Over the years I’ve amassed a nice collection of campus parking memos and other automobile-related altercations from a half-dozen universities. They are among the most unintentionally comic of all university communications (despite lots of competition in this genre) and I began collecting them in earnest them after I came across a set of instructions from an administrator at Tulane that dealt with how to park so as to avoid inconveniencing the neighborhood peacocks (and their wealthy owners).
These two pieces turned up in the Dean of Students collection. The first thought I had was to wonder how this poor fellow wound up with responsibility for parking. My second thought was astonishment at his quixotic appeal to the reasonableness of faculty members about what is after all the highly fraught topic of where you get to put your car:
And this little postcard, sent to campus scofflaws, just made me laugh. It’s the contrast, I suppose, between the high seriousness and elevated language of the threat and the utterly mundane matter at hand: