And Now for Something Completely Different (2nd installment for 3/24/20)

There used to be a saying that yesterday’s newspapers are only good for wrapping fish.

As I pick out my Facebook entries from the last week and a half I realize that some
of what I said is already woefully out of date. There used to be a saying that
yesterday’s newspapers are only good for wrapping fish. But since fresh fish is in
short supply, I’m doing you a favor by putting up more than one entry as I play
catch-up ball with each blog before it becomes bling.

DEW 3/16/20

When I was in college I had a friend named Bob Flug. He was about six-foot-seven, and when I was moving into Houston Hall freshman year, he helped me by carrying a trunk single-handedly up three flights of stairs to my room. He had about a dozen phones in his room that would all ring when he was getting a call. In the second issue of Eritas, our school humor magazine, we put a picture of him on the cover showing a big bulge in his belly with the headline, “How I beat the draft.”

He was in a creative writing class with me and wrote a story about a poor family that insulated their trailer with rolls of toilet paper to protect against the cold. Problem was, as the winter progressed they used the toilet paper for its designated purpose and froze to death.

Just saying.

On a happier note, both my sons have called me to see how I’m doing. Remember Harry Chapin’s song about ignoring his kids and then when they grew up they were too busy to talk to him? Thank you, David and Michael, for calling me. I love you and admire your contributions to society.

DEW 3/15/20

When I was in college, Rounder Records founder Bill Nowlin and I founded the ATGA: American Tissue Games Association, dedicated to contests to see how fast we could unroll a single-ply, 1000-sheet roll of TP. Our slogan was Eugalp cinobub eht troppus. (“Support the bubonic plague.” spelled backwards.) We were 54 years prescient.

Scott Paper Company donated a huge box of 1000 rolls to the cause, and after each tournament we’d throw the effluvia out the window of Miller Hall (the highest spot on the hill that was Tufts University) until streamers fluttered from every tree on campus.

We played other colleges and had a gold toilet on which sat the reigning toilet queen, and we carried a banner that screamed “Wipe out Wellesley.”

The Tufts University Library refused to accept a gift of an entire box of Scott single-ply, but Newsweek ran an article with the headline “Silly Seasons” in the same issue with the Beatles on the cover.

I’ll bet Tufts is sorry they didn’t take our generous offer now. Give things another week and I’ll bet that box would be worth the endowment of an entire empty sports complex.

 *Feature image David Wilcock

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