The Spike [: or, Victoria University College Review 1957]
If You Look at one, you can't mistake it for anything else. It can be defined, it's a phenomenon you can put your finger on. Webster calls it "Any march or parade, especially formal." The Pocket Oxford, on the other hand, suggests, "An array of persons going along a fixed route, on foot or otherwise, in religious rites, celebrations, political demonstrations, etc." Full marks to the Pocket Oxford, written by University men, for Procesh has been all of these.
Let us, then, take our finger off the phenomenon and see what we can find in the phenomena for 1955, 1956 and 1957.
Procesh for '55 was cancelled early on the morning of Capping Day"—all there was to show for it was a pile of bills and a heap of washed-out wreckage on the tennis courts. Oh"—and one other thing, an elephant, hastily mocked up by the Zoo. Department, last seen trying to force its scrim and supplejack bulk in at the backstage entrance of the Opera House. This writer believes that its harmless intention was to take Ark from the high winds and soaking rain. So much for 1955; some maintain we made up for it in other ways.
In 1956, the first year of "Pressure-build," fifteen floats took the road, along with some walking exhibits, especially a giant sexopus snatched from the stygian shades of Cook Strait by Doctor Rikadi whose work on the declining birth rate in Scotland is well known in concentric circles and the Zoo. Department. There were no fewer than two bands in attendance, the Weir Herelanders with pipe and drum, and a mixed bax of unwholesome instrumentalists from the Society for the Perpetuation of the Education Department.
Which reminds me ... Training College people have shown considerable enterprise in the last two years, and have never failed to take their place among the small, but redoubtable band that rallies round, albeit at the last minute, to make Some Thing of Procesh.
The traditional ten minutes was observed up at Girls' College, the pimpled daughters of our race screaming and thrashing at us as we passed, the Junior Mistresses ("Wan victims of unattempted rape") standing in the doorways, never page 52 quite knowing whether or not one of our nubile young men would suddenly vault off the tray, and leaping up the College steps, make an example of them all.
There were the Royal New Zealand Mounted (Bicycle) Police; there were letters to the paper, an infallible guide to the success of any venture"—I believe Procesh for 1956 was a success despite whatever the editors of "Salient" had to say about it.
This year there were again fifteen floats, but no bands, and a slightly higher standard of float construction. Big crowds turned out in spite of the cold snap, and we welcomed the addition of several City Corporation Transport machines that elbowed their way in.
The float builder, during the last three years, has been an improvisor at all times, and for this reason there is always a welter of invention and fancy, coupled with a complete lack of shape and form in joyous, unpremeditated result. Only if "Pressure-building" is scrapped and each group begins work a week before the Day can this lack of cohesion be resolved. The Zoo. Department has an enviable organisation that other groups would do well to study. Better use could be made of the types who can use a paint brush. A good deal could be gained if there were fewer bodies on the floats.
I'm happy to report, however, that Procesh has lost most of its "mobile pornographic broadsheet" flavour, and that privy humour has decreased considerably. There has been no need for censorship in the last few years.
It's been suggested that a Procesh Committee should be formed to inject more vigour into our organisation, but it remains up to the small groups to make any real improvement in standards. After all, where would the producers of Extrav. Be if it weren't for the people who come round year after year and give Extrav. The excellent backing it has. Anyway, that's how it seems to this pair of eyes.
Exhume the bones where he lies dead,
And thereby have Causation;
Unless it prove that in his stead
There lies a poor relation.
But if he lives, why then assume
No necessary link
Between the immortal Mr Hume
And that which caused him not to think.