By Jeffrey Carl
Thanks to a bare modicum of writing skill and a more obvious fondness for bourbon which aligned with that of my journalism professors, my putative career advanced rapidly through my undergraduate years. I went from a practicum story writer for the University of Richmond Collegian student newspaper in my freshman year to Assistant News Editor in my sophomore year, then on to Greek Life Editor and IT Manager (I read MacWorld magazine!) in my junior year, and ultimately to Opinion Editor in my senior year.
For some reason that escapes me now, I acquired a humor column during this process at the beginning of my junior year. This column, titled “Over the Cliff Notes,” eventually ran for 22 installments and was over the course of two years was read by literally dozens of actual humans, only most of which where KA pledges I forced to do so. Its literary influence was quite literally incalculable, and I’m just going to leave it at that.
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: I’m back.
We here at The Collegian pride ourselves on being responsive to our readers. We also pride ourselves on the fact that we are all ex-members of “Menudo.” We are even more prideful that most of us have never been on a David Hasselhoff Pay-Per-View special. What we do not, however, pride ourselves on is our occasionally tense relationship with the University community. How do we know people don’t like us? When the “Letters to the Editor” written in flaming dog-doo that simply say “Collegian must die ha ha” begin adding up, you just get that feeling.
Furthermore, people sometimes get so irate that they threaten direct action, like beating us up to prove that athletes aren’t big dumb guys after all, or even sending vague death threats with absolutely dreadful grammar. And sometimes, somebody says that he or she is going to sue us.
I do not react well to lawsuits. They make me break out. I’m not going to tell you where. They make me grouchy, irritable and they give me that “not so fresh” feeling. As far as I’m concerned, lawsuits can lick me. So, normally I do everything I can to stay away from possible lawsuits, like degrading, humiliating and insulting everyone I can think of in the newspaper.
So you can imagine my surprise when, a few weeks ago, Iget a message that Ihave been threatened with legal action. And by a fellow columnist, no less. I don’t feel free to betray his identity here, but it was Mike Nimchek. So, anyway, I was informed that he was considering suing me for libel, in regards to scandalous remarks that Imade about him in the midst of a “retirement” column about how nobody has a sense of humor anymore. I imagine possibly that Mike, being helpful and seeing that perhaps not everybody got the point, felt he should be kind enough to illustrate it graphically by threatening me with the possibility of legal action.
This is a dumb move.
Never try to sue me. Why? Because I’m a struggling young college student! Ihave no money! Never sue poor people! If you win, what are you going to get? My soul? My collection of “Squeegees of All Nations?” My three-foot-tall laundry pile/biology experiment? I don’t even have pledges anymore to barter or sell. In fact, if you took me for everything Ihave, considering my current Visa bill, you’d probably lose money. So, basically, “Duh.”
Furthermore, lawsuits (the state sport of Pennsylvania) are such a horribly uncreative way of exacting revenge. If you want to get back at somebody, you certainly don’t want to do it in some way that involves lots of paperwork and Judge Wapner. Consider perhaps the following:
• Pour superglue in their locks
• Using the awesome power of the Death Star, destroy their home planet of Alderaan
• Staple stuff to their foreheads
• Call upon Papa Legba to destroy their loa in the spirit world, or call upon Vito the Fish to destroy their car in the real world
• Blackmail! Blackmail!
• Get everyone to start calling them “Spanky” or something equally embarrassing-sounding
• Kill everyone in their family
• Whenever they approach you, maintain a sullen silence, then when they leave the room, stick your tongue out at them
• Casually invite them to stand underneath a 16-ton weight suspended by a pulley, then drop it on them
• Stage an elaborate set-up brutal triple murder and frame them for it, watch as they are convicted and given consecutive life sentences, and then start sending their cellmate “Huggy Bear” love letters, supposedly from their new roomie
• Trick them into opening the box which they think holds the remote control for detonating the nuclear missile speeding towards the San Andreas fault, but which in reality contains pure Kryptonite, which will kill them
• Make a “peace offering” of brownies made with Ex-Lax
• Casually invite them to stand in front of a particle accelerator, then annihilate them in a 10-billion-degree burst of proton/antiproton collisions
• Clean their dishes, but spit on them
• As soon as you get out of prison, shadow them everywhere, hang on to the bottom of their car when they try to drive away, climb on to their boat, and then sing the entire score of “The H.M.S. Pinafore” by Gilbert and Sullivan to them
• Replace their computer’s processor chips with “Chips Ahoy”
• Vomit on them, or
• Write a snide column about revenge methods. The ball is in your court. Next time you consider suing someone, try doing something a little more creative. Or better yet, get a sense of humor and a life.
Good night and God bless.