‘Hey you, I’m talkin’ to you’

“Why’s this guy in such a hurry?” you think to yourself, and follow him out to the Mall.
The mysterious figure stares up at the trees, transfixed. He is so intent he doesn’t notice as you walk up behind him.
“Okay, Mac, what’s the big rush? Why’d you clear out of the library like that?” you ask.
He doesn’t turn around. In fact, he doesn’t even seem to hear you.
“Hey, I’m talking to you here,” you continue, and place a hand on his shoulder. He swivels around suddenly; his eyes are frantic and bloodshot.
“You… you’re with them!” he says, then frowns; his eyes seem to relax slightly. “No. You’re not with them. You don’t even know what I’m talking about.”
“Suppose you clue me in, pal,” you say. “Who is ‘them,’ and do they have anything to do with my ticket?” But he only pulls up the collar of his trench coat.
“You wouldn’t understand,” he replies, and begins to walk away.
You are about to follow him again when you look up in the tree. In the branches you see a flash of white paper. It couldn’t be… could it? The plane ticket?
You forget about the mysterious stranger, and with renewed excitement you climb up the tree. You reach up as far as you can for the ticket. You almost have it when suddenly you feel yourself falling forward. Your arms flail outward, but you find yourself sliding down the inside of the tree. You finally hit the bottom and find yourself facing a giant room. “What is that?” you think to yourself. The suits, the ties… why it almost looks like… the newly selected members of the Board of Regents?
And are those squirrels on their heads?
With sudden horror you realize what’s happening. The squirrels are placing mind-control implants into the brains of the regents! “That explains a lot,” you think.
Suddenly, you hear the unmistakable sound of chattering behind you, as a swarm of squirrels pounce on you. You feel a tickling sensation on the back of your neck as you lose consciousness.
You awaken on a couch in Coffman. Everything feels the same. Was it all just a dream? Must have been, you think, as you stand up from the couch. Your hand moves unconsciously to the stitches on the back of your neck. For some reason, you have the sudden urge to reform tenure. You must obey.