Transcript from a Session with the Caped Crusader

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(Batman sits on the couch across from his therapist, fiddling nervously with his cape.)

THERAPIST: So Batman, tell me, what seems to be bothering you lately? Inescapable guilt? Unrelenting rage? Blatant injustice?

BATMAN: I gotta tell you doc, I feel like I’m dealing with some very unrealistic expectations from the people here in the city.

THERAPIST: Ahh, like being expected to be the sole beacon of light amidst the crumbling infrastructure and hopelesss moral vacuum that is Gotham?

BATMAN: Um, I guess…

THERAPIST: And being expected to constantly walk the straight and narrow while simultaneously being hunted by the police and hated by virtually every citizen?

BATMAN: Well, sure ….

THERAPIST: And being expected to rid the city of its pervasive crime while also maintaining a secret identity and dealing with your own crippling inner demons?

BATMAN: Um, yeah, all that….but what I’m really talking about is the……bat signal.

THERAPIST: The bat signal? I’m not quite sure I follow.

BATMAN: Have you ever taken a minute to think about how impractical the bat signal is? And everyone thinks it was my idea. Well it wasn’t—it was those idiots’ on the city council. Some numbnut thought “Wow, we need an efficient way of communicating with our only superhero and source of protection so let’s shine a big spotlight into the sky, that should work well.” Like why not just call me for God’s sake? Or shoot me a text? Or even, like, email me?

(There is a pause while the therapist scribbles some notes.)

THERAPIST: So what you’re saying is that you’re having some communication issues in your personal life?

BATMAN: Well, I’m not the one with the issues! Look, try to understand me here: The bat signal is projected into the sky but my lair is in a cave. Traditionally caves are underground. How the hell am I supposed to see the signal?? Do people think I just sit in the Burger King parking lot throwin’ back Whoppers all night and staring at the sky waiting to be summoned? Just because I’m dark and brooding doesn’t mean I don’t have some semblance of a social life.

THERAPIST: So what I’m hearing is that you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed by your responsi–

BATMAN: –and what if I’m like, peeing or sleeping or doing basically anything inside when they shine the signal? I have needs here, man. There was a kidnapping and a triple homicide last week that I didn’t even show up to and all the newspapers were like “Has the Batman Abandoned Gotham?” and “Where was the Batman in Gotham’s Time of Need?” Do you wanna know where the Batman was?? I was doing my Zumba regiment! Inside. Where I couldn’t see the bat signal.

THERAPIST: I see.

BATMAN: And another thing—the bat signal completely neglects the fact that crime can happen during the day. If a crook wants to rob a bank, literally all he has to do is do it at 2 o’clock in the afternoon and I’ll never know about it because you can’t see a freaking spotlight when the sun is out.

THERAPIST: (writing something down) Hmm. Interesting.

BATMAN: And you know, even when I do see the signal, it’s not like it gives me any useful information. A call from Commissioner Gordon letting me know that three men armed with AK-47s are robbing Gotham 1st National Bank on Westview Street and have taken 19 hostages would be helpful. But, I mean, how is the outline of a bat projected into the sky supposed to help me at all? How am I even supposed to know where the crime is taking place? I’m rich, not telepathic! Every time it’s like “Oh no there’s the bat signal, something bad must be happening somewhere in the entire huge metropolis of Gotham here let me spend 2 hours driving around the city in the Batmobile trying to find out where I’m supposed to go because some moron on the City Council thought it’d be cooler to shine a big light in the sky instead of just calling me!”

(Batman pauses and catches his breath. The therapist looks up.)

THERAPIST: (grinning) But you do have to admit, the bat signal is pretty cool…

BATMAN:

THERAPIST:

BATMAN:

THERAPIST:

BATMAN:

THERAPIST: Sorry.

BATMAN: I should have let Bane blow you all up.

Batman

 

In Honor of Valentine’s Day <3

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Violets are Violet

Roses are red

Violets are blue

Wait…that’s ridiculous

Violets are violet.

That’s why they’re called violets.

Because they’re violet.

And you know what,

While we’re at it

Cupid is stupid and a fat toddler at that.

And that tattoo of my name

Won’t insure that I stay

And face it,

We’ll all die alone someday anyways.

But I guess that

If you took into account all peoples,

From North, South, West, and East,

I guess that if I had to pick one,

I’d say that I hate you the least.

