From Shawn Klein's, "Jedi Mind Tricks," Fall '95 From Shawn Klein's, "Jedi Mind Tricks," Fall '95For a large, often impersonable institution, Penn has its fair share of respectable annual traditions. Events like Hey Day (which I was just ecstatic to miss thanks to the MCATs), the Econ Midnight Scream, Spring Fling, Senior Screamers and the festivities of Senior Week come to mind. And these streakers are really something. After all, it's one thing to go outside in the cold. It's another thing to go outside naked. But to go outside naked when it's cold, well, that's truly admirable. This year, the streak started at the Quad nipple. The eighteen participants took off their clothes, presumably stretched out (after all in this cold one could easily pull something), and counted down from ten. All they left on were their sneakers and some scarves to cover up embarrassing hickies. They then proceeded to take a lap around the Quad, screaming for everyone to "Wake up!" and inadvertently championing the size does-not-matter issue with their in-your-face style. As usual, token female runners joined in the manly birthday-suit bash. But one can't help but wonder what would motivate them to do that. They might be the kind of girls which the other sixteen male runners have already seen naked at other occasions. (As any good scientist would, I'll refuse to consider the people that got woken up. This is because there is a good chance all of them have not seen these two naked before, which might punch holes in my theory.) But who am I to speculate. There is no good basis for it. This year there were two women and one of them was apparently cute (!). (There was, however, no way to be certain as early morning eye boogars can blur one's vision. The picture in the DP will have to serve as arbiter.) Not a bad showing, but unfortunately, still lacking. And lacking in a gutwrenching way. I remember the days when there was a female streak. Sadly, you freshman never even knew of such a time. (It's a little like meeting a kid who when asked what year he was born says "1984" and you say: "Jesus, I remember 1984.") You no doubt would think of a female streak as the stuff of collegiate legend, no more real than the Hiberian Age of Conan fame. You may think that it never even happened. But I swear to you that it did. Truth to tell, it was just two years ago. What has happened to our proud tradition? Penn is in disarray. We no longer know who and what we are. Our Revlon dreams are laid to waste. M.A.C.H.O., a club to support sensitive men, has come to campus. We have fallen out of the Top 25, perhaps for the rest of regular hoops season play. And, now Whartonites can minor in the College. As concerned, moral Penn students, we must take a stand. The first strong step: The reinstitution of the female streak. You crazy Tri-Delts figure out for yourselves who will lead it. I have no personal preference. As long as it is done and done with enthusiasm and drama. Help us rise up and reclaim our former glory. You can make this school feel like the proud Ivy League institution we all know it can be once again. Just as your male counterparts did their lap of lewdness, with all possible floppy virility, so too must you. Men and women are different yet equal. You cannot let this campus forget that. It is time to take pride and do what must be done. The groundhog has seen his shadow. Six more weeks of winter are on the way, plenty of time to get one or a couple of laps in. A quick couple of points of advice: First, if it's cold do not make sharp turns. Someone could lose an eye. Second, make sure that the DP gets a frontal shot. (This could be ensured by putting legible signs on your backs which read: "Don't bother buying advertising spots in the DP. No one looks at them.") It puts more emphasis on the point. Third, stretch out. You have no control if non-participants pull something while your running, but there is no reason why you should. Lastly, after the completed lap, take time to meet and greet with the fans who were courteous enough to root you on. It's just good PR. Let's keep this in perspective and not be silly. A female streak will not fix all of the problems on this campus. But it may fix a lot of them.:-) Shawn Klein is a senior biological basis of behavior major from Livingston, N.J. Jedi Mind Tricks appears alternate Thursdays.Comments powered by Disqus
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