A quarter score of years ago, or so, there were two brothers at the MIT chapter of Tau Epsilon Phi named Ricky and Dicky. They were fairly reasonable people, but on occasion, the tensions brought to bear by their oppressive environment became so great that they exploded in unprovoked acts of aggression. To temper this, and simultaneously explain to their victim that the violence was not intended as a statement of antipathy, the word "eit" was developed.
Its use was simple: during said act (which consisted usually of knocking something, hopefully breakable or splattable, out of the victim's hand and onto the floor, wall, table, frat brother, etc.) the eiter would say, "eit". This thus made the act humourous instead of obnoxious.
Soon after, a third party entered the scenario: Rath. A mutual friend of Ricky and Dicky, he helped bring about the second stage of eit evolution. Doing away with the eited object entirely, Rath's eit consisted of approaching the intended victim, hitting him in some bodily location, saying "eit", and laughing alot. This new "full contact" eit was not well received, and return eits were usually delivered with a distressingly short delay.
After working as a limousine driver for several years, Rath moved to California and became a wheeler-dealer in FOX television's comedy programming. This explains much about the today's TV offerings.
While there is no doubt that Ricky and Dicky first used eit in the modern sense of the word, many have wondered about its etymological origins. Recent scholarly works point to the famous Don Martin comics of Mad Magazine, back in the long-gone years when it was funny. Here, small objects were observed to say "EIT!" when they were knocked or fell off of a table.
Alas, the Masters of Eit are now gone. Graduated and working boring day jobs, they leave only their legacy to be carried on at Ye Old Tee Eee Phi. The full contact eit has dwindled to near extiction, with the standard physical eit making more frequent, and yet always amusing, appearances.
Eit has spread rapidly from its modest beginnings at TEP. At the present time, eit culture has at the least spread to denizens of MIT's Senior House and East Campus dormitories, and to numerous virtual communities, such as the mailing list elbows.
Good morning, Ralph. That looks like a Yup, I just made it. And, yummy tofu and eggsalad sandwich with boy am I looking forward to mustard you've got there. eating it. / ____________________________________/ O O __|__ =_|__ | | / \ / \ Note the yummy tofu and eggsalad sandwich with mustard 4 squares above represented by an equals sign.
Eit I am slain Ha ha ha ________________ / / \ O O Ha ha ha ______________ O _|_/ __|__ \ + / | | Boy were you ________ O ^ / \ * / \ eited, Ralph. \ + \ O ^ The remains of the eited sandwich. + ^
It is important to note at this point that had Dr. Weineshausen not said "Eit", all humor value would have been lost, and it would have been viewed by all as a rude gesture of repressed sexual frustration.
A example of the full contact Eit follows. In it, Dr. Weineshausen is again the "Eiter" and Ralph is the "Eitee".
Good morning, Ralph. Yes it is, Dr. Weineshausen. It is days Beautiful day, no? like this that make me glad to be alive. / __________________/ O O __|__ __|__ | | / \ / \
Eit OUCH! That was a very unfriendly thing to do ________________ / / \ O ___* It clearly shows a most unfortunate trend in eiting _ O _|_/ __|__ \ + / | | Gosh, Dr. Weineshausen is an asshole ______________ O ^ / \ / \ \ + Boy were you eited, Ralph _______________________ O ^ \ + Shut up, you dick _____________________________ O ^ \ + O ^ + ^
Note how the feedback of the spectators helped bring along the Darwinian extinction of this species of Eit.
For good or for bad, Eit has moved almost entirely out of the physical realm. Today it is standardly used in a figurative sense to mean the bestowing of misfortune or the misfortune itself.
The verb and noun usages of eit are illustrated in the following examples:
One of the most infamous Eits in history is the celebrated Opium Eit. Because of the questionable nature of the eited item, all names will be changed to protect the innocent.
And so it came to pass that there was but one small lump of opium left to smoke. It was a sad day, but one whose coming had long been expected. Joe, holding the last remaining piece, was walking upstairs to find Ralph, with whom he wished to share it. They met on the third floor, and examined the specimine silently while standing by the stairwell.
