After a summer of MPS withdrawal, wherein I pined for the fjords (no, just resting), I made a triumphant return as secretary of MPS at the officers' meeting. My journal entry for Aug. 27, 1989, failed to reflect this glory, starting out, "Another boring Sunday, like the taste of paste in your mouth. Gray paste."
The other officers included Ian Podraza, president; Eric Schr9ager, vice president; and L.J. "Trotsky" Sparvero as treasurer.
"The Nine," explaining why he spells his name that way
"The Nine" was how his associates came to refer to Eric Schr9ager, when they weren't deliberately pronouncing the "9" in his name, a la "Shr-nine-uh-gur." Eric had named himself after a Tom Lehrer joke ("I have a friend named Hen3ry, spelled H-E-N-3-R-Y. The 3 is silent.") He was rumored to appear in person if you said his name three times in a row, a la Beetlejuice, so "The Nine" was a safe substitute.
One thing The Nine was good at (besides grabbing his crotch in public and hitting on freshman girls) was coming up with bizarre ideas. He suggested having a theme for each meeting, with members encouraged to bring skits, props, and/or other weirdnesses related to that meeting's theme.
That's how we ended up having our first skits night, called the Skits-Oid meeting, on September 13, 1989. As I wrote in my journal, "The night was chaotic, as always, but with a little more order." Skits included the witch-burning scene from "Holy Grail," a skit I wrote called "Stubborn and Violent," and an amalgam of original skits and Monty Python skits.
A friend of The Nine's, Matt Black, filmed the meeting. I have never seen a copy of it and wish I could locate him. Why does everyone I try to contact have such ordinary names? There must be thousands of Matt Blacks out there, and that's not even counting the pens.
Other themes that semester included "Penn State: The Best Season of an Otherwise Dreary and Meaningless Existence," "Frats and Sororities: Why the Rush?" and "Great Twits in History."