click to go home

Archived Classics by Semester: F1989 S1990 F1990 S1991 F1991 S1992 F1992 S1993

Here we see the introduction of Dr. Umlaut, who got more and more jaded as time passed. The college had just installed a new scheduling system, to no great improvement, and that was the surface joke of this strip, the backup joke. What this strip is really about is the fact that nearly every American female born in the early 1970s was named Jennifer. I don't know if others encountered this phenomenon as much as I did, but it seemed like everyone in the country with that name had gotten together and decided to come to one college. If I had forgotten the name of a girl I was speaking to, I found it practical to call her "Jen" and see if she corrected me.


Tired of telemarketers and junk e-mailers? What if you had them showing up at your door? In some places, people still do, and one of those places is a college dormitory. This spiel is a close approximation of what I was subjected to, and the shameless nonsense about hypothetically eloping to Europe is verbatim.


Don't try this at home, kids. Your fingers will get burned and you'll get whacked over the head with whatever is handy.


Well, it's true; the total number of sculptures on campus was (and is) one, or two if you count that thing that's supposed to be a
sundial. And the thing they were building in the big muddy hole in the center of campus (with what remaining money hadn't been funneled to administrators' homes) did look like some kind of odd art made from girders, much like the sundial. Eventually it started to resemble a building, but it sure seemed to take a long time, probably because the construction had to periodically stop and wait for the next budget.
If you are in a position to need to know anything at all about The College Formerly Known As What It Was Formerly Known As, understand this above all else: The "Construction Entrance" sign is permanent.


Biff's little foray into art was par for the course in Decker Dining Hall. We had meal cards with a certain number of meals on them, and a meal meant all you could eat, but you could not, of course, leave the cafeteria with anything. Now, it's already been established that the food was, with limited exception, awful. Add to that a system in which the food is perceived as practically valueless, and you'll see students treating the stuff with a contempt that borders on hostility. "Wasteful" was merely the baseline. We would mix every available substance into a noxious mess in those teensy little drinking glasses, then pour it over the trays. There was a smiley face drawn in mashed potatoes on the wall which never did get cleaned off until the cafeteria was closed years later.

Comic from Oct 30, 1990
When Jim Florio was Governor of New Jersey, he briefly raised the sales tax from 6% to 7%. I'm sure he knew that "Impeach Florio" bumper stickers would immediately spring up everywhere, but he had little choice after Kean put the state in the poorhouse. It's the circle of life: someone's got to take the fall for raising taxes so that his successor can take credit for all the things taxes pay for. Florio took that bullet.
Very few people in New Jersey at the time would dare give the public impression that they didn't hate Florio, for fear of the negative stigma, even though most non-Republicans and even moderate Republicans would admit there was really nothing wrong with it if that's you how felt. It was a real challenge for me to think of something that safely fit that description for this strip.
It was a commentary on what I thought was a pretty cowardly stunt by a campus organization ironically named "GUTS," representing another minority of said description. The actual posters called for jeans, another staple of the student wardrobe, as the not-so-secret-but-still-ambiguous symbol of "pride." I don't know exactly what they were trying to prove, but a lot of students were seen wearing sweatpants on Thursday, so they got to claim they had proven it. I should make clear that I have nothing but respect for the segment of the population they represent, as a whole. As a whole, I would not characterize our nation's "ten percent" as being given to indulging in manipulative nonsense. Campus organizations as a whole, however, I would.

Comic from Nov 6, 1990
"Killer" or "Assassin" is a game played by students in dormitories all over the world, and it has many variants. Sophisticated versions of the game can be as rich and complex as a live-action role-playing game, but this is how a CA* at TSC would make us play it: Everybody starts out "alive," except for one "killer." Unless you are in a designated safe zone (like your own room or a stairwell) or physically touching another live person, a killer can tag you and yell, "You're dead!" At that point, you are also a killer, and you are expected to keep playing even though you can no longer win. You are also required to put up a paper gravestone on the bulletin board to notify everyone of your status. Last one alive wins. It's basically a long game of tag that makes your day-to-day life more difficult.
I'm sure you can guess the rest. TSC was proud of its buildings, but departments were expendable and would often be dismantled for liquid funds. Many a time a freshman would enroll with a certain degree in mind and suddenly find h'self stuck with something else.

*"Community Advisor." That's what our newspeak-obsessed college calls the business major who stops us from playing frisbee in the hallways, holds floor meetings, and fines us $20 for the same thirty-year-old paint scratch at room check-out every year. Real universities call such a person an "RA" (Residence Assistant) or simply "hall monitor."

Comic from Nov 13, 1990
No, nobody really tried this, to the best of my knowledge. I do actually make things up sometimes.

Comic from Nov 20, 1990
Behold branta canadensis, the Canada Goose. The TSC campus had vast flocks of them in residence, and I'm sure it still does, although most of those open spaces have had buildings put on them by now. Quimby's Prairie (the quad mentioned) may be the last.


If you're thinking "small apartment," you're not thinking small enough. That tree is in the center of the room and touching most of the walls.

Archived Classics by Semester: F1989 S1990 F1990 S1991 F1991 S1992 F1992 S1993

cast of charactersyou are herefrequently asked questionsart by/of otherslinks to other web comicsbuy stuffa spiffy award gimmick


All content of this site is Copyright © 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 Kevin Pease.
All images are for viewing only and may not be used without permission.