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The 432 Nov 27, 1996

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Array "The easiest way to make a fruitcake is to buy a darkish cake, then pound some old, hard fruit into it with a mallet Be sure to wear safety glasses." ~ Dave Barry
40,000 Elves to Lose Jobs
to Automation!
Economic hardship forces toy workship closure!
Irma Gobb & Al Q. Fibble
North Pole Correspondents
In an unprecedented press
release today from the Santa
Corporation, it was announced that over 40,000 elves
would lose their jobs as part of a
downsizing maneuver.
Economic hardships have
plagued the goodwill corporation ever since the recession
started in the late 1980's.
Nmbwwous bailout attempts
from the Federal Government
failed to pull the company from
the brink of bankruptcy.
Ministry of Finance representative Alec Dole remarked "The
Canadian Government no
longer feels that a North Pole
Bailout Fund is economically
viable."
Citing several extensive financial studies conducted .by the
Ministry of Finance since 1992,
Dole continued "As you can see,
Canada has yet to see any measurable return from the 30 million dollars we're already
investing in Mr. Klaus. The government has given enough
already. If the Santa
Corporation wishes to see the
21st century, it will have to do
so under it's own power."
Translated into English, this
means drastic money saving
cuts by the corporation. Santa
Corporation spokesman Harvey
Inglewood claims "We must cut
over a billion dollars from our
annual operating budget if we
wish to stay afloat. This means a
10% pay cut and reduction in
benefit packages for our full
time employees and a cut back
in services world wide. We may
even be forced to sell off parts of
the company to "earn enough
capital to pay taxes this year."
The Santa Corporation
Downsizing Team, headed by
Inglewood, have already
entered into negotiations with
several major companies for a
proposed sale of the legendary
nine reindeer.
"Let's face it. The number of
children in the world exceeded
the capabilities of a reindeer
based delivery scheme in the
early sixties. We've been using
box trucks and DC-10s ever
since. Blitzen and gang have
only been useful for positive PR
in malls, and most kids can't
tell the difference between the
genuine article and a stuffed
doll, anyway."
When questioned about
potential buyers for the mythical livestock, Inglewood stated
"I can't name names, but a
prominent Canadian airline has
expressed interest in them as a
low budget alternative to passenger planes, let's just say that
it's not Air Canada. And a major
fast food company is interested
in marketing a line of Tow fat
McRudolph burgers."
Apparently, the Corporation is
also .looking into extensive
mechanization in order to
relieve pressure from the never
profitable toy workshop.
Utilizing equipment from
Hitachi and IBM, the Santa
Corporation expects to save
$250 Million per annum in
operating costs.
Inglewood explains "You see,
previously we used our work
force of 40,000 elves to get the
job done. And while we didn't
have to pay them, we did have
to feed them. They're voracious
buggers, each one will consume
over five times it's body weight
for every 20 hour shift worked.
It's just not cost effective. We
tried not feeding them once,
and that's why there's only
40,000 now."
Taking advantage of a recent
supreme court ruling that elves
were in fact mythical beings,
and therefore not entitled to
the benefits of human rights,
Inglewood announced a plan
whereby the 40,000 elves would
be "axed" in an attempt to maximize profits.
"We don't know what we're
going to do with them, yet. But
as long as they're eating, they^re
a liability. At first we thought
that we'd start feeding them to
each other, but accounting
quickly pointed out that the
elves would consume themselves completely in just over
40 hours. Another solution is
needed. Perhaps we'll market
them as pets."
It is speculated that only
strong leadership can save the
corporation and any hopes for
Christmas much past the year
2000. But evidently, this leadership has not been forthcoming.
The North Pole community
was rocked this summer following reports that marital relations between Mr. and Mrs.
Klaus were on an unsteady footing, a rumor that was fueled by
a set of leaked photographs
involving a spandex-clad Santa
bathing with Kathleen Sullivan
in a hot tub filled with warm
Jello.
An informant close to the family stated that Santa had started
to "hit the bottle pretty bad"
after a disastrous first quarterly
report predicted financial doom
for the company that he founded nearly a century ago.
The reports of Santa's alcoholism were reinforced Tuesday
during a practice sleigh run
when a "near miss" with a
Flying Tyger Airlines 747
claimed the life of Rudolph and
forced Santa to ditch the sleigh
in a nearby glacier field.
Emergency officials, who were
the first to arrive on the scene,
noted that the famed jolly man
was covered in the "stench of
cheap brandy."
Santa Klaus himself was
unavailable to comment, but
his Public Relations Manager,
Sam Allen denied all the allegations, stating that alcohol was
not "a contributing factor" to
the accident and that the Santa
Corporation is looking into the
possibility of a lawsuit against
the airline in question.
The Corporation recently
released a statement advising
children worldwide to not
despair, as Christmas would
surely continue as scheduled for
the foreseeable future. Parents,
however, are advised to leave
out a snippet of sherry with the
standard plate of cookies and to
also lock liquor cabinets on
Christmas Eve, just to be on the
safe side.
Merry Christmas everyone.
"Elves... I ordered elves. E-L-V-E-S."
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27 November 1996
Einstein.
Jake the Genius
Really smart columnist
Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to be Einstein. How
would it feel to have people staring at you as you walk down
the street and not just because you have some whacked out
cool hairdo, no, they're staring at you because they're thinking
"Hey there goes Einstein, he's really really really really smart duh
huh." I'm wondering about this because I've come to the startling,
mind popping, eye opening, conclusion that most people just
aren't all that bright.
This conclusion came to me in a moment of enlightenment, you
know when the light bulb that's continually hanging above your
head goes "bing" and everything seems so much clearer. I was
watching a movie called The Specialist and realized that this movie
is geared towards people of obviously substandard intelligence.
Then I realized, that to the vast majority of people in North
America this film probably seemed just really neato and "peachy".
I think that if one were so inclined one could set forth to make the
stupidest, most asinine, moronic film ever made, it would in all
likelihood be an absolute smash hit. Oh sorry, I guess they already
made Dumb and Dumber.
Now I don't want to hurt any body's feelings, actually I couldn't
give a rat's ass if I hurt any body's feelings, but it was a nice gesture,
in fact I actually enjoyed dumb and dumber. I guess it was kind of
funny to think of how stupid could people actually be, but I think
a lot of so called "normal" people would end up in the same situation given the proper means.
Getting back to Einstein, I'd just like to say right now that I'm not
trying to convey the idea that I am an Einsteinesque personage, I'd
just like to say that out here at university, conversation tends to be
a tad bit more interesting than out with the commoners. I also
don't want to come across as an elitist, it's just I think we're better
than everyone else. Wait a second, that doesn't sound to good. Oh
well, it's not elitist if none of the peons read it.
That brings me right to the topic of leather. Well OK it doesn't, but
I'm tired of the last topic so I'll just move right along. Anyhoo> is
it OK to wear leather garments? It's quite a difficult topic when you
think about it. I mean, one minute there's this big stinky beast
walking around munching on it's own puke and farting, and then
the next there's an absolutely fabulous carcoat and matching set of
gloves and boots. Where's the problem with that? It's not like cows
wouldn't be extinct if wasn't for domestication:-Face it, -Cows are
just plain dumb. No two bones about it. Dumb as a post. Stupid is
as stupid does and I've seen a cow roll over and get stuck.
