The Eighth Page

Meet the Staff

Hey there. They call me B.J. I write jokes. Believe it or not, I wasn’t always the mindblowingly attractive and relentlessly hysterical womanizer I am now. My childhood was a difficult and awkward time for me. Although I am white in ethnicity, my parents were first generation Cambodian immigrants who worked on a cruise ship until I came to school here at Andover. When I was eight, the ship’s resident stand-up comedian contracted food poisoning from a bad plate of escargot. As he vomited violently in his room, I saw my opportunity to make my big break. I stepped onstage and overlooked the crowd of three, which consisted of my parents and a mysterious drifter named Steve who claimed to be a Civil War veteran. I told my first joke, a knock-knock about a brief conversation between a horse and a cow. It flopped. My parents frowned in disapproval and Steve yelled obscenities. I ran offstage crying, and when I returned to my room, I promised myself that I would never be funny ever again. That day, I made a pledge: I would not laugh or tell a joke for the rest of my life. My plan worked for the five years between that fateful day and my first day of school at Andover. I entertained myself with Sudoku puzzles, 17th century Dutch literature and “Lou Dobbs This Week.” I reminded myself of the stand-up fiasco every day, and I remained terrified by Steve’s cackling laughter and traumatized by my parents’ piercing stares of disappointment. For five long years, I was a prisoner of my own misery, shrouded in an impenetrable cloak of seriousness. Even my acceptance into Andover couldn’t bring me out of my depression. It felt like there was no way out. Miraculously, my liberation came after I moved into my dorm room in Rockwell freshman year. Jonathan Adler ’08 strode into my room during Orientation with an assuring smirk. He introduced himself as my prefect and told an anecdote about a rabbi and a priest walking into a bar. Incredibly, I chuckled. Then I guffawed. Then I laughed. Hard. For fifteen minutes. It felt as though the laughter I had accumulated for five years was released in a beautiful and spontaneous eruption of pleasure. After I had recovered, he asked if I wanted to write for Features. I agreed, wrote a fictional account of life in New Hampshire and gave it to him. He scanned it over, laughed quietly once and told me it was “good,” wearing a polite smile. All I needed to do was pick up the paper Friday and check it out. Sure enough, my article was in The Phillipian and my name appeared in print. My journey had officially begun. Now, here I am, nearly three years older, with the build of an Adonis, lightning fast wit and an army of my hundreds of girlfriends. Along with my Co-Editor and soulmate Billy Fowkes, my goal is to deliver you your humor, hot and fresh, every Friday. After a tough week of classes, we just want to help you unwind with a few jokes. You deserve it. Plus, Billy and I don’t have anything better to do.