As the final minutes of ARTH 109: The Art of Spring Street Market ticked down, most students were visibly disinterested. Some etched obscenities on the underside of the desk, others became fascinated by the stains on the carpet, and one student was just on TikTok with the volume on. However, one student, Ned Miller ’26, could not seem to get enough of the lecture as the professor discussed a painting of three circles and one square. The circles were red, and the square was a lighter shade of red. Miller was locked in, eyes straight ahead, with the end of his pencil resting between his teeth, a telltale sign of attentiveness. We at The Haybale approached Miller after class to learn more about his fascination with the lecture.
When asked what captivated him, Miller said, “I dunno, I guess the juxtaposition between the red and the other shade of red was pretty cool.” We asked again why he seemed so interested, and he replied, “Oh, to be honest, I wasn’t really paying attention, I was just chewing on the eraser.” We took a look at Miller’s pencil, and the eraser was entirely gone, the metal bit licked clean.
“I was really excited for class today because I just got a shipment of these special pencils with bigger erasers,” Miller continued. We hadn’t even asked a follow-up question, he just kept talking. “It’s like when they started making Double Stuf Oreos. They’re just the perfect snack. Erasers, that is. I don’t really like Oreos. If I ever get hungry in class, I have a delectable little treat right there in my hand.”
“I chewed through all my pencils, so I really hope my pack of eraser caps comes before next class. We’re going to talk about photos of Spring Street taken on someone’s Samsung Galaxy S7 which sounds like a real snoozefest. Those eraser caps will really help me get through that lecture. I know the different colors aren’t actually supposed to taste different, but I think they do. The yellow ones are my favorite. They taste kind of lemony.”
We at The Haybale, the investigative reporters we are, decided to taste the different color eraser caps to see if Miller’s theory was correct. It wasn’t. They all taste the same. They all taste like rubber.