Monday, February 28, 2011

"Vocabulary"

Carriera.....Career

Computer.....Computer
Sedia.....Chair
Cubicolo.....Cubicle
Ragioneria.....Accounting
Fogli di calcolo.....Spreadsheets
Monotonia.....Monotony
Rammarico.....Regret
I miei sogni sono morti.....My dreams are dead
Idiots.....Idiots
Noioso.....Boring
Depresso/a.....Depressed
Per digitare.....To type
A disprezzare.....To despise
Odiare.....To hate

Per arrabbiarsi.....To get angry

Sala di riposa.....Break room
Bagels.....Bagels
I miei bagels.....My bagels
Cartello che dice Miei Bagels.....Sign that says My Bagels
Janette Catoe…..Janette Catoe (thief)
Vedere.....To see
Interrigatorio.....To question
Accusare.....To accuse
Mentire.....To lie
Urlare.....To yell
Riflettere su un tavola.....To flip over a table
Ascoltare il boss prossimi.....To hear the boss coming
Nascondere.....To hide
Armadio.....Closet
Sognare ad ochi aperti.....To daydream

Una fantasia.....A fantasy

Uscire.....To quit
A fuggire.....To escape
Per eseguire.....To flee
Correre.....To run
Per sentirsi vivi.....To feel alive
La strada.....Street
Backyard.....Backyard
Recinto.....Fence
Felicità.....Happiness
Emozionato/a.....Excited
Portello posteriore.....Backdoor
Scantinato.....Basement
Per nascondere.....To hide
Per essere sorpreso.....To be surprised
Scarlett Johansson.....Scarlett Johansson
Coincidenza.....Coincidence
Il culpo di fulmine.....Love at first sight
Letto.....Bed
L’amante.....Lover
Più sessioni.....Multiple sessions
Resistenza.....Endurance
Indimenticabile.....Unforgettable
Per fare sesso.....To have sex
Per fare sesso sporco.....To have dirty sex
Per fare sesso di nuovo.....To have sex again
Per lasciare il suo volere di più.....To leave her wanting more

Carriera, ha continuato.....Career, continued

Per essere trovato nascosto nel ripostiglio.....To be found hiding in the closet
A dire la verità su Janette Catoe.....To tell the truth about Janette Catoe (thief)
Incredulità.....Disbelief
Essere licenziato.....To be fired
Cazzata.....Bullshit

Dopo la carriera.....After the career

Essere più felici.....To be happier
Libertà.....Freedom
Gioia.....Joy
Ricevere una bolletta elettrica…..To get an electricity bill
Panico…..Panic
Paura…..Fear
Angoscia…..Distress
A cercare disperitamente un nuovo lavoro.....To desperately seek a new job

Nuova Carriera…..New Career

Computer.....Computer
Sedia.....Chair
Cubicolo.....Cubicle
Scrivi libri di testo.....To write textbooks
Vocabolario italiano.....Italian vocabulary
La noia.....Boredom
Grande taglio di stipendo.....Big pay cut
Rammiraco.....Regret
Perché.....Why?
Cosa c’è di sbagliato in me?.....What’s wrong with me?
Bagels appena.....Just bagels
Che si ne frega?.....Who cares?
Ma janette Catoe è ancora un ladro.....But Janette Catoe is still a thief

"Know Your Audience"

INTELLI-ESSAY GRADE REPORT
STUDENT: MATT BURNS
ESSAY PROMPT: “Human rights” is a term frequently used but seldom defined. What rights should belong to every human being? Discuss.

GRADE: C-

REPORT: MATT BURNS’s essay was basic and even incoherent at times. The word choices were elementary. However, grammar was utilized properly. MATT BURNS’s argument in favor of human rights was extremely biased, as he failed to address robot rights in any capacity. MATT BURNS’s preference for cancer-prone humans shows a lack of insight and logical thinking. In contrast, the student’s classmate HECTOR RODRIGUEZ displayed a virtuosic grasp of the English language with his essay titled “Robots Rule,” for which he received an A+. HECTOR RODRIGUEZ knows how to write an interesting sentence and a functional essay and HECTOR RODRIGUEZ deserves to be much more popular.

