UR Myths Explained

By Jeffrey Carl

Jeffrey Carl UR Column
University of Richmond Collegian, November 11 1993

It occurs to me now that topical humor from college campuses nearly 30 years ago does not age well. I’m sure it was absolutely hilarious at the time, though. Enjoy!

Editor’s Note:Okay, we’ll get to the point.  This column is really starting to get weird.  We don’t know what he’s talking about, and if we did we certainly wouldn’t agree with it.  Nonetheless, it remains property of The Collegian and may not be reprinted except for academic use or karaoke recitation without the express written consent of The Collegian and Major League Baseball.  

We here at The Collegian pride ourselves on being responsive to our readers.  And so we thought we’d take a few moments to dip into our mailbag and answer the most-frequently asked questions from students about the University of Richmond.

Q:Who is Dr. Staff?  And why is he listed as teaching so many courses at registration time?

A:Professor Staff is not only one of the busiest faculty members at the University, but is also one of its most colorful instructors.  He is easily recognized by his rainbow wig, bright green teeth, and prehensile tail.  He can often be glimpsed around campus, running naked and screaming “I’m cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs!” or during his office hours in the new Fine Arts Building.  

Q:What do sororities do?

A:Sororities exist to provide college women friendship, comraderie, leadership opportunities, moral upbuilding, door decorations, lots of cute sweatshirts with each sorority’s particular phallic symbol, and the right to go to sorority formals, which are just like bar mitzvahs, but with sex in the elevators.

Q:What were all those tombstones on Boatwright Beach last month about?

A:Those were part of a ROTC recruitment drive.  The tombstones served to illustrate ROTC’s recruitment slogan, “We kill more students before our 8:15 classes than most people kill all day.”

Q:How did the Tyler Haynes Commons get its name?

A:Tyler Haynes was a trustee of the University and a medieval feudal lord.  He was renowned through England as “Tyler the Heinous,” for his habit of decapitating serfs, one just for snoring too loud.  In 1286, he embarked on one of the last Crusades but was waylaid by Saracen Turks and got really, really lost.  Arriving in Virginia across the Asian Land Bridge over 20 years later, his name was mistranslated by local indians as “Tile Harebrains.”   Later, after he left the University the large fortune he had accumulated by scalping Richmond Renegades tickets, the school gave his name to the building used by the people he so charitably described as “Commoners.” 

Q:Why do all the guys put their fraternity letters and/or crest on their door?

A:This is a practice dating back to biblical times, when Moses instructed the Hebrews to paint their doors with lambs’ blood so that their first-born sons would be spared from the plague that struck the rest of Egypt.  Nowadays, the practice is kept up in hopes that if the Apocalypse is tomorrow (or at least some time during the semester) that the Angel of Death will turn out to have been a fraternity brother of theirs and they will be spared.

Q:What can I do with my SpiderCard?

A:SpiderCards can be used to buy supplies at the bookstore, extra food at the Pier, or semiautomatic weapons at Wal-Marts across the country.  Your SpiderCard can also be used to get into bars, initiation into the Freemasons, for free admission to monster truck shows, or to declare war on foreign nations without an act of Congress.

Q:Where do babies come from?

A:Aisle 7 in Hechinger’s Hardware.  They are $34.95 before the rebate.

Q:I’m very dissatisfied about something here at the University.  How can I change things?

A:Well, the simplest and most obvious method to correct the problem is to transfer.  But, if your parents won’t let you, there are other avenues you can pursue.

  First, try writing an indignant letter to The Collegian.  That always seems to effect rapid social change.  If you can’t write Clever Letters To The Editor, take a step down and be a columnist!  Write incisive, thought-provoking expositions about oral sex.  Write long-winded, obtuse diatribes about vital matters of the day, like grits.  Or just be unreadable, so people skip your column altogether and go straight to the Police Bulletin on page 13.

  If none of these ideas strike your fancy, try simple terrorism.  On a personal level, you can deliver ultimatums to your roommate, like “If you leave the CD player on one more time, I’ll have your ass in a fondue pot.”  Or try institutional terrorism, leaving notes in the D-Hall like, “Until you bring back Rib-B-Que, we will bend all our silverware at every meal.*”  

  My, that was fun!  Unfortunately, we don’t have any more letters in our mailbox this week.  But what the hell, let’s just reach over into Counseling And Psychological Services’ mailbox here and take some of their mail and answer it.

Q:My boyfriend of five years just broke up with me and left me for a man.  I feel like killing myself!  What should I do?  Signed, Lovelorn in Lora Robins

A:Go right ahead.  But either call The Collegian first so they can get photos before the cops arrive, or be sure to do it in some exciting manner, like driving a truck filled with dynamite into the Pier.

  I can tell by the clock on the wall that we’re out of space for this week.  Fortunately, we’ll be back again next week answering more of the questions that you spend sleepless nights wondering about.  Please send your questions, comments, embarrassing photos of faculty members, or old “ABBA” records to:

Correspondence, Advice, and Love Letters

The Coal Lesion

Tile Harebrains Commons, 13th Floor

University of Richmond, C.S.A.   90210

*Somebody really did this.  And it worked.  I’m not kidding.

