EVANSTON, IL — On May 17, 2020, Wesleyan seniors gathered behind their laptop screens to celebrate the greatest accomplishment of their undergraduate careers. Although separated by the tragedies of a sudden pandemic, the class of 2020 stood staid to receive their diplomas with the grace and significance such a moment deserves. That is, until the cat started hacking up a really huge one, even for him.
As President Michael Roth delivered his commencement address to the grief-stricken seniors, he emphasized the role of resilience in these uncertain times, and how far the class has come in terms of their academic achievements. These praises did not ring as meaningfully as they might have been if Toaster hadn’t eaten so many cat treats the night before.
“Jesus Christ, Toaster,” Will Nattick ’20 chided, forgetting to mute his microphone on Zoom. “Do you have to do that on the carpet?”
Toaster appeared not to notice Nattick’s suggestions, too preoccupied with the massive obstruction working its way up his little kitty throat. In the background, Nattick’s name had been called with a virtual message of “Congratulations.”
Nattick’s first act as a college graduate was to clean up Toaster’s mess before it sunk too deep into the carpet fibers.
BEDFORD, MA — This Thanksgiving break, local gay cousin Ava Blackburn has been mentally preparing herself for dysfunctional family warfare. Knowing that she is both queer and vegan, Blackburn has decided to pick her battles when it comes to dinner-table topics of discussion.
“It’s basically a choice between mentioning my girlfriend or refusing to eat the mashed potatoes that definitely contain dairy,” Blackburn told The Groundhog in confidence. “Aunt Ida keeps insisting that the potatoes are vegan, but I think she’s just hoping I won’t notice.”
Many of her defense strategies involve avoiding her grandmother, a food-obsessed homophobe, altogether.
“Everything about my existence would make a baby boomer’s head explode,” she explained. “Like, no, Grandma, I do eat meat, but not the kind you’re making. She still asks me when I’m getting a boyfriend every year. I just tell her I’m focusing on my studies.”
Although Blackburn has a fraught few days ahead of her, she says there is some solace to the chaotic holiday.
“One of my cousins dropped out of undergrad, so at least I don’t have to deal with all that,” Blackburn noted, making an exaggerated expression with her eyebrows. “Also we smoke weed together before dessert.”
MIDDLETOWN, CT — In a huge hit to the queer community, student-run café Espwesso has announced that they will be nearing bankruptcy by the end of the Fall 2019 semester. The café known for giving away free coffee as a central tenet to its business model is completely perplexed as to how they ended up broke.
“It seemed like a flawless plan from the beginning,” financial manager Sam Jellious said. “You give the coffee away, the customer doesn’t pay for it, and money appears in your account every week. We don’t know what went wrong.”
On top of completely free drip coffee, Espwesso has also boasted absurdly low prices for its esp(w)esso-based drinks. Competitors such as Pi Café and Usdan Café charge up to 1.5 points more per drink, with the added benefit of cold, premixed salads and Icelandic yogurt selections.
“I go to Espwesso to do work all the time,” sophomore Tina Mueller shared. “It took me until this interview to realize that they even sold anything.”
“I stopped going to Espwesso because every girl I’ve ever hooked up with studies there,” one student who asked to remain anonymous said. “That, and I simply don’t agree with jazz or improv—for political reasons. I don’t think public spaces should host those kinds of events.”
With a beloved study space on the verge of collapse, many are going into dire straits to save Espwesso from the brink and liven up their business model.
“Maybe if we started calling it ‘Wespresso,’ more people would come,” Jellious said.
MIDDLETOWN, CT — The biggest weekend of the fall semester has come and gone, folks! With Halloween on a Thursday this year, Halloweekend extended past its normal October boundaries to continue into November 1st and 2nd. Some students sported creative costumes for all three days of the drunken extravaganza, but only one complete weirdo left his costume on through Sunday and Monday.
“I saw him at the football game on Saturday and I thought, ‘Oh, cool, he’s wearing his costume during the day. That’s kinda weird, but I can vibe with it,'” one sophomore Deidre Birkenstock noted. “But then I saw him at lunch in Usdan and I realized he’s still wearing that freaky suit.”
The person behind the unnerving bird suit has yet been unnamed, but his presence has shocked and disturbed visiting parents, alums, and students alike.
“This is getting weird, man,” Michael Toblerone ’20 said. “What’s the meaning behind the costume? Is it a sex thing? Why is he normally surrounded by a group of girls in skirts?”
Loud side correspondents have attempted to shed light on the mysterious phenomenon, but their explanations were incoherent. Their talk of Saturday morning rituals and “school spirit” only raised our suspicions of a possible satanic Halloween cult in our midst.
“Dude, he’s supposed to be wearing that,” football player John Licklehooper insisted. “We can’t win without our Dirty Bird there on the sidelines.”
There’s no way of knowing for sure why that particular student has chosen this lifestyle, but for the sake of our mental wellbeing, we hope it stops soon.
The wait is over. After many students have expressed frustration surrounding Usdan’s uncomfortably long ice cream scoops, Bon Appetit has unveiled brand new, girthier stainless steel scoops. The added weight and heft is meant to ease scooping for the less-endowed ice cream lovers.
“We’ve heard your complaints” a Bon Appetit representative said. “The Usdan ice cream scoop was always long, but now it’s also girthy.”
The new thicker scoops require a two-handed grip for the full load of creamy goodness. For best results, put on a Sufjan Stevens Spotify playlist to allow the ice cream to soften.
“I’ve always been embarrassed to scoop ice cream in Usdan because it just took too long and my arms would get tired,” first-year Alex Oneida said. “But this chode scoop gets the job done in half the time.”
