Everybody likes to make jokes on April Fool’s Day, even us. So it’s nice to see the Dean of the University of Texas Law School get in on the fun. Here’s the first part of the email
he sent around to Texas law students this morning
Update (3:38): It seems the Dean did not send this letter out, it was just some enterprising student. Still, it’s pretty funny, as you’ll see below.
It is with great sadness and regret that I announce today that I am stepping down as the Dean of The University of Texas School of Law. As you can imagine, this decision was not an easy one. In my time here at law school, I have been blessed to keep company with some of the finest legal minds in the world, and I have made many friends, both students and faculty, whom I will cherish for the rest of my days.
I am proudest, of course, of our efforts to double the law school’s endowment, and I am happy to report that despite the current economic downturn, we are well on our way to accomplishing that goal. And our faculty hires over the past few years have assured that we shall rank among the nation’s elite institutions of legal education for years to come.
But despite these accomplishments, the law can be a harsh mistress, and I have ambitions and dreams that remain unfulfilled. It is with that in mind that Jane and I have decided to retire to the Texas Hill country, where I will pursue my first love: raising Emus. Not as a source of food, mind you, but as a means of human locomotion.
We’ve profiled Dean Lawrence Sager before. He looks pretty funny, and he’s a Yankee living in Texas so you know he’s got a sense of humor. And (I say this as a person who knows more about emus than any man ever should) the Dean does have his facts straight: emus taste bad yet they are more easy to domesticate than ostriches.
More from the Dean (and his statement disavowing authorship of the letter) after the jump.
Dean Sager hits all of the salient points about emu worship over the rest of his email:
Some of my finest hours have been spent cantering across the Texas plains on the back of an Emu. They are stately, resplendent, Brobdingnagian birds, capable of carrying a man at full gallop the length of 30 hectares on a single hogshead of millet seed.
For those who know me best, this announcement comes as no surprise. I have always been passionate about large flightless waterfowl. It is well-known, of course, that I ate the last Dodo, and less well-known that I once crossed the Straits of Magellan on the back of an Emperor Penguin.
But my passion for the humble Emu was sparked by a chance conversation with Alan Rau. Jane and I were summering with Professor Rau at his single room cabin in the Montana wilderness. Professor Rau, as was his custom, was wearing his hooded sweatshirt and aviator-style sunglasses while he worked on one of his lengthy manifestos. I chanced a remark that I was thinking of purchasing a Segway scooter (I had recently been bested in a drag race between my trusty Saab and a group of tourists on Segway scooters). Professor Rau immediately unleashed a stream of invective, something along the lines of “the Industrial Revolution and it consequences have been a disaster for the human race!”
I immediately backpedaled from my suggestion, but I was captured by a singular notion: what if I could mesh the idea of sensible personal transportation with Alan Rau’s Druidic ecological purity?
The answer, I realized, was right in front of me, as that evening we happened to be dining on ostrich burgers. But the ostrich, as I discovered after a few test rides, is a surly and noisome beast, and I quickly gravitated towards riding the more elegant, redolent, and pulchritudinous Emu.
One can only imagine the Xanadu that awaits us all, as cars are rendered irrelevant and our reliance upon fossil fuels evaporates. Cities will be redesigned, carbon emissions reduced, and in place of the automobile, Emus will become ubiquitous. We shall all bear witness to the boom of the Emu Economy, with Australia poised to lead the way, fueled by its abundance of Emus and affordable criminal labor.
And so it is with great sadness that I must bid you farewell. My time here as Dean has been the finest of my life, but as I ride off into the sunset, please think of me as I’d wish to be remembered: galloping across Texas on the back of a large flightless bird.
April 1st, 2009
PS: And although I will no longer be here in the law school, I invite each and every one of you to visit us at www.sagerfarms.com: “A Place to Ride Emus, in the Heart of the Texas Hill Country.”
You know, if the market keeps up like it has been, this might not end up being a joke.
Kudos to Dean Sager, his sense of humor, and his entirely proper ordering of the natural world.
Update (3:38): Dean Sager just got back to us, officially disavowing his participation in the letter above:
I can’t claim authorship. I believe a talented student wrote it. I think it’s very funny.
Well, I think I owe Dean Sager a free ostrich dinner, next time I’m in Austin.