A Letter to New Members of the Gamma Eta Fraternity

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Hello all and welcome to your new home. Rest assured we didn’t make a rush to judgment when choosing you! All kidding aside, we here at Gamma Eta are dedicated to living clean, neat and smart while still having fun, or as we like to call it: practicing good fratkeeping. Our motto is “Just because our name is Greek doesn’t mean we can’t live like Sheikhs” (incidentally, we are looking for a new motto if you have any suggestions). With that in mind, here’s this week’s newsletter with a segment we like to call Hints from Howard.

Nifty Thrifts

* Do you have pairs of old socks whose elastic has given out? Don’t throw them away! Old socks can be used as budget oven mitts for removing slices of reheated pizza.

* An aloha party is a great way to kick off a new semester, but finding decorative sand can be tough if you don’t live near the beach. If you can’t find a playground sandbox to “borrow” sand from, why not make your own? Empty the crumbs from every bag of Doritos lying around the frat house into a large bucket. When the bucket is filled, scatter the crumbs across the floor and break out the leis!

* Every frat brother needs a seashell necklace, but not everyone can afford one. Try spray-painting a few conchiglie pasta shells white and threading them with an old shoelace for a neat alternative that won’t strain your wallet!

Stains and Spills

* The boudoir is an area that should excite all the senses, including smell. If you notice your girlfriend wrinkling her nose, try placing a few drops of eucalyptus oil mixed with fresh weed buds on your bedside lamp. The heat from the bulb will carry the delicious smell throughout the room (NOTE: Don’t use bong water!).

* Speaking of smelly liquids, if your buddy has a few too many, the nozzle of a hookah can be gently lowered down his throat to induce vomiting. After he’s puked and rallied, the two of you can enjoy a few hits of apple-flavored tobacco.

Culinary Clues

* Are you tired of drinking warm beer bought at the last minute for impromptu parties? Keep an ice tray filled with beer in your freezer. When the party starts, drop these frothy cubes in your mug for an instant icy brew that won’t get watered down!

* Coffee straws are excellent tools to sniff up that hard-to-reach cocaine in the cracks of your coffee table.

* Do you have your eye on a sorority sister who dislikes the rough smoke of marijuana and is also on a strict diet? Instead of pot brownies, why not try stirring those buds into a low-fat muffin mix? That way you can keep your lady stoned and slim.

Well, those are all the tips we have for you today. A reminder: The Ultimate Frisbee For Cancer-A-Thon will be taking place on the quad next Tuesday. If you do not have your own frisbee, try cutting off the handle of a plastic garbage-can lid. Voila!

Yours in Bro-Hood,

Howard Bowles

Gamma Eta Minister of Housekeeping

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27 Consecutive Items from the Outlook Task List of Peter Fallman, Mayor of Addleton

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Jan 21: Must place thank-you call to Sheriff Brown for kind intro at inauguration.

Jan 23: Secretary’s name is Ahn-DRAY-ah, not AN-dree-ah!

Jan 30: Must have word with Andrea re: telephone etiquette. Also, apologize to Sheriff Brown re: rudeness of Andrea.

Feb 7: New secretary’s name is Paul.

Feb 21: Call City Attorney Ramirez re: Andrea’s frivolous civil suit. Does she have grounds to claim Clerical Squatters’ Rights? Do those even exist?!

Feb 28: Must call emergency Town Council caucus to update archaic Town Charter. Clerical Squatters’ Rights?! Come on!! Shouldn’t that mean just for the Church anyway?

Mar 3: Must train Paul to screen calls from Andrea’s lawyers.

Mar 10: New secretary’s name is Inga.

Mar 14: Must train Inga to screen calls from Paul’s lawyers. (NO VIOLENCE THIS TIME, PETE!)

Mar 15: Still have to call Sheriff Brown to thank for intro and apologize for Andrea.

Mar 16: Train Inga to use American telephones. And work on her English. And her attitude.

Mar 20: Fire Inga at end of workweek. STICK TO YOUR GUNS, PETE!

Mar 23: Pick Inga up at her place at 8 Saturday night. Buy new bottle of Old Spice.

Mar 24: SHERIFF BROWN! THANK-YOU CALL! APOLOGIES! TODAY! RIGHT AFTER LUNCH! SERIOUSLY!

