Thursday, April 10, 2008

A politically-incorrect memoir of undergrad days at Chico State University


In 1978 Mitch Cox left Cal State Northridge and headed to Chico State University. Little did he realize some of the best days of his life were just ahead. He was a self-described goof and all-around "fathead," and yet maybe not so dumb after all. He eventually he returned to the university to become Assistant Director of Athletics.

His story is told in "Fathead Goes to Chico" ($14.95 in paperback from iUniverse), a rude and crude account of hijinks and heartthrobs told in frat-boy style without the frat. Cox the writer slightly alters the names of real people and pays more attention to the humor of the situation than to the exact historical details. The reader is given a series of comic vignettes as "Poo" (short for the hated nickname "Mitchiepoo") transmogrifies into "Mitchell Shawn Cox" at his graduation.

Cox will be discussing his book at the Chico Barnes and Noble store this Saturday afternoon from 1:00 - 3:00 PM.

The author proves himself a thoughtful sort. One November, outside the dorms, "it was still sunny and nice so there were people everywhere throwing the Fris or just catching rays. I was . . . facing Lassen Hall, when I saw her coming. She was riding this beat up old bike down the walkway and as she passed, our eyes met. . . . Her hair fell over her left eye in an incredibly sexy fashion, she smiled, and that was that. Like a ghost . . . she disappeared inside Shasta." No one knew her, so Mitch figures she's visiting a mystery boyfriend, and that leads to "Mitch's Mystery Boyfriend Theory":

"If there exists a female that you're interested in, and if that female is not interested in you, and if you ask said female out, and if she says, 'No, I have a boyfriend,' then that boyfriend's name will be Cliff, Bret, Chuck, Rick or Kyle and not Herman, Myron, Fred, Harold or Irving." You'll never see this boyfriend, the theory says, "but since you can't prove he doesn't exist, you're hosed."

There are tales of roomies having sex while Cox is trying to sleep a few feet away, and practical jokes, and women, and good friends, and women. "Fathead" rules!

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