ATHENS, Tenn. — Punks across Tennessee sifting through dumpsters for “perfectly good food” are inadvertently becoming the most well-educated people in America thanks to multiple statewide book bans, confirmed sources currently finishing Art Spiegelman’s Pulitzer-prize winning work “Maus.”
“What started as a routine once-over for day-old bagels turned into a journey of enlightenment, self-discovery, and a situatedness within my own lived experiences,” reports one such dumpster diver referred to only as Keek. “The books that this school throws away have changed the way I look at the world, history, everything. Maybe if some of these conservative congress members were allowed within 100 feet of a school, they’d find some of this stuff isn’t half bad.”
McMinn County Director of Schools, Lee Parkison, has weathered recent criticism on his bookshelf-to-receptacle pipeline, but has assured taxpayers he takes pride in being the cultural epicenter of the Athens vagabond population.
“I’m kind of a history buff. I learned about World War II just like everybody else did, by looking at statues, and I know for a fact that there were no mice in the Holocaust. This type of fiction, much like certain health textbooks we’ve banned that spout ludicrous fantasies of something called a ‘clitoris,’ does not belong in the modern classroom,” said Parkison. “However, any escapism we can donate to the less fortunate going through our garbage is just another example of our schools giving back to the community.”
Tennessee punks like Keek may be getting more of an opportunity than they realize, as the Library of Congress archive curation team has long held the Southern Rejected Literature genre in high regard.
“We often get jealous of Tennessee School Dumpster Collection,” said Dana Sanchez, who has been tasked with keeping track of each piece of media Tennessee lawmakers suddenly despise. “It’s very influential on the literature and film we end up saving for preservation in our own archives. We have a saying in academia, ‘to see the future, look in Tennessee’s trash.’ This can also be literally true when finding abandoned babies wrapped in discarded sex-ed curricula.”
At press time, Keek has teamed with Athens-area activism groups to start rumors that non-perishable, canned goods are “gender-affirming and woke” in order to facilitate donations to people experiencing homelessness.
Photo by Jana Miller