“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” So said Charles Fickens in his greatest novel to date, Hard Times. Not only does this line start off one of the most boring bound stacks of printed pages of all time, it is also relevant to this very day, in our very Arbor. “Why?” you may ask. The reason is simple: the beloved Questions Guy, an arbor regular whose stand takes after Lucy’s psychiatry booth in Schulz’s Peanuts, has had to raise his prices due to economic hard-hitters like Wahoo’s Fish Tacos and the always amiable Die Bretzel stand right across the way.
It may seem odd that a man who solicits five cents a soul in exchange for life advice should find difficulty in his work. After all, who doesn’t like getting advice from old, white men? Until recently, this enigmatic figure has managed to eke out a prophet right here on campus. One anonymous interviewee even states that instead of using monetary payment, she pays him in panties instead. Yet according to the man himself, “These heathens prefer to spend money on food rather than abstract concepts.”
Yes, it seems that nothing is sacred, not even Catholic doctrine in the hands of an old man passing it off as advice to a university of burgeoning agnostics. I mean, seven cents? That is unholy. Besides this, he has had to relocate to outside the UCen (closer to that God-hating enterprise, Starbucks; God definitely went corporate first). Still, the beloved Questions Guy persists, in a way a metaphor for the student experience here at UCSB: We persist, and yet we become irrelevant.
Additional Note: The current Pope could not be reached for comment, however the Vatican does not at this time deny that Questions Guy is disqualified from sainthood.