Criminals on Campus


After my medical leave was well-covered by Hal, I have returned with a case that left me flummoxed for many days, but a culprit has been identified. The crime scene, the senior lounge, is the same place where November’s investigation began. The lounge seems to be a hotbed for crime, most interestingly due to the constant passage of Priory’s faculty into their offices. With Mr. Nickolai’s office being so far away from the lounge, it is clear our criminals feel a sense of security here. The eyes of the law are shrouded by the veil of our smooth white cinderblock walls. 


What could have possibly happened in the lounge that is of such note? Chemical warfare. After a soulcrushing advisory where I was denied my inalienable right to a donut, I strolled into the lounge to consume my daily portion of highly nutritious overnight oats. When I turned the corner, my eyes were met with a distraught Mrs. Poth, eyes welling with tears and coughing due to the noxious fumes. In her hand, an empty mug with an inspirational math quote that read, “Subtract the negatives, add more positivity.” Although holding such optimistic glassware, it was clear her morning would be nothing short of tragic. On the counter adjacent to her was a puddle of brown liquid emitting fumes high into the air. Concerned observers instructed everyone to flee the scene so a chemical analysis of this sticky brown homogenous mixture could be taken. Mrs. Poth retreated back through the teachers’ lounge door to the land of sorrow. 


After a few days of careful analysis, the results were sent to me. Three different contents appeared to be in the mixture. The first, unharmful, but a major part of the stunt, brown food coloring. This was certainly used to conceal the true color of the mixture. The second contained a dangerous level of both oxytocin and endorphins, both linked to a more happy and cheerful state. The third was a completely new compound, which has earned the name festivium-cantacum. Studies show the compound is directly linked to a 340% increase in Christmas spirit and an outrageous 726% increase in urge to carol (Getz et al.). These tests were done using Form I students who signed an agreement that they couldn’t be punished for excessive Christmas spirit if participating in the study. When this mixture is inhaled, it completely changes the chemistry of the body and effects are estimated to last about 40 days. 


A mixture resembling coffee was a brilliant maneuver, which led me to consider a few things. Who are frequent flyers by the coffee machine? My mind swirled around names such as Mrs. Poth, Mr. Finan, Mr. Bussen, and more. One thing seemed to be in common for all of them, a lack of Christmas spirit. I vividly recall when Mrs. Poth said in Pre-Calculus, “I hate Christmas music.” Mr. Finan gives his APUSH students an annual speech along the lines of, “Christmas is a distraction from the war effort, so hunker down and study. This is where real men are tested.” Mr. Bussen recently caught media attention surrounding his Missouri record-high placement on Santa’s naughty list. The figure has risen to 36 years running, a figure many considered impossible. With all these commonalities in mind I asked myself, “who would force Christmas cheer upon others via a chemical disguised as coffee?” Originally Mr. Hessel seemed like an ideal candidate as he claims, “Christmas spirit is a very good example of virtue.” I considered other more likely alternatives as I just couldn’t imagine Mr. Hessel violating St. Thomas Aquinas’ Just War Theory


All of a sudden, I had a eureka moment that led me to Dr. Erwin. It all lined up. Clearly displeased with the level of Christmas spirit he has seen since November 1st, he decided to spring into action. After failing at other methods such as playing Jingle Bells on his harp, he contracted a chemist to make this mixture. With his record-high levels of spirit, this was the only way to spread it to the masses. It seems his plan has worked as Mrs. Poth has reported watching Polar Express six times in the last month. Mr. Finan has reportedly joined a men’s over-60 caroling group. In addition, Mr. Bussen was recently sighted delivering Christmas hams to families across the city. 


This crime has had some controversy as some say it was a benevolent act. Others are infuriated that Dr. Erwin has infringed upon their right to choose to celebrate the holiday. Regardless of what you make of it, we can all be glad Christmas is just around the corner. This case is closed.