The Dingbat: UBC Bike Kitchen adopts theft to address funding deficit

Following the failure of an AMS referendum to increase its student fee last month, the UBC Bike Kitchen announced today that it plans to address its funding deficit by dramatically ramping up its use of theft. “We are keen to explore any and all available options to keep the Bike Kitchen solvent,” board member Rob Banks explained to The Ubyssey, “and that does not preclude the use of burglary, looting, shoplifting, plundering, grand larceny, regular larceny or any other sort of general thievery to make ends meet. The student population has truly left us Jokerfied.”

“As far as we are concerned, nothing is off the table. That is, of course, until we steal it off the table.”

Unattended laptops, which Kitchen staff intend to melt down into nuts, bolts and derailleur cables for use in the workshop, are seen to be particularly high-priority targets. Likewise, plans have already been set into motion that propose an elaborate Oceans 13-style heist to steal a copy of Shakespeare’s First Folio (recently acquired by the UBC Library’s Rare Books and Special Collections and on display at the Vancouver Art Gallery) with the intention of selling it to the highest bidder.

Some students have also reported a ‘pirate ship’ flying the BK flag floating along the shores of Wreck Beach, crewed entirely by Kitchen volunteers — though observers noted that upon closer inspection, the pirate ship was not a ship at all, but rather a collection of pilfered UBC Sailing Club canoes complete with sails constructed from discarded ‘Tate Kaufman for AMS President’ election placards.

The measure is just another in a long series of similar policies the Kitchen has previously introduced in order to stem critical budget problems. Alternatives included asking volunteers to pedal stationary bicycles that generated electricity to sell back to the AMS, and the introduction of a new line of Bike Kitchen-branded NFTs — though both options were later mothballed in favour of the new strategy that BK staff have informally dubbed ‘going goblin mode’.

“To be frank, that it took so long for us to finally consider this avenue is surprising,” Banks commented. “Given its environmental sustainability, the humble bicycle makes for the ideal getaway vehicle, and the unfortunate (but necessary) victims of our work should take solace in the fact that we are succeeding in reducing pressure on city bus lines and providing a valuable community service in the process.”

“If students can’t find it in themselves to give three dollars to a community service they or their friends will inevitably use, they have demonstrated that we can’t have nice things — which we'll now be in charge of taking.”

Meanwhile, other sources report that the Bike Kitchen is already working to introduce a second referendum in the 2023 election season to increase campus-wide tuition fees, called the “You Win This Round, But I Shall Have My Revenge” (YWTRBISHMR) proposal. It will only affect students who voted against their original referendum this year.

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