 Valentine Poem Template

Oh my dearest (insert name of S.O. here),

I cannot even begin to fathom

The ways in which you’ve made

My life so (insert exaggerated adjective here)

I love how your (insert body part of choice)

Reminds me of (insert nature simile)

And I find myself asking how I

Ever got so lucky.

You are the love of my life,

My (insert noxious nickname),

My (insert second noxious nickname),

And I will be with you always.

Happy Valentine’s Day

(insert doodle of X&O’s, hearts, etc.)

 Shakespeare in Translation

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?

(Because you’re really freaking hot)

Thou art more lovely and more temperate:

(Temperate as in temperature…as in hot)

Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,

(You can be my darling any day)

And summer’s lease hath all too short a date:

(Seriously, you and I should definitely date)

Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,

(Did it hurt when you fell from heaven?)

And often is his gold complexion dimmed,

(Mmm, I like how you’re workin’ that tan)

And every fair from fair sometime declines,

(Wait, are you seriously gonna say no to this?)

By chance, or nature’s changing course untrimmed:

(So you’re saying I have a chance then?)

But thy eternal summer shall not fade,

(Oh I see, you’re playing hard to get)

Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st,

(There better not be someone else)

Nor shall death brag thou wander’st in his shade,

(If there is, I’ll kill you)

When in eternal lines to time thou grow’st,

(Don’t worry, I’ll grow on you.)

So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see, So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

(Feel free to read my love poetry whenever you need a pick-me up)

*winks sensuously*

An Erotic Novel

 

  1. Twilight
  2. Whisper
  3. Cape Cod
  4. Whale
  5. Palisade
  6. Shadow
  7. Steel Wool
  8. Anchor
  9. Stormy Sky
  10. Sterling
  11. Charcoal
  12. Burnt Ember
  13. Dolphin
  14. Smoke
  15. Pewter
  16. Nickel
  17. Pigeon
  18. Stone Harbor
  19. Silver Fox
  20. Cobblestone Path
  21. Cinderblock
  22. Rainstorm
  23. Huskie
  24. Thunder
  25. Himalayan Trek
  26. Silent Night
  27. Shadow
  28. Feather
  29. Metallic
  30. Nightingale
  31. Apparition
  32. Sheep’s Wool
  33. Mist
  34. Nimbus
  35. Pelican
  36. Cascade
  37. Mineral
  38. Shoreline
  39. Fog
  40. River Silt
  41. Gargoyle
  42. Old Soul
  43. Squirrel Tail
  44. Windy City
  45. Secret
  46. Rocky Coast
  47. Hearthstone
  48. Winter Solstice
  49. Cob Web
  50. Timber Wolf

Gray Paint Chips

THIS IS NOT MY FAMILY

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So in my creative writing class this semester (good ‘ol English 130) we were given the assignment to create a fictional family and make them as bizarre and colorful as possible. We were to do this by creating blurbs for each family member describing different aspects of their personality. After completing the assignment, I thought that this was something that I should share with the world (and by “the world” I mean all 4 of my mom’s friends that read this blog—shout out to you guys!) However, at the risk of losing my debit card and/or causing some hard feelings at the next family reunion, I would like to restate that these are FICTIONAL characters and are not my actual family members. I may or may not have thrown in some semi-truthful elements in there, but by and large what you are about to read is a product of my own disturbed imagination.

A Tribute to My Beloved Family

Andrew (Brother) Age 22

Macho, meathead college football player. Eats a dozen eggs a day and snorts protein powder to try and perfect his muscular bod. Has been diagnosed with a severe case of Narcissistic Personality Disorder as evidenced by the three fathead stickers and seven posters of himself adorning his dorm room wall. He has been known to spend a significant amount of time admiring his own jawline in the mirror and can frequently be heard singing “Let It Go” at the top of his lungs in the shower. He’s also watched every episode of One Tree Hill three times but won’t admit it when confronted.

Olivia (Sister) Age 14

Typical melodramatic teenager—has fantasies involving all of the different members of One Direction, but especially Niall. When asked about career interests she answers that she wants to “do what the Kardashians do” and so she’s currently looking for a B-list rap star that she can make a sex tape with that will rocket her to stardom and gain her the admiration of basic white girls everywhere. She enjoys reading primarily three genres of novels: books about teen romance, books about vampires, and books about vampires in teen romances.

Eleanor (Aunt) Age 48

Still living in 1983, naively assuming that her perm has not yet gone out of style. Proud owner of 15 turtlenecks and a pair of Sketcher shape-ups to help tighten up her “loose caboose” as she calls it. Her only friend to date is a long-haired Persian cat named Mr. Snuggles who’s tried to eat her in her sleep twice. Sadly, she considers Cracker Barrel to be the epitome of fine cuisine and the film Sharknado to be the apex of American cinema.

