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February 13, 1972 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1972-02-13

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

The night the cops nabbed Scurvy

XVIHEN YOU LIVE at Markley Hall, or Alice Lloyd
or Mosher Jordan, you almost always spend at
least some time in the cemetery. Not that the, only
people who go to the cemetery live in these places,
but they are the main ones and besides I lived at
Markley on this particular night two years ago that
I especially remember. I remember it because it was
the night Scurvy committed a felony in the cemetery.
We were sitting in my room after dark. Dan, Dave,
and Duke were with me. We had just finished a game
of hearts when Scurvy walked through the door.
Scurvy was lately the talk of Reeves House. He had
declared at dinner that he was going to depart from
the norm and study all night for a mid-term. For the
past two hours he had not been seen. One of the
guys down the hall reported seeing Scurvy in the
vicinity of the UGLI, but then Scurvy was a very
common looking fellow. None of us were surprised
to see him now.
"You guys know what tonight is?" Nobody ans-
wered. Scurvy leaned closer, "It's the night before
Halloween," he whispered. "It's Devil's Night."
"So what?", Dave said.
"So we'll be devilish," Scurvy said. He reached
into his pocket and took out a fistful of stubby red
I put the cards away and the four of us walked
next door to Scurvy's room. Scurvy put on his
"work" clothes: an old air force jumpsuit, canvas
pilot's helmet, fireman's boots, and goggles.
"Let's go," said Scurvy.
Scurvy led us across the street and into the cemetery.
If you have ever been to the cemetery, you know
what an experience it can be. And this was Devil's
SCURVY EXPLAINED the proposed activities. Up-
on reaching the Observatory-side of the cemetery, we
crouched down. Scurvy climbed over the fence and
hid in the grass. After a while voices came along the
sidewalk. We watched Scurvy tense. He lit a cigarette.
Then he pulled out a firecracker and waited for the
people to come by. As they crossed his line of sight,
Scurvy touched the cigarette to the firecracker,
waited for a few seconds, and flung the firecracker
high into the air behind the walkers.
The explosion was very loud in the night. It sent
the walkers running and one. of the guys emitted an
abrupt scream. The four of us had a great laugh.
Over the next half hour, we watched Scurvy re-
peat the procedure three times. The last time, Scurvy
timed the firecracker so that is exploded about six
inches over the head of a security guard on his way
to work. Either from his excitement or the force of
the explosion, the guard's hat blew off.
AFTER THE SECURITY guard ran away, nobody
came by for some time. We were about to leave when
Scurvy spotted a lone man walking briskly in our
direction from some distance up the street.
"Watch me really scare the shit out of this guy,"
Scurvy whispered through the fence. We watched him
spread onto the ground. His air force jumpsuit merged
almost perfectly with the grass. Soon he began
crawling slowly down the 20 feet to the sidewalk.
About five feet from the sidewalk he stopped and lay
still. The man was walking very briskly now, and
would pass so close to Scurvy that he could reach
out and touch him.
Through the darkness, I could barely perceive
Scurvy, lying flat on his baclp, motionless, with his
cigarette cupped in one hand and a firecracker in the
DUKE STIFLED a squeal. "Man, this guy is going
to be scared shitless," he said.
The guy walked down the sidewalk. When he was
a few feet away, Scurvy brought hs two hands to-
gether. My spine was shooting up little tingles. Sud-
denly, the man veered off the sidewalk and dove



headlong onto Scurvy's prostrate form. Whistles
were blowing, everywhere. Footsteps crunched on the
street and sidewalk and within ten seconds five uni-
formed policemen, not counting the plainclothes de-
tective who tackled Scurvy, had Scurvy standing in
their midst.
"Alright you punk, what have you got in your
"A cigarette", Scurvy said.
"Open it up". Scurvy opened his right hand and
revealed a mutilated cigarette. The detective seemed
momentarily set back. "What about the other hand?"
"Nothing, sir". The detective grabbed Scurvy and
wrenched the firecracker from his left hand. "You
got any more."
"No sir."
"Alright, punk, up against that car and get those
legs spread."
"Wait, I do have some more," Scurvy said. He
reached into his pocket. One of the cops slammed
him against the Car and stuck a gun in his side.
"LISTEN, PUNK, that's a good way to get your
head blown off. Now up against the car." He took
the firecrackers out of Scurvy's pocket. Scurvy was
shaking like a leaf.
"Could you put the gun away, please?"
"Shut up. Do you know it is a federal offense to be
cavorting in a cemetery after dark?"
"No, sir."
"And take those goggles off, you pervert." Scurvy
peeled off the goggles and the canvas pilot's helmet.
"How old are you," the detective said.
"Let's see some ID." -
"It's back at the dorm.'
"Jesus Christ, a student. Alright, don't bother to
give me your name, we'll run a check down at the
station.'" The detective motioned to the policemen.
"Alright, kid, we're going to haul you in. Let's try
cavorting in a cemetery, a felony, for starters. Then
we'll throw in illegal use of fireworks and disturbing
the peace, a couple of misdemeanors. Now let's go."
The detective grabbed Scurvy by the shoulder and
started walking.
"But sir, do I have to go down to jail?" Scurvy
said. "I have an exam tomorrow."
"How old did you say you were?"
"Eighteen," Scurvy said.

