The Harvard Lampoon

On the Shelf

They had a big party down at the 'Poon a while ago, and in a moment of ecstasy, one of the vigorous young non-Groton members (whose father had lost in the Crash, exiling him to Scarsdale High) suggested that with the help of Old Grads, they could probably throw together an 80th Anniversary Number. The issue now on the streets testifies to the hilarity of that monumental party; but it has also the elements of perpetual hangover, naivete, and, yes, even inanity, which one has come to associate with the superannuated Lampy down through the years.

Except for an imaginative story by Jos. F. Fletcher, Jr., and a memoir by Francis B. Biddle '09, which was cribbed from a forthcoming book and which has as its only relation to either humor or Lampy the mention of Lampoon twice, there is absolutely nothing worth reading in it. Despite diligent seeking over the years, one cannot find a more fruitful way to waste time than spending an afternoon with Robb Sagendorph '22 ("Upon this occasion of the 80th Anniversary of the Lampoon, we must not forget in our fond reminiscing aobut the past, that the present and future are with us, too.") or Edward A. Bacon '20 ("What'll I do, what'll I do,/Now that Gretchen and I are through?") of Lewis P. Mansfield '16 ("We offer eighty years of skill/In putting Joy on Humor's sword!").

Fletcher, who seems to have been the 'Poon's only sword during our generation, has a nicely constructed little tale about tattered Tweek, boy of the streets, who achieves SUCCESS by spitting his chwing gum in the path of rich J. Pomeroy's spinning Cadillac wheel. But let the reader find for himself why! Mr. Biddle's reflections, while gay in spirit, read like a census of Mount Auburn Cemetery, and seem grossly out of place. But at least they are interesting and even pleasant.

"'I really think,' said the Jester, 'that one of the biggest reasons Lampy has survived, and as successfully as he has, is the graduate loyalty that has always been behind him.'" One must agree. But if Lampy plans to clutter up our newstands in the Square for another 80 years, he should look for support else-where--even, we hesitate to say it, to us. And all we have is sober apathy.

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