A Farewell Piece, or the History of Fool’s Gold- Eric Boshart
I’ve never done a farewell piece, and I can’t say I’m thrilled to do one. As I mulled this one over in my head, I couldn’t decide whether I wanted to write something as sappy as a Nicolas Sparks novel or something as funny as a Woody Allen film. I shouldn’t use such extremes, so I’ll do a blend of both. Maybe more along the lines of Vicky Cristina Barcelona. There has to be some type of drama to it as well, but it can’t be Law & Order: SVU either. Maybe I should write a farewell script. But then no one would read it. OK I’ll get on with it.
Last year, I was curled up in a ball on a Friday night watching Woody Allen movies, ones that I had seen before. I watched three in a row, and started to recognize a pattern to his comedy: smart characters who make bad decisions, love in the center of turmoil, eventual catharsis. I clearly have too much time on my hands, but I realized that it was easy to execute. I created a Woody Allen cheat sheet in my head, a formula he surely subconsciously uses.
I then realized, what the hell am I doing? Why can’t I spend this much time and effort on things that actually matter? After the movies, I spent just as much time and effort eating an entire large bag of Munchies. It was 2am. After licking my fingers, I realized that Conan O’Brian is funny. So I went to his website and watched Serious Jibber Jabber, a web series of interviews he does with friends. He kept on bringing up The Harvard Lampoon, something I’d never heard of. I fell asleep from the bag of Munchies, woke up at 4am, and wanted to know about this thing O’Brian was affiliated with. By this time, my roommate came in from a night out and asked why there were crumbs everywhere, specifically on his expensive couch. I replied with a moan and a really long “um.”
The Harvard Lampoon is one of the most renowned college magazines in the nation. And after researching their articles, I was intensely inspired.
They were incredibly simple but even more incredibly funny.
This is what St. Edward’s needs, I thought. My roommate came out of his apartment with a vacuum and said, “This is what our apartment needs.”
You know when people have moments of brilliance while they’re on the toilet or in the shower? I had that moment when I was standing on the couch trying to suck up that Cheeto I had been sitting on.
With the help of Conan and Woody, I was to assemble a team of top-notch but unnoticed comedians around St. Ed’s, create the most elegant, hilarious sketch comedy magazine known to man, and be featured on Conan’s show as the future of comedy as we know it.
But you know how the saying goes: Easier done than said. Or something.
I asked around but noticed that because I spend more time with Woody Allen than I do with people from St. Ed’s, it was hard to convince people that this magazine was the best thing since hummus. So it was my friend Nick and I out to capture the world. It was like Pulp Fiction, but with a little more blood.
Amazingly, miraculously, beautifully, utterly surprisingly, we got some attention. When I say attention, I mean our moms really, really liked it. And also two ladies, Katie and Jana. Katie wanted to draw for us, and Jana wanted to add “feminine charm” to the site. I am automatically skeptical of anyone who uses that phrase, but after reading her pieces, I knew she was right for it. And Katie is the next Van Gogh.
Our team was growing, and with the addition of Zach, a true and unnoticed comedian, we were actually gaining some traction. “Let’s make this a real thing,” I said as I unintentionally stared at a girl walking by me. She shook her head and ran off.
We pitched it to Student Life, but they weren’t crazy enthused about my article making fun of the library looking like a German government office building. “I think we should consider other options,” Nick said as he watched me pick up expired sushi for lunch. I’m done using that form of a joke.
Despite Student Life telling us that Humanities was never going to approve this, we went to Humanities because I know people in high places. As in, I have family in Peru who live in the mountains and have nothing to do with Fool’s Gold. My jokes are declining, but we created a Constitution, a proposal, and an application for officers.
Amazingly, miraculously, beautifully, utterly surprisingly, they approved us to be an academic organization with academic freedom. And some money. I celebrated that whole week with, you guessed it, Munchies and Woody Allen. Also, I played “All I Do is Win” by DJ Khaled. Not because we gained approval, but because I listen to that an hour before I go to sleep and an hour after I wake up every day.
Since then, we have built a new website, gained a marketing budget, and are in the process of hiring new cooks in the kitchen. I have to say that founding this magazine was one of the most fulfilling things I’ve ever done. It’s my little legacy I’m leaving St. Ed’s, and I’ve met some amazing people along the way.
I hope you find the website funny, inspiring, smart, and a little ray of sunshine to brighten your day amidst all the dry reading you’re forced to consume. There’s the sappiness, the drama was in the denial of Student Life and their skepticism on Humanities approving us. There’s no humor in it; I forgot about that part.
I pass the reigns to Jana Horn and Zach Busby, who are funny, charming, and everything the website needs to flourish. With them, I have projected I’ll be on Conan in 3-5 years. With that being said, look for me on the up and up, and farewell for now.