The CU Boulder campus is reeling today after news broke that Ralphie V, beloved buffalo mascot, has been a robot the whole time.

Ralphie V was introduced to the public as CU Boulder’s latest buffalo mascot in 2007. Although the official record states that Ralphie V was “born in October 2006 on the Vermejo Park Ranch,” the truth is now out: Ralphie V was crafted in CU’s own Engineering Center.

“I am deeply sorry to announce that Ralphie V is actually Robo Ralphie I,” said Arnie Bubulas, a former professor in the engineering department, in an open letter to students and faculty. “I am sorry for the pain this will cause many of you.”

The news has shocked the campus. Already, students are holding silent vigils for “the Ralphie that never was.” The president has made a formal announcement expressing his surprise, disappointment, and sadness. Universities all over the nation are sending thoughts and prayers.

“I never thought my school could betray me like that,” said Stephanie Harris, junior. “And after all the money my parents put in to have me accepted here. This is like, totally unfair.”

When asked why he chose to reveal the truth about Ralphie now, Bubalus looked sheepish. “Well, it’s actually all because of Arnie II.”

Bubalus, apparently pleased with the success of Robo Ralphie I, decided to try his hand at another robotics project shortly after Robo Ralphie I turned five (0101 in robot years).

“I thought I could create a robot graduate student to, you know, save some money,” said Bubalus. “I modeled it after the best graduate student I remembered from my career: Me, of course.”

Arnie II, an almost exact copy of Bubalus himself, was a success. He was efficient, clean, and—unlike other graduate students—never had to do inconvenient things like “go on vacation” or “eat.” He was so much more efficient, in fact, that Bubalus decided he probably didn’t need any human graduate students. But things started to go wrong when he broke the news to his lab.

“We just couldn’t believe it,” said Kate Stills, a disillusioned student. “I mean Arnie II was faster than us, more precise than us, and a better source of dad jokes… but what else does he bring to the table? I mean, can he even make coffee?” (In fact, Arnie II does have native espresso machine functionality.)

Arnie’s students decided to revolt. “We didn’t think that other people would really care that some grad students were getting fired,” said Stills. “But if they heard that Ralphie was a robot? Man, heads would really roll.” She clarified: “Specifically, Arnie’s head. I wasn’t involved in the robo buff. You guys know that, right?”

Stills, along with two other graduate students who wished to remain anonymous, went to the Daily Camera. The news broke Sunday morning, and today Arnie Bubalus is expected to make an apology speech.

“Yes,” said Bubalus, in response to questions from Science Buffs. “I will make an apology speech on this day. I am looking forward to it. Have a nice day. Can I make you some coffee?”

By Alison Gilchrist


Posted by Science Buffs

A CU Boulder STEM Blog

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