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


Editors' Note

The esteemed editors of the Ampersand would like to congratulate Argus Editor-In-Chief Erin Newport on her eighteenth arrest, which took place this weekend. This is the first time she’s ever been arrested on a bridge, unless you count her arrest in Bridge City, TX, though it is in fact a city, not a bridge.

My Night on the Gypsy Ride

The night was dark as coal, the fog thick as Muhammad’s beard, when I emerged from the ‘haunted’ brick building near Long Lane Farm. Its lonely stone towers overlook the vast, overgrown fields of the Freeman Athletic Center, but its supernatural mysteries had been rooted in mere charlatanism — just some harmless Psi U brothers enacting dark Satanic rituals.

There’ll be no more cat mutilations ’round this part of town, I thought to myself, brushing the dirt from my hands. As I stepped to the curb, a pair of amber headlights cut through the fetid darkness: Wesleyan’s Ride! I sighed with relief and flagged it down, barely noticing the exceedingly strange script adorning its door.

Only when I found myself overpowered by the smells of hookah smoke, unwashed bodies, and myrrh did I realize I had boarded the wrong Ride. Too late I remembered Dave Meyer’s stern campus-wide email cautioning us against the folly of entering unlicensed “Gypsy” Rides: “The University cannot be certain of students’ well-being while inside one of these vehicles,” he had penned, “and the vendors are not equipped to accept Middletown Cash.” The van’s door slid shut behind me — and our ramshackle ride had already trundled off into the inky black.

“Good night,” insisted the mustachioed driver. “My name Yanko. You pay twelve drachma now.” He deposited a wad of tobacco-infused phlegm into the brass spittoon wedged next to the gearshift.

“Pardon?” I stammered.

“Twelve drachma,” the swarthy fellow repeated. “Where you wish go tonight?”

I peered into the hazy darkness at the rear of the van, where I could make out the silhouettes of a Sikh, a Berber crone clutching a jar, two goats, and a beautiful young woman moaning in a low voice, swaddled in blankets. The travelers all huddled around a bubbling stew pot.

“Hold on,” I said to Yanko, reaching for my iPhone 5. “Let me Blirp It.” Suddenly, I felt cold steel against my neck and the Sikh’s hot, curry-scented breath in my ear.

“In my country, such a word is unspeakable,” he growled. “Men die for less.”

“Sorry, sir!” I exclaimed in terror. “What I meant to say was… I like your turban.”

The Sikh slowly released the pressure on my throat. “Fine,” he said, “but next time, I take your testes.”

I turned back to Yanko. “Pearl,” I said. “I just want to go to Pearl.”

Yearning for home, I turned to the window. Vast sand dunes stretched in every direction. This was a part of Middletown into which I had never ventured before.

Suddenly, the blanket-wrapped woman gave a great gasp, followed by the shrill cry of a newborn soul. She raised her new daughter, still dripping with womby fluids, so that the infant’s tiny eyes met her own.

“Esmerelda,” she whispered. “I will call you Esmerelda.”

An Hour with Artemis Nutt, Middletown Pervert

Literary Rides

On The Ride, by Jack Kerouac      

We were on the roof of Middletown and all we could do was yell, I guess. We were up all night rolling around that crazy loop, yelling “Go, man, go,” bee-bop sounding out on ahead along the fabulous stretch of Williams Street, past Marco’s, past that incense place, past the grilled cheese cart, the too-huge sky vaulting out over our heads. The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to Ride, mad to visit both falafel carts in one night, mad to visit that one other cart by the Bayit that serves pretty good hot dogs, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones that never yawn or say a commonplace thing but burn, burn, burn like a firecracker that goes poof-kapow-zam-zing-wah-bang out on along across the wide star-dotted skies of Central Connecticut.

A Portrait of the Artist on the Ride, by James Joyce                      

Facing Albritton as it passed the window, Stephen held a falafel pita wrap aloft and intoned:
— Introibo ad altare meletrici.

