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Why Life Is a Scam

By Baratunde R. Thurston

It's me again your loyal truth-teller, and I have some heavy news to drop on you folks today, so prepare yourselves.

Life is a scam.

Now before you write me off as just another insane Harvard kid who was accepted simply for his ability to prove Fermat's last theorem backwards in tongues, hear me out.

It's all a lie!! I can't take it anymore! The 1 a.m. party curfew, the no-fly zone, the Teletubbies, ahhhh!!!!

Sorry, had to get that out.

Seriously, if life is, in large part, the sum of our experiences and language, then we are in trouble. hereby present a list of scammage. See if you agree with my judgments.

Item one: ice in restaurant drinks.

Verdict: scam!

Those of you familiar with the movie "Reservoir Dogs" (which should be everyone since you all have that stupid poster with the triangular standoff on your walls) will remember the oft-cited restaurant scene in which Mr. Pink reveals his disdain for tipping. He hates it. I too have a restaurant peeve: ice in the drinks.

We've all noticed it. When you order alcohol, you get a pure full glass. That's because alcohol is poison and kills you. When you order soda (not "pop" you midwestern freaks), you get a pure full glass. That's because soda is glorified sugar water blended with dye #735a, also known as poison which kills you.

But order somethings non-lethal like juice, and what lands on your table is an iceberg in a cup with a shot of Sunny Delight.

Once at a restaurant, I thought I'd outsmart the staff and request no ice. The waitress asked me if I wanted her just to bring out the bottle. I leaped at the chance, and was flim-flammed again. The "bottle" was a Lilliputian eight ounces!

Item two: daylight savings time.

Verdict: scamboni.

"Spring forward, fall back." We've been programmed blindly to go along with this jingle since birth. Just who are we saving it for? I'll tell you who. It's that stinkin Slobodan Milosevic and the bourgeois oppressive regime that is the McDonald's Corporation. Stupid "happy" meals are ruining the country.

It doesn't save time, it wastes it. We have one less hour to write that paper or sleep or knock down little children. Oh, the horror!

Item three: Tae Bo.

Verdict: scamborama.

"Created" by a man named Billy Blanks, tae-bo has infomercials rivaling the biggest scam of all : political campaign commercials.

What sounds like a toilet cleaner, tae-bo is a martial arts aerobic hybrid workout sweeping the country and has even spawned copycat scam workout Tai-Fit.

IF you want martial arts, learn tae kwan do. If you want aerobics, look for a book in Widener 10 minutes before closing. If you want toilet cleaner, enslave children.

Item four: Slobodan Milosevic.

Verdict: scamalicious.

Just what is a Slobodan Milosevic? If we believe the mainstream press, "he" is the president of Yugoslavia and is responsible for the deaths and displacement of many Albanians.

But the name sounds like some sort of medical condition involving drooling. Example: "Stay away from that dude. He's got Slobodan Milosevic." Or:

"Now class, everyone be nice to our new special student, Agnok. Agnok is suffering from a rare salivary disorder known as Slobodan Milosevic."

Item five: ethnic cleansing.

Verdict: scamola!

It's a shame when language is manipulated and abused by those with an audience. Ethnic cleansing is just that.

Rather than say it's the destruction of a people by murder, forced migration and contamination with salivary disorders, news people like to say "ethnic cleansing" nowadays.

In reality it is an offensive marketing campaign by the Ivory Soap people. Commercial example:

"Sick of those dirty 'ethnic' people next door? Wish you could do something to clean them up? Well, we've got the solution: ethnic cleansing. Finally, a Hygiene for entire people, brought to you by Ivory Soap."

Item six: Harvard.

Verdict: major scammage.

Plenty of sunshine lengthy Spring Break, thriving social life, wonderful thesis advisers, hapnin' student center just disciplinary process, diverse faculty, great food, urine-free statues, efficient student government, well-treated security guards, great counseling and all at a low low cost!

Wait, that's the Crimson Key remix.

Thanks to Oakland Z, the Cape Cod Connection and again to the International Woman of Mystery.

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