Illustration by Casper James Pierce

Four killed, dozens injured in tragic campus wifi crash

Last Tuesday, in what has been called a “freak accident,” “disgraceful catastrophe” and “the tragedy of our generation,” a WiFi crash at Lewis & Clark killed four people and left dozens injured. The severity of injuries ranged from superficial to mortal. Many reported minor nausea and mood swings. Ashlyn Walter ’24 was not so lucky. She was rushed to the emergency room after the cataclysm, having lost a leg.

“It all happened so slowly,” Walter said. “I was in the library, writing an essay on my laptop, when my cursor disappeared and the screen froze. I frantically moved my mouse, feeling the pressure of my unfinished thought building up inside me. It kept building until I felt like it was going to burst. When it finally did, I felt this aura of maliciousness, like the internet pulled the thought out of my head when it left. To be honest, I think it took my sanity too.” 

Walter said she remembered screaming, as the agony of forgetting what she was going to say tore through her soul. The world turned red, she said, and she felt a sharp pain in her right knee. Finally, everything mysteriously disappeared, “like a light switched off.”

Walter was the sole survivor of this phenomenon, known as laggy-essay-induced headexplodeosis. It is unclear why she lost her leg while all of the others suffering from this condition lost their heads, but there has been much speculation and a number of ill-timed dad jokes. 

Essay writers were not the only afflicted parties. Students and faculty using technology across campus experienced twitches of annoyance, tremors of displeasure and hellish infernos of eternal rage as their respective devices went offline. 

Even those who were not participating in internet-associated activities were impacted. Valentina Ryan ’22 was relaxing in a hammock when a series of strange occurrences disturbed her peace. Ryan described swaying in the breeze when feelings of dread and untraceable fury suddenly crept over her. Several people later reported a cacophony of cat yowls punctuating the calm fall day at that same moment. Others remembered violent torrents of wind, fire and cats careening about. 

According to Ryan, she was caught in the thick of it when Satan himself descended from the dark heavens, cackling madly and kicking down buildings like houses of cards. Ryan was one of many students who were able to flee campus. The LC IT department later clarified that Satan was just an external mechanic hired to fix the problem.

To better understand how the crash itself occurred, expert Everett Odling, the maintenance team leader, was called in.

“Well, I mostly work on buildings, plumbing, electrical, that kind of thing,” Odling said. “But yeah, I think what happened is the wires of the, uh, motherboard sorta scrambled themselves. And we have this common issue where kids remove the batteries from the smoke detectors so they can smoke weed, and that’s probably why, um, the, uh, firewall was able to spread… like wildfire, y’know? Or — hey! — you know what it really is? Sam must’ve forgot to take the cookies out of the oven. Ah, Sam, Sam, Sam. What do we do with Sam?” 

At time of print, plans were being made for a new WiFi network with speeds “more relaxed and go-with-the-flow than ever.”

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