Something on one of the kiosks
upset a Regent. The Provost told
the Dean, and the Dean told Ramona
his Administrative Assistant,
and Ramona told Jacquie the Work Study
to remove all offensive materials
from bulletin boards, walls, trees
and light poles on campus.
Jacquie was too scared of Ramona
(Who wouldn’t be?)
to ask what offensive meant.
She thought the Dean was pretty offensive,
the way he talked golf all the time,
but since he never got his picture
on any posters, she couldn’t take him down,
and nothing else bothered her –
not with the family she came from –
so she really didn’t do anything
till Ramona handed her
a copy of the University Speech Code
written by a bunch of PhDs,
and which Jacquie,
with only a high school diploma (Secretarial Track)
couldn’t decipher any more
than the blackboard after a Calculus class.
Look, said Ramona, I don’t understand it either.
Just get rid of anything
that might bother a rich Republican woman
So Jacquie tore down
any piece of paper with
a cute girl on it, figuring
they’d make an old lady jealous,
and she tore down anything
that made fun of President Bush
(Wasn’t he a Republican?)
and she tore down all
lesbi-gay stuff, anything
pagan or Catholic, Native American,
African American or Hispanic,
ads to sell musical instruments
(Old ladies like that
would probably hate garage bands)
and requests for rides
(Get your own car! she’d probably say).
So Jacquie was standing in Bluersch Hall,
trying to decide whether
a Green Party ice cream social
would bother the Regent when
a bunch of students surrounded her
and started yelling, which made her cry.
Then a bunch of suit people
marched into the Dean’s office,
and Ramona sat biting her thumb
while Jacquie tried to figure out
what she’d do for a job.
Finally they all went away
and Jacquie was transferred to Physical Education,
which was fine with her,
‘cause she could swim on her breaks.
Probably other stuff happened about the posters,
but over in PE they didn’t
talk about it, and Jacquie soon forgot–
except to remind herself never
to work that close to the bigshots again.