Saturday, January 29, 2011


At MIT, anyone under the age of 18 who showed up on the campus was obviously up to no good. First of all, they were usually Cambridge residents, and we didn't trust the locals (one of the thursday staffers had been mugged on the Student Center steps by one). Second, the Student Center was not only a good place to hang out, drink coffee and play ping-pong, but it was conveniently right off of Mass. Ave., and the bus stopped right there. We had a name for the unwelcome visitors from Cambridge - urchins.

Stanford had its own breed of urchins. These were Paly High students (students from Palo Alto High School) who showed up at the campus parties. They were either looking for alcohol, or (in the case of the underage teenage girls) Stanford men. I dare say a few even found what they were looking for.

A couple of incidentals: the bald-headed dude with the flower is something you no longer see at airports. For one thing, 9-11 occurred, which made it difficult for anyone to hang out at the airport without arousing suspicion. Secondly, the Hari Krishnas had lost a court case in Los Angeles, which allowed every airport in the country to deny them access unless they had a permit. Until then, airports had been a free-for-all between the Hari Krishnas with their books, the Scientologists with their pseudo-scientific psychoanalyses and the LaRouchebags with their beam weapons. Now, airports belong to L.L. Bean, TGI Friday's and Borders.

And the fellow from Harvard is one of the few African Americans ever seen in Stickles. It wasn't discrimination; I just had trouble drawing a dark face. Garry Trudeau was able to get around the problem by using Zip-a-tone, but I didn't have the patience to cut and paste. Which is too bad - I would have liked to incorporate some characters from Chocolate City.

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