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The Camel’s Dream, by Evan Waite and Frank Santopadre

camel_rapper1“I may be 46 years old, but it is never too late to chase my rap dreams,” said the Camel to his wife. “I want to move the crowd!”

The Camel’s wife did not wish to hear this. For almost 20 years she had endured her husband’s delusions of becoming a world-famous rapper. “But your rhymes are stale,” groaned the Camel’s wife.

The Camel would not listen. He was convinced that the next mixtape would be the one to take him to the top, despite the fact that the last 12 had not. Day after day, the Camel recorded songs filled with empty braggadocio and clichéd imagery. His wife simply closed the door and tried not to think about it.

One day the Camel came to his wife with a new plan. “I shall quit my job at the post office so that I may focus all my energy on my music,” he said. “We can live off your salary until I receive my recording contract. Then we will eat lobster every night and purchase matching Bentleys.” READ MORE

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The World Needs Another 'Poltergeist,' by Brandon Hartley

rourkeMr. President, esteemed members of Congress and the American armed forces, I thank you for joining me here in the War Room of the National Military Command Center. As you know, our fair nation and the entire world is under attack by forces we don’t quite understand. I’ve got the finest scientific minds on three separate continents compiling data and crunching the numbers as we speak. The situation before us is a dire one. Entire cities could crumble. Untold millions may die.

There is, however, one thing that could save civilization. Ladies and gentlemen, we’re going to need a remake of Poltergeist.

Please stop laughing over there in the corner, Secretary Hagel. You too, Biden, and no, you can’t have another cronut! However, the butts of every man, woman and child on this planet is on the line right now. We must take this seri–put down that cronut right now, Mr. Vice President!

Does the world really need a remake of the seminal 1982 horror film? Under normal circumstances, no. It’s a classic. But now, I’m sorry to say, the world does need another Poltergeist.

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The Right Man For the Job, by Django Gold

kingofthepromTo the Glendale High School Class of 2015:

As you well know, this coming Saturday marks that most cherished of high school traditions, the senior prom, during which you, our soon-to-be-graduated Glendale Badgers, will gather at the fabulous DeVille Hotel for an evening of dancing and wonderment you'll not soon forget. The prom is a special moment in one's life, and so, in hopes of presiding over the glitz and glamour that mark this most magical of nights, I hereby submit my candidacy for prom king.

Just as in past years, my credentials for this lofty office speak for themselves. Moreover, unlike the pimply amateurs who have repeatedly besmirched the crown with their ill-fitted rental tuxedos and seething hormonal agony, I alone possess the life experience necessary to do justice to this position. Frankly, at the advanced but still capable age of 34, I feel that I've been patient enough for my turn at holding court over the Glendale High student body. This Saturday is my time to shine, and, just as surely as there exists a Creator in the sky and a Demon in the earth, I will not be denied again.

Go Badgers! READ MORE

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Auctioneering School Courses, by Alonso Cisneros

auctionGentleman in the Back 101. Introductory course to the gentleman in the back. The class will culminate in learning the name of this man, his alma mater's fight song, and the top 10 ghost stories he has ever heard.

Gentleman in the Back 102. Get a closer look at the gentleman in the back. Who is he? What’s his financial situation like? What life decisions led him to attend an auction alone on a Saturday afternoon? Does he regret them?

Gentleman in the Back 103. Now that you know about the gentleman in the back, it’s time to finally meet him. Upon enrollment, you will be given his address and car's license plate number. He is not expecting you, so your visit will probably frighten him. Instructions will be provided on how to subdue him.

Laaady in the Red Dress (a Feminism Study) Up until recent times, ladies weren’t allowed to bid at auctions. They also weren’t allowed to wear dresses or the color red until one woman dared to and no one seemed to mind either way. Learn more about the lady and her red dress, and how she has managed to attend every single auction on the planet. Also, don’t refer to her as "lady." Refer to her as a woman in a red dress. That's more like it. READ MORE

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To Whom It May Concern: The Contents of This Email Are Rather Concerning, by Taylor Sade

writingaletterTo Whom It May Concern,

I use that phrase it all of its reality. No seriously, what I am about to say is extremely concerning.  I didn’t just say that introductory phrase because I was unaware of whom to make this letter out to. Truly, the contents of which this letter are going to address are drastically concerning and deserve your concerned thoughts.

