Elmhurst, IL-On Wednesday, a man experienced what it’s like to truly risk it all for something you love, as his doughy frame nestled comfortably into the chaise on a moderately priced couch. A light perspiration had formed on his forehead as his body prepared itself for the ultimate sacrifice, that is it purchasing concert tickets online.
A calendar reminder had been dutifully made along with the link to buy the tickets, but like all things in life, nothing was certain. He would undoubtedly have to gut this one out, dig deep into his depleted vault of courage after it had been ravaged earlier that day when he heroically ventured out to get brunch with a slight hangover.
His unblemished hands, a result of a lifetime of inactivity, hovered over the keyboard trembling with the thrill of the hunt. As the violent browser refreshes reached a frenzy, the site finally pushed the ticket purchasing system live. The room began to spin and a mild erection formed, his body’s response to stimulation in an otherwise completely uninteresting existence.
As the tickets were added to the cart he promptly retched the morning’s spoils onto his keyboard and fumbled for his credit card as the countdown clock for the tickets in his cart began. This was bravery. This was transcending fear. This was living life on the edge.
Ticket order processed and his digital checking account appeared $25 lighter the result of the most exciting thing to happen to him in months.
Chicago, IL-On Saturday, a girl was seen attempting to infiltrate various lively conversations at a local house party by waiting for a momentary pause in banter and asking “So…what does everyone do!?” The question was accompanied by an aggressive pointing motion toward one unfortunate soul in the circle, signifying that it was their respective turn to stammer through an explanation of a job they hate, to a group of indifferent onlookers.
The process unfolded in a predictably excruciating way, as each job description grew more ordinary than the next. A culmination of individuals wholly uninspired for at least forty hours a week. A complex web of personality and emotion distilled into a characterless corporate identity.
Several people suffered through their freshly poured drink as quickly as possible, desperate for a retreat to the kitchen where they could pound shots of vodka in solitude, others took this as the perfect opportunity to dust off their long forgotten smoking habit. Anything to escape the wrath at hand.
“I just try to engage everyone, I’m just a really engaging person…like when I’m at a party I can literally talk to anyone! I’m legit friends with like everyone that went to that party now…” said Sarah Kibby, meticulously adding party goers to her LinkedIn professional network, the only true testament of a real friendship.
The party ended uncannily early.
Chicago, O’Hare Airport-A third party survey conducted by an unemployed copy writer from the now extinct SkyMall magazine, found that Auntie Annie’s remains America’s favorite microwaved airport soft pretzel. The survey universe consisted of several people farting it up in the Southwest cattle pens, as they wrestled for pole position for a flight that wouldn’t leave for another three hours.
The sample size was vaguely paunchy and unwell, wore soiled pajama pants and ill-fitting Life is Good shirts covered in old egg from Einstein Bros., an accurate representation of the entirety of the airport.
Four of five surveyed said they preferred Auntie Annie’s over any other microwaved soft pretzel options the airport had to offer. The one outlier maintained that buying a bag of pretzels from Hudson News and filling it with water to soften the pretzels before eating and drinking the salty water, was comparable to an Auntie Annie’s pretzel at a third of the cost.
After the survey, the ex-SkyMall employee retreated to his hidden compartment under one of the Sunglass Hut display cases, where he will slumber until an airport pretzel survey is requested once more.
Des Plaines, IL-Something incredible happened on Tuesday night of last week in the sleepy town of Des Plaines. Phillip Biggins, manager at the local Plato’s Closet, received a sign from Facebook. A digital Star of Bethlehem nestled in his newsfeed, beckoning him to post well wishes for his best friend’s birthday that would have otherwise passed unnoticed.
Biggins dutifully obliged to the tendering, as he always did, knowing that it was not truly a birthday, engagement, childbirth, or otherwise, until his generic affection was sitting lifelessly on the person’s wall. He clicked into the profile and recalled a lifelong friendship as tears began to form. Filled with profound trials, tribulations, adventures and the seamlessness of being true family, the bond between them truly was something to be cherished.
He had gotten drunk with him for the first time, caught the winning touchdown pass from him at state, and been saved by him from a pack of feral wolfs that had taken hold of the city back in 1997. What could be written to express his profound gratitude for it all? Then in an uncanny moment of clarity, it came to him, an acronym.
