Has-beens tell many tales and practically all bend the truth - but funny - no one seems to
Still, at a recent gathering of our has-been crowd I overheard a conversation between two spouses of
has-beens that went like this:
Spouse 1 (speaking low): "They tell these same stories every year."
Spouse 2 (eyes rolling): "I know - don't they realize?"
We do realize - sort of - but doesn't everyone just love to hear these stories? And don't the
listeners think that we, the tellers, are just a bit more special (read, cool) after hearing these tales? Don't they?
Into the Breach
Hands Like Henry
Oafs Go Deep
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Oft Told [Tall] Tales
Got a tall tale to tell? -
Please email any and all.
"Into the Breach" by Milton
Morning of a home game, loafing around the frat house listening to Larko. There's time for one more story, or two, before
reporting to Taylor Stadium. Maybe the one about Joe Boyle, or the Dearbott fly, or some other denizen of The Valley.
Time moves ahead - fast it seems. Soon it is time to go. We pile into Andy's yellow Plymouth, which we call "The Halftrack." *
"Into the breach!" someone hoots as we roar down the road from Theta Delt. This is but the first of a series of
stock phrases we chant to each other while descending The Hill.
We pass couples plodding up the grade, hand in hand. "Party weekend," we shout, "sign in your dates."
As we navigate the corners at Phi Gam, a tweedy bunch on the Fiji porch illicits the comment,
"Fraternity Dan," and "yuckti-schuckti." Cruising now around the broad curve at Chi Psi, we notice a well-heeled cluster of
elders on the lawn - "Alumni Ben! Turn on your fountains!" A reference to the frat's proclivity to have water sprouting
from a yard fountain on special weekends. Slowing some, we approach the Sayre Park gate - "Arbol-cheski...hamster-whips,"
wondering what's on the mind of our injured tackle, as we pause at the intersection in front of Sigma Zoo.
Really motoring now, down Taylor Street past Grace Hall, where some ROTC cadets are gathering. "Hotsy totsy," is our salute.
Arriving, finally, Andy pulls into his favorite parking spot behind the Physics Building. "Darn your gear," he declares, as
we climb out and hike over to the locker room. The mood becomes more serious as we toss our wallets into the basket for safekeeping
which is kept just inside the equipment cage.Later on, our team plays just well enough to win.
* The eventual fate of "The Halftrack" is an interesting saga in its own right, involving Andy, of course, plus Chaos,
Puss King, yours truly, a tree on South Mountain, and ultimately John Tench and a collection of sledgehammers ...
but that's a 1962 story.
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