Delivering American University's news and views since 1925. | Sunday, June 16, 2019

Satire: Something's burning. But students aren't moving.

Kind of like a campfire, but electrical

Satire: Something's burning. But students aren't moving.

Fire trucks at Nebraska Hall in February 2018. 

The following piece is satire and should not be misconstrued for actual reporting. Any resemblance to a student, staff or faculty member is coincidental.

Though the building and floor are not yet known, reports allege that something’s burning on campus. 

“I got back from class and was about to take a nap, when I realized that everything smells like it had been lightly blow torched,” said freshman Eric Weissman, sniffing the air. “You smell that?”

The main consensus among students who smelled the same thing as Weissman was “not again,” in reference to the fire that temporarily shut down parts of campus last September. Other students dismissed the smell as “just weed” and didn’t seem all that bothered.

“Don’t ask me how I know, but this definitely isn’t weed,” said junior Abbey Gilman. “That I can be certain of. It just isn’t, OK? Not that I would know anything about what weed smells like. Are my parents going to read this?”

Strange smells have made their way through campus in the past, but students and staff alike felt that there was something different this time. Though no smoke alarms have gone off so far, many are sticking by their hypothesis that something just “caught on fire a little.” 

“Did I leave my straightener plugged in again?” Gilman wondered aloud. Meanwhile, Weissman said he was sticking with the popcorn theory.

“It has just has to be,” he said. “If you really concentrate, you can kind of smell the butter.”

Though students reported that he vague burning smell continued to get stronger as the day went on, no dorms or campus building were evacuated. Administration spokesperson Cathy Paulson said she wasn’t all that concerned. 

“Our students are an imaginative bunch,” she said. “But most of the time they’re totally wrong. It just smells like a cold pizza that some poor freshman popped in the microwave for 30 seconds too long.”

Most students continued to go about their day as usual, occasionally sniffing the air putting their hand over their nose. There were ambulances present on campus, but for unrelated reasons. 

“We have the situation under control,” campus security said in a statement. “We have no idea what the source of the smell is, where it’s coming from, or what to do next, but we have the situation under control.” 

“Run,” said a tweet from the American University Twitter account. 

“I’m just gonna go back to sleep,” Weissman said. “If I wake up gasping for air or engulfed in flames, maybe I’ll take the stairs.”

Bobbie Armstrong is a sophomore in the School of Communication and a satire columnist at The Eagle.

barmstrong@theeagleonline.com  


Never miss a story.

Get our weekly newsletter in your inbox.