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Joe's phone rings.
"Is Joe there?" a nauseatingly friendly but totally unfamiliar voice inquires.
"This is Joe."
"Jooooe! Duuuude! Howya dooooin?" Joe is not doing so well. Joe has a 12-page paper due in 12 hours. Interruptions disturb Joe's meticulously scheduled page-per-hour ratio.
"Who is this?"
"Jooooe! My maaaaan! Joeeeey! Howya beeeen?" Joe has been better. Joe's roommate just declared his common room the official headquarters of the Killing People Revolutionary Front. Joe's significant other just told him she'd rather be a plain old other. The cheesy garden casserole Joe scarfed down at lunch just returned to say hellow.
"Who is this?"
"Joe, I'm hurt. You don't know who this is?" Joe does not know who this is. Unless this is the Widener bureaucrat Joe called for an explanation of the mysterious $193.67 library fine on his term bill, Joe does not want to know who this is.
"Uh, no. Not really,"
"Duuuude! it's BRUNO!" This information seems to excite Bruno, but it gets Joe no closer to completing his cutting-edge exegesis on 14th-century Ukrainian dental hygiene.
"Is this some kind of a prank? Bruno who?"
"Come on, Joe baby! it's your good ol' buddy Bruno Bostrello!" Joe has not seen this good ol' buddy since Bruno was left back in third grade. This good ol' buddy used of stuff Play-Doh down Joe's throat in kindergarten. Joe never really considered this good ol' buddy a good ol' buddy.
"What do you want?"
"Jooooe! Duuuude! This weekend's the Head! You got room for me, right?"
Joe has no room for Bruno. That doesn't matter. Bruno will end up crashing in Joe's common room, much to the chagrin of Joe, his roommate and the 67 other good ol' buddies sprawled on the Revolutionary Front floor.
Welcome to the Head, Joe. Your college town will host 250,000 drunken underage visitors this weekend. And just think-any one of them could barf on your Oriental rug before the weekend is over.
Joe will witness strange things during these maniacal days. He will be asked to show his ID to get into the Yard. He will attend a Dartmouth party in Leverett House. He will see thousands of allegedly hip weekend funseekers with nothing better to do than watch an endless stream of grunting crewbies row, row, row their boats gently down the river. He will see trashed teenagers wearing sweatshirts advertising every college and prep school in the Western Hemisphere.
Here are some Head Facts for Joe to ponder:
.When asked to identify a "crew," 73 percent of the 1989 Head's spectators pointed towards Ol' Man Charles River. 12 percent pointed to their ROTC hairdos. 8 percent mumbled indistinct Motley Crue lyrics. The rest belched or passed out.
.According to Cambridge Penal Statute 6ZV-3.2, the use of "Head" in a pun during Head of the Charles weekend constitutes a felony. Miscreants caught bantering about Head aches, Head starts or Head cases all face 60 day jail sentences. The sale of T-shirts invoking unsubtle Head sexual innuendo is punishable by death.
.If Joe had poured all the beer consumed at last year's Head into the Atlantic Ocean, sloshed fish would have floated to the surface wearing lampshades and singing "Great Balls o' Fire."
(Editor's note: The Committee for Balanced Journalism would like to interrupt this flagrantly biased blather to present the alternative opinion of the Metropolitan District Commission, which organizes the Head. According to MDC spokesperson Peter LaPorte, "The Head has become more of a family event." We now return you to our regularly scheduled diatribe.)
How wholesome. If you'd like to congratulate Mr. LaPorte on his insight, he'll be near the BU Bridge pumping kegs with his kids.
No, just kidding! The good folks at MDC and Harvard want you to know that this year, there will be No Underage Drinking at the Head! There are Laws to Uphold! And an Alcohol Policy! So let's come together for some Good Clean Sober American Fun!
Of course, even the most abstemious Headgoers get thirsty. Never fear. There's a big bash in Joe's room Saturday night. You're all invited. Say Bruno sent you.
This piece originally ran in the 1990 Head of the Charles Supplement and has been updated slightly for this issue.
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