Forget 5 O’clock—It’s 10:28 somewhere. And somewhere in a small Midwestern town off the shores of Lake Superior, students are sleeping in, skipping classes, and getting ready to party tonight. There will be a combination of people bundled and layered excessively against the late fall chill, hippies, outdoor adventurers, and outrageous costume-goers. There will be tents and mud, fires and drinks to huddle around for warmth, and there will be music.
Alarms all around are being set for 10:28 and there is a feeling of Halloween, April Fool’s Day, and snow days wrapped all in one.
Or at least that’s how I picture it, and how I remember it, from when I was there.
I don’t actually know the real story, but there are lots of stories, and I’ve always treasured the one I do know.
It starts out with a couple of college guys. Freshmen. And somewhere, somehow, these freshmen stumble upon a dummy…in one of the storage rooms, I believe. There was lots of plotting and planning involved. And drinking. And the next year, enrolled among the incoming freshman was a dummy named Floyd E. Queeb.—Afterall, what better way to smarten him up?
Alas, Floyd proved not to be a very good student. He didn’t attend any of his classes. He didn’t pay any of his bills. He didn’t respond to letters in his mailbox, or all his phone calls went unanswered.
However, thanks to Floyd, his roommate did land a single…And the administration didn’t uncover the truth until 10/28 that the joke was on them. And every year since, the students and alumni (and even teachers) of this small, out of the way school in the North Woods, have celebrated 10:28 and 10/28 in honor of Floyd E. Queeb.
Like I said, this story is probably not true. I have heard other stories involving dummies…so I think there might have been an actual dummy. It was general knowledge that those enterprising young freshman turned into well-loved professors, who were notoriously hush hush about the real origins.
I’ve actually come to think of part of the fun of Queeb is not knowing the truth, but to think of all the possibilities of what might have happened… Are we celebrating the ineptitude of our administrators? The ingenuity of students? Or maybe it just made for an outstanding excuse to throw a great party? …you know, because we were too impatient to wait for Halloween. ;)
So here’s to celebrating the unknown and the mysterious, for being silly and cold, and having fun because it’s there to be had.