Following another week of emotionless online classes and cold weather, already-depressed UW junior Vanessa Halpert was sent over the edge by a 45% biochemistry midterm grade that popped up in her Canvas notifications. Halpert began to sulk, muttering “I cannot continue to live like this” as she realized that she had neither smiled nor laughed in at least a month.
Halpert unsuccessfully searched her room for anything that could give her some sort of emotion; she had already tried to snuggle her musty pillow pet yesterday and had emptied her Juul pods a week ago after failing to match with anyone on Tinder for three straight days.
She then quickly googled “What to do in Madison” and realized that a scholastic book fair was happening at a local elementary school. The 21-year-old regressed to her younger self who derived joy from glittery books and emoji erasers.
“Who are you to tell me what I can and can’t do, Mr. Reporter?” Halpert told our student correspondent. “I think you’re just being ageist. I’m as worthy of a gold starry pencil as the people in 4th grade. I just want life to be simple again. Why can’t we all be happy like we used to?” she said, bursting into tears.
There, Halpert shoved aside the “obnoxious” school librarian who told her the event was 12-and-under only and walked directly to the Guinness Book of World Records section to get a copy. The brain-fogged Vanessa quickly texted her Mom to ask if she had deposited money in her school account for the fair and said “Mom, why do you want to ruin my life?” when Mrs. Halpert asked if she was under the influence.
Vanessa proceeded to belittle the children at the book fair, calling one student reading a nonfiction book on the Ice Age a “total nerd” before stealing a yo-yo and running out of the school.