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Usual Raunchy Humor, But Bad (After) Taste

By Helana Kadyszewski


Last Saturday evening, I wandered through the corridors outside 10-250 with a mixture of intrigue and apprehension. The stench of Cheetos, Chips Ahoy and coffee gone sour filled the air. Bleary-eyed students paced up and down the hall, while others sat hunched over their wireless laptops. Some appeared hysterical. Others were calm, some even napping on sleeping bags.

The atmosphere might have suggested that a final exam was about to ensue. Well, except of course for the presence of a human toilet paper mummy, the territorial campsites of Pi Tau Zeta and Theta Xi, and the oddly-attired group of girls calling themselves “Tetazoo.”

Au contraire, my friends! This strange lineup of MIT students was not preparing for any intellectual event. Instead, the hundreds of them had staked their ground in line for seats at Saturday evening’s “Nth Annual Concert In Bad Taste.”

CMI.101 Introduction to Camping

They were an unruly bunch, some of whom had been camped outside 10-250 since Wednesday afternoon. “We’re first, and we’re here to spite Tetazoo. They are lame,” said Louis S. Berger ’02. Only later did I decipher that this was a battle cry in the long and bitter war of East Campus hall rivalry.

With a hand over my nose, I dodged a game of toilet-paper-roll football, an overflowing trash bin and made my way to the end of the line where a few Cambridge exchange students huddled nervously in a small group. “We’ve never seen anything like this ... This kind of queuing ... it’s bloody ridiculous,” said Edward C. Hill, who admitted he had no idea what he was in for.

Like Ed, I was also a Bad Taste virgin fearing rape, for I had heard the rumors: “They offend everyone. Not just your momma.” And so when the delicate nymphs of Tetazoo stormed the halls booming “Shut the fuck up and stay within the orange lines,” I scurried to the front of the line to accept my reserved seat as a Tech reporter.

I sat quietly until five minutes before midnight when I heard a rumble from the corridor. Just then the doors to 10-250 flew open and a great stampede rushed in. In a matter of moments the auditorium was packed to capacity. It no longer resembled the giant lecture hall in which students normally snooze through Professor Pinker’s Intro to Psych lectures. Instead, rolls of toilet paper flew through the air and reams of Athena printer paper rained down a giant white blanket of nerd confetti.

Chorallaries take no prisoners

So much for 11:59:59. It was 12:12 a.m. by my watch when the audience was finally quieted after clearing the aisles to appease Campus Police. Mira E. Wilczek ’03 of the Chorallaries came out to read the traditional Bad Taste disclaimer. The list of people who would be offended was long and included among others: dirty whores, clean whores, French whores, virgins, asians, mimes, TAs named Vishnu, anyone else named Vishnu, Marilee Jones, Aramark, Michelle Kwan, President and Mrs. Vest, and of course, Harvard.

The opening act, a rip off of the Moulin Rouge soundtrack, was neither moving nor musically perfected. But as the remainder of the show would demonstrate, Bad Taste isn’t exactly your typical Parent’s Weekend concert. As long as the girls were scantily clad and the words “penis,” “vagina,” and “dildo” were used explicitly and repeatedly (with ample amounts of pelvic-thrusting and orgasmic moaning), the crowd would be happy.

This is not to say that there weren’t a few clever skits in the performance. Indeed, sophomore Bo S. Kim’s solo “Ants In My Food,” sung to the tune of Kansas’s “Dust In the Wind” engaged the audience with a few cheap shots at Aramark.

Particularly popular was the dating game spoof, “DifferentiaDate” featuring contestants SIPB Sam, your friendly Jewish girl from AEPhi, Vishnu, a ROTC guy, Viola the asian overachiever, and “Jake” the ATO guy, played by Leah K. Premo ’04. The performers demonstrated their acting talents and the ROTC guy’s pickup line, “Permission to Penetrate, SIR!” had the audience in stitches.

Later on, the crowd was treated to “Live Olympics Coverage” by two Minnesotan announcers. In this skit, the Chorallaries dramatically recreated the disappointment of the Canadian pairs skaters and of Bronze medalist Michelle Kwan. After the “Penis Monologues” though, the performance began to falter.

Please pass the inflatable whale

Fighting the unbearable heat in 10-250, the Chorallaries barely rescued this segment of the show with the Bad Taste “Top Ten List of Things You Can’t Do at the Same Time.” The list included “spit and swallow,” “Go to Harvard and get a B” and culminated with “stand up in front and NOT get pelted by projectiles.” Indeed, the ammunition was aplenty Saturday night with everything from blow up dolls to beach balls to semi-automatic plastic pellet guns contributing to an element of “interactive audience participation.”

A spoof on RingComm fell flat as did a pornographic rendition of excerpts from the Sound of Music. In the end, the Chorallaries rescued the show with “MIT Administration presents: Story Time.” The skit, based on the marijuana plant and keg busts over at Fourth West, featured a story who’s plot line “See pot. See CPs. Rat out everyone,” drew uproarious laughter. The second part of story time was a brief puppet show which neither gently nor non-pornographically symbolized the MIT administration’s recent disregard of student input and satisfaction in major decisions. (Use your imagination -- here’s a hint: puppets, anal penetration...)

The performance ended shortly after 2:00 a.m. with Chorallaries alums joining in to sing the Engineer’s Drinking Song.

Note to self: dump Vishnu

You’re supposed to walk away from Bad Taste offended. And I was, but not just because I’m a dirty whore dating a Harvard student named Vishnu. No, no -- rather, I was offended that someone thought two hours of toilet humor staggered with a few tired anti-Harvard wisecracks would entertain me. The prevalence of penis/pussy jokes and songs no doubt had something to do with the controversy surrounding this year’s presentation of The Vagina Monologues ... but honestly, I think you have to be Jay and Silent Bob to pull off that gig.

Not to detract from the amount of time and energy the Chorallaries put into this years performance, (I am usually a big fan of the a capella concerts) but I think there’s enough material here at Geek Central Station so that the “p-words” might not have been so necessary.

But what do I know besides why they call it “Bad Taste?” The anticipation of the event and the resounding applause at the end was proof enough for me that there are a couple hundred kids here who (pun intended) eat that shit up.

Point taken. To each his own. I guess I was just hoping for more Aimee Smith/Jungle Party jokes.