The Stale Mess: ASU students wonder how many must be ritually guillotined before Tuition Octopus finally satisfied

Students stumped as seventh ritual sacrifice this year doesn’t do the trick

Students were a bit confused Friday after Greg, whose head was snatched into the Great Loathsome Pit at the west end of Tempe Town Lake after he was ritually guillotined in an effort to appease the Tuition Octopus, was apparently not tribute enough to stop this year’s coming tuition hike.

Greg, a virgin and by all accounts an otherwise honorable tribute, marks the seventh ritual sacrifice this year so far, and many are scratching their heads over just what it will take to satisfy the monstrous, unspeaking octopus that students believe telepathically sets tuition for each academic school year. 

“I really thought (Greg) would’ve been the last one necessary,” Karla, president of Students for the Ritual Appeasement of the Great Slimy One, said. “We didn’t have much luck last year, so I’m starting to think we’ll need to kick it up a notch if we want to see those tuition costs level out or even go lower.”

The Tuition Octopus, whose duties consist of setting each year’s tuition, crushing walk-only zone violators’ bicycles into pieces and maintaining the general upkeep of the Great Loathsome Pit, is to students usually nothing but a bone-chilling rumble under the placid waters of Tempe Town Lake. 

But on the 13th of each month, students gather on the Rio Salado to offer a sacrifice to this hellish beast in the hopes that pacifying its hunger for unspoiled human flesh will inspire mercy in the octopus’s ancient, corrupted soul. 

“It’s not what I’d call an exact science,” Franz, an ASU professor and expert on otherworldly beasts, said. “You have to just sort of keep trying different things, tinkering away until you finally get the sacrifice that just hits the spot. I guess in that way the octopus is a lot like us — everybody gets 'hangry' once in a while!” 

At press time, a mentally broken and blood-bespattered student was still out on the banks of the lake, screaming curses into the water, when a tentacle stretched out of the deep, grasped the student and slammed him against the concrete embankment, killing him instantly. 

Onlookers who witnessed the event said they were horrified, but none were surprised. 

“One thing’s for certain,” Jacob, head executioner for Students for the Ritual Appeasement of the Great Slimy One, said while stoically gazing at the crushed student’s corpse. “That kind of irreverent slander won’t get us anywhere.”

Editor’s note: The opinions presented in this column are the author’s and do not imply any endorsement from The State Press or its editors.

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