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Tuesday, November 28, 2023

The last day of the semester is more than just the last day of classes. It's more than the promise of a solid four days of drinking - er, studying. It's more than the upcoming Winter Break.

No, it's not about any of that. It's the promise of gifts, gifts and more gifts.

We here in the Department of Darts & Laurels are in the Christmas spirit. We've got one Christmas ornament decorating our newsroom and a slew of paper chains (made of old issues, of course). Now we're going to play the role of Saint Nick and decide who's been naughty and who's been nice. Before visions of sugarplums start dancing in your head, join us for the semester's final edition of…

Coal & Presents

Or, if you're Jewish, you can replace that with Gefilte Fish & Gelt. Either way, onward!

First up, we give a sack of where's-the-ice-ice-baby COAL to Gainesville's Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs for not bringing the ice-skating rink back to the Downtown Plaza. The great place for dates, practicing your triple axels and pretending you live farther north will not be back this year due to the city's budget cuts. Sure, it might be expensive and considered a luxury by the city, but some things are worth it.

Or maybe an anonymous donor could offer to front the cash. We can think of someone who has well over ,200,000 coming his way, and for that we send some what-are-you-getting-us-for-Christmas? COAL to UF President Bernie Machen, who picked up almost three hundred grand as a performance bonuses last week from the UF Board of Trustees. To make matters worse, the bonuses came in the wake of the news that he is the sixth-highest paid public-university president.

This might be the hap-happiest season of all, but if you've been in an on-campus bathroom lately, you might think it's the smelliest. We've got a bunch of wait-until-you-get-home-next-week-to-expect-your-mom-to-clean-up-after-you COAL for students who trash the bathrooms. Just because you aren't taking a scrub brush to the toilet yourself doesn't mean you should be disgusting. UF is short on custodial staff, and instead of making their already tough jobs even harder, consider consideration.

But this isn't a gift you should stop giving at the end of the semester when you resort to your slovenly ways at home. This is one present you should keep on giving - kindness and cleanliness never go out of style.

Up next, we've got - you guessed it - another lump. This time we give some can't-you-at-least-string-up-some-lights-on-the-fences? COAL to University Corners, which controls the property at West University Avenue and 13th Street. Frankly, we're getting tired of staring at the empty lot, and we're pretty sure everyone else is, too.

We think we've doled out all of our coal, so let's move on to a few PRESENTS.

First on the nice list, we give a bottle of thanks-for-all-the-hard-work-so-far HAIR GEL to Student Body President Ryan Moseley for accomplishing a lot of the Gator Party's platform goals so far. He's only got a semester left, though, to complete the rest of them, so we hope he doesn't spend too much time on his hair.

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Next it's an it-doesn't-matter-that-you're-a-sophomore HEISMAN TROPHY for quarterback Tim Tebow. There's just no comparison - and trust us, we looked. The award is supposed to go to the best player of the year, not to the one who's had a pretty good career, so his sophomore status shouldn't stop him from winning what he deserves.

Finally, we give a bunch of GOOD LUCK to everyone trying to make it through this week and finals. You can do it - and just think: If you do poorly, you're gonna get some coal.

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