After watching the award-winning documentary “Icarus” on Netflix over winter break, Nick Salivatti had an idea. Inspired by the elaborate blood swapping scheme that allowed Russian athletes to test negative for use of performance-enhancing drugs, Salivatti realized he could run a similar racket based on campus’s hottest commodity: COVID-free spit.
Salivatti hatched the plot from his dorm room, remaining constantly hydrated so that he had a steady supply of saliva to fill the vials hidden under his futon. He sold the clean spit for 7.79 in Flex Points, the exact price of one grande size gelato at Hagerty Family Cafe.
Why did students trade their precious points for a negative test? For some, it was to avoid “quarantine shaming,” the phenomenon of being silently judged as you wheel your belongings across campus and people try to determine whether you have COVID or if that large suitcase is just your gym bag. Others knew they would be ridiculed if forced to admit that they were hip to hip and nose to nose with their peers as they galloped through Newf’s in February.
One student admitted to a newfound addiction: “The serotonin rush that I get from seeing I have a message from Cindy Shorts, RN in my UHS patient portal and ‘no further action is required’? Unmatched. One day I really needed that boost, and someone told me about Two Spit Nick.”
Salivatti, known colloquially as Two Spit Nick for his uncanny ability to fill the saliva tube with a mere two loogies, enabled an estimated 47 COVID cases to run free on campus and was enjoying almost daily gelato feasts. After two weeks of successful spit swapping, however, his salivation scheme came to a rapid halt.
Campus authorities were alerted to suspicious activity when a Hagerty Family Cafe worker heard one student say he was heading to surveillance testing “as soon as I get my clean stuff from Two Spit.” Unfortunately for them, the cafe employee had only been masquerading as a gelato scooper: she, in fact, was a HERE ambassador deep undercover, trading the green polo shirt for a far more sinister black fedora. Her eyes and ears were open to malfeasance of the exact kind perpetrated by Salivatti.
The Hagerty Family Cafe’s nefarious on-campus influence doesn’t end with the undercover HERE agent: sources say that the cafe may be using the extra profits from Salivatti’s gelato purchases to pay fines to the CRU. They blame the cafe for luring students into eating and drinking too close to their saliva test time, thus tainting the samples. When asked for a comment, Hagerty spokespeople maintained that “the CRU chose to establish their testing site right across from our cafe. We’re only paying the fines so this doesn’t turn into another turf war.”
Salivatti, meanwhile, was apprehended last Wednesday and led away in green plastic HERE handcuffs on counts of corruption, racketeering and a third-degree violation of the Campus Compact. Two Spit had done one too many spits.