March 5, 2004  
Volume 97, Issue 81  

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Uncovering the jacket racket

What the Shuk?
Mark Polishuk

Opinions Editor

With another University Students’ Council election in the books, I tip my hat to our new students’ council president: John Elway. Millions of youngsters will be impressed that a football star would retire from the NFL and take the initiative to improve himself by going back to school. Changing his name to “Nick Staubitz” (no doubt to avoid media attention) was a clever move, but we’re onto you, Mr. Super Bowl!

On a more serious note, now that a new president has been installed, it’s only fair that the skeletons of the old regime be expunged from the closet like Ellen Degeneres. We wouldn’t want President Elway/Staubitz to suffer from the scandals of the past administration in the manner of how Jean Chretien and his sponsorship fiasco is hurting Paul Martin, or how George W. Bush had to deal with all that pesky international respect and economic surplus left behind by Bill Clinton.

Last fall, I attended a party held at the home of current USC prez Paul Yeoman. It was a sparkling cultural affair, replete with tuxedo-clad guests, Duke Ellington on the stereo and fascinating discussions about culture long into the evening. For example, one philistine actually had the gall to argue that Tate’s version of King Lear was actually superior to the Bard’s original text. I set that troglodyte straight, forthwith.

Oh, and there was also a keg.

But anyway, a fine evening came to a bitter end when, as I was preparing to leave, I discovered my jacket was missing from the closet. And this was a SWEET jacket — blue, waterproof and with its Nike symbol shining brightly like a beacon in the night. Those kids in the sweatshops must’ve worked extra hard on that one.

After a long and fruitless search, I was forced to leave without my beloved jacket, thus opening myself to the dangers of nature. Had an army of grasshoppers jumped on me, I would’ve only had one layer of clothing between my delicate skin and their poisonous jaws.

Voice of Reason: North American grasshoppers aren’t poisonous.

Shut up, Voice of Reason. And it wasn’t only the grasshoppers I had to worry about. I had to walk a tormentable half-block to my car in the frigid 14C weather. The weather took its toll; I sneezed as I got into my car. Sure, you might argue that a single sneeze five months ago is not a sign of pneumonia, but you never know. Those evil pneumonia germs might be lying dormant in my body, and only Dennis Quaid in a miniaturized spaceship flying through my bloodstream will be able to save me.

And so I have this final message for Mr. Yeoman, if that is his real name. Unless you have Dennis Quaid on your speed-dial, there is nothing that can make up for the physical and emotional trauma I suffered that night. Some might remember you for your accomplishments as USC president, but to me, you’ll always be the president of the other USC — the Union of Stolen Coats. Thank goodness we now have a president whose NFL millions can allow him to buy his own jackets.



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