Hi folks, it’s Ben Nichols. To those who read Features, you may know me as Dan Saul Knight, Dan D. Lyons, Iona Ford, Christi Cumontopolis, Edwin Masterson, Duane Pipe, Pierre Ratatouille Baguette de douche, Don Key, Eric Shinn or Marsha Mellou to name a few. Outside of Features I’ve been known to also answer to Ben, B-nichs, Nick, 12-gig, The Defendant and “Lets-cross-the-street-so-we-don’t-have-to walk-past-him Nichols.” As a Features Senior Associate, I have written countless articles whose topics have ranged from the outlandish like a senile man giving midterm advice—to the generic: we’ve all heard that story of a kid getting kicked out of his parents house and sent to attend the University of Phoenix Online in person, all so his parents could make his room into a sex dungeon. I mean who hasn’t seen that before!? I have also done most of the Photoshop work for the section, which allowed me to let my creative juices flow and just focus on making images that are beautiful and inspirational. Such images have included Michael Vick throwing a puppy, Mike Tyson spaying Graffiti on Exeter’s welcome sign, women using urinals, children snorting sharpies and a quarterback running a shotgun offense with an actual shotgun. I also was lucky enough to partake in writing the best Features Top Ten in the past 50 years, Top Ten Things you can’t do in the Back of a Limo. Other things I’ve done since I’ve been on the board have included mocking other sections, making the best PA class schedule ever, eating pizza and undermining Bielasiak and Yost (especially Yost), despite my utter lack of authority over them. For those of you who are wondering, the answer is yes: I did remember to list the above accomplishments on College Applications. I haven’t worked for Features for long, less than a year not including my brief stint writing under Lawrence Dai. But in that short time, I’ve had more fun than I ever could have imagined. As Senior Associate I’ve had little power and almost no responsibility. Therefore, my main reason for ever being in the newsroom was simply because I enjoyed it. For the first half of every week I have sat down and wrote jokes with B.J., Billy, Bielasiak and last but possibly least Yost, all of whom are without any doubt, the funniest people at this school. We worked hard and in the end produced a great section every week but even despite the work. For every laugh that came from reading Features, there were 20 more that came from us making it. And to said readers, I feel I must relay a message: thank you for reading Features (more than any other section) and thank you if you found it funny. It is greatly appreciated. Besides the narcissistic need to see your own name in print, free music, free pizza and free computers (you’ll get that joke after I graduate). The only reason we do it is so you guys will enjoy it and/or be amusingly offended by it. To those who were rightly offended, feel free to either yell at the new guys or call in to the Fowkes and Nichols show on WPAA, Tuesdays at 8:50 and tell us about it in an open, public forum. And to those who didn’t find it funny, I advise you to read the Arts section from now on for some real humor. It’s been a joyous time and I will miss Features. And while I do love to boast/ about the poor boy Yost/ I do believe he will do well/ and will try with his most./ And the other whose name I can’t spell/ whose hair weareth gel/ who’s shaped like a bell/ whose crack he did sell/ (why he’s going to hell)/ Jesse./ I have faith in you two/ that you will power through/ all the schedules askew/ as you constantly pursue keeping your jokes new/ and writing less about poo/ until you two do bid adieu./ It’s been a good time/ which is why I wrote this rhyme/ because the year was so sublime/ almost like crime or punching a mime./ And though I’m past my prime/ with no more ladders to climb/ I would still turn on a dime/ to simply work part time writing jokes./ Which is why I must say/ to the new editors coming our way/ that I will write without delay/ should you be able print all that I say/ much to your dismay./ And B.J. and Billy, whom I could never forget/ whose appointment of my job makes me always in their debt/ I want to say that no longer should you see me as a threat./ Despite my astonishing wit/ like that of no one you’ve ever met/ I think it’s safe to admit/ that I will not steal your jobs (as of yet)./ Billy, I already talked about you in my roast/ so read that and then we’ll toast/ with B.J. and Jesse and Greg and Yost./ Because despite all the jokes and the farce and the rhymes/ with all of these folks I’ve had the best time./ A time like no other in all of my life/ a time which relieved all the PA strife/ a time which I will surely tell to my wife./ Rather than rebel and go out with a bang/ I must now end my goodbye to the features gang/ with my rhymes which B.J. surely could have sang/ upon which my Features legacy will hang./ I’m at the point where there is little left to tell/ so instead I will try not to dwell/ and say as loud as I can, in fact yell/ with all the sound of a Yost-shaped bell: to all those who care, I say farewell/ And all those who don’t can go to hell! One Love, Ben ?