Bachelor in Paradise Lost

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So my mom loves to watch The Bachelor/The Bachelorette. And I have to admit, I watch it with her sometimes. I do this for four reasons:

  1. It gives me a good laugh
  2. It makes me feel better about myself
  3. It’s always a good refresher on how not to be a decent human being
  4. It reminds me that college is not worthless and I need to study

And yes, I know, I’ve probably just gravely insulted moms and teenage girls everywhere whose only motivation to get through Mondays is to see that suspenseful, emotion-filled, totally scripted, melodramatic rose ceremony. However, I have nothing but ridicule to offer to the show. But why keep the ridiculing to myself? Why not do the world a favor and share it? When my mom told me the two hour premiere of a special season of The Bachelor was airing this past Monday night, my interest was piqued. It’s called “Bachelor in Paradise” and it has previous contestants (aka losers) from other seasons of the show living on a beach together and hooking up and giving each other roses. People not receiving roses at the end of each week are sent home, so this is basically Survivor except that instead of surviving the elements they have to survive each other’s basic, superficial personalities. So I did what anyone else would have done and grabbed my notepad and jotted down all of the disparaging thoughts that I had as I watched the premiere. If you missed it Monday, here’s basically all you need to know:

  •  Woman, take your 5 inch heels off, you are walking down large, sand-covered steps. You literally look like you’re scooting down on your butt right now.
  • Why do the women gotta wear heels anyways?? The men get to wear flip-flops. The restrictions imposed by a patriarchal society!
  • Is that guy wearing a choker necklace?
  • Why does this guy have his shirt off already? Like they’re all just sitting there.
  • Her boobs are waaaaayyyy too big.
  • See. She just tried to take her cover-up off all sexy and smooth-like but it got caught on her big boobs.
  • Bro, why are you wearing a tiny bright red speedo? Unless you’re a European model/soccer player, that’s gonna be a hard “no.”
  • Should they really be out swimming alone at night in the ocean? That kind of sounds dangerous—they’re going to get eaten by a shark or something.
  • That would be real drama.
  • Why do one of the women have to go home this week, huh? Why is it up to the woman to impress the man and try to win the rose?? The restrictions imposed by a patriarchal society!
  • Lacy says that Graham is meant to be with her—they’re soul mates. She’s only just met him but she “follows him on social media.”……….*Kip from Napoleon Dynamite voice* “I mean, we chat online for, like, two hours every day so I guess you could say things are gettin’ pretty serious.”
  • These people do know that the others can always go back and watch these episodes and see all the horrible things they said about each other, right?
  • They’re all just actually really awkward.
  • Is she talking to herself? Yep. Totally talking to herself.
  • The music in this show is giving me anxiety—did they rip off the Jaws soundtrack?
  • Is this girl talking to a raccoon? Is the raccoon talking back? Why are there raccoons in Mexico??
  • You don’t want drama? Really? You came to a televised hookup contest with a dozen other attractive, promiscuous people because you don’t want drama?
  • Don’t even try to speak Spanish, you’re all such gringos.
  • You’re all basic, douch-lord tools too.
  • That cabana and pool look pretty nice though.
  • Did Marquel just reference Paradise Lost? Does he even know what that is?
  • Robert: “I got bit by fire ants!” Claire: “Oh my gosh, you got bit all over!” BITTEN. BITTEN. Past freaking participle, people.
  • I hope Claire and Robert fall off those ruins.
  • As far as ruins go, those ruins suck by the way.
  • Claire has now referred to herself in the 3rd person twice….
  • Why is she rolling in the sand? You know that boy don’t wanna hug you now, he’s probably thinking “Ew sand no don’t frickin touch me.”
  • This is some really deep conversation….. “Your eyes are pretty”…………*vomits*
  • Please, somebody pick the black guy to go on a date with. He’s honestly the nicest looking one there.
  • “Traje de baño” means bathing suits you wingnuts, not “toilet.”
  • Lacy, you can’t pick every guy, like that’s not how the competition works.
  • She’s cried twice in 24 hours.
  • “I need some fresh air” says Lacy as the wind blows through her hair through the open cabana…
  • I need a diagram to keep all of this straight.
  • This show is just like a bunch of cliquish high schoolers on an island. With alcohol. Lots of alcohol.
  • Why do all the women have such munchkin voices?
  • Did those two just do a secret handshake?
  • Seriously, this 30-something-year-old man is wearing a choker.
  • YES! She picked the black guy! You go Marquel.
  • Oh my gosh Marquel is riding a white horse on the beach and looks just like the guy from the Old Spice commercials.
  • See if I was on that island, I would totally just lay in the hammock and eat all day and not talk to anyone else.
  • Lacy just said she’s split 80/40 on a decision between two guys. 80% to 40%.
  • He just used the world “overexceeded.” Isn’t that redundant? And like, not a word?
  • She said they’re doing some last minute “conversating.” We’ve got some wordsmiths over here using their creative licenses.
  • Why do they all keep talking about “deserving to be there”? Why do any of them deserve to be there?
  • This one dude looks like a dad who’s going golfing with his work buddies after going to Home Depot and Applebees.
  • That girl totally left the show just because she knew she wasn’t going to get a rose.
  • Did the producers wait for a thunderstorm to come up in order to make the rose ceremony more dramatic??
  • All these girls look exactly alike.
  • DOUCHE BAG!
  • Claire just referred to herself in the 3rd person again.
  • Wait..why the heck aren’t these people boogie boarding? I would totally be boogie boarding at this beach. They’re really missing an opportunity here.

