What is with all these gangs on campus? Somehow, overnight, everywhere I look, there are gangs! Gangs, gangs, and then, just when I think we’re all out of gangs, more gangs!

“But Mike,” you might say, “I don’t see any gangs. Where are all these gangs?”

“Oh Editor,” I might reply. “Dear, dear Editor. Dear, sweet, innocent Editor, with your naive trust and your untainted heart. Oh, Editor. Editor. Editor. Editor. That’s because you don’t know all the signs for recognizing them. You are as ignorant as the gangs would want you to be. Let me enlighten you. Here — I will whisper to you the truth.”

The number one sign for recognizing gangs is gang colors. Every gang has a favorite color, just for fun. They lure kids in with some special color fun, and then, next thing the kids know, they’re being forced to shoot heroin.

“I love the color blue! It’s pretty!” a kid says, and then, that same day probably, she’s a child soldier.

If you see a woman in a red dress, or a man wearing a blue cardigan, they are almost certainly in rival gangs. Before they can recruit you, shout “No!” directly into their faces and run away; fast. Run and find an adult. Or, if you are an adult, find another adult and see if you can maybe hide somewhere together for a couple hours.

The other day I saw a woman in a red and black skirt walking out of the Catholic Student Union building. Then I saw a man in a blue hat walking out of the Mormon Institute. They were both talking, and gesturing to other people with their hands, probably making threatening gang signs about violent things they would do to innocent people, and leading me to believe that these buildings are almost certainly rival gang headquarters for two particularly vicious international gangs.

The thing to do, I think, is round up all these offensive gang-colored clothes, and collect them together into a huge pile which can then be glued and tied together into an enormous cloth statue, a statue of a friendly friend, waving. This statue will loom over UNM and all of Albuquerque, and because of it Albuquerque will become known as Albuquerque: Home of the Giant Clothes Friend, Who Loves You.

“Come see our big waving weird friend,” the brochures will read. “We made him out of clothes. Take a picture by one of his legs.”
The statue will stand as a warning to all gangs. “This is what we do with the clothing of gangs,” it will say implicitly. “Not sure why, but we do. Hello!”

And then, four times a year, we will gather beneath it, dressed in neutral-colored robes, and dance — leaping and prancing around the maypole — gangs the farthest things from our happy minds.
Working together, we can make this dream real. We can. We. Can.

Mike Smith
UNM student