Splitsider

 
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The Collected Wisdom of Frank Abagnale, Sr., by Matt Crowley

Two little mice fell in a bucket of cream. The first mouse quickly gave up and drowned. The second mouse struggled so hard that eventually he turned that cream into butter. He ate all the butter and fought a painful, protracted battle with heart disease for the rest of his life. He would grow to envy that first mouse.

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Two little mice fell in a bucket of cream. The first mouse gave up and drowned. The second mouse struggled so hard that he eventually turned that cream into butter and crawled out. If you ask me, that’s essentially the movie Ratatouille right there, but where are my royalty checks?

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A bucket of cream fell onto two little mice. It was their first date, and it was really embarrassing. But looking at the first mouse drenched in cream, the second mouse couldn’t help but chuckle, and soon they were both bowed over with laughter. They remain married to this day. READ MORE

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Regarding Our Annual Companywide Retreat, by Zack Wortman

Q: Must I attend the retreat?
A: Everyone wants to attend the retreat. Our annual spring retreat is an honored company tradition here at Smith and Associates and is a well-loved part of our social calendar. It is designed as a fun and relaxing time for employees, and CEO Dan Prowdy incurs great personal expense to make such an experience a reality.

Q: What if I do not wish to attend the retreat?
A: Nobody has ever not wanted to attend the retreat.

Q: If I have a prior engagement, may I not attend the retreat?
A: Dan knows that a handful of legitimate reasons will prevent some people from attending the retreat. This includes a death in the immediate family or a serious personal illness or injury, as confirmed by a doctor’s note.

Q: Where will retreat be held this year?
A: As always, the retreat will be held in the Ramada Inn off of Interstate 80 in historic Paterson, New Jersey. READ MORE

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When Meagan Prematurely Ends Her Trip to Mars, Let’s Respond in a Dignified Manner, by Erik Cofer

You guys, Meagan is our friend. She has her faults, but she always means well. I guess what I’m really trying to say is that when Meagan’s plan to help establish a colony on Mars and ultimately save humanity from extinction inevitably fails and she comes crawling back to Earth, let’s show her the support she deserves.

I know it’s going to be tempting to point out how we all told her she was nuts beforehand—or crack jokes about her acne and how we’re all just one cosmic calamity away from extinction and you, Meagan, had the chance to help change that but you failed miserably, so thanks for nothing—but we need to resist that urge. Sure, Meagan’s been a consummate failure throughout her life, but don’t we all fail from time to time?

Allie, remember when you ignored Meagan’s warning and tried to shotgun three beers in a row but after the first two, you began to stagger around and vomit on everything? On that day, you failed. And Jason, I’m sure you recall that time we went to see Moneyball  and you had a seizure midway through, then Meagan had to summon help and the whole night was ruined. Or that time a few months later when we were at a comedy club and you seized again. Or the three times you’ve seized since. READ MORE

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Dating Tips For Twentysomethings In a Nuclear Apocalypse, by Jon Wolper

Dating in your twenties isn't easy. Your friends are coupling up and moving far away. The best guys and girls all seem to be taken. And the nuclear holocaust that has annihilated 97 percent of humanity has also annihilated that cute guy a few miles down the highway. It’s tough!

But your age—and, of course, the ever-present spectre of death—shouldn’t dissuade you from getting out there, meeting new people, and maybe even settling down. Here are a few tips to get you started:

Be assertive
It’s a dog-eat-dog world out there, and no one’s going to wait for you if you’re too shy to strike up a conversation. So don’t wait: Take the initiative. Talk about whatever comes to mind and go from there. Maybe discuss the unusual amount of six-eyed wolves prowling the area, or comment on how the vaguely pulsing green sky is particularly ominous that day. As long as you’re confident, you’ll be fine. Just make sure you don’t approach too quickly. Your advance may be misinterpreted as a threat and you could be murdered on the spot, which would really kill your dating chances. READ MORE

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Remember When Movies Used To Be Good? by Justin Geldzahler

Maybe I’m old fashioned, but I remember when the movies used to mean something.  When you saw a film, it was about something. It said things. Made ya think. About things. Like The Big Chill. Now that was a film. It had laughs, it had tears, and it really said something, you know? You don’t? Well, let me tell you. It was about people, mostly/all white people, and how even if you’re the champions of the world, life can never live up to expectations. Not like that navel-gazing crap you kids have.

