Letter to the Editor: Credit should be given where credit is due

Josh Harmon

To the editor:This past week, a handful of fellow students approached me and complimented me on the column in last week’s Lawrentian entitled “The Art of the Ruckus.”

I cannot, in good conscience, take credit for that piece of writing. Christian Dogwood was the true mastermind, and ought to be recognized as such.

The mix-up came about after I agreed to do a favor for him. Dogwood lives on my floor in Ormsby. He stopped me in the hall last Tuesday night to ask if he could use my computer. He told me his computer had a virus and so he was denied access to his network space.

It was important, though, that he have his column to the Lawrentian office by 5:30 p.m. (“Too cold to walk,” he said.) I said ok, and asked if I could read what he’d written.

He snarled that I’d get it when the rest of them got it and, besides, permission was not his alone to give. Apparently he’d co-authored it with Boma.

When my name appeared in the inbox of The Lawrentian‘s email account, the staff mistook me for the column’s author.

I’d like to announce publicly that I have no desire to take credit for the work of either man. Frankly, Dogwood scares me. He exudes a shifty, rat-like presence, and he often swears at our floor’s microwave. He has a history of killing other peoples’ houseplants and frightening their pets.

I’ve tried to make friends with him several times, but each of these times my politeness was answered with scorn. He once told me that if he were any better than the rest of us–that is, any better than he already is–they’d need to classify him as his own distinct species.

I’m told he hates the sun.

The case with Johnny Boma, on the other hand, is quite different. Boma is a force as unmistakable as a horn blast from a semi. He is loud and wonderfully crass. He has been known to knock things off shelves at parties, and then win the approval and affection of the entire room with a single “ta-dah” arm gesture.

One night last spring I watched him alternately horrify and dazzle a group of Lawrence students in the course of 10 minutes. It was a warm, quiet evening and I was standing at the bottom of the Wriston amphitheater, smoking a cigarette. Suddenly there was a loud crash, followed by what sounded like the wails of a hyena.

In a blaze of green, yellow, and red, Boma exploded from the doors of the union at full speed, a bottle of Crown Royale in one hand and the Lithuanian flag in the other.

He shouted something in Lithuanian, slammed the whiskey, and sent the bottle sailing into the amphitheater, thereby drawing the attention of everyone within earshot.

He then flew shrieking down the steps, tackled me to the ground, stole my cigarette, and proceeded to recite by heart a speech on the feast of Saint Crispian’s Day.

Boma is a trip. I consider him one of my friends, and would never take credit for his work.

Dogwood, I must confess, I do not like very much. He is a curious personality and a decent writer, but I wouldn’t think of attempting to pass off one of his creations as my own.

I apologize to these two men and to the public for any misunderstanding. It is my sincere hope that this apology will put an end to a weeklong string of 4 a.m. hang-up calls.

-Josh Harmon