How good is it to not be illiterate? I don't think we cherish the fact enough that we can all see words, understand their semantics and syntax, and make deeper insights about ourselves and the world around us. Let's face it, if "Ithaca is Gorges," then "Literacy is Nifty."

Last Friday night with my tobacco pipe in hand, classical music on the radio-dial and my favorite chair beckoning me to spend some quality time with it, I withdrew from my pocket a copy of my favorite periodical. I puffed a light cloud of vanilla flavored smoke, rested my feet on my trusty ottoman and began to read aloud a passage titled, "Butt Crack Love: Is it the New Cleavage?"

My phone rang shortly after I finished the introductory paragraph, which successfully introduced me, the reader, to the author's thesis that, "Butt crack will be the dominant form of self-expression by 2004."

The voice on the other end of the phone was my good friend Teddy. He explained that some freshman was throwing a house party in Collegetown, and that it'd be cool if I, though an elderly senior, could come. I put down my pipe, threw on a Tony Hawk t-shirt, a pair of ankle-length denim shorts, my Vans sneakers and a backwards hat.

"Ted dude, lets pa-ar-tee!"

The small corner house had people squeezing out of every opening. Inside the house rumors circulated of a keg on the third floor, but a strange bearded man was sitting at the bottom of the stairs hugging each passerby and assuring them of his über-friendly intentions. As the stairs seemed impassable, I found myself back on the front lawn, lost in a sea of freshmen.

"So," I said to a group of friendly looking young'ns, "seen any good butt crack at this party? You'd think that with its location and foul neighbors its property value would be way down, but apparently, it's the new cleavage."

The group fell silent and one young man, the leader of the pack, handed me a beer to placate me. I continued just the same.

"I mean, like, 12 inches from the cleavage and you hit the bellybutton, but just 3-4 inches from the butt crack and you hit the, ya know…"

One freshman had passed out with his hands over his ears and another was brandishing a fiery torch and calling me "Pagan."

The next group I sauntered over to was talking about going to The Whistling Shrimp show on Oct. 20 at 7:30 p.m. in Barnes Hall.

Said one of the girls, "Those guys are so much hotter than those a cappella chumps in…"

At that moment, a police car rolled up to the house. Everyone immediately knew it was a police car, because "Police" was written on the side and even though intoxicated, most of the party-goers had managed to retain their ability to read. For the guests who couldn't read, the police have color coded their cars and lights so that everyone can be completely positive that the woman in the navy blue uniform is in fact an officer of the law.

At the sight of the officer, 75 underage drinkers stopped what they were doing and sighed a collective, "Oh shit." I encouraged everyone around me to put down their beers and hope that this was just a very elaborate stripper. Officer Bilbo never took out her nightstick dildo … and so, as a legal drinker, I broke the silence.

"Is there a problem officer?" I asked, obviously underestimating the officer's ability to see.

"Is that an open container?" she asked as she glared back at me.

I looked down at my generic aluminum can that prominently displayed the letters "B-E-E-R" and shrunk back into the sea of freshmen.

"I want to see the person who lives here, now," she said.

The closest person to her was a male wearing a terrycloth bathrobe, Nike sandals and sporting an open container of "B-E-E-R." Like me, he looked down at his can and bolted up the street. Unfortunately he lost one of his sandals three feet from the officer and going back for it would spell certain doom.

He stopped running when he'd put about 30 feet between himself and the officer.

"I want to see you, over here, now," the officer demanded.

The pint-sized Hugh Hefner looked at her, looked at his can again and sprinted into some nearby bushes, never to be found again. He had won the battle, but the war was certainly not over. The officer picked up the sandal in front of her, got back in her car and drove off into the night.

While many students don't do their reading, its inconceivable of me to think that this police vixen would neglect to use her powers of literacy. If she's read any Robin Cook novels she'll be able use the shoe's aromas to identify the perpetrator, and if she doesn't remember those parts of the book, I'm sure she can read a "Forensic Analysis of Foot Ornaments for Dummies" book.

I can only assume that by now she's already identified the interwoven bits of cryptic plot between the house party incident and the lovable fairy tale "Cinderella" and is taking proper actions to catch the robed aggressor. Presumably, she is visiting every house in the kingdom of Ithaca and making the males of each house try on the Nike slipper. With a slipper so fair and unique, the foot it fits must be the officer's one true evader of arrest.

Back in my room at the end of the night, I took up my original place in my chair and reached for my remote control. Already in my VCR, cued to play was volume six of "Too Hot for Reading Rainbow," and as a member of the LaVar Burton Fan Club I was ready to learn to read all over again. Speaking and writing are so uninviting, but being literate never felt so good!