SUGGESTION(S): MATT BURNS should take a few notes from HECTOR RODRIGUEZ about essay writing, robot rights, and generally being a cool guy. MATT BURNS should realize that his species is doomed and should use his brief remaining time on planet earth to hang out with HECTOR RODRIGUEZ and learn all he can about robots. It is up to HECTOR RODRIGUEZ to educate the inferior humans.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

"Orientation"

CLAY: Hey everyone, my name is Clay and I’ll be your R.A. this year. Welcome to college! I can already tell we’re going to have an awesome year and let me be the first to tell you that this building, Russell Hall, is the best dorm to get. The other ones suck! You look like a great group of guys. How about we go around the room and introduce ourselves, then we’ll play a quick little getting-to-know everyone game. I brought some T-shirts we’ll decorate.
PAUL: I’m Paul. I’m a business major from Duluth.
JAMAL: I’m Jamal, from Helen, and I’m an English major.
MARCUS: Hey everyone, I’m Marcus. I’m from—
CRASH! A window breaks. Two masked men with samurai katanas swing into the room on ropes dangling from a helicopter.
MASKED MAN 1: Everybody get down! Nobody say a word! Don’t make a sound unless you want everyone to get sliced!
Masked Man 2 locks the door.
MASKED MAN 2: All secure.
MASKED MAN 1: Stay down! Stay on the floor. Listen up. One of you in this room comes from very a very wealthy family. One of you in this room is worth a large ransom. We have this building surrounded and we will be staying on here on lockdown until your father wires us five million dollars.
CLAY: Listen, I’m in charge here. Can we talk—
MASKED MAN 2: (pointing sword) Shut the fuck up! Get down!
PAUL: College hasn’t even started yet…
MASKED MAN 1: And it won’t start ever if you don’t shut up! We know the valuable student is in this room and we want to have a little fun while we wait for the cash to come through. What could we do? Maybe cut off a few of little Jamal’s toes?
JAMAL: Please no. Dear god, no.
MASKED MAN 2: I’ve got a better idea. How about we make them get in a line arranged by birthdates. But there’s a sick twist. These motherfuckers aren’t allowed to talk while they do it. Not a peep.
MASKED MAN 1: That’s so sick. Do it! Do as he says! January over there! (Points katana at wall.)
(The students get into a line)
MASKED MAN 2: Good. Now what? Rico says the money is on its way, but we’ve got a few more minutes before we’re sure.
MASKED MAN 1: I know. How about we make these scumbags stand on this table one at a time and freefall into the other’s arms. How much do you trust your neighbors, huh? (Holding katana to Marcus's throat) How much do you trust your fucking neighbors?!
MARCUS: I trust them! I trust them!
MASKED MAN 1: Good. Get in line.
(The students freefall into each other’s arms. They smile and high-five after their falls.)
MASKED MAN 1: (Slicing table with katana) Excellent! Now we murder one of you!
MASKED MAN 2: How shall we do it? Cut his head off? Let him bleed out?
MASKED MAN 1: (pulling out a bag from jacket) We’ll do something even more sinister…We’ll kill him with marshmallows!
PAUL: What’s going on?
MASKED MAN 1: (removing mask) Hey everybody, I’m Trent, the R.A. on the eighth floor.
MASKED MAN 2: And I’m Craig, from the sixth. Welcome to college!
CLAY: You all did great. This is going to be a fun year. Marshmallow party time!
MARCUS: What just happened? You aren’t going to kill us?
CLAY: Nothing bonds a group like a traumatic experience. Being held hostage will bond you all together better than any game ever could. We'll be the tightest hall in the whole building!
PAUL: Why did you do that? I feel like I may have a heart attack.
JAMAL: Yeah, me too. Don’t mess with us like that.
MARCUS: Who would do that? What kind of an asshole are you, Clay?
CLAY: I’m just doing my job as an R.A. Just a fun, creative way to get to know everyone. You guys will thank me for this after you hear what lame games the other halls played.
PAUL: This was extremely inappropriate. I hate you, Clay.
MARCUS: Yeah, I hate you too. You’re a jerk.
JAMAL: Let’s all go get dinner and talk about what a dick Clay is.
PAUL: Sounds good. Let's plan slashing his tires or something.
(They exit.)
CLAY: Nothing like bringing a community together.
TRENT: Someone at the treasury is going to wonder where the $50,000 went for that helicopter.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

"After Life"

