EVERY YEAR at this time it is my custom to present the annual Rutger Fury "Humans on Parade" Achievement Awards. These awards are given to those college juniors who show exceptional achievement in social, political, athletic and academic spheres while not being geebs about it, or who are just cool in general.
Unlike the Time Magazine Special Advertising Supplement Achievement Awards, The Rutger is never presented to participants in student government or to physics majors. While is the aim of the governing board--which is to say, me--that no one should be excluded from consideration, past experience has shown that such people are, as a group, not to be taken seriously.
The Rutger is also different from the Time Magazine Special Advertising Supplement Achievement Awards in that mindless success-obsessed automatons are not encouraged to submit their absurdly padded resumes in order to reap yet more vacuous praise for their completely worthless achievements, which are generally motivated by hopeless insecurity. Also, no money will be awarded.
Now that I've explained the rules, let's get down to business. This year's winners:
William Johnson, Cabot House. What makes a man a man? Just ask pre-med William Johnson. "There is no greater thrill," says Johnson, "than to defeat your enemy, to have your way with his wife and daughters, and take his property." Eschewing public service in favor of ruthless empire-building, Johnson sweeps down from the Quad on his tough Mongolian Steppe pony every day to attend biology and chemistry classes.
"A most unusual individual," is how his tutor describes Johnson, whose number one ranking in organic chemistry has made a legend in the department. When not looting and pillaging, Johnson enjoys sweeping his arms and declaring, "All this is mine."
Peter Angst, North House. For most wash-ups, life is a pathetic waste of time heaped upon a worthless individual. Not for Peter Angst, however, who believes that "true excellence can be sought even in failure." Last semester Angst performed what fans have called his greatest feat: staying up all night to write a two-page paper that was so late it could not possibly get credit anyway, than deciding the paper wasn't good enough at 5 a.m., throwing it out, and then sleeping through the hourly exams he had that day--all seven of them!
"That was a bad day," cringes Angst. "And to top it off, my roommate stole my girlfriend and then turned gay." What does Angst plan for the future? "I'm planning to take five high-level math courses, even though I failed the QRR. And Japanese--but I guess that all depends on whether I flunk out or not first."
Persephone Crabtree, Adams House. Although Persephone is an honors candidate in Dadaist Lesbian Poetry, she has never lost, she say, "a strong moral commitment to mankind's responsibility to use science for the collective human good." No one was surprised, then, that it was the talented Miss Crabtree who finally cracked a puzzle which had been puzzling experts for a decade.
"We had been aware of the building's presence since the early seventies, "explains Dean of Life Stephen Jay Gould. "But it wasn't until about 10 years ago that we got around to asking ourselves, 'Just what the hell is the Center for Basic Research actually for?' Now Advanced Research, like what I do, that makes sense. But Basic Research? What the hell is that?"
Ever since, scientists had been monitoring the mysterious building with advanced detectors and radio-sounding equipment, but it was not until Crabtree tried an innovative new technique--looking in through the window at close distance--that the mystery was resolved. "They were just sitting around desks and stuff," reports Crabtree. "I don't think they were doing anything at all."
M. Charles "Chuck" Whitmore IV, Eliot House For fourth-generation Haravardian M. Chuck, being heir to an ancestral fortune isn't as easy as it sounds. Explains the Owl Club president, "Apart from all the genetic deficiencies caused by inbreeding, the Whitmore family has suffered terribly from the liberation of the serfs."
Not so long ago, Chuck never gave a thought to his financial security. Then came the day when, as Chuck describes it, "I wrote out a check for $1000 to my coke dealer, but I forgot to draw a line after the words 'One thousand,' The slimeball just added the words 'million trillion dollars,' and overnight I was ruined."
Why does Chuck's riches-to-rags journey warrant a Fury Award? "What do you mean, asshole," quips Whitmore. "You owe me this one."
Rutger Fury, formerly associated with a fine weekly news magazine available in supermarkets everywhere, is a fairly good friend of Jeffrey J. Wise
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