Fenno

BY

Ripping open his mail, Fenno couldn’t believe his eyes, but there it was. He had managed to accumulate $140,000 in debt over his three years at HLS, and the first payment was due soon. After the bar, all those computer loans would catch up with him. Fenno looked around his room and turned to his only hope for salvation.

He had already traveled this route unsuccessfully a dozen times, but Fenno reasoned that luck was in the air this week. The planets were in alignment for last time for a century. Shaking his computer out of hibernation, Fenno clicked on the “Westlaw Rewards” icon on his “Favorites” toolbar. The computer failed. Fenno clicked again. Failure. Tears streamed down Fenno’s face as he tried to enter the site again. He heard a chime. The screen said “Congratulations fenno@law.harvard.edu! You are the winner of Westlaw Rewards for the month of April! Proceed to Dean Clark’s office to collect your prize.”

Fenno jumped up and grabbed his jacket. He wasn’t sure if this meant that he was going to get a measly $100 or three years of tuition paid off, but either way he’d be able to eat tonight. He sprinted to Griswold and knocked on the Dean’s door. Clark was behind his desk, wearing a top hat and tails. There was also a nun, a soldier, and a short Ku Klux Klansman in the office. Fenno squinted and refocused. It was actually Kelly Hartline, Sasha Volokh and Kiwi Camara. Something wicked was afoot.

“You’re just in time, Fenno,” said the top-hat donning Clark. “We’re about to head over to pick up everyone’s prizes!”

“Prizes? You mean all of them won, too?” asked Fenno. Everyone nodded. Clark hopped from his seat and danced toward the door, beckoning the four students to follow. When they reached the Griswold doors, Fenno gasped as he saw the vehicle parked in front of the building. It looked like a huge, modified golf cart, but it was unlike any golf cart Fenno had ever seen. Golden, trombone-like pipes ran through thing, which was painted the most grotesque shade of green that Fenno had ever seen.

“Hop on!” yelled Clark as he jubilantly climbed into the driver’s seat. Fenno and the other four students squeezed into the cart and watched as Clark turned a number of knobs and switches. Fenno could hear a strange bubbling around him.

“What’s all of that noise Dean?” asked Hartline. “I’ve never heard any engine sound like that.”

The Dean laughed as the car started to roll. “That’s because this engine is my own design. It runs entirely on greed!”

Fenno felt something strange in his pants and watched in amazement as the trombone-looking tube next to him sucked four crisp $20 bills out of his pocket. The cart started to move and soon Fenno saw that they were approaching Hauser. Clark ran into the building and the four students followed. When Fenno entered he couldn’t believe his eyes. The bottom floor of Hauser had been completely transformed. The classrooms were gone, and a river of chocolate ran past them. Lush vegetation grew everywhere.

“I’ve got to try it!” yelled Kiwi, running up to the river of chocolate. Clark mumbled something that sounded discouraging under his breath, but it was inaudible. Fenno thought it was strange that he didn’t smell chocolate. As Kiwi dipped his head into the river, Fenno heard a scream and looked over. Camera turned toward them and Fenno saw that his face was now shockingly black. He seemed catatonic and was yelling that his lips were burning. Immediately what looked like miniaturized versions of two of the other Deans ran up and dragged Kiwi away. Their faces were blue for some reason Fenno couldn’t decipher.

“What in God’s name kind of chocolate is that, Clark?” yelled Fenno.

“Who said anything about chocolate? The drinking fountain overflowed. That’s just Boston tap water. It is a bit grainy.”

They continued to walk through Hauser when Hartline demanded that they stop.

“I don’t know where we’re headed Dean, but this vegetation looks delicious,” she said. “I mean, it looks just the way I picture all of the good vegetables looking in the Garden of Eden before Adam and Eve did that horrible, horrible thing.”

Clark mumbled something under his breath, but no one was listening. Hartline put some of the plants in her mouth. Almost immediately, she started twitching and yelling out about the taste of sin. She fell to the ground and began to insanely yell Madonna lyrics from the ’80s. Fenno thought he heard “Like A Prayer” as the two miniature deans dragged her in the direction they had taken Kiwi. One of the miniatures was rapping something about “oompas.”

“What kind of plants are you growing down here Clark?” yelled Fenno. “Technically, these aren’t plants, Fenno. Everyone knows that toxic mold is the only thing growing in Hauser,” replied Clark. He tipped his top hat towards Fenno.

“I guess it’s just the two of you left,” said Clark, looking at Fenno and Volokh. The Dean and Sasha started to laugh maniacally.

“Sasha! Think fast!” said Clark, as he whipped out a gun. Sasha reached for his, but before he could get to it, Clark had pulled the trigger and Sasha was lying on the floor dead. Fenno couldn’t believe his eyes.

“You shot him!” yelled Fenno.

“I always had a mild taste for irony,” said Clark, in a wooden tone. Fenno was in shock. Clark grabbed Fenno’s hand and pulled him towards the elevator.

“What are you going to do to me?” said Fenno, as the elevator doors shut.

“Oh Fenno, stop worrying. You’ll be fine. You won, just like I knew you would. Sasha and Kiwi and Kelly will all be fine too, as soon as the oompas finish with them. I needed to test you to see who would take my place and own all of this. Now I want to show you something.”

The Dean turned a key in the elevator and it began to move upward faster than Fenno had ever felt it travel. Twenty minutes later it burst through the Hauser roof, and Clark slid back a panel revealing a window. Fenno could see everything below. Langdell and Pound were visible, but the elevator was headed towards Allston. Below, Fenno could see construction on the new law school.

“This is where I’m building my new lawyer factory, Fenno. And I want you to run it. It will all be yours. Over there is where we’ll add the cynicism, and right there we’ll pump in B

Fenno covered up his ears and screamed.

“But I don’t want a factory! We’re not supposed to be mechanically making lawyers like so many automobiles, or bars of chocolate. Education is supposed to expand the mind, not stifle it!”

Just as he was building to a crescendo, Fenno stopped ranting, realizing Clark was lying on the elevator floor, laughing. Fenno stared at him for a monent, finally seeing the truth. He helped Clark off the floor.

“So where do I put the apathy?” asked Fenno

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