By Anton Charpentier, October 20 2019 —
Tommy Billingsley woke up this morning thinking that his day would be like any other. He brushed his teeth, munched on some oatmeal and walked to campus. Everything in Tommy’s life seemed to be normal, until his phone received a notification reminding him of the upcoming election and an unwelcome text message from his mother informing him that he’d be spending this Thanksgiving at his grandmother’s house. Immediately, Tommy realized that he’d have to hear the political opinions of his fourteen aunts and uncles, and — perhaps worst of all — his grandparents. Tommy could see it all play out in his mind, his uncle’s shocking opinions on brownface, his grandpa’s strategy to fix the oil economy that somehow involves the Kennedys and his aunt’s surprising support of the Chinese government. These horrible conversations, mixed in with a TV that only receives the curling channel, would mean certain doom for Tommy. Then, much like a giraffes’ birth, an idea fell from the sky onto Tommy’s lap. He would fake his own death to avoid hearing the weird political opinions of his extended family.
The plan started simply enough — he told his parents that he wanted to visit an old army base outside the city with them. Little did they know, Tommy had paid off a senior officer to set up a dummy dressed as Tommy in a field next to an old land mine. During the base tour, Tommy pretended that he had to use the bathroom and urged the rest of the group to continue. As his parents turned the corner to see the aircrafts, they saw — from a significant distance — the dummy dressed as Tommy in the field clearly labelled, “minefield.”
A carefully-placed speaker played a recording of Tommy shouting, “Is this the bathroom?” This triggered the explosive device, blowing up the dummy and irreversibly damaging his parents’ mental health. Tommy’s parents fell for it, like a baby giraffe escaping its mother’s womb. While his parents grieved with their family during their seemingly heartbreaking Thanksgiving weekend, Tommy was living large in a remote cabin somewhere in interior British Columbia.
Tommy reached out to the Gauntlet to inform us of his story, hoping that it might save a fellow student in their time of need. As of publication, Tommy has yet to inform his parents that he is alive and urges us to be cool and not “narc” on him.
When asked if what he was doing was ethical, he replied, “Is subjecting your child to an uninformed debate over the existence of climate change more ethical?” Fair enough, Tommy. Fair enough.
This article is part of our humour section.