Greg (Uncle) Age 61

Is currently on his third mail-order Russian wife (the first tried to kill him and the second ended up being a man.) Is susceptible to fits of random kleptomania—has been known to steal camo cargo pants from Good Will and entire bottles of parmesan cheese from Pizza Hut. The whole family was worried when he went into kidney failure a few years ago and ended up spending 5 years in prison for obtaining his own transplant organ off of the black market from some poor sap in Nicaragua. I guess ya gotta do what ya gotta do.

Pop (Grandpa) Age 76

A good ol’ southern country boy who still says things like “yonder” and “reckon” and has enough guns in his house to outfit a small insurgent army. Hates only 5 things in life: 1) Obama 2) the Obama administration 3) Obamacare 4) Obama car stickers and 5) the state of Hawaii because it gave us Obama. Insists that he used to walk 2 miles to school, barefoot in the snow, uphill both ways despite this being a geographic impossibility. He’s also an avid hunter who keeps deer heads hanging on the walls in his basement whose eyes stare into your soul and give you traumatic complexes as a child (and no, I don’t want to talk about it,) Moving on…

Donna (Mother) Age 54

Certified hypochondriac—watches Dr. Oz every morning and has Web MD as her homepage. Currently believes that she has Hashimoto’s disease which I’m pretty sure is just a type of kung fu. Is a compulsive couponer who’ll come home from Costco with 17 crates of mustard because it was buy 16 get 1 free. Has a new workout fad every week that inevitably backfires—she dragged me to a hot yoga class at the YMCA last week that ended up being specifically for people 65 and up with arthritis. It actually wasn’t so bad until Ethel’s teeth popped out during the arching three-legged dog pose…

Dave (Father) Age 52

The most technologically challenged in the family—tried to order a Snuggie off of Amazon and accidentally created a Tinder account and now has a date set up with a blond named Amber at Chili’s next week. He’s also the stingiest in the family. He was investigated by child services when we took a family trip to Disney 7 years ago and he made my little sister curl up in one of the suitcases so we didn’t have to pay for an extra airfare ticket (spoiler alert! It didn’t work.)

Stuart (2nd Cousin) Age 45

Was homeschooled and has homeschooled all of his children; as a consequence it’s possible that he still believes that the earth is flat and that the sun revolves around the earth. He stirred up rumors of his being a member of the Illuminati when he wore his “Illuminati Bonanza 2012” t-shirt at the last family reunion but he assured us that he had just borrowed it “from a friend.” Also, he has an acute fear of public speaking and werewolves, and meticulously documents his bathroom habits on his Facebook page.

Ashton (Me) Age 20

Ahh, me. Well, in my free time I enjoy staring into the abyss and contemplating the direness of the human condition. I’m proficient in two languages: sarcasm and wittiness. I care more about the fictional characters on my TV shows than I do about real people. My talents include insulting people without them realizing it and drinking sweet tea. I hold the strong belief that hoodies are acceptable to wear for any and every occasion and Jimmy Fallon is my spirit animal. My personal mantra for my life is “Haterz gon hate” which I got tattooed in Comic Sans font across my chest a few years ago. Unfortunately, now people just assume I have some type of weird Taylor Swift fetish.

FIN

Bluth Family

There Shall Be a Great Flood

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Looking back, it was my fault really. I mean, it wasn’t directly my fault, but I suppose I put the events in motion that led to the eventual outcome. If asked in person, though, I would probably deny this. Because it wasn’t really my fault…just my idea. I guess that’s what I get for trying to be creative.

We all sat in a circle on the old gym floor in our sweaty practice uniforms, each of us scribbling a phrase onto a tiny slip of paper. “Lack of communication.” “Complacency.” “Others’ expectations.” “Lack of hustle.” It was my senior year of high school basketball and our underdog team was making its run for the school’s fourth consecutive women’s basketball State Championship that season. In contrast to the teams of previous years, our team was undersized and inexperienced—we weren’t even projected to win our conference, much less the state title. To combat these overwhelming odds, we relied on great coaching, pure willpower, and the tacky little team bonding/motivational activities that we came up with.

