Although summer has not yet officially started, Gainesville has seen no mercy; temperatures have already soared into the high 90s. Local students enrolled in summer classes have taken notice of changes the heat has made to a popular landmark on campus: Turlington’s Potato has been steadily darkening in color since the semester began.
“At first when I saw it, I thought I just had sweat in my eyes and wasn’t seeing straight,” rising junior Mark Weebly recounted. “Like, maybe the Potato just got a little tan. But then I realized, no this isn’t a dream. The Potato is baked.”
Studies have shown that the layer of atmosphere directly above UF’s campus can magnify the heat up to four times, making many afternoons feel like a toasty 450°F. University researchers are baffled by these results and have conducted numerous experiments in an attempt to disprove them, but to no avail.
“I just don’t know how it’s possible,” tenured professor Roger Smithson marveled. “It’s literally just a sculpture, but somehow the Potato has been cooked to perfection, unlike the French Fries, which are unfortunately burnt to a crisp.”
Students have been worked into a frenzy, some even have even gone so far as to rub butter and sour cream on the piece.
“I love baked potatoes,” sophomore Cynthia Cohen announced proudly in between frantic gnaws. “But I can’t eat them plain, like duh. I have to have sour cream.”
The Potato is expected to be done baking at approximately 7 p.m., aptly timing it to be a side dish for dinners citywide. Although there have been no reports of other sculptures becoming edible, officials are keeping a close eye on the Albert and Alberta statues outside of Emerson Alumni Hall, in case they become the main course.
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