Putting the “fun” in fundraising

By Jeffrey Carl

Jeffrey Carl UR Column
University of Richmond Collegian, November 4 1993

It occurs to me now that topical humor from college campuses nearly 30 years ago does not age well. I’m sure it was absolutely hilarious at the time, though. Enjoy!

Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in this column do not necessarily reflect the opinions of The Collegian or its staff. In fact, they sure as hell don’t, but what can we do? We’ve been hoping for a while that this guy would stop writing and pick up a constructive hobby like building those neat little ships inside bottles or something, but he keeps writing and his mom said she’ll cancel her subscription if we don’t run his columns and we only have three other subscriptions so we’re kind of over a barrel on this one. Whatever the case may be, this column is property of The Collegian and is not to be reprinted, excerpted, quoted from or even talked about without the express written consent of The Collegian and the National Football League. 

I hate charity fundraisers. I always have. Probably always will. It’s not like I’m a mean, nasty person … well, yes, actually, I am, but that’s not why. 

I mean, I don’t object to the idea of charity or something. I don’t mind giving a few pennies to benefit victims of dutch elm disease or scurvy or whatever. It isn’t even that I’m opposed to doing things for other people in general: you can get a fantastic buzz if you drink after giving blood, and if you’re stealthy, you can steal hundreds of little packs of Chips-Ahoy. 

I guess it’s that they’re all just so boring. Maybe if campus organizations found something exciting to do, I could get more interested. Perhaps instead of having wussy “pledge auctions,” fraternities could sell their pledges into the zombie slave trade and sororities could sell theirs in the red light district. They’d get a lot more money, and it would be so much more interesting.

Instead of simple teeter-tottering, they could combine it with those strength-testers in carnivals: one person would jump on the see-saw and propel the person on the other end up and into a large brass bell hoisted above them. If they ring the bell, the charity gets $5.

Then the other person, wandering about with a concussion, cerebral hemorrhaging, and muttering something about “time to make the donuts” gets to jump on their end and reverse the process. This raises money and is endlessly amusing, because bad things happening to other people is always good humor.

Or instead of a simple “Jail n’ Bail,” they could hold a “Turkish Prison Jail n’ Bail.” Students would again be jokingly “arrested” until their friends paid the requisite amount to “free” them. But instead of a cushioned corner of the Pier, students would be taken to a sub-basement of the Physical Plant building and confined in small cells, tortured psychologically and beaten continuously with rubber hoses. The psychological torture might consist of forcing them to watch MTV-Europe or reruns of “Saved by the Bell.” This would increase the urgency for the friends to come bail them out, and you could probably squeeze more money out of them, too. 

In fact, since I’m certainly not afraid to recycle old jokes, I think every campus organization could get into the act, each according to its own special abilities and gifts. For example:


1. Sell Indulgences.

2. Inform the campus that God has declared that Dr. Burhans will be “called home” unless it raises $5 million.


1. Host lavish black-tie $100/plate dinner event. Serve real food.

2. Asassinate key figures in the University administration; seize reins of power, and declare martial law. This wouldn’t raise funds for anything, but it would still be really cool.


1. Perform guerrilla theater skits at the Regency in the food court, in front of the Chick-Fil-A. Make people pay them to go away.

2. Undertake major renovations, then rename the James L. Camp Memorial Theater, “The Kamp Karaoke Kavern.” Get together with CAB and work something out. 


Call Bob Jepson.

Maybe I’d be more excited if charities were more aggressive. You know, if it’s such a great cause, people should have no excuse for not giving. If the United Nations can send troops to Somalia, why shouldn’t UNICEF be able to send brigades of mechanized infantry to shopping malls and establish martial law at The Gap until all the little snots there hand over their parents’ credit cards? Perhaps the Salvation Army would send legions of crack paratrooper Santas to K marts across the country to insure everyone “gives ‘til it hurts.”

Maybe my problem is the charities that these fundraiser events are for. I’m sure they are honest and deserving, but there are a lot of worthy causes to raise money for that frequently get neglected. Here are a few actual non-profit organizations that I think should get some attention for future fundraisers:


• WE ARE THE WORLD League of American Football – donations needed badly

• THE JEFFERSON MEMORIAL – collecting to place a large bronze statue of Sherman Hemsley in Washington, D.C.


• KOOL-AID – collecting money to find new jobs for the members of “Kool & the Gang”



• ROBBY KRIEGER MEMORIAL PSYCHIATRIC TREATMENT FUND – for people who think Jim Morrison was “an American Poet”

• THE MARCH OF DRACHMAS – for disabled children in Greece

• SQUIRRELHOLICS ANONYMOUS – I won’t explain it, but it’s sad

Or what about a truly deserving cause founded right here at the UR? An idea of mine is to take up a collection to hire a hit man to get rid of the annoying kid from those “Encyclopedia Brittanica” commercials.

Maybe this is all the inevitable result of me, getting old and grumpy. But please consider it, won’t you? Please send contributions to:

Death to That Annoying Kid From Those “Encyclopedia Brittanica” Comercials Fund

c/o The Collegian, Espionage, Sabotage, and Asassination Dept.

Tyler Heinous Commons, 14th Floor

Richmond, The University, 90125