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John Mather


In Grade 6, the girls in my class voted me the nicest boy in the grade.

I took it as an honour. I’m not a ladies man, and never will be, so the nice guy label wasn’t a bother. And I generally dislike jerks, so I was pleased not to be considered one.

I kept up the nice guy thing through highschool and for the first part of university.

Then I started to work here.

Since I arrived, I’ve told off former presidents, run photos of cheerleaders in questionable poses and helped steal a photocopier.

I even wrote an editorial demanding the basketball coach be fired.

Sometimes I do it for fun: we always run photos of Chris Drew, the RSU’s VP Finance, in odd poses. He asks us not to run them, but we still do — and with racy captions.

Other times I do it because I’m rightfully pissed: there was the crazy lady who yelled at me last week, so I told her to go to hell.

But probably the biggest jerk-face move I pulled all year was handing out a fake trophy to deparment chairs whose programs did poorly in course evaluations.

I even put David Amborski, the head of Urban Planning, on the cover. We printed 10,000 copies of him looking pensive as we threw confetti all over his office.

(For the record, we did clean up the confetti.)

To top it off, we put a giant Last Place ribbon on his chest.

Mr. Ambroski never yelled at me; he never responded to the photo.

Until Monday.

I bumped into him at a party for the new Provost Alan Shepard. I threw my arm around him.

He said: “I remember you.”

I slowly backed away — “out of strangling distance,” I quipped.

He leaned in awkwardly and said: “By the way, nice journalism you guys practice — assholes.”

I deserved that.

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