Goodbye, goose

The disappearance of the Irwin Goose leads me to wonder, is he really gone? Photo by Lauren Gdowski. 


The goose is gone. 

On April 12, Butler Libraries publicly declared victory over the notorious Irwin Goose. After occupying the second-floor Irwin Library balcony and terrorizing countless prospective library-goers for five consecutive springs, it seems the goose has declined to return to Butler. 

When I heard the news, I fell to my knees and wept. I wept for every student personally victimized by that anserine abomination. I wept for library employees — like myself — who feared for their lives before coming to work every day. I wept for the prospective students who abandoned their dreams of coming to Butler because of the goose’s oppressive presence. I wept for the hope of a goose-less future. 

Jon Gluth, a senior P2 pharmacy major, has been attacked by the Irwin Goose three times throughout his Butler career. Gluth offered some insights as to misconceptions about the nature of Canada geese. 

“You could say [Canada geese are] cute all you want,” Gluth said. “[But] they’re menaces, and if you give them sympathy, they will run with it and run you over.” 

I try not to discriminate against any species, but in this case, I’ll make an exception. Canada geese are the oppressive class; they are not worthy of our compassion. 

However, this particular goose stands head and wings above the rest in his capacity for carnage. Though only in my second year at Butler, I’ve had more than enough time to get to know that wretched beast. The memory of his cavernous mouth, razored tongue and wicked sibilations as he assailed me on my walk to Irwin haunts my nightmares. In short, I’m glad that that grotesque creature is gone. 

Sophomore strategic communications major Madison Tinsley discussed how her experience with the Irwin Goose affected her ability to access the library. 

“Every time I [tried to] get into the library, he [hissed] at me,” Tinsley said. “I [could not] get into [the] library because I’m scared of him.” 

In the past, students struggled to study for finals during this time, for fear that the Irwin Goose would descend upon them at any moment. Now that he is gone — hopefully for good — students like Tinsley can resume their studies without any goose-related anxieties. 

But there may be some reason for the goose’s seemingly senseless rage. Tinsley offered a theory for the goose’s deranged behavior. 

“I don’t think he’s inherently trying to just go after people,” Tinsley said. “I think he just wants to keep his girlfriend and his baby safe.” 

Some people will tell you that the Irwin Goose was just doing what geese do, namely protecting his wife and children from potential aggressors. To that I say, it’s time to dispel the narrative that women — and lady geese — need men to protect them. Furthermore, let’s rebuke the toxic masculinity present in the Irwin Goose’s displays of violence. 

Alas, now that it appears that the goose is gone, we have one less problematic masculine force on this campus. Fraternity men, you’re next. 

So, why did the goose leave, and where did he go? Dean of Libraries Josh Petrusa said that the goose decided to depart, following a meeting with him. 

“I feel like the meeting that I had with the goose went well, and I, as the new dean of libraries, said very clearly, ‘Look, we can’t have this anymore,’” Petrusa said. “There’s better places for [the goose] to nest. This place belongs to the students.” 

Petrusa’s skills as a diplomat are laudable. It’s no small matter to conference with an entity as vindictive and cruel as the Irwin Goose and come out with an advantageous deal. I wouldn’t even dare to try, lest I be chased by that monstrous fowl. 

However, given the goose’s fickle disposition, it would be naive to think that he is gone for good; the shadow of the goose looms long over this university. Petrusa agreed and acknowledged that his war with the goose for dominion over Irwin Library is likely far from over. 

“I have a feeling our paths will cross again,” Petrusa said. “I feel like this is a very persistent goose, but also a goose that can listen to reason. So, I have a sense that this wild animal will at some point make a return, but we will deal with that when that comes.” 

For everyone’s sake, I hope Petrusa is right. I hope that the goose can be reasoned with again, should he return. But, some part of me fears that he’s just waiting and watching until he can — literally — swoop in and bring Butler University to heel. 

To the Irwin Goose — if he is still out there somewhere — Gluth provided some parting words. 

“First off, I want the chunk of my hair that you took off back,” Gluth said. “ … It wasn’t that big of a chunk, but I would also just say, ‘Get lost please.’” 

For now, let’s be glad that the goose is gone, and let’s hope that he does not return shortly, lest I look like a fool for writing this article. Goodbye, goose — and please don’t come back.


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