This all brings me back to the original idea. Why isn't there some
sort of state funded program to deal with all of the less gifted? Now,
they shouldn't be chopped and made into clothing, unless it's really really really cool clothes and somehow I just can't see a genuine
Dan Quayle coat being all that cool. No, they should just be put to
some sort of good, use, the dumb people, I mean.
It's kind of funny, the more you think every body is a little slow,
the more stupid things you see people do. Seriously, I suggest taking on the attitude that you, yes you, are smarter than every single
person you have ever met. It's really quite a gratifying experience.
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"Whoa... check out the carrot on that guy!
Smile as you run
the tourists over.
Leslie Gold
Quebecois correspondent
After four years of living in
BC I continue to be
struck, each time I cross
the road, at how considerate
Vancouver drivers are. Okay,
maybe struck is a bad choice of
words, but the level of respect
for human life here is overwhelming. In Vancouver, if one
so much looks at the street,
even with no intersection anywhere in sight, cars seem to
come to screeching halt.
Vancouver drivers seem to be
willing to cause 20 car pile-ups
in order to ease the passage of a
lone pedestrian. Where I'm
from pedestrians are the equivalent of the first deer sighted on
the opening day of hunting season.
In Montreal one can't help but
wonder why there are ominous
signs above the traffic lights at
intersections which read: 'Wait
for the green.' One would think
that the presence of a red light
would be a sufficient deterrent
to forward movement. Sadly, in
Quebec the subtleties of the red
light are lost on the drivers and
the only real deterrent to forward movement aire physical
objects; large, heavy physical
objects; physical objects large
arid heavy enough that driving
through "them would cause
more damage to the car than
the car is worth.
Quebec certainly is a distinct
society, it can boast of being the
only province in Canada in
which right turns on red lights
are not allowed. Elsewhere people have realized that the right
hand turn on red lights, if done
right, is actually fairly practical
as long as people stop, have a
quick peek to see if there is, say,
a cement truck, occupying the
lane into which they are
attempting to turn, before they
dash out. The general consensus
is that in Quebec, the whole
stopping and looking part of
the process would generally be
skipped over, and that stop on
red and go on green is about as
much information as Quebecers
can process in the amount of
time available at the average
intersection.
For my driving test, which I
took in Montreal, I managed
within half an hour to run a
stop sign, turn right into a parking lot from the third lane over
on a four lane one-way street
and hit the car behind me (well
it was really more of a friendly
nudge) during my attempt to
parallel park. I'm sure that I distinctly heard my examiner mutter "yeah, she'll fit right in" as
she signed the back of my new
license.
In fact the only group that is
moreTncrinsiderate ancfccjueless
than;;dfivefs "in M6nǤa#are
pedestrians. There isno rhyme
or reason to crossing the street
in Montreal. Wherever and
whenever is the most convenient seems to be the governing
principle. The City of Montreal
is currently spending tens of
thousands of dollars on an anti-
jay-walking campaign. The billboards which have sprouted up
all over the city show a mother
dragging a reluctant child
across the street against a red
light. The child with sweet
innocence asks "Mom, why are
we crossing the street on a red
light." The billboards do not
advertise the mother's reply
which undoubtedly involves
an expletive as well as the
observation that it's 20 below
outside.
I have to wonder if the anti-
jay-walking campaign will be
any more successful than the
last campaign initiated by the
City of Montreal. In that campaign hundreds of thousands of
dollars were spent on billboards
which read (in French): "Come
on Montrealers, smile at the
tourists, say to them: Hello!". If
I landed in a strange city and I
saw signs instructing people to
be friendly to me plastered
everywhere, my first instinct
would be to leave. And if those
signs didn't get me turned
around and headed home, than
the ones instructing people to
wait for the green light proba-
Editorial.
A
h, the last issue of the
year. I've been waiting for
this for soooo long.
Months of hard work and the
only satisfaction I get is the
knowledge that thousands of
adoring fans are out there waiting to give me and my staff
loads of great stuff for
Christmas. Right? Right? Is this
thing on?
Okay, maybe not great stuff.
How about somewhat mediocre
stuff? Can you swing that?
While you're think about what
to give us, go ahead and read
this paper.
I decide to get mythical, Jer
finally makes it to Russia and
Phil flies off on yet another tangential rant, seemingly about
nothing.
Speaking of tangents, recently,
the AMS released their long
awaited Tangent Magazine.
With a production tag in the
thousands and an estimate
readership in the dozens, I
would like to be one of the first
to officially label it as a colossal
waste of money. But I can't do
that. People wishing to label it a
waste of money are having to
line up these days.
And to add insult to really bad
publication, they insisted upon
calling The 432 a serious newspaper. And I quote "They
[Campus Newspapers, including The 432] are all newspa
pers... Newspapers have their
own agenda, which is to report
regularly on current topics and
act as a watchdog to university
affairs."
Ahem. Huh? Watchdog? L7s? I
take great insult at the insinuation that The 432 is even
remotely involved in something serious.
Besides, we never, ever watch
dogs. Except for Jer, he likes it
when dogs have sex on his lawn
in Thunderbird, but' he's kinda
weird, anyways.
Right. Back to you guys giving
us presents. The first person
through the doors of SUS bearing gifts will win my eternal
admiration, if not the beer in
my hand.
Until the Superlssue next year,
CYA !
lolly Old St. Nick
John "Jolly" Hallett
(p.bble@unixg.ubc.ca)
Naughty         .
VOLUME TEH ISSUE SEVEN
27 NOVEMBER 1996
Mikey Boetzkes, Phil Ledwith,
Jeremy Thorp
Elven Scribes	
College Printers, Vancouver, BC
Nice
Bella Carvalho, Leslie Gold,
Jake Gray, Kathy Lo, Tracy
MacKinnon,  Blair McDonald,
Jason Robillo, Sabeena Sidhu,
Matt Wiggin, Warrick Yu
Elven workers contract
The 432 will bring you presents
in the middle of the night by
sneaking into your house. The
identity of the presents cannot
be revealed at this time but will
most likely contain latex of
some kind. The 432 is also the
official publication of the
Science Undergraduate Society.
It  is  printed twice monthly
from our secret workshop
beneath the Chemistry
Building.
All- views expressed are strictly
those of the individual writers.
If you wish to take legal action
against them, be reminded that
they are fictional and don't
actually exist. All rights
reserved The 432 1996
Writers and columnists from all
faculties are encouraged to submit material to The 432.
Submissions  must  meet  the
strict deadline requirements
and should not exceed 700
words in length. All submissions must make the editor
chuckle at least thrice and have
your real name attached (legal
stuff) before being printed.
The 432's official opinion on
the Santa Claus debate is that
he does exist and is, in fact, living in our basement with Elvis
and Salman Rushdie. 27 November 1996
The Four Thirty Two
j.
You are
what you eat.
