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Turning 30

Stuff I Think

By John Rosenthal

SOME THINGS left over from the "Stuff I Think" file that were too short to make a full column:

The Science Center Shuttle Bus Stop was moved to Memorial Hall a few months ago because a Cambridge Court said that the old stop on Oxford St. stopped traffic. But the Memorial Hall stop was soon scrapped when work began on the stained-glass windows there.

Now, the bus stops literally on the sidewalk between the Science Center and Memorial Hall. When the buses pull out of this "depot," they must cross two lanes of traffic, and the resulting traffic snarl is far worse than it ever was at the original stop. Who ever said evolution was not progress?

WHY ARE there so many different choices involved in buying toothpaste? When seeking to clean your teeth, you must first choose among brands, then among as many as four or five flavors, and then among sizes. After that, you have to choose between the regular and the tartar control formulas. Lastly, you need to decide whether you prefer the regular tube or the allegedly useful pump dispenser.

I fail to understand the logic of the pump dispenser. Do we need a machine to tell us how much is the correct amount of toothpaste to dispense onto your brush? I, for one, never have had much difficulty in this calculation. Nor have I ever had much trouble in taming that pesky tube cap from running out of the bathroom before I could firmly reseal it onto the top of the tube.

May be the pump is an economy device. I assume it prevents you from having to squeeze all the stuff up from the bottom, the way the Crest people tell you to use your paste. Still, does toothpaste cost so much that we have to scrape every last brushfull out of the dispenser?

And why do we use toothpastes recommended by the American Dental Association? After all, dentists make their money from cavities, which come from not brushing or from brushing with lousy toothpaste. Wouldn't they be more likely to recommend a toothpaste likely to cause cavities, rather than prevent them?

SOME BOOKS I hope are never written:

My Roommate Holden, by Ward Stradlater. Borrowing a page from Tom Stoppard's "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead," the author tries to retell Salinger's Catcher in the Rye from a different standpoint. Stradlater explains that the reason Holden thinks everybody was a phony was because he was addicted to crack and suffered from severe paranoia.

The Idiot-Savant Handbook, by Ronald Patrick MacMurphy. In a few short pages (and huge bold type) the author explains how to remember what the weather was like every day for the last 100 years. My favorite, page 14: "May 27, 1932: It was cloudy." The book also explains how to remember what day of the week it was for every day of the last 500 years. For example, November 20, 1965 was a Saturday. The epilogue also tells you how to get on "60 Minutes" after memorizing the book.

My Life and Loves, by Andrea Dworkin. I don't even want to think about it.

Pretty Bright Lights, Medium Sized City, by some guy at college in Vermont. This book has already been hailed as "The Catcher in the Rye of the V-66 generation," by the New York Review of Books. That already makes it horrible. So does the fact that the plot centers around the wild times had by a 22-year-old drugstore worker in Bloomington, Minnesota. He is living a lie: a reckless addiction to his lifestyle of chewing tobacco all night long while partying at all the local Lions' Clubs.

Garfield Takes a Crap, by Jim Davis. The next in the seemingly never-ending series of books about cats, cartoon characters, things that eat a lot, or all of the above. In this novella, Garfield finally has to clean himself of all the food he has eaten over the last nine years. Scatological is the word for it.

The Undergraduate Council Subcomittee on Nose Picking's Annual Report on the Incidence of English-Speaking Among Undergraduate Roommates, By Brian R. Melendez '86. This 400-page volume may be somewhat dense, but the Council spent $9400 to have 6500 copies of it printed up and hand-delivered to every student on campus.

THIS IS the last "Stuff I Think" of this year. Come to think of it, this is the last "Stuff I Think" ever.

To those of you whom I offended in this column, I am sorry for offending you. To those of you who I did not offend, I am sorry for not offending you. And to those of you who have offended me, I hope you are forced to take Orgo as an elective, and for a grade.

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