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Friday, Dec 8, 2023

Whatever re-floats your boat: Our take on the Suez Canal conundrum

<span class="photocreditinline"><a href="">Pia Contreras</a></span>

The world has waited with bated breath, and today we break our silence. A little over a week ago, the infamous Ever Given container ship ran aground in the Suez Canal, blocking the channel as well as the 12% of global trade that flows through its waters. 

Although she has recently been freed from calamity, we drew on the brilliant minds of our editorial board to propose a set of alternative solutions. Without further ado, here is each section of our board’s plans for foolproof boat-dislodgement. 

From the News Desk:

We feel that the Middlebury administration could take steps to alleviate the crisis in the Suez Canal by issuing a vague statement in support of the boat. If necessary, the administration could even call upon donors to unrestrict earmarked endowment funds for this essential procedure. While we wait, the administration should send daily emails about how the boat hasn’t moved but may move in the future. 

We also recall that the college has handled sudden evacuation processes in the past. Telling the Ever Given it needs to leave by Friday and sending some boxes and tape might help the boat get a move on.

The Ever Given’s crew could also make use of some fidget spinners, Oreos, expired bread and a mental health flier in order to manage stress. 

If all else fails, the administration can just delete the boat.


From the Local Desk:

We suggest finding two Middlebury horses to pull the ship. Each horse would have to pull 111,000 tons, which seems reasonable for a garbage-pulling horse considering the amount of dining hall containers that Midd students throw in the trash

We also propose dumping enough milk into the canal to refloat the boat. Vermont currently produces 2.3 billion pounds of milk annually from 135,000 dairy cows on about 1,000 dairy farms. In the meantime, we don’t think Midd students will have any trouble subsisting on oat milk. 

And if that doesn’t do the trick, we’re sure that Midd students can drunkenly tear the boat apart on Friday night and bring the pieces back to their dorm rooms. 

From the Arts & Culture Desk:

After much thought, we at Arts & Culture have decided that the best course of action is to move the boat emotionally. We suggest blasting Olivia Rodrigo’s “Driver’s License” until the boat’s emotional flood-gates fly open, unblocking the canal. The onlookers will surely be in a celebratory mood, but the boat will be a total wreck. 

We also workshopped hiring the producers of “Up” to tie a million balloons to the boat and float it away. And if that doesn’t work, we suggest replacing every piece of the ship one-by-one and having Philosophy majors ponder if it is the same boat. 

From the Opinion Desk: 

The captain of the Ever Given just submitted a long-awaited NFTD (“Notes from the Deck”) affirming that the boat forgot to fill out its Policy Path, and is now in isolation housing under “dubious circumstances.” We await responses from the community. 

In order to get the boat moving, the Opinions Desk has decided that a Hamilton Forum debate is in order, so that we can get to the bottom of contested questions such as: Are boats and canals compatible? Should Suez Canal maritime affirmative action be size or cargo-based? And finally, does the boat deserve to be unstuck?


From the Sports Desk:

We all know the men’s and women’s swim and dive teams were starved of a season this year, so why not give them a chance to compete? After the countless hours they’ve invested into weightlifting and carb-loading, you would think they’d have the power to free the boat stuck in the Suez Canal. I mean, if they’re not up to this task, how can they expect to compete against Williams or Amherst?

“We’re one of the strongest teams in the NESCAC, and strong teams are expected to do big-time things,” a Middlebury swim and dive coach definitely didn’t say. “I mean, it’ll be great to just see the swimmers get out there and compete. The away trip will be a longer one than usual, but thanks to all the homework professors have been assigning, I think the kids will be able to stay engaged throughout the journey.” 

From the Online Team:

The online team encourages the ship experts to try turning it off and back on again.

From the Photo Team:

Why don’t they just photoshop it out of the way?

It’s overtly clear that a group of college students residing in land-locked, rural Vermont has the maritime skills necessary to maximize efficiency the next time around. If only they had called upon us last week…

This editorial represents the opinions of the Middlebury Campus’s editorial board.