Swine Flu to be Renamed “Sline Slu” to Commemorate its Victims: The Vanderbilt Slant


By Megan McGrath and Vivian Iburg 

Swine flu, the iconic disease once named for pigs like Vanderbilt Young Republicans, is undergoing a name change following a terrible outbreak at an innocent holiday party. On December 9, 2022, The Slant staff gathered at the residence of Chris Not-Kringle to share good tidings and yuletide delight. Attendees reportedly consumed copious amounts of hot chocolate, eggnog and backwash-contaminated beer throughout the night. The staff engaged in party games and comedic conversations, enjoying one last night out before returning to their homes to be criticized by their parents for “lacking initiative” and “pursuing whatever the hell ‘liberal arts’ is, instead of going to medical school like your cousins.” 

Two days later, The Slant staff were swept with an unprecedented wave of illness. Was it mono? No. Was it Covid-19? Surprisingly, no. Was it chlamydia? You wish, if it meant you were actually getting some instead of crying yourself to sleep with loneliness, but no. In fact, it was the swine flu that sunk its teeth into the satire/humor publication, crippling the entire organization in what was rumored to be an attack by The Haggler. 

Sabotage was quickly ruled out by Student Affairs, who stepped in to contain the outbreak and a PR nightmare, but many questions remain unanswered. Though “patient zero” has not yet been identified, it is rumored that Slant staff writers might have an idea of the perpetrator. The current suspect is editor-in-chief Slestelle Slaya, who recently returned to campus following the settlement of a series of lawsuits. Ms. Slaya was convicted of not one, not two, but over 29 hit-and-runs, spanning from her first semester on campus to the current one, in which she plans to graduate. Her classmates noted that she appeared “deranged” and “on the prowl,” suggesting that a super-spreader event might have been right up her alley.

Witnesses recalled a man in a trench coat, with a handle-bar mustache and large tophat showing up to the party around 11pm. One staffer noticed the man arrived on a bike, specifically a Cars 2 bike with training wheels. Such an insignificant detail is actually quite helpful, as Slant records show that Slestelle once purchased that exact same bike—with the organization’s funds—when her car was confiscated after her third hit and run. When questioned, Slestelle told reporters that the bike “could not possibly be [hers]” since hers was allegedly impounded after a series of speeding-related arrests.

Still, other details surrounding this potential subject remain unknown, and that might have been intentional. Hosts of the party’s pregame recall finding an unusual set of shot glasses in their cabinets on the morning of the party. These “shot glasses” stand upwards of six inches tall and bear a striking resemblance to pint glasses, which are typically used for beer. When questioned about why he used these glasses, despite their unnatural size, partygoer Slamuel Slimant said “looks like three inches to me, and I know what three inches looks like.” It is suspected that the cauldrons shot glasses caused members to consume copious amounts of alcohol, which in turn led to a lapse in memory, allowing the perpetrator to remain a mystery. 

The implications of this flu epidemic, however, are well documented. The diseased complained of muscle aches, cough, fever and erectile dysfunction, all equally crippling. Among the fatalities were four toes lost, 13 finals failed, two deaths and a broken heart. A joint funeral will be held in the Divinity School basement. To the organizers’ dismay, Benton Chapel was already reserved for a bat mitzvah. 

Due to the historic repercussions of this outbreak and the profound literary contributions of The Slant for the past 137 years, the CDC is pursuing a name change, from “swine flu” to “sline slu.” Slant staffers hope this motion will bring attention to the perpetrator still at large and help bring her or him (no, her) to justice.

  • February 6, 2023