Web Exclusives: Inky Dinky Do
a PAW web exclusive column by Hugh O'Bleary

December 6, 2000:
Gift-giving time, again
Do Princetonians deserve gifts?

Dear Diary,

The holidays are almost upon us. There is so much to do - the usual mountain of planning and decorating, the cards to be mailed out, the fake snow to be sprayed-Oh, and then, of course, there are the gifts to be bought. I look across the aisle of the train to where old Spenderman sits, catalogs spread out across his lap, cellphone jammed in his ear. He's ordered half his family's presents already and we're not even to New Brunswick. Right now I think he has L.L. Bean on the line; I can hear him yelling something about a Down East flannel doggie bed. (That reminds me, Diary: pick up Milk Bones for Buster's stocking!)

Why can't I be as organized and efficientas Spenderman? I try to make a list, but I keep drawing a blank. I find myself drifting off, musing on the gifts I'd really like to give. I mean, I can think of a few presents, none of them available in any catalog (Note to self: check on-line?), that would be just perfect for some Princetonians on my list:

Harold Shapiro *'64

Framed cover from U.S. News and World Report and a comfy pair of Tiger-print slippers.

Ralph Nader '55

Fully restored '63 Corvair with the vanity plates "GRN TGR"

Bill Bradley '65 and Steve Forbes '70

Dinner for two at Shoney's on Inauguration Day

Bioethics professor Peter Singer

Floor-length white mink (What becomes a legend most?), some really tight leather pants and a bitchin' pair of alligator boots!

Head Football Coach Robert Hughes

University of Miami-approved admissions office rubber stamp, six cases of "andro" and an embroidered Vince Lombardi "Winning Isn't Everything..." sampler.

Chris Young '02

Video copy of Field of Dreams and a generous strike zone.

New Head Basketball Coach John Thompson '88

Chris Young '02

David E. Kelley '79

A semester's stint as a teacher in a real Boston public school.

Wendy Kopp '89

A slickly produced television series glamorizing her Teach for America program

Director of Admission Fred Hargadon

Autographed glossy of Tom Cruise in the role of Joel ("Princeton could use a guy like Joel") Goodson in Risky Business.

Sally Frank '80

The renaming of Prospect St. as Sally Frank St.

Donor Bill Frist '74

Home "beverage lab."

Roger S. Berlind '52 Professor in the Humanities Joyce Carol Oates

A change in Nobel Prize criteria to make the award dependent upon sheer number of words written.

Bill Clinton h PhD

An appropriately prestigious new job, say the 19th presidency of Princeton

Alas, Dear Diary, this is getting me nowhere. I look over - Jeez, now Spenderman has his lap-top out. I think he's sending cards on-line. Maybe, Diary, I should stop at the U-Store on the way home.


Hugh O'Bleary commutes to New York City from Princeton. He revels in his daily sojourn across campus to catch the Dinky. You can reach Hugh O'Bleary by writing him c/o paw@princeton.edu