14

 

 

 

Date Night: A Tale of Horror

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I am going to tell you a story. A very sad story. A story that will make you pity me with every ounce of human empathy that resides in your soul assuming that you’re not a heartless robot. So settle in, brace yourself, and prepare to cringe inwardly and outwardly for the next 10 minutes…I am going to tell you the story of the worst date I have ever been on. And before you roll your eyes at me, I want you to know that this wasn’t a scenario where he didn’t hold my hand (gasp!) or where he made me pay for my own meal (a travesty!) or something petty like that. This was a date where I spent the majority of the time trying to decide whether God was testing me or punishing me (I still haven’t come to a conclusion on that—I’ll get back to you.) So here is my story which also functions as an explanation for why I haven’t eaten at P.F. Chang’s in over 3 years…

So my boyfriend at the time, whom we shall call Finn for our intents and purposes, invited me to P.F. Chang’s for his little brother’s 10th birthday dinner with the family. We had been dating for maybe a little over a month. The “family” that night consisted of Finn, his brother, his dad, and his dad’s second wife whose name was tattooed down the length of the dad’s forearm so there was no chance of anyone forgetting it. So convenient. Thankfully, the ex-wife and the baby momma were not invited. I had met Finn’s family before and it had been fine so it never really occurred to me that this night was going to be a problem. But I was oh so wrong. We started the night off with a bang as Finn and his dad had a riveting ten minute conversation about Finn’s bank account and totally ignored the rest of us for the duration. Then both of the “adults” (notice the sarcastic quotations) ordered huge glasses of wine and proceeded to get super tipsy. Finn and I had driven separately but as I watched the two down the wine, I looked from one to the other and was thinking “Well, I hope your 10-year-old is a good driver.” Finn’s dad then began to openly mock Finn’s biological mom (the ex-wife) and her new Canadian boyfriend. Excellent. Let’s bring up your deep-seated dysfunctional family issues at the dinner table in front of company out in public at the 10-year-old’s birthday dinner. That’s a great idea. At this point, however, I was only mildly uncomfortable. Every family has its issues, right?

But then the waitress came to take our order. If you’ve never been to P.F. Chang’s, they have these huge horse statues as part of their décor inside and they rise well above the heads of the dining guests. It was to one of these statues that Finn’s dad pointed as he boldly and unabashedly asked the waitress, “Why doesn’t the horse have a thingy?” The waitress looked confused. Finn’s dad went on. “You know…a ding-dong. A hmm-hmm. Why doesn’t the horse have one? It should have one. ” In one horrible second it became clear to us all what Finn’s dad was asking this waitress. This poor, poor waitress. She shrugged her shoulders, took our orders, and hurried away alarmed. But it wasn’t over that easily. Finn’s dad asked two more times why the horse was not “anatomically correct”. He just kept on bringing it up and each time I was squirming in my seat and frankly I wanted to go crawl in a hole and die somewhere because I could hardly stand the stifling awkwardness. At one point Finn’s dad asked his second wife’s opinion on the matter and I thought surely this woman would be more mature than he was and tell him to quit acting like an obnoxious, perverted teenage boy. But she simply said, “Yeah, that’s how horses are in the wild. Why don’t the statues here have them?” Hmmm maybe because giant horse penises are likely to make the customers lose their appetites and simultaneously scare little children, you IMBECILES. Like who were these people? Who asks such a question at a nice food establishment? Who asks such a question, period? I feel like this waitress could have filed for sexual harassment or something like geez who would blame her?

But the ball had only just begun to roll. During the rest of the dinner, the following events occurred:

1) Finn’s dad took his chopsticks and shoved them up into his gums and mimicked a walrus (always classy.) He then took the aforementioned chopsticks and stuck them up into a metal piece of art on the wall. Apparently there were two 10-year-olds at the table that night.

2) Finn’s dad decided that it would be totally appropriate to begin sensually kissing his wife’s neck as she giggled like a schoolgirl—no doubt a wine-aided behavior. This went on for some time as I sat in mortified silence/astonished disbelief/nauseating disgust. There went my appetite.

3) Finn’s dad began flinging food at me and Finn. Mainly at Finn, but he was such a bad shot that I had a little pile of red peppers in my lap and rice on my shirt after a few minutes. A grown man throwing food in a restaurant. He’s lucky I didn’t retaliate and hurl a fork at his jugular.

