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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Feb. 17, 1998)
CLIFF HICKS u a news-edi
torial and English major
and a Daily Nebraskan
columnist And single,
I hate Valentine’s Day, and the rea
sons have nothing to do with being sin
OK, maybe they have a little to do
with being single, but that’s not the
The point? Oh yeah, the point The
point is that the majority of people did
Valentine’s Day wrong. The whole gen
eral concept and the way people go
about it - wrong.
I have watched single people and I
have watched couples, and believe me,
I’ve seen the mistakes you people have
made, the errors you stumble through,
the stupid gifts you get and the foolish
ideas you try. Mind you, some of them
impress even me with their outrageous
Read and learn so that Mien next
year rolls around you’ll be ready. I’ll try
to keep your attention.
Lesson No. 1: Be subtle.
A few years ago, I was out of town
shortly after the dreaded holiday, dri
ving through a city that shall be lucky
enough to remain nameless. On a bill
board bigger than my beat-up pickup
truck i which, my roommate can tell
you, is big enough to have the turning
radius of Montana) was a woman’s
(half-deranged looking) smiling face.
Next to her face, in letters taller than I,
read “I love you! I want to bear your
Subtlety is something this woman
isn’t familiar Mth.
I stopped and got lunch in a local
What to do on that fateful day in February
diner in this city and I asked the wait
ress about the billboard.
“Dear Lord, did that girl make a
mistake,” she told me.
I asked her what she meant and she
told me that not only had the girl been
rebuked by her pursued beau, but she
had forgotten to put his name on the
billboard So she spent months hearing
“OK, if you really want my child... ”
from every guy in town.
Lesson No. 2: Be personal.
Never let your gifts be impersonal.
It’s the kiss of death.
Now a lot of you are wondering
how I classify “impersonal.” Here’s a
general list to get you started of things
you shouldn’t give for Valentine’s Day:
new tires, weedwhackers, lighters, belt
buckles, firearms (or, in fact, weapons
of any sort), poultry, road flares,
Brylcreem, Nair, your empty beer bot
tle collection, glassware, tools, lumber,
ferrets (I stress again, ferrets are a defi
nite NO), night vision goggles, whisks,
spatulas, tobacco or alcohol products of
any kind, carpeting, lottery tickets, your
autographed poster of Axl Rose or
Repeat, all of these things are
Guys also should not give lingerie
until they know, for a fact, no doubt
about it, guaranteed, that she will enjoy
it Getting to see your partner in it is a
nice little benefit In fact, that might be
a great idea for next year. Women can
give themselves lingerie for Valentine’s
Day, and the present will be to let their
significant other see them in it
Have character with your gifts.
Give a touch of style to them. Make it
so there’s no question that they came
from you and you alone.
Lesson No. 3: Plan ahead.
Taking your date out to dinner is
not a good idea on Valentine’s Day.
Otherwise, it will draw die inevitable
You, your date and approximately
400 people you don’t know will all be
packed in any given restaurant. Any
restaurant McDonald’s, even. Pretty
soon, one person will go mad and run
out into the street, and like good little
lemmings, you’ll all go running after
Don’t go out on Valentine’s Day.
Even if you
ure/disintegrate whatever it is you’re
trying to make, the thought is what
counts. And even if your intimate
moment for two becomes an intimate
moment for two plus all the firefight
ers, hey, it’s still intimate.
Er, nevermind. The holiday’s
passed, so you’ve got 12 months to
learn how to make a good home
cooked meal. Start preparing.
Lesson No. 4: Don’t stick to the
Nothing kills a date worse than fol
lowing a rigid plan. Relationships are
meant to be fun, wild and spontaneous.
Say you have a dinner planned, and
then you plan to hang out at your place
afterwards, just talk. Great concept.
Feel free to waver.
Nice weather? Go out walking or
Don’t, however, take this too far.
