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Wednesday, December 01, 2021

You finally scraped together enough money to buy a flight out of Orlando.

Thanks to a super cheap Spirit ticket, you will be catching flights, instead of feelings in your lonely apartment. The time has come for you to escape this ghost town. Of course, the one time you decide to leave your apartment, there’s not only traffic but an accident… and construction.

You roll up to the airport but have to run through terminals and security check. You rush up to the screen showing which flights are arriving and departing to find your flight gate. You look for your flight and then you see it…

Darts & Laurels

The idea of climbing Mount Everest sits on top of many adventurers’ bucket lists. But this climbing season has seen a death toll of at least 11 people as of Wednesday. The increase in climbers trying to take advantage of the good weather in the Himalayas has too many people on top of a small summit. We are giving a dart to the situation. People are putting themselves at risk by overcrowding the highly coveted climbing spot. The Nepal government issued a record high of 381 permits in an attempt to commercialize the mountain, as the New York Times put it.

Another dart goes to Johnson & Johnson as the trial for its potential influence on the opioid epidemic began Tuesday. In 2017, the Oklahoma attorney general sued the company, Purdue Pharma, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries and other big pharma companies accusing the companies of de-emphasizing risks and exaggerating opioid’s benefits. Purdue Pharma settled for $270 million and Teva Pharmaceutical settled for $85 million. Johnson & Johnson argues it can’t be held liable for the crisis because its products are FDA approved.

MacKenzie Bezos has us thinking “always look on the bright side of life.” She received more than $35 billion in her divorce from Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. We’re giving her a laurel, because she pledged to donate more than half. Specifically, she signed the Giving Pledge, a promise wealthy patrons make to donate more than half of their assets sometime in their life or after death. Bezos has yet to say where specifically her money will go, but she said she will keep donating “until the safe is empty.”

We know the future is here because Pizza Hut has changed its Original Pan Pizza for the first time in over 40 years. New cheese, new sauce, new cooking pan – it looks like Pizza Hut just broke up with their long-term boyfriend and invested in an all-out makeover. We are giving a laurel to the pizza company for taking a risk and throwing out the 49-year old recipe and finally welcoming the 21st century.

Pizza Hut isn’t the only company cha-cha-changing its classic products. We are giving the new Apple iPod Touch a laurel for giving the iconic iPod Touch a new processor and simultaneously giving us a reason to spend money we don’t have on items we don't need. Nothing screams middle school nostalgia like blasting emo tunes to drown out the sorrow of being a pre-teen. Hopefully, the iPod Touch makes a comeback so we can disconnect from the notifications that get in the way of our music therapy.

Since Botswana lifted its ban against hunting African elephants, we feel it is fair to put it in the place of an elephant and send a hurtling dart its way. On May 22, Botswana’s government removed the ban making the vulnerable elephant population open to hunters. Under the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List, the elephant is classified as vulnerable. Between 2007 and 2014 the number of elephants fell 30 percent. An elephant never forgets. Hopefully thousands of years from now, evolution gives elephants the ability to wreak revenge on those who allowed open season on them.

The Alligator Editorial Board includes the Opinions Editor Jackie De Frietas, Editor-in-Chief Mark Stine and managing editors Hannah Beatty and Lindsey Breneman.

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