Sunday, January 23, 2000. 12.52am

Yesterday, I had to choose a yearbook quote. I went to the homepage of the Carl Wolf Studios at and entered the following information.

Name (First/Middle Initial/Last): Nancy C. Houghton
Quote(s): And what if excess of love bewildered them till they died? óW. B. Yeats
Major: Classics
Certificate: Creative Writing
College: Rockefeller
Dining Option: Campus Club
Activities: Kruller, WPRB, Campus Club Social Chair

I wanted my yearbook quote to be taken from the Princeton University Public Safety Blotter. Something pointless and amusing and vaguely offensive to the solemnity of the moment (the moment being the day that I am awarded my $126,000 degree and walk smartly out of the FitzRandolph gate to face the rest of my life). When I walk out to the Rest of My Life, which will be hunched growling on the flagstones on Nassau Street, I would like there to be a faintly mocking expression on my face. Like I have some kind of hold on the rest of my life. Like I have a secret superiority. Like I always thought it was all bullshit, anyway, which is the best advantage. Unfortunately, I didn't think that the Public Safety Blotter would go over so well with my mother, so I went for oblique, which works less well on the superiority scale, but is less offensive, so if, a la J. Evans Pritchard, we measure superiority on the horizontal axis, and damage done to our relations with family and friends on the vertical axis, then the rest of our lives would do well to tear our ridiculous young selves down like so many sheep after our graduation dinners.

Speaking of which, were you aware that a sheep, when attacked by a wolf, makes no attempt to escape? And that furthermore, if a sheep is watching one of his or her compatriots being ripped limb from limb by a wolf, it will not occur to it to get the hell out.

They are very dumb animals.

I know this because I once dated a scientist.