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From the Middle School Issue (Dec 2000):

Lunchtime Poll
Fed reporter becomes a Heather
Liz Gorinsky

In 1989, the year the Winona Ryder and Christian Slater vehicle Heathers arrived in theaters, today's college students were just barely getting the hang of elementary school. Nevertheless, it, more than any other movie, prepared the children of the eighties to stare down the grim specter of life with a double-digit age and face the hellish scrabble for dominance that would soon make them detestable to most of their peers. Heathers perfectly encapsulates the preteen strife that goads in each of us the urge to blow up our school and murder the popular kids in the hope that such measures would make our world a more tolerable place.

Since its release, Heathers has spawned dozens of imitations, one of the most popular targets being its "lunchtime poll". In the fictional Westerberg High, this poll, intended for eventual inclusion in the yearbook, was administered by three sickeningly popular girls, all named Heather. Columbia may not have a high school cafeteria to call its own, but it does have John Jay Dining Hall, which provides a startlingly similar social scene. Consider, if you will, the abject humiliation instantly heaped upon anyone clumsy enough to drop a tray full of dishes.

The Fed, always happy to mine comic gold from another man's misery, dispatched this reporter with instructions to inspire the Heathers vibe beneath the vaulted ceilings of John Jay. We began with a question taken straight from the classic movie script and then... improvised. Here are the results:

Veronica Sawyer: You inherit five million dollars the same day aliens land on the earth and say they're gonna blow it up in two days. What do you do?

  • Buy a whole bunch of drugs to do over a few days. Like, a kilogram of cocaine. You wouldn't get addicted because the world is going to end in two days anyway, so you'd just be happy and up for two days and then die.
  • I'd throw a huge two day party with D.J.s, strippers, and drugs and invite all my friends.
    Five million would go pretty fast that way.
    Yeah. Less friends, more strippers, I guess.
  • I would convert it into Canadian dollars and be twice as rich.
  • Shopping Spree. Down Fifth Avenue. I'd go to H&M...
    Wait, you have five million dollars to spend and you're going to shop at H&M?
    I like H&M.
    So, what do you do after you've shopped at H&M and you have, like, $4,999,910 left?
    Armani. The Gap. And Pottery Barn.
  • I buy as much MBMA [a purer form of Ecstasy] as I can, put it in the New York City water supply, and watch what happens.
  • I would buy the biggest tractor I could find and give it to the aliens.
    Why would you give a tractor to the aliens?
    As a gift!
    You think they'd like having a tractor?
    Who wouldn't?

What's the most frivolous thing you brought with you to Columbia?

  • A Britney Spears inflatable chair.
  • The jawbone of an ass.
  • A moo box - a boom box that I painted to look like a cow and don't use anymore.
  • My subscription to the New York Times. Every day I pick up the paper from my doorstep and throw it in the garbage.
  • I have a condom dispenser made from a jelly bean container.
  • A random Canadian patch. You're supposed to sew it on something but I don't know how to sew.
  • A container of that flammable blue jelly that caterers use to heat stuff up.
  • "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Quilting"
  • Books for pleasure reading. Ha!
  • I don't have anything frivolous here. I live a very Spartan existence. My life is simple. My oscillating fan, maybe?

If you were allowed to read one person's mind for a half an hour, whose would it be?

  • George W. Bush, but there wouldn't be much to read.
  • Batman. He's the best a man can be. He's a scientist. He's a smart guy.
  • Michael Francis Giaccio. He's a sophomore that lives on my floor... and I think he'd like to see his name in print. But don't [call him] Francis [in the paper], because he'd kill me.
  • The Loch Ness Monster. He's been around a really long time. He must know some stuff.
  • I want to be in a goldfish's mind and see if they really forget every five seconds.

Who do you consider to be the most overrated person in the entertainment industry? How would you like to see their career end?

  • Pauly Shore. I'd tie him down and make him watch all of his shows and movies until he died of starvation.
  • Sylvester Stallone. I'd like to see his muscles slowly atrophy away.
  • Adam Sandler. He'd be violently raped by a bunch of Franciscan monks.
    So they have to be Franciscan?
    Yes. Because they're quiet and they like animals.
  • Christina Aguilera. She dyes her hair so much that maybe one day it'll all fall out.
  • Leonardo DiCaprio. It'll end with him getting naked in Times Square and everyone laughing at him.

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