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OJ Goes Skiing

Those of you unfortunate enough to see us around campus will have noticed that section OJ is currently in a deep state of depressive stupor.
The unexpected death of Jonas Savimbi, the leader of the Angolan rebel movement Unita, was a shock to our constitution. The news had pierced our silver shield of section spirit and we needed something to fight back against such trauma and restore our inner selves.

At the pot luck dinner called to discuss this matter, Eric Sillman was the first to speak. “I propose we slap Unita with a Community Standards violation for disturbing our otherwise wonderful and open lives”. The entire section was reduced to a silence, stunned by this brilliance.

Two weeks later in a surprising response to our injunction, Kamran Moghtaderi received an invitation from the UN inviting him and the entire section OJ to visit Angola and participate in the old “Our Children are Our Future” peace initiative. Like we at OJ usually do with all such unsolicited material, we removed the staples and put the invite straight into the recycle bin in Aldrich. (For those interested, Joyce Fung collects the staples, sorts them into those that are straight and those that are bent, and then sends them to a recycling facility in Woburn, MA)

Two weeks later and we received another invitation from the UN begging us to help kick-start their historic peace initiative. This time there was some trepidation. After all just recently in these very pages, our wonderful, broadminded and diverse community had applied our deep appreciation of global issues and had come so close to solving the Middle East problem. Would Angola be any different? And so once again, into the bin went the invites.

Two weeks later, and who should turn up at one of our final commemorative section soirees in our old Aldrich classroom but the UN Secretary General Mr. Kofi Anan himself, the persistent chap that he is. He was closely followed by his special friend Bono who was quietly scattering Amazonian rainforest seeds wherever he trod. He was closely followed by some of Cambridge Landscape Gardeners’ finest who were busy ensuring that nothing interfered with the fragile ecosystem of the campus lawns.

“My friends, your section have a unique opportunity to write the new future of this…”

Three minutes later, and thanks to Alejandro Henriquez Autrey and Derek Abrams, Mr. Anan and his entourage were back out on the street. As Pete Stavros told the bewildered Chequer Cab driver, “No one breaks our Community Standards by trying to come to class uninvited without an official section host. No one.”

Two weeks later and AJ Plotkin was listening to the CEO of AOLTimeWarner talk about the importance of personal values. This changed everything. Such power, such passion, such fruit, from someone who surely meant every word. Within twenty four hours OJ was packed and ready to go where destiny called. After a long, grueling flight, mostly though clouds, we arrived at our destination.
Looking around, Lou Brenner was the first to notice the anomaly. “For a war-torn African country, there seem to be an awful lot of white people here”, he said.

Mary Hable realized the truth. “That’s because we’re not in Angola, we’re in Utah!” she exclaimed looking at the famous tarmac-concrete-asphalt hybrid runway so characteristic of Utah airports.

The murmuring began. How could this have happened ?
Andrew Boer took charge. “Give me the map” he said grabbing the atlas. He examined it closely and then decided on a plan of action. “OK so we are obviously not in the right place, so the first thing we need to is find out in which state is Angola in. Does any one know ?”

OJ was silent. “Err… Michigan ?” said a nervous Pine Chen quietly, not wishing to undermine his American F1. The rest of OJ quickly scurried around Andrew trying to find the page which had the close up map of Michigan. Soon the scurrying died down and a fear of the unknown descended upon our section.

Then Antonio Wallace had a realization ” Guys, wait a minute. How could we OJ’s be so stupid ? We have been corrupted by the pretentious nonsense that surrounds us everyday so let’s stop rediscovering our inner selves for just one moment. You see, we’ve been looking for Angola in the wrong place. For Angola is right here, in our hearts”.

And just like in Ghost when the good angels sweep down with pleasant music, a serene calm overtook our section for we had touched the truth and found ourselves, our real selves, free of all religious, cultural, and social doctrine – mere human constructs. We were now ready to embrace the brave new world that lay in wait for us. Cindy Koch tried to speak, but could only choke on her emotion. And we realized that fateful night that there was no Heimlich maneuver for that, except the everlasting love of OJ.

April 16, 2002
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