The activity we were doing on that day had been thought up by—you guessed it—yours truly. After finding out that I and the other two seniors were supposed to come up with a bonding activity for the entire team and coaching staff, we panicked and scrambled to think of something. I remembered a documentary I had seen on ESPN the year before where a basketball team wrote down obstacles on blocks of wood and then burned them in a bonfire as a symbolic gesture of overcoming those obstacles. It was perfect. I mean, who doesn’t love a dramatic physical metaphor? Being the clever little turd that I am, I announced to everyone that we would all write down obstacles that might impede our way to victory, share them out loud, and then physically destroy them. The other players and coaches were all for it and I felt pretty proud of myself for suggesting such a nifty idea.

It was only after we’d shared what we’d written out loud that we realized we didn’t really have a way to destroy the pieces of paper. Just tearing them up and throwing them away didn’t seem good enough—we needed a grand gesture, one that would suggest absolute victory over the “unsound fundamentals” and “lazy defense” that threatened our season. One senior suggested going into the woods behind the school and burning the papers and I’m certainly glad I nixed that idea, otherwise I’d probably be blogging from prison while doing hard time for second degree arson. No, fire was a little too dramatic. But then it hit me: If not fire, how about water? How about the bathroom…the toilet? Ooh, yeah that was good. Banishing adversity down the toilet, sending it to the sewers to rot with the other crap down there, flushing failure down the drain. It was perfect.

My eight teammates and I, along with our two female assistant coaches, charged into the bathroom pumped and excited (and I think that I should also add that we were half-delirious from our grueling two and a half hour practice.) Our other three male coaches (including our head coach) waited patiently outside for us to do the deed. All eleven of us girls crowded into the tiny, ancient bathroom of the auxiliary gym. I led the charge with my fellow seniors and we dumped the paper slips into the toilet to a chorus of whoops and yells as our teammates crowded in behind us to try and witness the much anticipated moment of the flush. We did a countdown.

Five.

Four.

Three.

Two…

That’s when I first felt the water hitting me in the face. And the arms. And the legs. I heard screaming and running, saw limbs flying. Thuds and more screaming. I couldn’t tell where the water was coming from because it seemed to be coming from everywhere. I turned around to see one of our assistant coaches take off out the bathroom door, followed by a hoard of my screaming teammates all stumbling over each other and covering their faces as water spewed up from seemingly every direction. When enough people had cleared out so I could move, I flung open the door of the adjacent stall and beheld the source of the water. The toilet in this stall had been knocked completely sideways off of its foundation, and where it had once attached to the floor, an unabated geyser of water was shooting up all the way to the ceiling.

As best as we’ve been able to reconstruct it, here’s what we think happened: The stall we were flushing the obstacles in had been too small to fit everybody. In order to get a better view of the little ceremony, our biggest post player, a 6’3 Division I bound athlete, had decided to stand on the toilet in the adjacent stall for a better view. Following her example, our 6’1 assistant coach had also decided to do the same thing so that she could take pictures for the team Facebook page since our coaches compulsively documented every team activity that we ever did. Now, I’m not really a physics person, but I think that as long as they were both standing on the toilet, the weight was distributed evenly and everything was fine. But for some reason one of them stepped down—to this day, we still don’t know which one did—and it incidentally put all of the weight on one side of the toilet. Please refer to the image below that I got off of Google that seems semi-relevant to what I’m describing:

seesaw

The uneven weight caused the toilet to totally rip out of the floor and thus the water in the pipe below began to shoot out everywhere. We’d tried to flush failure down the drain and it had only spewed up from another.

But in the moment, all I knew was that we had destroyed a toilet and I’d better get the heck out of there. As I and the other two seniors made a break for it, I remembered the waterlogged little pieces of paper still floating in the other toilet that had been so symbolic to us. Now I’m not superstitious about stuff like that, but I’m a little stitious, so I thought it’d be best not to take any chances. “Flush it!” I yelled at my fellow senior who was closest. “Flush it, flush it!” I watched her run as if she were in slow motion, fearlessly braving the unmerciful spray and by Jove, she reached out and flushed those damn obstacles down the toilet. After that we were out and back into the gym where we all subsequently fell on the court, holding our stomachs with laughter as it hit us how ridiculous we were. Our male coaches stood at midcourt looking sternly perplexed as the entire team literally collapsed and writhed on the court, howling with laughter, ignoring inquiries about what happened.