At this point I had begun to wonder if I was on one of those prank shows or something. Really guys, where’s the camera? This can’t be real. Thankfully, Finn and I had planned to see a movie after dinner, so we had a valid reason to get the heck out of there. But before we left, this awko-taco dinner came to a beautiful swan song as Finn’s dad winked at Finn slyly and asked aloud if I was staying over at their house for the night. I looked him straight in the eye and said in my sweetest, most innocent voice “No sir, I have church tomorrow morning.” Boom. Take that you heathens! Because when you don’t know what to say, Jesus is always the answer. Amen. And with that, I held my head high, walked out past the penis-less horse statue with my dignity, and went to go see Men in Black III (which was absolutely phenom by the way.) Needless to say, Finn and I didn’t date for too much longer after that. As much as I enjoyed discussing horse genitalia at the dinner table, his family was just a big ol’ pot of crazy that I didn’t want to get mixed up in. But thankfully I have an outstanding sense of humor and was able to appreciate then and now the hilarity of the situation. I mean hey, at least I got a good story out of it. And the cashew chicken was to die for.

 

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Confessions of Upper Class Cheapskates

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The upper class cheapskate isn’t just some fictitious creation of mine—it’s a real epidemic. Wake up, America. This country is full of private school attending, iPhone owning, country club frequenting, swimming pool having, trip to Europe taking, four car driving people who still go to Chili’s for the 2 for $20 meal deal. Now don’t get me wrong, saving money is great, but I consider there to be a fine line between thriftiness and stinginess. I think that sometimes people in my family flirt with that line—other times they back up, get a running start, and leap over it. Now we’re not what I’d consider “rich” or anything, but sometimes we stoop to pretty low levels all for the sake of saving a few bucks when it isn’t really necessary. To illustrate my point, I have included the following examples which I am both equally amused and ashamed by. Happy savings!

 

The Coupon Zealot

For most people, Christmas is on December 25th. For me, December 31st is a close second. And no, I’m not talking about any crazy New Year’s Eve parties. For my family, the introduction of the New Year means one thing and one thing only: all of our coupon books are going to expire. Yes sir, all of those ‘buy one entrée get one free for your guest’ bargains and ‘free small fries with the purchase of seven drinks and three buckets of chicken’ deals will be lost forever. You may be asking why I consider this a good thing. Well I don’t—I consider it a beautiful thing actually, and here’s why: The thought of all of those unused savings just going to waste positively makes my dad’s stomach churn. I think he takes it as a personal challenge to use as many coupons as possible in the last few hours of the year in order to maximize that $25 he paid that fundraising Boy Scout back in February. This means that the last day of the year is just a constant, glorious influx of food: Extra-large smoothies (buy one get one free), quesadillas (complimentary chips and queso), foot long subs ($5 off if you buy 3), chicken sandwich combos (free drink with two adult meals), etc. And that, my children, is the true meaning of New Year’s Eve.

 

Mr. Sticky Fingaz

So my uncle has what I like to call a “hotel shampoo” sense of entitlement, meaning that he assumes that everything set before him to use is complimentary and free for the taking. It’s like anytime he walks into an establishment of any kind he is suddenly seized with fits of kleptomania. To him, leaving somewhere empty-handed would be a travesty—like leaving Disney World without a set of Mickey Mouse ears; like leaving Vegas without a tattoo and a new spouse; like leaving the Vatican without a selfie with the Pope. He therefore has zero qualms about taking anything that’s within reach and he has no regard for social standards or common convention when he does it. One time at a restaurant he stashed an entire bottle of Texas Pete hot sauce in his pocket and smuggled it out like he was a member of the Ocean’s 11 team or something. He also has snatched salt and pepper shakers, silverware, and an entire glass shaker of Parmesan cheese. I was like, you know we have those things at home, right? But this didn’t seem to deter him. Worse even than the items he consistently lifted from the restaurants were the ones he stole from the hospital during his stay there for a liver transplant. He rationalized that he “was paying for everything so he deserved to take it home.” We did an inventory and discovered that he’d snagged blankets, towels, a box of rubber gloves, trash bags, a stethoscope, scissors, cleaning wipes, tape, gauze, scrubs, and toilet paper. He stole from a hospital, people. So what else would you like to take home and add to your collection, Uncle? Maybe a few pints of A-negative in case you’re running low? Perhaps a defibrillator since, after all, you’re paying for it. Or possibly a kidney in a cooler? I’m sure they won’t miss it.

 

The “Poor” College Kid

So my twin brother has turned into a little frat star who likes to wear all the big brand names like Vineyard Vines, Guy Harvey, Southern Tide, Ralph Lauren and yadda yadda all the rest. But is he willing to pay $80 for a shirt with a fish on it? Nope. My brother has found his so-called paradise of brand names at the Goodwill. That’s right. Where everything’s sticky, half the signs are in Spanish, and most of the clothes appear to have belonged to women from the early 1900s. My brother will take shopping trips to the Goodwill and buy all of his button downs and khakis and what have you at around $4 a pop. The issue is that he then brags about all the good deals he gets at Goodwill to his friends at his college whose tuition is equivalent to the GDP of a small country. I’m like, bro don’t tell people you shop at Goodwill—you’re probably wearing last fall’s clothes that they donated. On top of this, my uncle would go with my brother (a 20-year-old and a 60-year-old shopping together…how nice) and he would be up to his old tricks again. One time after my uncle came out of the changing room, my brother noticed that he was wearing a different pair of cargo pants. He had changed and left his old pair in the stall and wore the new pair right out the door because heaven forbid he pay a whole two dollars and fifty cents for them. And these are the people that I’m related to. Please leave your sympathetic remarks in the comment section below.

