Fenno: Wrongfully accused


Fenno sweated. The tribunal glared across the bench. Fenno gulped. The tribunal continued glaring, the beady eyes of Martha Field boring into Fenno.

“Mr. Fenno,” said Professor Field, “these are very serious allegations. What do you have to say for yourself?”

“Ummm . . . it was purely coincidental, Your Honor,” replied Fenno. He was sweating vigorously now, so much so that from the neck down one might mistake him for Jonas Blank in last year’s Parody.

“Mr. Fenno, are we to believe that by pure coincidence you submitted for your third year paper the text of Holmes’ The Common Law, bound in a paperback cover and titled ‘The Common Law,’ published by Dover, with a receipt signed by you indicating that you used your credit card to purchase the book at Wordsworth’s for $12.95 tucked into the front cover, and with Holmes’ name scratched off the cover and ‘Fenno’ scrawled over it in permanent marker?” asked Professor Field.

“Yes, Your Honor. It was an honest accident and I promise it won’t happen again.”

“Mr. Fenno, we take plagiarism very seriously around here. Wholesale appropriation of the text of a legal classic for academic purposes is ridiculous. I’m surprised that anyone would be dumb enough to try it, even you,” said Professor Field.

“Now let’s not be too hasty, Martha,” interjected Professor Dershowitz, glancing around for a camera to face. “It’s true that this is a serious charge, but Fenno has the makings of a great man, and let us not forget that some of the greatest men in American history have faced similar charges. Martin Luther King, Alan Dershowitz, John Kennedy – these heroic figures have all been persecuted for alleged plagiarism.”

“Cut the dramatics, Alan. This is not The Trial of Pete Rose. Mr. Fenno has been here for decades and will likely not go on to do anything. In the meantime, he must face serious consequences,” said Professor Field.

“Come on, it’s not like I robbed a bank and killed two policemen,” Fenno replied. He immediately realized his grave mistake and blanched.

Field glared at Fenno as she stormed out of the room. Fenno needed a drink.

Gerald Frug, one hand slyly manipulating his nipple, finally spoke up. “I think perhaps that mercy is the better part of justice. As far as I’m concerned, Mr. Fenno is free to go.”

“Yes, Mr. Fenno, this tribunal will not punish you. It’s not as though you’re Ryan Hecker. Our business here is done,” concluded Dersh.

Dersh and Frug left the room, leaving Fenno to breathe a long sigh of relief. After a few moments of reflection Fenno headed to the Hark for lunch.

Crossing the plaza, Fenno maliciously pushed the red button, entered the Hark, and stopped in his tracks. President Bush was in the Hark, boasting to all the world that he was queer. Fenno had withheld his suspicions for some time out of fear of the Patriot Act. Now he was amazed that the President had outed himself. After a moment of staring, Fenno realized disappointedly that the President was just a cardboard cutout set up by Amanda Goad.

“Fenno, sign our petition,” said Holly Lewis from the table.

“Okay, let me read it first.” Fenno perused the petition. He got bored about halfway through and put the paper down.

“This is without a doubt the gayest thing I’ve ever seen,” said Fenno.

“Well, duh,” replied Holly. Fenno wandered away, suddenly listless. He poked his head downstairs to try to get a game on, but Fenno failed to find a friend for foosball.

Fenno considered heading back to the Inn to drink himself stupider when a hand clamped down on his shoulder. Fenno turned around to see his old archnemesis, Crazy Charlie.

“Oh shit! I thought you were off teaching Internet law to the native tribes of the Amazon!” exclaimed Fenno.

“Jonathan dragged me back and Martha told me where I could find you. It’s been five years, you little bitch, but I’ve finally tracked you down,” snarled the professor.

Fenno’s mind raced furiously as he applied the sum of decades of HLS education to his present predicament.

“Narc!” he shouted, pointing behind Crazy Charlie. The angry professor turned his head and Fenno ran like hell. Fenno rounded Harkness Commons and ran straight into Hauser. With a crack things faded to darkness.

Fenno awakened in a circle of candle-bearing students on Jarvis Field. His hopes that it might be a Wiccan orgy were dashed when he remembered the planned prayer vigil for Roy. Fenno was crawling out of the circle when the bongos began.

“Tiger tiger burning bright! Fighting for his tiger rights! Animals are not our toys! Hope you learned your lesson Roy!” chanted the SALDF as they dispersed the Roy well-wishers.

Fenno rolled his eyes. He had last seen this bunch at RedBones. Fenno was enjoying a pulled pork sandwich when those jokers stormed in ranting about the sexual politics of meat. Fenno thought it was a joke until he saw the board in the Hark. One of these days Fenno was going to hurl a pan of meatballs at them, but in the meantime he just wanted to go home.

Fenno took a pull from his hip flask and saw Matt Smith approaching.

“Hey Matt, do you know a place I can lay low for a few days? Crazy Charlie’s on the warpath,” said Fenno.

“Sure Fenno, you can stay in my room at the Charles,” replied Matt.

“The Charles?”

“I figured it’s easier for me to live there for OCI than to walk from my place every day. When you have fifty-three interviews, you have to manage your time efficiently. Anyway, it’s got a couch, so you should be all set.”

Fenno shrugged. It sounded like a plan, and he was sure Matt wouldn’t mind if Adult Desires II turned up on the bill. Throw in the minibar and Fenno would be set for the week.

As Fenno wandered off campus, a sudden thought struck him. With Crazy Charlie on the prowl Fenno was a fugitive, a dangerous and hunted man. Chicks dig that stuff, Fenno thought. Fenno told Matt he’d roll in later, took a hard left, and made a beeline for the Kong to try out his newest pickup line.

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