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Doug Clark: Let’s all sing the Whitman College Blues

Humor columnist Doug Clark (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)

It’s been decided by a consensus of Whitman College students, alumni, faculty and assorted Illuminati.

The small yet prestigious Walla Walla private school has replaced its age-old Missionary mascot with – “Ta-Dahhh” – the Blues.

See, this is what happens when eggheads collaborate. They tend to overthink things.

That’s always been the image of Whitman College, that those who go there tend to be a tad higher on the IQ ladder than what you’d find at, say, Washington State or even the University of Washington.

Not that I can speak to this with any authority. I wouldn’t have made it into Eastern if not for my fair competency at tooting a trumpet.

When it comes to knowing how the average dope thinks, however, I am pretty much an expert.

So trust me when I say that “The Blues” does not automatically evoke that modest Washington/Oregon mountain range as the school officials are hoping for.

Not hardly.

The Blues makes you think of Muddy Waters. The Blues makes you think of B.B. King.

Or Joe Bonamassa. Or my personal favorite, Robben Ford.

The Blues is what happens when the thrill is gone or when that woman done you wrong or when you’re born under a bad sign and have no luck at all.

Which is why the Blues is such a potentially devastating mascot for today’s tender and easily bruised college student.

Think about it.

Say the baseball team can’t win for losing. Or the golf team can’t find the fairways for the sand traps.

How will students react?

STUDENT 1 – “I feel so sad.”

STUDENT 2 – “My self-esteem is lower than when I got that A-minus.”

STUDENT 1 – “You know. I don’t want to worry you. But I think we’ve got The Blues.”

STUDENT 2 – “Quick. Let’s get to our Safe Space before it’s too late.”

This whole mascot switch is another example of politically correct campus madness.

Before too long, every college or university will adopt nonthreatening nicknames, like the Dust Bunnies or the Soy Lilies.

The Missionaries mascot was “considered non-inclusive, imperialistic and incorrectly implied that Whitman was a religious school,” according to a news story.


I’m betting this also has something to do with all those hurtful “missionary position” wisecracks that I’ve heard about Whitman College over the years.

That stuff’ll wear you down after a while.

But this switcheroo to the Blues?

Come on. Before too long, as sure as I live and breathe, some wiseacre is going to pick up his guitar and start strumming …

Thank the Lord that pot is legal.

Cuz I don’t know what I’d do.

Being stuck in Walla Walla,

Leaves you dazed and so confused.

Got the Whitman Blues.

Got those Whitman College Blues.

$50 grand buys you tuition.

And a year of those Whitman College Blues.

Well, I should’ve studied harder.

Could’ve aced the SATs.

Could’ve gone to Yale or Harvard.

Anywhere that’s Ivy League.

Got the Whitman Blues.

Got the Whitman College Blues.

Don’t you laugh, cuz it ain’t right,

When you’re up at night with the Whitman Blues.

Poor Marcus and Narcissa,

Came down to spread The News.

Till their not-so-friendly neighbors.

Made a missionary stew.

Got the Whitman Blues.

Got those Whitman College Blues.

Gonna transfer to Gonzaga,

Say goodbye to those Whitman College Blues.

Doug Clark is a columnist for The Spokesman-Review. He can be reached at (509) 459-5432 or by email at

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