Molarity Classic: 460-464

Author: Michael Molinelli '82

It’s not whether you win or lose. It’s the pas de deux in the corner of the end zone.

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460. The autumn semester began with a new ND topiary atop a mound at the intersection of Notre Dame Avenue and Holy Cross Drive. It reminded some of us of the topiaries we had seen in New Orleans during the Sugar Bowl the January before. We wondered if that had inspired a Notre Dame administrator to decide we needed one. Meanwhile President Reagan had decided to scrap the idea of a mobile MX missile program and to place them instead in secret silos around the United States.


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461. This Molarity series was one of the most popular ever. I was inspired by my friend Jim Smith, the choreographer of my high school drama club. I mailed the series to him and he said it arrived during a really bad day and cheered him up.


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462. One week after being ranked No. 1, Notre Dame dropped to No. 13 after the team lost to Michigan. This edition also ran a photograph of me signing the contract for my second book of cartoons.


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463. An AP photo featured Sandra Day O’Connor, who had recently been confirmed as Reagan’s nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court, making her the first woman to serve as a Supreme Court justice. A letter from an LSU fan complimented the University on how well they were treated while on campus in full Tigers regalia. 

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464. This cartoon appeared while the school was preparing for an away game at Purdue. A special pullout section of the paper covered the road trip, during which the Boilermakers pulled off a last-minute upset, moving ND to 1-2 under Faust. Father Griffin’s weekly Observer column, “Letters to A Lonely God,” recounted the trials of a young man who was too sophisticated to have church in his life even though his life was unravelling.

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 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.