But then the coaches headed for the bathroom. This alarmed me and brought me to my senses, and as I turned around I saw the tail end of my last teammate’s jersey disappearing through the door. They were gone. I figured I’d better follow suit. I grabbed my backpack and without even changing my shoes, sprinted out into the freezing night air. We looked like a bunch of maniacs, nine high school girls sprinting across a deserted campus at night, wearing sleeveless jerseys and shorts in thirty degree weather, yelling like banshees as we hauled ass down to the regular gym and the locker room. That was the fastest I think I’d ever seen some of my teammates run. I remember thinking to myself, Wow if we all ran this fast during games we’d be undefeated this season.

The locker room was a flurry of jerseys flying into the hamper, shoes being thrown off, people sliding on the slick tile floor as we all desperately tried to change and get out of there before our head coach came back. It was every woman for herself now. I remember a few of us stopping at the gym door, peering out into the parking lot, and then running like lunatics to our cars when we saw the coast was clear. I shoved my car into drive and sped all the way home, still laughing the whole time. When I got home, my mom had asked me how practice was, to which I replied “I think we flooded the auxiliary gym.”

If you want to know how much trouble we got in, the answer is so much. So much. Pointing out that it was an accident and appealing to the stupidity of the two largest people’s decision to both stand on a rickety toilet at the same time didn’t seem to mitigate anything for the team. We got a very serious talking-to and were each forced to individually apologize to the janitor who had to repair the toilet—an encounter probably more awkward for him than it was for each of us. Although I will say, as time has gone on, the incident has become a great story and a running joke—the fact that we did go on to miraculously win the State Championship that year definitely helped make it a “look back and laugh” scenario. The true test for this was when we were in Home Depot once as a team (like I said, we did weird, tacky bonding activities) and our coach asked us all jokingly what we should buy. I suggested a new toilet and there was an instant of silent tension until our head coach burst out laughing and everyone else followed. But this whole story just goes to show you how trying to do something meaningful can result in the destruction of private property. So just a tip, if you ever have to pick a bonding activity, just do trust falls or freeze tag or something.

geyser

A Brief History of the 21st Century Sorority Cults of the Southern United States

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by Ashton Carrick Ph.D. American History Studies

The Sorority Cults are an academic subject that still remains largely shrouded in mystery. In recent years a greater interest in the inner workings of this fanatical following has cropped up and thus much more has been discovered in regards to this perverse cult system. In this paper I shall explore some of the darkest corners and perplexing fetishes of one of the most widespread cults in U.S. history.

Despite its far reaching spheres of influence, the structure of this particular breed of cult was not complicated. Prospective members were heavily vetted before being allowed membership and were subjected to a whole host of rituals and rites of passage collectively known as “Rush.” Membership into the cult was dependent upon a strange conglomeration of traits. A candidate was evaluated primarily on her physical appearance, shallowness, and poor decision making. Promiscuity and lack of inhibition practically ensured that a candidate would get an invitation to be baptized into the cult, otherwise known as a “bid.” According to research collected from taped interviews of candidates who did not get bids, having any type of actually personality was the greatest hindrance to being accepted.

For those who did make it, however, the annual pagan celebration known as “Bid Day” was used to usher in the new Sisters. This celebration traditionally consisted of face paintings, screaming, prancing, and shedding of tears. Upon induction, each new member (otherwise known as a “Little) would be assigned a mentor (a “Big) whose job it was to shower the new inductee with traditional, handcrafted gifts and make sure that they were truly indoctrinated to the cult’s dogmatic laws. Every Little had a Big and every Big had a Little, thus forming smaller, self-sufficient groups within the cults known as “Families.” Being a matriarchal society, the Senior Sister held the highest authority while the Freshman Sister held the least. Members of families were expected to show absolute devotion and filial piety to one another—this often involved maudlin, conspicuous public praise of one’s family members. It is likely that coercion and social pressure were involved heavily in this practice, as it is highly impractical that all Littles actually believed that they had “the best Big ever.”

One might be curious as to how such a wealth of knowledge has been obtained from what were usually such secretive societies. Oddly enough, historians in fact have an abundance of primary source material to work with due to the Sisters’ compulsive need to keep detailed records of events and personnel via Instagram posts. A pattern can be discerned in these archaic photos as to how the Sisters related to one another physically. A significant number of photos have been archived depicting the infamous “Sorority squat” and the “piggyback” positions. The “cheek to cheek” pose also seems to have been a popular fad at the time. It’s not clear what or who started these cultural idiosyncrasies, but evidence of them has been found in relation to every branch of the Sorority Cult, suggesting it was a widespread phenomenon.