After the ability to reproduce, evolution's highest
priority seems (to me,
anyway,) to be the ability to get
food. If you're a tree, food is air
and dirt. If you're a piranha,
your food is the unlucky cow
that is swimming in the river'.
If you're a person, the list of
who's edible and who isn't
becomes a little more blurry.
Since we are sentient beings,
does that oblige us to not eat
other beings? Since I switched
to animal friendly eating habits
two weeks ago, I've been wondering whether I did the right
thing, mostly since if I'm not,
then I really want a good burger
on a lightly toasted, fresh baked
kaiser bun, and a really thick
patty that has been barbequed
until the outside is just about
crunchy, and the inside is still
nice and juicy... but I'm getting
off topic here.
Why in the world did I ever go
vegetarian? Well, the biggest
reason was my vegetarian
roommate. She certainly didn't
make me feel self conscious
about my eating habits. It was
the animal sounds that she
insisted on making every time I
started cooking. Social change
by annoying the hell out of the
people around you. I also did it
so I could gloat. She still eats
fish (which, last I checked, was
neither mineral or vegetable) so
as soon as I figure out what
noise a tuna makes, retribution
will begin.
The second reason is environmental. It takes a lot of energy
to make a cow. By eliminating
the middlecow, I'm being a lot
more efficient in my eating
habits.
The third reason is animal
rights. The old argument of "if
it can think, don't kill it." This
one is giving me a little more
trouble, since I'm not exactly
sure what I would or wouldn't
be allowed to eat. It's accepted
that plants are allowed, because
we've gotta eat something, and
plants don't know the difference anyway. Nobody has come
out demanding fairer treatment
for carrots. Consider the amoebae, then. Single celled organism. Way simpler than plants.
Therefore, it's okay to eat, right?
But amoebas belong to the class
Animalia, so just being an ani-
Graduation ceremonies are slated to move to
the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts for
Convocation 1997, next May. What does this
mean to students?
■1. All graduates are guaranteed a minimum of
four (4) tickets.
2. Additional tickets (those from students who
choose not to attend—approximately 20% of
eligible tickets) will be available on a first come,
first serve basis. Students can request up to an
additional four tickets.
3. However, ensuring students can bring their
guests is of great concern. Therefore, a letter has
een sent to Chuck Slonecker, UBC Director of
Ceremonies, requesting that plans be made to
add additional ceremonies as necessary if students
require additional guests.
4. SUS supports the move to the Chan Centre
because it means the ceremonies will be shorter,
and take place in a brand-new theatre instead
of an older gymnasium. We hope science students
will take advantage of the phone poll to express
their opinion.
5. Contact Blair McDonald at SUS (822-4235,
Chem B160) if you have any concerns or
questions on this matter.
mal doesn't mean I can't eat it.
So what about bugs? Bugs have
brains, but they're realllly stupid. For that matter, what about
cows? I've worked with cattle
before, and when you gaze into
those beautiful, big brown eyes,
you realize there's really
nobody in there. Attempts to
organize an escape (or even to
step over that electric wire that
passes for a fence) are way,bit
beyond cow level reasoning. For
that matter, so is walking across
the pasture without having the
rest of the herd to help with
such an important decision.
Besides, I'm an omnivore.
That's why, evolution has given
me these nice pointy incisors
which are absolutely useless for
grinding plant matter. Nobody
gets on sharks' cases for eating
other fish. It's just accepted that
if you're a, lion, people don't
give two hoots what you eat, so
long as it isn't them. And the
argument that "lions don't
know blah bjah" only works if
cows are dumb enough to eat.
Lions are a lot smarter than
cows. Screw it. I'm going to
sneak out for a burger. And
when I get back, I'm going to
make fun of my roommate for
eating the poor, helpless fish.
t I didn't even know cows
could swim, but tKe^ must be
able to, since every time anyone
quotes the speed with which
piranhas eat, the unit they use
is time per cow consumed.
PschoNet
While searching the Internet
for fun and exciting quotes
for the paper, we came
across the following:
Cynicism   (adj.):  is  a
label placed on those who
have a heightened sense of
what is really going on
around them.
~ Nick Johnson
Our friend Nick then proceeded on a exhaustive and
sometimes offensive rant
about him, his life, how he is
completely right about everything and how everyone else
can just f*ck right off.
If you wish to visit our good
and somewhat mentally
unstable friend Nick, do so
at:
http://www.gulf.net/~spat-
ula/profile.html
or you could just write for
The 432.
The Dead
Pool update.
The snow is falling, the
sleigh bells are ringing,
and the the grim reaper's
gonna be busier than ever this
season. We've had two near hits
on the deadpool this fortnight:
Tiny Tim went in for an onstage heart attack, and Claudia
Liz (the Brazilian super model
who is just obsessed about being
insanely thin) went in for her
latest liposuction treatment and
slipped into a coma.
Remember, folks, Christmas is
the time of year when suicides
just go right up, so anyone with
people like Courtney Love or
Spock or people like that should
be watching the news avidly.
Apart from those few words,
I've really nothing to report for
this week's deadpool: Nobody's
screaming forward with amazing points totals, and there's
not much else to report. You'll
be at a disadvantage now, but
I'm still taking new entries, and
there's still that bonus prize
waiting for the coolest prediction involving a death.
Now go and do some vaguely
Christmassy thing with snow.
I've got exams to write.
If only...
Sabeena Sidhu
Columnist
Someone at The 432 wanted me to write about snow. Personally,
I don't know how anyone can think of a more lame subject,
but I'll humor him. (Hehhhhh... -ed.) OK. Sure. Let's talk about
snow.
It's white, it falls from the sky, and it makes you look like you have
massive dandruff when you walk into class and you sit in front of
this total babe who now thinks that you don't wash your hair and
you turn and smile at him but he looks away in disgust so you
scratch your head thinking, "what happened?" and this big glob of
snow is in your hand and you realize that the total babe thinks you
haven't bathed in; months when; you actually washed with Head
and Shoulders this morning? Ahhhhhhhhh!
Snow is evil! Instead of water, why can't snow be made of chocolate? I would dance in my underwear if it snowed chocolate. I
would also move to Edmonton where it snows ten feet and dance
in my underwear.
Women would be the happiest people on earth during the winter.
Granted, we would all become fat and bloated, but guys wouldn't
have to listen to us complain in the winter. Just go outside, take a
handful of snow from the ground (make sure there are no traces of
yellow) and shove it in your lady's mouth. Problem solved! She'll
forget about whatever it was that you were wrong about and continue on with her happy life. La la la la	
Why stop at snow? Why not make everything chocolate?
Chocolate cars, chocolate pens (now there's an idea!), chocolate
moose, chocolate chip I'm starting to sound like that cheese
guy! Then I would dance in my chocolate underwear.
If it snowed chocolate, you wouldn't have to worry about looking
like you have dandruff either. It would blend in with your hair,
unless of course you're blonde - then it'll look like you have cooties
and absolutely NO ONE will want to go out on a date with you. I'm
a brunette, so chocolate snow is good for me!!!
Come on..;... maybe if we all wish really hard?
British Comedy Night!
featuring your favorites from jolly ole!
