minutia press.
Making me ILL

I get calls this time of year from my two alma maters (almae materse?) asking for $$. I usually take the opportunity to catch up on what's happening at Rice of U of Illinois. The Rice call was full of news about Will Rice College, my residential college at Rice. Doc C, the venerable and eternal resident associate, still lives there and has done so for 40 years! This call went very well.

Tonight I got the call from U. of Illinois. The person was polite and told me why she was calling. I told her I'd give the money again but first I had to ask her a question to make sure she really was from Illinois. She said OK, so I said:

I L L (pronounced as the three letters in sequence)

She responded "ill?" I said, no, I L L, and waited for the response U of I protocol demands. She again said "ill?". I then suggested she wasn't really from U. of Illinois, but she protested she was.

OK so I tried something else. At this point, my wife was telling me to ask her to sing the fight song. But I went for something simpler.

Why is the undergraduate library built underground?

Again, a pause, and an "uhhh..I don't know".

I really was getting concerned at this point. My wife was telling me to ask her the name of the mascot. But she failed the first two tests, no way she'd pass this one.

She told me she was just as sophomore and didn't know much about the University. I asked her if she'd been to a football game, a basketball game, a class. She laughed, and I told her she could get somebody to help her out (phone a friend). I said, just yell out in the room you're in I L L and see how people answer. She did this, and I could hear everybody yell I N I, the correct response. Whew. That was close.

And the others knew why the library was underground, as the answer is from the famous soung:

We dont' mess around
Our Library's underground
Because you can't throw shade on the corn

I gave them the $$ after all.


I went to an a cappella concert somewhere in Bloomington, Indiana and there was a group from U of I there that did a very entertaining rendition of that fight song. Which is why I remembered why the library was built underground. Fun stuff!

Posted by: Amy at October 21, 2004 4:54 PM