A letter concerning Erebus

by Peter Lampley

Dear Erebus,

The other day, while skimming a few fluff articles that huffed and puffed, but failed to blow me away, I had the dubious displeasure of encountering your particular article in the Purple’s opinion section. I say displeasure not because it was of an overall poor quality, nor because it was a loathsome offensive assault to the intellect, nor because reading it was so painful that it made me feel like I had just let a ‘roid ragin’ Barry Bonds play a ten-inning game of tee-ball with my central nervous system, although I’m not prepared to deny any of those claims.

No, what struck me most about your article (outside of the self-inflicted blunt force trauma I received banging my head against the wall) was the truth you so lovingly expressed, and the truth, as you well know, is why self-respecting gentlemen like you or I drink themselves into an oblivious stupor whenever the opportunity presents itself.

It’s bad enough that I must every now and again venture out of my chamber to brave the daily onslaught of that garish orb, the sun, in the name of sustenance and grade point average, but to make matters worse, every time I do I am prevented from trudging alone in my abject misery. Anytime I find myself in that whore Mother Nature’s embrace it seems I’m afloat in an ocean of misinformed good-will and cheer, held unwillingly aloft on a raft of endless smiling salutation when all I want to do is sink to the very bottom of that treacherous chasm and drown.

But why stop there? I don’t think you went far enough in your laughable attempt to dissuade. This may be a serious problem, but is it not just a symptom of something larger? Sewanee is deathly sick with a worse ailment than I even care to imagine, and I’m sick of it! Years from now, doctors will look back on this pandemic and sob.

“What might we have done?” they’ll cry, “How could we have prevented this scourge?!” By then it will be too late though, won’t it? Everything humankind has thus far accomplished will have been for naught and the Sewanee tradition will have been to blame.

This world will come to an end with a smile and a wave.

But are people concerned? No! In fact, sometimes it even seems as though our peers are glad that this travesty has come about. The people of Sewanee brought this disease on themselves with their kindred spirits and acts of mindless kindness, ignorantly shouting out good-day’s and how-do-you-do’s like gleeful heathens casting stones wrapped in small pox blankets.

FOOLS, DON’T YOU KNOW THAT SMILES ARE CONTAGIOUS?

The coming plague will consume us all and bring civilization to its knees, but by Jove, at least the reckless masses that wrought this destruction will have deserved it! Perhaps we few who understand the ways of the world still have time to prepare for the coming apocalypse, although I seriously doubt any of us will escape with our lives.

Erebus, your warning could not be more vital! To those still capable of reason, I say this:

Renounce the evil ways of these diabolical hey-sayers and encapsulate yourself in a hermitage far away and therefore safe from any form of human contact, not only refusing the passing hello, but scorning it from the very heart of your immortal soul. Otherwise, perish like the rest with a smile on your face!

I look forward to reading your next entry, Erebus, despite the gratuitous pains that I will indubitably suffer in beholding it.

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