I know you Millennials just want to see Thor fight ice Nazis and flirt with his brother, but I prefer a film that has a little thing called substance. Take The Big Chill, for instance. That was a movie with more on its mind. Like when William Hurt talks about Vietnam…that hit home. I mean, I never served, but, you know, I could have. Anyone of us could have. READ MORE

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Our Son, The Asshole, by Noell Wolfgram Evans

My wife’s hand found its way to mine; in the corner of the overly lit room our five-year old son was blissfully unaware of cruel trick the fates had played upon him. We were in shock. Tears welled in my eyes as I looked at him enjoying perhaps his last happy moments, ripping the head off of one of the dolls in the bucket of toys that so many doctor’s offices place in the corner of their exam rooms as a way to offer “comprehensive” medical care.

I looked back at the doctor. I could see that her lips were moving but I could hardly discern the words that they were forming, everything was moving in slow motion. After what felt like an eternity of suspended action, I started out of the fog as she said, “Do you understand? I am sorry, but the tests are conclusive – your son is an asshole.”

Standing in front of the x-rays on the lighted walls, showing us charts and graphs and using doctor talk, she made a fairly convincing case. I knew Charlie wasn’t always the best kid, but an asshole?  I looked at him, drawing on the wall what was a pretty good representation of the doctor pooping and wondered…my wife, when she was pregnant, had eaten at a restaurant that soon after was closed due to a health code violation (in that they were not wearing pants in the kitchen because a broken thermostat made it “pretty toasty”).  I asked if there was a chance that this was something that had happened when he was in the womb; had we done something wrong? The doctor assured us that we had, in fact, done many things wrong. READ MORE

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How to Develop a Thicker Skin, by Andi Sharavsky

As social creatures, we human beings are met with constant criticism and ridicule from friends, enemies, relatives, bosses, strangers, vague acquaintances, everyone at the gym, and, most often, ourselves. The common solution offered to combat these daily emotional digs is to “develop a thicker skin.”

While that’s all well and good metaphorically, it’s also, you know, not a real thing that humans can do. Our hands and feet form calluses after enough time and wear, but we are not equipped with a go-go-gadget feelings fortress to build up our resistance and shut the world out. Plus, if watchingPacific Rim while high taught me anything, it's that when science does eventually develop a robo-somatic addition to make people stronger, we'll all just get a lot of nosebleeds and then die fighting sea-aliens. Therefore, I have made it my personal goal to find the perfect material or method for becoming impermeable to the negativity of others forever. Here are my results: READ MORE

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9 Rigorous Ways You Know You Went to School in the '90s, by Zack Bornstein

1. You remember that you did.
Memory serves as a bank of perceptual information. Neural stimuli built up throughout years of schooling can provide sufficient evidence that you attended school in the 1990s. This confirmation method can be disregarded in cases of prolonged hypnosis, brainwashing, drug abuse, head trauma, electroconvulsive therapy, neuropsychiatric disease, and/or if you have ever entered an extended fugue state.

2. You are told explicitly by a trusted person.
Trusted people could include your parents, siblings, mentors, the President, or a longtime friend. Asking the person to repeat him or herself, or to put the statement in writing reduces the possibility of an auditory hallucination. You must further confirm that 1) the statement was not preceded by a clause like “as if” or “you did not”; and 2) that you were not in a play or improv scene where lying is commonly accepted, even from trusted persons.

3. You look up your name in the school’s database.
Schools maintain extensive records, including those of your attendance, grades, emergency contact, Social Security number, and allergies. In special cases, schools display examples of your artwork on their walls. Furthermore, digital records became commonplace in the 1990s when you allegedly attended school, so you can easily request this information if you can provide adequate proof of your identity. READ MORE

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Completely Innocent Member of High Society Attends a Fancy Dinner Party, by David Henne

Is there any gathering more decadent than the fancy dinner party? Where else can one discuss fancy issues of the day whilst indulging on the sweet fruits of sophistication, the tenderloins of privilege? Such worry-free fraternization for a truly carefree caste.

The shit was that?

Merely the light bulbs flickering. Certainly no reason for hysterics. After all, a smattering of hard rain never harmed anyone. Unless. Yes, unless

Oh, keep your wits about you, old boy! You’re among society’s elite. What sinister matter would undermine such a function? No sinister matter, that’s what.