I beg you good sir, or madam, to please direct your attention to the proceeding context I will get to in this letter with your upmost attention. Certainly a person in your position of power would be worried about the fact of which I am going to get to in a moment. The truth of the matter is that if  you sir, or madam, do not give this concerning affair its due diligence there will be a process that  unfolds that could be of a concerning nature.

Now, before I get to the concerning matter at hand, I would first like to thank you for being such a gentleman, or woman, for reading this email that which was sent directly to you—whomever you may be. I assure you that the concerning nature of this document is meant for your eyes only, because I knew that only a man, or woman, with your background knowledge and expertise in this field is right for what has yet to be revealed.

First, let me start by saying to you, that you have the highest respect from me, because I know how hard it has been for a woman, or man, to achieve such success in your field in such a short period of time, or over a long steady career—whichever it is. That being said, I know the details of which we are about to discuss are perfect for a person in your position. I assume.

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"The Amorous Biped" – Romance Fiction Found in My Backpack After an Abduction by Alien Aircraft, by Frank Allbritten

ufoAn alluring human called "Project 9" healthily salivated at the very thought of intercourse, presumably with another of the same species. In order to attract a mate, P9 had to first cease its habit of constantly shaking in fear and screaming, “Please, let me go, I have a family!” while curled up in a fetal position. To facilitate this, the amorous biped poured seven fingers of scotch into a consumption beaker and accordingly “began to chillax.”

Another nearly hairless Homo sapien, "Experiment 4," saucily sauntered into the room, clearly impressed by all the saliva in there. “My entire family just died,” E4 admitted tearfully between chomps of a hulking turkey leg. “Some consolation, be it emotional or physical, would surely give me the strength to go on in this world and to finally trade in that old Subaru sitting in my garage.”

P9 considered this an opportunity to erotically read aloud sonnets by the indisputable masters of the language of love, including William Shakespeare, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and the early, less polemical work of Noam Chomsky. Eyelids fluttered; heartbeats stuttered; somebody’s pants fell down.

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Crowdsourced Edits to Various DIY Home Improvement Instructions to Account For My Incompetence, by Roger Taylor

diy• Before starting the job, put on shoes and pants.

• You’ve heard the phrase, “Measure twice and cut once”? Please measure three times. And then have someone else measure, because you aren’t doing it right.

• The only acceptable object with which to hammer is a hammer.

• If you don’t have a ladder, borrow one from a neighbor. Stacking a stool on top of a coffee table seems like a bad idea now, so think of how bad it’ll seem once you’re up there.

• I know that the four-year-old, unsealed tube of caulk is appealing because it’s already in the house and doesn’t cost any additional money, but it’s been 20 minutes and you can probably stop squeezing the caulk gun now.

• One door hinge is not enough. No, not even if you “put it in the exact middle of the door.”

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Do You Like Sports? Because I Do Not Like Sports, by Pablo Goldstein

sportsballTouchdown! Oh, was that not the correct term to celebrate the tall man putting the ball through the hoop? My mistake. It's just that I don't watch sports and I want you to know that.

You're probably wondering why I'm at this Buffalo Wild Wings on the night of the NCAA Men's Basketball Championship Game if I don't care for sports. Well, Maria's husband, I am joining the wing-gorging plebes who masquerade by day as my co-workers in order to celebrate my inevitable victory in our office tournament pool. With the help of statistician Nate Silver, I was able to construct a nearly perfect bracket by combining his empirical data and my sophisticated intellect that has been unsullied by geographic and paternally-influenced biases. Let me be clear: I calculated said bracket with independent data not found on his ESPN-affiliated website, Five Thirty Eight. My correct choosing of every #12 upset of a #5 was in no way affected by the long corporate arms of The Walt Disney Company.

