Confirming yet again that the halls of academia are no place for interpreting things, a New Jersey professor was suspended over a Game Of Thrones T-shirt whose tagline—the Daenerys Targaryen quote, “I Will Take What Is Mine With Fire & Blood”—was interpreted by his colleague as a threat. The incident came about after Francis Schmidt, who teaches art and animation at Bergen Community College, posted a photo of his daughter doing a yoga pose in the shirt to his Google+ account, where it was seen by the people who actually use Google+, such as easily riled deans. Said dean reportedly called for an emergency meeting, concerned that this small, unsettlingly agile girl in a T-shirt was Schmidt’s way of announcing his intention to claim all the spoils a New Jersey community college has to offer, by force if necessary.
In an action reminiscent of the swift, decisive measures that saved so many Wisconsin students from being killed by a Firefly poster, Schmidt was immediately placed on leave without pay—thus giving him plenty of time to marshal an army and violently take his rightful place as the King of Bergen Community College. But, ever crafty in his machinations for power, Schmidt instead tried explaining that the “fire and blood” tagline is a popular one, demonstrating that it had more than 4 million hits online. He also demanded to know what, exactly, was threatening about it, only to be told that “fire” could be interpreted as an allusion to “AK-47s.” “But fire refers to dragons!” Schmidt wisely did not protest, valuing the element of surprise.
Schmidt was then told, before he could return, he would have to be cleared in a psychiatric exam, as has prevented so many a bloody coup. In the meantime, the college released a statement defending its actions by citing the number of school shootings that have happened in 2014 already, and reminding that it must investigate “all situations where a member of its community… expresses a safety or security concern.”
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As of press time, Bergen Community College remains vulnerable to dragons… and Francis Schmidt waits.