Where is Lord Humongous, the Rabbit Ruler of the Reed Tunnels?
The past three weeks of my life have been dedicated to Lord Humongous (the rabbit, not the Mad Max character). I have sent countless emails, conducted multiple interviews, and spent hours in the Reed archives trying to answer two fundamental questions: where is Lord Humongous now, and where did he come from?
Over the summer of 2018, on July 17, construction work was done to repave the entrance to Eliot Hall. While excavating the pre-existing pavement, contractor Justin Hibbs made a remarkable discovery hidden in an air vent in the steam tunnels: a two-foot-tall,100-pound concrete rabbit that has come to be known as Lord Humongous. According to Chris Lydgate ‘90, Director of Editorial Services, who reported on the initial discovery, the alcove where the rabbit was found “contained a brown fedora, some scraps of clothing, a scattering of beer cans, and graffiti about ‘Lord Humongous.’”
Immediately after its discovery, Lord Humongous was removed from the construction site by Zac Perry, Lead Grounds Specialist, and Steve Yeadon, Assistant Director of Facilities Operations, who, according to Yeadon, “threw it in the flatbed” and took it to the Physical Plant. Thereafter, the unlucky bunny was stolen by three students who, underestimating the statue’s weight, dropped him and broke the base of his right ear. Because of Perry’s relationship with the students, they honored his request to return the rabbit and Lord Humongous was back in Reed’s custody the following day. Perry now keeps the chipped off piece of Lord Humongous’ ear on his desk as a paperweight.
After the scare of nearly losing the mysterious mammal and the lack of knowledge about his origins or potential historic value, facilities decided to keep the rabbit's location a secret. Yeadon states that facilities is currently “caught in the middle” between multiple groups maintaining interest in the rabbit. With so little information, Special Collections and Archives is concerned about its historic value, and the question of who the rabbit belonged to remains. Although Perry and Yeadon are housing the rabbit in an unknown secure location, they expressed that they have no special interest in keeping the rabbit, they are merely holding onto it while people are “collecting data” and figuring out what to do next.
Fast forward to the past few weeks and my investigation into the rabbit lord’s history. After writing his article about Lord Humongous’ discovery, Lydgate had alum David Drexler ‘00 contact him with claims that Drexler and his friend Zack Stadel ‘00 were the ones to put the rabbit under Eliot Hall. Drexler also shared many of the other weird and wonderful things he did while at Reed. He was a part of an informal student group called the Reed Refurbishing Initiative which aimed to fight back against Reed’s late ‘90s “hospital type aesthetic and bring back that comfortable feeling of decades-old grime with kitschy furniture and decor from the Goodwill bins.” An example of the group’s work can still be seen today: according to Drexler, they hung the record covers outside of the mail room.
As for the rabbit, unfortunately, Drexler can’t remember much. He and Stadel “used to get into the tunnels and ride tiny bikes around down there,” and the rabbit installation was the result of “drunken shenanigans” in the late ‘90s that he can’t remember (I wonder why?). He does, however, recall that he “mixed up a bag of concrete to attach [the rabbit] to the floor so it could not be carried off by future tunnel explorers.”
So what’s next for Lord Humongous? An anonymous student who was working on campus over the summer and saw the rabbit with their own eyes believes that the “the bunny belongs to students at Reed.” Another student, Kyla Hayworth ‘21, thinks that “we should fight over him like we do the owl.” Others think the rabbit should be displayed or perhaps stored in the archives to protect it and ensure all can visit it. Perry said that he doesn’t have any strong beliefs on what should happen to the rabbit. However, if it’s decided that the statue belongs to the students, he only needs to be told “when and where to drop it” and we can have ourselves a new Doyle Owl.