(I’ll take a break from advice and counsel today, and tackle something lighter.)

My son attends Purdue University, and he shared his frustration with the massive swarms of gnat-like insects that have descended upon the campus in recent days. The infestation is so great that the Indianapolis Star covered it, describing how the sheer millions of tiny soybean aphids had even disrupted marching band practice.

It reminded me of my own freshmen year in the land of the St. Joe Pumas, about a half-hour north of Purdue. For some reason, Halleck Center, the student union building, had become infested with more houseflies than I’d seen before (or since). I’m not just suggesting that there were a lot of them; it was more in the realm of a Biblical plague. And since we dined in Halleck, it was a cause of some concern.


One Sunday, the college announced that Halleck would be closed after dinner to allow the building to be fumigated, or whatever it is exterminators do when they have a building all to themselves for a few hours. Monday morning, the only flies to be found weren’t flying.

That night’s dessert featured an item that was served only that one time during my four years on campus. While it was certainly tasty, it’s not often that one sees college students inspecting their food very closely. I suppose it may have been a coincidence, or just really bad timing, but that evening, the cafeteria ladies happily handed out handfuls of … raisin cookies.