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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

FARBER: Murderous ducks and dying hamsters

Published: February 11, 2005
Section: Opinions

Im a Junior. And as I try to look back on the long road that got me here, I completely forget where I put it, and what might have been on it the last time I saw it. But though I am forgetful, I remember a lot. Specifically, I remember that the road that got me here was definitely filled with bumps, cracks, potholes, talking pizza slices, two-foot midget ninjas trying to psych me out from filling out my application by performing the Macarena in radioactive polka-dotted pajamas, as well as the other standard obstacles one may or may not ever encounter on his or her road to a university setting. But radioactive midgets aside (which, by the way, would be a great name for a comedy club) there is one thing that turned that road into the road that led straight to an acceptance letter and North Quad, my first year residence.

It was the duck.

As I am now faced with the prospect of writing graduate school applications, I cant but remember how I felt filling out the one that brought me here in the first place. Writing my Brandeis application wasnt a stroll through the park. It was more like a wade through piranha-infested sewage. Especially when it got to the part about the essay. They wanted me to write about an experience that affected my life, when, as far back as I could remember, I had no life. I thought maybe Id write about that, but ironically, despite the rich subject matter inherent in that topic, there was nothing to write about. Just then, I felt a college application sewage piranha bite my naval off, and I have an innie.

But then, in the depths of frustration, I heard a story about someone who got killed by a duck, and naturally, I wanted the duck to write my essay. No, really, I wanted to interview the duck so I could write the essay from the perspective of the duck. But then I got the news that the duck hadnt just killed the guy. The duck had been on a suicide mission, so an interview would never be possible. I was faced with the prospect of either performing a sance on the duck, or giving up but then I just decided to write about it anyway.

Apparently, and this is the one crunchy golden-brown nugget of real truth youll get in this article, the guy was jet skiing, and the duck flew into his head, killing both man and duck. And I wrote about this, and they gave me a scholarship. You just gotta know how to appeal to human bloodlust and innate hatred for ducks here at Brandeis. Who could love ducks here, a place where ducks are so lazy and stupid that they forget to migrate, and then jump into Yakus Pond, without wetsuits in the dead of winter looking for God knows what? The ducks certainly dont.

I write about this now because recently, instead of helping me get scholarships, dead animals at Brandeis have been causing me serious trouble. I speak specifically of my eight-year-old laptop computer that, until now, ran on a 200mhz hamster wheel, powered by my late friend Herby the Hamster. My computer stopped turning on a few weeks ago, so, as I normally do in situations of computer trouble, I drop some food crumbs and soda into the keyboard, to give Herby something to snack on. But this time he wasnt coming back.

So I decided last week to get another computer. And the first thing Im going to do with it: brush the two-foot midget ninjas trying to psych me out from applying to grad school by performing the Macarena in radioactive polka-dotted pajamas aside, think of the duck, say a eulogy for Herby, and fill out the Columbia School of Journalism application.

And why Columbia? Because when it comes to journalism, I am committed to truth, and I only accept the most accuratethe best of the best. Though I have to admit…sometimes I really just dont give a duck.