For anyone who has ever taken Econ 1 at UCSB, I’m confident they will agree that passing asteroid-sized kidney stones is preferable to ever taking the class again. Economics is perhaps one of the driest subjects known to mankind. Many years ago in Egypt, Satan invented the study of economics under the under-publicized guise of the 11th plague. Between the trials and tribulations of elasticity, apple markets and competitive equilibrium, is there anything that could make taking an economics class any worse? The affirmative answer to that question can be summed up in one word: clickers.
This quarter in Econ 1, along with purchasing the required textbook that costs the approximate equivalent to the per capita of a Cambodian village, students were required to purchase clickers. Clickers are radio transmitters that enable the professor to count for attendance. Unfortunately, between the combination of Campbell Hall’s high seating capacity and a microwave over in HSSB, the radio signals frequently get jumbled, creating an angry mob-like mentality during lecture.
The last time I was this upset about wasting 40 bucks was when I was 11-years-old and bought a Furby. That wretched beast was all hype; it never taught itself to eat, poop or eBay. Furby just sits there and looks at you with its creepy blinking eyes, warbling in Aramaic-like tongues, until it completely breaks on the third day in a combustion of light and smoke. Anyway, the real question is what to do with these worthless clickers once the term comes to a close. Why not use the creativity that the last term of studying economics has stifled and make something out of your used clicker?
Here’s an idea, why not sell your clicker to Freebirds? While they obviously have as much use for this device as you, they can use the increased revenue as an excuse to raise prices yet again. The management at Freebirds will not sleep until nachos cost $30. Guacamole upgrades will come in the form of selling your soul, which I am entirely okay with because you really can’t eat a quality burrito without guacamole. Perhaps the new bouncer can throw the clickers at unruly drunkards in an attempt to regulate. By giving the bouncer a weapon, it can give him some of the self-confidence that having a weapon provides.
Tap into the Al Borland within and find some domestic uses for your retired clicker. Is your fourth IKEA coffee table leg too short as a result of little Hans, who didn’t pay enough attention to detail? Stick your clicker under the stunted leg and the table is as good as new, minus the cigarette burns. Did your thermostat completely fall off the wall? Screw in your clicker as an inventive replacement, your landlord is probably too busy filming pornography to notice. Where there’s a household repair to be made, some rubber cement and clicker power is the sure answer.
If you are like me, you probably hate giving gifts. For birthdays, I usually give my friends a couple of scantrons and free them from my presence for a few days. Your friend, grandpa or new sexual conquest is in luck because this is a personalized gift for them. Decorate the clicker with whatever decorative items you feel suit their personality. If they like sports, throw on a few baseball stickers. For a complete moron, cover the device in tin foil. I promise they will be amused for hours. You get the drill, just be prepared to give a good explanation of why you are giving them a tiny remote control for their big day. With a straight face, explain that it’s time that they take control of their own life and you believe in them. Then get the hell out of there before they realize you’re full of shit and you spent nothing on their present. Your rabbi will be so proud.
Now, here’s the best idea out of all of them. You could just resell the clicker to someone who is taking the class next term. It’s up to you, but I’m off to buy some nachos.
Tahnee Baker is a sophomore political science major.