Terminal Preppies: Skewered, Stuffed, And Put To Good Use

With this post Ivy-Style brought our 2010 Preppy Week to a close, which we herein revisit for some hearty chuckles. Click here to have the Dead Kennedys’ “Terminal Preppie” play in another browser window as you rejoice in the demise of Biff and Muffy.

Every trend carries within it the seed of its own negation. The hype and expectation over “Take Ivy” has made it fashionable to take a blasé attitude towards the book, complaining online how the photos aren’t in HD. The middle road, as usual, is the best: The tome is neither the Rosetta Stone of Ivydom, but nor does it warrant flippant dismissal. Likewise, perhaps the current Preppy-Ivy-Trad-Americana trend will give birth to a hippie revival in a few years, the very trend that followed the original heyday of the Ivy League Look.

In the early ’80s, the immense success of “The Official Preppy Handbook” saw an immediate backlash by would-be humorists looking to cash-in by lampooning the new popped-collar zeitgeist. Kate Reed’s “101 Uses for a Dead Preppie” came out in 1981, followed by “The Joy of Stuffed Preppies” by Randall C. Douglas III and Eric Fowler the next year.

If you want copies, better act fast. I picked mine up for a few bucks each several months ago — about the same price I paid a few years ago for the Preppy Handbook, which is now commanding a premium on eBay.

Here are a couple sartorial-themed samples from the books. First up, Kate Reed’s work, in which a poor prep is used as a scarecrow. Of course, for wearing a patch-madras jacket with emblematic trousers, I suppose he deserves it:

Next up, the cover of Douglas and Fowler’s book, in shades of Pastiche Pink and Jeering Green:

Here’s their best cartoon, in which stuffed preps are used as mannequins in a small retail store that seems modeled on The Andover Shop:

“The Joy of Stuffed Preppies” includes captions (by Douglas; Fowler did the drawings). For the above, Douglas writes:

Impish Stanton Fairfax persuaded a pair of freshmen to get their rears in gear and go mooning one starless night. Gripped by the desire to flash a buttock or two himself, Stanton, at the wheel, plowed the Country Squire into an Andover haberdashery. The less than clever lads were restyled as dummies and were rotated to face the window, leaving all aspects of their asinine behavior behind them.

Attempts to contact the authors of both books failed. — CHRISTIAN CHENSVOLD

8 Comments on "Terminal Preppies: Skewered, Stuffed, And Put To Good Use"

  1. What? No mention of the popular 1981 book that inspired the above? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/101_Uses_for_a_Dead_Cat

  2. Great post. I just ordered both book on Amazon. In regards to True Prep, I found the book very disappointing. Where are all the old WASP values and traditions of OPH? The book might as well have been called “True Yuppie”.

  3. HRH The Duke of Windsor | September 10, 2010 at 1:45 pm |

    I must agree with Shawn. True Prep is…well…God-awful.

  4. WhatAboutTheOtherIvies | September 11, 2010 at 4:18 pm |

    Also, see “The Original Preppy Jokebook” and “Ivy League Cookbook” for more of this sort of humor.

  5. How appropriate, to send prepdom to it’s death a few days after True Prep did the same!

  6. elder prep | June 13, 2019 at 7:13 pm |

    Agree with Shawn and HRH, the follow-on to the OPH “True Prep” was such a disappointment.

  7. Old School Tie | November 24, 2019 at 2:56 am |

    I still believe that had Taschen been the publisher of Take Ivy it would have been a significantly more desirable tome in terms of production quality. And, of course, it would fit in my Taschen collection with aplomb….

  8. I wasn’t aware of the demise of Biff and Muffy. Isn’t there a Preppy sport called Muffy diving? 🙂

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