The Sisters engaged in other strange cultural practices as well. In homage to the warrior cults of ages past that would paint their bodies with their sacrificial victims’ blood, Sorority members often painted their bodies with fake spray-on tans. Coincidentally, this also made it easier for members to identify one another by sight when among a crowd of normal people or “non-Greeks.” The traditional dress of the Sorority members also made them easily identifiable and created a culture of solidarity and conformity. An oversized Sorority t-shirt with the traditional frocket paired with the black yoga pants were the typical garb of the day. Footwear included Nike running shoes and white tube socks pulled conspicuously up over the pant legs. The truly indoctrinated members could also be seen wearing pearl earrings, Aviator sunglasses, and monogrammed necklaces. Monogramming came to be an essential part of Sorority culture for a very practical reason—eventually the members were becoming so identical in appearance and behavior that they needed a way to tell one from the other. To solve this dilemma, they began to brand their initials all over their bodies and possessions. A good many of the members also participated in extended periods of fasting in order to alter their physical appearances.

The Sisters also eventually developed their own language as a counter measure against the “non-Greeks” of the outside world. This language was primarily performed in a crude version of sign language, usually consisting of signs made with the hands, arms, or other parts of the body in order to identify other members of the cult successfully and to promote the dominance of a particular branch. Some experts believe this practice derived from the practice of gang signs used by hoodlums in the larger cities of the U.S in decades past. Ancient Greek letters were also often used when denoting specific branches of the cult; however, there is no evidence suggesting that members had any true knowledge of the Greek language and the practice was deemed asinine by later historians. The Greek letters were often made into enormous sized letters and carried around by pallbearers as trophies of social conquest to be showed off to the public.

Members were required to continually demonstrate their loyalty to the group by capturing outside victims for use in certain seasonal religious festivals such as 5K runs, pancake buffets, and car washes. Failure to do so resulted in the member being sacrificed to the Sorority’s primary goddess, Lilly Pulitzer. Besides sacrificing some of their own, Sisters paid respect to the goddess by wearing special flowery garb and burning wads of money—along with any notions of originality—on her altar in their sacred temple, the Sorority House. Chanting ancient spells amidst candlelight was another popular way in which the sisters offered worship to their deity. Sisters were also all very adamant about following the Great Commandment that had been established as the basis of the Sisterhood since its very genesis: “Thou shalt judge all others.”

Many believe that this cult was ultimately nothing more than a financial scam as it required large sums of money for a member to retain her membership and to participate in cult festivities and rituals. Regardless of whether this was the case or not, it has been argued how such a destructive ideology was allowed to flower and form into a full-fledged movement in the first place. Many historians debate the reasons for this. A leading theory is that since the Sorority masked its subversive and, frankly, destructive activities under the guise of “philanthropy,” that its true nature was hidden from authority figures at the time. Others argue that Sororities had actually infiltrated networks spreading throughout the entire U.S., with previous members holding positions at every level of education and government. Such widespread infiltration allowed the Sorority to continually operate with relative impunity from the authorities, much in the same way that the Illuminati supposedly had a network running throughout America at this time. Sadly, the Sorority Cults of the United States prospered for many years before the non-Greeks, finally outraged enough at the judgmental nature of the Sisters to take action, began rioting on college campuses across the nation, burning effigies of Greek goddesses, and looting Sorority Houses of their organic yogurt and gluten-free muffins. In a matter of days the entire system came crashing down in a cataclysmic takeover and the remaining Sisters either committed mass suicide via self-immolation by pumpkin spice candles or were captured and converted back into non-Greeks. All in all it was a dark era in our country’s history—an era we don’t wish to repeat—plagued with the terrors of an obsessive, brain-washing machine known as the Sorority.

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*No offense to people in sororities.

Duh Nuh Nuh Nuh, Nuh Nuh, Nuh Nuh……..Grammar Time!

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These are troubled times we’re living in: global warming, twerking, the cancellation of the southern style chicken biscuit menu option at Bojangles, and—worst of all—the systematical decline of proper grammar usage among the American public. Don’t believe me?

For one, sentences that aren’t parallel are one of my main pet peeves. Violation of the parallel rule makes me angry, frustrated, and pull my hair out. Teachers all throughout grade school emphasize this point. They always tell you that when you write you need organized structure, to use proper grammar, and always make sentences parallel. And yet, people don’t do it.

I also hate when people start thinking that “I” should always be used instead of “me.” Those people aren’t too smart, but the rule makes sense to you and I. For you and I, all we have to do is determine whether or not we need a subject or an object. You and me are just more educated.

