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The scene: Florida Higher Education. Enter Folly, stage right

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© St. Petersburg Times, published January 10, 2001


("The Idiots")

* * *

Our story thus far: Cosette, a child representing the state university system, finds herself in the foster care of the incredibly long-titled Florida Joint Phony-Baloney Task Force on Gutting Higher Education By Putting It Directly Under The Thumb of the Pea-Brained Legislature, Along With Local Boards Run By Aunt Bee, Gomer, Opie, Wicked Uncle Ernie, Rebecca DeMornay (As The Nanny From The Hand That Rocks The Cradle, Not The Babe In Risky Business), And Numerous Other Metaphors For Bad Or At Least Parochial Caretaking.

* * *

CHAIRMAN PHIL HANDY: Welcome, monsieur! Sit yourself down and meet the best little locally run state university system in town. As for the rest, all of 'em snoots: Who needs uppity ree-search and fancy suits! Seldom do you see humble, overall-wearing folk like us who are content to be . . .

THE CAST: Masters of the house, playing with our schools Them smarty-pants professors must accept our rule, Better listen up, to your local sen-a-tor,

Create his de-gree program

or you'll catch what for!

Glad to let them pre-tend

to be brainy,

No problem as long as

they win their bowl game,

But we'll call all the shots and

divvy up the gains!


master of the House,

Banged a gavel o'er that zoo,

Now I'll need a new job in a year or two

I went to FSU, caught passes

in big games,

How many college pres-i-dents

could ever say the same?

Glad to let a few schools

have their doct'rates,

Fancy titles hanging on the wall

But nothing says Tallahassee

Like a local boy

who remembers to say "y'all!"

JOHN THRASHER: I was master

of the House,

Gave the lobbies quite a ride,

Don't like snooty eggheads

who ain't on my side,

Killed the Regents dead,

shoved 'em right out of the way,

Now we and the Senate will get

much more say!

Everybody loves the way

that this is going,

Each local pond will hold a single fish

With less annoying public sunshine

To deny them any wish!

ALL: We ... are ... .

Masters of the house! Lords of FSU!

Rulers of the Gators and the others, too!

Makers of new schools! One per district,

if you please!

Make the presidents who flaunt us

get down on their knees!

Everybody bless the governor,

Everybody praise the Republican House,

Everybody raise a glass -

HANDY: Board of Regents, kiss our #&@!

ALL: Everybody raise a glass to the master of the house!

(Lights out. Silence. Spotlight appears on tiny Cosette.)

There is a castle on a cloud

I like to go there in my sleep

No political promises to keep

Not in my castle on a cloud.

There's a school that's not a toy

For a hundred politicians

Nobody shouts or talks too loud

In my castle on a cloud.

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