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!
So this is it. It’s all over. My last column. I’m not kidding.
I’m graduating, I’m looking for a job. I’m engaged. I’m starting to get gray hair.
So, what have we learned? I’m not sure. The last two years of my college career were pretty much defined within what I wrote here. Let’s go back and examine some actual excerpts of what I wrote and see if I learned anything:
Jeff Carl’s Greatest Hits
• Editor’s Note: Yeah. Sure. Whatever.
• Of course, I meant “really bites ass” in the strict biblical sense.
• The only conclusion I can come to is that the radio station should be filled in with cement immediately and all of the DJs should be burned at the stake.
• Sorority Life: This revolves primarily around Rush retreats (see HAHAHA above) and scrambling for formal dates. Sorority formals, as previously mentioned, are just like bar mitzvahs, but with sex in the elevators.
• The law school should be razed to the ground and the earth sown with salt.
• Girls do not actually have – as was previously believed – long, spiny wings or small vestigial tails.
• Research was found to cause cancer in laboratory rats.
• Campbell: No. You are on crack. What I was talking about was the primal need for a figure of supreme evil, which would ride around in a little electric cart.
• Q: Are you really as grumpy and bitter in real life as you sound in your columns?
• Siskel: Roger, when my people come from the stars to enslave this puny planet, you will serve as food for the Giant Slave Worms of Kodos. So I give Evil a “Thumbs Up.”
• 7. Thou shalt not toast cheese in the Holy Dining Hall toasters, for the cheese drippeth much and is disgusting, sayeth the Lord.7
• You can get a fantastic buzz if you drink after giving blood.
• INTERVARSITY CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP RUSH:
Day 1: Meet Your Maker cookout, 4:30 p.m.
Day 2: Fish and Loaves picnic, 2:00 p.m.
Day 3: I-Found-the-Lord-and-Lost-my-Talent: Christian Rock Night, 7:00 p.m.*
Day 4: Bids extended by the Angel of Death
• a)Replace current Collegian staff with clever trained seals
• 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: Who is Dr. Staff? And why is he listed as teaching so many courses at registration time?
• ENGLISH MAJOR APTITUDE TEST:
Y N 3. I like “unemployment.”
• Well, the “grad school” thing sounds okay, because you could stay and see Dave Matthews every Wednesday night for an additional two or three years. But there’s always the chance that he’ll get big and move away.
• I just quit smoking.
• April 19: The fifth and final “Pray for Revival” campaign ends in disaster as the dead come alive again and walk the earth as zombies preying on the living. Former Chancellor Boatwright is seen in the library, eating Lexis/Nexis terminals.
• Sep. 7: As a publicity stunt, the members of campus band “9 Divine” kill themselves onstage.
• CORRECTIONS: Last week’s column may have perhaps been a little misleading. Okay, I lied like the dog I am. Deal with it.
• The next morning, rushees are given an envelope which contains either engraved fancy official bid(s) or an engraved fancy notice of their new official status as losers and the phone number for CAPS, in case they decide to kill themselves.
• This is my last column.
• Ancient History
1. When Lucy and Ethel got the job at the chocolate factory, they got in trouble because
a. it’s just kooky how things work out like that b. Ethel was distributing Communist propaganda on her lunch break c. Lucy was stoned off her ass
• Must change UR Alma Mater to “We Will Rock You”
• This is really my last column.
• As we did not receive a response within 24 hours (I checked my machine), we are now in a life-and-death struggle with the tyrannical Canadian Empire.
• “Greetings, you, Senator. I am the Arch-villain ‘Frogface.’”
• male cheerleaders: n. Sissy boys.
• Student government presidents should be used for doorstops or paperweights
• All those “cities” that are supposed to be there are actually just one farm house with this guy named “Gary” or “Indianapolis” sitting on the front porch and shucking corn with his one good tooth. I’m not kidding.
• A: Nein! We are certainly not using giant mind-controlled squid™ to develop newer and more virulent Pier Value Meals™5!
• num-chuks (nim’ chek): 1.n. A terrifying Japanese weapon of death 2.n. A terrifying American columnist of Fiat Currency.
• “The Surgeon General has determined that if you’re going to smoke these, you can kiss your ass goodbye right now”
Well, I guess I didn’t learn much.
Yes, I did. I got to be a class clown and try to make everybody laugh. Sometimes it worked. Sometimes it didn’t. But it was always fun to try.
If you read my columns, thank you. If you read my columns and didn’t try to sue me, thank you even more. If you were one of those who wrote to me or just said, “good job,” then you were the reason I did this. Thanks.
To every one of the funny people I got to work with – even Shepard and Caputo – thanks.
This newspaper has been a big part of my life here. I’m sorry to go. But maybe we’ll all meet once more, somewhere down the road. You’ll see me again.
This is my last bow. It was all worth it.
Why? Because we here at The Collegian prided ourselves on being responsive to our readers.