Combat Zone

Shy guy hospitalized after eye contact

It was an unseasonably sunny day for the University of Puget Sound, and freshman Edwin Rodgers was on his way to the library to study. Things were peaceful. He was happy. And it seemed as though nothing could bring him down.

That is when he saw her. Bearing down on him, one nonchalant step at a time, was an attractive girl.

Edwin’s caffeine-soaked mind sprang into action. He kind of maybe almost knew her. They had been at the same house party on Saturday. Her name was Alli… or perhaps Audrey. Definitely something with an ‘A’.

The distance between them was closing, and fast. In a daring feint, Edwin pulled out his phone and examined his background, thumbing the screen for added effect.

The sidewalk was nearly empty but for the two students, and Edwin knew a harrowing encounter was imminent. He looked up, and found Alli or Audrey or whatever smiling right at him.

He immediately lost control of all bodily functions. Releasing the kind of flatulence that would put a dubstep-blasting subwoofer to shame, he slammed into the obelisk, knocking himself out and entering a week-long coma.

The arguable cause of Edwin’s blackout, one Natalie Morris, summoned help to the scene, and Rodgers was whisked to Tacoma General Hospital.

Today, Edwin remains in critical condition. His story is helping to spread awareness of a form of conditional blindness known as Socially Awkward Penguin (SAP) Myopia. This debilitating condition afflicts nearly 90% of UPS students. Sufferers, known as SAPs, hunger for human contact but find actual interaction with others impossibly scary.

“These SAPs are the source of their own misery,” said Merle Grisly, totally legit M.D. “They punish themselves for their perceived social missteps. I once had a patient who said ‘You too’ after a waiter told her to enjoy her meal. Three years later, she still obsesses over it. Real talk.”

Even the briefest, most superficial encounters, like Edwin’s, become terrifying.

To prevent such terrifying awkwardness, SAPs close themselves off from the world, relentlessly pretending not to see anyone around them.

Instead, they wear aviators and headphones or pretend to examine the sidewalks or the middle distance as they traverse campus. Some even cover their faces with black leather gimp masks, but this only inntensifies the staring

Help for these poor SAPs is hard to find. Therapies to treat the condition often involve alcohol. One CHWS employee, who requested anonymity, has been advising SAPs to establish intense eye contact with others while simultaneously licking one’s lips in a provocative manner. However, the practice has been criticized as being discriminatory towards the tongueless.

If you would like to lend support to Edwin, who regained consciousness last Thursday, please consider sending a letter or perhaps a balloon. He finds visitors imposing.