Mikeservations: Mike is Missing

By “Mike” Brent Zundel
For the MSU Exponent
March 24, 2011

Note: Mikeservations, written by ex-Exponenter Mike Tarrant, was a weekly social commentary column run by the Exponent. Former Editor-in-chief Eric Dietrich remarked that the column “inspired both more complaints and (I’m told) more devout readership than almost any of our other content.”

Mikeservations, smallAt the Exponent, we are a dedicated bunch of student-journalists. That’s why the due date for all the articles in this week’s opinion section was, as always, the Thursday of the previous week.

Last Thursday, March 17, however, was different from every other Thursday. It was St. Patty’s Day.

As everyone who has met him already knows, Mike Tarrant enjoys a good beer, regardless of the time of day. He’s also from Butte.

With that evidence, understandably, no one has either heard from or seen Mike since he missed his St. Patty’s deadline. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the Exponent office. Mike is easy to identify: He will be the one standing in the corner of the bar or party, drinking either Scotch or a Moose Drool, and glaring judgmentally at everyone else. Despite the persona he cultivates, he is safe to approach.

Last St. Patty’s Day, an individual who will remain nameless woke up in a minivan on blocks in an auto lot over five miles away from Uptown Butte, where he was last seen. Exponent members believe a similar fate befell Mike.

Rather than disappoint all 11 of his regular readers, I volunteered to navel-gaze in Mike’s place this week, since we share a first name – although I eschewed it long ago for my less common middle name.

Halfway through the six-pack I drank while writing this column, I realized that’s about all I have to say.

But on to business! Initially, I had a hard time writing this column, so I started drinking and decided to talk about the most obvious thing I could think of: spring break. College students universally look forward to this week-long respite from classes, but it never fails to disappoint.

It seems that we have one of two options. Some choose to take an adventurous vacation, like dicking around in the Grand Canyon or reviving passed-out idiots on the beach at the MTV Beach Party. Others stay at home to catch up on sleep and studying.

That first group is avoiding their responsibilities by maxing out their parents’ credit cards. The second group simply engages in self-loathing because they have nothing better to do. Neither contributes anything substantial to society, and both will be disappointed with their choices.

Halfway through the six-pack I drank while writing this column, I realized that’s about all I have to say about either one of those all-encompassing groups, so I’d like to end with some themes I think are important in spring break and in life.

Potheads are idiots. I hate going to the gym when the gym bros are at high tide, but I really enjoy watching scantily clad ladies use the new ladder climb machines. Secretly, though, I fear that they wear Uggs outside of the gym.

Man, I need another beer.

Read: “A Walk in the Woods,” by Bill Bryson and laugh aloud while you read it in public.

Brent is well aware that he does not use his first name, and is less critical and has a lower alcohol tolerance than Mike. If you disagree with his “Mikeservations,” make sure he knows by e-mailing the Exponent at letters@exponent.montana.edu. He doesn’t want Facebook fan mail, but he’d love to talk over a Moose Drool.

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