On the Hark: Harvard Law School Enters the Post-Nuclear Age

BY KATIE MAPES

Minus a handful of public interest employers, (none of whom provide interviewees with chocolate covered pretzels, damn them) I didn’t do OCI. While this appeared to be a good idea while everyone else was dressing up in suits and trudging to the Charles three times a day, it seemed markedly less like a good idea when I realized this meant spending fly-out week at home, bonding with my roommate’s cat.

At first this seemed like fun, but it turns out there’s only a certain number of hours you can spend in a given day tormenting small, fuzzy animals (eight, if you’re curious). I had to branch out. And, now that I’m no longer dependent on the Hemenway Gymnasium as my sole source of cable television, I turned to Comcast On-Demand. What I found banished all thoughts of free hotel rooms from my mind.

Jericho, the latest dramatic effort from the fine people at CBS, chronicles the adventures of a small town in Kansas populated by deeply, deeply stupid people in the aftermath of a nuclear holocaust. I highly recommend that you start watching Jericho immediately. Marvel at the depth of human understanding displayed by lines like “Well, you know, he’s been having a tough time lately, what with the nuclear missiles and all.” Ponder tough scientific questions like whether corn husks are sufficient to protect the fruit inside from fallout. (Answer: Sure they are! As an anthropology-major-turned-law-student I clearly have no basis for this determination myself, but if you can’t believe network television . . .) And most importantly, tune in to the premiere of Jericho’s new spin-off: Cambridge, starring a group of law students trying to make their way in the post-Apocalyptic wasteland that was Harvard Law School.

PilotAct OneInt. – A classroom in Pound Hall.(About 50 students sit at their desks typing furiously into the AIM windows open on their computers. Near the back of the classroom, we see our heroes. JOSHUA is tall and hulking. He has a MYSTERIOUS SECRET. KIM is a pretty blonde sitting a few seats away. She had not yet forgiven him for his HORRIBLE BETRAYAL. Suddenly, there is a blinding flash outside.)

PROFESSOR: So, as you can see, liability for negligence attaches when . . . (screaming) oh dear God, the light! The light! I’m blind!

STUDENT #1: God damnit, my computer won’t work! What the Hell is with this thing!

STUDENT #2: Jesus, mine neither – I’m never buying a Dell again.

(The PROFESSOR falls to the ground screaming. JOSHUA stands up and gestures toward the door.)

JOSHUA: Quick, everyone, our nation is at war! We have to take shelter from the fallout. To the tunnels!

(All exit, quickly).

Act Two:Int. – Tunnels.(The law school tunnels are now filled with people, many of whom are sleeping on the floor. The scene resembles a REFUGEE CAMP. Near one of the vending machines, JOSHUA is standing surrounded by a large group of students, some taking notes. KIM is on the outskirts of the group watching him BITTERLY, but also INTRIGUED by his MANLY HEROICNESS.)

JOSHUA: Okay, it’s Monday and that means turkey day at the Hark. So we have enough stuffing to last us until tomorrow. Then we’ll have to turn to the vending machines. Who has Crimson Cash?

(The students look at him blankly.)

Nobody? Okay, then – we’ll have to ask for donations. Freddy, that’s your job; hit up whoever you can find.

FREDDY: Couldn’t we just break the glass?

(Several students nod and look at JOSHUA questioningly. JOSHUA shakes his head.)

KIM: (stepping forward to stand next to JOSHUA she turns to address the assembled crowd) Don’t you guys understand? If we don’t maintain the principles of law and order we’re all here to study how to violate without getting in trouble, we’re nothing! We HAVE to use Crimson Cash to get those M&Ms – either that, or we have to find a legal loophole. Where’s the Dean? She could probably break the glass.

JOSHUA: (watching KIM intently) You haven’t changed since I last saw you – still the same idealist you always were.

KIM: (slaps Joshua) How can you say that! You left me! When you went to do that summer associateship in New York and me in Washington, I thought I’d die! And now you have the nerve to talk to me like nothing’s changed?!

(Joshua looks sheepishly down at his feet and starts to talk. He is interrupted by STUDENT #1 who runs up, shoving the on-lookers aside).

STUDENT #1: (panting) Joshua! You have to do something! A group of business students has holed up in the Gropius basement and refuses to let anyone in – they say the lead-lined walls don’t just block cell phone reception; they also block fall-out!

STUDENT #2: We have to do something, Joshua. We can’t let them take over our piece of historic architecture!

JOSHUA: You’re right, Sam. We have to get them out of that building and send them across the river where they belong. (He gestures at several students, including FREDDY, SAM, and STUDENT #1). You come with me. (He turns to KIM and puts his hands on her shoulders.) You stay here; we’ll talk if I make it back alive.

(They exit, and KIM watches them go, sadly.)

Act Three:Ext – Jarvis Field.(It is dark and cloudy. Several students frolic on the ICE SKATING RINK. Others chat at tables lit by candlelight. KIM and JOSHUA stroll hand-in-hand across the cobblestones.)

KIM: So all the fall-out is gone now?

JOSHUA: Oh, I’m sure; all the science grad students over at the college seem to have turned up dead and covered with mysterious sores so I can’t check with them, but so far we all seem fine, right?

KIM: We are fine, Joshua. All thanks to you. You know, ever since you beat up those business students and regained us the lead-lined paradise that is Gropius, I feel like our morale has been a lot higher.

JOSHUA: It is, Kim. Especially since post-apocalypse, the crappy cellphone reception isn’t an issue anymore. I only hope that the Hauser computer guys can get the wireless network up and running; I’ve chained them to the help desk in their basement lair, just to ensure their diligence.

KIM: You’re such a natural leader! Because of you, we can work together as a law school to really beat this whole nuclear war thing. I’m sorry I ever doubted you, Joshua!

JOSHUA: You had reason, Kim. Listen, I want to tell you what I was really doing in New York this summer.

KIM: No, Joshua. I trust you. You don’t have to explain yourself to me. Not before November Sweeps, at any rate. Shall we go ice skating?

JOSHUA: I love you, Kim.

(He kisses her. They pull out skates and start to put them on then, hand-in-hand, skate out on the rink together.)

KIM: Ice skating in September – could it get any better? Thank God for nuclear winter – we’ll never have to wait till that one week in February for our skating rink to freeze again!

(As we see them execute an ice dancing like spin, the theme song starts to play and we head to CREDITS).

That’s a wrap, guys! Join us next week as we explore HLS and the melting of the polar ice caps!

Katie Mapes, 2L, welcomes correspondence from interested network executives and 3L paper advisors.

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