By Maleesa Johnson
Copy Desk Chief
Have you ever experienced a smell so potent that your eyes began to water instantly? After 6 p.m. Monday evening, everyone in the Lariat newsroom had.
We were at it again – the usual grind of putting together a paper that for some, doubles as toilet paper. For those of us who worked here before the tobacco ban, we are accustomed to pungent smells wafting into the newsroom, somehow eking in through the vent. Though the ban has apparently failed to kick all the smokers off campus (See future editorial), thankfully, it has sufficiently discouraged our downstairs puffers.
Unfortunately, Pepe’s smelly emissions are not banned from campus. The area around Castellaw Communications Center is nothing short of a jungle. We have cats, a fox, possums and skunks. This makes for an interesting walk to the car at midnight. The saying around here should be changed to “When the cat’s away, the skunks will play.”
Back to Monday night… it reeked. The reaction started at the part of the room closest to the window. I sit in the back corner – yes, they put me there – and was spared for a few, glorious seconds. I laughed as everyone reeled back and the screeches started. The moment was brief, but priceless.
But then it hit. I tried so hard to hold my breath, but the damage had already been done. I laughed to keep from crying as the stench scarred the inside of my nostrils. Our news editor, Jonathon Platt, ran around the room, turning on the air purifiers.
Several staff members feel it is important to add where the initial blame was placed. Taylor Griffin, an editor of Focus Magazine and former Lariateer, has a knack for leaving food out on her desk. Earlier that afternoon, she took a swig of a week-old latte she had left out. However, as the skunky smell spread, she was absolved of any blame. This was clearly the work of Pepe.
In spite of severe hardships, we somehow still managed to publish the paper.