Looking out at the faces of first-years this fall, it's not hard to tell that there are questions weighing heavily on their minds. Chief among these questions is probably this: Who would win a fight between Mr. Clean and the Jolly Green Giant? The Jolly Green Giant has the size advantage, plus the backing of the entire vegetable kingdom, but he's not really that buff. Mr. Clean has the muscles, an army of satisfied housewives and cleaning personnel, and an apparent background in pirating (the earring), which could give him the edge in ruthlessness. What if there were a tag-team bout, with the Giant and Snuggles the fabric-softener bear facing Mr. Clean and the Trix rabbit? Snuggles is smaller, but also presumably younger and just plain mean as hell. The rabbit would be hurt by malnourishment, as he apparently did not eat anything at all during all the years of my childhood.
But there are other pressing questions on the minds of first-years, and in the welcoming and supportive spirit of the University (official first-year relations slogan: "You've got problems? Who am I, your mother?"), The Crimson is interested in answering the questions and concerns of these students in their first year at Harvard-Radcliffe. To help out with the adjustment, we have asked the Campus Commando, a local expert on quick and unnecessarily violent solutions to everyday problems, to share his knowledge in a first-year Q & A session. These questions were passed to him in his current hideout in an air duct in the basement of Wigglesworth H. He has been in this duct since 1989, living on a 10-year supply of Dining Services granola while waiting for a bad midterm grade to "blow over." The Campus Commando stresses that you tell no one where he is hiding, but greatly appreciated the company, as he has been amusing himself for the last three months by playing Contra inside his own head.
Question 1: When trying to do my laundry, I sometimes find it necessary to remove the clothes of total strangers from the washing machine or dryer. What should I do if the person walks in and finds me holding a big wad of their underwear?
When a person, especially a female, walks into the laundry room and finds me clutching a huge bale of her personal garments, I find it very important to take quick and decisive action. I find a pair of pantyhose in the bale, and place them over my head to conceal my identity. Then I throw the bale at her and run from the room as quickly as I can. It is important to know where the door is when running quickly from the room, as it is hard to see with pantyhose over your head, especially while running at high speeds. Once while fleeing a laundry room, I smacked into a dryer and woke up in a small holding room at campus police headquarters with four drunks and an Action Man suspect.
Question 2: My Expository Writing teacher is clearly an explorer or robotic probe from another solar system. During my last essay conference, he justified my C-plus on a paper about Mark Twain with the fact that, in Armenian, there is no word for "Slurpee." What can I do to escape?
I never went into any Expos conference without making provisions for a sudden escape. Just take Writing with Sources, and place it in a roomy athletic sock along with a large brick. If your preceptor begins to show signs of his extraterrestrial origin, this sock may be your only means of escape. You should never hit your preceptor with it, unless you wish him to write a very long, nonfiction essay about the experience, to be required reading later in the course. (It would begin "Thunk! The brick felt heavy against my skull.") As soon as you sense danger, hurl the brick in the sock through a nearby window and leap out that window to make your escape. It is always best to wear rubber-soled running shoes to your Expos conferences. It's actually best to wear running shoes everywhere.
Question 3: The people who live upstairs practice extended Spice Girls dance routines from 10:30 p.m. to 4 a.m., which makes it impossible to sleep or even stand up correctly. Should I maim them?
No. Get a pair of bagpipes from a Scottish friend (in a pinch you can do this with a kazoo and a bullhorn) and some rock-climbing gear. Climb to the roof of your building and have a roommate lower you down to a position just outside your upstairs neighbors' window while they are sleeping. Then play and sing Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody ("Galileo! Galileo! Galileo! Figaro!" -that one) until the police come. Do this every morning until your neighbors buy a firearm, and your problem will be solved: You will soon be enrolled at another college or a state-run institution.
The Crimson is very grateful to the Campus Commando for his help and expertise. Share your questions or concerns with the Campus Commando by stomping in morse code on the Wigg H stairs.