He beheld the even fall of the onfalling evening’s slow succourous sussurus, the earlyevening light falling evenly over the mutinous WestCo mulchpile, over the scrotumtightening Butthole weeds, falling faintly and faintly falling, like the descent of their last end, on all the Nics and the Butts.

A Universal History of the Ride, by Jorge Luis Borges                              

During a short bus ride from Olin Library to Science Library, I sipped mate with a Uruguayan gaucho named Ibn Al-Ulmar, a hard-bitten Arabian rancher who had squandered his money in the hard-bitten brothels and tango halls of Buenos Aires and Montevideo.

“Lie down on the floor between the seats,” he told me. “Press your knees against your chest, and look between your legs. You will see the past, the present, the future, and the entire physical contents of the universe compressed to a single point.”

Heeding his words, I assumed this position. At first, all I could see was beige upholstery. After a few moments, I saw a point of blinding light. Then red, then nothing.

“You, Borges, will surely see,” said Al-Umar, as he plunged his knife again into my ribs, “that History and Time are the true custodians of wealth.”

Catcher in the Ride, by J.D. Salinger                              

If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll want to know is that some phony pulled up to the curb of Church and High and told me to get in. What a goddamn phony. I mean, I told him to take me all the way to Indian Hill because you can never get really sexy with a girl in a Fauver triple, I mean, really sexy, but he wouldn’t even take me past DKE. Goddamn DKE. It always ends up making me blue as hell. That really kills me. It really does. I mean, I asked him where all the DKE bros go in winter — have you ever seen a DKE bro in winter? Do they still wear those phony Adidas sandals? — but he just got real touchy about that and told me he had other passengers to pick up, and anyways Sally was waiting for me at Indian Hill. Goddamn girls. Jesus Christ. They can drive you crazy. I mean, those Rho Ep girls really get me hot. Where do they go in the winter?

Ex-West Coast Rapper Pimps Ride

Last week, the popular MTV show Pimp My Ride confirmed what many fans had suspected all season: one of the Wesleyan Ride vans will be the show’s next “pimped out” car, ending its career as a domestic transportation vehicle.

“It’s going to be hard for all of us,” said longtime driver Gerald Hotchkins at the taping of the show. “We’ve been through a lot together, but I guess that this ol’ girl had this coming. Shelly,” he said, turning towards the van, “I hope you never forget where you came from.”

The car, which traces its alluring lineage back to a 1983 Chevrolet Express and a 1974 Ford Econoline, is expected to be “the sexiest thing to ever hit a Middletown street corner.”

“There’s a lot of aftermarket parts in this baby,” said technician Charles S. Werthing, who designed the paint job and customized weave. “Despite being a total mess when we got it, everything was running smoothly internally, if you know what I mean. We put on the red and black stripes at the last minute to match the custom 28” chrome Pirellis, and we added xenon fog headlights. We were going to install a blacklight in the back, but the seats looked like a black and white Jackson Pollack painting so we went with the goldfish tank.”

Due to Wesleyan’s new environmental regulations, Ride vans must have a minimal carbon footprint. Accordingly, the addition of a nitrous-oxide fuel injector was explicitly prohibited and the van’s route was restricted to “Court and Williams St. between 1 and 5 A.M”.

“Though we couldn’t put the blue flame stuff in the exhaust pipes, I’m pretty happy with Xzibit’s work,” said Charlie Greengould, Class of 2013. “Sure, it may not do 0-60 in five seconds, but taking the ride isn’t about quantity, its about quality. Last time I took the ride, I only lasted maybe twenty seconds."

“Pimping the ride is a great opportunity for both the school and MTV,” said WSA representative Emilius Miles ‘13 as mechanics gave the car a thorough waxing and added numerous decals, prepping it for life on the streets of Middletown. “So many cars end up as scrap metal, or being sold to wealthy gentleman who mistreat them — all of that is inhumane.”

Added Miles, “Letting the van drive around Middletown during the good weather, enjoying the best care that Connecticut has to offer, sipping on only premium diesel, and being mounted over and over again until the odometer rolls over... that’s a life any van would love.”