 

The Sale Addict

And then there’s my mom who thinks that the mere fact that something is on sale is grounds to buy it regardless of how unnecessary it is. This little philosophy of hers is why she has accumulated 15 different jean jackets in the past few years. That’s right, people—15 jean jackets. That’s enough to clothe 3 basketball squads or my college Spanish class or an entire Mormon family. And every time she brings home another jacket she always drops the same line about how it was on sale. We’ll be in a store and she’ll be trying a new one on and I’ll be like oh my gosh mom what about your one (1) with the black leather arms or the one (2) that’s knee length or the one (3) with big diamond buttons or the one (4) with the blue tie around the waist or the one (5) with the brown fringe or the one (6) with the Indian blanket patches or the one (7) that’s solid white or the one (8) that’s solid black or the one (9) that’s cheetah print or the one (10) that’s zebra print or the one (11) that’s brown corduroy or the one (12) that’s black corduroy or the one (13) that’s powder blue corduroy or the one (14) that’s solid blue or the other one (15) that’s solid blue that you have? Do you really need this one too? And the answer is always yes because she believes that she’s ultimately saving money by buying it since it’s on sale (kids, this is what we call a ‘logical fallacy’). But hey, where would the jean jacket industry be today if it weren’t for dedicated shoppers like my mom? So I salute you, all you bargain-hungry middle-aged moms of America who buy whatever the heck you want whenever you walk into Marshall’s. Without you, jean jackets, Skecher shape-ups, and turtlenecks would have gone extinct long ago.  

 

All of Us

So this next money-saving technique is one that I too have taken part in. But before you start getting all judgmental on me, I’d venture to say that this is something that 90% of the American population has done. If you’ve never eaten lunch solely by eating the free samples at Costco (or Sam’s Club—I don’t discriminate), then can you even really say that you’re truly living? You know what I’m talking about—when you charge into the place like you own it on a Sunday afternoon, stomach gurgling, head on the swivel. You scout out the little sample stands, each one looking like an oasis in the desert. You make your first round and score a piece of ravioli stuffed with spinach, a piece of shrimp dipped in cocktail sauce, a cracker with pimento cheese spread, a fruit roll up, and then you wash it down with a little white cup of mango fruit juice. But then—wait—you discover a stand tucked back in the corner serving meatballs. SCORE!!! Feeling confident and 1/27 of the way full, you then complete your second round with a seemingly innocent look in your eyes that says “Wow, I really liked that let me try it again I might purchase it but I want to make sure I absolutely love it first.” The third round gets a little trickier because the employees attending the sample kiosks start to look at you with suspicion. This is when you have to start recruiting people to go get samples for you—parents, siblings, cousins, strangers, other people’s children, etc. When you’ve run out of agents, that’s when it’s time to go incognito. Grab a new shirt from the clothing department, a pair of shades from the optics center, and shove your nose in a book from the book table and batta-boom-batta-bang you’re a new customer. Repeat steps 1-4 until satisfied.

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20 Archetypal Twitter Types

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I have always hated Twitter. Always, always, always. This doesn’t keep me from using it all the time, however. I swore up and down that I’d never get one and now I’m on my 894th tweet, which I think is a sad commentary on my will power, but that’s for another post. Now don’t get me wrong, I think Twitter can be useful for staying in touch with people or being informed about the latest breaking news. But overall I find it extremely annoying and I wouldn’t waste my time with it if I didn’t feel so cut off from the outside world when I didn’t use it. I think the main reason I dislike it so much is because of what other people tweet all the time—I just sit there and scroll and get angry. People just tweet the most melodramatic, stupid, cliché things, don’t they? I think the lack of originality and the narcissistic nature of most tweets is really what bothers me. To prove my point, below I have come up with my list of 20 different types of “Twitter personas” if you will, which I basically consider the annoying patterns that seemingly everyone tweets in. Please enjoy the following satirized examples.

1. The Deep Thinker: So if I exist and clams exist…am I a clam? #deeptweet #latenightthoughts

2. The Fake Enthusiast: So glad I got to spend time with this person that I see at most twice a year and care nothing about and yet I feel obligated to tweet otherwise!

