COLUMN: Live owls waste of $15,000

by Gerald Falchook

I READ in the Thresher a few weeks ago that Rice University was going to acquire live mascots for our campus, presumably, to improve our school spirit.

I was informed that these would be living, breathing, defecating owls. Absolutely the real thing.

Then they told me the price tag: a whopping $15,000. And that was just for the building they would have to construct for these poor birds.

That figure doesn't include the cost of food, maintenance or owl crud-removal.

Now, who is making these proposals, anyway?

Can't you guys think of better ways to spend $15,000?

Really. I could have a great time coming up with ways to spend $15,000.

Let me give it a try.

* Improve Central Kitchen. This must be the number one complaint on this campus. CK gets lower approval ratings than Lyndon LaRouche at a Republican National Convention.

* PARTY! What better way to spend university cash than on glorious, hedonist, worldly pleasures?

* Donate the money to charity. If we chose to propagate the wishes of this university's benefactor and namesake, Mr. William Marsh Rice, then we would certainly and immediately direct these funds to the local chapter of the hungry off-campus students.

* Buy 30 tons of licorice. I love red licorice. If any of you are having a tough time finding me a present for my birthday (April 23), just buy me a mound of licorice. You will never see me happier.

* Construct a building for the squirrels instead. It could be a sort of petting zoo. Maybe we could change our mascot to the Friendly Squirrels.

* Build a new statue. This campus just doesn't have enough statues. Build a statue of me. Sacrifice animals in my name. Pray to my statue daily.

* Offer any local politician a bribe. Find out just how shallow the morals of our elected officials really are.

* Give the money to the Mafia (not the MOB). Ask for a hit man to take down Bevo.

It really is too bad that I don't have the personal authority to tell the SA how to spend that $15,000.

Certainly, it would be a project that would give me much amusement. Enjoy the nice weather, kids.

Just remember that all your buddies from high school who chose to go to some snotty Ivy League school in the Northeast are standing in two feet of snow and won't see the sun again until March. Happy holidays, everybody.

Gerald Falchook is a Sid Richardson College junior.

This item appeared in the Opinion section of the December 8, 1995 issue.

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