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Elliot: The algebra of pink

BY BEAU ELLIOT | MAY 13, 2014 5:00 AM

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I like Professor Kembrew McLeod; we’re not great friends or anything, but we have some good friends in common. (Yes, Virginia, I have some friends. At least two. And I didn’t have to bribe them all that much.)

And I like conversing with McLeod, the few times we have. He’s very intelligent, engaging, and knowledgeable.

But a pink locker room? We’re all up in the air again about the damn pink locker room?

Let’s turn the clock back to the Hayden Fry era. (Fry is the genius who dreamed up the pink locker room. He also dreamed up the Tigerhawk, according to many reports.)

In October 1985, in Kinnick, Rob Houghtlin beat Bo (Doesn’t Know How to Spell Beau) Schembechler’s Michigan Wolverines on a last-second field goal. Was that a product of the pink locker room, or was it the product of QB Chuck Long’s 300 or so passing yards? Or tailback Ronnie Harmon’s 127 yards rushing?

Well, it probably wasn’t the product of the pink locker room; Schembechler famously always covered up the pink locker room walls with newspapers. Probably copies of The Daily Iowan, because they were not only free, they were available all over campus. Probably Schembechler, mastermind that he was, had the newspapers turned upside down so that his players couldn’t read the scintillating prose about them.

Who needs more stories about a damn pink locker room? I mean, who really cares? Yes, I know; it furthers, somehow, the rape culture. I’m not in favor of the rape culture. But I missed the algebra lesson in which pink locker rooms equal rape.

I mean, does anyone think that any of the suspected or convicted rapists in Iowa City have ever even seen the pink locker room?

Enough already. Paint the locker room black, as the great philosophers the Rolling Stones once mused.

And then cut the power to the locker room and the showers . See what that does to the opposing players’ psychology. (Hey, I think I finally found the soap. Oops, no — sorry, man. What are you doing on the floor?)

Well, at least the pink locker room keeps us from thinking about Joni Ernst. You know, one of the candidates for the Republican nomination for the Senate seat that Sen. Tom Harkin will vacate. She became famous when her campaign aired a political ad that featured her castrating pigs. (Yes, Virginia, castrating pigs is an important qualification for becoming a senator.)

Ernst followed that cutting-edge ad (so to speak) with an ad showing her shooting the hell out of a paper target. That, apparently, is also an important qualification for becoming a senator. No Benghazis happening with Ernst on the job seems to be the subliminal message.

Ernst actually missed the center of the target three times on the ad, but when the target is pulled up to the camera, every shot is in the center, shaded area. Ah, truth. Ah, the algebra on the way to truth.

(Remember back in high school when you looked at algebra and thought, I’ll never use this stuff in real life?)

Electing Ernst to the Senate would certainly help the Republicans launch their 10,000th investigation into what happened in Benghazi. Apparently, the Republicans are trying to break their Whitewater-investigation record; the Whitewater probe lasted most of my so-called adult life and cost tens and tens of millions of dollars. It found nothing.

Algebra can find nothing, too, and it doesn’t cost millions of dollars.


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