The Chicago Shady Dealer

The Chicago Shady Dealer

The Only Intentional Humor Publication of the University of Chicago

Growing Student Movement Demands University Divest from John D. Rockefeller's Oil-Suffused Corpse

by Thomas Noriega

The previous week saw the first major demonstration by student action group, “Maroons Against Oil Corpse," a new movement demanding that the university invest in renewable power rather than continue to use the petroleum-filled body of Standard Oil Company founder John D. Rockefeller as fuel. Members of the student body and faculty gathered on the Quad last Tuesday to demand that the administration stop relying on the hundreds of barrels of crude oil the former robber baron exudes from his tomb beneath Rockefeller Chapel.

After his death in 1937, Rockefeller pledged his body to the university, citing the ceaseless flow of crude oil from his every orifice as a fitting contribution to the lasting health of the university. He was famously interred beneath the chapel bearing his name, his body placed within an ornate golden coffin connected to a massive combustion engine. This engine processed and burned the flow of oil, producing electricity for both the university and the surrounding neighborhoods. Upon the hulking contraption of metal and flame—renamed the Arley D. Cathey Memorial Corpse Engine in 2005—was placed a dedicatory plaque, bearing the famous inscription: “That the candle of knowledge be never snuffed out, Rockefeller’s oil-blood shall forever spout."

But despite this inspiring legacy, environmentally and existentially conscious students are calling the 80-year-old Corpse Engine's efficacy into question. “The environmental impact is unprecedented,” said fouth-year chemistry major Erika Lacy. “It’s bad enough that nonrenewable energy sources are contributing to climate change, but university policy employs an infinitely renewable nonrenewable energy source, producing unlimited greenhouse gases. Rockefeller’s secretions are the single most dangerous threat to our climate imaginable.”

“Honestly, UChicago can power itself however it wants,” said second year global studies major Sven Ottsborn. “Coal, oil, solar, packs of horses on a treadmill, whatever. If I can understand the metaphysical basis of my electricity, I’m OK with it, but a dead body tapping into an extradimensional supply of petroleum? That’s not okay.”

The university released a statement yesterday asserting that violating the law of conservation of matter and all ethical standards surrounding the respectful treatment of the deceased was in keeping with the vision of the University of Chicago. “We bow before neither God nor man,” the statement concluded, “and we shall rebuild the edifice of understanding piece by piece until God and man alike bow before us.”

Despite the administration’s defiance, members of the physics department have expressed interest in replacing Rockefeller’s death engine with the much cleaner and safer Enrico Fermi Nuclear Corpse-Reactor.