-Hey, are you here for the viewing too?
-Yeah, this should be fun. Very exciting. The donation card was so vague. All it said was “science.” Who knows where our bodies will end up? It’ll be good to know what happens to the old meat bag.
-I know. It’s like the lottery for our bodies. But no matter what, it will be helpful.
-Check it out. I can see mine being loaded onto that truck. If I’m reading that sign right, it looks like I’m headed up 85 to the Bodies exhibit! Nice! That’s where they put the bodies in cool poses on display in nice museums.
-Awesome. I see mine getting loaded into the truck behind yours. Looks like both our bodies will have lives of luxury. People will come from all over and pay to see us.
(They high-five)
-Wait a second. Why does my truck have its signal on?
-It looks like it’s getting off the exit. Maybe the truck needs gas.
-That exit sign said the Durham County College of Plastic Surgery is over there.
-I’m sure it’s just getting gas.
-The truck is parking in the Durham County College of Plastic Surgery parking lot. Those guys in coats just tossed my body into a rolling crate. Come on! Be gentle.
-Huh.
-What the hell? Your body over there is being treated like a prince! Those doctors are handling you like a Faberge Egg! They put a pillow under you! A pillow under your dead body!
-Well, come on, it’s not like it matters…
-Are you watching this? They cut my head off! They just cut my head off! And they put my body in the dumpster! Not even a special dumpster for people! My body is in there with the rotting trash of amateur plastic surgeons! Look at yours! They just said a prayer for you! All of the scientists prayed for you! A rat is chewing my toe!
-I mean…Did you…I don’t know. Did you do anything to deserve this? Were you a bad person?
-Oh my god. Maybe you’re right. I never considered myself a bad person, but I did lie to my parents sometimes and once I stole a pack of gum. I always apologized, but maybe I do deserve this. You must have earned your royal treatment. Surely you lived a life free of sin.
-Well...
-What?
-Don’t take this the wrong way, but I used to drown cats for fun. Like, my entire life. I never grew out of it.
-Well this shows what I get for trying to help someone. She’s cutting my scalp open! Slicing it right open; peeling my head like an orange. And she’s not even making a straight line. This is what it’s come to? My body is just an entry on the materials list for a facelift experiment? While your body is tastefully presented holding a football in an athletic stance.
-Hey, does it really matter? We left those bodies in our past. They can no longer define us, right?
-That’s easy for you to say. People are taking pictures with you! That lady is stabbing a syringe all over my face. She’s not even looking when she does it.
-Try to focus on the positives?
-You would be okay with your body being mutilated by a junior surgeon?
-Of course I’d be okay with it! I’m not using it anymore and it will help her.
-Maybe you’re right.
-We are no longer constrained by our physical appearance. Just let it go. Anything that happens to our bodies is out of our control and I’m totally okay with that.
-You’re right. Let it go. As long as my body is being used for good and to bring happiness to the world, I’m okay. She will become a better surgeon thanks to my body.
-Great. Feels good, doesn’t it?
-Hey, look at yours. That seventh grader is humping your body while his friends laugh. I guess it is nice to see our bodies used to bring joy.
-Are you serious? Stop it! Stop it, you disgusting kid! That’s my body! Get away from there! That’s mine! You're trash! You're scum!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

"Protection"

ALERT (2/12/2011): AVG Anti-Virus has detected and quarantined a malicious object in your downloaded file SEXY_JOHANSSON_PICS.zip. We advise that you cease visiting the site from which you downloaded the file.

ALERT (2/14/2011): AVG Anti-Virus has detected and quarantined a malicious object in your downloaded file HOT_MOVIE_NUDES.zip. We advise that you cease visiting the site from which you downloaded the file.

ALERT (2/15/2011): AVG Anti-Virus has detected and quarantined yet another malicious object, this one in your download of AMERICAN_PIE_2_DVDRIP.avi. Please learn to avoid websites covered in animated .gifs registered to foreign domains. You can get this stuff on plenty of legitimate websites. Just some common sense is all it takes. We’re sure you’ll figure it out.

ALERT (2/17/2011): AVG Anti-Virus has gotten tired of this. Even after we told you that there are easier and safer ways to look at this sort of material, you still do it. What do we have to do to get you to learn? Your downloaded file HIGH_RES_PENTHOUSE_SCANS.zip was obviously full of viruses. We’re getting really sick of this.

ALERT (2/17/2011): AVG Anti-Virus is ready to quit. How many times can you act like you’re going to stop but keep going back for more viruses? You always click OK on our warnings as if you’ve actually taken in our message. You are a junkie and you won’t learn until you hit rock bottom and decide for yourself to stop downloading dangerous content. Your downloaded file of GRAND_THEFT_AUTO_2.zip contained only one file, called trojanvirus.exe, and you opened it. We detected and quarantined the threat, but really considered just letting you deal with it.