Nothing is more earnest than an acronym, especially when expressing an intricate web of human emotions. HB would be the technical acronym for Happy Birthday, though it didn’t have the right ring. Biggins stared at the cursor for several seconds wondering how he could make it more meaningful, something only he and his friend would understand.
Then it came to him, HBD, the D signifying day in the word birthday. Inspired. He proudly examined the uninteresting platitude once more before posting into the oblivion.
South Bend, IN-A tech company in Northern Indiana, already ripe with global brand influencers and other industry game changers with no discernible skills, hired what they believed to be the front runner of a new digital world order. Little did they know, a skill that he had been endorsed for over 12,000 times on LinkedIn, was not another ambiguous marketing proficiency to add to the team but rather indicated an aptitude for lengthy and colossal vape plumes.
“When you see a word like cloud capacity, you automatically think VP of something, hell you’d be smart to create a whole new division around something like that,” said the department head, furiously hacking away at another level of bubble shooter.
“Now knowing that cloud capacity indicates the overall size of a vape cloud he can make in one continuous blow, I’m putting ten people underneath him and giving him a corner office. Being a regional Northern Indiana Vape Champion and being a global brand ambassador/industry thought leadership influencer are essentially the same thing,” continued the head, completely unaware that the newly hired employee’s technological competence is limited to logging into his premium PornHub account.
Though the department remains in shambles, the enormous, passion fruit scented clouds remain a sight to behold.
Chicago, IL-On Tuesday, a tear dripped stoically down a manager’s worn cheeks, across a tranquil smile and onto the mahogany desk below. The sight of a group of coworkers tolerating each other at a mandatory birthday celebration proved overwhelming. The manager looked on in awe and reflected on the glorious culture. The faceless coworkers exchanged dull pleasantries while internally scheming the inevitable retreat to their respective desks. One coworker suggested “The weather has been nice today,” another replied “It seems cooler than usual,” to which they both agreed that there was in fact weather and that it sometimes changed.
The manager looked at how much they had grown as a testament to her leadership, growing from complete strangers into peers forced to endure each other on a daily basis. A sturdy bond, forged in the eternal flames of corporate America, bound by passive aggressive emails and incompetence. The transformation was incredible and substantiated the emotional onslaught in the barren office.
Two men stood, vacantly grinning, discussing a sporting event that neither had watched nor had any interest in. One employee asked if his voice sounded different in the morning versus the afternoon, no one could be certain or cared enough to reply. This was the mecca of growth and innovation.
Another tear dripped gently from the manager’s eye, she returned quietly to her desk and in time so did the rest of the coworkers. They always returned to their desk.
In the midst of humanity’s disgraced swan song into oblivion, discovering a vein of unconditional beauty pulsing through the viscous membrane of intolerance, fear and anxiety that has bound our planet is all anyone needs to realize there may be hope yet. The vein beat through the audience with the earnestness and disruption of a child’s chalk drawing on the otherwise ordinary slab of pavement. Pumping vessels filled with imagination, completely free of judgement or pretention, ready to be digested as something unique to every single audience member.
Witnessing what appeared to be an apparition from 2006 (complete with flat brimmed hat and cut-off shirt) release 5,000 years’ worth of emotions into the air on Saturday night was everything. Heartbreak, happiness, mortality, love, loneliness, death, auto-tune, nothing. At points, the emotions poured out with such abandonment that they were completely incomprehensible. And in those moments of bewilderment, I found myself staring at nothing in particular, swaddled in a state of infantile curiosity. Laughing uncontrollably at a suit of balloons.
Moments later almost crying at the prospect of impermanence and death. That something so delicate and perfect could only sustain itself for so long. Grateful for family and friends and more specifically that incredible moment in time, but understanding the heartbreak that no such moment will ever exist in those exact circumstances again. I’m uncertain if I’d want it anyways. The impasse of wanting nothing to change while also having faith that it is in some ways, somehow necessary.