-Daily-Robert Wargo
"For an eighteen year-old you're pretty childish,"
the detective said. "You ought to be ashamed of
"Yes sir, ; am," Scurvy said.
"Let's go son," the detective said.
SCURVY was hauled away. We came out of hiding
and ran back to Markley. Within minutes, we col-
lected over $100 bail money. Then we went to the
police station and bailed Scurvy out. Later in the
week, a police department counselor came over to
talk to Scurvy. After the talk, he told Scurvy he
thought the charges could be lowered to merely il-
legal possession of fireworks. -
"AFTER ALL," the detective mused, "if you were
prosecuted under all the charges, you'd fall behind in
your schoolwork."
"Right," said Scurvy..

ON SUNDAY NIGHTS, a quiet descends
on the campus. The escape, from
drudgery that is the weekend gives way
to the assignments you've spent the last
48 hours trying to forget about. Try as
you may to find other diversions; the
quiet lets you know you're only putting
off the inevitable. You must work.
But Sunday morning is a different
matter altogether. Empty the ashtrays,
throw away the beer cans and savor the
calm before the quiet. There is still time
to pause, to think. Read a newspaper and
talk about the week that passed. There's
still enough time to muse about the life
of a student-even if it doesn't change
that faceless bureaucracy you deal with
Such is the philosophy of "Sunday
Morning." We endeavor to collect im-
pressions from those small, simple inci-
dents in our lives that would otherwise
go unnoticed. Nothing that will take
Nixon off the front page, but personal

ONCE A REVERED institution, "Sun-
day Morning" has been an infrequent
visitor to this page over the last couple
of years. In its heyday, the short pieces
talked of everything from stolen cars to
stolen loves, from bureaucracies to bib-
liographies. This year, we may try it oc-
casionally, if only to test our theory that
people have at least as many funny, sad
or absurd things happen to them now as
a few years ago. It it turns out that we're
wrong, we surely will be the poorer for it.
On today's page, students find them-
selves struggling with a faceless lottery,
a forceful policeman, a traveling sales-
man and a very formidable opponent-
one's own self.
enough to make you forget about
Sunday evening altogether.

comments from students on
are affecting their lives.

things that


On waiting for the lottery, worrying

ANN ARBOR midnights and sparsely
filled lounges . . . I've always felt
a certain vague, yet irresistible attrac-
tion for this emptiness . . . . Could al-
ways draw the twelve o'clock curtains
about me and shield myself within a
cloak of utter silence. Yet tonight, the
silence is more a spectre than a sav-
iour, and the utter midnight darkness
only heightens my anxiety . . .
Been playing a desperate game of
tug-of-war with the past few hectic
days and sleepless nights, knowing all
along my efforts would not make one
bit of difference. Time can't be beaten,
and only fools try to resist the grip-
ping forces .. .

Early morning, February 2, 1972. This
lounge is cold. Or perhaps the p a 1 e
chill that seems to have imbedded it-
self deep in my gut is only within
me. God, I feel alone. So confused about
what's going to happen. Feeling more
like a lost and frightened child.
than the man I'm supposed to be. My
home has never seemed so far away.
Perhaps it wouldn't have been so bad
in the summer . . . Really would like.
to talk with the parents. Need to hear
my mother's voice telling me not to
worry; could use a few one-liners from
my dad to take my mind off this
nightmare .-.
IT JUST CAN'T be real, this. God-

awful farce of a hellish "bingo" game.
I cannot bring myself to believe that
some nameless, faceless, forgotten 'hero
will reach into the numbers and pull
out mydestiny.
Tormented thoughts and emotions
flash in chaos within me. This night-
mare is too real; too frightening for
any attempt at coherent thougi4t.
God, I feel so helpless - sitting in
this silent lounge, lost in a chasm of
unanswered questions. It's har~d not
to feel afraid. Helpless, afraid - scar-
ed isthe word. And unsure. How can
I even begin to plan for the future
when ten hours are all that separate
me from an obscure present? I guess
I've been trying my best ever since
an eighteen and a one sent two friends

