Looneys drawn by Alyce 

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

School Year 1991-1992

How the World Can be Saved by Steam

Unfortunately, my personal history of the MPS can't overlook the infamous April 1, 1992, meeting, How the World Can Be Saved By Steam. The idea was to try to fool science types into coming to the meeting.

For the flyer, I photocopied pictures of steam engines from an old library book. We wrote up the flyer as if a guest lecturer was coming, and on the bottom were a lot of fake names of organizations supposedly sponsoring it. I made 150 copies, which was three times more than normal, and hung them everywhere, especially in the science buildings.

At this point, I should mention that the idea for the April 1 meeting came from Mark "Dr. Science" Sachs. So I can't take all of the blame. Ha!


Wednesday, April 1, 1992

I showed up fairly early, anxious to see what kind of people we'd attracted with our authentic-looking flyers. My heart sunk when I poked my head into the room. The only person who didn't belong there was an ancient-looking man, sitting in a corner by himself in the back. I entered, against my will. The old man asked Jean [Prior], who was writing stuff on the board, if this was the right place to be for "Dr. Science." She told him it was. Then he asked, "Where is this Mekon University?" I almost fell over with humiliation. I couldn't witness this, so I left the room.

When Cathy [Nelson] arrived, I told her about the situation and about how terrible I felt about it, dragging this poor guy out on an evening for some pathetic practical joke. It would have been one thing if we'd attracted some grad students, people I felt could take it. But I couldn't handle playing a joke on this innocent-looking old man. I swallowed my chagrin and walked up to the man, explaining to him as gently as I could what was going on. He tried to take it with some sense of dignity, and he told me that he intended to stay anyway and see what was going on. I gave him a newsletter.

To make things worse, Mark "Dr. Science" Sachs was extremely late. The old man hung around the back of the room, waiting. Everybody, like me, was too embarrassed to talk to him. When Mark showed up and went into a prepared skit, the old man quietly slipped out of the back.

Later in the meeting, I stood up and publicly apologized to the rest of the club for being responsible for the incident, promising them I would never do anything like it again.

They comforted me, telling me I was being too hard on myself.

Being too hard on myself is a common problem of mine. Seems I have an overly developed conscience. You know how some people have a good angel and a bad angel on their shoulders? My good angel worked out and thrashed the bad angel into submission. For which, of course, the good angel feels just dreadful.

The World Can be Saved by Contents ...  "So, would you like to get some coffee?" the ALT tag asked the Christie Brinkley .jpg  ...Prankers welcome What sort of pranks have you pulled? Dance Marathon meeting Mall Climb 1992 e-mail: alycewilson@lycos.com