Where: CHEM B160 (SUS)
When: Friday, January
10th, 5:30pm
Detalls:Free pizza and
pop!
Brought to you by the ever
friendly Science First Year
Committee. <
t^m:
27 November 1996
Burning mistletoe.
B
efore I start, I want to talk
to you about the Oak
Street lake.
Even before I came out to
Vancouver, I knew about the
rain. People had warned me.
When the natural wonders of
the world were mentioned, they
went something like this: "pyramids, hanging gardens,
Stonehenge, Vancouver rain." I
would sit there looking at these
charts with big blue columns in
them and imagine what it must
be like to live there. I would pity
the poor hapless individuals
forced to endure such endless
misery, likening them in my
mind to torture camp victims,
or poor peasant farmers sold
into slavery before the dawn of
technology, or people who lived
in Scotland. How little I knew.
Rain, it turns out, can be beautiful. Rain can do things other
types of weather don't automatically have the ability to do,
such as (to take a completely
random example) stop traffic.
And so it was that I stepped
down from the number 41 bus
in the pouring rain on a dark
and Tuesday night to discover
that I was walking the rest of
the way home, well, unless I felt
like growing gills.
I looked down 41st avenue
towards the gas station, and all
I could see was the moonlight
glistening off the water. Oh,
and some ripples. Actually,
maybe a few waves as well, now
that I think of it. Oh, and a
small Portuguese trawler, a not
so small Russian whaling vessel,
and a spout emanating from the
water hole of the great white
whale as it passed on it's way
back to the murky depths where
no doubt the Leviathan also
was lurking away happily. You
think I exaggerate? You didn't
see it. People were drowning in
this inky soup. Cars had stalled
trying to navigate through this
ocean in the making, I could
still see the drivers desperately
paddling their way to shore in
what seemed at the the time a
pointless, bizarre Kevin Costner
sort of way (seen Waterworld?
'nuff said). Major tributaries
could be found as far south as
46th and Oak, where an ad hoc
rescue committee were busy
handing out life jackets to those
who looked as though their
small size might hamper their
ability to get home safely.
I've never had so much fun
walking - or should I say wading
- home. Before I leave this subject completely for something a
little more topical, I'd like to say
a big thank you to Rachael the
linguist, whose name I have just
discovered   I    cannot   spell.
SCIENCE
IMPORTANT
MESSAGE
If you're in Science, then this affects you,
if you're not, just go read Jer's article
again. (There s a hidden meaning. Can
you find it?)
In accordance with the Science Student
Fee Referedum proposed and passed
last January, Science Student Fees will
be increased from $ 10 to $ 12 effective
this upcoming January 1.
For more information about this fee and
what the money will be used for, contact
Tracy MacKinnon in SUS (Chem B160).
We're not going to Cuba or anything.
Really. We mean that.
So
All submissions to The 432 must
be in Chemistry 1160 no later
than:
10 January 1996
4:32pm
"Trying to determine what is going on in
the world by reading newspapers is like try*
ing to tell the time by watching the second
hand of a clock."
~ Ben Hecht
Thanks for staying with me and
providing the most amazing
conversation as we navigated
our way home through the rain
and the wind and whatever else
came by out there.
Now, where was I? Oh yes, I
was about to discuss something
a little more Seasonal. Make sure
you're sitting comfortably, and
if there's any good scotch
around you'd better pour yourself a double. Aw hell, throw
away the glass, just finish off
the bottle. It's that time of year
again. Can't you feel that kind
of cold, clammy feeling creeping up your spine? That all pervading dread? You know why,
don't you? It's coming. No, not
exams, stupid. Well, OK, yes,
exams too, actually, but that
wasn't really what I was driving
at. I mean, other things can do
this to you, too. Like velvet
Elvis paintings. And Christmas.
Christmas. I hate Christmas.
Christmas just has to be the
scariest time of the year. And
the scariest bit is - drum roll
please - Christmas decorations.
There's something about trees
growing inside your house
that's just wrong, especially
when the trees in question are
radiating more light than the
UFO in Close Encounters of the
Third Kind. I know a lot of you
out there look forward to the
Christmas thing, the shopping
through endless malls crowded
with angry lost souls, the
strange unidentifiable radiation
emanating from your "lights",
the sound of small children
choking on the tinsel that they
thought was space food an hour
ago, the whole bit. I know those
people will think I'm being evil
and twisted and sacreligous,
that there is no Elvis in my life
and I'm just a penguin lusting
infidel who's gonna burn, burn,
burn. I don't care about these
people, because these are the
people who will be receiving
neoprene orange sweaters with
three arms and unidentifiable,
but vaguely phallic, brown
splotches from their senile
grandparents in about a month.
It's not just the decorations.
Christmas really does bring out
the worst in people. Think
about it for a moment: is there
any other time of the year when
even people like UTV can put
MaCaulay Culkin on television
instead Of the X files and actually think it's a good idea? Back
in the old days when Christmas
was really Imbolc and just
another pagan festival (pagans
really knew how to party, and
could never limit themselves to
one single orgy every 365 days)
there would have been a couple
of random witch burnings (possibly including family relatives
since I come from a long line of
witches on my mother's side, a
fact to which my father will
miserably attest), the odd roasting of a large wild animal, and
vast consumption of alcoholic
beverages. Not too different
from a modern day Christmas,
you might say, except perhaps
for the witch burnings.
However, pagans were facing
the simple uncomplicated fear
of evil demonic howling creatures from beyond the grave
who they feared would rise up
and rip out their eyes while
they slept and steal their children. Instead of that, at
Christmastime we have Disney.
Me, I'd rather take the howling
demons.
Aside from his near, shall I say,
religious dislike of Christmas,
Phil has shown an extreme dislike
for Easter, Valentine's Day and
almost every major holiday except
for his birthday, which he contends should be a national holiday, but the government just
won't listen.
-ed. 27 November 1996
The Four Thirty Two
q0\t&\if
>
Genes, monks and
Georges, oh my!
Bella Carvalho
Slightly Spiny Columnist
I have finally decided on my
graduation-thesis project;
I'm going to map the Y-chro-
mosome. This has been
attempted many times in the
past, but I just don't believe
that people are looking for the
correct genes. There are a number of commonly seen traits
that I am absolutely positive
originate there.
The clicker gene - this is the
gene that forces men to take
control of the remote and zap
through all 50 other channels
during a 2 minute commercial
break. In some rare cases it has
mutated to a form which allows
them to zap through the channels even faster, allowing them
enough time to get a beer from
the fridge.
The God's-Gift gene - this gene
varies from specimen to specimen, but is notable in some
form or another in most cases.
It has been mainly established
in the God's gift to women
form, but other alleles have
been reported, including computers, sports, editing and beer.
There are also some genes
which I believe to be there
which are notable not for their
presents -rrr" men;" -but "their
absence in women.
The Happy-hair gene ■■ women
seem to lack this gene which
allows them to remain content
with a hairstyle for any extended period of time. Men, on the
other hand, can wear the same
style for years, and be perfectly
happy.
