FENNO: Up for auction


Fenno was still pretty tired when she woke up Wednesday morning. Gotta stop watching the war so late, she thought as she opened her bedroom door on the way to the bathroom. Full consciousness seized her immediately when she saw her two roommates holding a U.S. and an Iraqi flag while pulling a rope tied to the shampoo rack on the showerhead.

What the hell are you guys doing?!” Fenno shouted. “You’re gonna break the bathroom!

“It’s time for some regime change in the shower,” one of them answered. “You know the landlord’s been real slow about responding to our maintenance requests.”

“Yeah,” the other added. “The hot water doesn’t keep up. The water pressure’s horrible. We’re liberating the shower!”

Fenno figured that was suitable explanation. She turned around on hearing some murmurs coming from the kitchen. She walked quickly in that direction. With paper shopping bags in hand, her roommates’ boyfriends were emptying the fridge.

What the hell are you guys doing?!” Fenno shouted. “You don’t even like yogurt or soy milk!

Not even turning to look at her, one of the boys answered, “Haven’t you heard, Fenno? The apartment has been liberated. We’re looting. That’s every newly-freed citizen’s right in the absence of obvious civil police authority.”

“No laws, no locks,” the other explained.

Guys,” Fenno responded in a quiet tone, “you eat over here all the time for free. That stuff’s no good in your apartments. You’ll have to cook it yourselves.

They stopped in mid-bag-stuffing, one with a bottle of ketchup in his hand, the other with a head of lettuce. They exchanged a glance, and, without a word, began restoring the contents of their bags to the refrigerator.

No,” said Fenno, “that milk carton’s empty.”

By the time Fenno returned to the scene of the great American Shower Haul, her roommates were parading the showerhead around the living room, pounding the thing with the soles of assorted shoes, and jubilantly waving their flags. Fenno had a theory. “What channel do you guys watch the war coverage on?” she asked.

“Fox News,” they answered in unison.

Fenno returned to her bedroom to get dressed. About to leave for campus, Fenno thought she should offer a bit of advice: “You guys should really stop watching that stuff. I think you’ve O.D.’d on patriotism.

“Go back to [Freedom]!” they answered in unison. Fenno shrugged, looked quickly in the hallway mirror, adjusted her beret and cravat, and walked out the door.

On campus, the Public Interest Auction was the talk of the Hark. From “undisclosed sources,” Fenno had obtained an advance copy of the items to be auctioned off in Austin Hall on Thursday night. She took a look at the list….

“Garrett Moritz’s 3L Paper. Valued at five cents a page, bidding will begin at $200. The Annotated Garrett Moritz is included with the item, but is not open to separate bidding. Nor is the Annotated Annotated Garrett Moritz.

“Newly-replaced Dean of a fair-to-middlin’ law school to help with your Corporations studying. With bidding starting at $2,000, this auction item will pay for itself, if permitted to travel and shake hands with wealthy alumni.

“Michael Shah’s Cartier Sunglasses. An unnamed donor has offered Mike Shah’s ‘priceless’ shades for a minimum bid of $400. Direct from the finder, who wishes to remain nameless (see above), the specs come with a certificate of authenticity and some splashes of the cosmopolitan that spilled on them when they fell to the floor of Vox late one September evening.

“Jonas Blank’s Dignity. [Listed here for accounting purposes only. The “dignity” was claimed for the bid price of $2.49 sometime in 1997, far too early to be of any use to this Auction.]

“Tons o’ Guns. Sasha Volokh is offering many, many different weapons to anyone with a checkbook and a smile that is ‘not too crazy.’ Rifles begin at $5, handguns at $3.50. ‘Don’t let the end of the Auction be the end of the sales — guns will be sold through the weekend at the Mass. Ave. door of Gannett House.’

“Hoods. Three-Ls with hoods are offering their extra hoods to classmates who don’t have hoods and would like to avoid the $26 hood rental charge at the Coop. Why do your classmates have these extra hoods? ‘Too much D&D,’ said one. ‘Dysfunctional retina,’ said another. Who cares? Get a hood. Bidding starts at $27 per hood. (Hoods must be returned to donor by June 6.)

“$50,000. Mike Shah is donating $50,000 to anyone willing to bid for the cash. Bidding to start at $60,000. Proceeds to benefit the Mike Shah Lost Stuff Fund.

“A Date with Tom Brady. Tanya Hicks knows this girl from college named Jessica Brady, whose cousin Tom installs motherboards for a subsidiary of Compaq in Lowell. He’s wicked good at Tetris and knows the guy who invented Snood. Date is coffee and maybe a biscotti. No strings. Bidding to start at $10.

“Musical Chess with Michael Scoville. Michael will sing a sad song about each chess piece after you move it. He will play with one eye and one ear tied behind his back. Bidding starts at $50. ‘It’s your move!’

“Three-L Futon. The Class of 2003 is collectively donating its futon, since the 3L Class has no more need for it after graduation. The futon is well broken-in, and is (unfortunately) free of any mysterious stains. It has, however, hosted some out-of-town friends over two Yale Game weekends. Bidding starts at $140,000.”

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