Satire: Sentient toys left behind in students’ childhood bedrooms conduct exodus to American University in hopes of reuniting with their owners
The story of how an abandoned toy sparked a revolution for all
The following piece is satire and should not be misconstrued for actual reporting. Any resemblance to a student, staff or faculty member is coincidental
Yesterday at 3 p.m., a sea of children’s toys, most of them not even knee-height, marched through Massachusetts Avenue Northwest to reunite with their now grown-up owners. American University's main entrance faced a crowd surge as toys joined together on the journey to find their owners. Some held photos and signs of their owners, while those built with the hands to do so carried boxes of chocolate or jewelry.
After hours of toys interfering with traffic, a pileup of campus buses remained stuck, physically unable to turn around, but also ethically hesitant to simply drive through it, leaving drivers morally conflicted about whether or not sentient toys are seen as legitimate living beings.
“They’re basically squirrels, right?” asked long-time bus driver Coral Monscious. “They’re small, agile little guys. But squirrels are usually driven by some animal instinct to simply run, eat and survive. Do these guys even need to eat? They seem intelligent enough to possess a hard-driven courage to look you dead in the eye and say, ‘run me over, see what happens.’ I don’t want to be around to see what happens.”
The movement seemed to have halted everyone’s plans for the day, as students were peering through windows to catch a glimpse of any recognizable toys and too intimidated to step outside into the chaos.
“I think I saw my old Tickle-Me-Elmo out there,” said sophomore Benjamin Dover. “But now he’s walking around with a gray beard and a black bandana, holding a plastic tea cup filled with what I can only assume to be whiskey. He’s got a shoulder tattoo now — I haven’t seen him since I was 12. Scary stuff.”
To get a more complete picture of the action on the ground, The Seagle decided to tape a tiny microphone to a squirrel and let the little spry lad run around to conduct interviews.
Our squirrel reporter successfully interviewed an old Lego figure strapped to an RC car: “I was left wedged in a car seat for two years, lost. My soul was malnourished and my consciousness was completely dependent on my kid’s proximity to me. His presence was the only thing keeping me tethered to the curse of life. It was only when he was moving into his dorm that he found me and vowed to never neglect me again. That was until his friends started laughing at him for being a loser who still plays with his toys. He left me on the street. For weeks I was left reeling, finding my only solace in befriending the giant rabbits that come out onto the quad at night.”
In an act of rebellion, the Lego figure abandoned the name given to him by his owner. Formerly named “Yum Yum” because his owner used to enjoy chewing on his plastic hair piece when he was 6 years old, the toy left it behind. His new name is now Vengeance.
“Every day for two months I wait outside in the cold, looking through the window, trying to see if any remorse stains his face,” said Vengeance. “It’s still quite hard because any gust of wind leaves me stuck against a tree or flying away with a leaf, but I find a way to get back. The bunnies and I decided to write to all the toys who were abandoned by their owners, inviting them over to AU to put up a united front. And now I have an army of toys that need convincing that these malevolent owners don’t care about us, let alone want to take us back.”
Now certified with a tiny little badge, the squirrel reporter nodded in solidarity and offered Vengeance a cigarette. It was the size of his entire torso. Still, he gratefully accepted and clutched the burning stick with both his c-shaped hands.
“My only hope is for these toys to get a grip and realize their journey wasn’t meant for reunification, but rather rebellion,” said Vengeance. “They should realize the same people who allegedly love and cherish them abandoned them nonetheless.”
The protests have since disrupted a full week of classes as students are being forced on lockdown to avoid further incidents with vengeful toys.
Jasmine Shi is a first-year student in the School of Communication and a satire columnist at The Eagle. This article was edited by Alexis Bernstein, Nora Sullivan and Nina Heller. Copy editing by Isabelle Kravis, Sarah Clayton, Natasha LaChac and Leta Lattin.