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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Seeing through blue-tinted glasses: Alumnus suffers from ‘Beacon Blues’

Bianca Oppedisano
A UMass Boston alum jumps in excitement, annoying hockey fans around him. Illustration by Bianca Oppedisano / Mass Media Staff.

His blue “Beacons” hoodie swayed with his body as he jumped up and down in the bleachers like a sentient pogo stick, brought to life knowing no other objective. But if this were the man’s purpose, he had truly devoted himself to it, and as he pumped his fist into the air with deafening chants of “UMB! UMB! UMB!” he had made his purpose the problem of the students around him who wanted nothing more than to casually enjoy a simple hockey game. 

This invigorated onlooker was Chester, a UMass Boston alum who hasn’t missed a single university sporting event in the past ten years since graduating, and the latest victim to suffer from a phenomenon known as the “Beacon Blues.”

While more research still needs to be conducted, University Health Services describes the Beacon Blues as “an inescapable longing to return to a past that never existed.” This definition may seem to describe basic childhood nostalgia, but in the case of the Beacon Blues, the “past that never existed” refers specifically to a person’s time as a student at UMass Boston. 

That being said, those afflicted by the Blues tend to be those who have been long-graduated from the university, and, for whatever reason, have decided to create false memories in their minds about how good their time in college actually was. They take it beyond misremembering into the realm of memory manifestation and straight delusion, which in Chester’s case, has led to a later-life obsession with all things UMass Boston. 

“The guy’s always been a wacky, tacky nut job,” says Alvy, Chester’s longtime friend and current roommate. “I mean, you’re talking about the guy who once showed up to an OnlyFans girl’s funeral to deliver a beyond-inappropriate eulogy in front of her mourning family. The guy who’s been essentially stalking the same girl—Chelsea, if you’re reading this, consider a restraining order—for the past ten years. The guy who once went out to find Chelsea’s missing cat, accidentally ran it over with his car and proceeded to do a ‘Weekend at Bernie’s.’ So yeah, for a guy like Chester, this whole ‘Beacon Blues’ thing isn’t really beneath him.”

Although Alvy has been friends with Chester since high school, it should be noted that he isn’t the most reliable source of information. Never having gone to college himself, Alvy is an enigmatic figure with many strange views that are, quite frankly, so absurd that the word “conspiracy” doesn’t do them justice. 

From thinking that “female pregnancy is a big-pharma hoax” to believing the government has been covering up the truth about dinosaur penises given the fact that fossilized remains have never been found—which is rooted in his theory that dinosaurs had human penises along with his theory that the penis becomes a bone during erection, á la boner, meaning any male dinosaur who had a mass extinction kink would have ‘died hard’ and had it preserved—Alvy is, very clearly, a total “wacky, tacky nut job” as he would say.

Despite his faults, Alvy just couldn’t bear to see his best friend forget just how much college sucked, so he decided to get some people together and hold an intervention to force Chester to come to grips with his Beacon Blues. Assembling an A-list team of coworkers, acquaintances and the CEO of Frank’s Franks, Frank, Alvy tricked Chester into showing up to the abandoned parking garage underneath Wheatley by telling him Chelsea was going to be there. Unsurprisingly, as soon as he arrived, Chester flew off the handle into a fit of defensiveness. 

“I know what this is, and I don’t have a problem!” Chester’s harsh yells echoed through the damp, fungus-covered cavities of Wheatley’s underbelly. “College was the greatest time of my life! My peak! I’m a Beacon through and through, and there’s no changing that! There’s no such thing as the Beacon Blues! It’s a lie! You have no idea how great it was, Alvy! The toga parties, the running in and out of doors that led to children’s bedrooms seeing who could fill up their Scream-o-meter the most. You call that false nostalgia?” 

“Yes I do, Chester,” said Alvy matter-of-factly, “Because what you are describing are not your memories, they’re scenes from the movies ‘Animal House’ and ‘Monsters University.’ I didn’t want to do this… Sam, roll out the TV.” 

Chester’s face dropped, his eyes reflecting the sorrow of a deep betrayal as his former college dormmate, Sam, walked out from behind a pillar rolling an old, elementary-school-style box television set. Apparently, when Chester was in college, Alvy had paid Sam to set up cameras in their dorm to keep track of Chester’s daily doings to be used as either future blackmail or, in this case, a reality check. Within moments of Sam popping in the VHS tape, Chester’s true UMass Boston experience was revealed.  

As seen in the footage, and corroborated by Sam, 90 percent of Chester’s time was spent alone in his dorm crying, watching “Naruto” and masturbating furiously. The other 10 percent was spent trying to pick up girls in front of the Beacon Fitness Center by pretending to look winded after a workout that never occurred, and when that failed, returning to the dorm to double down on the previously mentioned three activities, usually all at once. 

Being confronted by the truth is never easy, and for Chester, it nearly destroyed him. Sobbing pools of regret into the cracking, uneven ground, he shattered. “Oh my god, I’m such a pathetic loser! I have nothing! Nothing at all to get excited about anymore. No passion in my life whatsoever, only regret. I’m… I’m nothing.”

Consoling his friend with a heartfelt embrace, Alvy whispered in his ear, “It’s good to have you back, buddy.” 

If you, or someone you know, is suffering from the Beacon Blues, do not hesitate to seek professional medical help. It’s a fast-moving and potentially contagious disease that risks permanently damaging your brain’s ability to move on. Those who are predisposed to a yearning for the past are highly susceptible. As of now, it is estimated that four out of eight UMass Boston alumni suffer from this dangerous disease. Do not wait. Call now, toll-free at 1-800-THEBLUES. 

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