Have you heard the one about
the two traveling salesmen?
By BOB BARKIN I do. These kind, struggling men come to the
WAY THINGS went last semester, I shiver and you can't help but.sympathize with them as
ery time I have to answer the door. This doesn't eke out a living.

into some type of limbo. But, even
then, it seemed far off ... I enjoy being
smiling faces. And I don't see myself
a child . . enjoy the pains, sorrows;
hurting, maiming, killing, dying. Child-
ren don't enjoy that. And knowing
what they've done to other children
sickens me.
If I only knew . . . Have thought
about what could happen. CO is so
hard to grasp; medical deferment
seems a possibility. I know s o m e
doctors who can find something wrong
with me . . . Or at least I hope they
a friend with "radial crossover" - nev-
er seen anyone so happy -to -have flat
feet. And yet, he was not untouched
by it all. Is there anyone that doesn't
have relatives or friends entrapped
within this twisted game of chance?
It hangs on everyone, this uncertainty.
How many will spend this night unable
to sleep?.I may keep them company...
Have daydreamed about Canada, Aus-
tralia, Israel. I have to face facts. Such
a dilemma, to be in love with such
a sick nation; to be dependent upon
it even as it does its best to spurn
that love. How can I see so much to
cherish within this nation that seems to
be so blind?
God only knows, and that only adds
to this feeling.
I've been praying as I write this.
I only hope whomever is up there can
do more about this than I.
Thinking about a song called "Re-
quiem for the Masses." Drum rolls
and bugles and matadors who turned
their backs and fell before the bull .
THIS ROOM is now truly empty. The
footsteps of the last silent struggle have
faded down the hall. I may as well
follow his example and leave this cold,
empty room to its private thoughts
- and I, to mine.




make sense unless you realize that my roommates
and I were taken for nearly $100 last fall term by,
door-to-door salesmen.
It really isn't funny when you think about it but
I can't keep from breaking down into hysterics when

But when you close the door behind them, they
have your money, and you have a pretty, but over-
priced, tapestry or a receipt for $20 worth of maga-
zines you'll never see.
The first guy that came was a little guy with an
unmistakeable Italian accent. Before I had time to
say that I didn't want any, he was inside the door
laying his "imported" tapestries on my living room
They really did look nice and he was very willing
to bargain. His original price was outrageous but by
careful negotiations we talked him down to an equit-
able price. He left satisfied and we had a tapestry to
decorate our living room.
THE NEXT MORNING while we were admiring
our new purchase, the doorbell rang again. Lo and
behold, it was our friendly tapestry man, back with
an armful of new and more expensive imported tap-
We, were resolute and determined not to buy, and
besides we had given all our money to him the pre-
vious day. But he was relentless and before we could
say "abra kadabra" my roommate's bike (worth $25)
and all our grocery money had vanished and in its
place, a bright new tapestry.
We were shocked and dismayed, 'not to mention
hungry. The next morning when the beaming face
of the tapestry man reappeared, he was disposed
of with amazing alacrity. No more would that be-
nign face bother us.
Our next visitor was a young, toothless magazine
salesman with a disarming Oklahoma accent. He was
trying to work his way through college and if we
would subscribe to a magazine he would get points
towards a scholarship he desperately needed.
Here was an opportunity to help a fellow scholar
and also get a magazine of our choice. All we had
to do was pay $10 and wait for our magazines. Well.


' -Daily-Robert Wargo

Memories of decisions past linger on

EVERY DAY, as I walk about( campus, I en-
counter the choices I have left behind. When
I stop to contemplate the other lives I could have
led. I am stricken, momentarily, with remorse,
'but then the moment fades and the vision fades
too, as I continue on towards another stopping
There's the art museum. I remember, not long
ago, I wanted to be an architect. I sketched and
painted in my spare time, but then I would think
of the Masters, of Saarinen and le Courbusier and
I knew I would never equal them. So, I reconciled
myself to a life of watching creations others had
mad Vo T cf-ill rotNhr h far _ avch n

my reverie. Music. Precision. Harmony. A con-
cert bassoonist, that's what I was going to be.
All that work until the clarinetist near me com-
mented that it didn't sound like a fog horn as I
had feared, but like music after alL And what
of it? Practice after practice after practice. And
still, nothing like any of the recordings I now
listen to so somberly.
Burton's chimes stop their melody and I
glance abruptly ahead to the stark heights of
the Physics and Astronomy Building. Another
spot, another shattered fancy. What could be
more beautiful than to be a physicist? Appreci-
ation of uncertainty, of the orderliness of chance,
of the nothing we know but disguise as science:

ITIAm sa

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