Saturday, March 03, 2007

Let's hear it for bad taste

If you're in the Greater Boston area this evening and are hankering for some acapella music or tastless sketch comedy, satisfy both cravings for free in Cambridge tonight, where the Chorallaries of MIT will be putting on their Nth Annual Concert in Bad Taste, where the lyrics are all X-rated and no cow is sacred.

(Disclosure: I was a member of the Chorallaries from 1991 to 1995)

Since the missus now works at MIT, yesterday afternoon I thought I'd cruise past 10-250, where the Chorallaries usually perform to see if by any chance a line had already formed for the concert. Even though the Bad Taste show doesn't begin until 11:59pm, people have been known to sit in line for hours in advance, turning the hallway one floor above the so-called Infinite Corridor into a long, snaking tailgate party.

During our first year as "Choralums", several of us decided to take this line business to an absurd extreme and start the line twenty four hours in advance. We pitched a tent at the entrance to the auditorium and outfitted ourselves with a television and VCR, snacks, and ample beverages for the daylong vigil, much to the suspicion of Campus Police and the perplexed amusement of passersby. The year we first pitched a tent there was actually a weekend conference of international scholars going on in 10-250, and the attendees -- a somber assemblage of people in semiformal attire -- didn't know what to make of a throng of unshaven nerds sleeping outside their Saturday morning workshop. Good times. The best part, however, was that my best friend worked the line selling ice cold sodas out of a toilet bowl that had mysteriously ended up in our possession for the event.

To my surprise and delight, I actually found a cluster of kids sitting outside of the auditorium as I made my pass who looked fairly camped out for the long term. I walked on by a first time, then screwed up my courage and made a second pass.

"Excuse me," I asked. "Are you guys in line for Bad Taste?"

The student didn't even look up from his laptop. "Yup."

"Awesome. I was a Chorallary back in the 90's."

Some of the kids in line stopped what they were doing to look up at this point. "Really?"

"Yup." Instant nerd cachet.

"Did you guys get in line this early back then, too?" The guy with the laptop is genuinely curious now.

"It's funny that you should mention that..."

Bad Taste. 11:59pm tonight, in Room 10-250. Be there or be raised to the second power.

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