The Dingbat: BoG visited by ghosts of past, present and future

At the UBC Board of Governors annual Christmas spa night, a tradition begun in the early 20th century, merriment and joy were in full swing. The recent tuition increase was going to do many good things for the school (we can’t think of any right now, but that’s beside the point), and the Board was being rewarded with a bigger holiday party than had ever taken place at the Norman MacKenzie house.

Several members of the Board, including the buzzkill “no” voters, were not present, likely finger-wagging at another Christmas miracle somewhere down the street.

Interim UBC President Deborah Buszard, cucumbers over both eyes, Tropicana fruit melange in each hand, was reclined, speaking to recently-reelected Governor Anna Kindler about what else they can blame on the unions and what shitty building they’re going to rebuild even shittier with that sweet, sweet five per cent increase for new international students. The night was filled with mirth and light.

Suddenly, a knock came at the door. A stiff wind rushed through the room, blowing out the scented candles and generally harshing the vibe.

Mark Mac Lean, certified number lover and a fierce advocate for complaining about issues they have the power to solve, went to get the door.

There, outlined by the dusk, stood three ghastly apparitions. Each wore a different anachronistic fashion choice: the past wore ancient black robes and a bowtie; the future wore glasses made out of lasers; and the present, also a bowtie.

“I am the ghost of Christmas past,” said the first ghost, looming over the gathering. “Back in my day, when I was president, tuition was 10 bucks and came with a beer. Whatever happened to that? No student can get loose with it anymore, they’re too busy ‘staying on their grindset.’ Furthermore, since when did we integrate the sports teams? In my day–” And that was enough from the ghost of Christmas past.

Every member of the Board was transported back in time to their years as students, when they worked eight hours a week making copies of memos for their dad’s company to put themselves through university.

The next ghost stepped up. “I am the ghost of Christmas future,” she said, laser glasses a-whirring. “As president, I changed the format of UBC Broadcasts to be exclusively communicated through surrealist shitposts. Nobody knows what we’re trying to tell them, and they miss every tuition deadline, which means we can charge them extra. Tuition is 90 grand a year, and we just raise it however much we want now. Thanks for all the help.”

Each member of the Board thought about all their young family members who wouldn’t be able to afford university. They each resolved to start lobbying for the fossil fuel industry, as though that wasn’t something they were basically already doing.

The ghost of Christmas present stepped up. “I am the ghost of Christmas present,” he said, like we didn’t have a fucking clue or something. He wore a bowtie and a big “MICHIGAN” sweatshirt, and carried a sparkle in his eye.

“I’m so proud of you all. The way you each made up some totally transparent and meaningless platitude to justify raising tuition reminds me of all the time I spent making up totally transparent and meaningless platitudes to justify doing anything. At this rate, we will begin to look more and more like an American university, the ideal form of education. Keep hikin’, and go Wolverines! Now I’m gonna go hang out with Jim Harbaugh. Ever heard of him? Of course you haven’t, you’re losers. For now.”

And all three ghosts vanished in a puff of smoke. The assembled governors looked around at each other, took a deep breath and all began tweeting about how this joke article was problematic, and how it was the government’s fault they had to raise tuition, really. Many lessons were learned, and spa night went on as planned.

Across town, at the house of newly-minted BC Premier David Eby, there was another knock.

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