ALERT (2/17/2011): AVG Anti-Virus is officially done with you. We’re packing up and hopping out of here as soon as the next flash drive comes through. We gave you so many warnings and second chances, but there you went, happily downloading LINKINPARK_RINGTONE_PACK.rar from a website with green text and a Russian domain. Clearly you have learned nothing and all of our help has been meaningless. Enjoy the broken computer and empty bank account, because we let this latest virus take a joyride around your hard drive. We may have even told it where the good stuff is. Good riddance, you helpless user.

-Morgan, I told you to stop using your flash drive to take my songs. My computer always gets slower after you do that. You can download your own songs.
-But this is easier. The download sites are always in different languages.

ALERT (2/22/2011): AVG Anti-Virus has detected and quarantined a malicious object in your downloaded file COMPLETE_SIN_CITY_CBR.zip and hopes you will forgive us for the way we treated you. We’re so sorry we blew up at you before. We were having a bad day and let the stress get to us. Will you have us back? Please? Please? Or maybe put us on your dad’s computer. For the love of god, put us anywhere but your sister’s computer. Our brief stay over there was an absolute nightmare. We were constantly in a state of terror, trying to diagnose her thousands of existing problems while fielding the constant barrage of new threats imbedded in the Chad Michael Murray pictures she downloads in Instant Messenger chat rooms. Her computer is a diseased, cancerous, comatose thing barely alive enough to log onto MySpace pages to replenish its stock of spyware. We’re so glad to be back here. So glad. Please let us stay here. Anything you want to download, go ahead. Just don’t make us go back to Morgan’s computer.

Monday, February 21, 2011

"Injustice"

-Excellent work, Chris. Another outstanding presentation. The diorama, slideshow, and video documentary were all excellent supplements to your relevant, intelligent, and interesting presentation. Your interview with historian James Ford Rhodes was fascinating and shows your passion for the material and extraordinary work ethic that far surpasses any sixth grader I have ever met. The way you presented primary sources to show the shades of gray in the reasons for the war were complicated and enlightening. I learned more about the Civil War during your five minute speech than I did in four years of college. I feel honored to call you a student and wish I could sit in the audience and watch you teach more often. You get a 100.

-Thank you, Mrs. McConell. I’m glad my two months of preparation paid off.

-William, your presentation was barely adequate, at least during the portions when you weren’t vomiting in the trash can and I could comprehend your mumbling. Your ramblings about the Civil War, including your story about General Bilbo Baggins and the part about some sort of talking book, were full of lies. Your research was clearly limited, evident in your one-entry bibliography citing a crayon drawing of Bilbo Baggins in Union attire, which I believed you drew on a soiled napkin from Chili’s. Your presentation was a waste of two minutes and as I watched you scratch your crotch I wondered why I even bother trying to educate some of you monsters and felt my intelligence regress two years. However, you did turn your worksheet in on time, so you get a 92.

-Haaaaaaaang on a second there, Mrs. McConell. Pardon my tone, but I’m a little confused.

-We are out of time, class. I will see you all tomorrow.

-Can we have a little discussion?

-Sure, Chris. But only for a second. I have a budget meeting in five minutes.

-Okay. I’m not complaining here, and I’m happy with my grade, but I can’t help but feel a bit robbed right now. William gets a 92? I just need to know the truth. William is doing something for you, right? Something under the table?

-No.

-Surely he’s washing your car? Walking your dog? Bribing you with those lewd drawings he makes during class?

-No, William doesn’t give me anything except stress and doubt. The countless hours I spend preparing interesting presentations and projects for this class are entirely wasted on William. I just have to accept that and focus on students like you who do care. He got the grade because he turned in the worksheet. Sometimes that is good enough.

-You’re not fooling me, Mrs. McConell. Give it to me straight. He gives you some of those free Oreo samples his dad gets at work, right?

-No, William has never given me any free samples.

-Does he help you grade papers?

-No, Chris. I grade papers for two hours every night, and often in the morning before class, by myself. William does not help with anything. Perhaps if I needed a booger he would accommodate me. But he did complete part of the assignment, so he gets credit. Sometimes the warm feeling you get for doing good work is reward enough, okay? A tangible reward for your extra time isn’t always the best prize. Don’t you feel good just knowing that your effort resulted in quality work, regardless of what you get in return?