Despite my confidence, I still have one obstacle standing in my way of bracketorial conquest: Gary from HR. He is the balding ape-like cretin in the matching powder blue polo and hat. Have you figured out where Gary's loyalties lay? It's not too hard to determine as he's turned himself into a walking billboard for a state-school education. Maria's husband, would you mind moving your pint away from my side of the table? I didn't donate $100 to This American Life for a Serial tote bag with the faint smell of Bud Light.

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Woodstock, by Andrew Cushing

hippiesIt was the '60s. My hair was long, and I was at a music festival. A barefoot hippie walked up to me and said, "I'm not wearing shoes." We dropped acid for a few minutes. Then the hippie said, "We're at Woodstock." There weren't any toilets.

Like most people, I was only there to see the Keef Hartley Band. Keef had been my roommate at Middlebury where we both failed Intro to Sculpture. I helped him write "Sinnin' For You" in the quad. He got me a good deal on tickets.

At one point I looked up from my Tom Wolfe book and Jimi Hendrix was on stage setting a guitar on fire. The thing I'll never forget is that people were dancing. I pulled out a joint and lit the end of it. Everyone was naked and wearing tie-dye shirts. READ MORE

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Brochure Enough, by Matthew David Brozik

brochureAbout This Rack: On these shelves you’ll find brochures for all of the most interesting and/or exciting things to do and/or see in the general vicinity of your accommodations. Feel free to take one of each—and remember to show ’em to your friends and relatives when you return home, if only to prove that you didn’t just watch free HBO and/or read the Bible in your room the whole time. [You Are Here Systems, LLC is not responsible for typographical errors contained in any brochure and does not guarantee the interest or excitement of any visitor.]

SEA TO SEE™ WHALE-WATCHING
What’s a vacation or business trip without an excursion to see whales? It’s not a whale of a good time—that’s for sure! Sea to See™ has been taking customers out on small boats into the middle of large bodies of water to maybe glimpse local marine life for more than 30 years, and this year we’d like you to join us. We recommend that you bring warm clothing (because it’s always 10 to 20 degrees cooler out on the water, sometimes as much as 50) and sensible footwear, sunscreen, a hat, a camera, a second hat for when your first one is taken away by the wind, and something for nausea. Food is available on the boat. You may not bring alcohol of any kind, but you can buy wine and spirits from our galley. (Proceeds from alcohol sales help fund maritime conservation efforts.) “Here we go… and thar they blow!” READ MORE

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The Berenstain Bears and Too Much Birthday Cake, by Dan Rozier

 berenstainIn a big tree house down a sunny dirt road deep in the heart of Bear Country, it was Brother’s birthday. The Bear family—Mama, Papa, Brother and Sister—were sitting around the kitchen table enjoying some of Mama’s famous homemade birthday cake. Papa reached for his third piece.

“Papa, you’ve had enough,” scolded Mama.

“There’s no such thing as too much birthday cake!” Papa exclaimed.

He winked at Brother, the birthday boy, and shoved a third piece into his mouth.

Nighttime came and Brother’s special day left as quickly as it had arrived. It was time for bed. Teeth were brushed, stories read, cubs tucked in. The tree house was quiet. Well, almost quiet. In the big bedroom, Papa Bear tossed and turned as his tummy rumbled and tumbled.

“You shouldn’t have had so much cake, dear.” Mama yawned.

Papa gurgled and turned away.

___________________________________________________________________

The next morning wasn’t any better. Papa was up all night with a bad case of the Too Much Birthday Cakes. He stumbled into the kitchen, grabbed the phone, and called his supervisor.

“Mr. Beaver, it’s Papa Bear. Yeah, uh, I can’t make it in today. I think I have some sort of stomach virus. What’s that? Yes, it was Brother’s birthday yesterday. Yes, we had cake. One, I swear, sir. Okay. Okay. Will do. Thank you, Mr. Beaver. I’ll see you tomorrow bright and early, sir.”