3. The Beggar: If someone were to bring me a triple caramel macchiato with extra chocolate sprinkles, a PlayStation, your first-born child, and the sword of Excalibur I would love you forever

4. The Haters Hater: Gotta leave all the haters behind you they just tryna hold you back and by haters I mean parole officers #breakfree

5. The Dubiously Tardy Student: OMG I’m so late this morning class starts at 8 and I woke up at 7:57 and yet somehow I still have time to tweet about it

6. The Weatherman: Can’t believe how cold it’s gonna be tomorrow! *attached picture of an iPhone weather app screenshot showing 55 degree weather over the next two days*

7. The Pity-Partier: Ughhh I have so much to do and am sooooooo stressed out rn! *distressed emoji* (even though I play no sports, have a 1.3 GPA, and participate in no extracurriculars)

8. The Plagiarist: *types verbatim a tweet tweeted by another account 2 months earlier and tries to pass it off as their own witty creation*

9. The Clueless Quoter: “Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” –T.S. Eliot (I have no idea who T.S. Eliot is and I was using this quote in reference to drinking)

10. The Inside Jokester: My professor just said that Texas sure is a big state LOL!!!!!!!!! @gorillaface @ghettofab @poserboy @yagirlcindy

11. The Song Lyricist: “Girl shake that booty meat, that booty meat, shake that booty meat, that booty meat, girl shake that booty meat, that booty meat, shake that booty meat, that booty meat, girl shake that booty meat.”

12. The Heartbroken Dramatist: I wish you wouldn’t have left me in the way you did because the pain feels too great to move on from (my goldfish died)

13. The Humble Bragger: So blessed to have received the award for best dog groomer in the tri-state area for being the best dog groomer here is a picture of my award and a link to an article about myself because I am the best dog groomer

14. The One-Upper: my ability to jump to irrational conclusions about the quality of my life versus yours>>>>>your ability to jump to irrational conclusions about the quality of my life versus yours

15. The Random Verse Generator: Micah 5:8 (I tweeted this so I sounded spiritual I have no idea what this verse actually says please don’t look it up)

16. The Makeshift Confucius: One must always strive for the future because the past can never be changed until time travel is invented and then one must change oneself and then go back and change the past and subsequently change the future

17. The Whiny White Girl: Today is just ugh like I can’t I just can’t even I want Starbucks I want to watch The Bachelor someone come cuddle with me

18. The Netflix Addict: I started Breaking Bad 2 days ago and am now on the 47th episode and have neglected all aspects of personal responsibility and hygiene in order to do so

19. The Self-Announced Klutz: So I just fell down 7 flights of stairs in front of all the hot football players it was so embarrassing I wanted to die! (but I want all of cyberspace to know about it)

20. The Unathletic Bandwagonner Chick: Tom Brady is the best short-stop in the NHL because he’s hot and gets a ton of rebounds and he’s going to lead the Cincinatti Cowboys to the World Cup!

See what I mean?

#nofilter: The Things College Kids Let Fly

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It’s truly amazing the things that come out of kids’ mouths these days. And no, I’m not talking about the sassy retorts of toddlers or the embarrassing questions posed by 8-year-olds. I’m talking about college-aged kids. As a society we’d like to suppose that our most prestigious colleges and universities are catering to the kids with the most merit i.e. intelligent, well-mannered, respectable adults. Well, I’ve had my fair share of college group interviews and I’m now a freshman—and I have to say that I never cease to be amazed at what college kids will say in front of other people, especially if it means winning approval of interviewers who are handing out big juicy scholarships. Here are a few of the little gems that I was so blessed to hear and that I will never get out of my brain as long as I live. I hope they unsettle you as much as they did me.

So I’ll start with my group interview at College #1, let’s call it. I was already in a grumpy mood going in—it was early on a Saturday and I had to dress up and pretend like I was actually a likable, sensitive human being who was interested in “diversity” and “community” and “academics.” I would’ve much rather have been honest and been like, “Yo, please give me scholarship money to go to your school because I’m white and I’m not going to get any financial aid.” Barring this solution, however, I was out of options. So I showed up to the interview day. To pass the time my mom and I sat in the corner judging the other people there and snickering while we snacked on the assortment of cheeses provided (the one upside to these interviews.) Eventually I was called back with three other kids. Our first exercise was the classic “If you were on a deserted island, what would you bring?” question, but we were given a list of items and we were instructed to choose 5 of them as a group and then explain our choices to the panel of interviewers. The list ran something like this:

-matches

-a tarp

-ice skates

-a live chicken

-rope

-canoe

-radio

-newspaper

-iodine

After a time my group had decided on our first four items: the tarp, rope, canoe, and iodine. I’m pretty sure that the ice skates had originally been put on that list as a joke—I’m glad to know that the members of the world of academia have such a raging sense of humor—but I, being the ingenious little fart that I am, decided to take this cleverly assimilated red herring and use it to stun the interviewers and rouse them to applause with my brilliance. Since we had no method of defending ourselves on our personal godforsaken island, I suggested to my companions that we take the ice skates and use the blades on the bottoms as knives with which we could also create and sharpen other weapons. Everyone agreed and I was giving myself a big fat gold star as we began to explain our plan to the judges. We went around in a circle, each explaining an item. The third to go was a thin, soft-spoken boy with glasses who played the cello and had his head stuck so far up the asses of the interviewers, I wasn’t sure if he’d be able to get it back out after the interview. So it’s his turn and this kid looks straight into the eyes of the judges and before God he goes, “Well, I had the idea to use the ice skates as weapons…” I almost came up over the table at him. The judges were visibly impressed at this ingenious idea and I sat there seething. Alright cello-boy, so that’s how you wanna play it? You’re going to be the first I kill and eat on the island…and I’ll slit your throat with those stupid ices skates too. After a few minutes, I pulled myself together. I was pretty mad still, but hey, at least this interview couldn’t get any worse, right? Oh, but it did. Next, the question was posed of “What has been the greatest adversity you’ve ever faced?” and this blond, extremely cheerful girl went first:

“Well, helping people is really one of my passions.”

