I was explaining to new Above the Law helper Natasha Lydon how things work in the ATL, and I said: “Basically, from now until finals, we’ll be able to run a ‘stupid law student story’ every day. The kids are stressed, and it’s starting to show.” On cue, I received an email from a law student tipster, with the following subject heading: “Bozo the Clown.” Hilarity ensued.
Above the Law has a long and proud history of documenting the thievery of law students. Who can forget the Tulane Law student who stole a piece of Americana, a shoe worn by Mr. Rogers, from the Louisiana Children’s Museum? Going even further back, there was the Michigan Law student who liked to go around stealing other people’s sandwiches.
Today we’re going to add to that tradition by telling you about the apparent theft — or liberation, depending on how you look at it — of Bozo the Law Library Clown…
UPDATE: Bozo has been found! Read more below…
The following email went out to all Washington & Lee law students this week:
To say we are sad and disappointed may be an understatement. Perhaps. But the fact remains that Bozo has gone AWOL. I’m a bit suspicious that the Dean’s Cup festivities may have something to do with his sudden disappearance, and I’m fearful of what humiliating and unfortunate shenanigans he has endured over these past few days. Joking aside, if you know of Bozo’s whereabouts, please help return him to the magazine lounge. We try to bring a little levity to the law school from time to time, and it’s just not much fun if people spoil it for everyone else. No questions asked… just return him. Even if it’s a sad, sad carcass, please return him so we’ll know. We’re looking for closure. Thank you!
Fretfully yours -
Man, it’s been a tough week for W&L. First their former dean, Rodney Smolla — who left them high and dry, to assume the presidency of Furman University — comes out with a well-reviewed new book (affiliate link). Now this.
But who is Bozo, you ask? Is he a law library therapy dog? No — a follow-up email explained:
O.K. Perhaps I’m dating myself. For those of you who “claim” not to know who Bozo is, he is our resident punching bag. He is now missing. Below is the latest photo taken from a recent clown line-up. Please, if you see him, let me know.
Here’s the linked picture:
All right, let’s take a step back and appreciate what has happened here:
- The Washington & Lee Law Library keeps a clown punching bag on hand.
- A Washington & Lee Law student (or students) allegedly stole the thing from the library.
- Apparently, Washington & Lee Law students have the emotional control of 11-year-olds, and get so “frustrated” that they need to be able to punch something.
- A school-wide clown hunt is now under way.
Folks, I don’t know what to tell you. Throw out your professional school this and your white shoe that — the future lawyers of America cannot be trusted to leave a clown unmolested. They’d probably steal the law library stacks if they weren’t bolted down.
Then again, maybe nobody stole Bozo. Maybe the law library simply misplaced it. Or maybe a clown rights group liberated Bozo from his cruel fate. I can’t be sure. I’m an educated man, but I’m afraid I can’t speak intelligently about the travel habits of Bozo the Washington & Lee clown.
What I can speak to is the level of anxiety floating around law school campuses right now. Finals are coming, people are cracking, and petty thievery is just one of the many ways certain law students will express their “frustration.”
UPDATE: We just received word from concerned Washington & Lee students. The Bozo mystery has been solved. From the librarians:
Sadly, my email prompted a quick reply. Bozo clearly got in over his head at the Dean’s Cup festivities and partied too hard. He got trashed…literally.
At least we know.
Tipsters report that Bozo was damaged, perhaps punctured, and then thrown away in the trash.
So, to recap: a Washington & Lee student broke an inflatable apparatus during a party that got a little bit out of hand. I love this time of year.