Some weeks ago, I was sitting outside, basking in the September sunshine, when out of nowhere one of our lovely mascots, the yellowjackets, decided to sting me. This was most unsatisfactory.

As a result, following a trip to UHS to ensure that I was not going to die of a bee allergy I didn’t know I had, I was struck with an idea. It went something like this:

  1. Yellowjackets are terrible, mean-spirited little creatures who deserve only suffering.
  2. Rocky is a yellowjacket.
  3. As director of WRUR-TV, I am in direct control of the largest (and only) television-based propaganda network on campus.
  4. I should beat up Rocky.
  5. And televise it.

Immediately after having this epiphany, I began typing an email to the University Spirit Coordinator.

 

From: Caden Dillon

Date: Wed, Sept. 6, 2023, at 9:12 AM

Subject: Rocky

To: spiritcoordinator@rochester.edu

To whom it may concern,

I write to you with an extremely stupid, but genuine, question. As the director of WRUR-TV, it is my job to produce video content for the entertainment of the student body, and after being stung by a yellowjacket the other day, I was struck with an idea: we pay to hire out Rocky for a couple hours and chase him around campus in a beekeeping suit.

I think this would be very funny, but I do not know whether it fits within the boundaries set by “an appearance by Rocky at your event.” The three main logistical questions it seems to raise are these:

  1. Is a certain level of beekeeper-on-Rocky roughhousing permissible? What sort of physical activities can the Rocky suit not sustain?
  2. Regardless of the above, would it be permissible for Rocky to be chased around campus by a man in a beekeeping suit?
  3. If the individual who portrays Rocky did not wish to appear in such a video, would it be possible for a member of TV to perform a successful audition to become Rocky for the occasion?

If this project is able to be seriously considered, please let me know of any other rules on how TV would be permitted to use Rocky. I would never dream of portraying Rocky in a negative light, but if he were (for instance) allowed to break out some crazy kung-fu moves to defeat a wild beekeeper, that would be very awesome.

Again, this is a serious question! My duties may be humorous, but I take them quite seriously.

Sincerely,

Caden Dillon

Director, WRUR-TV

 

I never received a response.

Am I upset about this? In a word, yes. I thought the email was very polite. I made no threats of violence against Rocky. I even suggested that Rocky might emerge victorious against a beekeeping adversary. Of course, both of these elements were mere distractions to obscure my true intentions — “I would never dream of portraying Rocky in a negative light” is a bald-faced lie, and I’m proud to say it — but what’s the point of deception if it doesn’t get me anywhere?

No more euphemisms. I couldn’t care less about “a certain level of beekeeper-on-Rocky roughhousing.” I want blood. And look, I don’t know who the current Spirit Coordinator is, but if they’re reading this, I have only one word for them: coward.

Let’s get something straight. Rocky is an abomination. Not only is he a yellowjacket, he’s also ugly, and he doesn’t look like he would offer me a comforting hug in difficult times. URBee, our (unfortunately) retired mascot, looked like he would offer me a comforting hug in difficult times. But URBee is dead, consigned to the grave by his successor. Legend says that when Rocky showed up to kill URBee, he never got the chance. URBee died immediately upon seeing Rocky’s ugly mug.

So who is left to bring Rocky to justice? There is but one mascot who, by way of refuge in the shadow of obscurity, remains to challenge the pointy-abdomened dictator: SqURm.

SqURm, the worm on a string. SqURm, who could do no harm. So unlike the vicious, pointy, decidedly uncuddly Rocky. SqURm, the communist. So unlike Rocky and his sub-shop monopoly. SqURm says “Chill!” Rocky probably listens to “Thunder” by Imagine Dragons and thinks it gives him a hardcore image.

As we begin the transition to colder weather, I can’t help but notice I’ve been seeing a lot of dead yellowjackets on the ground. This is Rocky: Rocky is weak. He projects strength when he has none. The arrival of autumn, however, marks the beginning of worm season. Do you know what this means?

SqURm is only just coming into their power. The time is nigh. Soon, the Spirit Coordinator will be spirit-coordinating Rocky’s passage into the afterlife.

SqURm is coming. And they will bring the beekeeper.



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