A Banner Year
TAURUS AND TEA LEAVES
The following predictions for the year 1986 were unearthed recently, found lodged underneath the rubble of North House's basement. Although parts of the several scraps of paper were illegible, the following has been reconstructed by a team of Harvard historians and printed in its entirely.
* 13, Monday--Professor Nadav Safran is named to the prestigious chairmanship of a new ethics committee at the Middle East Studies Association. "We couldn't have picked a more experienced guy," read a prepared statement issued by the association. Safran commented, "I'm psyched. Go print THAT, kids" and hung up the phone.
* 21, Tuesday--After a year of renovations, Cabot House's Briggs Hall reopens amid fanfare and kegs. Master Myra Mayman beams, "It's beautiful--but why don't the bathrooms have sinks?" Chagrined work supervisor Bill Zoof says, "Oh, shit. They weren't in the blueprint."
* 26, Sunday--The Chicago Bears beat the Miami Dolphins, 38-36, in the closing seconds of the Superbowl thanks to a 95-yd. run from scrimmage by William "The Refrigerator" Perry, who loses his lunch of 52 McD.L.T.s along the way. Immediately after the game, Perry accepts congratulations from President Reagan as well as a dinner invitation for 100 guests at The White House. Perry is the only invitee.
* 27, Monday--President Reagan remarks in his State of the Union address that backward nations could learn a lesson from the "moral fortitude of [South African Prime Minister] Pete Botha's regime," which he calls "the moral equivalent of our Founding Fathers." He adds that the approval of $6 million in aid to the Nicaraguan contras, on the condition that they bomb Managua's leading manufacturer of designer sunglasses, is "a victory for the United St--I mean, democracy everywhere."
* 31, Friday--The American Heart Association names Fidel Castro its first annual Man of the Year. "We're delighted that such an important leader has set an example for the world's youth by kicking the filthy cigar habit," says a spokesman. Director of University Health Services Warren E.C. Wacker comments, "What a bunch of dildoes." "They'll never get their hands on my pipe!" vows Winthrop Professor of History Stephan Thernstrom.
* 3, Monday--Harvard's seven-man governing Corporation, acting on a dare from Financial Vice President Thomas O'Brien, votes to implement a tuition plan modelled on Manhattan parking rules: in odd-numbered years, people with last names starting with vowels or consonants contained in the words "Rich Old White Men" do not have to pay tuition. In even-numbered years, everyone else is absolved. Consequently, 1986-7 College tuition hits $45,900. Comments a stunned O'Brien, "Jezz--I didn't know those guys had such a great sense of humor."
* 14, Friday--The first freshman prefect-prefectee marriage takes place in Memorial Church, presided over by the Rev. Peter Gomes. The church is filled with 1500 cheering freshmen as the Harvard Band plays "Sexy and 17." Best man Hank Moses, dean of freshmen, says, "It kinda makes you nostalgic for, uh, college, doesn't it?" The groom says, "This is the happiest day in my life--except for the day I got into the B-School."
* 24, Monday--Harvard decides to kill off several of its other biggest scandals all at once, by moving the $350 million (and counting) Medical Area Total Energy Plant into the now-vacant Craigie Arms apartment building. Critical Legal Studies hero Professor of Law Duncan M. Kennedy '64 receives a surprising letter from Law Dean James Vorenberg '49 announcing that Kennedy has a new job running MATEP, which will provide power to North House--once renovations there are completed in 1993. Sociologist Theda R. Skocpol is named to head the Middle Eastern Studies Center.
* 27, Thursday--It's too early to predict, but the search for the 1986 Commencement speaker is well underway. Sources report that the following people have already turned down Harvard invitations: George Bush, George Shultz, Don Regan '40, Edwin Meese and Jeane Kirkpatrick.
* 8, Saturday--Hours after issuing the first ID cards for undergraduate alcohol privileges, in three separate incidents, three unnamed Harvard administrators are picked up for a hit-and-run decimation of a Memorial Drive lamppost, overturning the guard house on the way out of the Yard, and trashing the new sculpture next to Out of Town News. All three are charged with DWI. Dean of Students Archie C. Epps III graciously leaves a black-tie gala to bail them out of the Cambridge Police Department jail.
* 18, Tuesday--Oliver Wendell Jones breaks into the Holyoke Center computer system.
* 20, Thursday--Sixteen hundred freshmen find out they've all been sent to their third choice houses: 847 are assigned to Mather, 762 to Cabot House. A slightly confused Lowell House Master William H. Bossert '59 is quoted as asking, "What was it? Our food?"
