Nothing left of the hapless student save for a pencil and a few pieces of lint
By Rebecca Peterson, Humour Editor
An earth sciences class was left stunned last Wednesday morning after the sudden disintegration of one of the students.
“It was awful,” said one witness. “Like, have you ever experienced second-hand embarrassment so bad you actually physically squirm? That’s what it was like. Oh, and the disintegration part was pretty bad too.”
The disintegration occurred after the class was asked a simple math question with relatively easy operations of subtraction and division. The student in question finished first, and raised her hand to answer.
“She was so confident—that’s what I remember most,” said another classmate. “She was smiling, maybe acting a little cocky, so ready to give that answer. It all just made it so much worse. Oh, and the disintegration was also kind of disturbing, but believe me, what came before it was just an enormous train wreck. I would say the disintegration was an act of mercy.”
The victim, who shall remain nameless, incorrectly calculated the answer to the math question as being 0.3 per cent. The actual answer was 1.5 per cent, which the student realized a full five seconds after giving the wrong answer.
“It was written all over her face,” said the student who had sat nearest to the victim. “Like, that grin just sort of froze in place? And then her eyes kind of widened, all bug-eyed, and her face just started to fall. It was awful.”
Reportedly, the victim then proceeded to start covering for her mistake with awkward stammering, insisting that she’d mixed up the numbers, she wasn’t that horrifically bad at math (though sources confirm this to be complete bullshit), and eventually she began to fall apart. Literally.
“We all kind of breathed a sigh of relief, to be honest,” said the first witness. “She started crumbling, which cut off the stuttering, and we were all like, ‘Oh thank God. Some merciful being has put the poor woman out of her misery. We can get on with class now.’ I mean, obviously it sucks, but the alternative? Having to sit there for the next hour, knowing everyone else in the class is judging you and laughing at how incompetent you are? That would have been far worse for her. She’s at peace now, I think.”
Embarrassment-induced disintegrations are not entirely uncommon. Recently a keynote speaker at a Board of Trade conference made a joke in their speech that no one laughed at, and disintegrated on-stage while trying to explain why the joke was funny, to the horror and discomfort of all attending.
“It’s a defence mechanism, of a kind,” said one researcher into the phenomenon, Dr. Jane Siu-Never. “What we have yet to determine is whether the victim causes disintegration to occur, or those witnessing the incident and experiencing second-hand embarrassment are inadvertently causing it. It’s hard to track—after all, true humiliation takes us by surprise. We can’t exactly attach sensors to everyone and hope they embarrass themselves enough to will themselves out of existence.”
In the meantime, the departed student is being remembered as “a hardworking and intelligent woman, who really sucked at math and honestly should have known better than to try and answer a math question in front of witnesses.”