Apr 2: Update Town Charter to include Council position for Inga. Buy a back-up bottle of Old Spice. Call temp agency again.

Apr 4: New secretary’s name is Robert. Call temp agency again. [frowny-face icon]

Apr 6: New secretary’s name is Pamela. Not a 10, but good enough. [smiley-face icon]

Apr 12: Have Pam cancel tonight’s Annual Police Benefit Dinner. Can’t sit next to Sheriff Brown when I still haven’t thanked him for his intro! Ask Treasurer Richards to reroute banquet funds to Account X.

Apr 16: New Interim City Treasurer’s name is Ed Williams. Think he’ll play ball. [smiley-face icon]

Apr 20: Must send Cayman Islands offshore acct #s to Ed Williams by Tues.

Apr 29: Numbers to be blocked from this phone line: Andrea’s lawyer, Paul’s lawyer, Inga’s cell, ex-Treasurer Richards’s office, The Addleton Gazette city room, City Attorney Ramirez’s office, Sheriff Brown’s office (if we can figure out what it is, dammit Pam!), wherever grand juries call from, my wife’s cell…

May 3: If he calls office, have Pam thank Sheriff Brown for the lame intro last month and apologize for Andrea etc. and deny any implications of embezzlement. Then block number.

May 10: Call Air Jamaica from the pay phone on Center St. TODAY!

May 12: Pack shorts and sandals and a bottle of Old Spice, cash in 401K, feed Ed to lions, drive self to airport (give driver afternoon off?). Maybe leave note for Pam.

May 14: Fast-track the Airport Express Lane Bill as last act before impeachment. Send email from Jamaica: congratulate Acting Mayor Brown on appointment, thank him for warm intro, beg for a pardon (can mayors even give those?).

May 15: If stopped on way to airport, hire a lawyer or two or five for multiple paternity and civil suits…and probably messy divorce…and countless criminal charges. Apologize to arresting officers for plundering their pensions.

May 15: Booking officer’s name is Marilyn.

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Subject: CEO To Serve Ice Cream!

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From: Catherine Ruskin

To: HQ – All

Subject: CEO to serve ice cream!

Sent at 8:59 a.m.

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

This afternoon, at approximately 2 p.m., we are all in for a very special, very sweet treat. Our President and CEO, Jon Barger, will be dishing out single scoops of ice cream (cup or cone optional) in the main lobby to help combat the cruel summer heat! Immediately prior to the event, Mr. Barger will be outfitted by HR in an authentic, ’60s-style pinstriped apron and old-tyme dairy bar cap. This should be a lot of fun!

Looking forward to seeing each and every one of you there,

Catherine Ruskin

Human Resources Administrator

From: Catherine Ruskin

To: HQ – All

Subject: CEO + ice cream social follow-up

Sent at 11:05 a.m.

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

We have received numerous positive responses to today’s CEO + ice cream social…and it hasn’t even happened yet! To answer a few of your questions:

(1) Some of you have noticed that the event is officially scheduled on your calendars from 2:00 – 2:05 p.m. During this time, Mr. Barger will be personally available to serve you exactly one (1) scoop of his favorite flavor-of-the-day (banana berry fudge), cup or cone optional. First come, first served. At exactly 2:06 p.m, an official Herr’s Dairy Bar representative will take over the duties of head server, and Mr. Barger will be available for a meet-and-greet at a nearby collapsible table. Each employee is entitled to one (1) handshake, and will receive a printed, personalized message of encouragement from Mr. Barger himself. Those employees wishing to bring their spouses or young children to the event will be entitled to one (1) additional shake per spouse, and one (1) inspirational head rub / hair ruffle per child. Children over the age of 8 will not be admitted into the meet-and-greet area, and are expected to remain seated in the lobby with their ice cream in hand. Please clean up after yourself, and remind your spouse / child to do the same!!

(2) Regarding photographs and moving pictures: No image recording devices will be permitted entry into the designated ice cream social area. This includes Polaroids, still-picture cameras, digital cameras, Super 8s, or any other form of identity / memory capturing equipment. There are very logical reasons for this policy, and if you have any questions, we ask that you refer yourselves to the Employee Handbook. No appeals will be granted, so please don’t ask.

