The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

Satire | Campus Scout | Scout’s quest for a new home

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Amy Sanchez

Scout knew his month was ruined upon seeing that blasted sign outside the Main Library entrance to the steam tunnels: “Closed for Fumigation.”

So what if Scout’s absence from campus over the summer allowed the underground raccoon infestation to flourish again? It’s not like he could reset the traps, being where he was over the summer. 

In any case, Scout was suddenly down a place to sleep, and up in worries over the furry creatures getting at his priceless secret stash of recalled Milky Way bars from the ’90s with the packaging reading “Milfy Way.”

It was time for Scout to gather his courage and face the menacing open maw of the Champaign-Urbana housing market. He sincerely doubted he would emerge unscathed — but perhaps he would learn some invaluable life lessons along the way. 

 

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The Apartment 

Decidedly optimistic about his beginner’s luck in the C-U housing market, Scout printed out a web page of different apartments around the area for rent. Taping it to the wall of his temporary home, his professor’s office in the currently under-construction fourth floor of Altgeld Hall, he blindly tossed a dart at it and made an instantaneous decision.

The next day, Scout set out to tour his prospective abode — an apartment just off Green Street, close enough to smell the delectability of Bangkok Thai in the evenings but far enough to feel a profound sense of fear every time he heard a car backfire.

The landlord was waiting there wearing a freshly tailored suit, a bed of rose petals greeting Scout across the plush carpet. Scout stepped inside and gaped in awe at the apartment’s magnificence. 

As the landlord showed him around, Scout made mental notes of the vast array of benefits the apartment held for him. There was running water, a window and what the landlord called a shower of “Sahara-esque” design: The water rarely came, but when it did, it was a sight to behold.

Feeling cozy already and more than a bit cultured, Scout took a deep breath and leaned against the wall. The landlord began to object for some unknown reason, and Scout fell straight through the fiberglass and paper maché.

Being used to the steam tunnels, Scout didn’t bat an eye, but the sight of him lying in a cloud of dust in the next room over was too much for the landlord to bear.

Out in the brisk autumn air, Scout flicked a rose petal off his shoulder. Onto the next prospective abode.

 

The House 

Suburbia had always intrigued Scout: What kind of individual would settle down in a stately fashion, mowing the lawn once a week and only having time to use it once a month?

Still, Scout made his way up the cobblestone steps of a quaint little Urbana cottage. Wrinkling his nose, he looked around at the surrounding architecture. It was nothing like the apartment — nothing eye-catching at all about it. 

Having forgotten to notify the realtor, Scout showed himself in. Slipping on the kitchen tile as he clambered through the conveniently open kitchen window, Scout took a long look around. 

Immediately, Scout felt like a chicken at a swan convention. The pristine marble countertops of the kitchen and the grand towering pillars of the foyer gave Scout an immediate inferiority complex. 

He fought the urge to leap right back out the window and tiptoed further into the posh residence. 

Standing in the foyer, Scout missed the tight corridors and comfortably dense air of the steam tunnels. Looking down at his reflection on the floor of the foyer, he realized this bougie Urbana lifestyle could never be for him. 

Scout was, and would always remain, a man of the people.

 

The Dorm

A man of the people. That was Scout.

Staring at his reflection had given him an epiphany — a dorm was the only right call. A dorm was the only place he could truly call home. 

Scout didn’t know the name of the place, nor did he need to.

He’d packed his bags and walked over the minute he got off the bus from Urbana. And then, there he stood, gazing upon that beautiful brick building — a University dorm.

As he walked in, stepping over piles of empty Mountain Dew cans, Scout took a deep breath and felt an overwhelming sense of belonging. 

Up the stairs and into his room he went, beaming ear to ear.

To his surprise, he would be sharing this spacious residence with another student — Scout couldn’t believe it. Imagine, your new home coming along with a complimentary best friend. 

Scout waved away the flock of pigeons that had taken roost on his bed and sat pensively as he watched them scatter out the “atmospheric self-air-conditioning unit” and out of sight.

It had only been a few perfect minutes consisting of Scout eagerly listening to his roommate’s life story before a loud buzzing overcame them. Standing on the lawn outside, Scout realized that dorms encourage residents to leave in the case of a fire, whether it was real or not. This was news to Scout, seeing as how the steam tunnels’ acetone-covered walls often produced magnificent columns of flame. 

Scout sighed. Perhaps cuddling with a family of raccoons wasn’t so bad after all.

 

He grinned to himself. There truly was no place like home.

 

*Campus Scout writes opinion-based, satirical stories and uses fictional sourcing.*

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About the Contributors
Campus Scout is The Daily Illini's satirical columnist and is quite the character. Their identity, as per tradition, is kept a secret. Scout is known to make riveting social commentary and uses only the most reliable (fictitious) sources. Scout has been a part of the University for decades, disappearing briefly but returning as a writer in 2021 to cause a ruckus about the things that matter.
Amy Sanchez, Graphics Editor
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