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'Poonie Pranks and Protests For Lampoon 'Phools' Week

By Jay E. Berinstein

Though April 1 is a long way off and most Harvard students are too busy hitting the books to venture outside, one group of undergraduates has spent the last week bursting into song during classes, protesting the poor working conditions of automatic tellers, and generally trying to act as foolish as possible. It's "Phools' Week" at the Harvard Lampoon--the final state of an intense competition to join the nation's oldest college humor magazine.

"One person came in saying he was John Lennon and wanted to find out what the '80s were all about," Phil Burke, an employee at Harvard Square Theater, said yesterday. "But we didn't believe him," he added. Burke said he did not know whether the questioner was from the Lampoon.

One Lampoon hopeful walked into the Coop several days ago and shouted, "If this is the Coop, where are all the chickens?" a Coop employee said yesterday. "Sure, we knew it was the Lampoon. They come in every year," the employee added.

Also this week, a group of prospective 'Poonies marched outside Bay Banks demanding shorter hours and higher pay for automatic tellers.

Lampoon officers deny the existence of the semiannual rite. "I have no idea what you're talking about," John P. Ziaukus '82, the Lampoon's "Ibis," said of Phools' Week. "I really couldn't conceive of any such thing," he added.

Jeff S. Martin '82, the Lampoon's president, refused to comment on the subject.

"They appeared out of the blue, figures in white, and did a curious dance," Sheldon L. Glashow, Higgins professor of Physics, said yesterday, describing a Lampoon visit to his Science A-20 lecture. "Then they disappeared to whence they had come," he added.

Neil Levine, professor of Fine Arts, said yesterday that his American architecture class, Fine Arts 175a, was the target of a similar invasion. Three "phools" dressed as buildings performed a "full dramatic panoply of dancing--a major work," Levine said.

Rod Brewer, owner of Brigham's, a traditional Phools' Week haunt, said he wasn't sure whether the Lampoon brigade stopped by this semester. "They may have--or they may have been nuts--we throw 'em all out," he said.

Though the pranksters have their hopes set on one publication only, several paid a visit to The Crimson this week during an introductory meeting for the newspaper's winter comp.

"Do you have outings?" asked one visitor before departing.

Another interrupted the meeting to inform the 30 people present, "I have a date--I have to go."

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