Over the last few years, earthquakes, eclipses, floods, snowstorms, insurrections, and even worldwide pandemics have all been normalized. In a world full of turmoil and unrest, we have come to expect the unexpected. However, no one could have predicted this newest unexplainable phenomenon, which, while seemingly originating on Orcas Island, has quickly grown to be of critical importance to the entire world.
Although to most people these strange events seemed to begin out of the blue, the staff of the Viking Voice believe differently. “I know it sounds crazy, but it’s true. Our satirical photoshops are coming to life,” said one club member. While the reason for this remains a mystery, there are many undeniable similarities between the recent anomalies and certain Viking Voice article images.
Arguably the most impactful of the events, and one that most readers have likely already heard of, is the replacement of former president, Joe Biden, with Groundhog Day’s own, Punxsutawney Phil. This marmot, already a national treasure, was featured in the February 2nd edition last year, in an article titled “Punxsutawney Phil Makes History”. Both the author, Maya Heikkinen, and the photoshopper, Thian Armenia, declined an interview, insisting that they had no idea how or why this satire had become a reality.
Since President Phil’s inauguration, there have been various alterations to how the United States is run. Obviously, the national animal has been changed from the eagle to the groundhog. Additionally, the new commander-in-chief has demanded that instead of the national anthem, Americans sing the popular children’s rhyme “How Much Wood Could a Woodchuck Chuck”. The Oval Office has also undergone renovations: inspired by Former President Donald Trump’s Diet Coke button, President Phil has installed an “assorted lettuce and clover” button. In one of his most contested rulings, the president banned all use of pepper and garlic by the inhabitants of New York State. In response to this executive order, protesters have gathered in the streets. One such demonstrator, while angrily waving a pepper shaker said “zer iz no way to make good food wizout zeazoning. Our rezdurants weell go out of buziness” while another, with garlic cloves woven into her hair, said, “Without garlic, how can we protect ourselves from vampires? The city will be overrun. We will all be drained of our blood and be forced to live for eternity as undead monsters.” Nevertheless, President Phil has yet to abolish this law, and protesters are being locked up by the hundreds.
Our own community here on Orcas Island has also faced many changes. As described in former student Paris Wilson’s article “OHS Principal: Famed K-pop Star”, Orcas Island Middle and High School Principal Kyle Freeman has left his teaching career to pursue his true passion: K-pop. Rivaling the likes of EXO, Black Pink, TWICE, and even BTS, Freeman can no longer set foot in public without crowds of fans swarming him, asking for autographs and concert tickets. With Freeman away on a worldwide tour, the senior class has taken control of the high school. Their first act has been to ban all underclassmen from campus, allowing juniors and seniors substantially more in-person school time. Seniors also get immediate passes to the front of the lunch line, and there have been rumors that they have gained access to teachers’ Skyward accounts, as the school’s average GPA has substantially increased.
The school cafeteria has switched management as well, and new head-chef Landon Carter has received only positive reviews. Ever since Carter was featured on, and won, the famed Great British Baking Show, he has been somewhat of a local celebrity. Journalist Izie Janecek, author of “Landon Carter Joins The Great British Baking Show”, has taken credit for Carter’s success, though some would argue I, as the photoshopper for said article, should really be the one thanked.
Strange occurrences of a similar nature have been reported all over the world, though not all can be proven. There have been multiple sightings of what seem to be cavemen in the OIHS commons, and certain cities have reported a strange desaturation of color. There are even rumors of a “lizard king” hiding out in Portland, Oregon, though these have not been verified. Students, teachers, politicians, even world leaders, have all voiced concerns about a future ruled by such unexplainable creations, perhaps the most immediate of which being; “What will happen to the US when President Phil goes into hibernation?”