Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Dropping the F-bomb at Shaker High

Our high school alma mater, Shaker Heights High School, is in the news this week.

Historically, reporters have extolled the quality of the public education that the school offers, the diversity of its student body, and the number of National Merit Scholars that it produces.

Not this time.

Turns out a student found a way to hide a lowbrow, obscene message in this year’s yearbook cover. Dropped in the f-bomb. Details are here.

I suppose we ought to be surprised and horrified, but we are neither, as we are big fans of the time-honored traditions of senior pranks and creative rebellion.

Nor is this the first time that a tasteless – if humorous message – was hidden in a yearbook. One of our college roommates attended Dwight Englewood School in Bergen County, NJ, and managed to work the code “EM/des” (“eat me Dwight Englewood School”) into the footer of the typewritten letter of congratulations from the headmaster in their 1980 yearbook.

Creative people have, for years, been hiding little surprises for those who are willing to look closely. Our father notes with delight and reverence the advertising art director who managed to, in the frilly border of a Butterball Turkey print ad, hide an illustration of Mickey and Minnie Mouse enjoying pleasures of the flesh. You couldn’t see it without a magnifying glass, but boy oh boy was it funny if you knew it was there.

At least to everyone except the client, who to our knowledge never discovered it.

Our hat is off to the student who had the creativity to install the message, the ingenuity to hide it pretty carefully, and even had the good taste to feign horror and apologize.


Anonymous said...

"Fuck" is not the "mother of all curse words."....

Stephen Ban said...

George Carlin did a great piece about how he'd like to take all of the old westerns (movies) and substitute the word "fuck" for the word "kill," leading to scenes such as "All right Sheriff, we're gonna fuck ya now...but we're gonna fuck ya SLOW." Who said it was the "mother of all curse words"anyway?