Molarity Classic 68-72

Author: Michael Molinelli '82

Strips 68-72 of the popular comic strip Molarity, which previewed in The Observer in 1977. It’s time to rock the hall Mass, and also to figure out how women fit with the old guard.


68 I was always impressed with the diversity and character of different resident hall Masses. It was a great Christian community experience that made the traditional parish Mass we went to at home to seem impersonal. But some modest hall Masses did not draw large crowds. (For those of us who no longer have 20-year-old eyeballs, the priest at the end asks if Fred Silverman started this way. He was a cheesy TV producer at the time.)


69 Check out Jim’s tuxedo. I had my own ruffled tuxedo shirt that I wore on the right formal or semi-formal occasions. Snazzy! A cover article in The Observer has the Student Body president arranging a forum with the administration to discuss “student rights and alcohol regulations.”


70 I recall one Mass in Badin where the guitarist’s playing was so intense he was breaking strings. (For those old eyes, Chuck is lamenting having to cancel “The Tubes.”) In The Observer the Student Union announced that “Jungle Safari” was the Homecoming game theme and that finalists for the King and Queen of Homecoming would be presented at halftime of the ND-Pittsburgh game. Even for us back then, this seemed anachronistic.


71 This is what I thought really old alumni looked like. Really old — like 40. This cartoon was featured in the 1978 Dome, page 28. On the eve of the ND-Michigan game The Observer noted that the series was resuming after a 35 year hiatus. (The Wolverines beat the defending national champion Irish 28-14.)


72 ERA is the Equal Rights Amendment. This was the first in a series of cartoons in which Mitch could say the most insensitive sexist remarks and Cheryl would deliver some comeuppance. This was a great outlet for me as I could think of these things without letting people think I believe them. (Really, honey, I don’t believe them.) In The Observer, classmate, good friend and now a cartoonist for The New Yorker, Pat Byrnes had a panel cartoon with a South African bathhouse and a zebra trying to pick between two signs that say “White” and “Colored.”

See the first five classic strips. 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.