So the next time you reach for a fat scoop of corn-flavored ice cream, enjoy the comfort and convenience of the revolutionary new handle. You won’t ever go back.
MIDDLETOWN, CT— As the new school year kicks up, Club Fair is an exciting way to give young first-years a taste of campus extracurricular life. The bustling array of tables and club leaders can often make an underclassman’s head spin. With so many options, how do you choose? It’s simple: you don’t. Every year, freshman’s eyes are bigger than their stomachs, signing up for millions of clubs they will never attend a single meeting for. Is it greedy? Yes, but the world is their oyster.
For one young first-year, being dropped into a new social circle with no prior hangups has resulted in an intense form of extracurricular promiscuity. Simply just excited by the idea of being desirable to someone, the young 18-year-old signed his name away to over 50 clubs, with zero plans to commit to any of them.
“Bread Salvage seems wholesome, and kind of familiar to what I did in high school,” Martin Rhojah ’23 said. “But Podcast Club is so fresh and new, and a little bit edgy. It’s intriguing, for sure.”
When asked whether he will at least attend the initial interest meetings for any of the clubs he signed up for, Rhojah seemed less enthused.
“I mean, I have a lot on my plate right now as it is,” he said. “I can’t prioritize any one thing. I’m just getting my feet in the water, figuring out who I am. For that reason, I need to keep things pretty casual.”
Sadly for Rhojah, most of the clubs he expressed interest in are looking for more experienced upperclassmen anyway.
MIDDLETOWN, CT — An acute new pathogen has been spreading around Wesleyan’s athletic community. Head-Shoulders-Knees-and-Toes Disease disproportionately affects student athletes in the gym, as it thrives in sweaty, testosterone-filled environments and spreads in skin-to-mat contact. Symptoms include fever, boils, and the sudden urge to put up a “Saturdays Are For the Boys” banner on one’s wall.
“I had been avoiding the gym for years,” quiet side resident Alicia Whitley ’21 told The Groundhog. “Finally, I have a good reason.”
If left untreated, Head-Shoulders-Knees-and-Toes can spread beyond the infected areas (head, shoulders, knees, and toes) and course through the whole body, oscillating in severity.
“Typically, the pathogen spreads from the head, to the shoulders, to the knees and then to the toes,” Davison nurse Kelly Stone informed. “It then moves back to the knees, then back to the toes. It goes ‘knees and toes, knees and toes,’ a few times.”
For the sake of the Fountain party scene, we hope these athletes get well soon.
MIDDLETOWN, CT — With Parents’ Weekend in full swing, Wesleyan alum Robert Miller ’84 has been settling in a little too comfortably on campus while visiting his freshman son, Rob Jr.
“He just took off his shoes and started reading on Foss the moment he got here,” Rob Jr. ’22 said. “He keeps trying to tell me about the time he did shrooms at Wadsworth. He calls all my professors by their first names.”
Miller’s nostalgic and overly familiar behavior has driven a wedge between the visiting family. His enthusiasm to revisit “the old stomping grounds” is only rivaled by his disdain for how “soft” everyone has gotten since he attended.
“He keeps dragging me to acapella showcases,” Rob Jr. continued helplessly. “I never should have applied. The legacy bump isn’t even worth it.”
MIDDLETOWN, CT — In the aftermath of Open House’s first party, some mysterious new signage appeared on the front steps of the queer-centric residence. A groundhog in drag emblazoned the familiar rainbow, a message from Wesleyan’s active and thriving queer rodent population.
“Although we may think we live in a liberal bubble, some individuals, namely groundhogs, still don’t feel comfortable living their truth out in the open,” Open House Manager Neema Kahn ’20 said. “They have to hide in the shadows, or sometimes, if the winter is going to be unexpectedly short, they don’t even have shadows to hide in.”
Reports have indicated that local groundhogs, feeling slighted by their heteronormative rodent cousins, have started their own queer commune under the floorboards of Open House.
“You may not know this, but all groundhogs are actually just gay beavers,” Kahn said.
Disillusioned by the capitalist dam-building industry, groundhogs defect from the beaver-dominated mainstream only to live in burrows. They rarely go outside but they maintain a consistent online presence.
“The new sign outside is our way of showing solidarity and support,” another Open House resident, Jenna Black ’20 said. “If you see a groundhog, please give them space and let them come out to you when they’re ready.”
MIDDLETOWN, CT — Since arriving on campus last year, the Resource Center has been doing its part to make individuals and student groups more aware of their social justice discourses. At times, students have looked to the center for personal advice on how to be more “woke,” performatively lamenting their own transgressions. To keep up with demand for these self-flagellating students, the Resource Center has debuted a confessional booth for anyone wishing to report their problematic behavior.
“I tell everyone I’m bisexual, but I actually reinforce a lot of heteronormative practices in my dating life,” one confessor, Helen Polk ’21 admitted. “I’ll make out with girls at parties but I only end up in long-term situations with dudes.”
Students of all backgrounds, not just Catholics, have been embracing this absolution of guilt.
“I interrupted a girl in my sociology class,” Steven Green ’19 said. “She was making a really good point but I also had a really good point and I just barreled through her. I feel really bad about it.”
After confessing, some students have reported they feel freer to repeat the same offensive behavior, but now with a more black-and-white perception of right and wrong. For others, this confessional marks the first genuine moment of self-reflection they’ve experienced since arriving at Wesleyan.
“I wear thrifted clothes and play up my ambiguous queerness so people forget my class privilege,” a student who wish to remained anonymous confessed. “Everyone is rich at Wesleyan anyway, right?”