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Positive Sinking

America’s Family-Friendly Column

By Akshay Patil
COLUMNIST

Whenever I see your new e-mail address, I think that it’s Sin King, instead of sinking. Are you the Sin King of MIT?

Love,

not the editor in chief

Hmm, I’d have to say I’m pretty far from that, actually. I know that must come as a shock, given the Institvte’s reputation for admitting only hedonistic perverts, but I’m pretty clean.

I mean, come on, I’m known as the guy who writes columns about brushing his teeth and ordering food at Alpine Bagel, not about chocolate flavored, uhm, “sailors.”

In fact, my editor lamented the recent trend towards naughtiness in my column, not to mention my increasingly foul language. I’ve often felt that obscenity is the caveat for slightly-but-not-really-that-funny-so-they-do-whatever-they-can-to-keep-you-on-your-toes people.

And since I’ve made my proverbial “living” on really really long and very hyphenated adjectives (do you love how I just used those two “never use” adverbs in one clause? Ahh, and I wonder why I can’t write English essays.) along with lengthy parentheticals which totally deviate from the matter at hand (such as this parenthetical which I am embarking on now).

It’s interesting you know, some people complain that my tendency to just totally wander off topic within the confines of two vertical humps (or are they horizontal?) totally detracts from the column and makes them incredibly difficult to read, while others seem to really enjoy them (despite the additional work of trying to figure out when exactly it was that I went totally tangential on them) and ridiculously lengthy run-on sentences which seem to have absolutely no end in sight despite not taking the column anywhere really which just goes to show (according to most people) that I must be totally wasted or high when I go about writing these things, I will do my best to bring things back to the basics.

And while we’re on the subject, many readers have pointed out to me (Though not in e-mail form. Come on! What do I have to do to get you people to e-mail me? All these other e-maily columns get e-mails but not Positive Sinking. Nooooo. I just get people coming up to me and complaining that they didn’t see a Positive Sinking in the last issue of The Tech.

“You mean Tuesday’s Tech?”

“Yeah man, where was your column? What are you, like slacking off or something?”

“It’s a Friday column! It’s only in Friday issues!”

“Ohhhhh. Why do you write once a week? Not funny enough, funny man?”

I’m not just a hunk of meat here for your enjoyment! I barely get enough e-mail to warrant a weekly column, let alone a semi-weekly column.) that last column, “Now with Talking Stick Figure Heads,” appeared to star the same stick figure as “girl in Athena cluster” and “MIT mother.”

No, I’m not promoting parental looove (the dirty kind), its just that I can only draw a grand total of six distinct stick figures: boy with hands up, boy with hands down, boy with hands on hips, girl with hands up, girl with hands down, girl with hands on hips.

For the rest, you’re just gonna have to use your imagination (and I can’t help it if you’re a dirty dirty individual... some of us are trying to eat here, alright?).

And since I have a good 50 words before I hit my magical column length, I’ll address my other most FAQ (why am I abbreviating that if I’m trying to meet my word length?): “What does Positive Sinking mean?”

Well, it doesn’t really mean anything -- truth be told it’s an incredibly obscure allusion to an incredibly obscure 90’s comic strip (not a Bloom County, I think the strip was entitled Dave or something equally unhelpful for Google retrieval purposes) which contained one panel depicting a swimming pool with a thought bubble rising from its depths with the text “I can swim, I can swim, I can swim...” “Positive Sinking” the caption read.

Anyways, I thought it was funny and it’s obviously stuck with me long enough to get associated with this jumble of words I come up with every week. Hope none of you thought I was being terribly clever and creative on my own as that would be horribly out of character.

Do you have an e-mail account? Are you wearing clothes? Do you like penguins? If you answered “yes, no, maybe,” then you’re fully qualified to send e-mail to sinking@mit.edu. E-mail now and we’ll send you a free copy of our bestseller “Anon Y. Mous - A Biography of the World’s Most Prolific Writer” Operators are standing by...