The Radish

The fourth installment of WSS' satire series. (Again, this is SATIRE, so please do not write to the editor).

March 3, 2021

Capitol computers

Maya Chu

Jan. 6, 2021 will go down as an infamous date in history. It’s the day insurrectionists stormed the Capitol and amidst baseless claims of voter fraud, demanded the 2020 election be invalidated. It’s the day the peaceful transfer of power, an age-old tradition, was violated. It’s also the day that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Minecraft world was mercilessly torn to shreds.

Upon entering the Capitol, most of the domestic terrorists made a beeline for the legislative chambers, but a few went in search of Congressmembers’ personal information. To the surprise of many, Capitol invaders entered the building with ease, gaining access to the private offices of several Democratic politicians. 

“I can’t believe I forgot to lock my office door that morning,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said.

Keeping in theme with the Capitol’s lackluster security, several personal computers had no password protection, and those that did were easily bypassed. 

“First thing that came to my head was ‘bluewave123,’ and it let me right in,” one rioter said.

Insurrectionists could have gotten their hands on sensitive information, but luckily they were too distracted trying to chase down conspiracy theories. 

“I looked everywhere for any evidence that the Democrats are drinking the blood of children in order to fuel their demonic powers,” insurrectionist Auntie Vax said. “Pelosi must have all of that on her personal computer.”

Barnett was so infuriated after his failed data mine that he opened up Pelosi’s Minecraft world, a shared server among many lawmakers, and detonated TNT in their to-scale replica of the Capitol as well as at Pelosi’s modest ranch home and wheat field. He then took a nametag and named a pixelated skeleton “No-Good-Nancy.”

“I worked hard on that world. Romney and I had our beds next to each other,” a devastated Pelosi said. 

Other reported damages include Schumer’s 50-by-50 game of Minesweeper being ruined, Rep. Al Lawson’s New York Times daily crossword being filled in with obscenities, and Sen. Bernie Sanders’ desktop background being changed to a picture of Donald Trump riding a bald eagle into an American flag sunset. 

What’s in the letter?

Maya Chu

This week, The Radish scored an exclusive interview with an anonymous White House staffer who provided a transcription of the letter left by Donald Trump for President Biden. Aside from corrected grammatical errors, it reads as follows:

Dear Sleepy Joe,

I am very sorry to have left you in this position. Some say I’m the greatest president in history, maybe even better than Washington. Some people have told me President Trump is a bigger name than Washington. Now you have to live in the shadow of the greatest president of all time. Sad. 

They rushed me out of the White House, I mean REALLY rushed me out of there. They gave me no time to grab any of my stuff. If you could mail the spray tan bottles, hairspray and my golf shirts to me in Florida, that would really be something. I am going to need them when I go on permanent vacation. I am going to Mexico, maybe the U.K. maybe France, and they’re going to say, ‘Donald, we are so glad to have the best president staying with us in our country, and you look fabulous.’ They really are. 

I’ve heard a lot of talk lately. Everyone is saying, ‘Joe is going to unite America, he will get the Blue and Red working together again.’ I think America is more united than ever, probably the most unified country in the world, but I know some people are unhappy about the way the election turned out and how some votes were a little suspicious. Very suspicious, in fact. Maybe to help things along, you give me a pardon so they can’t continue their witch hunt. I know that would make a lot of people very happy, including me. 

I guess this is goodbye, Joe. I had a great time at the debates. I’ve heard a lot of people talking about how our debates were the best, some of the best debates there have ever been. We should go golfing sometime. I’d even let you caddy, I really would. Seriously think about that pardon thing.

Have a good life,

Donald J. Trump, 45th President of the United States of America

P.S. I still won the election.

Valentine’s Day deliveries

Maya Chu

Despite doubts about the event’s feasibility in the age of COVID-19, West High students took part in the annual candy gram fundraiser Feb. 12. Messages purchased by students are normally delivered to the recipient’s classroom, but this year, messages were delivered over the weekend by volunteers. Delilah Verrer ’21 was one of these volunteers and the main organizer of the event.

