The Tomato

Another architecture project foiled by sharpies. Photo: CC, Kafziel.
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Officials blame team members with long names, use of extra thick markers

Even the brightest of society can have their dull moments just like the rest of us. There are many stories, of questionable truth, of apartment buildings with empty swimming pools, and libraries with empty bookshelves, simply because the engineers designing the buildings forgot to account for the weight of the water or the weight of the books.

Such a tragedy has since befallen the University of Ottawa. The still under construction STEM building collapsed last Tuesday because the design team overburdened the structure when they signed their names onto a supporting beam using extra thick Sharpie markers.

One member of the team, Sandra Bobbert, noticed that the beam in question was bending before the structure collapsed, though she failed to report the anomaly. Bobbert believed the bending beam was a piece of art, and interpreted the bending beam as “a manifestation of the eventual decay that comes for us all, as we too age and fall apart.”

The team’s leader, Seemore Cox, could have provided some invaluable insight into this problem, but was nowhere to be found on campus. Following the collapse, Seemore changed his name to Morisse and moved to New Jersey as an aspiring tap dance artist.

Other team members were easier to locate. Humberbatch Curmudgeon, assistant to the team leader, commented to the Tomato, “I just feel like this is somehow our fault and could have been avoided if we used a normal Sharpie.”

“I’m not even an engineering student. My major is actually in Greek civilization,” said Curmudgeon. When asked to explain how he got involved with a serious construction project, he shrugged and started speaking in what was presumably a very poor interpretation of ancient Greek.

The assistant to the assistant team leader, Theodore Dancer, is actually an engineering student. Dancer revealed that the “team” consisted of only himself and Curmudgeon. “I didn’t think we were a team—I thought it was only two of us, and I’m doing all the work. But Humby thought ‘team’ was a better label for our brand”.

Dancer explained why he thinks the building collapsed. “I forgot that extra thick Sharpie markers weigh about twice the weight of solid steel, that’s probably what happened. That, plus Curmudgeon’s long name probably didn’t help.”

For any of our construction success on campus we now have a construction tragedy to balance them out. Remember, calculate the weight of your Sharpies.