Yes children, the end has finally arrived for me. You are witnesses to the last Yale Daily News column that the Fifth Columnist will ever write. While you take a moment to collect yourself, reflect and perhaps snort the petroleum product of your fancy, I will take this time to resolve a few of the unsubstantiated rumors that have been flying around these last few weeks.

First of all, contrary to hearsay and the public speculations of several unsavory characters, I am not ending my tenure as a columnist to run for YCC President. The last time I participated in student government, the meetings were overwhelmingly dominated by the word “dudical.” My political aspirations have since waned. I think it is because my life is meaningless enough already.

Second, to answer more scuttlebutt, I am not resigning my position because of any recent lurid scandal involving me, three primates and 16 yards of bondage tape. That situation can be entirely explained. My publicist has assured me that any remaining video evidence must have been computer manipulated like in the movie “Rising Sun.”

Either that or it was my doppelganger, Marty Reape ’04, and he has a heck of a lot of explaining to do. That kid looks like he was a Michael Zimmer (TM) collectible doll that got struck by gamma radiation and all of a sudden came to life. (Apparently with an unhealthy attraction to the simian mystique.)

Third, to continue with the rumor-busting, I also hereby declare that I am not leaving the News for any “real job.” I am unemployable. Dedicated readers, friends and, particularly, ex-bosses of mine know this as fact.

They have reconciled themselves with it to varying degrees: from my ex-bosses’ incredibly emphatic (“Zimmer, you get out of this place of business, or I will set fire to your genitals!”) to my friends’ moderate (“You’re never going to get a job, are you?”) to my parents’ wholly extraterrestrial (“Michael, honey, the money train is departing from Platform Number You!”).

Also, for the insidious gossip hounds among you, I am not abdicating my position in order to replace recently assassinated Backstreet Boy Brian Littrell. At this point in time, I cannot confirm that Littrell has actually been assassinated since I made that up.

Nor can I address the issue of whether Littrell would technically be alive in the first place, given that his brain is a transistor from “Rabio Dack” (a low cost competitor to a widely recognized electronics chain). By the same token, I cannot confirm or deny any contract negotiations with the large, prescient octopus that controls the band’s scheduling and fine motor skills.

While I appreciate all of the attention my departure from the News has received, I think it would be best if I simply stated the reason I am leaving you all after this, my 25th and final column. It’s not because I’m graduating. Oh no. Being a senior and all, it might be supposed that next year I would stop participating in extracurricular activities.

Nope. Just call me Michael “Avik S.A. Roy” Zimmer, the “old guy who won’t move on no matter how much mace you spray in his face.”

Anyway, the reason I am leaving you all next year is that I am entering the 2001 NBA Draft. I do this full with the knowledge that I may be letting people down. Sure, the smart move would be to stick out these last few weeks of college and pick up the diploma. But I also recognize my duty to become a filthy rich star athlete surrounded by fast cars and faster women. I’ll make back the four years of tuition with my signing bonus.

I admit the last time I played competitive basketball, the ball had laces. Sure, my booty has a little extra chunk, and yes, I subscribe to Poets and Writers magazine. But since I’m a Yale man, I’ll beat them all with strategy. They can out-jump, out-run and out-shoot me. They would — except that I will be the dirtiest player in NBA history. What have I learned in my four years as a Yale political science major?

The ends justify the eye-rake. So while the other NBA stars keep using their “athletic ability” to win games, I will have alternate plans. My favorite is the following: We’re playing Christian Laettner’s team, whichever one that is. I pick Laettner because I hate him.

Anyway, for the whole first quarter, Laettner scores lots of points while I’m just sitting on the bench, smirking. The commentators wonder what in the world is going on: “What is Zimmer doing on the bench?” Little do they know, before the game, I picked up a big handful of sand outside of the stadium, and I have been squeezing for it for hours to get it nice and hot.

Finally, I signal the coach that it’s time for me to go in. I walk up to Laettner. When nobody’s looking, I paste him right across the face. He screams, “Augh! Hot sand in my eyes!” Then maybe I get up on the scorer’s table and drop an elbow on his head while he’s blinded. We go on to win the game.

With that, I depart. Thanks to all my friends, family and readers over the years. Note: Just because you fall in any of those categories doesn’t mean you’re getting comp tickets next year. Remember that, Mom.

At 6’6″, a senior hailing from Davenport College, number Fifth — Michael Zimmer! This is his final regular season News column.