The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Wednesday February 8th

In Spring '01, Be a Lioness, Not a Wombat

And by supper I mean column.

When you've read this paper every day for many moons the way I have, you become quite familiar with the final column. Columnists from the days of yesteryear often refer to it as the "goodbye column," or sometimes dress it up and say "farewell column."

Even the back-page flunkies you've read this semester have that obligatory piece where they ruminate on the job they have done, the community they have served and the power they have wielded.

For some, it is a time to take stock of the nonsensical fluff they have delivered weekly. Others take the opportunity to communicate that final message, summing up their philosophies in one fell swoop.

And then there are those who merely relish the last stroke of the pen. It reminds me of when I got my braces taken off in the eighth grade. The entire day, I kept saying, "This is the last time I'll wear my denim jumper with braces," or, "This is the last time I'll have bangs and a bad perm with braces."

But I'm not going out touchy-feeling. I refuse to ball up like a frightened armadillo and go quiet into Winter Break.

I plan to send my faithful readers back to their snugly homes with my final message lingering in their psyches, the image of my busty picture hovering around their brains like cigarette smoke.

While I was in the shower Sunday trying to figure out what the hell I was going to write about, the only thing that came to mind was a Web site my buddy told me about -- (It's worth a look, I assure you.)

Nay, I've already made all my positions on University nonsense clear, separating most campus activity into two categories: rulz (always with a 'z') and blows.

But here's one to grow on: To the kids living down on South Campus who keep tearing down the fence near Hinton James, I give you kudos. And by kudos, I mean the healthy and delicious granola bars covered in creamy chocolate that are great for snacking.

Indeed, such action taken by my fellow students is delightfully shocking, like when you suck on a Halls cough drop and drink orange juice at the same time.

Buckaroos, I award you the "Get Hyped, Not Wesley Snipes" award for your take-no-prisoners attitude. Break da fence till it can't be broke no more. (Insert Twisted Sister's mega-hit "We're Not Gonna Take It" here.)

As usual, I condone and even encourage acts of destruction and violence against ridiculous University measures.

But some critics have charged that I have used my position as University columnist for the forces of evil rather than good. They are dismayed that I celebrate such displays of hypeness. I have responded to some of the charges with a simple, yet elegant, "Eat me."

What these fools do not understand is that UNC is just like a big jungle or forest, minus "Crocodile Hunter" Steve Irwin. I liken hype to the majestic lioness or the crafty woodpecker. And in this jungle, apathy takes the form of the three-toed sloth or the wombat, arguably nature's ugliest creatures.

And the message you should put under your pillow during Winter Break is this: I would like to see the three-toed sloth and the wombat join the ranks of other extinct characters, like the dodo bird. (Note clever use of extended metaphor.)

I can only hope that my last column of the semester -- my swan song, if you will, and you damn well better -- allows me to join the elite league of washed-up has-beens like Punky Brewster and Rick Astley.

Like Rocky, I have gone multiple rounds with Apollo Creed, Ivan Drago, the Honor Court, the Senior gift, Student Congress and other foes. I have fought the good fight and leave the ring as a messenger of peace during the cold war (see Rocky IV) and a living testament to the triumph of the human spirit.

(Insert "Eye of the Tiger" here.)

Columnist Ashley Stephenson is swayze and can be reached at

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