Illustration by Anna DeSmet

If you or a loved one has been Clark’d, you may be entitled to financial compensation

*The Backdoor is a “work” of “fiction” and “satire.”

By Lauren Keegan

BREAKING: This is a medical advisory update on an outbreak of a very serious disease circulating in the Lewis & Clark community. The contraction of the virus Hipsterus palatinus, or “getting Clark’d” is a deeply concerning medical phenomenon that annually infects over 500 incoming LC students every year. The virus is indigenous to LC, and this year’s strain is believed to have mutated in a rain puddle contaminated with marijuana ash and cigarette spit from a student with mononucleosis.

Symptoms of getting Clark’d include but are not limited to: buying 17 flannels at The Bins; habitually smoking cigarettes; getting a cashew stick-and-poke tattoo; referring to someone as a “normie” or “poser”; getting really into rock climbing or photography; quoting Mac Demarco in class; developing a gluten sensitivity that only is an issue when other people are around; radical changes in hairstyle; skipping class to buy a new dab pen; matching your pricey Fjallraven Kanken backpack with your Nalgene and/or Hydroflask; going into crippling debt from attending too many College Outdoors trips; creating and running a niche meme page; wearing overalls at least four out of seven days of the week; genuinely believing that one day communism will work in practice; vaping in class, the library or any other wildly inappropriate setting; dabbling in witchcraft and wanting to punch someone for drinking bottled water. These behaviors are concerning to say the least, and can have disastrous consequences when exhibited in any setting outside of LC’s bubble within a bubble within a bubble.

The spread of Hipsterus palatinus is considered by many medical professionals to be quite an anomaly. Dr. Caroline Oswald, a premier researcher of Hipsterus palatinus, described the unique and concerning process of how the virus preys on students by way of the lack of social structure within LC.

“As cliques are created with no real stratification, there is no up or down to settle into, and very little variation; it is an absolute level playing field in the most dangerous sense,” Oswald said. “Incoming students with no prior knowledge of this strange setup are left with no choice but to adopt the strange customs of the infected. Through this homogeneity, the virus proliferates.”

“There is no telling the sort of damage this infection could have if it spread beyond LC.” Oswald said when asked about the dangers of getting Clark’d. “The United States could fall from power, mass famines could ensue … I don’t even want to think of what would even happen if it encountered a religious population.”

The only known cure for being Clark’d is to transfer schools, but this is not advisable as it may facilitate the spread of Hipsterus palatinus to other universities. Oswald advises that “the best thing you can do to protect yourself is to engage in some form of popular activity — play a sport that isn’t ultimate frisbee, watch some reality television, go to a party that isn’t playing noise music in someone’s basement — you know, simple things.”

If you or a loved one has been Clark’d, you may be entitled to financial compensation. You probably won’t be, though, since LC’s endowment is just six nickels and three dimes Barry Glassner found on the street two years ago.

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