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The Daily Tar Heel

The Search for a Final Inspirtation

You know the scene I'm talking about. It usually takes place on a cool, clear night, just as the sun sinks below the horizon, and the stars begin to appear in the purple sky. It's the scene in which the brave and handsome hero bids farewell to the beautiful maiden, promising her he will return someday so that they might spend the rest of their lives together.

I hate that scene. It makes me want to projectile vomit.

Therefore, if nothing else, I can promise that there will be none of that "farewell mush" here today. No way.

Not on my time. I will not, under any circumstances, get teary-eyed or sappy or emotional about this being my last column (unless I see that women find it incredibly attractive, in which case I will cry incessantly until I get a date).

Please do not misinterpret my disdain for "farewell mush." My choosing to remain unemotional is not in any way an indication that I am a cruel, insensitive or callous individual.

I just don't want the entire campus projectile vomiting.

And neither do the housekeepers. Trust me.

Two thousand years ago, herds of Greek philosophers roamed the Earth, mostly in Greece. One of these philosophers -- we'll call him Bob -- made a brilliant observation regarding the nature of public opinion and wrote it in hieroglyphics on the wall of his cave:

"While the first and second acts of a play might be works of sheer and utter brilliance, it is the third and final act that is remembered long after the play and the playwright are gone."

Ancient Greeks always made things so difficult.

What Bob was trying to say was that if my last column of the semester is canis poopus (Greek for "dog crap"), then the readers of this newspaper will remember me as the same thing.

Certainly, I do not want to be canis poopus. The odor alone would make me sick to my stomach.

In fact, I'd probably projectile vomit.

In any event, all this philosophizing and studying of Greek cavemen made me realize that, if nothing else, I need to go out with some style. I need to write a final column that is funny and entertaining, but at the same time profound and intellectually provocative. It's got to be something great, something that students will want to cut out and put on their bulletin boards.

In other words, it needs to be the opposite of every other column I've written this year.

As I usually do when faced with an important decision, I consulted my parents regarding my final column of the year.

"Mom, I want to leave my mark on the University. What can I do to make this last column a memorable one?"

"Son, that's easy. Try not to suck."

"Geez, Mom. I can't use the word 'suck' in the newspaper. It's unprofessional and it's rude. Dad, what do you think?"

"Listen to your mother. Don't suck."

I tell you, my parents could have been Greek philosophers.

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Wait. Dad in a toga. Dad in a toga.

Scratch that.

Anyway, the parental units came up with nothing. Thus, I went to option number two: Chancellor Moeser.

"Chancellor, as you are our fearless leader, I come to you with a question of great importance. I want to leave my mark on the University. What can I do to make this last column a memorable one?"

"Joe, I suggest you look to some of the all-time great television finales for inspiration on how to write your final column."

What a brilliant idea. As usual, I followed the chancellor's advice and made up my mind that I would reenact the final episode of M*A*S*H.

Later that night, however, the chancellor called me at home, saying that he had changed his mind about the M*A*S*H re-enactment. Apparently, there's some silly Honor Code stipulation preventing college kids from landing helicopters on University property.

Imagine that.

So, M*A*S*H was out. My two most reliable sources of advice -- the folks and the chancellor -- had let me down. I was running out of options. Who could help me with my final column?

And then it dawned on me. Of course! How had I not thought of it earlier? I would go to the great Brian Frederick for advice. If anyone could help me write my final column, it was Brian, last semester's Friday columnist.

"Brian, you are, to this day, the greatest columnist in the history of the DTH. Surely you can answer this question for me. I want to leave my mark on the University. What can I do to make this last column a memorable one?"

"Well, Joe, to be honest, I've always been a fan of writing an emotional, sensitive final column, kind of like those 'farewell' scenes in the movies."


"Yeah, really. I love those scenes where the handsome hero bids farewell to the beautiful maiden."

With that, it became apparent that there was only one thing left for me to do.

You guessed it. I projectile vomited on Brian's desk.

Joe Monaco is a junior journalism and mass communication and political science major from Long Island, NY., who would like to thank everyone for giving him a chance to write this year. Reach him at

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The Daily Tar Heel Victory Paper for November 20, 2023