* 21, Friday--The March responses from potential Commencement speakers are leaked. Blowing off Harvard this month are: Madonna Louise Ciccone Penn, Cyndi Lauper, Wham!, and Frankie Goes to Hollywood. Reportedly Twisted Sister and Sheila E. have inquired about playing Class Day gigs. Harvard Alumni Association Executive Director David A. Aloian '49 is in Las Vegas with Wayne Newton filming a Lawrence Welk special and can't be reached for comment.
* 9, Wednesday--Six months after its gala opening, the directors of the Sackler Museum announce that they have applied to the city for permission to build a connecting tunnel under Broadway between the Sackler and its mother museum, the Fogg. "We'd model it on the Paris metro system," says a spokesman for the two-toned tower. "Just like that movie, what was it called?"
* 15, Tuesday--Under the direction of new Dean of Admissions Laura G. Fisher, Harvard for the first time ever accepts more women than men. However, the number of alumni offspring accepted is down 10 percent.
* 16, Wednesday--Director of Development Thomas Reardon announces that $268 million of gifts to the Harvard Campaign have been cancelled.
* 21, Monday--Former Crimson Sports Editor Nicholas S. Wurf travels to Duluth, Minn., more than a year after his last visit to that cultural haven, to serve as grand marshal in the city's ticker-tape parade. Having turned down the same offer last year, Wurf says he feels compelled to make the appearance. "My fans, they love me," Wurf grins.
* 29, Tuesday--The list is in. Secretary of Transportation Elizabeth Dole, and husband Senate majority leader Bob Dole turn down Harvard's offer to serve as co-Commencement speakers.
* 2, Friday--As of yet, no Commencement speaker has been selected. Finalists are rumored to be: newly appointed Ambassador to Ireland Margaret M. Heckler, former EPA administrator Anne G. Burford, and the Walker family.
* 8, Thursday--Plain old horse steak no longer being chic, the Faculty Club goes bankrupt. McDonald's outbids Wendy's and takes over. New on the menu is the McH.L.T.: They keep the horse side hot and the cool side cool.
* 21, Wednesday--Fed up with attempts to garner a Commencement speaker, and with two weeks remaining, Harvard decides to allow seniors to make suggestions. House committees distribute questionnaires in the dining halls, and the response rate tops that of any other referendum in the last five years.
* 30, Friday--Several hundred festively dressed seniors are suitably distressed when the ship they've commissioned for the Mather House booze cruise, the The Good Times, misses a buoy or two and crashes into the Deer Island sewage plant. City Councilor Alfred E. Vellucci organizes a demonstration in appreciation for the ship's captain.
* 5, Thursday--Commencement speaker Winnie Mandela tells an audience of 30,000 that the United States must wake up to reality and stop coddling corporate pseudo-moralists. "You mean there are actually Black South Africans who want divestment?" one Harvard Corporation member is heard to murmur in astonishment. Vice President and General Counsel Daniel Steiner '54 says, "I think the Corporation Committee on Shareholder Responsibility will be reconsidering its position shortly."
* 6, Friday--President Bok goes on national television announcing that Harvard will divest of all its holdings in corporations doing business in South Africa. New York City, which still has not divested although it promised to more than a year and a half earlier, decides to follow Bok's example.
* 16, Monday--President Reagan announces that he will order all U.S. companies to sell their South African subsidiaries within 15 days.
* 29, Sunday--The revolution begins in Pretoria.
* 11, Friday--The new Black majority-ruled South African government (renamed "Azania") appoints its first Prime Minister, Nelson Mandela.
* 26, Saturday--Fifteen Harvard Summer School students are expelled after Marshall R. Pihl '55, summer school director, discovers marijuana plants growing in the annual class-project archaeological dig outside Weld Hall. The course's head, Visiting Professor of Botanical anthropology Lawrence McKinney, taking a summer break from running his THC firm, says he is "shocked and disgusted... Really. I am."
* 14, Thursday--Three animal-rights activists break into the Harvard Lampoon's Castle, holding Lampy President Daniel J. Greaney '87 hostage for five days to protest what they say is a planned Lampoon prank to dynamite six sheep the following month during a speech by the Prince of Wales at Harvard's 350th anniversary celebration.
* 19, Tuesday--A team of Harvard Police snipers wounds the three terrorists, but accidentally blows the beak off the Ibis and puts a dozen holes in the famed President's Chair. An apparently brainwashed Greaney, however, tells his rescuers that the humor society will be evicting the Starr Bookstore to make way for a free veterinary clinic.