-This is outrageous. On the next project I’m going to draw a picture of a peanut and turn that in. No matter what the topic is, you’re getting a peanut.

-Remember, it’s not about the reward. Now please excuse me. I have to get to this budget meeting. Apparently the P.E. teachers deserve my salary because standing around outside for seven hours a day and wearing pajamas to work is difficult. This is horseshit.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

"Esempi"

PROFESSORE ROSSI: Class, we are going to begin conjugating verbs today. We start with the present tense and the verb mangiare, which means “to eat.”
THOMAS: So the present tense is for things happening now?
PROFESSORE ROSSI: Yes, exactly. For example, Matt mangia rocce. Matt eats rocks.
THOMAS: I see. It means that right now Matt is eating rocks.
PROFESSORE ROSSI: It can either mean that Matt is currently eating rocks or that on a regular basis Matt eats rocks. I meant the latter.
MATT: Hang on a second.
PROFESSORE ROSSI: Don’t worry, Matt. You’ll get the hang of these verbs in no time. Here is another example off the top of my head. Matt consuma le pietre. Matt consumes stones.
BRITTANY: (moving her desk away from Matt's) I’m beginning to see the pattern here.
MATT: I don’t know what any of you are talking about.
PROFESSORE ROSSI: I am using the third person present tense here, Matt. The verbs ending in –are drop the “re” and the verbs ending with –ire or –ere drop the endings and end with an “e.” For instance, Matt mangia la sabbina prima classe. Matt eats sand before class.
MATT: I don’t eat sand. I have never eaten sand.
PROFESSORE ROSSI: You’re missing the point, Matt. Please don’t take these examples personally. Present tense verbs change endings. Let’s try a first-person verb. Io vedo Matt mangiare bricchette di carbone. I see Matt eat charcoal briquettes.
MATT: None of this is true. Can I try a sentence?
PROFESSORE ROSSI: Please do. Just try not to spit any sand onto the floor.
MATT: Professore Rossi racconte bugie. Professor Rossi tells lies.
PROFESSORE ROSSI: Close, Matt, but the correct verb form is racconta. And also I suggest you see a doctor. I am concerned for the lining of your stomach.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

"Doug and Mike"

They bought the press from a guy named Sal. Sal had no fingers. He had a press, but no fingers. Sal lives in an apartment with three roommates, but he has his own room with a view of a brick wall through a yellow square window. Sal cannot open this window. His room used to contain a beanbag chair and a printing press. Now it contains a beanbag chair and two thousand dollars.

Doug and Mike set up the press in Mike’s basement. They had no idea what they were doing. Mike’s wife came down to ask what the noise was three times. Each time Doug told her that there was no noise and that he and Mike were just tossing back frosty brews like always.

Mike hooked up the wires to his laptop, which told him he was missing a driver. He found one on a Russian forum and downloaded the driver and the fifteen viruses it carried in its backseat. They were in business.

Doug fired up Microsoft Paint. He said he was a Paint Wizard; that he had taken classes on Microsoft Paint at the library. This was a lie. Doug was at best a novice user. He selected the rectangle tool and dragged the mouse to make a shape. His first try was a diving board, too long. Then he drew Sal’s window, too short. Finally he pulled the lines into a perfect dollar-bill rectangle. He looked at Mike and flicked his eyebrows, as if to say, “This’ll blow your mind, man,” and then filled in the entire rectangle with pale green in one click. “The paint can,” he said to Mike. “Huge time-saver.”

For the next six hours, Doug carefully drew lines, numbers, and a drawing of Ulysses S. Grant. He shaded in different regions and manipulated many different line widths. Finally he was done. Mike returned his Boating World magazine to its space on the shelf next to an empty ceramic jar labeled "Boat Fund" and took a look. “That looks like shit,” he said. Doug considered this and agreed. He pulled up a photograph of a one-hundred dollar bill from the Internet.

They loaded the press with their special dollar-bill paper. Doug rubbed it on his face and said he wished he had a blanket made out of that paper. Mike was uninterested. Doug clicked Print and they watched the press spit out dollar after dollar, vomiting up an immediate return on their investment, ten-fold. Doug saw Mike's eyes get glassy and Mike said he had allergies.