And don’t even get me started on homophones. When people screw these up I just want to say, “Your killing me! Get you’re stuff together!” Its such an insult to the English language…I mean, you might as well spit in it’s face! Their is absolutely nothing worse.

It is annoying when people totally stop using contractions when they write and begin to sound like robots. It is weird when they do not have them. Would not it be more natural if they were there? I could not say for sure, but I am pretty positive about it.

People don’t know how to use adverbs proper either. Don’t take it personal, I’m talking about everyone. I try not to judge too harsh but sometimes it just absolute irritates me. If people don’t know how to write good, they can always look up grammar rules quick.

There also seems to be a certain vocabulary that a plethora of people utilize when they’re writing an essay in order to portray a greater command of the English language than they really have. This results in a plethora of over-used vocabulary words that convey little meaning. This portrays the fact that the writer is utilizing the same set of words that he or she believes will convey a sense of mastery.

And then there are those people who freak out every time you begin a sentence with a conjunction. “But our middle school teachers told us never to do that!” they’ll say. And yet, I still don’t really care about their opinions.

One thing I’m convinced of is that people have no idea how to use the perfect tenses. I have got so mad over this before. I would’ve gave anything just to make people always use this verb tense correctly. I haven’t went crazy in a while, but an error in this tense might do it for me. For example, once I had a friend who had ran for 90 minutes straight in a soccer game and then had drank a quart of Gatorade and then had threw up. Later, she told a friend “I threw up because I had drankin a gallon of Gatorade.” Oh, the grammatical shame.

An error I would of liked to correct was people’s tendency to forget how to use the word “have.” This could of been detrimental to the English language—and honestly it should of been. Thankfully, there are still those that remember the word’s existence.

Peoples’s apostrophe issues never seem to stop either. To be fair, apostrophe’s rules are a bit confusing at times. Sometimes languages’s conventions get a bit muddied.

Everyone seems so hesitant to use the dash or the double dash, they’re both very good tools. Instead of setting off a phrase with a double dash, a phrase that’s added information to the sentence, people are all too content to separate everything with mere commas, a confusing practice at best.

Often one is afraid to use the first person in one’s essay and one ends up substituting the word “one” for “I.” Granted, many professors usually do not permit one to use first person; however, one’s essay can become mysterious as a result of this as one wonders who exactly the “one” is referring to.

The worst offense is defiantly when people misspell simple words. It makes me want to loose my mind and I get so angry that I can hardly breath. The misspelling of the word “definitely” is defiantly the worst in my mind.

So as I have shown here, the end of the world is inevitably coming. And it’s coming in the form of one grammatically butchered sentence after the other. So hold your children tightly, press your old Shurley Grammar workbook to your heart, and pray that the end comes swiftly and painlessly.

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Mission Freaking Impossible

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It was 0700 hours. The morning felt crisp. Visibility was good. There was a slight breeze coming in from the northwest. All was quiet. My comrade and I looked at the unforgiving, sprawling jungle that loomed gravely before us. We both took deep breaths. We wanted to leave right then, but there was no turning back now. We’d come too far and we had a solemn duty to fulfill. So with nothing but a machete and the packs on our backs, we headed fearlessly into the unknown, knowing full well that we might never see the light of day again.

The vegetation grew thick around us, the undergrowth threatening to swallow our feet with every step. My partner cleared the path ahead as he went, hacking away at the stubborn, tangled plant life. Despite this, vines and branches still scratched our arms and pulled at our clothes. But we were making progress until, abruptly, my partner stopped and bent down to look at something closely. I looked too. It was barbed wire. Barbed wire strung as far as the eye could see at about thigh level, craftily hidden and just waiting to rip the flesh off of any unwanted guests and ensnare them in a mess of blood and metal. A booby trap set by the hostile natives most likely. But my comrade had had a keen eye and we were spared. The wire was too high and thick to step over safely, so we found two strong tree trunks fairly close together. Using my thick-soled boots, I put one foot up on the barbed wire and hoisted myself up, using the tree trunks to help me balance expertly on the wobbly tight rope. I then made a great leap over to the other side of the wire and escaped unscathed. My partner did the same.

But we’d gone out of the frying pan and into the fire. Before us we now faced a field of extremely toxic plants. Even the slightest contact with this particular species could induce extremely painful blistering and a rash outbreak over the entire body. It was a treacherous situation. Taking our time, my partner and I stepped gingerly through the plants, avoiding each delicate little leaf as if it were a razor blade. By the time I had wound my way through this death maze, the sweat was trickling down my brow from my intense concentration.

