Tell your senator how much you’d love to get out of the cold

Greg Jerrett

Let’s all give a cheer for the Government of the Student Body and their great sacrifice on behalf of the commuters of Iowa State. Yay.

Why exactly is it that when a tight-fisted governing agency that normally spends its time arguing about hats while contemplating their navels and funding their own roadtrips and gut-busting galas at our expense finally get around to wasting one god awful chunk for something as wasteful as a palatial bus stop, we feel obligated to stroke them?

Does the commuter lot need a bus stop? Sure it does. Does it need it in the Fall of 2001? I’m sure our descendants will look back upon the benevolence of their ancestors as they spend the three minutes before their bus comes eating tuna sandwiches.

But you know what would really be nice, is if the commuters didn’t have to freeze their genitalia off this winter and the next.

Why does the commuter lot need a bus shelter with vending machines any way? It isn’t like the Emperor Tiberius drives in from Des Moines every day.

Why not put in a reflecting pool where young children dressed as cherubim cavort? That would be a nice touch. Jack up the price another 100K and give us more to praise.

I have relatives in the business who could slap down a lovely, warm shelter in two days at a fraction of the cost. The benefits to students would be they get out of the cold now and we avoid erecting a useless luxury in a lot that is going to be unused most of the time.

Who needs vending machines in their bus shelter? The busses run so frequently that the only people who might consider using them are people who JUST missed their bus and can think of nothing better to do with their time drink nasty coffee.

While winter seems endless in these parts, it really only lasts six months at the most (in spite of the three months allotted to it on the calendar). The other six months are definitely survivable.

Granted, avoiding the elements is necessary all year round, but we don’t talk about beefing up the bus stops anywhere else on campus or in Ames.

How about a massage while you wait at the northbound Lake Laverne bus stop? That would be a great way to show students you care, too.

I don’t want to be hyper-critical of your efforts and granted I get a little silly with the hyperbole, but maybe we could do something with a little bit more common sense on the part of commuters.

Common sense would dictate that if they need a shelter now, you give them what they basically need now. Leave the luxury extras for the declining days of our empire when our minds are so addled from mercury poisoning and debauchery that vending machines in a bus stop seem like small potatoes.

Build it quickly and get people out of the cold and you can get your kudos while people still remember who made the shelter possible. Something to think about.

s s s

And now a few words about why Valentine’s Day sucks.

This is one of those holidays card companies co-opted just to sell a few more units.

It sickens me. You should be telling people you love how you feel all year long and not making a big deal out of some corporate-sponsored lovefest. What do those people know about love anyway, but for the love of the almighty dollar?

It’s a big guilt holiday, too. Next to Lent, I can’t think of a bigger one.

If you are in a relationship, you have to perform just because someone outside of your relationship says you have to or your significant other thinks you don’t really love them. If you aren’t in a relationship, you feel like crap because it seems like everyone else is. How can anyone feel good about having their hand forced like that? It’s sick. Sick, I say!

St. Valentine had nothing to do with love. Why is his holiday used for this? Why not Ascension Sunday or St. Vitas Day?

According to Catholic Online Saints (, “Valentine was a holy priest in Rome, who, with St. Marius and his family, assisted the martyrs in the persecution under Claudius II.

He was apprehended, and sent by the emperor to the prefect of Rome, who, on finding all his promises to make him renounce his faith ineffectual, commended him to be beaten with clubs and afterwards, to be beheaded, which was executed on February 14, about the year 270.”

How romantic. It gives one a chubby just thinking about Valentine getting whacked half to death and beheaded fully unto death for not renouncing his faith. I think I better go buy some roses and make an effort to get laid in his memory.

Which brings me to my next salient point. If you were a martyr for the cause, any cause, would you want people doing their best to get nookie on the anniversary of your having been brutally done over by Romans? I doubt it.

Maybe if you were one of those really kinky saints who got off on that kind of thing when you were alive, but if you were that kinky when you bit it, chances are you wouldn’t have made sainthood.

So you see, you really would be doing a noble thing by avoiding the whole Valentine’s Day ritual.

If you want to combine the two, spend a little time with your loved ones this Monday reflecting on how bad it must feel to get clubbed.

Of course, if I had me a woman, I’d probably feel differently about things.

My nephew was born on Valentine’s Day and for the rest of his life he is going to have to feel like his birthday takes a back seat to this day.

I plan to do my best to rectify this by sending him birthday cards every year reminding him of St. Valentine’s sacrifice.

This year, I’m getting him the ACE biography of Valentine that comes with a full-color handout describing where every single one of those clubs hit him and how big the contusion was. That and a Furby.

Man, I wish somebody had gotten me one of those things for my eighth birthday, but unfortunately the height of technology at that time was Pong. Bleep … bleep … bleep.

But if I could take one moment to tie all this together, take some time this weekend to show someone you love them.

If you are a commuter student, take some time this weekend to tell your GSB senator that what you would really love is someplace warm to stand right now because if St. Valentine were alive today and not just some headless lump of hamburger, he’d build the damn thing for you at a fraction of the cost.

Greg Jerrett is a graduate student in English from Council Bluffs. He is opinion editor of the Daily and plans to spend Valentine’s Day with someone very special he picks up at a truck stop.