* 23, Saturday--The Crimson buys the damaged Ibis for $3 at a Lampy yard sale.
* 3, Wednesday--Prince Charles and Diana, Princess of Wales arrive in Cambridge where Charles will speak at Harvard's 350th anniversary festivities.
* 4, Thursday--Diana unexpectedly and inconveniently goes into labor during her husband's speech at Harvard's convocation. The Princess of Wales is rushed to Stillman Infirmary where a team of doctors removes her appendix and puts her leg in a cast before realizing that Di has delivered a baby girl.
* 6, Saturday--Engelbert Humperdinck and Barry Manilow headline the stadium concert highlighting the festivities.
* 8, Monday--Reagan has bagged the invitation to speak at the 350th because of his Labor Day summit with Mikhail. But Roger Fisher uses his "getting to yes" strategy to persuade the twosome to postpone their session one week and use the sparkling facilities of the K-School.
* 22, Monday--Registrar Margaret E. Law decides to bring in some additional bucks for Harvard by opening up the College's registration packets to advertisers. Several Harvard students suffer heart attacks as they try to lug their 89-pound envelopes to the red dot room. Law refuses comment.
* 8, Wednesday--Highbrow journalism mogul Rupert Murdoch announces that he has bought the Harvard Independent for $1500. Murdoch adds in an interview on Channel 5 that he also considered purchasing the Lampoon, but decided it wouldn't be profitable. "That's not funny!" barks Lampy president Daniel J. Greaney '87.
* 11, Saturday--To help ABC's sagging Monday Night Football ratings, former correspondent How-wad Cosell dons a football uniform and makes a special appearance in the same backfield with The Refrigerator. As a result, Cosell's publishers change the names of his bestseller "I Never Played The Game" to "I Played the Game. Once."
* 16, Thursday--The Audit Bureau of Circulation reports that the Harvard Independent's circulation has soared to 467,000 a week. Headlines in today's issue include: "Giant Slime Monster Living in Charles," "Axe-Wielding Cliffie Trashes A.D. 'Bimbo Party,"' and "Cokehead Cannibal Feasts on Signet Snoots." Says Indy Editor-in-Chief Kristin Amerling '87, "We're trying to get permission from Dean Jewett to start up Wingo."
* 17, Friday--Faced with plunging advertising revenues, The Crimson renames itself 'Harvard Today' and begins publication in four-color, four-section format. Included is a full-page Harvard weather map, showing atmospheric conditions everywhere from the School of Public Health to Harvard Black Rock Forest, and a rundown of the top news house by house. Says actress Joan Collins, "Harvard Today's Life section separates the facts from the gossip, and the men from the boys."
* 4, Tuesday--Joseph Kennedy II wins seat in Massachusetts's 8th Congressional district.
* 5, Wednesday--Joe Kennedy's aides announce he'll seek the Presidency in '88.
* 6, Thursday--Sen. Edward M. Kennedy '54 (D-Mass.), saying he never ruled out running for vice president, announces he will be number-two man on the Kennedy-Kennedy ticket.
* '9, Wednesday--Arthur J. Moneybags VI is stripped of his one-week-old membership in the prestigious Porcellian Club, when it discovers that Moneybags Petroleum Co. has filed for Chapter 77 bankruptcy in Houston. "This is no downscale frat," sniffs a Porc spokesman.
* 23, Saturday--Harvard comes back in the last five minutes to beat Yale, 66-2, in a close-fought Stadium battle. Harvard shares the Ivy title with Columbia.
* 25, Monday--Moneybags Manufacturing Co. announces that it has began a hostile takeover bid for the Porcellian Club.
* 10, Wednesday--Vice President George Bush hints to reporters that the administration has a secret new plan to erase the $4 trillion budget deficit, but declines to give details. "It's a nifty plan, boys," Bush boasts.
* 15, Monday--At a private auction in Washington, the Administration sells the National Park system to General Dynamics Corp. and the Supreme Court--along with a 25-year supply of black robes--to Carl Icahn, and sells a 99-year lease on the Department of Health and Human Services to a pan-Arab investment consortium. The total proceeds: $3,999,999,999,999.99.
* 18, Thursday--"Yale Mary", Jean-Luc Godard's controversial sequel to last year's hit "Hail Mary" opens amid virulent protest at the Orson Welles Theatre. The film, featuring Eli Jodie Foster as an undergraduate English major and part-time mother of God, is condemned by President Bok as "flagrant Yale propaganda." Bok adds, "Besides, Princeton is the only Ivy school that can boast a celebrated virgin."