A barbecue too far

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By Virago

Mark Twain once said, “What is to be done to the man who invented the celebrating of anniversaries?  Mere killing would be too light.”

Damn straight, Mr. Clemens.

Yet, regardless of this sage advice, Ryerson, as you probably already know if you were honoured by administration’s complimentary hot-dog in the Quad, is “all-systems-go” for its golden gala.

Geez, you’d think a $4,000 tuition would get you more than a celebratory weenie.  Clearly, your monetary contribution has scant value — food wise.  The reality is that you’re going to have to wait at least 25 years before you are offered “one free drink (and) hors d’oeuvres,” by which point you’ll be able to actually spell hors d’oeuvres, one presumes, at a homecoming.  Let’s home that by that time, the lure of an ounce of liquor and a slice of pseudo-sushi will have lost its luster.  Let’s pray that your education at Ryerson is netting you more than the cost of its v.p.’s country cottages and that your daytimer is just too full of other obligations … like cocktails with Conrad.

Face it, anniversaries, birthdays … heck, even made-up holidays like March madness are damn fine excuses to reward client patronage.  Gifts, giveaway discounts and sales are a company’s way of saying, “Thanks for playing.”  Ed Mirvish hands out entire turkeys once a year, ENTIRE TURKEYS!  In short, customer loyalty is rewarded.  Can somebody tell them upstairs that loyalty is something that is earned.  And usually it is earned during a relationship, not after.  Although, admittedly, a nice chinchilla coat would buy me enduring devotion at any point in time.  Listen up guys … after the fact, the cost of loyalty escalates.

Ryerson bungled it with those wieners.  They could have got off cheap with winglets … maybe some aproned waitrons bearing trays of cheese straws and fruit punch but nooooooo.

Oh … oh … what’s that?  Ryerson isn’t a business?  Come on.  Do you really think that this 50th fanfare centres around anything other than expanding its client base?

Which begs one to wonder — if it’s so tough to get in, as you no doubt were told it was, and if so many students are applying for the seemingly elusive privilege of attending Rye-High, why the big sell job?  Why the thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars wasted on giving old codgers some canapés and a glass of Chablis?  It would seem that Ryerson has more business than it can handle.

Do they really believe that Aunt Agnes (a big macher with Merill Lynch) can convince her not-so-little niece Samantha to attend Ryerson?  Ha ha ha ha ha.  Um, like maybe Sam has a mind of her own.  DUH!  Good old Auntie doesn’t figure into the equation unless, of course, she’s footing the bill.  IN which case regardless of Rye’s free pigs in a blanket, she’ll likely be quite content should Samantha head to Queen’s.

Or perhaps what they’re really after is donations.  Bequests.  Hey fellas, it’s going to take more romancing than pate and Pouilly-Fuisse for these duffers to offer their coffers.

So as Ryerson does a wooing go, they’ve nailed 15 alumni as inductees to the “Ryerson Alumni Achievement Awards” whose faces and bios are to grace the lobby inside the Gerrald Street entrance to Jorgenson Hall.  This, I’m told, will serve as an inspiration to students.  Inspiration.  You want inspirations?  Post their salaries.  That’ll be an inspiration to the thousands saddled with $30,000 worth of student loans upon graduation from these hollow … er, I mean hallowed halls.

And speaking of thousands of dollars, how’s this for a novel idea?  Put aside some of that dough towards scholarships and bursaries.  Reward the high achievers NOW when they need it … desperately.

Wrong again kiddies.  Instead you get a wiener.  And not even a Chicago 58!  The shame.  The shame.

How do I love thee?  Let me count the ways.  I love thee to the depth and breadth that your wienie…

So pass the ipecac and drink a toast to Ryerson’s 50th.  Because, if at 50 everyone gets the face they deserve, then Ryerson’s is covered with egg … or is that mustard?

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