Go, Mr. Wigglebottoms, Go!
WIGGLEBOTTOM, Mass. — The board of trustees of Amherst College last night announced the changing of the name of the college, after almost two hundred years, to Wigglebottom College. In a concurrent announcement, the town of Amherst let it be known that it was officially changing its name to Wigglebottom, Massachusetts. The changes were the culmination of weeks of protest by students due to the anti-Native-American racism of Lord Jeffrey Amherst, namesake of the town and college. The initial goal of the demonstrators was to replace the name of the school’s athletic teams, the Lord Jeffs. However, after they achieved success on that front—though their preferred alternative mascot, the moose, failed to gain traction due to confusion regarding its plural form—they pushed forward to the logical corollaries: if Lord Amherst was an undeserving namesake of the athletic teams, then even more so of the college and town.
The new eponym is Mr. George Wigglebottom, an 18th century stable boy and early settler of the town, whose great-grandson was a dormitory servant for the college in its early years. A careful analysis of the few surviving letters and remembrances of Mr. Wigglebottom produced no overt evidence of racism, sexism, ableism, heterosexism, cis-sexism, or speciesism (despite one ambiguous reference to a Chickasaw Pony as “my wee sugarlicker”), and so his surname was unanimously chosen as the new appellation for the school. The town selectmen followed suit within hours, and the college’s sports teams were immediately renamed the “Mr. Wigglebottoms.” Some students speculated that the new team name might be open to ridicule by opposing fans, but those varsity athletes questioned didn’t seem to mind the change. “Let me remind you,” said Chad Worth, captain of the football team, “we used to be called the Lord Jeffs.”
The new name seemed to be catching on until midday today, when a group of student protestors formed in front of the Robert Frost Library, demanding that the school name be changed once again. “Wigglebottom,” they said, was offensive to women, a reminder of the days when a pleasingly pendulating derrière was the primary credential for being hired as secretary to the dean of the college. The board of trustees concurred and are currently searching for a new name.
The Wigglebottom, Mass. selectmen, however, were not so quick to turn their backs on the new town name. In a press release, they let it be known that they would not be caving in to the latest demands of the protesters: “We like Wigglebottom, and we’re sticking with it.”