Posted by: stillironic | December 16, 2009

South of the Border University—5

Iceberg U.

As for changing the name of the university to Iceberg U., Roscoe persuaded Izzard that the new, enhanced, name would create a buzz and cause people to think the university was environmentally minded.

What was even more brilliant, according to Roscoe, was that once global warming really hit and everyone was sick of the heat, the name Iceberg U. would become a marketing bonanza. Phrases like “Come to Iceberg U. and be cool” were bandied about and Izzard commissioned the art school to build a giant plastic iceberg in the main quad.

Much to Gregor’s surprise, the campus’s response to the name change was mostly positive. He scanned the letters to the editor of the university paper, now called “The Daily Ice Breaker,” which had endorsed the name change, to check for signs of dissent. He found none, although the head librarian expressed being “truly offended” by the redundancy of Izzard’s use of the expression “giant iceberg.” Izzard publicly commended her for promoting “meticulousness in oral and verbal communication by word of mouth.” Privately, he instructed his finance director, secretly a tenth grader from the local high school, to review the library budget for “unessential redundancies.”

Gregor himself sent a letter in protest of the new mascot, an ice floe carrying an Eskimo. The plastic floe, a blue grayish white, was mounted on a motorized flatbed wagon controlled by a guy dressed up in Eskimo garb. It had appalled Gregor, and a number of others, that the school mascot mocked an ethnic ritual, that of a person put out to sea to die. But the alliteration of the football chant, “flow, Mighty Ice Floes, flow” was undeniable.

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