culture / Gillian English

The Champlague

 vintage-doctor

It’s here. It’s in your dorm room. It’s in your classrooms. It’s in your food. There is no escape. Orange juice and sheer determination aren’t enough to save you from it. It’s the Champlague.

Just like campuses across the country, Burlington’s Champlain College is one giant petri dish. The moment a new semester starts, it’s a phlegm-filled biohazard.

The Champlague is a deadly disease permeating campus with no discrimination–the Champlague doesn’t care if you have a big assignment, it doesn’t care if you have a party to go to. It’s an equal opportunist like that. And that’s why no one is safe.

Everyone has had an encounter with the Champlague at some point, which is really just the nickname given to any disease caught on Champlain campus. Everyone immediately picks up on this phrase, and yet, it’s popularity has yet to spread to social media.

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Our researchers have lead extensive studies on this issue and have found a total of two tweets, one facebook post, and zero instagram photos featuring the hashtag “#Champlague.” Why is this able to spread throughout our campus, yet the internet is immune? This can only be the harbinger of some sort of bigger conspiracy. Nothing, not even internet robot machines, should be immune to the diabolical Champlague.

My father, from Louisiana, came up to visit me in Burlington, Vermont. Once he’d returned home to the bayou, he sent me a text message straight from the swamp: “I caught the Champlague!!” My father, a middle-aged man well-past  his midlife crisis (one that included three motorcycles and an atrocious goatee), understood the term. Yet, all social media outlets remain immune to the epidemic.Why is nobody talking about it? We all know that the favorite pastime of the human race is complaining. Evidence of this can be found in other trending tags, like #IHateMyParents, #ThatShitIDontLike, and #ThingsGirlsHate–and that’s only a few. So, why doesn’t anyone complain about the #Champlague? There’s only one logical answer –government conspiracy. 

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“I’m immune to the Champlague,” says sniffling sophomore Mauro Agnellini, in clear denial of his growing symptoms, which appear like the common cold: sneezing, coughing, and headaches. In addition, symptoms can also include fatigue, laziness, and disinterest in attending class. Generally, students don’t really notice a change in behavior, which is a large factor in their failure to recognize the warning signs and acknowledge the conspiracy.

“It’s the worst cold I’ve ever had, well, if it was just a cold…” theorizes ailing first-year student, Brennan Howell.

The Champlague is obviously the gateway illness to something bigger–the return of The Black Death, which is being carried around campus by Chauncey T. Beaver and the rest of his beaver family. If students were to give rise to the epidemic on social media, it would cause widespread panic. There would be anarchy, chaos, and vicious fights to the death in City Market for the last chickpea kale salad before the end of days. But the public deserves access to this information. We can’t allow the government to hide the truth from us any longer. So spread the word. Complain to your heart’s content on the internet with #Champlague so everyone knows the end of days is coming. Or, at least so that your grandmother does, because she’s probably the only one reading your status updates.

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