Recently, a good friend of mine who goes to a small, private liberal arts school in New England visited our campus. As he passed through the urban jungle, the discomfort and disgust on his face grew more and more evident. He’d step in a puddle filled with trash and cringe. He’d bite into a stale pretzel and hiss. He even stared down the sculpture of Russell Conwell’s enormous head.
Concerned, I asked him if he liked the Temple campus.
“Yeah, it’s nice,” he quipped. “If you like Beirut.”
At first, I was hurt. Beirut didn’t seem like the ideal place to be going to college. When I perused the US Embassy to Lebanon’s web site on Beirut it assured me that the area was being de-mined.
A trip to a travel site led to the discovery of the confident declaration that the wars which had ravaged the city had ended in 1991. None of this sounded too ideal.
But, then, I came across a wonderful resource on Beirut at MiddleEastUK.com which brought to light the true folly of my old buddy’s statement. You see, though Beirut may have been crushed to rubble by wars in the past, it is nowhere near the state of disrepair of Temple University.
Let’s compare the two, shall we?
Beirut, which stands on an ancient settlement about 5,000 years old, contains a wealth of archaeological remains from the Ottoman, Crusader, Byzantine, and Phoenician eras. If you dig under Temple, all you’re gonna find are moldy cheese fries, crapped on copies of my column, and the carcasses of homeless people.
Beirut touts some of the best horse racing in the world, a wonderful golf club, and loads of resorts and beaches. While all Temple students have to bet on are cockroach races. And the closest thing to a beach resort is “Sand and Surf” night at the old frat house complete with saltwater beer and Arabian harem – themed strippers.
Beirut’s most famous landmark is called Pigeon Rocks, a series of huge rocks that lie off its coast. The nearest Temple equivalent is petrified pigeon feces although beautiful, attract very few tourists. Finally, according to the information panacea MiddleEastUK.com, “Nightlife in Beirut is non-stop.” At Temple, however, nightlife stops– abruptly.
Now that all those comparisons between our deplorable university and Beirut, the “Diamond of Lebanon,” have been put to an end, we can move on to more important topics. Next week: Temple faculty versus staff of Fox News: Who brings home the funk?