Satire: Boba, Too Good $2 Be True

Everyone who attends UCI is well aware of our obsession with boba. For just two dollars, you can get a cup of milk tea or taro sensation accompanied by cute black balls on your way to the library. Many clubs have resorted to selling boba, because it is cheap to acquire and brings guaranteed profit. If only our fellow anteaters knew that these little gummy balls of destruction are destroying the fabric of our campus all the time.

The $2 boba revolution began in the 90s, when UCI was debating between having a football-shaped football stadium or a uterus-shaped science library. After intensive debate, funding was approved for what is now called the Francisco J. Ayala Science Library. This was intended to be a win-win for both science majors and sports fanatics. By default, we would have an undefeated football team and our science majors would have maximum access to study and research facilities.

With UCI becoming a primarily academic-oriented campus, the boba business, with the backing of overseas organizations, was able to infiltrate campus life. Students began drinking this new beverage while studying for midterms and finals. Over time, the party life of UC Irvine slowly disappeared, social and political awareness dwindled and many incoming freshmen would choose to become Biology majors without knowing what they were going to do with such a degree. On weekends, the campus began to look like a scene from 28 Days Later. Today, many students choose to mourn their disastrous social life on “Confession” pages on Facebook.

You may think this a coincidence, but you do not know what is really in the tea. The original boba tea was used by ancient Thai priests who believed the boba balls were the tears of the gods and until recent times it was mainly an exclusive drink used for rituals. In 1989, UCI biochemist Dr. Ruford Shakingham attempted to chemically enhance these little black balls with a compound known as 4-methylzotzotalene, which became commonly known as “Zot Zot” among the biochemical community. The chemical affects the part of the brain that deals with ambition and career goals. Shakingham and his team wanted to create a new boba tea variant that would orient students toward purely scientific academia. The goal was to eventually have UC Irvine surpass other UC campuses, including UCLA and UC Berkeley, in research.

At first, Shakingham synthesized a new boba beverage with 75 percent Zot Zot content. This proved to be a detrimentally high concentration amount. The first human test-subject reacted so strongly that to this day he walks in a rhythmic fashion around the UCI area in a jersey and has been given the nickname “Swagman” among millennial students. Shakingham created a new variant with only 35 percent Zot Zot content, low enough to avoid extreme behavioral changes but high enough to orient students towards science. A deal was made between Shakingham and boba tea companies, and the rest is history.

The more students drank, the more they became inclined to pick a science major and all other pillars of UCI life collapsed. Many clubs and individuals try to resurrect what UCI once was, but fail due to many choosing to go home on the weekends, and study with their boba cups at Ayala.  Students are told that the slogan “Zot Zot” comes from a comic book craze with an anteater long ago. Since when is an anteater a heroic animal? When you make that hand gesture and yell that unearthly sound, you are really paying homage to the Shakingham legacy!

To stop prolonging this craze, inform your roommate, housemate, or nextdoor neighbor that boba will ruin their college life and most likely ruin their life after college. Remind them of the dangers that can result from drinking boba such as a decline in outdoor and social activities, along with lowered intelligence. You can also do the alternative and not let anyone know what you have learned and simply let your roommates and neighbors become unintelligent recluses. Regardless, always remember that boba is not your friend: only a friend-with-not-many-benefits.


HQ Satire Club focuses on satirizing current events and social issues. They can be reached at HeadQuartersUCI@gmail.com.