Friday, January 23, 2004

43-Man Squamish: Now 42-Man Squamish

If you've been a 12-year-old boy anytime in the last 50 years, you may remember the name George Woodbridge. He was, of course, an illustrator for Mad magazine, which probably would have been my dream job as a kid. I learned a lot about drawing by copying pictures from Mad's pages (I distinctly recall copying pictures of Joan Collins and Linda Evans from the Dynasty spoof "Die-Nasty", albeit with less clothing than Mad had portrayed them as wearing). Mad also not only exposed me to a lot of pop culture I wouldn't have otherwise have known about -- like movies I was too young to see and TV shows on channels I didn't get -- but in sending up that pop culture, it was the first place I really encountered satire. It's not overstating the case at all to call Mad a significant formative influence on me, and Woodbridge was part of it.

Alas, Woodbridge will be helping to warp young minds no longer. Like fellow artist Dave Berg, who passed on back in May, 2002, Woodbridge has permanently left the ranks of the Usual Gang of Idiots. One of his best-loved illustrations was for the 1965 sports satire "43-Man Squamish", a team sport with completely absurd and incomprehensible rules that spurred college students across American to form teams and bravely attempt to play it. For your pleasure, the rules to this still-popular classic are reproduced here.

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