..."F**k!" It might even be fun.
Okay, so yesterday we received our calendar of furlough days, and it reminded me of this story (which my friend the Piper Ph.D. will recognize, and correct me on details, if necessary): Grad school friend D. and his wife C. were in their 50s by the time we met in grad school, so they had already had a whole 'nother life by then, one that seemed to involve a lot of partying. When they were in their 30s, they and a group of their friends had the custom of getting together once a year out in the toolies for what they called the "Other Games," a sort of Olympics of bizzare, often antisocial, and likely very inebriated competitions.
One of these was the "Yelling 'F**k!' Competition." The participants would sit around together, and take turns saying "F**k." Each person had to say it louder and/or longer than the last, and the one who did so loudest/longest was, by acclaim, the winner. D. told us that everybody was pretty much hoarse the following day.
Even better than the competition itself is its origin story. Apparently the originator grew up spending a lot of time with his near-deaf granny. He and his brother made a game of sitting at the breakfast table, each saying "g*ddammit", starting off as a whisper, but getting progressively louder. The loser of this two-person competition was the one who said it loudly enough that granny finally heard and smacked him on the head.
Anyway, it occurred to me yesterday that a "Yelling 'F**k!' Competition" might be just the thing for tough budgetary times like these. We could invite faculty, staff, and students, and gather on the quad to vent our frustration. Maybe we could even give the winner an "I [heart] [your dysfunctional school or state here]" t-shirt...