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Scandal On Brookline Street

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MIT had a river view.

The Institute was full of computer geeks and gearheads—many of them on scholarships—but still, it had a view.

Harvard sat in its landscaped glory on Brattle Street and thought evil thoughts about how nice it would be to watch boats passing by, or to see gulls wheeling across the sky. MIT probably filled its head with calculus equations and binary-search algorithms, never even noticing or appreciating what lay right in front of it.

Harvard tried to conjure up enthusiasm for the narrow trickle of the Charles River that so inconveniently lapped across its midsection, but it wasn't the same. Hmph.

This early in the school year, autumn had hardly begun. There were no fall colors to paint the campus, no skitter-scatter of leaves along the pathways. Harvard fumed in frustration, restless with boredom and the knowledge that MIT had year-round entertainment. It combed through its classrooms, gathering poetry until it had a giant, murmuring cloud of it. Then it lobbed the entire mass toward MIT, where it could briefly hover before drifting down to engulf the Institute in a tangle of unrelenting words. Hah!

Harvard felt very satisfied with itself for the remainder of the afternoon, which abruptly became night when the heavens suddenly darkened overhead. A hail of nasty, stinging mathematical symbols fell out of the sky, pockmarking the rooftops and the campus' eastern facades. Harvard winced as a particularly energetic velocity vector chipped off a tiny piece of the Memorial Church spire.

The nerve, Harvard seethed. It was not about to take that lying down.

Harvard needed only seconds to collect the contents of its Law School and fling them at MIT in retaliation. Arguments, briefs, precedential findings, and obfuscations would surround the Institute in an obnoxious, smothering fog that it would be hard-pressed to fight its way out of anytime soon.

As it happened, "soon" came about an hour later. That was when Harvard found itself under an onslaught of recursive parallel-programming operations that made its head spin.

It was historic and it was revered, but Harvard was not especially patient. It stood up and marched down Green Street with the sole mission of kicking MIT in its posterior.

Just past Brookline, a hulking form approached from the other direction. Harvard dipped a shoulder and rushed forward, with the strength of decades of experienced right-tackles and nose guards behind it.

MIT hopped to the side and stuck out a foot at the last second, cruelly tripping Harvard and sending it tumbling to the ground. Harvard snagged MIT's leg with its ankle, and brought it down with a crash. The two of them rolled across nearby buildings and avenues with a furious disregard for the consequences.

Suddenly face-to-face, Harvard caught sight of the Great Dome and felt a surge of something like longing. It softened its hold on MIT for just a moment, and was shocked to find itself being kissed with all the power of MIT's on-campus nuclear reactor.

The two august institutions grasped and groped each other frantically, and Harvard was utterly unhinged by MIT's astounding levels of sheer, calculated technique. Before either of them could stop it, they were caught up in a whirlwind of passion that surpassed all hope of sensible behavior. The aftermath left Harvard debauched and breathless while MIT scowled and refastened its pants.

Neither said a word. They turned their backs on one another and returned to their respective locations.

Harvard wasn't put out that MIT never called, because it had no intention of sullying itself that way again.

It hadn't forgotten, though, what it had been like getting caught up in that shameless encounter on the streets of Cambridge.

Sometimes, on the most dull and dreary days, Harvard even thought about how MIT might react to a visit from its Department of Bio-Engineering…


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