Randy Weeks

Published on August 14th, 2019 | by Randy Weeks


The View from the Balcony: Red and Blue Velvet

Like it or not, they’re coming back. It won’t be long until we hear the tromp-tromp of student feet all over town. Yes, it’s true. The fall semester of classes at Ole Miss is about to begin. A new freshman class will under-indulge in academics and over-indulge in nefariousness, learning by trial and error how to hold their likker [sic] and how to walk a straight line when their sense of balance is about as good as that of a two-legged dog trying to shake paws with their master while raising their one back leg to pee on a parking meter.

“The Velvet Ditch,” photograph by Newt Rayburn

My good friend, the Californian Dreamer, Eric the Weighed, is himself is a veteran of PTSD (post-traumatic student disorder) having had two children run the Ole Miss gauntlet. He graciously shared his learning with me in the hopes of keeping at least one incoming freshman from suffering the slings and arrows of outrageous misfortune due to a dearth of preparatory experience. To avoid being in your face about it, he’s couched his wisdom in, what else? Velvet!

So, without further ado, here it is: a lexicon of lingo that every Ole Miss student should know:

  • Velvet Ditch: Slang; a common nickname for Oxford, Mississippi. Cogitate on it. The place is comfortable, but it’s so comfortable you can’t get out—not that you’d want to.
  • Velvet Niche: It rhymes with ditch. It is that sense of place one can find in Oxford, no matter how small it may be, that allows them to not just live in Oxford, but to thrive. (Not to be confused with Velvet Nietzsche, an existential philosophy that follows the dictum WWED: “What Would Elvis Do?”)
  • Velvet Snitch: Someone who knows all your secrets and tells everybody, but they’re such smooth operators that you’ll wind up thanking them for betraying you.
  • Velvet Bitch: No explanation needed.
  • Velvet Switch: When you thought you were accepted at Ole Miss only to wake up in a random dorm room in Starkville with a cowbell glued to your right hand and an “Archie Who?” button pinned to your chest.
  • Velvet Sitch: Slang; a situation in which all the people you agreed to room with go south and you still have three months on your lease.
  • Velvet SOB: The heartless landlord who doesn’t give a tinker’s damn about your Velvet Sitch.
  • Velvet Witch: This is either an old Velvet Bitch or a new pitcher for the Ole Miss Baseball team who has a wicked curveball.
  • Velvet Rich: Having beaucoups of dough on Thursday with a ton of great music on tap (along with the beer) for the weekend.
  • Velvet Twitch: A very common condition that occurs after a long weekend of debauchery on the Square.
  • Velvet Flinch: What the Velvet Rich do on Sunday morning after their Velvet Twitch subsides and they learn they are stone cold broke.
  • Velvet Glitch: What happens when you try to buy gas and chicken-on-a-stick the same Sunday you have the Velvet Flinch and your credit card (or your mama and daddy’s credit card) is declined.
  • Velvet Stitch: A quick repair to your favorite article of clothing or something you find on your forehead on Sunday morning but can’t for the life of you remember how it got there.
  • Velvet Pitch: When you try to convince your parents to let you stay at Ole Miss one more year to (allegedly) improve your pathetic GPA.
  • Velvet Hitch: When you marry the sorority girl you met at the fraternity mixer, or vice versa.
  • Velvet Itch: What happens after you leave Oxford and suddenly realize that, come hell or high water, you have to get back there, even if it means buying an over-priced condo.

There you have it. Eric the Weighed and I hope that, armed with and informed by this lexicon, Ole Miss students, especially incoming freshmen, will have a more memorable college experience. Look for this lexicon to be included in next year’s student orientation packet.

…and that’s the view from The Balcony.

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The View from the Balcony: What's Love Got to Do with It?

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