Shots and words by M. Scott Smith

From the Less Mature Files: Revolution to Hit Triangle 🔗

As an undergraduate at Drexel University in the mid-90's, I served as a columnist, contributing weekly bits of satire in an effort to amuse others or at least myself. I'm dusting off some of those columns and reprinting them here, in raw, unedited form.

Drexel's student newspaper began contemplating a re-design over the summer of 1995. With the Fall quarter starting, it was time to generate some new Quark XPress templates. The newspaper "teased" students for several weeks, with ambiguous ads promising that big things were in store.

I couldn't resist seizing on the opportunity to poke some introspective fun at the Triangle, so I used the premise of the redesign as a vehicle for delivering my weekly goofiness. (As with most of my columns, I really didn't have any idea what to write about, so just started writing. I often didn't know where they would end up.)

You may have seen ads in recent issues of the Triangle pointing out that a "revolution in printing" is coming on September 22. These full-page ads were created mainly because there was nothing else with substance to print, and the Triangle must have an even number of pages to be considered a newspaper. (I bet you just flipped to the last page to see if I'm lying.)

Also, the intent of the ads is to stir Drexel students into a frenzy, wondering what exciting changes are coming to the Triangle this fall. Certainly this has been the talk of the town the past couple weeks.

Since I'm a column writer for the Triangle, I figured I was enough of an "insider" that they'd divulge all the exciting changes to me, but this wasn't the case. They won't tell me anything about what's in store for Drexel's official student newspaper. This is probably because they don't like me, and haven't thought of the changes themselves, so I thought I would devote a column illustrating my ideas for changes that could be made. I'm pretty sure the Triangle will agree that most are good ideas and will choose to adopt them.

Here's a change that I think would be a hit: print everything in reverse. That way people will have to read the Triangle using a mirror, and sales of mirrors will go way up.

Also, they should find mirror manufacturers, and entice them to advertise in the Triangle. Granted, finding mirror manufacturers might take a little research, but there's a mirror in my bathroom, so I'm pretty sure somebody's out there making them, and I'm quite certain a big advertising campaign would be in their best interests.

Something along the lines of the "milk" ads (sponsored by America's Dairy Farmers), or the ads sponsored by the Plastics Council, which point out that even though plastic suffocates cute, innocent furry animals, it's useful for covering CD's so that consumers get arthritis trying to tear the plastic off, greatly benefiting the chiropractor industry and the fine folks that manufacture Tylenol, which is safety-sealed using plastic, and I'm pretty sure this is a run-on sentence but I don't really care.

The mirror industry should try to encourage consumers to cover every inch of their walls with mirrors, as that will save a lot of money on paint, which contains lead anyway and has an annoying habit of drying. And having mirrors all around the house will cause people to constantly look at themselves, even when they look away, and that will send them to their plastic surgeons, which will please the Plastics Council immensely.

And the Triangle can be at the center of all this. On September 22.

I would also recommend that the Triangle place my column on the front page, so people won't have to bother flipping through a few pages to read it, which will decrease the likelihood of them developing arthritis.

One of the most entertaining aspects of reading the Triangle or other high-quality publications is that of "flipping around" to get to the end of the story. Some news stories, and damn well near all of my columns, are so large that they don't conveniently fit on a page, once large ads have been placed on the page by the mirror industry.

Thus, it is necessary to "spread" the articles or columns across multiple pages. The Triangle usually says something like "See SMITH on page 900" to let you know that there is more SMITH on page 900, even when there is no page 900. It would be much more fun if these subtle hints weren't included at all! Readers would then get to have an adventure searching through the paper for the rest of the article. The adventure would be compounded by the fact that everything would be printed in reverse.

To make things even more fun, the articles could be broken up into 1-inch chunks, so that the reader would have to piece together 200 chunks to read an entire article. Of course, those chunks wouldn't be in any particular order.

There would no longer be a need for that silly crossword puzzle, which I seriously doubt anyone except Lester has ever done anyway, and that would free up more room for mirror ads.

I suppose the Triangle should also come shrink-wrapped in plastic. That way, you'll be assured that it's the real thing, and that your copy hasn't been tampered with.

I can hardly wait for September 22.

M. Scott Smith is basically a senior majoring in Computer Science. We really love his ideas.

- By M. Scott Smith, August 11, 1995. All rights reserved.

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