“Everything okay, Papa?” asked Brother.

“Yea, Papa just needs to sleep.”

Mama rolled her eyes and brought Brother and Sister some fresh honeycomb. READ MORE

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An Open Letter to Marissa of Girl Scout Troop #715, by Geoffrey Asmus

cookiesMarissa,

When we met you told me your favorite My Little Pony was Pinkie Pie, and that you sold cookies to raise money for your "dear sick Nana Georgina.”

I now doubt any of that was true.

Flawlessly you swindled and double-crossed me. Charmingly you liquidated my 401K while exquisitely performing multiple scenes from Catch Me If You Can.

I’ve been deceived before, but never so pleasantly.

At my doorstep you entranced me with the secrets of the world. You nibbled the opposite sides of a Thin Mint to create a chocolate flavored straw! What fun! I giddily await the secrets held within a Samoa!

You repaired my life for me. Just as you predicted, the Trefoils gift basket ended my sister Janice’s icy silence towards me. Twenty years of professional therapy was trumped by 24 buttery cookies.

You knocked on my door mere hours after I finalized my divorce with Shannon. A coincidence which rekindled my faith in the divine.

Certainly there were dozens of salesgirls before you—all ill-trained, barely literate, and regrettably uncharismatic. They sold the cookies because they had to, with no higher purpose. Stephanie, Sylvia, and Simone all blended together; none of them utilized Aristotelian pathos like you. They do not deserve to wear the same burnt umber vest as you, Marissa. READ MORE

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How the Other Half "Lives," by Ryan Patricks

ghostsAdjusting to ghost life isn't easy.

The first couple of weeks of being dead are definitely the hardest. Being a ghost is something you have to ease into, like a cold pool, or anal, or anal in a cold pool.

Warning: That last one is super difficult. Do not try at home.

At first, you usually take your cue from the movies you saw when you were alive. You might speak in a spooky vibrato voice or hang out in a pottery class. It's all a bit overdramatic and a big clue that you are a newbie to the specter world. My buddy, Barry, calls these "dead giveaways."

Isn't that clever? Barry is really good at that kind of stuff.

Some ghosts spend those first days trying to scare kids playing in a graveyard or whatever, but for the most part, scaring people is actually really difficult as a ghost. It takes years of practice to even come close to moving something an inch or turning a light switch off. Most of the guys who get into that stuff are kind of dicks to begin with and just like freaking people out. Basically, if you are alive, any ghosts you have encountered are all creeps or dicks. Think about it; you are invisible but you spend your time playing Ouija board at a middle school girl's sleepover party? Creepy. READ MORE

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A Quick Reminder Before Our Rainforest Expedition Begins, by Blythe Roberson

kayak_tour_2Gentlemen, welcome to the annual Millionaires Club Rainforest Expedition. Before we begin, I’d like to run through a few quick reminders to avoid problems we’ve encountered in the past.

The jungle is a dangerous place that can be tamed by no man and no amount of money. No, Charles, not even by $4.5 million. It is important to defer to the proper authority. At times we will be traveling dangerous waters on canoe-type vessels. Please do not try to commandeer these vessels or convince their captains to “let you have a quick go of it.” Yes, Edmund, I understand that you were captain of the Yale rowing team. I will remind you of what happened last year when you fell into the water and were bitten by dozens of tiny little water bugs.

Please refrain from catching a fish and immediately tossing it overboard, announcing that you “thirst always for the bigger fish.” Remember that this is a strictly non-hunting trip and none of you have licenses. To that point, please do not attempt to catch and slaughter any black caiman crocodiles. A rumor has developed within the Millionaires Club that their blubber is expensive and delicious. In fact, as a crocodile, the black caiman does not have blubber. It is also protected under Brazilian law and I can only say that you are all lucky that you haven’t succeeded in even slightly hurting one. Yes, Donaldson, I know you got pretty close one time. We all know that.

Please refrain from putting black spider monkeys on your head. READ MORE