Liu v. Humor Department

The Humor Department is censoring its best writers (me).

Reading Time: 3 minutes


“All we did was tell you to sit down,” Mike said, shuffling back in surprise. “YOU handcuffed YOURSELF to the desk.”


“Be quiet or Mr. Garfinkie will come in!” Munem squeaked, clapping a hand to my mouth. Mike closed the door to Spec’ class, which left just the three of us inside the room.

“Mmmf! Mmmf!” Munem removed his hand from my mouth. I gasped for air. “Please, I have gym right now. And I really care about… the, uh, delicate art of the European handball pass, and wearing my PE uniform, a-and leading warmups, and, um…” I gave up. “What do you want from me?”

“Erica, we were just wondering if anything is going on at home,” Munem said cautiously.


The two Humor editors shifted uncomfortably, scratching their heads.

“I dunno, is something maybe going on in your personal life?” Munem asked.

“WHERE is this coming from?”

“Shhhhhhhhh. Mike has the mic!” Mike sang, stepping in. “Your articles have definitely had a… progression ever since you started writing. Your articles for Issues 7 and 8 are the epitome of Humor articles: Among Us jokes, Moran in the Hudson, yada yada. Those articles were normal.”

“But then you slowly seemed to get… a little too comfortable,” Munem said from behind me. He slapped Issue 9 down on my desk. “‘[ASMR] Octopus Girl Gives You a Tentacle Massage.’ Erica, I searched that up on the school wifi. Administration saw it and removed my device from the Talos argus.”

“Well, why’d you search it up?”

“Everything reminds me of her.” Munem looked wistfully off into the distance.

Mike threw Issue 10 on top of Issue 9, his face contorted with disgust.

“And why are you PREGNANT in the Big Sib Program article you wrote?” Mike moaned, burying their face into their hands. “In Issue 11, there’s also some real nasty freshie hunting going on. You are a Big Sib CHAIR.”

“Y-yeah. That is MESSED UP!” Munem, fellow Big Sib Chair, scurried to his laptop and quickly resolved all the positive comments he left on those articles.

“What do you want me to do?” I cried. “This is who I am! You are stripping away the core parts of me. Where are my First Amendment rights?”

Mike smacked my face and my head went boing-oing-oing. “THINK.”

“You shook me like a maraca,” I whimpered, grabbing my head to still it.

“HUSH, PITIFUL LITTLE GIRL. MIKE HAS THE MIC,” Mike bellowed. “Before you speak, THINK. Is it thoughtful? Is it helpful? Is it inspiring? Is it—”

I farted angrily.

Munem sniffed deeply. Mike sighed and went to retrieve a cardboard cutout of The Spectator’s Editor-in-Chief Suyeon Ryu, colored in with red Sharpie three-fourths of the way through.

“This is the Suyeon-Corrupt-o-Meter,” Mike said. “She has to read every single article you write. We didn’t have a Suyeon-Corrupt-o-Meter before you joined, but after Issue 9, we made it. The red Sharpie represents how much of her has been corrupted, and you can see she is impure now. Tainted. No longer who she was before. All because of you.”

That was it. That was the last straw. I wasn’t going to let them walk all over me any longer.

“Mike, I know what you did at Mar-a-Lago, and I hate to use blackmail, but I swear I am NOT afraid to—”


I squeaked.

Mike locked eyes with Munem, and after their weird brief telepathic communication, they nodded in unison. Munem stared deeply into my eye sockets, picking up a wolf costume lying nearby.

“I’m sorry, Erica,” he said, sliding the costume on without breaking eye contact. “But it’s May 10, 2024.”

I began shaking. “No.”

He snapped a photo of my trembling body, posting it on his Instagram highlights before pocketing his phone once more. “You know what that means.”


And he pounced.