THE SOPHOMORE JINX
RANGE: From the tables down at Morry’s to the place where Louie dwells, to the ivy-cluttered bastard-gothic bastions of Eastern privilege, to red brick cow town colleges, to the sprawling and over-endowed diploma mills of the sun belt . . . this rah-rah imp, this flask-swigging, cheer-leading, pennantwaving frat-rat-sprite is the Biggest-Manikin-on-Campus—a real varsity drag.
HABITS: While his slightly younger relative, the Teen Angel, keeps the adolescents of every generation in a perpetual state of fifties rocker-rebellion, the Sophomore Jinx sees to it that, on campus, it’s always the roaring twenties. “Scratch today’s most ambitious business school sorority sister, and find a flapper,” says the Sophomore Jinx, in whose eyes, and by whose hands, the ROTC trashings of the late sixties were only panty raids with placards, and under whose influence a frat-row game of Dragons and Dungeons is but today’s variation on a goldfish swallowing party. Inspired, nay, possessed by the Sophomore Jinx, last fall’s meek and persecuted frosh becomes the most snottily discriminating of pledge judges and the most sadistic of hazers. The Sophomore Jinx is this so-called School Spirit who removes your name from the dean’s list and appends it to the petition for nude touch football, the list of nominators of the pro-Soviet student council rep, and the roster of volunteers for the homecoming all-drag chorus line show and annual midterm beer-and-shot drinking contest. After tampering with your alarm clock consistently, so that you have overcut every course by Hallowe’en, the Sophomore Jinx wraps your naked body in a vintage raccoon coat and sends you out there, crazed with visions of John Belushi, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and cheap gin, to streak the nation during the televised half-time show.
HISTORY: Alma Mater for the Sophomore Jinx is said to be that most legendary of college towns, Heidelberg; though the left bank of the Seine also claims him as an alumnus, as might both great English universities, with their traditions of Boat Night undergraduate idiocies.
By charter, the Jinx is granted absolute power over the mind and body of a student only during his, or her, second year of study. Here in America, he has cleverly created Junior College, University, Graduate and Post Graduate Schools, in order to have four separate shots at you as a sophomore.
SPOTTER’S TIPS: On campus, the Sophomore Jinx is as ubiquitous as herpes, except in lecture rooms, laboratories, and the library. If not
immediately at hand, he can be easily conjured by rendering, loudly, a chorus of the school fight song or, as often happens, tapping a keg.
*The Sophomore Jinx, krazy kampus kutup, kancels klasses and kareers.