Not funny, sort of
Your recent humor column that parodied Winter Park High School as Playboy's No. 1 party high school `Dog Playing Poker, May 11` was not a laughing matter when I heard about it yesterday.
It first hit my radar during a casual conversation in the halls of the Orange County Public Schools administration building. The response all around was shock and disbelief that Winter Park would deserve such a distinction, but not a single person in the group questioned that there was actually a party high school list.
Later that day, I received an e-mail from my son, a Winter Park High School soon-to-be junior, with the subject line "proud to be a Wildcat." And there was your story. I quickly skipped over all the other schools on the "list" to read about my alma mater and the "blue-blooded snotlets." Having actually attended Winter Park High School myself, the "snotlet" part did not strike me as a stretch, but the phrase "where many attendees of Rollins College earned their bacchanalian wings" rang false.
While I was stewing over what I perceived to be the irresponsible lack of research done by Playboy in the creation of their "list," I actually received a phone call about the story from another concerned Winter Park parent. "What are we going to do about this? Someone needs to set the record straight." I actually Googled and dialed the number for Playboy magazine.
Then, while waiting for them to answer (lucky for me they had other things to do), I started reading about the other "high schools" on the list. "Eugene V. Debs Memorial High School, Bleeding Heart, Vt." started the big red flags waving. And then I Googled the other high school names … and found that none of them exist.
After my revelation that this was ALL made up, I re-read and found an appreciation for quite a few of the humorous and satirical jokes that I have come to expect in Mr. Schneider's writings.
Even after the reader discovers that it is a humorous piece (hopefully quicker than I did), there are aspects of the story that are certain to be taken as fact. After all, that is the basis of a joke. However, even those laughing at your admittedly humorous tale will probably walk away with several unfortunate misperceptions, because at least in this instance, your kernel of truth is false.
Winter Park High School has the distinction of being an "A" ranked school for five years running. This year's graduating seniors volunteered over 9,800 hours of community service (the from-the-heart kind, not the court-mandated variety). Over 61 percent of the student body maintains a 3.0 average or better. The class of 2006, in recognition of both academic and athletic accomplishments, has been offered an astounding $7.4 million in scholarships.
As you continue to entertain us with your truly witty writings, please remember that the most clever and revered satire is always firmly rooted in fact.
Kit Pepper, Winter Park
Corporate monkey waxing
What is living up Jason Ferguson's exit? `Notable Noise, May 11`. This week, we got a healthy dose of House of Blues-this and House of Blues-that. The House of Blues is probably the only venue in Orlando that doesn't need free advertising. And Jason, who the hell cares about a friggin' wankfest in Columbia, S.C.? This is Orlando, dude, write about Orlando!
Fergy's column has been slipping more and more each week. It's a detriment to this paper and the "scene" that your official music columnist gets to pursue personal vendettas against bands, writes mostly about metal or other shit and now waxes the back of some corporate monkeys. I'm out.
Pete Lacock, Orlando