The Doctor just finished reading about a High School newspaper that was censored over an article on the smoking of a distilled version of marijuana known as “dabbing”. This new trend certainly puts a novel slant on the “little dab’ll do ya” slogan of my early school days, but it also had me reminiscing about my involvement in my high school newspaper back in the early 70s.
I decided to do a bit of dabbling during my freshman high school year and joined the student newspaper, which was appropriately titled “TRIPE”. The staff selected the title because of its double entendre of an edible offal from the stomachs of various farm animals or slang for writing that is false, worthless, or just plain rubbish. As guessed, some of the staff members eventually became vegetarians. Others, on the other hand, became purveyors of pungent paraphrases.
Needless to say, the first edition of Tripe was not without controversy. One of the more contentious articles featured step-by-step assembly instructions for a water-pipe designed solely from components “freely” available in any high school chemistry lab. The inspiration for the water-pipe article came from the serendipitous discovery that the key to the newspaper office was also a master key for the school’s chemistry lab. It is the Doctor’s best recollection that he was the author of that particular article, but he also recollects that most articles were attributed to “staff reporter” in order to protect identities. Also, some major water-pipe quality assurance testing may have hazed a few memories as to who may, or may not, have written the article.
The school administration was not as in on the joke as were the student writers, and the powers that be quickly threatened to shut the paper down. However, the rag tag group of long-haired hippies managed to publish another two issues before the end of the academic year. The second edition was titled “New and Improved Tripe” or NIT for short, and coincided with an actual outbreak of head lice at the school. Reference to the lice outbreak was a scoop for the paper, and a bit of a head-scratcher for the administration wondering who may have leaked the story.
Incidentally, Tripe’s whistleblower was also responsible for leaking details about a planned locker search by the local narcotics police division. Unfortunately, Tripe staff were not provided enough time to write about the planned search. Fortunately, we did have enough time to issue free baggies of oregano and other assorted spices for proper placement throughout the building. Tripe ended with the third and final edition boldly entitled “Return of Tripe” or ROT for short.
The Doctor recently had lunch with a fellow Tripe conspirator and ruminated over whether things have really changed that much since their high school days. The Doctor has certainly changed. He has gone from dabbing to dribbling, from long-haired to longing for hair, from toking to temperance, from being dependable to depending on depends, and from having a narrow waist with a broad mind to a broad waist with a narrow mind.
On the other hand, one of the Doctor’s most recent postings on a local online community forum was censored because of the word “bullshit”. Censoring the word “bullshit” is a load of tripe if you ask me.
This post is dedicated to the survivors of TRIPE, NIT, and ROT from Sydney Academy circa 1972.