By now you're probably thinking that I'm anti-male. This
isn't true; in fact, I'm quite jealous of their ability to like their
own hairstyle (And pee standing
up! -ed.). And I do not believe
that all men are pond scum.
Well, okay, maybe I do, but I
firmly believe that some of
them are nice scum. You know,
the green kind that kinda keeps
to the middle of the pond. In
fact, if I hadn't already decided
that I was going to join a
monastery, I'd probably even
continue to date men.
Monasteries are lovely places.
Except for that early wake up
call thing, they really are quite
perfect. You get to wear nice
comfortable robes all day and
listen to relaxing chants. I suppose the vow of silence could be
a problem... I haven't stopped
talking for more than a few
minutes in my entire life (total).
And I guess they'd probably
make me eat oatmeal for breakfast. Ew. Not even comprehension of the meaning of life is
' worth-that.' " -' •■-■■■"A- "• r ■"
Well, seeing as the only man
I'd ever marry is Dr. John Carter
from 'er', and seeing as how he's
fictional, I'm kinda stuck. Phil,
could I get a job on your Yak
farm?
Yaks are wonderful. Big, gentle,
furry type creatures that you
can hug and squeeze and call
George. I'm not too incredibly
lucky with pets I call George. I
had a plant named George, but
I forgot about him for a little
while, and he went a particularly unhealthy shade of brown. I
tried to resuscitate him by pouring copious amounts of water
on him, but unfortunately it
didn't work. He gurgled his
final farewell and went to that
happy plant pot in the sky.
Then I got a pet hamster named
George. But after I took him to
a friend's place one day to play
with the cat, I never saw George
again. Now I have a pet Doug
named George. Hope I don't
lose him, too.
Maybe I'll get my peon to take
care of him. I've been playing a
lot of WarCraft recently (yes, I
do realize I'm a tomboy, but the
exploding sheep are just so
cool) and peons seemed like
really cool things to have. You
just poke at them and they'll do
whatever you want, and call
you 'my Lord', too. So I decided
to get me a peon. It really is
quite neat. I think~everybody
should get themselves a peon.
GENTLEMEN,
START YOUR BREWING!
The MicroBi Homebrew contest is
on January 24th during Science
week. this means that if you want
to enter,you'd better start now.
$5. per entry. $100 grand prize,
contact cindynt@unixg for details
isfct^swwetwwetetww^ssaewsaiamtsW
It's The Umpteenth Annual
Micro
PRESENTED BY THE MICROBIOLOGY CLUB        I
I
Friday, January 17, 1997
SUB Party Room
7:00 pm - 12:00 am
Tickets:
-   Before Dee. 31, $6^
After Dec. 31, $8
SA«**>»«9«is>V'-a**4**»*^^^*VWM«s>«01l»t^^
What are you doing this January?
Every January, the Science Undergraduate Society of UBC
sponsors a week-long celebration of all things related to Science.
It's the biggest week of the year, boosting such|favorites as the
Chemistry Magic Show, where your profs shovt you how to
blow up almost everything under the sun, Beyond First Year,
an informative sessiofi for First Year Science students designed
to help you Resided on an academic path, Beyond the B.Sc.,
which shows you exactly what is out in the real world after
fourth year, the CompSci Car Rally, where teams of well-
meaning kleptomaniacs roam Vancouver with a list of odd arid
rare items to bring back to UBC, and many more fun and
informative events.
All weeks long you can meet your student council or take in
movie classics during the $US Open House and examine
interesting and often odd Clubs Displays on the main concourse
of SUB.
And what better way to cap it all off with the long anticipated
Science Week Dance with live bands in the SUB Ballroom.
MONDAY
JAN 20
Chemistry Magic Show
SUS Open House
Physics Egg Throw
Club Displays
a <*
'007;
ID ^
l_."7
SUS Open House
Beyond First Year
Clubs Displays
Trolly Race
Bzzr Keg Roll
Q. on
Z Z.
SUS Open House
Beyond First Year
Clubs Displays
Trolly Race Semi Finals
Bzzr Keg Roll Semi Finals
Kiss-a-thon for Charity
Biosoc Gyotaku
Astronomy Party Under the
Stars with Jamie Matthews
Q
D
I
F
00
or
Z
<
Chemistry Magic Show
SUS Open House
BPP Trike Race
Biosoc Gyotaku
Beyond the B.Sc.
Clubs Displays
CSSS Car Rally
CSSS Bzzr Garden
<  CM
Qz
SUS Open House
Clubs Displays
Trolly Race Finals
Bzzr Keg Roll Finals
Biosoc Gyotaku
Beyond the B.Sc.
Science Week Dance
featuring $150(30 worth of
live bands
SCIENCE WEEK 1997 • JAN. 20-24
EVEN COOLER THAN MINT FLAVOURED ICE CUBES. 1
Page 6
Bernie Trek III: Frank's Revenge.
SeS
Jeremy
THORP
F^il:
Ever since the dawn of
humanity, man has
dreamed of flight. We have
watched with envy as our avian
brothers floated high above us,
and wondered if we would ever
be capable of such graceful
flight. Then came the Wright
brothers, who, with the help of
a crate of toothpicks and a glorified lawn-mower engine,
made our dreams a reality.
93 years and 14 days later, I
finally figured out what the
above mentioned hogwash was
really all about. As thick crude
oil streamed from my body like
the plumes of some demonic
bird of paradise, my eyes finally
regained that oh-so-important
sense of sight. And what a
vision of beauty awaited them.
Iceflows stretched for as far as
the eye could see -r the pure
white blanket of snow breached
only occasionally by herds of
caribou. The air was clean and
crisp, an unbroken blanket of
beauty spotted with three fluffy
clouds, a half-dozen sea gulls,
and a fat guy in a flying sled.
<SPLAT!>
Ouch. Do you ever wonder
how a fly feels when it hits ybiir
windshield at 80 miles per
hour? I don't. Not any more.
The thick layer of oil which still
covered my body provided only
a minimal degree of cushion^
ing, but ft was enough to prevent severe internal damage.
Strangely enough, I wasn't
immediately concerned with
my own health —-1 was worried
about Bernie. I'd travelled thousands of miles, crossed several
landmasses, and been covered
with numerous carcinogens to
save that fish, and I wasn't
about to stop now. Indeed, not
even that strange moist flapping feeling in my mouth was
going to distract me from my
quest. Wait a minute. Flapping
feeling. Kind of fishy tasting.
Bernie! Fish in my mouth!
Glancing from behind the
windshield was a rather large,
rather irate man in a red velvet
suit. He was shouting something at me, and furiously
pressing a button which I can
only assume activated the
windshield wipers. I can assume
this, you see, because seconds
later, I found myself flying
again through the air.
Clutching for" dear life, my
hands found something leather
to grasp, and I held on tight. I
figured that I just might be able
to hold on, providing the
leather didn't...
<SNAP!>
Most of you, at this point, are
probably assuming that after
the strap broke, I plummeted
once again toward the ground,
only to be saved by some new,
totally unreasonable miracle.
