Notice from Physical Plant addressing tree-climbing 

Anonymous Satire

Recently, we have received a number of complaints about the university’s policies on tree-climbing. We understand that, as the hot weather brings many students outdoors, this can seem like a needlessly oppressive policy.

But we want to ensure you that our rules against climbing trees on-campus are in place only for the safety of our students and staff. For this reason, we feel obligated to remind you that any climbing of trees is punishable by a sizable fine.

Knowing that many students will be tempted to flaunt the rules despite strong warnings, we feel that it is only fair to deliver an explanation for our policy.

For years, we members of the Franciscan University Physical Plant have been in an ongoing battle with the numerous tree-elves that populate our campus foliage. We know that this may come as a shock — fortunately, we have been able to keep their numbers under control for the past few years, but they are returning in droves due to the recent COVID-19 pandemic and we cannot keep it quiet any longer.

The Scandinavian Tree Imp is an invasive species introduced to the States by fur trappers in the 19th century. Since then, they have settled primarily in the Midwest.

They are characterized by their high-pitched, mischievous laughter and their needle-sharp teeth. They live on a diet of earthworms and toe-blood. Toe-blood is a delicacy in their culture.

For this reason, we would strongly urge you not to climb the trees — these gremlins live in the hollow crevices of their trunks and will strike at any unwitting climber without provocation. We must emphasize this: they are dangerous and not to be trusted. Do not respond to their invitations. If you find yourself accosted by a tiny, tiny man asking you to join him for matcha in his tree fort, do not agree.

Perhaps you have noticed the putrid stench emitting from the white-blossoming trees around campus. These are the smells of the sprites’ annual funeral rites.

Each spring, they hold a series of funerals for the deceased members of their community. The odor comes from the newly thawed bodies of those Imps that died over the winter. Although this smell is unpleasant, the safety of our Physical Plant workers demands that we leave well enough alone. We have lost countless appendages in past attempts to stop their funeral practices.

As summer approaches, we simply ask the Franciscan community to respect our policies regarding this matter. To climb the trees is to disrespect the sacrifice of the many Physical Plant workers who have given their time to stop the Great Imp Scourge.

Additionally, climbing the trees puts you at risk of losing any number of major and minor appendages. The Scandinavian Tree Imps are a cruel and conniving species, and the university cannot be held responsible for any gremlin-related injuries.

If you or anyone you know has come into contact with these beings, we ask that you contact us immediately. We will deal with the situation as we see fit. We thank you for your consideration in this matter.