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Laser Sights and Goats - Sorry, Worcester Joke...


by Laurel and Guinevere

So here we are again. It seems like only last week that we were writing our last column... Um, ANYway, we've been flooded with mail this week which is always a good thing. Not only are they letters, they're responses to our articles. Feedback from the masses. The chills, the chills...

Dear L & G,

O.K. Everyone, hold on to your hats. I KNOW WHY THE AMOUNT OF WILDLIFE HAS INCREASED! Until recently, the population of the carious rodents and such has been kept down by the loss of life (poor critters) due to traffic accidents that no one taller than 1' 6" noticed. West Street was a war zone for these little guys, that resulted in West Street Footbridge crossings and other accelerated evolution of these squirrels, etc. Now that West Street has been replaced by the region of campus known as @, the accelerated reproduction that was needed to sustain the population has resulted in a burst of population. Now there's more of them, they're smart, and they're ANGRY. We're in big trouble, people! Is it possible that the closing of West Street may lead to our downfall?

Your concerned reader,

Ed Oliveira

For every action, there is an equal and opposite amount of little critters. (How can something be equal and opposite? That's like cold, yet hot...) Life is funny sometimes, isn't it? It's surprising how often even the best intentions backfire. At your own discretion, you can also add the corollary, "Usually in obscure ways," as is the case here. Who would have ever thought that closing off West Street and forming @ would cause intelligent - eccentric - alert - trestle - crossing - angry - reproducing - rodents - of - typical - sizes (I. E. A. T. C. A. R. R. O. T. S.)? We bet this is yet another scenario the WPI community didn't think of when they started this project. Sociological Engineers? We think not. Although we're not positive that Ed Oliveira may be a little too paranoid for his own good, we respect all views here in the world of Philler.

Dear L&G,

In reference to your request for a name for the skunk which has been running amok on campus so recently, I decided to use a bit of my roommate Alan's logic, which you already so graciously approve of, in picking a name. The following is a how I applied Alan's logic to your problem:

Point 1: The skunk heavily traverses that bit of land known as "@".

Point 2: Said skunk would therefore have the title: The skunk that so heavily traverses the road that until so recently was know as West street, or: The skunk that so heavily traverses "@".

Point 3: Said skunk would have to have as catchy a name as "@", being that which it traverses. Namely a symbolic name like "#".

Point 4: Although Point 3 is a good point, we must not forget that if said skunk were to be named "#" the pronunciation of said symbol is "pound", and would possibly lead to the demise of said skunk by people who would be quick to judge a skunk by the nature of its symbolic name.

Point 5: We, therefore, must pick a name for said skunk which is catchy to write and say, but, also, is not detrimental to the well being of said skunk.

Applying all this logic to a seemingly trivial problem(I must be an engineer!), I have derived the following name for the skunk:

Photo of &"&" or pronounced "Ampersand"

This name is both catchy and safe for the skunk, provided no one on this campus knows how to "ampersand" something to death. I hope this bit will help you in your quest for the name of the skunk.

Jeff Alderson

Class of '98

Only entry? That's the winner! We hereby christen the skunk "&"... Who forgot to bring the champagne? It's probably just as well. I think that would have scared the little guy (that's the skunk, not Jeff...). We wouldn't want to offend them as Ed Oliveira has warned us. Very good logic there, Jeff. You're a double-E, right? We're sure, in time, someone will think of how to turn "Ampersand" into a verb, (our roommate can change the part of speech of practically any word, it seems) but until that time, we're sure & will have a fun time romping around @.

That reminds us, at this moment in time our research has shown that the intransigent reaction to transcendentalism has obfuscated. Really. It has. This makes for a significant amount of uneasiness on campus, which is exactly why it was necessary for the Consortium to post the Shuttle Bus schedule on a big ole sign in front of Riley Hall. (Our sources say that the funds for this project have probably already obfuscated, but that's not important right now.)

On a similar note, if you are interested in using really big words for no apparent reason other than self-aggrandizement, start doing it! What are you waiting around like a one-legged horse in line for a beer at a party somewhere in North Dakota for? Are you trying to think of something clever to say that involves more overly-long words? Try these on for size: deinstitutionalization, antidisestablishmentarianism, and dude. Yes, we here in the Philler Think Tank realize that "dude" is not actually a proper English word, nor is it an exceptionally long word, English or not, but it certainly is more useful than antidisestablishmentarianism ever will be. (However, if you'd like to change this, please press 1 now...)

As always, remember to write to us, because: 1. we enjoy the mail, and 2. if you write, we don't have to think much next week.

We usually try not to have a religious edge to our commentary (else start competition with our commentary neighbors who have always been compassionate, and considerate, and never call the cops when we get a little too loud) but this week, after hearing the plight of the WPI community under 1' 6" we have decided to make a little exception. We will leave you now with a little prayer:

Now I lay me down to sleep. I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I die before I wake, I pray the Lord my toys to break, so none of the other kids can use 'em. Amen. -Shel Silverstein


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