Seinfeld, Tamagotchi, and Suds: 3 Wackiest House Traditions

By Neil P. Herriot

Though undergraduate houses are now assigned randomly, each has maintained idiosyncrasies from the good ole’, pre-90s days when students could self-select. Flyby asked around campus to find the top three wackiest house traditions, both well-known and otherwise, that have long endured.


While you may not find this holiday marked in calendars, Cabot observes it dutifully.

Seinfeld enthusiasts will remember that the celebration—as seen in the sitcom—includes a banquet, an unadorned aluminum pole, exercises in the "Airing of Grievances" and "Feats of Strength", and the labeling of easily-explained events as "Festivus miracles". In an email obtained by Flyby, Cabot Housemaster Stephanie Khurana wrote of the “delicious menu of Thai, Chinese, Indian, Mexican food and much more!” offered in last year’s Festivus. Students also had the opportunity to burn their “grievances and anxieties,” according to the email, and participate in “feats of talent,” whether “planned or spontaneous,” and strive for honor.

Flyby has yet to hear if eating the most HUDS chili constitutes such a feat. Journalistic integrity prevents us from saying a conclusive ‘yes,’ though we’d like to think so.

Middle School Talent Show

Putting gum in your lab partner’s hair or removing the sticky wad from your frizzy curls. Sitting with the rad kids in leather jackets and Camel cigs or sitting with no one at all. Making fun of the girl with the pink Tamagotchi or setting alarms to punctually feed your digital pet.

Yeah, we’d rather not remember middle school either.

But Pfoho tutor Jamie Ciocco sees those three hellish years as more than a Freudian experiment gone wrong. For the past 4 years, he has co-hosted the Carl & Carol Pforzheimer Middle School Talent Show, where students perform as middle school versions of themselves—at their “sullen, angsty, awkward, gawky best.” For his part, Ciocco acts as a cranky math teacher and Mathletics coach, Pfighting Pfactorials, along the way. Another tutor, Kate Harrington, plays the titular Ms. Harrington, a supportive English Teacher and “self-esteemtress” who cautiously reminds the faux tweens that this, too, shall pass. Ah, Pfhome sweet Pfhome.

Ciocco advises interested students to aim for “sometimes funny-funny, sometimes overly-serious-funny, sometimes just awkward-funny”

“If you mess up,” he says, “it just becomes funnier.”

Mather Lather

That’s right— we’ve saved the least G-rated for last. Upperclassmen may wince or smirk while recalling their experience at the concrete box’s spring foam party, Mather Lather. Students show up in bikinis and boxers, dancing in layers upon layers of suds. According to the New York Times, more than 1,000 students crammed into the dining hall in 2003. HUPD then had to shut it down because students were falling over one another.

If you’re looking to attend for the soapy cleanse, think again. Word in the Yard is that you’ll need to take more than a few showers at the end of the night.

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