And you're wrong. Instead, I
happened to be connected to
the part of the strap which was
still fastened to what appeared
to be a reindeer, arid I was still
hbldmg^bri'fbr the 'above mentioned dear life.
I would like to take this opportunity to apologize for the
events which I am about to
describe, and for any childhood
dreams which I may be about to
destroy. Just a warning.
Out of the corner of my eye, I
spotted another reindeer-
shaped object, with a bright red
light at the front of it, heading
away from us. Close by, and
approaching at an amazing
velocity, was a 747-shaped
object, also with a red light on
it's nose. As I watched in terror,
the red lights came closer and
closer together, until...
<Okay. There is no really easy
word to describe this sound. Go
home, fire up your vacuum
cleaner, and suck about half of a
pound of ground beef through
it. That would be a fairly accurate approximations
For years, the local Inuit population will tell of the day it
rained reindeer meat, showering from the sky in bite-sized
chunks. Even stranger, they will
say, were the small bits of glowing red which accompanied the
meat. Though none of them
had explanation for this, the
glowing pieces kept their light
for years after, and were a constant source of amusement for
the children of the village.
Minutes later, we landed.
Brushing myself off, I turned
too face my heavy-boned saviour, hoping to Offer him
thanks for saving my life.
However, in the face of Mighty
Saint Nick,, charging at me with
all of the anger of a hormone-
enhanced psychopathic ante
lope, I decided that it may in
fact be a better idea to scream
like a girl, and run away. Santa
knows if you've been naughty
or nice, and I'd just killed his
favourite reindeer, and
undoubtedly gummed up his
marketing plan for years to
come. To be fair, I did get
through the screaming part
alright. It's just that, when I
opened my mouth and
screamed, out popped Bernie.
Flying gracefully through the
air, my fish somersaulted a couple of times, flapped his left
pectoral fin a bit, and fell with
typical Mackerel accuracy into
Father Christmas' jumpsuit.
Having a fish in your velvet
jumpsuit is a surprising sensation, and it stopped old jelly-
belly right in his tracks.
"Fish in my suit!" he shouted,
and frantically started to
remove his clothing, in a desperate attempt to become fish-
free.
"Fish in my suit!"
Now hold it. Don't stop reading. I promise I won't describe
Santa naked. It just wouldn't be
right (this coming from a man
who has just killed Rudolph.)
And besides, as any self respecting advertising victim knows,
Santa wears a pair of red flannel
long underwear underneath his
suit, so even when he took off
the jumpsuit, he still wasn't
showing.any private non-family
body parts.       ,
Upon removing his suit,
Santa's constrained body fat
flowed glacier-like into it's natural resting place at his belly.
This unusual act. of fluid motion
caused Bernie to be propelled,
conveniently enough, back into
my open mouth. Once again, I
decided to run away, this time
without an obvious lack of girllike screaming.
I won't bore you with the
details of how I crossed the
Bering Straight. The
Neanderthals did it <insert
heated scientific debate hero
millions of years ago, and they
didn't even have a banana.
So, days later, I made it to the
promised land. Russia. The
great Siberian frontier. Now, I
just had to find a pond or something in which to toss my good
friend Bernie. Luckily enough,
there was a gas station near by.
With little heed to the absurd
improbability of there actually
being a Shellsky station in
Siberia, nowhere near a road, I
headed in to find a map, and
some vodka. Inside, was a nice
looking old man wearing a fur
hat, several bottles of vodka,
and two large men who
appeared to be clubbing me
over the head.
<THUD!>
When I regained consciousness, everything was black.
Well, everything except Frank
the Evil hamster, who was
perched on a chair behind a
very large, very oak desk. His
eyes glowed red, from under his
miniature fur hat (complete
with miniature red star) and he
was looking as evil as ever.
"Hello,Jer:"      -    -.  -—«
to be continued...
Where do you
prefer to graduate?
The Choices
Preamble: Why the Poll?
T
UBC Graduating Student Opinion Poll
This student opinion poll is brought to
UBC students by UBC Ceremonies and the AMS
raditionally, UBC Congregation has taken
place at various locations on campus.
War Memorial Gym
Prior to 1948, students first graduated in the
Old Auditorium and then in the Old Gymnasium
(BuTo site), in 1948, Congregation was moved to
the Armouries, where it remained until 1964. It
wasn't until Spring Congregation 1965 that students began graduating in the War Memorial
Gym.
Now, 31 years later,The University of British
Columbia is once again considering a change. In
1989, plans began to switch the location of UBC
Congregation by Spring 1997— This time to a
state-of-the-art Convocatoin Hall in the Chan
Centre for the Performing Arts. Below you will
find a brief outline of what this change would
mean to you, the Graduating Student.
Questions and Comments?
Advantages
• Maximum number of students per cere
mony is 350 (In past years, maximum
capacity was on average 500-600
stdues"*ts);j-.        ?^
• No limfft^thenipbe^pf guests.
DUadvan«|0<lisy;:;: JLp
• Estimatfpeifgth of tlfe ceremony is
2 hrs15*lhs| %f*
• Early arrival of guests
(Unassigned seating & parking
a greater distance from venue).
Chan Centre
for the Performing Arts
Advantages
• Shorter (Estimate: 1hr15mins) ceremony
that would allow for more student recognition.
• Later apyal for guests.
I»s
number of students por cere-
>50rlv1ay require multiple cere-
fbr some faculties).
• 4 guests per graduate guaranteed, with
the possibility of more seats.
While the Poll itself is open only to 4th year and Graduate students, we welcome the input of all students on this matter.
Another poll will be carried out between January and
February to ensure that all UBC students are heard and represented. If you would like to let us know how you feel about the
proposed change, or to get more information about the poll,
please contact:
Faye Samson 822-1961
Desmond Rodenbour  822-8131
comco@ams.ubc.ca
policyan@ams.ubc.ca
Instructions for Voting
Voting will take place from November 27
at Midnight to November 29th at
Midnight. There are two questions to be
answered in the poll.
Voting will take place viaTelevote, the
University's telephone voting system, at
UBC-VOTE (822-8683). When you enter
the system, you will press 3 to vote in a
student election. You will then be
required to enter your eight-digit student
number and your six-digit birthdate in
year/month/date format. You may also
cast your ballot using the Expressvote
system: simply callTelevote, listen for the
Expressvote option prompt, and enter the
two-digit candidate code below:	
Where would you prefer to graduate?
ExpressVote
Code
Selection/
Candidate
01
Chan Centre for the Performing Arts
02
War Memorial Gymnasium
How many tickets do you anticipate
requiring for your guests?
ExpressVote
Code
01
02
Selection/
Candidate
4 or less
more than 4 27 November 1996
The Four Thirty Two
The drawers of SUS.
Tracy MacKinnon
Phil Ledwith
Kathy Lo
President
Happy Holidays everyone! And isn't studying for exams a
great way to celebrate the Yuletide cheer! But, on the bright
side, we'll have at least two and a half weeks off to sleep in
and eat lots of chocolate. Yep, that's the way to wind down after a
hectic study schedule. :)
Teaching Excellence Award evaluations are underway by Henry
and the Academics Committee. We're also gearing up for Science
Week 0anuary 20-24th, 1997). Rumour has it that bands will be
54»40 with guests speedbump for the Science Week Dance on the
24th. Be sure to buy your tickets well ahead of time, since we fully
expect to sell out in advance.