Unnoticed during their reverie, Hubert had approached, and asked Joe what the small raisin-like lump sitting in his hand was. Joe, being in a slightly jocular mood, replied, "It's a raisin". Hubert then executed an excellent underhand-slap eit to Joe's unsuspecting cargo. Joe quickly closed his hand. He and Ralph looked upon each other with horror as the enormity of the situation struck them. Joe slowly opened his hand, but to no avail. The opium had been successfully eited. Joe turned slowly to Hubert and said simply, "That wasn't a raisin, Hubert".
Fortunately, the story has a happy ending. The prize was recovered, and Joe, Ralph and Hubert all enjoyed its bounty.
Imagine if you were setting a table for a large number of malnourished undergraduates, such as is often encountered at TEP Xi Chapter. In an attempt to bring civility to the otherwise riotous occasion which is called dinner at TEP, you pick up a large, foodservice size stack of fluffy white paper napkins, with the intention of placing one napkin delicately at each place setting. Imagine the irresistible urges that Schmooze must have felt as he approached Beef, who was holding a large stack of napkins. Imagine the beauty of two hundred eited napkins, floating gently back to the earth from whence they came.
Ah, the beauty of a well-done eit on a warm summer day.
Sometimes the power of Eit prevents you from acquiring a piece of useless consumerist yuppie junk that you didn't really need. Take, for instance, Leper's used car experience.
Once upon a time Leper had a job in a galaxy far, far away which required him to commute long distances. Although he was in a stable carpool arrangement, strange and inexplicable forces of consumption created the desire for automobile ownership in his heart. One fine summer day, he encountered a poster for a 1984 Volvo station wagon. The seller turned out to be a French Harvard Business School student who was graduating and leaving the country. The car, while somewhat rusty and loud inside, had a nice sounding engine and ran fine. Leper, placing full confidence in his manly car-comprehension abilities, agreed to buy said car for a sum of money which shall remain unspecified but which would buy a lot of scallion pies at Brezhnev's.
The owner asked if he could use the car for three days, and Leper thought this was ok. However, when the car was dropped off, the B-school student noted that the car was making "bad noises" when it went around corners because "the rear shocks went bad." He took $100 off of the price, left a nice German iron in the car as a gift and fled the country.
Now, when a B-school student says that object X is broken in a car, you are virtually assured that object X is actually the only functioning part. During a small excursion into the wild roadways of the Boston Metropolitan Area, the car became completely unable to go into gear just as the car approached a grade-level crossing of the MBTA's commuter rail line in Belmont. While the car was not smashed to bits by the train arriving a few minutes later, it did have to be towed home. That weekend, Leper and Batman decided to take a look at the fluid level in the differential...perhaps it was just a little low on oil.
Leper removed the drain plug. First foul smelling oil came out. Then came chunks of gear teeth, which fell into the oil pan with an interesting "plink, plink, plink" sound.
Batman said, "Eit."
The car was sold for scrap with extreme prejudice.
Rules generally result in less fun for all. Still, there are times when it becomes necessary to place bounds around the human's natural need to eit, lest the eiting of a valued lox cream cheese bagel or purple Schmedley leads to hard feelings, sexual angst, or undesirable exchange of thermonuclear devices.
2) The Foam Room: The Foam Room is a renovated closet at TEP that is filled to a depth of three feet with soft red foam cubes. For a while, it was infested with nasty-crawly things that made you itch in unpleasant places.
After a short, but vicious, chemical war, the TEPs victoriously reclaimed the Foam Room. It remains a happy and pleasant place to hang out to the present day.
3) Scallion was Brad's cat.
last update 14 Jul 95
The Story of Eit was written by Brad Sagarin (firstname.lastname@example.org) in 1987 while living at the home of Eit, Tau Epsilon Phi at MIT. Editing and updating of this new version of the Eit story were performed by Rob Calhoun, 1994.
The History of EIT! / TEP / Rob Calhoun (email@example.com)