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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

2-26-24 PDF
February 26, 2024
An inside look at Bobby B. Beacon’s insides. Illustrated by Bianca Oppedisano/ Mass Media Staff.
Bobby's Inside Story
February 26, 2024

Go bump in the night with the UMass Boston Bumpers Club

Bianca Oppedisano
A group of monsters gather around a karaoke machine, passionately singing. Illustration by Bianca Oppedisano / Mass Media Staff.

When you hear the word “monster,” what images come to mind? Tall, slimy creatures with razor-sharp fangs and a lust for human blood? A sentient, child-eating house that’s possessed by the spirit of a cranky old man’s dead wife? One hundred fifty—and more to see—tiny animals that live inside balls in your pocket? Whatever it may be, many misconceptions exist about what monsters are and what they do. The UMass Boston Bumpers Club seeks to challenge these misconceptions by providing a safe space for the University’s more monstrous students to engage with their culture by indulging in a plethora of spooky activities.

The club has only existed for a little over a year, but it’s already been successful in cultivating a sizable community of campus creatures. Club leader, Spooky John, attributes this success to the club’s core principle: acceptance. 

“Monsters come in all shapes and sizes and adhere to many different creeds,” said John. “The mission of our club is to give these monsters a place to go where they can really just be themselves. Blobs, globs, goblins, mummies, skeletons, headless horsemen, Frankensteins; no matter who or what you are, we accept you and encourage you to go bump in the night however you see fit. I mean, look at me for crying out loud! My skin’s made of worms and maggots!”

For many non-monster students, there may be some confusion as to why they haven’t noticed any werewolves or Shreks roaming the halls, but John insists that this community of people is good at going unnoticed and “waiting in the shadows until the time is right to strike.” He also informed me that one of the club’s larger focuses is fighting the school for a broader selection of night classes to better accommodate those who tend to disintegrate in sunlight.

As many types of monsters exist, it’s only natural that Bumpers take pride in the things that set them apart. I learned this firsthand by talking—with the help of a telepathic goblin translator—to Gary the red, gelatinous glob.   

“I don’t know if people are stupid, or if they just refuse to care, but yes, there is a difference between globs and blobs—a big difference. Blobs, for all extents and purposes, are dumb. No really, I mean this as literally as possible. Blobs are incapable of thought. I’m not even sure if you can consider them living beings. They’re like the jellyfish of the monster world, floating around aimlessly like farts on the breeze, taking up space and wasting oxygen. Us globs, on the other hand, are known not only for our intellectual prowess, but also for our charisma and ingenuity.”  

According to Gary, there have been many misrepresentations of globs in media, the worst offender being the 1958 B-movie “The Blob.” Gary claims that the titular blob was actually a glob and further claims that the film was originally going to be called “The Glob,” before the studio got cold feet and changed it last minute. Another, more recent, instance of this is in the 2009 animated film, “Monsters vs. Aliens,” where the character of B.O.B. is depicted as being a blob when, in reality, he is clearly a glob.  

Sadly, misrepresentations like this are commonplace in human-produced media, and films that showcase monsters positively like “Monsters Inc.” are few and far between. For this reason, the Bumpers have been setting aside funds to write and produce their own short films to better educate the human population on the nuances of monsterhood. 

Natalie, a Loch Ness monster and aspiring filmmaker, has taken it upon herself to see that the Bumper’s first production, entitled “The Stages of Skeletal Birth,” grabs people’s attention and teaches them something along the way. 

“I’m really excited about Skeletal Birth,” says Natalie. “It’s a really important topic that even those in the monster community know little about. Undead skeletons are usually thought of as being the remains of deceased humans, but in reality, they’re actually their own organisms. They were born as skeletons. Imagine that, a skeleton giving birth to another skeleton? It’s wild stuff and I’m approaching it from a bit of a neo-realist angle.”

While the Bumpers undoubtedly offer some great educational resources for both monsters and humans, what it means to “bump” is still shrouded in mystery. When asked to clarify what “bumping in the night” actually entails, Spooky John wasn’t much help.  

“People always ask me what the best bump I’ve ever had was. What, do you think I’m one of those creeps who records and ranks all their bumps? Look, we’re monsters, going bump in the night is just what we do. There’s nothing weird or nefarious about it at all. Just ask Gary, we bumped one off last night, and I have to say, that was a pretty good bump… not that I’m keeping score!”

Despite the tantalizing offer of bumping around with Spooky John and company, the Bumpers’ most popular event is karaoke night, now held weekly in Ballroom B of the Campus Center. The singing begins around midnight and goes until daybreak with a 90-minute optional bump break somewhere in between. Even if you don’t have knives for fingers or snakes for hair, you’re still more than welcome to come along and join in the fun. However, Gary has warned that, due to the tendency of monsters to be eternally undead, many members of the club are stuck in the past, so brace yourself for a heaping helping of the golden oldies.

Ultimately, if you’re a monster who’s been looking for a group of peers that you can relate to, or a human looking to broaden your cultural horizons, then quit wasting time and slide your bony backside into Spooky John’s Hotmail inbox. And maybe you’re not ready to go full spooky. That’s cool, the UMass Boston Bumpers Club will take you however you are. Whatever you do, though, just remember the Bumpers’ official mantra: Don’t be a chump, get with the bump.

About the Contributors
Joe DiPersio, Humor Editor
Bianca Oppedisano, Illustrator