Of course the only reason life even continues to exist at this point is that Saturday is the BYU vs. University of Utah football game. Surely you are more excited about this than you have ever been about anything in your entire life.
This will determine, once and for all (or until next year), who is superior: the Self-Righteous Long-Shorts-Wearers of BYU, or the Coffee-Swilling Apostates of U of U. Both teams will be putting their best men on the field, which is more difficult than it sounds, as it involves moving court dates and hastening parole-board hearings.
Going to BYU is very different from going to the U of U. Following are some differences in the admissions process. I’d like to give credit to my pals Chris and Lisa for contributing some of these, because even though my alma mater is BYU, I still try to avoid plagiarism whenever I can.
BYU ADMISSIONS OFFICER: OK, I’ll need your ecclesiastical endorsement, your application, and a letter of recommendation from a general authority.
POTENTIAL STUDENT: Here you go.
BYU: (examines documents) Oh, I’m sorry. He’s “emeritus.” We need a current general authority.
STUDENT: Does that “Work and the Glory” guy count?
BYU: Of course.
* * *
U OF U ADMISSIONS OFFICER: OK, I’ll need your application, your Social Security number, and your rejection letter from BYU.
POTENTIAL STUDENT: (fishes crumpled-up papers out of his pocket) Here you go.
U OF U: This says your Social Security number is 373-5050. That’s not enough digits.
STUDENT: (stares blankly; scratches self)
U OF U: Is that your phone number?
STUDENT: You mean they’re not the same?
* * *
BYU: I see you haven’t shaved today. As a student, you’d have to shave every day, of course.
STUDENT: I understand.
* * *
U OF U: Can you grow that goatee out any more?
* * *
BYU: I’ll have to ask you some personal questions. Did you see the movie “The Titanic”?
BYU: Did you close your eyes during the naked part?
STUDENT: So tightly I burst a blood vessel in my sinuses.
* * *
U OF U: Did you see the movie “Titanic”?
U OF U: What was your favorite part?
STUDENT: The naked part.
U OF U: Yeah, that was awesome.
* * *
BYU: Are you LDS?
BYU: (getting a frowny face) Hmm…
STUDENT: But I play football.
BYU: (dancing a merry jig) You’re in!
STUDENT: Shouldn’t I read the Honor Code first?
BYU: (quickly stuffing papers down his own pants) What Honor Code?
* * *
U OF U: Are you LDS?
STUDENT: Depends on who you ask.
U OF U: You’re in. Cigarette?
My good pal and former Garrens cast-mate Lisa Valentine Clark asked me and my good pal and former Garrens cast-mate Randy Tayler to help her out with something. Seems she'd been asked to get some funny people and do eight minutes of material at a BYU alumni gathering the night before the big BYU/U of U football game. Lisa had the idea of comparing the admissions process at each school, and she and her husband Chris wrote the sketch, with some additions from me and Lisa's sister, Gina, who also participated. (The sketch, with still further modifications, was eventually performed at a Garrens Comedy Troupe show on March 3, 2000.)
We also did a fine parody of the old song "It Had to be You," called "It Had to be the U," about someone who went to the U of U only because she couldn't get into BYU. I later performed this song on my CD "Will Make Jokes for Food".
Parts of this column are from the sketch Lisa and Chris wrote. Some of the specific jokes are from them, though it's mostly the format that I borrowed. Still, enough to give them proper credit, because I knew they would sue me if I didn't.
Most of the jokes here are for BYU and/or U of U people only; I couldn't possibly explain them all to everyone. I will mention that the part about the BYU officer hiding the Honor Code from the football player is a reference to the often-alleged but never proven practice wherein recruiters woo great non-LDS athletes to BYU, all the while glossing over (or not even mentioning) the Honor Code they'll be required to sign. The Honor Code prohibits premarital sex, drinking, smoking and a number of other activities, and athletes are often kicked off the team and/or expelled from school for breaking it. They sometimes claim they were never fully aware of what the Honor Code said -- that if they had been, they wouldn't have signed it and come to BYU, which of course is exactly why recruiters may have de-emphasized it when they were recruiting. It's a rather controversial subject, actually.