Combat Zone

Essay contest winner disqualified for performance-enhancing alcoholism

Scandal engulfed the campus community last week in wake of the revelation that Kelly James, star of Puget Sound’s Humanities department, has been using alcoholism to boost her skills as a writer. The shocking news broke days after the announcement that Kelly had won UPS’ semi-prestigious Writing Excellence Award.

The Writing Excellence Award review board has voted unanimously to strip James of her award. Whether her grades in past writing classes will be called into question remains unknown.

“The state of Ms. James’ academic record all depends on how long she’s been getting her literary lean on,” said chair of the board Nigel Stuffness. The board intends to launch a full investigation examining Kelly’s past works for wine stains, profanity or other signs of the insidious influence of the sauce.

Kelly rose to prominence within the Humanities department soon after her arrival in the fall of 2010. Her essays were lauded for their insights, delivered with powerful, blunt language. But evidence of drunken writing becomes easily apparent in her later work.

Her winning essay from last October is titled “Postmodern Feminist Thought Can Suck My Dick”. It is a compelling deconstruction of third-wave feminism’s struggle for self-definition and is available through Collins Memorial Library.

The details of Kelly’s training regimen remain vague, with some reports indicating an intake of up to 8 whiskey sours a day in what is  also known as a “Hemingway Breakfast”. A recent Facebook photo, depicting the sophomore dangling from a roof while draining a bottle of Jack Daniels, speaks volumes to the extent of Kelly’s rambunctious behavior.

Many of her classmates believe that her alcohol abuse has intensified since last fall, when she suffered a nasty breakup and the death of a beloved cat. Her behavior became increasingly erratic as she struggled to remain at the top of her game.

One of her classmates, requesting anonymity, said “I knew something was up. She was showing up to class late, always with thermos in hand. She would get more vocal as she finished it. Two weeks back, she straight-up called a professor a whore, flipped over a chair and stumbled out the door. Pretty good writer, though. Such strong language, full of emotion. And great metaphors.”

Kelly  was unavailable for comment. At present, she has taken a medical leave. Rumor has it she is headed into the wilderness of Wyoming, where her family has a cabin. There, in soul-rending seclusion, she intends to kill her own food, drink profound amounts of whiskey and blow her brains out with a shotgun after a tumultuous 30-year career.