(3) Non-dairy options…will not be available. Please keep in mind that this is a company-wide event. Therefore, it would be impossible to tailor the event to suit each one of our individual whims and fancies. Both HR and Mr. Barger feel that the available flavor (banana berry fudge) is more than sufficient, and should satisfy our collective sweet tooth while also serving to encourage our continued productivity for the rest of the day / season. We hope you’ll agree.

Thank you and see you soon!

Catherine Ruskin

Human Resources Administrator

From: Catherine Ruskin

To: HQ – All

Subject: It’s almost time!

Sent at 1:25 p.m.

Friends and Colleagues,

It’s almost that special time of the day! We hope you saved some room for ice cream, and that you didn’t take as long as you might usually have taken for lunch (given that we’re providing you with your dessert and all!).

A few last-minute reminders and updates:

For your convenience and ours, we have hired a contractor to serve as a Maintainer of Order (informally, “bouncer”) at this afternoon’s event. Mr. Abdullah will be present for the duration of the event, and will direct you in an orderly fashion toward your single scoop. He does not expect to speak, and in turn expects not to be spoken to. He is a professional. Please obey him.

As promised, Mr. Barger will be suitably attired for the occasion, and will be donning his brand new (vintage) Dairy Bar Owner’s outfit. However, for the sake of workplace professionalism, the outfit will be removed immediately following Mr. Barger’s tenure as Scoop Distributor (2:06 p.m., sharp), at which point Mr. Barger will change into his usual Italian suit and tie, and return at approximately 2:20 p.m. for the scheduled meet-and-greet. During this interval, please direct all of your Yes / No inquiries to Abdullah, who will answer accordingly, with either a vertical nod or a horizontal shake. Human Resources administrators will not be available at this time, as we will be helping Mr. Barger change into his suit in the privacy of the 1st floor women’s restroom.

We have had a few questions regarding post-event workplace expectations: We expect you to be productive! Just because we are providing you with a free ice cream social, that doesn’t mean that the rest of your work day should be neglected in favor of other, equally fun activities. A few of you have suggested a post-event Frisbee-golf (“Frolf”) round robin in the parking lot, while still others have mentioned the possibility of a “bar night.” No! Please be back at your desks no later than 2:45 p.m., and have your monitors switched on. We have hired more contractors to serve as undercover post-event observers, and they will be reporting directly back to Mr. Barger himself. Consider yourselves warned…

Sincerely,

Catherine Ruskin

Human Resources Administrator

From: Catherine Ruskin

To: HQ – All

Subject: Success!

Sent at: 3:45 p.m.

Whew. What a day!

Today we once again proved to ourselves that we can work together as a company and as a community to make events such as a complimentary CEO + ice cream social a reality. We here in HR were more than pleased by the incredible turnout, and I can assure you that Mr. Barger enjoyed serving and meeting each and every one of you! Thanks to your cooperation and relative obedience, it is quite possible (but not guaranteed) that a similar event might take place in the distant future.

Thanks to those of you who oh-so-generously volunteered some time out of your work day to speak with the crew from 9 News — the lines were literally out the door! We’re very grateful to them for covering this event, and we look forward to seeing the segment entitled “Local CEO Serves Ice Cream With Bare Hands” during tomorrow evening’s newscast. Incidentally, we apologize for any sanitary concerns that may have arisen due to the unanticipated style of Mr. Barger’s service; we only did what the cameramen told us to do!

Is it hot in here? (not anymore!),

Catherine “Cathy” Ruskin

Human Resources Administrator

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John the Apostle Has Some Explaining to Do

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Alright everybody, settle down now. What you’ve just witnessed here is a miracle. I need everybody to take a few steps back and give me some air so I can explain. Divine intervention has manifested itself in our affairs right here in Cana, as you’ll notice that the water you’ve been sipping for the past hour has now been turned to wine. With this miracle, I, for one, am prepared to put my faith in this man. What’s that, Fred? No, not that dwarf over by the salad bar; I’m talking about Jesus, the guy I brought from Nazareth. The Lamb of God, for crying out loud. Well, my date cancelled. Of course you can’t eat Him — it’s a metaphor. Fred, I think you’ve been drinking a little too much of that wine. Jesus is not taking “drink orders,” per se. If He wants to turn the wine into dry martinis, I imagine He’ll do that, don’t you? Look, I’m sorry the dwarf is freaking you out, but I’m not about to ask Jesus to turn him into lemon sorbet — be realistic, Fred. Well she’s allowed to tell him his business — that’s his mother. I know it’s dorky, she’s just a little protective. Please don’t make a big deal about his mom coming, okay? Because it’s embarrasing, Fred! No, Fred. She doesn’t have a boyfriend. She has a husband — a devoted husband called Joseph. Kick his ass? You go right ahead with that, Fred. You go right ahead and see what happens when that happens, hoss.

