End of an Era

     Social change is upon us. This is the end of an era.
     I know this because when I was a freshman at Northwestern University several centuries ago, I witnessed a panty raid.
     Yes, witnessed – not participated in. I was a new, eager reporter for The Daily Northwestern and since this raid thing appeared to be a major event, I rushed out to cover it for the newspaper.
     Oddly, no other reporters were on hand taking notes.
     This was the first and last panty raid at Northwestern during my time there (unless, of course, no one bothered to tell me about them). Two years later I was covering massive anti-war demonstrations. That last panty raid was the end of an era.
     I bring this up now because last week I received an email from the Office of Parent Programs at UCLA. It began like this:
     “An e-mail letter went out to all students on December 7 reminding them that the unofficial tradition of the “Undie Run” was ended by the Administration for health and safety reasons…..
     “The most recent run, last June, was marred by vandalism, several fights, and more than a dozen emergency medical calls that were answered by emergency medical services units, most of them alcohol-related.”
     As opposed to lack-of-clothing related, I suppose.
     My son tells me that the Undie Run occurred anyway but on a much smaller scale than usual and some of the chilled students were actually arrested. But this could be the end of the Undie Run as we’ve known it (or not known it if you’re like me).
     Social change is at hand. You read it here first.
     
     TIS THE SEASON. Speaking of odd emails, I got one the other day from The Thoroughbred Times suggesting I buy Thoroughbred Times gift certificates for all the friends who have somehow been deprived of horse publications.
     It occurred to me then that any business can offer seasonal gift certificates. A product isn’t mundane if it’s purchased during the right season.
     So why not Courthouse News Gift Certificates?
     What lawyer or law firm wouldn’t be delighted to receive a certificate good for one year of daily coverage of 42 different courts in Idaho?
     Or how about a specially-personalized dinger? Give your loved one a dinger geared toward his or her special interests. (A dinger, for those of you who don’t know, is a program that lets you know immediately when a designated word or name appears on a Courthouse News case list.)
     For example, you know there are people on your gift list who would love to be dinged every time the word “fart” figures prominently in litigation.
     And I know of people – although I’m not naming names or condoning this – who want to read every sexual harassment case. The sex dinger should be very popular.
     Or how about a gift certificate entitling the bearer to a free copy of a lawsuit?
     For an extra $50, I’ll choose the lawsuit myself for its entertainment value.
     There are Courthouse News gifts designed for every taste. Act now before the holidays are over.
     
     GUESS THE WORD. Speaking of Courthouse News entertainment value, check this out from my own L.A. Superior Court list:
     “Plaintiffs allegedly were improperly frozen after he was imprisoned.”
     Thereby keeping them fresh.
     Actually, that description is the product of a word being left out accidentally. Your challenge now is to figure what that word was.
     Let me know if you come up with a good one.

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