After many debates and discussions on how to handle the seemingly endless problems with congested parking lots, UMBC has officially declared that the only viable solution is to place contenders for parking spots into one-on-one duels to the death.
The decision will mark a bold new direction in handling parking problems, which have long been an issue for commuters and students. With the help of a supporting smartphone app, students can register to fight in an arena using direct combat until they have bathed themselves in the blood of their opponent.
Bouts make use of improvised weapons such as tire irons, mufflers, and broken windshield glass. The winner also gets to ceremoniously douse their felled opponent’s car in gasoline and watch as it is set ablaze, chanting, “The machine gods thirst for blood and oil!” while holding up their foe’s steering wheel.
This decision was finalized by Student Life Director of Modern Gladiatorial Combat and biology junior Jonathan Case, who said, “I think this is the best decision going forward. It’s time we gave this pressing student issue the thought and care that it deserves. We’ve received a lot of positive feedback about this, especially when we see entrails flying around.”
Case is no stranger to the arena, wearing his arena grandmaster’s necklace made from severed squirrel heads. He also boasts a sizable collection of hubcaps that he’s sharpened into a razor-like edge for future bouts, though he says that he prefers the muffler in the arena. Case mentioned the impact of removing the excess cars, “Now, we have much more room because we’ve systematically destroyed hundreds of them. Think of how much better life will be for the students who show up. Sure, it means their friends won’t be around, but that’s just the cost of business.”
Overall, students have been very receptive to the new policy. A blood-soaked Samantha Dominguez, a sophomore chemical engineering major, has taken this opportunity to fully embrace her darkest impulses, saying, “When you’re out there with just your wits and a chain, you have think quickly. You have to be strategic, find the carotid artery. That’s something that I think is lacking from academics these days. Sometimes I go into class covered with blood and gasoline, and people ask me to shower. They don’t get that this is the scent of victory, for both me and the machine gods.”
Dominguez often has to spend many of her afternoons removing dismembered limbs from her car, but doesn’t seem to mind. She said, “Whether it’s getting ready for class, finishing an important paper or repurposing the limbs of my fallen adversaries, I treat them with the same sense of duty and care.”
But not all students have taken kindly to this shift. Senior english major Heather Coleman, one of the practice’s most vocal objectors, said, “This is a barbaric display of inhumane behavior that should be condemned by everyone. We need to start asking serious questions like why our society is so centered around cars, why our country’s public transportation is so poor, and what the long-term ramifications of being dependent on cars with environmental issues like climate change and oil depletion will be. This can’t be the way forward.”
However, objectors like Coleman often face fierce opposition from current arena fighters who chant, “Machine gods! Machine gods! Bring her to the Isle of Chrome and Glory!”
The crowd of arena fighters did not respond to requests for comment on their previous statements, as they quickly devolved into fighting amongst themselves. For now, it seems that the machine gods will have plenty to be thankful for.