I live about 700 miles from where I grew up, but my high school’s alumni association still sends me stuff. Recently they got a hold of my e-mail address, and they’ve been bombarding me with fancy PDF fliers advertising their various “socials.” (This is the one I got yesterday. It could be worse. OK, February is misspelled. And the “Alumni vs. Dr. Wyllie” free-throw contest sounds painful.) As advertisers, alumni associations have a thorny problem. Their target audience is obviously non-negotiable—and it includes scads of people for whom an event like this is almost literally the last thing on Earth they’d ever want to experience. (If you’ve read Sam Lipsyte’s Home Land, you know what I’m talking about.) Plus, the idea becomes less and less appealing the further removed you get from graduation day (16-plus years, in my case). Of course, I didn’t even consider trying to make it to the 10-year reunion, so I guess I’m not that qualified to talk about the supposed appeal of these things. As purely informational curiosities, I guess these fliers are useful. I mean, who the hell decided to rename the old band room the Knights Round Table Hall?
—Posted by Tim Nudd