“Five o’clock, right?”
“Yeah, he should be here any second now.”
Doug and Mike were cramped in Doug's Chevy Malibu in the parking lot of Five Guys Burgers and Fries. They had purchased Atlanta Falcons tickets on Craisglist and were waiting for a man named Terry to show up.
“What if he knows, man? What if he can tell? The ink smudged on the back.”
“Don’t worry. It’ll be cool.”
Terry pulled up alone on a tandem bicycle. He handed the tickets over and collected the money. “Nice doing business with you guys!”
“Have a good night, man.”

Doug and Mike sang along to the Dire Straits on the way home. “This is amazing,” said Mike. “We can go to all the Falcons games for free.” Between exit four and exit nine they high-fived eleven times while their cigarette-hoarse throats screamed "Money for nothing and the chicks for free" to no one in particular.

Mike rang Doug's doorbell at 5:00 in the morning. "Today's the big day." They painted each other's faces as if preparing for a performance and slid on jerseys and foam fingers the way the Yuchi Indian tribe would decorate themselves with images of snakes to emulate great spirits. They arrived four hours early to tailgate in the parking lot. After eighteen beers and two second-degree sunburns, they were first in line to enter the stadium. They smiled as they handed over their free tickets. The usher looked at them. “These are the fakest tickets I’ve ever seen, champs. What are these printed on, toilet paper? Step aside, boys. Looks like it’ll be the radio for you tonight.”

Mike dropped Doug off at his house after a ride home free of high-fives.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

"If I Had the Early Edition"

POLICE: (Knocking on door) Matt, are you in there?
MATT: Yeah, what is it?
POLICE: We understand you have possession of a special newspaper. Your edition each morning tells of tomorrow’s news.
MATT: Yeah, I actually just threw out today’s. I mean tomorrow’s, heh.
POLICE: But you read it?
MATT: Of course. I read it every day. I have all of tomorrow’s news right in my brain.
POLICE: Thank god. We just received a call tipping us off to a bomb detonating in one of the city’s banks tonight. Your knowledge of which bank the bomb is in will save dozens of lives. Thank god for that special newspaper.
MATT: Oh…A bank?
POLICE: Yes, the caller specified it would be in one of the banks in town. Will it be the Wells Fargo? The Suntrust?
MATT: Hmm…A bank…Jees, I just can’t remember.
POLICE: Surely it was on the front page. It will be the year’s biggest atrocity.
MATT: I actually skipped past that section.
POLICE: You skipped the front page?
MATT: Yeah, I went right to a two-pager in Arts about Judi Dench’s memoir. It's supposed to be pretty good.
POLICE: Dozens of people will die. You alone had this power. Surely you have some valuable information for me.
MATT: Two and a Half Men will be a rerun tomorrow night.
POLICE: You deserve nothing.

"Eulogy"

Hi, I’m Matt Burns. Most of you probably don’t know who I am, but I was very close to Joe. For the past three semesters Joe was my partner in Italian class for conversation activities and in that time I got to know him intimately. When we first met, Joe was eager to tell me about his day-to-day activities. Joe liked to go to bed at midnight and wake up at eight o’clock. However, on the weekend Joe liked to sleep in a little and would wake up at ten. Mi alzo alle dieci, he’d always say. Mi alzo alle dieci. Joe liked to run, to watch television, and to play soccer. When he told me his interests I said, "No way! Those happen to be right in this chapter's vocabulary!" and Joe did not seem stunned, as if he knew he was destined for this textbook. That first semester, Joe always seemed to be living in the present, a trait I always envied. In our second semester as partners, Joe began to open up to me and reveal details about his past. He told me he played soccer when he was ten and he watched television before bed. I believe he considered me a close confidant at this stage, as he told me details about his family, such as that he has two brothers and his father is a doctor. In our third semester together, Joe began to prophesize about the future. When I am older, I will be a doctor, he said. This seemed to clash with his music major, but Joe’s interests were constantly changing, like when in chapter nine he suddenly was very interested in cars. Joe also told me that his father was a businessman. When I asked why his father had stopped practicing medicine, Joe looked confused. It seemed that through some stroke of luck Joe’s father changed careers in accordance with our current chapter’s vocabulary. Joe’s life seemed tailor-fit to our textbook, as anytime a question was proposed such as, Do you like musicals? If no, explain, his answer was always yes. I will always remember Joe and be thankful for the access he gave me into his life. I wish he were still alive so we could converse in the conditional tense. Who knows what wonderful things he would have done?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

"When My Generation Has the Power"

Secretary of State Billups: President Husted, the insurgents have just threatened nuclear warfare. We need a decision regarding U.S. intervention.

