“Rheumatology. What a funny word. It sounds like it would be the study of rooms,” drones a blazed Lena Erm. “Like bedrooms, living rooms, bathrooms — kitchens too, but that one is tricky because it doesn’t end in ‘room,’ ya know?”
After drunkenly watching a three-hour video essay where it was briefly mentioned that rheumatologists are “joint specialists,” this UC Santa Barbara studente second-year stoner found herself making the academic and vocational decision of a lifetime.
“I’m somewhat of a joint specialist myself,” brags Erm. “So I was like, ‘Whoa! I’m allowed to study this in college? Sweet!’”
Serendipitously, Erm was in luck as UCSB Santa Barbara does actually have a rheumatology program, albeit one that many do not know about. Located on the -26th floor of Broida Hall in a cramped and borderline anoxic broom closet is the official Department of Rheumatology and Bone Sciences.
“‘Neglected’ is selling it short,” explains Skelly Gout, who is the department’s sole professor, researcher, advisor, chair and janitor. “We receive about $30 in grant money annually. I get paid in iron bullion and rice, and no one in the history of this institution has majored in rheumatology and bone sciences. Until Lena, I suppose.”
Unfortunately, Erm was in for a discouraging surprise when she showed up for her first lecture. For once, she even arrived prepared with a pen and paper, albeit a THC pen and rolling paper.
“I gotta admit, I was kinda disappointed to find out that Skelly works with different kinds of joints,” said Erm after taking the fattest rip from her penis bong. “I mean, the department brands itself as the ‘Greenest Program on Campus,’ ya know?”
“That’s only because we literally do not have access to electricity,” laments Gout. “For the past 43 years I’ve been working by candlelight.”
However, in a wondrous turn of events, Erm slowly became enthralled with rheumatology and Gout’s research. Thus, the two formed an unexpected friendship and immediately began working on Erm’s senior thesis: treating rheumatoid arthritis with marijuana.
Osbert Squelch is too young to already be suffering from chronic joint pain.