Okay, cool cool.

“Especially people who want to kill themselves.”

Oh…

“I created and run a suicide hotline and have stayed on the phone with a lot of people so they don’t kill themselves.”

Is it hot in here, or is it just me?

“Especially people who have trouble with their self-image.”

Houston, we may have a problem…

“Especially anorexic people. That really hits home for me.”

MAYDAY! MAYDAY!

“Because I myself…*sniffle followed by a dramatic pause*…am a recovering anorexic.”

Then she burst into tears. Right there in the interview room in front of all of us. There was about a 10 second lapse of the most painful, awkward silence that I have ever been a part of and then this girl opens her folder she brought with her and there are tissues in it. I’m like holy crap, did you plan this???? Did you plan to have an emotional breakdown in your college scholarship interview??? Like is this your Anorexics Anonymous meeting or something?? After that, everything was just tinged with awkwardness and I was left wondering how anyone would be able to follow that little performance. But sure enough the next kid told us the story of how he’d been fighting cancer for years and had finally beaten it. Well, I thought, who needs scholarship money? I didn’t want to go to college anyways….I think I’m just going to go live on that island after all.

So now we begin my adventures at College #2. The scholarship I was in the running for here was a full ride (about $160,000 over 4 years) and so the weirdness of the nominees was amplified. It’s my theory that there’s a direct correlation between the two. So in this instance we had about 8 people in a group and we all sat in a circle and had a type of rapid-fire interview session. A question was posed and we each had exactly 30 seconds to answer it. For those 30 seconds you were the only one who was allowed to speak. So first there was the girl who didn’t listen and never picked up on the fact that the rest of us weren’t allowed to talk if she ended earlier than her allotted 30 seconds. Every single time she finished speaking after like 10 seconds and we all just sat there in awkward silence while she stared at us in confusion and her eyes pleaded with us in vain to say something.

The first few questions were alright for this interview, but then came the kicker, “How do you differ from the beliefs of your parents?” Oh let’s open Pandora’s Box, shall we? One kid, a dark-haired theatrical guy who wouldn’t shut up, announced to us all that he was an atheist and had been ostracized by his parents and disowned by his grandparents. He also added that his grandfather had referred to him as “the devil’s spawn.” Makes me wish that my grandpa had cute nicknames for me. But I mean, is it just me or is that just something wildly inappropriate and uncomfortable to share with a group of people that you’ve known for a grand total of 12 hours? It occurs to me now that perhaps his grandpa wasn’t referring so much to the kid’s religious beliefs as to his obnoxious personality.

A few turns later, a tiny girl with a unibrown and what looked to be a pant suit announced to the group that she was a lesbian. Well, that wasn’t much of an announcement because I had actually mistaken her for a boy when I’d first seen her. So apparently sexual preference wasn’t off the table either when it came to what could be brought up in a college group interview. And then lastly, another kid answered that he couldn’t differ in opinion from his dad because his dad left his mom when he was a baby and he’d had to be the man of the house and work to support his family. At that point I gave up hope. How was I supposed to compete with atheists, lesbians, and fatherless kids? I had a brief idea of lying and claiming that I was a vegan, tri-sexual, neo-fascist who was raised by wolves, but I gave it up in the end. Well, I thought, who needs scholarship money? I didn’t want to go to college anyways…I seriously just might go live on that island.

Well, I am at college and I am saddened to inform you that the outrageous public disclosures of extremely personal information have not stopped. The infamous “share one fact about yourself” bit that seems to be the ice breaker for every organized, new situation as a freshman is where the weirdos often come out of the woodwork. I recall two particular occasions. The first was when we had our first hall meeting in my dorm building. All the girls on my hall were gathered in one room and were sharing normal, forgettable facts about themselves until one girl tells us that she enjoys photographing nude women as a hobby. If you ever want to make a group of girls whom you’re going to be sharing a shower with for the next 9 months go completely silent, that’s the way to do it. Welcome to college everyone!

The next semester, on the first day of Spanish class, I was partnered with this girl and we had to share a unique fact about ourselves (in Spanish) and in turn we would then share the fact about our partner with the class. So this girl tells me (in Spanish) that she plays the viola….and then she nonchalantly adds that she also used to have 22 total fingers and toes. I responded with a bewildered “¿Que?” because I thought I’d misheard her. Then she showed me the scar on her hand by her pinky where she’d had her extra finger removed. I was at a loss. I was just like, “God, why are you doing this to me?” So when it came to be our turn, I had to tell our entire class (in Spanish) that this girl used to have 22 fingers and toes. Thinking back on it, however, it seems that it might’ve been beneficial for her to keep that extra digit seeing as she plays a stringed instrument.

