On mid-afternoon, February 8, every DHS student received an ominous email from O*YAD’s own Mr. Moran with a subject line reading “Hey Squishie.” While this headline certainly drew our eyes towards Mr. Moran’s goals of filling out the yearbook, it seems that there are much more suspicious, or even sinister schemes bubbling beneath the surface.
“Hey Squishie” raises far more questions than it answers. Why does he address the readers as Squishie? Are we Squishie? How does he know? How, in fact, does Mr. Moran know enough about the popularity of Squishmallows but no other trends or collectible items? I offer the theory that Moran is himself a fan, diving into a bed filled to the brim and boiling over with ‘mallows of all shapes and sizes after a grueling day of email-subject brainstorming.
Moran’s track record of oddities is nothing new. Five days prior to the Squishie Enigma, Moran sent a message titled “Hey Gamers.” Any self-respecting gamer would know better than to reveal themselves through some public means like the yearbook and yet he pries. The ball unravels further when you consider his request for “Zoom horror stories” which he requested twice, once in the midst of Zoom Bombings so horrific that school was canceled one day.
By now Moran must be hiding something. The requests of pictures of our desks, our pets, our squishiest frivolities—it’s as if Moran is collecting intel on teenagers, researching humanity at its most volatile age. Moreover, this secret identity is supported by the strange array of emojis accompanying his initial message: a smile, a face with sunglasses, a devil smiling, a robot, and a smiling cat. The common motifs present are that of someone pretending to be something they are not. Sunglasses, covering the face of the wearer. The devil, who often appears as a human to deceive others into making regrettable deals. The robot, almost human but not quite. A cat, personified as a human but distinctly not one. Or perhaps someone, something, extraterrestrial and taking the form of a kind-hearted fine arts teacher.
The Flipside staff reached out to Mr. Moran for a comment to which he responded with a long, drawn-out, and menacing maniacal laugh as he rubbed his hands together like Mr. Burns from the Simpsons.
Moran signs every email with a Henry Ford quote: “Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently.” When you can’t hear firsthand accounts about our Zooms, acquire pictures of the pets living in their homes. If you can’t get puppy pics, go after the vulnerable, the oppressed, the gamers. Obtain pictures of them and their squishie counterparts in the beds we humans use to “recharge.” Moran is working smarter, not harder, and he (it?) has always been one step ahead. Squish carefully.

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