This week’s theory is perhaps a bit avant-garde, but I firmly believe that there is an immortal soul living among us here at Boston University, hidden in plain sight. Rhett the Terrier, who frequents Commonwealth Avenue in his flesh form, has definitely transcended his earthly shell and become an immortal soul. What, you may ask, is the primary ingredient of his alchemy elixir? Dining hall bananas. There’s the cause of your shortage, folks.
Picture this: at the center of the universe, not God or Gaia or some unimaginable Earth spirit, but Rhett. Smiling, gaggle-toothed, somehow heavily wrinkled despite being a dog, and always audibly wheezing. Looking to be as if one is at the edge of physical decay is sort of endearing for our dear mascot. His owner always conveniently places him in the GSU precisely at the time midterms have nearly ensnared you in its clutches, and Rhett is always there to pant and remind you of how ephemeral exams actually are.
Other universities might have their own Durkheimian-totem figureheads, with perhaps more or less the same cult-meme following. The greater Boston area boasts its share of questionable fanatics: Boston College’s Baldwin the Eagle, MIT’s Tim the Beaver, and Harvard’s John Harvard the Pilgrim. Truly menacing, Harvard. Yet none share the same appeal of a Boston-bred, cutesy and often cartoonish Boston terrier. Boston University has claimed Rhett Terrier as their own since 1922, and from the looks of the real-life Rhett that pads along Bay State Road, he might as well have been around since then.
I’m open to alternate explanations for Rhett seemingly hanging on by a thread. Perhaps this is more of a reincarnation situation, the Dalai Lama of college mascots if you will, gracing mere mortals at hockey games everywhere, for centuries on end. Once this Rhett dies, somewhere in the greater Boston area is another Boston terrier born to fill his emblazoned BU jacket?
Am I disrespecting our beloved Rhett, or am I uncovering a nefarious plot of President Brown’s attempt to reach his own immortality? It’s pretty up in the air at this point. Nevertheless, I have no doubts that Rhett alone can perfect his consciousness enough to be released from reincarnation cycle. Next time you see Rhett, ask him for me: How old is he, really?