HOUSTON, TX — On March 17, 2020, local cowboy and Texas native Buck Willicker unknowingly experienced his very last rodeo. Due to current pandemic climate, all rodeos beyond 2020 have been henceforth canceled, and unbeknownst to the rough rider, he would soon die in a tragic bull-riding accident after learning he is red-green colorblind.
“This ain’t my first rodeo,” the jaded cowboy remarked, blithely ignorant to the fact that it would also be his last.
Houston officials, despite warnings of coronavirus, continued their bovine celebration nonplussed. Each event took place with its usual gumption, from calf-wrangling to mutton-busting. Willicker, at the peak of his barrel-racing career, was expecting to take home nearly $10,000 in prize money, which he would soon blow almost entirely on jumbo margaritas.
“I’m not afraid of no COVID-19, or however old she says she is,” Willicker was overheard muttering to a cowpoke. “Where I’m from, we have an old-fashioned welcome for whatever wants to try and encroach on our freedoms.”
Willicker reportedly cocked his gun at an employee, “to prove a point.” Unfortunately for the groundskeeper of good old Southern values, he would never get to threaten the life of a livestock official again.
LOS ANGELES, CA — After years of effort and hard work, local creative professional Sarah Richter has finally nailed this whole “adulting” thing. At the tender age of 28, she’s stopped accepting rent money from her parents, and has managed to keep a succulent alive with the help of her roommate. Pretty grown-up, if you ask us! Which is good, because she’s two years away from 30. Her parents had two kids at her age!
Richter’s biggest accomplishment in her twenties has been, according to her, “learning how to make the perfect grilled cheese,” and “separating the darks and whites” in her laundry. She’s really out here killing it!
“Part of what’s made me feel so mature lately is also the fact that I’ve started valuing my own time,” Richter reported, a full-grown woman with several grey hairs. “I don’t mess around with guys who sleep on air mattresses anymore. They have to have an IKEA box frame, or it’s a dealbreaker.”
Sarah, you inspire us every day. We can’t wait to see what adult-like thing you do next!
MIDDLETOWN, CT – Following a campus-wide shutdown in the wake of an international pandemic, Wesleyan President Michael Roth was quick to see the bright side of the situation. “Though I sympathize with all of the students for whom displacement is heartbreaking and an extreme hardship,” said President Roth when asked to comment, “Wesleyan is finally a safe enough space.”
When asked, Roth clarified that he wasn’t referring to the campus being safe from the COVID-9 virus, but rather “toxic disagreement and other forms of problematic rhetoric.” The university president seems to be referring to the arguments posed in his 2019 book Safe Enough Spaces: A Pragmatist’s Approach to Inclusion, Free Speech, and Political Correctness on College Campuses. “Really, this is exactly the sort of situation I had advised,” said Roth. “Chapter 12 discusses how a worldwide pandemic is the perfect situation to really make a campus a safe space for its inhabitants.”
“If no students are able to assemble in groups larger than 5 people, then it’s very difficult for there to be any free speech issues, do you see?” Roth cackled, when asked to explain himself. “That’s what makes this such a beautiful situation.” He then went on to add — in a somewhat sinister tone of voice — that if he had his way, the whole world would be ‘safe enough’ by the end of the year. “And then they’ll see what old Mikey Roth was talking about,” he added. “Then they’ll all see the value of a liberal arts education.”
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— 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 – This past Friday, April 19, at approximately 9:39 pm, Wesleyan sophomore Rebekah Goldstein-Rosenberg was caught attempting to smuggle a canteen of Manischewitz wine into the 10 pm Terp show. University administrators that were on-site at the event stated that she had poured it into three separate glasses for her friends Noah Ruben ‘22 and Jenna Katz ‘21 before they proceeded to dip their fingers into their drinks and murmur in a fashion that one Public Safety officer described as “reminiscent of ancient witchcraft.” Dean of Students Richard Richardson stated that, while there was certainly controversy around the incident, he had full faith that P-Safe was executing their jobs to perfection, particularly when they reportedly heard threats of “blood” and “murder of the first-borns.” Although Dean Dick was unsure as to the cause behind the students’ actions, he speculated that it was likely a part of the “disruptive protests” of the administration that had occurred on campus recently.
However, this is not the same story reported by Rebekah and her friends. In her statement to the Groundhog, Rebekah claimed that they “came to TERP because we were really excited to participate in an integral aspect of the Wesleyan Experience™.” Unfortunately, they ran into a problem when Passover, a supposed holiday in the Jewish religion, landed on the date of the performance. “We wanted to be able to come out and perform in a quintessential Wes event, while still participating in the cultural and religious activities that are important to us,” began Noah Ruben, while Jenna Katz chimed in that “Frankly, this situation as a whole is absurd! We weren’t even drinking the Manischewitz, much less performing witchcraft, which, as a claim, is just blatant anti-semitism.”
While the administration comes to final decisions for the punishments for these three students, we are sure that the student body will be keen to express their own voices and opinions. However, we here at the Groundhog do want to note that we find it suspicious that these students only identified as “Jew-ish” rather than “full-on Jew,” as we’d assume a true Jew would. Nonetheless, let us hope that the situation figures itself out efficiently and fairly, and teaches us an important lesson about disrupting future TERP performances.