I found it difficult to write this, because both everything and nothing describe the show perfectly. Ten billion words or zero words in a language that will never be invented. A rare moment in time in which pure happiness and pure sadness poured out simultaneously, in unrelenting beauty. I can only say that I am happy that I was part of the deconstructed mass left in the wake of a masterpiece and that humanity is, in some capacity, still capable of good.
Thank you Sufjan.
In a piece of shit world thirsty for any morsel of news or controversy, celebrity chef Guy Fieri made headlines confirming that he had his first solid bowel movement in over 2 decades. The rare feat happened on Saturday at approximately 2:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time and was met with an obligatory ovation from Fieri’s hoard of Ed Hardy touting servants. “Shut the front door, these guys are what made it happen, they make a porchetta that you won’t forgetta…if yah catch my drift!” chortled a glistening Fieri in a near delirious state after feeling more human than he has in years.
It remains unclear what caused the fleeting glimpse at a healthy digestive tract, but experts plunging into the monstrosity like the sick triceratops scene from Jurassic park have confirmed it could either be the diseased raccoon tartare or tuna sausage consumed minutes prior. The act has caused universal outrage though no one is quite certain why.
“I’m used to it being radio silence down there or looser than creamed corn! That stool is so fresh it’ll slap ya!” continued Fieri being a nuisance and a health hazard in the kitchen with a piece of custom made leather toilet paper hanging repulsively from his camouflage Crocs.
As our stupidity evolves, examining celebrity shit will be a highly influential part in human culture.
A yellowing, wholly beige employee incapable of lifting his own head eased tension around the office as he confirmed the symptoms were a mere product of elevated pollen levels. “Really I should be celebrated for being…sniffffffffffffff….huh huh huh…ARGH….ARGH OH GOD…excuse me…celebrated for coming into the office even when everyone told me not to,” wheezed Gregory Phillips through a series of visibly and audibly productive nose blows, his skin appearing moist and translucent. His bloodshot eyes ripe with the confusion that accompanies any midwinter disease.
Though several people around the office witnessed him taking anguished sips from an already dwindling bottle of Nyquil and noticed an obvious inability to even stand up from his chair, Phillips remained steadfast that these are all completely common symptoms of airborne allergens. “I’m not sick…I’m really not…every symptom can be tied back to allergies, take for instance the…harghhkkkkkk ARHUG…painful white clusters in my throat, clearly just bee pollen from me sticking my head out the bus window on the way in,” continued Phillips casually touching every available surface in the office while huddled in a stinky old quilt.
In a week the entire office will be forced to endure the same suspicious allergy symptoms that inexplicably last 1-2 weeks before subsiding. All the while despising Gregory Phillips.
Old Man Strength
There are certain phenomena in this world that transcend human comprehension. These uncanny spectacles should not be approached intellectually or physically, but rather quietly and respectfully admired from a distance. One such instance of this is a quality that, some if not all, men over the age of 45 seem to inherit. Endearingly and accurately referred to as Old Man Strength.
It is often unrecognizable, but always present. Latent and ready to be provoked. It can present itself in a variety of ways but most commonly:
1.) Rarely touching a drop of alcohol normally, but somehow appearing at a tailgate and outlasting/out-drinking even the raspiest sounding Kamchatka pickled sorority girl. Only to wake up effortlessly and rather chipper the next morning, to toil about and possibly clean the gutters.
2.) Acquiring what is known as a Power Belly.(not mandatory but extremely common). It’s bulbous and misshapen appearance would suggest a certain passiveness, however it’s widely accepted that this is where most Old Man Strength is derived from. A hindrance/stigma at any other age or gender, it is worn with a certain reverence in this instance, and used with haste. Most often times dominating sons in wrestling matches or moving eight foot tall, awkwardly built China cabinets for daughters and wives.
3.) Developing a unique set of the most frustrating/successful basketball moves to play against one on one, most notably the hook, the scoop, and the Larry Bird over the head bank shot that’s somehow impossible to defend. Most of the game involves both posting up on offense and leaning on the opponent during defense. It becomes a war of attrition that is always won with Old Man Strength.
Being subjected to these is mutually embarrassing and comforting. It leaves us questioning our health and physicality but also enforces a certain respect and esteem for the middle aged. That undying perseverance in all of its splendor.