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Davis, California

Sunday, April 21, 2024

Humor: CALPIRG member released from contract with the devil after collecting pledges

What the devil are those $10 pledges for?

The California Public Interest Research Group, or CALPIRG, was founded to raise money for some respectable causes in the least respectable way possible. Over the years, thousands of unsuspecting Aggies have been approached by what appears to be a happy, friendly fellow collegiate. Faster than one can say “Gunrock’s left bicep,” a member of CALPIRG can whip out a tablet computer and trap an Aggie with their five-minute spiel to pledge $10 per quarter for the environment. Many Aggies have been late to class or missed buses due to the phalanx of CALPIRG members stationed outside the Silo, impeccably positioned to intercept a student coming from any direction.

No one is certain where the pledge money goes or what CALPIRGers have accomplished. Most importantly, no one knows anybody in CALPIRG. Who are they? Where did they come from? The only being who might know the answers to these questions is God, but Ephesians 4:20 says, “God Himself is not certain where the members of CALPIRG came from.”

All we can guess is that members have some quota of pledges that they need to reach. No one has ever obtained the required amount, which is why they come out of the shadows Winter Quarter to collect that moolah.

No one… until today.

UC Davis student George Faust convinced his 666th person to pledge to CALPIRG this morning. As soon as the final student finished typing her name into the tablet, there was a puff of smoke, and the devil himself appeared before Faust. The prince of darkness sneered and handed Faust a scroll.

“Congratulations! You have been freed from your contract with me by getting your last CALPIRG pledge,” the devil said.

“Rad!” exclaimed Faust. “Can I have my family back now?”

The devil nodded, saying, “Sure thing, my dude.” He snapped his fingers, and Faust’s parents appeared before him.

A few members of CALPIRG looked longingly at Faust. One day, they too would see their families again and be freed from their own deals with the devil.

“Hi! Would you like to pledge $10 to h-”


Today would not be that day.

Written by: Madeline Kumagai — mskumagai@ucdavis.edu

(This article is humor and/or satire, and its content is purely fictional. The story and the names of “sources” are fictionalized.)


  1. Heh-I remember when this innocuous, grass-roots lobbying group came into being in the 1970s. Looks like they’ve gone pro.


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