Smile Politely

One Can Learn Much From Greek Barcrawl T-Shirts

Good day, Worthy Reader. Despite my best efforts to deceive myself into thinking otherwise, I do actually attend the University of Illinois, and one of the aspects of the university that has most interested me is the Greek system. I find it quite stimulating to observe fraternity and sorority members. It is not because they are really that different from other university students; it is because of their t-shirts.

I have to give them credit. They really can put together a great t-shirt. The punnage (not to be confused with verbage), wordplay, and general wordsmithery of the shirts are truly impressive and sometimes brilliant. I am constantly impressed with the wacky and creative way that the shirts incorporate the names of the frats and sororities. I have pondered long and hard in order to figure out how the Greeks can constantly come up with such incredible garments, and I think I have finally found the answer. I have deduced that each fraternity and sorority must have a sweatshop of pledges working around the clock developing and improving POWs and witticisms. I envision that sweatshops are located in the basements of the houses and have weak, hanging lights and four lazily spinning fans. Upper-classmen walk around using whips and sarcasm to keep the workers in line. Cries of “Make it wittier!” and “Do you call that a pun?” fill the air along with the sobs of the laborers. When a pledge comes up with something good, they are rewarded with a clean towel to dry their sweat-drenched bodies. Unproductive workers are shunned and denied chamber pots. The poor labors hate the job, but they know that they are working for the good of all their brothers and sisters. They take pride in their work even as their bodies slowly deteriorate due to the horrible physical strain of wordsmithing. Most of the pledges make it out alive and go on to become foremen and managers, but a small few cannot handle the strain and go to meet their maker.

The picture I just painted may lead you to believe that I am against these sweatshops, but you could not be more wrong, Foolish Reader. I think that the sweatshops are punderful. For me, wittery, wordplay, and badinage are the fabric of life. Their worth is far greater than the well-being of a few college students. I would gladly have five hundred people die in order to read one witty sentence. For a book the equal of Tristram Shandy, I would gladly see the destruction of Sweden. As a matter of fact, I’m thinking of developing my own Campus Wit sweatshop in the cellar of Isolation Manor. My ideas are running dry (as you can probably tell), and I think I can learn a thing or two from the Greeks. Trim and I shall hold events at Isolation Manor in the name of Shandy Hall. We shall serve free libations and employ comely lasses and dapper gents to entice students to attend our events. Once we get them into Isolation Manor, we shall bludgeon them with heavy objects, take them to the crypt, brainwash them to worship me, and put them to work crafting columns for me. It shall be glorious! Watch this space, Eager Reader. The future bodes well for the Campus Wit!

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