Science Week will be jam packed with events like SUS Open
House, Beyond the B. Sc, club displays and events (including the
Micro HomeBrew, and BPP Trike Race), bzzr gardens, and our
dance. Kathryn is also planning on having many charity events
during Science Week to benefit the Food Bank and BC Children's
Hospital.
In early February nomination forms will be coming out for
Executive positions. If you're interested, or just want more information, now's a great time to talk to some current execs about their
portfolios. See you around Chem 160!
Once again, Tracy has composed her article by stealing everyone else's
ideas. Don't you just hate her for it?
-ed.
Blair McDonald	
Senator
Ah, the wonderful world of Senate. Nothing of any great
importance has happened at Senate... but much has happened outside the Senate chambers proper.
I'm referring to the on-going debate about the switch in grad ceremonies location: from War Memorial Gymnasium to the new
Chan Centre for the Performing Arts (also known as the Tin Can).
There's a lot of misinformation flying around out there, so I'm
going try clearing things up a bit. Wish me luck
1. The Chan Centre ceremonies will require tickets for guests. The
War Memorial Gym did not require tickets.
2. An application for an initial four tickets will be included with
the information sent to each prospective graduate in January.
3. Graduates will have to return the ticket application along with
all the other paperwork, such as gown rental, graduating fee, etc.
4. According to UBC Ceremonies, 20% of graduates choose not
attend their own ceremonies, due to work or where they live during the summer.
5. Those tickets (plus an additional 100 left over from the original
allocation) will be available to students on a first come first serve
basis after the posted deadline. Students will be able to request an
additional four tickets.
6. The new ceremonies at Chan Centre will be shorter (reduced to
75 minutes per ceremony). Each ceremony will have a maximum
of 250 graduates. Ceremonies at WMG are longer with more graduates.
7. Chan Centre is a brand new auditorium, complete with sound
system, stage, and proper seating. War Memorial Gymnasium is,
well... a gym. It costs UBC approximately $60,000 to decorate the
gym for grad ceremonies.
8. Overall, I think Science students will have a better graduation
ceremony in the new Chan Centre. The only concern is that some
students might be limited in the number of guests they invite, and
wouldn't be able to invite more than eight.
9. However, the Faculty of Science normally graduates between
900-1000 students in May. Right now, Ceremonies have allocated-
four ceremonies for Science, with a fifth ceremony available if
needed.
10. SUS supports the move to the Chan Centre, provided students
are able to bring enough guests. Therefore, a letter was written to
Chuck Slonecker, UBC Director of Ceremonies, expressing cautious
support for the move, but asking that plans be made to implement
the fifth ceremony in the event tickets run out.
Anyways, that's the plan, at least how I understand it. 1 guess I
should have written this column much earlier... sorry about that.
Please take the time to think about this, and tell all your friends
who are graduating this year. There's still time to voice your concerns on this issue-a phone poll is being conducted (see the ad in
this paper). So far, most student I've talked to (about 30, all told)
have either been in favour or didn't care. Only one person has
expressed concern to me in person, but a number of people have
signed a petition that was circulating in Biology courses. That petition has been passed to Chuck Slonecker with the letter so he takes
our concerns seriously.
I'll keep you posted.
Later,
External Vice President
Ever sat down,tired, depressed, with a great screaming backlog
of work and a mounting sense of personal guilt, and try and
write a humourous article for five thousand people that you
don't really know and who probably won't ever read it anyway?
Then you probably won't know what I'm talking about here, but
this article's for John, Mikey, Jer, Blair, Ryan and all the other poor
bastards who have ever had the misfortune to be here so late that
they actually found the thought of Varsity Grill near food appealing.
It's been a great week for the AMS boys and girls. We finally got to
look at Tangent Magazine, the latest and greatest invention to ooze
it's way forth from the slime pits of the AMS communications
department; get out there and read it now, and the resulting nosebleed and accompanying nausea will probably get you out of your
first exams. To say that the thing sucks dead bunnies through a
really short straw is something of an understatement, in the same
way that saying Egyptians spent a lot of time thinking about their
dead somehow misses the scale of things.
Fallout from this testament to waste is the discussion of The
Yardstick, an official compilation of teaching evaluations that the
AMS hopes to publish again this year. If you ever read The Guide
then you have some idea what I'm talking about here. Personal
opinion has no place in an article like this, so I'm not going to tell
you how cretinous, adversarial and poorly put together The
Yardstick was. Anyway, I'd just sound bitter. I just think you ought
to know that the matter will come up for discussion again at the
council meeting this Wednesday night (Nov 28, 6pm). Enough of
this.
Here's my other message of the day:
SCIENCE WEEK.
22 planning days away.
Phone me (264-8271) and get in the program, 'nuff said.
Phil's commitment to Science Week is quite unlike anything that I've
ever seen before:
Come to think of it, Phil himself is quite unlike anything I've ever
—* •' ■■■—. seen before} include my reflection in hiSjfresMy. pplfsHecfHead.
-ed.
Warrick Yu
Director of Sports
The first SUS Sports Council meeting was a success, five (out of
sixteen) science club sports reps showed up. Oh yes, good
turnout... (I'm being sarcastic here, can you tell?) well... anyway, better than 0% turnout. In fact, you are also welcome to be in
the SUS Sports Council if you are willing to help out in promoting
Intramurals events.
The next thing I want to talk about is that the submission procedure of sports rebates has changed. Due to some lazy exocs, er...,
objections certain execs have made, the witnessing of the submission is omitted. Instead, if I am not in CHEM B160, submissions
can be made by dropping off into a wooden box labeled "SUBMISSION OF SPORTS REBATE." Thanks to Uncle Blair for this brilliant
idea. (He has superleagueicehockeyplayerphobia.) Again, I want to
emphasize that the new rebate policy, which is appreciated by Kam
(Thank you for your support.), does not affect most of you. You still
get the same amount of rebate if your team has science undergrads
students plus up to two designated imports! The only time you get
less than 50% rebate is when your team has more than two
imports, which can be grad students and students of other faculties.
Hist Year Representative
Once upon a Science
Council meeting, I was
but a First Year Rep.
Then appeared before me a Phil
who said he would bestow me
with the privilege of organizing
an event called Beyond First
Year. This is a two-day event
where all the Science departments set up booths in the SUB
Ballroom and it will be your
chance to talk to department
people and decide what you
want to major in. One monosyllabic affirmative later, this
Phil snapped his fingers and
before I knew it I was holding
the reins of a monster Science
Week event. It's going to take
more than one person to tame
this beast. This is where you
come in, fellow froshes, because
we need volunteers!!!
If you can plug a cord into a
socket, you can help set up. If
you can, with a glass of water in
your hand, walk from point A
to point B without spilling it,
you can be a runner. If you can
draw a straight line, you can
help to do posters. If you can
juggle six Erlenmeyer flasks and
sing "You Oughta Know" in
Klingon while doing a sit spin
in ice skates...let's just say I'm
sure we'll find a job for you.
