The Laughter Online

The swinging solution to lunchtime boredom

by Simple Simon | April 1, 2023

Art by Kiana Allard (’24)

Ever since the downsizing of the Quad, the creation of the Urban Bloc, and the removal of the terraced picnic table area due to the construction of the Eggers Innovation Center and the Welcome Center, many students have opted to sit on the turf by the track. This rather secluded area leaves much to be desired regarding stimulus, especially as students’ attention spans continue to decrease with social media use, and phone usage is prohibited during school hours. Luckily, Saint Francis’ Board of Directors has taken note of the lunchtime slump and implemented a rather obvious solution: putting six monkeys in the Bay Tree. “I don’t know how we didn’t think of this earlier,” Director of Admissions Mr. Simon Raines reflects. “I mean, we already have birds and squirrels; this is just the next logical step.” 

Oliver, Freddy, Sylvester, Anne Marie, Louisa, and Claudia are the new adolescent macaque monkeys that joined the Lancer family during the first week of March. After a falling out with their former landlord, an illegal exotic animal trafficker in Florida, the latter five primates made a cross-country trip to Saint Francis. Oliver’s origin story was less dramatic—he was found in a glassroom. 

Although arriving without forewarning, the monkeys were a welcome surprise to many. Associated Student Body officer Will Li (’23) recounts, “I was really confused and even a little scared the first day when I heard frantic screeching and saw everyone crowding around the Bay Tree, but then I saw there were some chill monkeys, and it just felt right. I love to watch them swing around during lunch, and I’ve started bringing bananas to school to feed them.”

The monkeys have served as a mainly non-problematic form of entertainment on days without rallies or lunchtime games. They are primarily known for their elaborate swinging routine and their willingness to interact with students. However, there was one incident of contention.

During the second lunch period on March 16, the Lancer Analytics club, including president Sreekar Kutagulla (’23), organized a betting ring with the monkeys on the Penn State vs. Texas A&M March Madness basketball game. To communicate with the monkeys, a screen displaying the game was placed beneath the Bay Tree, and the betting odds were written on whiteboards; monkeys would choose their bets by throwing branches to different sections of the whiteboard. When betting, Anne Marie made $1615 off of students and won three student IDs placed on the line. Dean of Students Mr. Ray Hisatake attempted to confiscate the monkeys’ winnings after outrage from the losing students, but he was unsuccessful in climbing to the top of the tree and returned to the ground defeated. “They’re just too good at climbing,” he commented. “Maybe if we get a crane or something, we could get the money back.”

Biology classes have also tried to create lesson plans based on the new Bay Tree residents. During class time, Mr. David Cobb’s AP Biology class took a trip to the field to study the monkeys’ behavior. They brought fruits, bugs, vegetables, and other assorted foods to test the monkeys’ dietary preferences. However, the monkeys only ate Saint Francis breadsticks with marinara sauce. Mr. Cobb laments, “I had so many other labs planned, but the monkeys are not really interested. Seriously, they’d be outliers in our data; it’s best just to leave them alone.”

The unprecedented addition of these tropical tree dwellers has changed the scene at Saint Francis dramatically, opening up a plethora of possible monkey-based activities for the rest of the semester, like rallies and sports games. In fact, an unaffiliated Instagram account named “Lancer_Monkeys” has started tracking the primates’ daily activity. 

Despite being a different species, the monkeys have assimilated smoothly into the Lancer family and express that their lives have improved since coming to campus. Freddy put it best, describing his experience of coming to Saint Francis as “OOOAHA AA A AOO AAAOAAA.”

This is the April Fool’s edition of the paper. We regret to inform you that all the content contained therein is fictional.

Categories: The Laughter Online

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