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Schlissel Says Relax

By Nicholas Dibagia


“What the fuck is going on?”

“Who’s in quarantine now?”

“Covid causes your sexual orifices to shrivel up?”

These are all common questions that I’ve heard around the University of Michigan campus in our beautiful fall semester here in Ann Arbor.

President Schlissel now refuses to say any words starting with the letter C, claiming that doing so “promotes spread of the virus.” The few times he has left the presidential residence, which students have taken to calling “the Armpit,” he slouches around campus in a baggy suit, complete with minestrone soup stains on the lapels, muttering things like “they should’ve known not to fuck with Daddy Schliss. Goddamn kids.”

I glimpsed him segwaying to Meijer, while conspicuously sucking rust-colored powder from his fingertips, surrounded by his flock of flying monkeys.

Provost Collins’ garage has been burned to the ground three times; nonetheless, her official Twitter account has used the hashtag #StaySmartStayHealthyBlue 564 times since October 1st.

I checked the University’s coronavirus case dashboard, unsurprised to see that it lacks a case count, test count, or pretty much any relevant statistic; instead, it shows the “COVID Emoji of the Day,” displaying the Smiling Face With Horns. However, things aren’t looking that peachy on campus at the moment. In the residence halls, janitors now push their carts through the halls, crowing “Bring out your dead! Bring out your dead!” banging a tin drum after every utterance. UofM designated a COVID Corpse Origin of Collection (CCOC), where I’ve witnessed hundreds of freshmen drag their roommates’ corpses. Through all of this, none of us can believe it’s not butter™, and we all are still desperate for answers from the administration.

So, I sat down with President Schlissel to discuss our circumstances and the University’s response. We agreed to meet at Panera Bread, to whither he arrived 37 minutes late and ordered a rye bagel, burned, with a cup of hot water on the side.

I asked him about the response to COVID on campus as he inhaled his food. He picked his teeth, flicking God knows what from his ogreish maw onto the tabletop. I watched him then stir the crumbs of his bagel into his beverage, season it with salt and yellow mustard, and drain it in one swig. Abruptly, he stood up and said: “relax and eat some Baconator Pringles™ from the Walgreens on the corner.”

Immediately, his figure dissolved in an effervescence of body odor and the redolence of a McDonald’s playground.

I stewed for a minute, and then began the short trek down the road to pick up some of those crisps so as to give our fearless leader’s solution a try. However, upon my arrival the Baconator Pringle™ display was empty and a pack of mangy engineering students were fighting in the aisle over the last can. It has since become clear to me that I wasn’t the first person to whom President Schlissel had offered this advice.


My dear reader, we live in unprecedented times. Until such a time as humans inhabit the White House again, a new Fast and Furious™ movie is released, and herd immunity is reached, we must bunker down and wear our masks. If things ever get to be too much to handle, President Schlissel and I beseech you: relax, and eat some Pringles™.

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