Being a volunteer is a great way
to get to know the people in
(read: suck up tp^t^j^clepart-
mentot your choice. So get on
your keyboard and e-mail me at
kalo@unixg.ubc.ca if you're
interested or come down to
Chem B160. If I'm not there,
pull over somebody (anybody!)
and that person will be happy
to help you. Seriously. If you're
never been in SUS before,
they're really nice people. So
don't be shy.
Now on to some more fun
stuff. The First Year Committee
is presenting a British Comedy
Night on January 10th, 1997
from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
We're taking over the SUS
lounge (Chem B160) for the
night and you're invited. We've
got free pizza, pop and popcorn
so come in, relax, and escape
from the reality known as The
Stressful Second Term. Hope to
see you there!
On December 20, 1996, the
SUS Ice Fest '96 will take place
at Thunderbird Arena at 2:45 to
4:15. Tickets are free, but extraordinarily limited, and will be
given out on a first-come-first-
served basis. If this is found to
be a popular event, I will try to
hold another skating party similar to this sometime in January
or February. (U.B. says that he is
afraid of pucks.)
Well, I am going to blast off for
the Christmas Exams, and I
hope you people will score as
high as 100%. I should probably
be finishing Warcraft.
wear fte truth.
$ 12. CHEM 160. 4
27 November 1996
Oh, to be Santa.
I was sitting in my run-down,
East Vancouver, apartment
the other day, looking at the
recent buckshot holes in the
floor created when my lower
neighbour thought that I was
playing my music too loud, and
a thought came to me. Not just
any run of the mill thought.
This thought was different. This
thought was very out of the
ordinary for me. This thought
had form, purpose and a complete absence of fire. This
thought was very much like
neural poetry in motion. This
thought was to become Santa.
Now, I realize that I've had the
impulse to become mythical
icons before, but this was different. Thousands of young-uns'
out there had, in all likelihood,
just discovered (or were about
to discover) that Santa is but an
imaginary, Coca-Cola™ selling,
imp. They were disappointed
and, dare I say, disillusioned
with the whole concept of
Christmas. I was going to help.
But what to do first? Any self-
respecting Santa needs lots of
red clothes, an old sleigh, and
some livestock. A quick trip to
more rural areas of the lower
mainland could easily provide
me with that. But Santa also
needs good PR.
So I altered some business
cards that I made up the last
time I wanted to be a mythical
figure by cleverly moving an
'n'. Then I set about arranging
interviews on all the local TV
and radio stations. Most
laughed at me, but some were
very enthusiastic about having
the real Santa on air, especially
the radio morning shows.
There, Santa had good PR.
Next was the realization that I
didn't exactly have Santa's
physique. Santa's legend pictured him as far more, let's
say... rollable, than I was. I
decided that a two hundred
pound beer belly was in order.
So I ventured forth to the nearest brewery and purchased two
kegs of their finest Winter Ale. I
rushed immediately home, only
stopping at an Elvis-style delicatessen on the way to purchase
a daily subscription of deep-
fried cheese, deep-fried banana
and peanut butter sandwiches,
and deep-fried ice cream. A
month, two liver transplants,
and a double heart bypass later,
I was ready.
Now I had to find the right
clothes. Seeing as I had no
money, the option of going to
the nearest costume shop,
pointing at the Santa outfit in
the window and saying 'One,
please!' wasn't really an option
at all. So, I sauntered my way to
the nearest Value Village and
proceeded to the Red Section.
Lots of economically priced red
clothes were available in a variety of fashion looks ranging
from 'Open Shirt Disco Stud' to
'Five Dollar Whore'. Hmmm...
not exactly Santa material.
Well, not exactly traditional
Santa-looking, but I was a Santa
for the nineties. I was unencumbered by what my parents
thought Santa should look like.
I was liberated] I was freel
So, I bought the tightest fitting
red spandex body suit that I
could find and topped it off
with black, three inch heeled,
knee high latex boots, a worn,
red studded leather jacket with
foot-long tassels, a big, red
toque with a white, fuzzy ball at
the top, and finally, the piece de
resistance, a black, sequined
jock strap studded with rhine-
stones. Apparently,. I was also
completely tasteless. Just be
glad that I ran out of money
before buying the Madonna
brassiere to hang tree ornaments off of.
Now Santa had good PR and a
collection of fabrics that could
more or less be considered
clothing. Next was a sleigh and
nine tiny reindeer. A trip to
Ladner was in order.
Ah, Ladner. The raw beauty of
acres of farms and fields zipping
past you as you speed towards
your destination. The
untouched and undeveloped
glory of nature. And that smell.
Hey, I never said cattle were
very hygienic.
Much to my dismay, the local
yellow pages listed no known
Reindeer Farms, but several cattle farms where both known
and listed. Cows would make
great makeshift reindeer in a
pinch.
I ventured into the nearest bar
to await nightfall. Liberating
my bovine compatriots would
be so much easier under cover
of darkness. Glancing out the
window after my fifth pint of
Fudd Beer, I noticed an old
truck box trailer sitting unattended in the parking lot. It
hadn't occurred to me that I
was missing a sleigh, but this
rusty relic would make an ideal
chariot of good will.
Twenty minutes later, I had
rigged up nine of the finest cattle I could find to the aforementioned chariot and was
very slowly making my way
back to the city. Rudolph's car
battery powered nose leading
the way through the thick
December snowfall.
The speed of my departure disheartened me. I knew that
Santa had to venture around
the globe on Christmas Eve at
velocities sometimes approaching the speed of light. My
cowdeers, however, seemed
unwilling to get much past five
miles an hour before stopping
to munch some roadside vegetation, moo, or just plain stare
blarikly into the distance.
Something had to be done.
I remembered reading several
reports on how several environmental groups felt that
methane produced by cattle was
threatening air quality.
Methane is flammable. Quickly
adding two and two together, I
came up with the idea of rocket
powered cows. They would
quickly make my chariot airborne and, more importantly, it
would be really cool. Fishing
my ever handy lighter out of
my pocket, I set about my task.
With an incredibly excited and
rapidly receding "Mooooooooo!"
my chariot rocketed forwards
and upwards, soaring to new
heights above downtown
Vancouver before disappearing
over the North Shore
Mountains to points unknown.
I, however, was stuck on a side
road in Ladner in a ridiculous
outfit.
"Just great," I thought, "there
goes my dream. I'm cold, alone
and my spandex is starting to
chaff. Could this get any
worse?"
Just then, the police showed
up. Apparently, they had been
investigating a nearby cattle
theft when the light and noise
attracted them.
I should be available for parole
sometime early next year. Until
then, I have a full-time job convincing my cellmate that I
don't wear red spandex all the
time.
Science Week Right.
Dance
Live Bands!
(Ho. who are our bands? We can't say just yet, but since we're spending about $ 15,000 on them. They'd better be damn good.
In fact, they'd better be Trusted by Millions. Hint Hint.)
January 24th, 8pm ~ 12p
SUB Ballroom
Tickets available first week of January

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