This is the online component of the humor section of the Argus, the Wesleyan University newspaper.


Ampersand issue from 1831

The following articles are from an Ampersand issue in 1831 that we found in the Argus archives.

Welcome to another issue of the Ampersand. If you are reading this, then you are one of the 48 students at this suckling infant of academia, Wesleyan University. Methodism hurrah! We are very excited indeed to still be in publication after last week's uproarious but somewhat controversial investigation into the comical oddities of courtship in our modern times. We apologize to anyone who was offended by the phrases “nipple protuberance” and “man milking.” We never meant to insinuate that men and women engaged in fornication, which would of course be illegal. We simply wanted to compare the romantic pursuits of Christians with the mating rituals of animals. Or, in the case of Henry Hawthorne '35, fornication with the school chickens, which no one knew until now. Henry, this is for remarking on the hideous asymmetry of my left and right cheek bones. Now your fowl buggery will not go unnoticed, and I challenge you to a sunrise duel, coward. Moving on, I apologize again to the community for last week. Finally, our theme this week is “The future, the present, and piety.”

-Ainsworth Huxtington

ACB posts from 1831

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Zipcarriages Arrive on campus!

Public Safety Incident Report: 1831 Edition

4:12 p.m. P-Safe officers responded to a complaint. The suspect, a young man wearing a double-breasted frock coat over a frilled waistcoat, and Wellington boots, accosted a young lady departing from the looms. He demanded to accompany her at an unseemly distance of two metres all the way to her destination, and she was not carrying a parasol. A man was mistakenly taken into custody but was swiftly released when officers realized that he was wearing Hessian boots with the cuffs turned down, and not, in fact, Wellingtons.

8:37 p.m. A maiden was escorted from Usdan Dining Hall, after numerous grievances were filed by mail. The young lady was convicted of having worn short sleeve gloves, rather than elbow-length. She was promptly condemned to the stocks, crying “Keep Wesleyan weird!”

9:26 a.m. Public Safety responded to an anonymous letter. Officers entered a room which smelled of outlawed smoking herbs, and found that the alarm bell had been covered with an embroidered handkerchief to avoid detection. The Middletown Fire Brigade was notified; all four residents were later stoned.

2:09 p.m. Public Safety responded to a theft. The table was stolen from North College, leaving all students and faculty without anything to place their books and monocles on. A new table was ordered on expedited delivery, which should arrive insix to ten weeks.

6:17 a.m. Public Safety declared the entire campus to be in a state of emergency after a student was overheard using the Lord’s name in vain. The student was escorted from campus and promptly drowned in a lake.

Our Future, Revealed

Bartholomew Albert Thomas, Wesleyan professor of syllogistic futurism, cordially extends you an invitation to his lecture this Wednesday in North College at eight o’clock in the evening, titled: “2009: Predictions and Inevitabilities.”
Here is a sample of Professor Thomas’ findings:

Man will achieve flight and use the technology to retrieve the Moon from the cosmos and bring it to Earth.

Horse transportation as we know it will be rendered obsolete by zeppelins, dirigibles, balloons, submersibles, and toboggans.

Through advanced command of logic, armies will determine the outcome of battles before they begin, and the victor will be declared without any actual fighting.

The xx and jj will tour the continental United States and the Great West, and in doing so they will win great renown.

Foss Hill will have eroded into nothing more than a gentle declivity.

A globalized oil trade will fundamentally restructure world economic and political dynamics.

To increase efficiency, a single item of clothing that covers the entire body will become fashionable. It will be called a “muumuu.”

Humans will evolve. Eventually children will be born toothless and with hard mouths.

The Byzantine Empire will rise again.

A Contemporary Fashion Guide for the Discerning Young Gentleman

Ask any scholar and he will tell you that if a man’s appearance is not in order, he will be unable to take a wife of fine breeding stock with which to pass on the legacy. To this end, I have compiled a short list of helpful “tips” concerning popular fashions for our modern era. Memorize them, and you’ll be more dapper than Boss Tweed in Tammany Hall!

1. You must have a monocle. Take care, however, that it is suitable for the occasion. A Winchester Metalglass is perfect for hunting excursions with your chums, but would be improper if worn at a ball. For these occasions, I recommend any eyepiece that can easily eject from the eye socket should one be alarmed by a colleague’s untoward remark.

2. Coattails should be no less than a foot in length. Ideally, you should have to hire at least two paupers, vagabonds, or other assorted street urchins to hold them aloft.

3. There is no better sign of a man’s virility and power than an abundance of hair. I remind my younger readers that mutton chops are simple, practical, and stylish. Mustaches, too, are appropriate, if they are thick.

4. Canes are a risky proposition, and depend both on the shoes and the type of outing on which you are embarking. They are appropriate for galas and balls, but never an evening at the opera. Remember that they are absolutely essential if you are to encounter any orphans, as every one of those rapscallions is ripe for a caning.

Fundraiser Flounders

An alumni fundraiser fell short of raising any capital whatsoever last week when the Office of Alumni Affairs realized that the University, which was founded this year, has not yet graduated any alumni. “We had planned it rather thoroughly,” explains chairperson William R. Hamilton. “It was to be called the Red & Black Telegramming Society. But whom might we telegram—during supper, of course—when no alumni yet exist?”
The revelation came as a shock to the Office, which immediately disbanded with plans to reopen in 1835. The University desperately requires funds in order to procure a second building, as well as books for the now empty library. In the meantime, Hamilton hopes to devote full attention to the Office of Diversity Prevention.