But our greatest obstacle was yet to come. A little ways past the field we encountered what looked to be a fortified wall, ten feet high, a foot thick, made of concrete, spiked all over, and all but insurmountable. We had finally reached the outer wall of the compound. I glanced at my teammate and he nodded. Then, in an incredible display of athleticism and fearlessness, I bravely leapt up onto the wall despite the risk to my own personal safety. But as I grasped for hand and footholds, I had the awful realization that the wall had been slicked with tar. My feet and fingers had no traction, and I fell violently back down, catching several of the spikes as I went. I now had 3 holes ripped into my shirt as well as into my arm. I was wounded badly. 

Despite my grievous injury, I stood up, brushed the dirt off my torn uniform, and collected myself. For the next attempt, my partner aided me and hoisted me up by the feet so that I could make a clean vault over the wall. I stuck the landing. Then the awful problem presented itself: how was my mate supposed to get over? He demanded that I go on without him, that I carry out the mission, but I wouldn’t hear of it. I utterly refused—I never leave a man behind because I’m so valiant like that. The situation looked bleak, however. My partner would surely get caught and killed, whether by human or animal. Just as I was about to give up the situation as hopeless, I heard my partner’s footsteps receding. I called his name. No answer. I called louder, frantic now. Still no answer. But at just that moment my partner’s head popped up out of the ground on my side of the wall like a gopher. I watched incredulously as he climbed out of a grass-covered metal trapdoor in the earth. A secret tunnel. A secret passageway under the wall. Well, that certainly would have been convenient about two minutes prior when my limb had practically been severed…

It was about that time that the sirens sounded. The compound wailed to life in the early morning, as the harsh sounds permeated the air and spotlights cut through the mist that had begun to settle around the compound. My partner and I were on the clock now. We had approximately two minutes to make it to the heart of the compound and complete our mission before we were found and captured. Without a moment to lose, we took off in a dead sprint and ran for everything we were worth. My pack slung up and down on my back, my bloody arms pumped up and down, and the sweat was pouring down my back.

We finally reached the center building and we flattened ourselves against the concrete wall, trying to control our heavy breathing as a troupe of armed men passed by so close that I could have reached out and touched them. When the coast was clear, we entered the building and split up, according to plan. I shook my partners hand and then tore up the metal staircase, taking two steps at the time. I checked my watch. My two minutes was up. I heard shouting in the stairwell below me but didn’t take the time to look back. I took the steps three at a time now. After what seemed like eons, I finally reached the top and found myself in a long, dimly lit corridor. Room 310, room 310. Where was room 310??? There. With every last ounce of my energy and courage, I went careening down the corridor to the door of 310, flung open the door, and burst into…

math class. I burst into math class looking like a wild woman. The teacher stopped teaching mid-sentence and the entire class stared at my torn shirt and my bloody arm as I stood in the doorway, drenched in sweat, panting like a pathetic puppy. Oh, you thought this was a fictitious story, didn’t you? Well, joke’s on you—it’s entirely true. Okay, well, maybe some details were a little bit fabricated but the general gist of it is true. My brother and I were sophomores in high school at the time and could drive, but our school didn’t offer parking for sophomores. My brother’s friend’s grandma had graciously allowed us to park at her house, which was directly behind the baseball fields of our school. The only thing that separated the house from the school was a stretch of woods. Armed with a pair of tree clippers, we painstakingly created a path through the patch of woods as we went. We did come to a string of barbed wire and had to step on it while balancing between two trees and carrying our backpacks. We also had to wade through a patch of poison ivy very carefully, as we were both wearing shorts. Afterwards we came to a chain link fence that I tried to climb, but my arms gave out and the metal on the fence ripped my shirt in three places and cut my arm in three places too. I still have the scars. My brother then hoisted me up and I was able to jump over the fence, but there was no way for him to get over. He walked a little to the left, however, and found that there was a pathway that circumvented the fence and that I hadn’t needed to jump over it in the first place. Awesome, right? At that moment, the bell rang and I took off, sprinting across the entire campus and up three flights of stairs to my math class. My teacher looked horrified as I stood there sweat, blood, and all. She gave me some bandaids, but I had to go the rest of the day with holes in my t-shirt. And I was exhausted. But looking back on this noble pursuit, this incredible adventure of mine, this defiant display of perseverance, I realize one thing: that my brother and I should totally have just given up and gone home and eaten Dunkin’ Donuts or something.

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