Voyd of Course

"It's like the Onion, only skinnier!" --Milton Swift "Still worth the price of the paper it's not printed on." --Felicia DuBois "The unspeakable, spoken." --Malin Wuptke "More interesting than computer solitaire, though perhaps not so effective a distraction from the void." --Harlan J. Rippington "Satire today, history tomorrow." --Steven Wallace

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Location: Santa Fe, NM, United States

In 1966, I wrote a fake newspaper article under the headline "JACK CASS SETS WORLD SHOWERING RECORD." Mr. Yohans, my 9th grade English teacher, liked it so well that he read it aloud--to much not-quite-suppressed giggling, at the sound of which, Mr Yohans said, "What? What? Did I miss something here?" I spent the rest of the afternoon in Principal Leon Duff's outer office. When Mr. Duff, who was a busy man, decided he didn't have time to see me, his secretary sent me back to the classroom, where I was greeted like McMurphy returning from solitary. Emboldened by my de facto exoneration, my friends began work on their own fake news stories. I remember a spate of Russian names in the stories, including "Ivan Kutchikokoff" and "Ivan Jerkinov." Needless to say, our newly suspicious teacher sent both of my friends to Mr. Duff's office, where they were not as bureaucratically blessed as I had been. They sat detention for a week. This I took as a lesson in subtlety--and in how to start a commotion and slip from the room before the law comes down.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

This Just In: News that Stays News

Chief Illiniwek now (top) and then (below)

NCAA’s New “No Stereotypes” Rule Receives Generally Favorable Reviews from Illini Fans

Champaign, Illinois—The University of Illinois campus is abuzz with the changes to its much-maligned mascot, Chief Illiniwek, who in the past has stalked the sidelines of Illinois sporting events dressed in headdress and Northern Plains-style regalia exhorting the teams and riling up fans. The NCAA’s new ban on the use of “unrealistic stereotypes” as mascots has resulted in a wholesale change in the Chief’s outfit, demeanor, and even his cheering style.

The new Chief, now called "Attorney" Illiniwek, arrives at midfield in a silver Lexus, dressed in a three-piece suit with neat braids running down his back, dark sunglasses, a cell phone in one hand and a briefcase in the other. He still stomps up and down the sidelines, but now, instead of war whoops, he’s apt to respond to a questionable call on the field by shouting “I object!” Occasionally, he’ll go face-to-face with a ref and “serve him papers,” saying curtly, “I’ll see you in court.” When the Illini score a touchdown, he swings his briefcase in the air, performs a series of back flips, and places a cell phone call to a lucky fan.

The football fans have surprisingly taken to this new “Indian” mascot. A group of twelve University of Illinois seniors have bought up the seats behind Attorney Illiniwek’s customary position and have dubbed themselves “The Jury.” They call Mr. Illiniwek variously “The Prosecutor” or “The Attorney for the Defense,” depending on whether the Illini have the ball or not. Illiniwek will occasionally plead his case to them; they signal their verdict with thumbs up or down.

Other schools are responding to the NCAA’s edict in similar ways. The Bradley University Braves, for example, now feature a Native American installation artist as their mascot. At a recent game, "Ms. Teters," as school officials call her, built a satirical installation that parodied the other team’s offense, an anachronistic Texas Wishbone, so effectively that the embarrassed quarterback could not concentrate on calling the plays. Bradley won the game 63-0.

These early triumphs augur well for the new regulation’s success, though not everyone is pleased. The Southwestern College ”Moundbuilders” thought, given their nickname, a contemporary Indian architect could serve as their mascot. Fans, however, were less than enthused when the dapper, if slightly tousled, mascot ignored the game and spent two and a half hours building an intricate scale model of the stadium instead.


Blogger poetry4 said...

You know I think we need a "Crooked Tribal Offical" mascot or a "Political Issues for Personal Gain" AIM mascot.

Maybe a Diabetic or Fat but no Phat mascot. I think both would work.

1:24 PM  

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