This letter appeared in the November 2009 issue of the Tiger.
Congratulations on your fine choice in reading material!
Perhaps this is your first Tiger; as firsts go, this ranks among the best. It probably won’t destroy as much property as your first car. First pets pee on the carpet, eat your homework, and die. This inanimate stack of paper won’t cause any trouble like that. I’ll bet your first kiss was special. Tiger’s special too, but unlike that silly kiss, you can share a magazine with your roommate, your cousin, and your professor– all without psychological scarring.
As Princeton’s humor magazine we strive to be more sophisticated than MAD, yet not so inscrutable as The New Yorker; we have some low-brow humor, some high-brow humor, but we fervently strive to provide something all can enjoy: unibrow humor.
Tiger’s been serving up its particular brand of wit for 127 years. We’ve had our ups and downs, but the fact that you are reading these words– not on scraps of cardboard bound with chewing gum, but on glossy, 100% unrecycled paper– is a good sign.
The proud and ancient lineage of Tiger chairmen spans three centuries of misadventure and riotous overthrows. M. Struthers Burt, class of 1904, was the first student to be honored by Woodrow Wilson with a suspension. Though he never rose to [my exalted position of ] Chairman, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s commitment to Tiger played no small part in preventing his graduation. He did manage to coin the phrase “Spires & Gargoyles”– immortal words that evoke the quintessence of Princetoniana in all its gothic splendor. This was considered a vast improvement over the then-iconic phrase of “SpikeyRoofs & Ugly Rock Monsters.”
Though I’ve yet to get my personal summons from President Tilghman (she probably mispelled my email) I’ve been busy converting legions of disposable henchmen (Ed.’s note: he’s talking about us writers…) into a crack comedy force. My nameless minions on the business staff (President’s note: Steve, I’m gonna kick your ass!) continue to plunder the coffers of corporate America for Tiger’s gain– or at least they would, if they’d only remember to request payment in U.S. dollars, not beer.
We’ve put a lot of effort into this issue. Humor has the power to teach, delight, and move us to new understanding in ways serious prose cannot. It also makes for excellent bathroom reading.
The Princeton Tiger