire Collegian columnist staff either destitute or hanging on someone’s wall just below the swordfish, with the exception of the aforementioned Mr. Shepard, because we can’t figure out what he’s saying anyway, except for the part about grits. And we aren’t sure if he was complaining about them or not.
2. FUN WITH LIBEL
It has been said that the stories in The Collegian are of a none-too-sensational nature. Remarked B.S. from New Jersey, “The stories in The Collegian are of a none-too-sensational nature.” Well, we can do something about that.
“A B LORD BITES HEAD OFF LIVE RUSHEE!”
“LEONARD GOLDBERG ARRESTED FOR WAR CRIMES (WE GOT PICTURES! PICTURES!)”
“JEPSON CHECK BOUNCES! LEADERSHIP SCHOOL CLOSED!”
“‘WEB’ STAFF GOES WILDING! HUNDREDS MAIMED!”
Well, if you want stories like that, we got ‘em. How? We make them up! Unfortunately, the printing of blatantly false inflammatory and defamatory (read “interesting”) stories is libel, which translates into getting our asses sued off.
However, if we raise the price of The Collegian to $25 an issue, we may be able to build up a legal defense fund large enough to provide the stories the public craves. Let us know if that sounds ok.
3. DIRTY PICTURES! PICTURES!
T.T. from New Jersey writes, “I have noticed that most quality publications are easily distinguished by the pictures of scantily-clad beauties inside. If you seek the same journalistic respect that the ‘Weekly World News’ and ‘Star’ receive, you’d better get on the ball in that area.”
Again, your wish is our command. Each issue of The Collegian will now feature a full photo spread of a different member of the senior Collegian editorial staff in a thong bikini, beginning next week with our design editor, Jason Roop.
4. WE’RE NO FUN
P.U. from New Jersey writes, “You guys are no fun.” Well, we agree, and we’re looking at several different promotional concepts to put the fun back in to college journalism.
a) Replace current staff with clever trained seals
b) Print issues in special ink; pass out decoder rings in D-Hall
c) Give away free campus dog with each issue
d) Install breathalyzer – no one allowed in Collegian office under .15 BAL
e) Issue written exclusively in mime
f) Special fold-out pages like “Mad” magazine that form dirty pictures of administrators
g) Extra Roop centerfolds
Let us know which of these ideas you prefer. All submissions will be carefully considered and then fed to the trained seals. Remember, The Collegian is here to serve you, so send all suggestions to:
Tyler Haynes Commons, sixth floor
University of Richmundane
Krakatoa, Indonesia, 90210
Good night and God bless.