The Tomato

A snowflake protest, indeed. Photo: Public Domain Pictures.

Students take to the streets because they have no other option

There was no mistaking it for Betty DeGrudge when, on a blustery, snow-covered Thursday morning, she finished her long drive in from the outskirts of the city, crossing over the Laurier Avenue bridge and into University of Ottawa territory: students are such a pain-in-the-ass.

Somehow the seemingly far-fetched stereotypes of student behaviour, evoked on a regular basis by her friends from Bingo, were all coming true. They’re always complaining about something! One false step and they’ll hold a protest!

DeGrudge, admittedly, had to stifle a laugh over that last one. As she looked out her car window, it was all too perfect. Students. Dozens, maybe even hundreds of them. All having abandoned the sidewalks—and, by her evaluation, their respect for peace and order, too—and taken right to the streets.

The Tomato was alerted to this puzzling scene and caught up with DeGrudge outside U of O’s Tabaret Hall, where she stood shaking her head at the hordes of students in the street.

“This is plain madness!” she insisted. “Leave it to university students to find some snowflake cause to get all riled up about and disrupt morning traffic.”

Tomato reporters wandered into the crowd and eventually managed to pull aside a student. They found it strange that he seemed in no way engaged with those around him, having to gingerly remove his AirPods with his one free hand while cradling textbooks in the other. Reporters asked him about what was going on.

“Um, what do you mean?” he said, looking confused and annoyed. “What does it look like? It’s minus bazillion out here and I’m trying to get to class!”

With no mention of a protest, the possibility had to be entertained that this was a covert operation. Reporters pressed on.

When asked about the purpose behind their taking to the streets, Lydia Numb, a third-year bio-med student, made a stunning revelation.

“Are you kidding? This isn’t a protest! The sidewalks are covered in like three feet of snow, so what choice do we have? I’m all for not skipping leg day and all that, but give us a break!”

Then, just as the situation was becoming clear, things took a dramatic turn. From around the corner came the growing sound of (somewhat) coordinated chanting.

Suddenly a mob of actual protestors emerged, mixing in with the bewildered students shuffling to class. The Tomato was able to get a quick word with one of them.

“We heard students at the U of O had taken to the street and we’re here in solidarity! We saw cars stopping to honk, people saying they had no other option …  We know a good protest when we see one!”

The protestor then returned to the crowd, acquired a sign with unreasonably small and cramped writing, and proceeded to read off a series of anti-establishment slogans, including one incoherent warbling about the polar vortex and mother nature’s boundless evil. He then went on to complain about the dining hall food. It seemed the protestors were also confused as to what they were protesting.

Reporters again spoke to DeGrudge and informed her that, in a way, she was right to blame the “snowflakes” after all.