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The Lampoon

On the Shelf

By Robert H. Sand

It may be the high price of Cambridge liquor or the low level of undergraduate living. It may be the sad souls of the war babies or the hard hearts of Radcliffe girls. But whatever the cause, the Lampoon has gone and done it again.

Perhaps the funniest part of the present "foreign intrigue issue" is an ad on page nineteen--"Subscribe now to the Harvard Lampoon ... a magazine of humorous significance." Running a close second is an ad for the Casino Theatre on the opposite page which proclaims with two pictures "The return of happiness...IRMA THE BODY." Irma may be fairly repulsive, but she is pretty funny.

After the sexy pictures, the cartoons attract the most attention. These vary from mediocre to wretched except for the charming and disarming works of a sophomore Poonster, James D. Stanley. His talent, not to mention his sense of humor, are a refreshing change of pace. Apparently the Lampoon took note of this, because he was just elected President.

Mr. Stanley's writing does not fare quite so well. His sketches of conspirators he has known are pleasant at best. The article contains, however, at least one classic line, "a man cannot be a great lover, a great drinker, and a great athlete, too." Another story, "Facts in a Case" is an interesting satire of sorts on Edgar Allan Poe. It's not funny, but at least the author accepted this fact while most of his colleagues refused to give up.

The most painful struggle is entitled "The Snake Man." This tale tells of a spy who carries a snake beneath his coat. Unless the spy was ticklish and the snake had a cold nose, there is nothing even laughable about the entire affair.

About the only really intriguing aspect of the other stories and poems is trying to match the initials following them with a name on the masthead. One name does appear after a poem, that of J.H. Updike '54. Presumably the New Yorker was not intrigued.

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