Driving a girl out of town to, say,
Pierre, S.D., will get you slapped with
lawsuits faster than you can say
“Goodbye, Nebraska!” Trust me, I
know people who know people, and
they deport you for offenses like that
Then again, I’ve known people
who practically have egg-timers for
keeping their evening in a strict sched
ule: “At 9:45 we have to be at the
restaurant and we need to be back by
10:45.” Either scenario is a bad one.
Life requires you to color outside the
Lesson No. 5: Take chances.
There are no rules that cannot be
Be spontaneous, even if you aren’t
in a relationship. I sent flowers to peo
ple this year and I’m single. Why?
Because I could. Even if I only got one
smile for the seven roses I sent, that’s
enough. Let me share a little secret
The Beatles said a long time ago,
“Money can’t buy me love.”
And I put my faith in the Walrus.
A smile is worth more than it ever
costs you, because it’s priceless. The
look on someone’s face is something
that will never leave your mind. The
memory of your action will never
(hopefiilly) leave theirs.
If you always live by the rules set
by society, you’re going to go stir crazy,
I guarantee it Talk to people at random.
Speak your mind as you feel the need
to. You’ll stumble and fall occasionally,
but that’s part of the game.
Don’t break all the rules, though.
Calling someone you don’t know at
3:30 in the morning to compliment
them isn’t usually die best idea.
Photographing someone going in and
out of their house isn’t a great idea
either. Nor is tapping their phone. Or
going through their garbage. There’s a
fine line between being risky and being
a stalker, but I feel confident that three
out of four of you can do this just fine.
If you slip up, just get up and try
again. Believe me, I’ve had conversa
tions where I was ready to go and speak
exactly what was on my mind: “You
have the most entrancing eyes, and
your laugh is simply enrapturing. I have
not said anything about this before
because I was simply too awestruck to
speak. Perhaps you would be kind
enough to allow me to take you to din
ner this weekend?” It ended up a little
“Girl got pretty hair. Want date?”
It happens. Move on.
Lesson No. 6: It isn’t just about
Valentine’s Day any more.
Valentine’s Day shouldn’t be a
once-a-year thing. You should be think
ing about your loved one every day of
the year. Do nice things j
instances. Brings rase Jbrwneasqn. % J
Go out to dinner sortie night just ^
because. Call justto heajf&e sobntldf\
their voice. 'V ^
Being single gives a much more J '
accurate perspective of the whole dat
ing situation and you people need to get
a grip, but quick. Bring back the magic
in your relationship. I can’t count the
times I’ve seen a couple in a restaurant
with one person’s attention wavering.
Romance is a full-time thing. Just
have fun with it and be inventive. Keep
your sense of humor about it all.
Life is meant to be fun. Live it that
] College criticisms
| Concerns include pinball, no men’s lounge and racism
mmsma in 11 m i ■lllllllllilil II
TODD MUNSON is a junior
broadcasting major and a Daily
As some of you may have guessed, I’m not
the most issue-oriented person. That’s going to
change, for today at least.
Don’t fret. I won’t hop on the “Save the
Whales” bandwagon, try to put a new spin on
the whole Iraq thing or beat the dead horse that
is Monica “if you’re rich and powerful, step
right in” Lewinsky. I promise I won’t even say
anything bad about cows. Besides, milk is the
greatest thing in the world. Oh yeah, the “Moo
Movies” grand prize will be mine.
What will be discussed today are a few
observations and goings-on at this microcosm
known as the University of Nebraska-Lincoln
that ruffle my feathers, making me madder than
a wet hen. (Someday, I will be a grizzled old
man and adages like the previous one will actu
ally fit in the context of everyday speech.)
When I’m supposed to be writing these
things, I’m actually in the union game room
more than the Daily Nebraskan, so we’ll start
I can t express in words how much of a
bummer it was to see the cost of pinball double
to the industry standard of 50 cents per game.
For years, pinball at the union game room was a
better value than ‘Taco Tuesday.” Some may
place the blame on the cost of union expansion,
but I think the inflated price comes from some
thing else entirely - those mean-spirited jerks
who pound on the machine when that little ball
goes down the main drain.