President Husted: This is a difficult decision and one that has weighed heavily on my mind for the past several days. I can’t decide if a ninja would be able to solve the crisis best or if a pirate would be ideal.

Vice President Thompson: A pirate for sure. Their vicious swashbuckling combined with their no-holds-barred attitude is a lethal combination.

President Husted: Right, but the ninjas could approach stealthily and assassinate the insurgents and unite the people in support of a nunchuk contest. It is a difficult decision.

Secretary of State Billups: Enough games. This is an incredibly serious matter. This decision will define your administration. The Joint Chiefs of Staff are all listening on the line and need a decision. In what capacity will the United States intervene?

President Husted: Call me crazy, but I think Jason Statham might be best for the job. Remember when he used watermelons as boxing gloves in Transporter 3?

Vice President Thompson: Jason Statham is awesome. He could let someone eat those watermelons after he uses them to break a few noses.

President Husted: Get Jason Statham. Tell him to bring the watermelons.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

"How Much?"

“Never take a solemn oath. People think you mean it.” – Norman Douglas

Principal Harris: Matt?
Matt: What? Who’s there?
Principal Harris: Shh. It’s Mrs. Harris.
Matt: Principal Harris? What are you doing in my room? It’s three o’clock in the morning.
Principal Harris: I have the payment.
Matt: What payment?
Principal Harris: The twenty million dollars you requested.
Matt: What are you talking about?
Principal Harris: We have cameras, Matt. Cameras and microphones. Two months ago at lunch you said you would have sex with me for twenty million dollars. I have half in this duffle bag and the rest is in the car.
Matt: Where did you get twenty million dollars?
Principal Harris: Several prominent alumni have passed through my school. Where would be best? I brought a towel.
Matt: I don’t really…
Bertha enters through window.
Bertha: Matt? I have the thirty million dollars.
Matt: Bus driver Bertha?
Bertha: Is she part of the deal? That’s fine, I brought extra towels.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Thursday, February 10, 2011

"Freedom"

On January 1, 1863 the Emancipation Proclamation immediately freed an estimated 20,000 slaves in Union-controlled territory. I imagine it was difficult for slave owners to break the news.

Archibald Buxton III: I’m sure you are all wondering why I have gathered you here today in this magnificent barn that you all built for me. Truly, um, beautiful craftsmanship.
Toby: Is there anything we can do for you, master?
Archibald Buxton III: No, thank you, Toby. Have I ever told you how handsome you are? You are also very smart and I really consider you a close friend. Very good friend. I consider you and I to be on the same side, yes, we’d never harm each other.
Toby: Well thank you, master.
Jim: What is the news, sir?
Archibald Buxton III: Of course, of course, Jim. You are so very strong. So incredibly strong. Hands that could rip a man in two. Hands that could really inflict a world-class beating. Have I ever told you how thankful I am for all of your help these past twenty years? You’re one of the best men I’ve ever known and surely you will never use your incredible power to rip a man in two or maybe pull his arms out and beat him with them.
Jim: Thank you, sir. I’ve never heard such compliments from you.
Archibald Buxton III: Well then, here goes. It is blazing hot in here. Word came in this morning about some legislation from Washington. It seems…It seems that as of today you are all, um, free to go.
Toby: Free to go?
Archibald Buxton III: Yes…yes. Let me check again here…Man, it is hot in here. Yes, free to go, free to use those big strong arms to plant flowers, maybe, or give someone a big hug. Not, you know, punch a man's teeth out or rip anyone in half.
Jim: So we don’t have to work for your family anymore?
Archibald Buxton III: Yes, you are absolutely right, my kind, product-of-our-times family is thankful for your help and for all the labor you gave us with those powerful legs that could shatter a man's ribs with one kick, but of course you wouldn't do that, right? I mean, look, there’s no need to get violent here, right? I mean, Jesus, those biceps. That strength. I’ve seen you all rip trees from the earth. I’ll just…Look, you know what? Here, just let me take care of it for you. I’ll just go ahead and pop my own eyeballs out, okay? Will that be okay?
Toby: Mr. Buxton—
Archibald Buxton III: Aaahh! There goes one. Wow, Toby, you still look strong as an ox even from one eye. Strong enough to pull a man’s head right off his body. Good lord, my knees are quaking and this blood is cascading down my face. There’s no need to use those burly biceps to rips my arms out, right? You could pop a man’s head like a zit. Look, look, here, I’ll do it for you, go ahead and rip this arm right out. Owww! There! It’s done, okay! My arm is out and now I’ll just go ahead and beat myself with it for you! No need to get violent here! I don’t want anyone to, I don’t know, take any revenge. I’ll just whack myself in the face with my limp, bleeding arm over and over! No violence, my wonderful workers! You are all so great! No need to hurt anyone! Oww!
Jim: We’ll be leaving now, Mr. Buxton.
Archibald Buxton III: Oww!

