The Eighth Page

Phillipian Satire: Contest To Be Exeter’s New Mascot Becomes Spirited

Welcome, folks. It’s the big day for all the mascots! After a mysterious disappearance of Phillips Exeter Academy’s beloved Lion Rampant, a spot has opened on the esteemed Committee of Sports. As the lights in the gym flicker opulently, the mascots file in, strutting their stuff. All three magistrates sit at a painfully splintered Harkness table to judge the qualifying mascots.

Taylor Swift’s “Shake it Off” is blaring through those billion-dollar-endowment speakers, introducing the first candidate and the man to beat, Beefy the Bull! Weighing in at 340 pounds, Beefy’s number one attribute is the pure fear he instills in the hearts of his rivals. He is proud and loud. Maybe this is the spirit Exeter needs, but at the same time, is he also deconstructing toxic masculinity? Sobbing between each pound of his chest, he’s giving the judges something to think about.

All of the adults in the room remember their own adolescence fondly as the next mascot, Ciggsy, a massive cigarette, comes in to the room. Fuming smoke and actual bile, Ciggsy spits on the ground and promises to “smoke the competition” before subsequently falling into a fit of coughs — good ol’ bronchitis is pushing this match in Beefy’s favor. As paramedics tow him out on a stretcher, the auditorium lights go black.

The audience gasps as Professor Prophylactic, a six-foot-tall condom man (latex free), thunders in chanting his slogan, “Keep it clean, wrap your peen,” and the State Board of Education-mandated, “Abstinence is the only 100-percent safe form of birth control.” Prof. Proph, however, is soon overshadowed by the next competitor, Soda Rings. And while there isn’t much to this competitor, with the flash of his dazzling smile and his six pack, he makes the audience swoon. Tragically, Soda Rings is soon disqualified for choking out a seagull in the parking lot. 

The final competitor is The Greenhouse Gas, a violent giant with the element of surprise! He is well known and rarely disregarded, but will picking him be a violation of the Paris Climate Agreement? As he exits stage left, one thing is clear: the judges have a difficult decision on their hands. The audience waits patiently, wondering: Who will the judges pick? Which mascot most fits the description of what Exeter wants to be known for?