“I thought people could use some cheering up, and I thought making sure that the candy gram fundraiser still happened was the best way to do that,” said Verrer. “My only regret is that I underestimated how much driving there would be. I included the option for students to give us an address to deliver to, mostly just to make sure the online students didn’t feel like they were being excluded. I thought I would end up delivering to maybe 10 houses max.”

Verrer and her team of three other drivers delivered a total of 284 candy grams to various students in the Iowa City area. She delivered 92 of them.

“I woke up early on Saturday morning and left at 10 a.m. with the goal of getting them delivered before lunch,” said Verrer. “I finally took a lunch break at 2:30 p.m., and I was only a little over halfway done.”

Verrer and her team eventually finished the deliveries and declared the event a success, but not all of the messages were delivered successfully. The candy grams of Jake Marrow ’24 were delivered to his neighbor instead, and returned to him a day later. 

“I’m a little confused as to how he figured out they were supposed to go to me considering neither the sender or reciever was listed,” said Marrow. “While I am glad he figured it out and turned them over to me, honestly, I think I’m more mortified that he read all the messages.”

The anonymous nature of the notes has been a cause of concern for some recipients.

“I received one saying, ‘I love you so much. Please never stop being yourself.’ At first I thought the message was really cute, and I asked all my friends who sent it so I could thank them, but no one has claimed it yet,” said Crea Puhdout ’24. “I’ve gone through the list of everyone that I know has my address, and I’m starting to get a little creeped out.” 

For most people, the fundraiser was a great way to support their school while celebrating Valentine’s Day and spreading happiness. For Brock. N. Hart ’22, though, the delivery of his candy gram only brought bad news.

“My boyfriend broke up with me using a candy gram,” said Hart. “When I confronted him about it, he said it was because he was told that you weren’t supposed to break up with someone over text. Apparently he decided that candy gram was the best way to do it.”

The Quiz Coup

Maya Chu

West High School history was made Feb. 19 when students in American studies teacher Peter Frank’s third period class attempted to take control of the Zoom lesson for themselves. 

After announcing a pop quiz, Frank put his students in breakout rooms, giving them 10 minutes to help each other study. One breakout room, consisting of four students, decided that the pop quiz simply should not happen.

“I’ve never had a pop quiz in my life. I thought they were a thing that only happened in movies,” said Anna Chris ’21. “My group decided that we must prevent the quiz at all costs, so instead of studying, we brainstormed tactics to get him to move the quiz back.”

Once the students reentered the main room, Chris shared her screen, preventing Frank from giving his instructions. The four students attempted to hold the screen share feature hostage in exchange for the pop quiz being moved to Monday, but Frank swiftly turned off participant screen sharing, effectively nullifying their advantage. 

The next assault was an auditory one, with the students unmuting themselves to blast different songs, each one louder than the last. While this was easily countered by Frank restricting their ability to unmute their mics, it was highly effective. Frank suffered mild hearing damage, and many of the students turned their volume off, entirely severing the communication between Frank and the class.

“I turned the sound off as soon as the music was turned on to save my eardrums. I don’t know how long it took for Mr. Frank to get the situation under control, but I didn’t turn my volume back on until I saw he’d sent a message in the chat five minutes later,” said Bia Stander ’22.

The lesson resumed 10 minutes after the disruptions began.

“We had more tactics planned, but he had disabled our ability to do pretty much anything besides watch him talk at this point, but we had stalled long enough,” said Chris.  

Frank realized that there were only 20 minutes left, and the quiz required 30 minutes of class time. It was moved to Monday.

“I honestly don’t know what to think about the whole situation,” said Frank. “I’ve made it so the students responsible are unable to score higher than a 75% on the assessment, so I doubt the extra preparation time they earned was worth that. Hopefully everyone learns their lesson and this never happens again.”

While the attempted coup ended poorly for the rebels, the rest of the class regards them as heroes.

“I don’t think any of us were prepared to take the quiz. I’m really thankful that it was delayed until Monday,” Stander said. “I kind of view the four as martyrs, sacrificing their grades for the good of the class.”

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