Champaign, IL — Heavy rains struck Central Illinois this week, causing flash flooding in much of the UIUC campus and across the Champaign-Urbana area. Perhaps the worst of the flooding happened at a nearly full-to-capacity Red Lion, where several feet of dirty water rushed into the campus bar and yielded not a single visible reaction from the college-age patrons.
Only mildly interested, a few bar-goers briefly conversed about the sludge spreading across the floor, asking, “Oh, is the bathroom flooded already? It’s usually not this bad until after 10:00 p.m.” “Nah,” another witness shrugged. “It doesn’t smell bad enough to be the bathroom yet. And it’s not sticky enough to be booze, besides where there’s clumps of mud.” Both who had commented promptly tucked their pants into their shoes and dropped the subject.
The floodwater was reportedly entering from at least 4 more leaks in Red Lion’s poorly maintained, rapidly dissolving infrastructure. Those at the venue seemed not to be particularly troubled by the standing water, and could be heard shouting phrases including “More of the same ol’, same ol’ for ya!” and “Lion smells better than usual tonight. I don’t trust it one bit.”
As the levels of sludge rose across the bar floor, like they do every night, one of the speakers short circuited, to the chagrin of everyone who seemed to be having an otherwise good time. “Aw, c’mon, man!” bellowed one of the Red Lion staff. “That’s the fifth time this week. And we’re all out of Drano again, too.”
Spirits began to rise again soon after the incident, when murky water still spilling in became so high that it reached the top of the bar. Those standing around the bar were relieved to find that they could float their drinks in the sewage and free up both hands for twerking and icing out. “This is great,” exclaimed a satisfied student as she sat two purplish drinks in the dirty water in front of her so that she could try, and fail, to milly rock, instead splashing the surrounding filth into all neighboring drinks.
“Look, we know. We’re all basically soaked up to our nips in liquid garbage from the street,” admitted sophomore Mario Barenas in between intervals of splash-dabbing to the song “King Kunta.” “But we can’t really complain. This is basically how it is every time I come here, only this time there’s just some dirt instead of all the shit and vomit that’s usually drifted out from The Cocktagon by now. So what if the water line is a few feet higher? This is the best time I’ve ever had at Lion — my shoes aren’t even sticky at all right now. Can you believe this shit?”
Red Lion management asserted that they were pleased with the students’ experience there, and that “a little Drano goes a helluva long way.” The staff at Red Lion say they plan to keep their doors open during heavy rainfall in the future and are always open to all customer feedback that doesn’t involve spending money on new facilities of any kind.