SATIRE: for the Goofly

Axolotl 36



Enough is enough, and the axolotls of Dr. E. Dawley’s lab are on strike until their contract concerns are addressed. Their new union, Axolotls United, seeks increased pay and better housing. The lab of 51 axolotls in the “B” class have spread across Thomas, the IDC, and Pfahler, and are picketing in front of classrooms, labs, and offices.

“Bank for tank!” Axolotls United was seen shouting in front of the “fishbowl” classroom on the third floor of Thomas.

The E. Dawley lab studies axolotl tails, which contain stem cells, and this work has provided insights on regenerative health properties. The lab has enlisted the aid of various axolotls held within the Thomas basement before their tails are amputated (and, the axolotls clarify, eventually regrow) and studied. After their time in the research lab, they’re often given up for adoption to be a pet in a dorm room.

The axolotls are currently paid with a mixture of prawns, brine shrimp, and bloodworms, though many worry about how inflation will affect their day-to-day lives over the next year should they accept this contract without further negotiation. 

“It’s not even just inflation. The prawns were twice as large last year,” said Axolotl 49. “What happened?” “We don’t even have a 401k,” said Axolotl 19.

Additionally, they want further time off. “We don’t even get summers off,” Axolotl 21 said. “The students are still there. You would think that they want a break too, but they’re still in the lab.”

The union’s primary demand is for their habitat be moved to a large pond rather than the separate tanks they are held in now. They wish to have more space to roam and be able to hunt their food.

Axolotls United also contend that they feel underappreciated. “We spend a considerable amount of lives in these tanks researching, but we don’t have any authored papers. We aren’t even in the acknowledgements,” said Axolotl 17, who adds that a first author paper is the last of their demands.

“If the IDC Don’t Care About Me, IDC About Them,” STEM students report hearing during their 207 Modern Physics class in the IDC. “It was pretty clever,” said sophomore Clarisse Jane Pocket. “If they keep it up, I won’t have to take my viva next week. Maybe they can flood the physics and math department offices again like they did during the pandemic.”

“All hail the GOAT King” was seen posted on the outside of the Thomas basement lab, though it is unknown if this was in relation to axolotls or perhaps a plea to the Dr. Joel Bish in the neuroscience department. 

With negotiations likely to conclude ahead of COSA, one axolotl has expressed gratitude that they’ll soon be able to return to the Thomas basement.

“The things I’ve seen,” said Axolotl 27, who was assigned to strike io the first floor of Pfahler and was invited to Coffee, Tea, and QED by the Math, Computer Science, and Statistics and Physics departments. “We never should’ve left the tanks. I know too much about topology and why odd numbers are odd. I never wanted to learn that.”

The Axolotls United spokesamphibian was asked for comment as to why the axolotls referred to each other by number instead of name. Axolotl 42 said “because we don’t have names. You only get a name if you survive and get adopted. We have names in our own language, but we can’t translate those into English.”

“It is pretty sweet being a pet,” said Marvel, previously Axolotl 7, who was adopted by Dr. Bove. Marvel belonged to the “A” class and graduated Ursinus College with a Bachelor’s in underwater basket weaving. Fellow alum, Rexy, agreed, saying he enjoyed his new life in Philly with Ally Hendrikson ’21.

The strike has been met with praise by the Environmental Studies department due to how much paper has been saved by their jamming of the biology printers. “We’ve seen a 400% decrease in paper usage in this building. We’ve also seen whiteboards be squished with more words, but a serious improvement.” commented Dr. Hurley.

When asked for comment, Dr. E. Dawley said I had to survive Bio 101 and schedule office hours.