So to sum this all up, to clarify, and to set the record straight, I would like to make a list of all of the topics that I deem unacceptable to bring up during group interactions:

-previous disorders

-sexual orientation

-family issues

-disturbing hobbies

-genetic mutations

It is also not okay to steal others’ ideas, have emotional breakdowns, or throw pity parties. For anyone who disagrees with me, I say this: This is not your support group. This is not your forum for open venting. This is not your therapy session. This is a public, social group event and there are boundaries people, boundaries. And I can only imagine the kinds of things that will be revealed when my kids go through their rounds of college interviews in 30 years or so, God help them. God help us all. I’m probably going to need therapy after all of the stuff I’ve heard.

My Top 12 Terrifying Children’s Movies that Weren’t Supposed to Be Terrifying

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Alright so I love movies—always have, always will. I think the movies we watch can be a very formative part of who we are and can shape our perspective of the world, especially the movies we watch as kids. That being said, I find it astonishing as I look back on some of the movies I used to watch as a kid and I realize that the things I thought were terrifying then are actually just still really terrifying. It’s hard to believe that a lot of this stuff made its way into children’s movies. To be honest, most of my biggest irrational fears that I have today (fear of cockroaches and bugs of all kinds, drowning, ovens, torture, etc.) can be traced back to the movies I watched when I was a little, impressionable squirt. Now, was I just a hypersensitive child who probably had some anxiety issues? Yes. However, that doesn’t detract from the fact that some of these moviemakers put certain things into these movies without realizing how traumatizing they might be from the actual viewpoint of a kid. So here is my top 12 list of such cases.

12. Toy Story

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So here’s a super fun idea: Since spiders and baby dolls with open eye sockets are both incredibly creepy by themselves, let’s combine them together to create a figure so heinous that it will haunt the nightmares of children for years and probably affect their social development. If you’ve ever wondered if Pixar animators have abused hallucinogens, I think the creation of this little demon here is your answer.

11. Aladdin

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Disney never fails to disappoint; it has something for everyone. Dreams. Magic. Attempted homicide. Don’t get me wrong, Aladdin is probably my favorite Disney movie, but I can never forget the fact that Aladdin would have drowned and died a very slow, panicked death had not Robin Williams been there to save him.

10. Veggie Tales: Larry Boy and the Rumor Weed

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Does this one even really need an explanation? I mean, look at it. For those of you not as acquainted with your Biblical cartoons, this Veggie Tale’s movie used a little weed that grew into a monstrous man-eating plant and took over the city as a metaphor for how quickly a rumor can spread and get out of control. Cute, right? Except that the weed was horrific. If Fran Drescher and a Venus Fly-Trap ever had a child that smoked three packs a day, that’s what the “Rumor Weed” would have been. And more importantly, if a weed (which is a plant) tries to eat the veggie tale characters (who are also technically plants)…is this cannibalism?

9. Cinderella

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For me personally, Cinderella’s evil stepmother’s expression here says something along the lines of “I’m the devil’s mistress and even he’s afraid of me.” And I mean, if you want to talk about psychopathic tendencies, look no further. This nutter locked her kid in a dungeon for heaven’s sake and only let her have mice for friends. If I were to ever pick a Disney character that was most likely to have been a serial killer at some point in his or her lifetime, it would be this batty chick with the crazy eyes right here. It wouldn’t surprise me if she premeditatedly killed Cinderella’s dad for the insurance money either.

8. Shark Tale

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It always baffles me how people seem to love the Bob Marley inspired jellyfish duo of Bernie and Ernie from Shark Tale. And what’s not to love about a pair of Rastafarian sacs of gel that sing in Jamaican accents about not worrying and just being happy? Um, how about the fact that while they’re singing they’re simultaneously torturing another fish via electric shocks? It’s like that scene from Taken all over again where Liam Neeson electrocutes a scumbag to get information—it’s just the animated version.

7. Monsters Inc.

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I know what you’re thinking: “This one makes sense! Monsters are supposed to be scary you wingnut!” It wasn’t the monsters in Monsters Inc. that scared me though—it was one particular scene that used a particularly maniacal scream-sucking machine. This poor guy, probably some low level employee with a wife and eight little monsters to feed, was Randall’s (the evil salamander-looking dude’s) test subject. Randall strapped this guy to a chair and sucked all of the “screams” out of him which is great and hilarious except for the fact that it looks more like Satan himself sucked the soul out of him and left him to rot in his skin. And since when is this strapping down and torturing thing okay? Like is this Pixar or is this Dexter?

6. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

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Was I the only one who was equally fond of and totally wigged out by this movie?? You’d think that a candy factory would be a safe place for children but Willy Wonka’s LSD-infused house of horrors ended up being a surprisingly dangerous place. Don’t believe me? Let’s recap the fates of all of the children, shall we?

-Augustus Gloop is sucked into the chocolate pipe and almost made into flesh-flavored fudge.

-Violet Beauregarde’s internal organs expand violently as she turns into a human blueberry and has to get her stomach pumped .

-Veruca Salt is sent spiraling down a garbage shoot with an incinerator at the bottom for the “bad eggs.” An incinerator, people.

