By Basilio Mura, Nor Easter Correspondent
19/5-In response to the increasingly bloody and destructive efforts of Monteddorian leader Alejandro Julianos to suppress the farmers’ rebellion, the students of Nor Easter University have taken to wearing chess pawns around their necks dipped in ketchup.
“The pawn is a piece that represents the common person,” explained one student, very slowly. “In this case, those of the Monteddorian citizenry who are forced to give everything for so little in return. The ketchup represents their blood spilled to protect what little they have. In many cases, tomatoes. So it has dual meanings. That means two, get it?”
While student protests at Nor Eastern schools are nothing new, this one is gaining traction quickly, much to the chagrin of the university staff.
“I thought it was clever at first,” said one professor. “It takes a certain fortitude to slather a medallion in wet ketchup and wear it around your neck all day. But after a week, the corridors have begun to get rather noxious. I swear, I get home and all I can smell is day old dried ketchup.”
Word of the protest has even reach her Imperial Majesty, Empress Marcellete Bastian.
“It’s such a striking image, I think,” Her Grace said. “Were I not a holder of such high office, I might wear one myself. But it’s nice to see the kids get behind something.”***
We spoke to one student who is closer to the Monteddorian conflict than anyone, an exchange student who asked not to be named. This student was not wearing a ketchup stained pawn.
“I suppose it’s all fine and well that they are showing support,” the student said. “But I can’t help but find it all a bit disingenuous. These Nor Easterners get behind any movement that can be seen as fashionable. They march around for a week, and then it’s off to the next thing. Two weeks ago they were protesting the closing of a coffee maker they liked. This week, they’re all drinking the new guy’s stuff and extolling its virtues. If they really wanted to help my people, they’d be volunteering with relief efforts. But then I suppose that would make it too real for them.”
***The average age of a student at Nor Easter University is 34. Her Imperial Majesty is 29 years of age.