Early Friday morning members of the Harvard Lampoon commenced a five-day isolation experiment scheduled to end this morning.
Editors of the Lampoon--a semi-secret Bow Street social society which occasionally publishes a so-called humor magazine--wrapped their "castle" in police tape and boarded up the entrance.
According to former Lampoon President and Crimson editor John Aboud III '95, the comedy devotees locked themselves inside the building and turned off the phones at the request of the magazine's incoming executive board.
"The new officers and some of their followers decided the best way to get into their new roles would be to exile themselves in the building," Aboud said.
Over the weekend, rumors surfaced that the sometime jesters planned to put together an entire magazine issue during their hiatus from the outside world.
In an interview conducted yesterday through a window in the Lampoon castle, staff writer Michael H. Schur '97 suggested that in fact two complete issues were produced. "They'll be ready tomorrow," he promised.
For the benefit of potentially-concerned friends, several members of the staff came to the window to offer assurances--saying there was no reason to fear for their physical or mental health during the confinement period.
The Poonsters said writer Jonathan D. Nelms '96 was feared to have gone insane two days into the exile, but that a subsequent period of solitary confinement in the bathroom seemed to have stabilized his condition.
And despite editors' efforts to stock up ahead of time, John J. Abbott '96 admitted that the food supply in the castle was dwindling.
"We're losing weight, but mainly to disprove that fat equals funny," said Abbott, offering the first of several clues that there might be more to the exile than might at first appear.
"We were sick of being oppressed by Harvard students, and I think we've sent a message," Abbott said.
The comedian was uncharacteristically serious as he voiced concerns about early admissions policies that target athletes and other talented students but, this year, failed to provide the class of 1999 with "one funny person."
Perhaps this fear for the future of their enterprise was best expressed by Lampoon member Rebecca R. Kirshner '96, who did not participate in the "Exile on Bow Street."
When asked to comment, Kirshner said, "The Lampoon is a state of mind; I am always in exile."