A drawing of Monty Python by Alyce  Dedicated Idiocy, A personal history of the Penn State Monty Python Society by Alyce Wilson

School Year 1989-1990

Mall Climb

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That year, the Mall Climb had a special goal in mind. You see, Jon "Kzin" Kilgannon had been taking a year off school when I was a freshman, but he was legendary in the minds of the Pythonites. So my freshman year, the joke had been that we were climbing the mall in order to find out what happened to Kzin.

This year he was there, or was he? Read on:

Saturday, April 21, 1990

Andy [Wilson, my brother] came up today for the Mall Climb. In the morning it was a little wet, but it dried off in time for the big event. We went down a little early and waited in front of Willard Building. Pete Uoth was the next to show up. I introduced him to Andy, and we sat on the ledge and we talked about interesting ways to kill yourself during finals week.

L.J. ["Trotsky" Sparvero] arrived then, wearing his old Monty Python Society shirt (the orange-yellow once). He'd brought his Trotsky garb, saber included (or foil — I can never tell these fencing weapons apart).

Next was Damon [Buckwalter], I think. He gave me a hug and some noogies. [Note: Damon and I were a lot like Todd DiLaMuca and Lisa Loopner... except way, way cooler.] We decided to make a provisions foray into town. Andy, Damon and I set out.

We obtained some good stuff at Murphy's Mart. [Note: In those days, Wal-Mart didn't exist and we had a department store conveniently placed downtown on Allen Street, in the same space where Chili's and Ambercrombie and Finch are today. Imagine! We could buy cheap watches for a dollar that would break within a day! Without taking a bus!] Good for price, if not necessarily nutritive value. And Damon was gentleman enough to pay for it all, too (well, actually, we had to pin his arms behind his back and shove his face into a New Kids on the Block display, but the point is, he did eventually agree).

And we hiked back to the foothills of Mount Pattee, where our expedition was shaping up. Over time, we obtained such diverse elements as Abner Mintz, Holli Weisman, Jenny Hoffman, Meg Jeffery, Brian Tepper, Peter "Pierre" Stanton and Sadie O'Deay.

L.J. disappeared into Willard Building, and Trotsky emerged as our squadron... uh... expedition leader. He briefed us on the dangers of the climb, and we prepared ourselves (but not before Abner had fulfilled one of his childish fantasies and tied Pete and I up together with the climbing rope).

[Note: This was the second year that someone tied me up with the climbing rope.]

Mall Climb 1990 (Click to enlarge)

(from left) Damon Buckwalter, me, Pete Uoth

We all got our grips and then...

Gravity shifted 90 degrees! Sadie struck off as our leader, fastening an anchor rope and securing it up above. We hesitantly started up. So far, so good.


To the Twin Peaks of Mount Contents Crawl along to Alyce's blog Climbers sign in It's all about gravity! Nobody Expects the Spanish InquisitionMall Climb 1990 - page 2 e-mail: alycewilson@lycos.com