If you have no idea what type of person I’m
referring to, peek into the game room some
time. They’re real easy to spot, usually pound
ing the table with a clenched fist and yelling
something like, “Stupid friggin’ ball, don’t go
in there. Oh, that’s it! Now you’re going to die.”
Then, they proceed to pummel the hapless
machine with a series of roundhouse rights (lit
erally punching its lights out) before dropping
to the ground and forcing the machine into sub
mission with a figure-four leg-lock.
These folks amuse me. I can’t help but
laugh at those who play pinball to get angry. I
hope they’re just business college students who
are acting out their frustrations because some
day they will become soulless automatons in
America’s workforce. If you’re not a business
student and you find yourself beating a pinball
machine worse than Paul Reubens beats him
self in an adult film theater, you have no place
in the game room, or society, for that matter.
Pinball isn’t supposed to be a violent, hos
tile game. It’s a game of skill and karma that is
analogous to life. One second, you can be light
ing up jackpot after jackpot and the next, it’s
main drain city. It’s hot about how hard can you
shove the machine until it tilts but the ebb and
flow of the silver ball. The next time you find
yourself getting ready to body slam an inani
mate object, stop. Give up the remainder of
your game to a more civilized person, and
march over to the health center to sign up for an
anger management class.
Let’s segue now to something gender-ori
When university administrators decided to
expand the union, during ____________
the time future his- ^SSSBBSB
torians will refer to as the Age of Gender
Equity, why weren’t any plans included for a
For y’all who aren’t aware, right next to the
unused ASUN office is a lounge exclusively foi
the female gender. I wish I could tell you what
goes on in there, but because I don’t know the
secret knock and have a different apparatus
than the users of the lounge, all I can say is that
it’s a gateway to Shangri-La.
Users of the women’s lounge might vehe
mently declare that women have special needs
that can only be tended to in privacy. But so do
men. A man’s natural state is in his underwear.
Ladies, do you have any idea how hard it is for
a man to force himself to wear pants for an
entire day? Just imagine, with die addition of a
men’s lounge, men would finally have a place
they could hang their pants at the door, kick
back, and watch reruns of “SportsCenter” in
the sanctity of their own kind.
With gender covered, let’s move to race.
Every so often, UNL shows signs of being i
racist institution. A cross burning here, a nasty
e-mail there. About the whole
e-mail thing, that professor
(I refuse to say his name because his son’s
emerging rap career has received too much free
publicity) was most definitely wrong in what
he did, but until America falls to right-wing
radicals, free speech is here to stay. I was disap
pointed that Chancellor James Moeser took so
long to make an official statement. The guy
before him probably wouldn’t have done a bet
ter job, but he at least would have done a magic
trick or two while condemning racism.
My point, and I like to think I have one, is
that if UNL wants to be known as a racist
school, then there should be a full-on battle
royale of racism. If you’re of Irish decent, get
drunk and go punch an Italian. If you’re French,
choke a Briton to death with a loaf of French
bread. If you’re Finnish, give the finger to a
Russian. If you’re German, hate everybody.
Forget about this black vs. white stuff, let’s go
back to the days of how America used to be.
My final gripe is with students.
it you re a college student, cnances are
you’re here of your own free will. You like to
learn, and you want to learn more. If you don’t
want to have to think, and college is just an
opportunity for a multi-year party, save the
money, and don’t enroll for classes.
A few weeks back, Tito Puente, the undis
puted king of Latin jazz, made the fust visit to
Lincoln his 50-year career, That night, even the
staunchest Republican had a booty-shaking
good time. Unfortunately, a pair of history of
American jazz students didn’t think so. At
intermission, die pair agreed they had seen
enough, made sure they had a program and
their ticket stub and loudly declared it was time
to go drink.
Please excuse me if I seemed like I was
constipated or something, but sometimes, you
have to question the mentality and intellect of
your academic colleagues. Was spending a cou
ple hours to see a living legend give an excel
lent performance too much for an instructor to
I would have hated to see what they thought
of those who wort to see Tito of their own voli
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