Daily ceases publication as apocalypse approaches

Sidney DeWitt

After 99 years and 244 days of existence, The Minnesota Daily will close its doors for good on Dec. 31, 1999.
Daily editors announced the decision shortly after the University released plans to cease operations in anticipation of the inevitable, bloody and generally unfortunate apocalypse.
“The absence of a University pretty much eliminates the need for a University newspaper,” Daily Editor in Chief Aaron Kirscht said. “Unless you use the paper for kindling or papier machÇ, in which case the City Pages is a perfectly acceptable substitute.”
The Daily, which currently employs more than 200 students in nearly 100 positions, began publication May 1, 1900. In the meantime, the Daily has become the nation’s largest and most honored college newspaper.
It has also developed a reputation for producing exceptionally lame issues prior to Finals Week.
Plans for a massive celebration on Northrop Mall in May 2000 to commemorate the Daily’s would-be 100th anniversary were also shelved, along with any hopes for survival when the sky starts falling sometime after midnight Dec. 31.
“Am I bummed?” Kirscht asked no one in particular. “You bet your sweet a$$ I’m bummed. I’m about to go from a cushy job in an office with a door to running a black-market moonshine operation out of a scrap-metal dump.”
Daily officials were warned of the possibility of a prolonged shutdown in late 1986, when an inebriated computer guru first surmised the world might be thrown into a cataclysmic tailspin at the end of the century because of an obscure, widespread computer-programming glitch.
That employee was later fired for “general looniness,” and Daily operations resumed as usual. But as recently as 1997, the Daily began preparations for the end of the world as we know it.
Several million dollars worth of “misappropriated” student services fees are rumored to be stored in a tackle box under the sofa. Employees are also believed to have hoarded more than 10,000 gallons of “reserves” in the basement of their offices near the intersection of Washington and University avenues.
“The spirit of the Daily will go on,” said Managing Editor Joe Carlson, who asked not to be identified. “And thanks to the 59,000 students who blindly handed over $12 a year, so will my buzz.”
Representatives of MSA, MPIRG, PSA, AISCC, QSCC and several other acronyms applauded the Daily’s decision to cease publication.
“We fully expect the worst to happen, anyway,” said Rufus Pennypincher, chairman of the fees committee. “We don’t need the Daily around messing it up even more.”
Kirscht did leave the door open for a post-apocalyptic publication schedule, but said he wouldn’t make any commitments until the existence of a University anytime after the end of the year could be verified.