His glory revealed, I suggest we all give Jesus a little room and thank Him for providing us with this wine, as you sots drank the last of it before the ink on the ketubah dried. As foretold by Isaiah 62:4-5, we have borne witness to this grand….My name? It’s John. The bride and I were mixed doubles partners on the high school tennis team. I’m sorry, you are who? Wendell? Ah, the best man. Well, this must be quite a day for you, sir. Oh, I assure you, neither Jesus nor I is trying to “steal anybody’s thunder,” but you must admit that this miracle, this luminous mystery has come to us as an indication that…How am I being an insensitive jackass? If I wanted to, I could tell everybody about how I’ve noticed you’ve been eyeing the flower girls since we got here. Well, I’m sure they do things differently in Jezreel, but here in Cana, we don’t tolerate that kind of thing. We’re talking about the Anointed here, who has come to us to redeem all humanity. This man is the word become flesh and I aim to have you recognize that…Oh, don’t be childish; I’m not going to “meet you by the chuppah in twenty minutes.” This is a sacred occasion on so many levels, Wendell. Why are you intent on making such a donkey of yourself?

Okay, come here, Jesus. Enable us as your disciples to follow you in all the glory of your divine splendor…Oh, I know they’re a little rowdy — they’re just half-crocked on that delicious wine. But they won’t bite, I promise. Come up here on the stage with me. Whoa! Okay, that dwarf definitely bites. I didn’t see that coming. How is your ankle? Jesus, I’m sorry about that. I think they’re just a little overwhelmed. I have to admit, I am too. No, wait. Where are you going? See what you’ve done, you maniacs? Now he’s upset and you’re all drunk and acting like a bunch of jerks. That means you, Fred. I’ll tell you what. To be honest, I’m struggling to see how you make the connection between Jesus doing His best to make this wedding a real one-of-a-kind bash by turning water into wine and you having “the power” to turn your lamb chops into “poop.” Well, one is an act of the gastro-intestinal tract and the other is an act of God. Yes, Fred, I’m sure He could, but you’re plumb crazy if you think I’m going to ask Jesus to turn the crudité spread into shekel-bags of weed.

Now, if you would, rejoice with me all of you in praising Jesus for this miracle we have seen today. Uh, girls. Girls! That’s not praising. That’s more like “asking for things.” Get up off of Jesus’s lap. No, girls. That’s incorrect. Why would He want to come down your chimney? Milk and cookies? What’s gotten into you people? But since we’re on chimneys, I urge you all to abandon your false hearths! There is a brighter light that shines before your very eyes. Praise be to Jesus, for He has…What’s that, Emily? No, He doesn’t do pregnancy tests. You all think this is some kind of parlor trick, don’t you? I don’t think the awesome power or significance of what has happened here today is really sinking in. This is unbelievable. Oh, forgive them, Jesus. Well no, not the little fellow who bit you, that was totally uncalled for. They hauled him off along with that groomsman who was trying to fondle the ice sculpture, so you won’t have to worry about them any more…Hmm, that’s a good question. Where is everybody going? Good people of Galilee, what is that commotion? Hold on one second, Jesus. Maybe the band is setting up; let me go take a look.

Can this be so? Jesus, come quickly! It is another miracle, like the one described on Mount Horeb. Perhaps as God informed Moses of his divine calling after the flight out of Egypt, He now appears as if to speak from a burning bush! Oh, wait. No. Jesus, you probably don’t even want to see this. It’s Fred. He’s done something called a “brush fire.” I’m embarrassed to even tell you what it is. Well, you blow out all the candles in a room and then you, uh, while everybody’s wondering what’s up, you, uh, hmm, how do I put this lightly, uh, you sort of light your pubes on fire and run around the room. Yeah, and I guess it sort of looks like a brush fire.

It’s always the lowest common denominator at these things, Jesus. Man, I could really use a dry martini right now.

Well, I was just asking.

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