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  • Maxwell Maceluch

Student Replaces Fire Alarm with Soothing Wind Chimes; 4 Dead


Fire, fire on the mountain! (or rather, next to it). Oneida was engulfed in flames last night to the usual, rank smell of weed and the unusual, sweet sound of wind chimes jingling in the breeze, leaving many freshmen confused and a few charred. Before engineering student Aidan Hagan could escape the scene, his mother decided to give him a call, sounding off an eerily similar ringer. “I was sick of the noise,” he told the campus police as they carried him away in handcuffs.


Oneida was a Freshmen Experience dorm and the crown jewel of College-in-the-Woods, a highrise living community named after the now desolate nature preserve the dorm once bordered. Not many miss the place; Oneidans despise the dilapidated old building almost as much as they hate one another. The vending machines reset mid-transaction. The heaters went off whenever they pleased. Its fire alarms went off approximately twenty times last year and there were no signs of stopping until now. Tired of being ushered out to stand around in the cold for half an hour at random intervals, Hagan decided to put his engineering skills to the test.


The following plan, titled “Wind Chimes” is written in his notes app:

  • Download “Wind Chimes Sound Effects (free)” off of YouTube with a YouTube to MP3 converter

  • ██████████████████████████████

  • Book a 3D printing appointment with the Emerging Technology Studio in the Technology Hub

  • Print

  • Open a fire alarm by ████████████████████ and insert the microchip into the ███████



“I thought everyone would appreciate it,” he confessed during the interrogation. “I spent so much time switching out the microchips in each and every room’s alarm.”


Most were actually oblivious to the entire dorm being on fire. Baked from all the burning weed, sixth floor resident Matthew Tollander could not identify why his suitemates were running out of the building: “I was working on my stats homework, hopelessly lost, but then…this lovely sound came on… it really helped out before it started getting a little toasty, gee-hee.” About 30% of the surviving population report being “high as a kite” and “not knowing what’s going on” during the fire. Nearly escaping death after passing out, a floorthirdian chimed in afterward. “I woke to it, thinking my alarm went off. Sucks if you were asleep and didn’t notice. Take this L.”


About a carful of people were handed Ls that hour; the bodies were burned beyond recognition. Through an attendance sheet, Oneida’s RA team determined who was among them. Bernie Wood, Robert Byrne, Mark Z. Spot, and Ember von Brandt all lost their lives in the fire. “This is horrible,” reported one student whose living conditions were greatly improved having lost an annoying roommate to the fire.


“We would hand you over to the real authorities,” the Binghamton engineering department revealed in an email to Aidan, “but we’re so impressed with your craftsmanship that we’ll simply mark the incident as an incomplete assignment.” He resumed classes the following day and continues to receive calls from his mother every week with the same calming sound. “I can’t believe it…” the unintentional arsonist revealed upon learning about the incinerations, “I bet they liked the noise more than the alarm though.”


In light of this event, Oneida will now designate an RA to act as a human alarm for each and every room. The rooms themselves are to be rebuilt using inflammable materials. Binghamton’s architectural budget only allows for toothpicks and glue doused in fire extinguisher spray at the moment. The tuition money of the lives lost in this tragedy has been distributed into College-in-the-Woods’ Casino-in-the-Woods gambling ring, with many Oneida residents now entering to raise funding for their home.

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