Molarity Classic: 421-425

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Author: Michael Molinelli '82

Everything we ever needed to know about our talents, teamwork, the tonnage of our fear, we learned in Bookstore Basketball.

421. This Bookstore Basketball series started when the 1981 tournament began. Some of the legendary team names could never be printed in The Observer. My own draft ideas for the ultimate we-are-going-to-lose name were also unprintable. The best summation of the tournament in its heyday (popular but not yet limited by NCAA regulations) remains Look Out for the Manhole Cover by Mary Beth Sterling ’81.

422. Classified ads in this edition included: “I lost my room keys in an intoxicated moment. I don’t know exactly where I lost them, but I believe it was on green field.”

423. Just in case you thought petty silliness was invented by millennials, a letter to the editor noted that since the dining halls did not serve meat on Ash Wednesday, Catholic students could not choose to follow Church directives and non-Catholic students were forced to comply with Church teaching.

424. During this era, varsity athletes — including basketball players — were allowed to play in the Bookstore tournament. That would soon change. ESPN considered televising the finals, but rumors had it the deal fell apart over money. Considering it was 1981 and cable TV was relatively new, I think ESPN had three subscribers at this point.

425. A headline noted that the Space Shuttle Columbia was ready to restore the United States’ active space program.


See the first five classic strips. Buy the book with all 581 original cartoons: MOLARITY: The Compleat Molarity is available at the Hammes Notre Dame Bookstore and Amazon.com. Check back monthly for more classic Molarity strips. Molarity Redux, the updated, continuing adventures of Jim Mole and friends, also is posted monthly. For those new strips, check out the cartoon archives.


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