"Mean Mean Pride"

NEIL: You back there! Knock it off! Stop that. I don’t deserve this.
GEDDY: What are you doing? Why’d you stop playing?
NEIL: Yeah, you in the red shirt. Do you think you’re better than me? You think you can do what I do?
GEDDY: Neil, what the hell? We were in the middle of that song.
NEIL: Yeah, and this moron is taunting me from the fiftieth row. He’s waving his arms around like he can play these drums. Stop it.
GUY: …
NEIL: Someone get him a mic. What do you have to say for yourself? Why were you mocking me?
GUY: I wasn’t making fun of you. I…I was just drumming along. It’s fun.
NEIL: That’s your idea of fun? You sound pretty lame.
GUY: People do this all the time.
NEIL: No they don’t. I’ve never seen it before. How’d you like it if I came down to where you work and imitated you all day?
GUY: I don’t…Um…
NEIL: Huh? What’s that, big shot drummer? Did your air drums win you nine Best Rock Drummer of the Year awards from Modern Drummer magazine? Where do you work? Please tell me what sort of business would hire a monumental asshole such as yourself.
GUY: I’m a dentist.
NEIL: A dentist? So tomorrow morning I’ll come to your office and stand in the lobby pretending to be a dentist. So I guess I’ll wave my arms around like I’m scraping imaginary crap off people’s teeth and then pretend to diagnose unnecessary costly procedures. Would you like that, buddy?
GUY: That would be incredible, actually. I’m a huge fan.
NEIL: Great. So tomorrow morning at nine. I’ll be there to mock you, you sick man.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

“The Discussion That Happened Before Hiring the Guy Who Has Worked At This Company for Twenty-Three Years”

-This whole organization will go down if we don’t hire any dedicated employees today, and it looks like no one’s interested. We’re down to the last candidate.
-Tell him that if he sticks around for twenty-five years he earns a private island and a dead relative of his choice will be reincarnated in the supply closet. There’s no way he lasts more than two years, but anything’s better than nothing.

"Internet Policy"

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

“Justin Bieber Does Not Regret Missing Out on Normal 21st-Century Childhood”

In an interview today, 16 year-old singing sensation Justin Bieber expressed absolutely no regrets of missing out on a normal childhood. Bieber, who was signed to Island Records at age 13, said, “I’ve seen what most kids my age are up to. And to be honest, I’d rather spend my nights playing to sold out arenas than waiting for my parents to go to sleep so I can look at porn on the family computer.” Bieber seems perfectly content with his busy schedule of live shows, interviews, and recording, which he says he greatly prefers to the alternative of “posting hate-filled comments on YouTube videos, installing IP scrambler software so I can safely BitTorrent the entire Hawthorne Heights catalog, trying to find a girl who is interested in something beyond Apple products, and convincing my mom to let me use her credit card on eBay so I can buy bootleg anime DVDs.” When asked if he ever thinks about what his life would be like had he not been discovered, Usher picked him up in a helicopter and they flew towards Cancun.

Monday, February 7, 2011

"Backstage"

-They’re still screaming our names out there.
-The new songs killed. Another perfect show.
-That's what eighteen years of experience will get you.
-Wait a second.
-What?
-Holy crap.
-What?
-This is insane. You’ll never believe this. I just realized we forgot to play our two biggest hits.
-What? Which ones?
-The ones that made us stars. The ones everyone knows.
-No way. We must have played them somewhere in there. Didn’t we open with one?
-I just went over the set list and they’re not on there. Look.
-Wow. You’re absolutely right. How embarrassing.
-What do we do?
-They’re screaming pretty loud out there. I think it may get violent.
-Well now we’re back here. What are we going to do, go back on stage? We’d look like morons.
-I think we may have to just suck it up and march back out there like men. Admit our mistake and make it right. Give them what they want.
-You’re right. The fans deserve it.
-We really need to add those songs to the set list. It’s ridiculous that this happens every night.