Over the years, our Quickies page has become a favorite among readers. These quick-hit blurbs highlight the bizarre, unbelieveable and downright dumb things that students and school official-types get themselves into on campuses across the country. Tickle your funny bone with these gems from the last decade.
U. of Iowa, 1996
An Iowa graduate from Hong Kong is suing the U.S. government for $100 million, claiming the feds are controlling his mind. In a writ filed with Hong Kong's High Court, Huang Siming alleges that the government inserted two mind-controlling devices in his teeth when he had dental work done in Iowa between 1988 and 1991. Siming, who graduated from Iowa in 1992 with a doctorate in business, says he's suffered from memory loss, sleeplessness and poor concentration since his stay in the States. He's suing for invasion of privacy, physical and mental damage, damage to his reputation and what he termed "intellectual property," because the government can steal whatever he's thinking. "It sounds like he is mentally disturbed," says Iowa dean William Hines. Ya think?
U. of Delaware, 1988
"...yes, that's right, we'll have it there in 30 minutes or less." No, we're not talking pizza. Prophylactics is more like it. Students and administrators alike gave Resident Student Association president Mike Cradler a good ribbing when he revealed his proposal for a 24-hour condom delivery service. It seems the higher-ups think there are other ways to practice safe sex that don't involve a school-sponsored hotline that takes condom orders at all hours of the day or night and delivers the goods within half an hour. The proposal was eventually shot down, but we have a bit of advice for Cradler: Transfer to the U. of Southern California. Their mascot? The Trojan.
Clark U., Mass., 1991
Cafeteria food sucks. It's always sucked and it will continue to suck for all time. But at Clark U., if your chunk of meatloaf surprise bites, you don't have to eat it. That's because officials are serving up a money-back guarantee on residence hall meals in an effort to dispel the notion that all college food is bad. It'll be a tough sell, but hey at least it's an idea you can sink your teeth into.
U. of Illinois, Chicago, 1992
UI art student Rudy Vargas has a real beef with the campus police. It all started after he spent three days sculpting 17 pounds of roast beef to look like a human head. Sound weird? Just wait it gets weirder. As if the head itself wasn't enough, he displayed it on a plate of lettuce and grapes as part of an art exhibit. The trouble came when he allegedly told some students that the sculpture was actually a stolen human head. Campus cops got suspicious and launched an investigation. The caper was eventually uncovered, but not before giving Vargas a real headache.
Vaults & Videotape
U. of Minnesota, 1993
Coaches are supposed to give their athletes pointers, but we don't think this is what they had in mind. A husband and wife gymnastics coaching team at the U. of Minnesota inadvertently spliced 20 minutes of their bedroom "acrobatics" into a reel of footage from a recent meet. The coaching couple gave the tape to gymnasts so they could study the Gopher "gymnastics" performances. And they did. All of them. School officials fired the couple, but scored them a perfect "10."
Humbolt State U., 1994
Budget cuts mean no thrifty idea is too crazy at Humboldt State U.'s Counseling and Psychological Services center. Facing a shrinking staff, they've offered students an alternative to one-on-one therapy a vacant office. They call it a relaxation room, and although you won't find any professional help there, it does include audio tapes, books, pamphlets, a bed and a recliner. Few students have visited the room, but, says Wellness Center Coordinator Helene Barney,"We're working on expanding the tape selection."
Harvard U., 1995
Is that a cucumber in your pocket, or are you just happy to be at the Take Back the Penis Rally? Author Rich Zubaty was excited to see a large turnout at his pee-pee power rally in Harvard Square, where he and fellow members of Mentor, a national men's organization that advocates masculinity, handed out cucumbers to celebrate the aforementioned organ. Zubaty swears the anti-male propaganda rally started out as a spoof, but we think it's a mighty strange coinky-dink that that he was simultaneously promoting his penetrating new book on the frauds of feminism. Wonder if he was up for a battle with feminists?
Rochester Institute of Technology, 1995
After years and years of extensive research, the work of three RIT engineering students came to a head. The trio has invented a keg tap that will tell even the drunkest reader how much beer is left in the barrel. The hallmark of the new tap design is that it doesn't increase the foam quotient of the outcoming beverage. "There is just no other way to tell how much beer is left," explains co-creator Dave Kneale. Finally, an answer to one of this country's greatest riddles. Next up for these modern-day Edisons? They're currently working on a project to determine how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Roll Pop.
Columbia U., 1996
Urban myth or true story? You decide. Three students at Columbia fail to show up for a final exam. When they do finally surface, they tell their professor that they had a flat tire on the way and couldn't repair it in time. The professor agrees to let them take a revised version of the final a one-question test. The students spend the next week poring over notes, studying their little hearts out. They arrive fully prepared for the final and discover the one question they weren't expecting: "Which tire?" All of them failed.
U. of Notre Dame, 1996
What better way to show support for your favorite team than to get a tattoo of its insignia on your shoulder? That's what 22-year-old Notre Dame nut Dan O'Connor thought as he went to get the school's feisty leprechaun and the words "Fighting Irish" forever emblazoned on his flesh. One problem: The tattooer spelled the word "Fighting" without the "t." O'Connor has since filed a lawsuit, claiming, "I don't have to stand for this shi."
Yale U., 1996
There's nothing like a deep, dark basement to give you the heebie-jeebies. Just ask Yalie Christopher Wahl, who found more than 2,000 human brains in his dorm sub-basement. Yeah, yeah, it sounds like just another low-budget horror flick. But the brains packed in jars of formaldehyde turned out to be a real brainstorm. The remains are actually the lost research of Dr. Harvey Cushing, the world's first neurosurgeon. Yet another absent-minded professor.
Vault of Cash
U. of Arizona, 1997
Can't we all just get it on? Not if 90-year-old Sally Keith has her way. Keith, an Arizona alumna, is giving the university $250,000 for scholarships but she wants them to go only to women who are virgins. The university is understandably iffy about Keith's requirements. Frank Felix, director of scholarship development, says he opposes the sex stipulation because it's not the university's place to dictate morals. But Keith is determined. She says, "If I could find one girl ... and influence her to look ahead ... rather than get involved in a pregnancy, that would be something wonderful." But even if the university agrees to her conditions, one important question remains: How exactly would they determine if the student is a virgin?
U. of Texas, Austin, 1997
Things are out of control on the comics page of The Daily Texan. Ever since the paper ran senior Tim Beynart's comic, "Nutty: The Kitten With Testicles for Legs" (it's exactly what it sounds like), the paper has received a flood of letters to the editor from outraged readers. Some see the humor as a front for the Communist Party; others find it downright disgusting. In protest, one student decided to leave it to beaver and submitted her own comic strip, "Beaver: The Walking Vagina." What ever happened to Garfield and Marmaduke?
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