-Mike Teavee shrinks himself and has to be stretched out again by the bubble gum stretcher like some medieval method of torture.

-And finally, Charlie and his grandpa are inches away from being diced up into a zillion little bloody pieces by the industrial fan in the “Bubble Room.” That’s enough to make you lose your sweet tooth.

5. Spy Kids

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Don’t you even dare argue with me on this one. It was bad enough to have to witness these mutant, Doodlebop rejects babbling incoherently the whole movie. It was worse when you found out that these mutant, Doodlebop rejects were actually human beings that’d been hooked up to some machine that melted their brains and morphed their bodies into walking freak shows. If that’s not a sadistic enterprise, then I don’t know what is.

4. Mouse Hunt

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This movie is not for the squeamish. It’s supposed to be a comic tale of two men who inherit an old house and are terrorized by a little mouse who lives there (I think they were running low on ideas in the 90s.) Apart from that though, there was a scene in which a cockroach made its way into a restaurant and into the dinner plates of the mayor and his family. One of his daughters (or sons, it’s hard to tell) found half of it in her soup while the other half was found wriggling around in the mouth of the mayor himself. And did this atrocious scene affect me personally? Did this mentally scar me and leave me permanently mortified? Let’s just say that I risked the lives of my entire college’s population by pouring a quart of Clorox bleach probably straight into the water supply when I saw a cockroach come up out of the bathroom drain one night.

3. Finding Nemo

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Where to begin with this one? Should I start with the monstrous barracuda that eats Nemo’s mom and devours her unborn children? Or maybe the bloodthirsty sharks living in the active underwater minefield? Possibly the jelly-fish forest of perpetual suffering? No? Well how about the fish-version of the Angel of Death? Take your pick.

2. A Bug’s Life

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Leave it to Pixar to take the seemingly most benign creature (say, a grasshopper) and turn it into a tyrannical warmonger. Not only did this particular villain terrorize and brutalize a colony of ants and force them to offer tribute to him, but he also waged war against them and eventually forced them to be his slaves. True, the ants did eventually rise up and defeat the grasshoppers while their leader was fed alive, kicking and screaming, to some baby birds—but that’s little consolation to a five-year-old who is now a twenty-year-old still terrified of any and all types of insects.

1. Chicken Run

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And finally, out of all the movies, this one takes the cake. I still get a surge of anxiety thinking about this little lost gem of a clay-mation nightmare. It’s been a while since I’ve seen this one and I didn’t remember all of the plot details, so I looked it up on Wikipedia which describes it as a “family comedy film.” I few lines down from that, in the plot summary, the coop the chickens are kept in is described as such: “The coop is run in the style of a World War II POW camp.” Because nothing screams family comedy like a World War II POW camp. Furthermore, the story follows a group of chickens who must escape their farm when their farmers start taking them one by one to the chopping block. The farmers have purchased a new chicken pot pie machine that will perform the entire process of turning a live chicken into a steaming, delicious pot pie in a matter of minutes. Let that sink in a minute. Like what sick, twisted puppy came up with that?? And during the movie, two of the live chickens get put into the machine. There’s an entire sequence of dodging instruments of death and escaping the huge internal oven of the machine. Thanks to this movie, I can’t even make a DiGiorno’s pizza without wearing two heavy oven mitts and sending a little prayer up asking that I never get baked alive.

So there you have it. I’ve given you a little glimpse into my greatest fears and their humble beginnings. Perhaps now you can at least sympathize with me on this matter. Or is it empathize? Anyways, if you have kids or are planning to have some in the future, I urge you to take care with what movies you let them watch—you may unwittingly be giving them Freudian complexes from which they will never recover.

 

Hellur

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Why, hello there. If you’ve stumbled across this blog, it’s probably either because you typed in the wrong URL in your browser or because it’s 3 am and you’re tired of watching cat videos on YouTube while you eat pistachios bought in bulk from Costco. But either way, I welcome you. I created this blog at the risk of being perceived as some egotistical college freshman brat who thinks people actually care about my opinions or as some conflicted kid with an identity crisis who needs a forum to voice my teen angst. First of all, don’t judge me—you’re the one watching the cat videos and eating the comfort food. Secondly, the reason I created this blog was because I hope to one day be a writer and change the world and (insert cliché of your choice here). The truth is, I want to tell stories. I was given some advice that a blog is a good place to start. So if, you know, you happen to be a multi-million dollar publisher or film director or are a second cousin to any such person, hit me up. It’d be cool. I can roll with that. You can contact me…I’m available anytime except 5-6 in the evening which I reserve for my daily nervous breakdown.

Oh and if you haven’t caught on already, don’t take much of anything I say seriously. I like to write and my preferred literary device is smart-assery so a lot of that will be going on—not every time but probably a lot of times. Like maybe 8 out of 10 times. Or 20.320 times out of 25.400 times for all of you out there who are on the metric system. Anyways…I think the world is a funny place….well, at least my world is. So if you think you can handle it you better buckle up, keep your arms and legs in the compartment at all times, stow your personal belongings in the appointed bin, keep down that funnel cake, and enjoy the ride.