Lighting the Way Campaign is Right on Tract

Like all major humanitarians, I spend a great deal of time thinking of ways to make life more productive, beneficial, and happy for all mankind. For example, I recently discovered that if you honk your horn frequently and at random, people will give you a lot of extra space. This is especially true if you are not driving a car.

So I was trying to think of what aspects of life could use a little improvement, and it hit me: the “Lighting the Way” campaign.

“Lighting the Way” is the name of the program wherein BYU wants everyone who goes to BYU, or who has ever gone to BYU, or who is familiar with the letters “BYU,” to donate money in order to facilitate the digging of more holes.

No, actually, the money would be used to send out more letters requesting that people send more money.

No, actually, the money would REALLY be used to make improvements on BYU campus over the next several years. Surely we as students can go along with this. It is obvious that certain things need to be fixed. For example, every freshman who has ever come to BYU has been told that if you run past the Brigham Young statue, it looks like he’s dancing. It is not currently possible to run past the statue, due to the library construction, but even if you could do it, you would discover that it doesn’t work. Brigham Young does NOT do the “funky chicken,” or any other kind of dance. This should be remedied, and I would not mind pitching in a few dollars in order to have the statue repaired in whatever way is necessary to make him dance again.

Also, the Harris Fine Arts Center was designed by lunatics who thought it would be funny to have rooms with similar numbers be at opposite ends of the building, and to have rooms that can only be entered after passing through long, Indiana Jones-esque tunnels. The HFAC should be remodeled, or perhaps just torn down, and I wouldn’t mind paying a few dollars for it.

Also, the sound system in the Cougareat is apparently broken, because the radio station is stuck on FM-100. (I can think of no other reason why FM-100 would always be playing. Surely it is not by choice.) I’ll pitch in 50 cents to buy a new tuning knob.

Also, due to a prank initiated by some high-ranking P.E. official, the towels they give you in the locker room are comically small, about the size of a washcloth. Surely we can all donate a few bucks to have the towels biggered.

My point is that we students probably wouldn’t mind paying a few dollars each to help improve BYU, if we thought the improvements would benefit us. But by and large, students are NOT donating much money. I’m not sure why, unless it’s because students don’t HAVE any money, what with the recent increase in prices at Movies 8.

So I’ve devised a way of getting more donations from students. Here’s what we do: Send an army of individuals door-to-door at all the student housing to hit people up for money directly. If you send young, handsome, charming people, students will gladly give them money.

Who do we send? The pest control missionaries. This would be easy. They only work during the summer, during which time they generally earn around $400,000 each, along with getting to live in a beautiful Southern California community, hang out with fun guys, and wear a pager! “Ha-ha, it’s fun!” is what the blank looks on their faces seem to say in those Daily Universe ads, and while I for one don’t believe it for a minute, it would appear that the individuals who sell pest control door-to-door at least enjoy the work, perhaps due to some kind of mind control. (I had trouble tracting on my mission, and that was when I BELIEVED in the product.)

So these guys are free for most of the year, and I’m sure they would enjoy another chance to go door-to-door for eight hours a day. How do we motivate them to do this? First thing, of course, is we hold a huge meeting where we provide free pizza. This will lure them in, and once we’ve got them, we’ll promise them huge rewards and bonuses for all the tracting they’re going to do. We won’t actually GIVE them these huge rewards and bonuses, but as pest control employees, they’ll be used to such tactics. And before you know it, we’ll have the several million dollars needed to clean the bodies out of the JKHB basement, or perhaps introduce 20th-century plumbing into the Smith Family Living Center.

This is my proposal. Thank you and good night.

One paragraph was changed for publication. The part where I talked about the towels in the locker room ORIGINALLY read as follows:

"Also, the towels they give you in the locker rooms are the size of washcloths. Also, when you get an athletic supporter, it doesn't matter what size you ask for, because 1) the attendants just pull one out at random without checking the size, and 2) they're all the same size anyway."

It was brought to my attention that the main thing BYU President Merrill J. Bateman didn't like about "Snide Remarks" during fall semester was when I twice referred to nudity and/or nakedness (in the "Police Beat" column). It was feared that mentioning athletic supporters -- particularly ones that are too snug -- might be opening that particular can of worms all over again. I'm fairly satisfied with what I used instead (since I got to use the verb "biggered"), but I prefer the original.

I really like this column, by the way. Not only is it a much more reasonable and manageable length than usual, but it's also darned funny. I'd been wanting to stick it to the pest control companies for a long time. The way it worked was, these pest-control companies would actively recruit BYU students to spend their summers selling pest-control services door-to-door. Why BYU students? Because so many of them had door-to-door experience from when they were missionaries, and also because they're clean-cut, good-looking, and generally make good salesmen. The companies would buy these huge ads in the paper, talking about how much money you could make in one summer, and they had recruitment meetings constantly where free pizza was given and pep talks were delivered and everyone got really, really excited about selling pest-control door-to-door from May to August.

Anyway, I thought some of these companies might get upset by this column, especially since they were such regular ad-buyers in The Daily Universe and regular ad-buyers often think that entitles them to dictate what we print. I asked the woman who laid out the ads to please avoid putting a pest-control ad on the same page as "Snide Remarks" this particular week, just in case, which she agreed to. But there was never any reaction from the companies, which is odd, considering just two weeks prior to this they had gotten upset over something else the paper said about pest control groups. So either they didn't see the column, or else they have a sense of humor. The sense of humor thing seems unlikely, so they must have not seen it.