On August 8th, Ohio State University submitted an application to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to trademark the word “The,” as in “The Ohio State University.” No joke. According to The Chronicle of Higher Education, OSU “wants the exclusive right to sell T-shirts, baseball caps, hats, and more emblazoned with ‘THE’.” Samantha Quimby, an attorney with the firm Frost Brown Todd, filed the application on behalf of Ohio State.
When Ms. Quimby was asked by reporters at a press conference if her work on this request embodied the dreams, aspirations, and ideals that motivated her to pursue a career in the law, she responded, “Absolutely! Words matter. Even little words. We all know that when language is employed recklessly, people can be hurt and lives tragically scarred. What we’re trying to do here is……..”
Ms. Quimby hesitated, smiled slightly, and suppressed a soft chuckle. Regaining her composure, she said, “What we’re trying to do here is…….”
She began to chuckle again, and then slapped herself hard in the face with her right hand while muttering, “Goddammit, woman, get a grip!”
It all quickly went downhill from there. Ms. Quimby tried once more to explain the rationale behind OSU’s application, but dissolved into giggles that became increasingly hysterical. Anxious reporters exchanged nervous glances.
Suddenly, Ms. Quimby’s visage became haunted, and her eyes darted around the room. She started yelling: “ARE YOU F**KING KIDDING ME? WE’RE ACTUALLY GOING TO TRADEMARK THE WORD ‘THE’? THIS IS TOTAL BULLSHIT! WHAT HAVE I DONE? OH MY GOD, WHAT HAVE I DONE?”
She stared down at her hands and began violently massaging her fingers, repeatedly asking in a maniacal fashion, “Will these hands ne’er be clean?”
Security guards escorted Ms. Quimby from the building. She is currently an inpatient, resting comfortably, at THE Ohio Hospital for Psychiatry in Columbus.