Preposterous, to think an act of violence could disrupt a dinner party. It’s precisely what makes the dinner party fancy: freedom from the deranged, unfancy dregs of humanity.

Now pipe up and make a snooty observation before the group thinks you’ve gone batty.

“Dreadful weather, isn’t it?” READ MORE

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The Marshmallow Diaries, by Howard Mittelmark

Day one: Brought to the Stanford campus with other four-year-olds for “tests” starting tomorrow. All very mysterious. Something about marshmallows. Nobody will say what, exactly. Maybe new kind of marshmallow? Even yummier? I resisted the urge to cry when parents left, but some of the other children did not.

Day two: Wild speculation in dorm last night; all of it wrong. Some predicted there would be ponies made of marshmallows, others thought we would live in a marshmallow house. Then one boy, Brad, began laughing and shouting, “Pee marshmallows! Poo marshmallows!” until the discussion fell apart.

This morning, teacher ladies explained. If we do not eat one marshmallow for fifteen minutes, we will be given three marshmallows. Easy counting problem. Three is more than one. They have underestimated me; not sure about others. After first test, received three marshmallows, as promised. Teacher ladies were very proud. I am probably the best four-year-old in the world. READ MORE

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Quotes from Lori's Goodbye Card on Her Last Day at Paramount Diagnostics, by Ryan Krebs

“All the best!” – Mike, Sales

“Lori, you’ll be missed! Who am I going to high-five when the Molson Files are done every Wednesday??? HA!” – Linda, Billing

“Seems like just yesterday you sat down across from me at your cubicle, ready to start in the high-stakes world of Customer Service. Look at you now! Big time! Congrats on the promotion and don’t forget about us little people!” –Barb, Customer Service

“Way to go!” –Dennis, Maintenance

“Sad to see you go! (But not sad for the going away party! We love cake, and don’t you know it! Of course you do! Karen’s 45th birthday ring a bell??? )” – Linda, Billing

“Hopefully now that you’re higher-up, you can help us peons! I kid! You’ve earned the big office downtown. We’ll really, really miss you.” – Barb, Customer Service

“I’ve really enjoyed working with you, Lori! You’ve been a grea…” – Carla, Reception

“Haha, I’m still going to come find you when the Molson Files come in on Wednesdays! Can’t let Sampson reach the drop box first or YOU KNOW WHAT!!! HAHA! Oh Lor, I’ll miss these inside jokes!” – Linda, Billing READ MORE

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FAQ: Common Misconceptions About the Fire Department, by Brian Agler and Luke Burns

Q: So what exactly is this “fire department”? I’ve heard a lot about it and I’m not sure it’s right for me.

A: The fire department is an organization that puts out fires. If your house is on fire, you should call the fire department.

 

Q: It sounds like the fire department starts fires. Are you sure the fire department doesn’t bring fire to my house? The last thing I need is someone coming here and giving me fire.

A: Despite the name, the fire department actually removes fire from your home. Think of it as an “anti-fire department” if that makes it easier. Rest assured, the fire department is 100% opposed to fire. We guarantee that after our visit, you will have an amount of fire less than or equal to the amount of fire you had before. The fire department will never give you more fire.

 

Q: How much does it cost to get rid of my fire?

A: The fire department puts out fires completely free of charge. READ MORE

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Butterfly Tour, by Blythe Roberson

Hello Butterfly Enthusiasts! Welcome to Butterfly Landing. Please be sure to close the first door of the lock chamber before opening the second. Don’t let any butterflies out, and don’t let any moths in!

Butterflies are awake during the day, which is just one of the many ways butterflies are like humans (smart, cool) and unlike moths (just the true worst). Butterflies develop symbiotic relationships, or “best friendships forever,” with ants. A natural defense mechanism common in butterflies is, when threatened, repeating what the other butterfly said in a dumb moth voice.

Butterflies and their delicate beauty are a symbol for the soul in Western literature. Moth larvae eat your sweaters. READ MORE

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The Siren's Song Of Pie, by Sam Pasternack

Hey there, big boy. You look hungry.

Very hungry.

Don’t be troubled by my appearance. I know I may look like the white smoke that rises when a new Pope is chosen. But honey, I ain’t no saint.

I am the scent of pie. And we’re going to have some fun, aren’t we?

You seem nervous. Let me swirl around your body for a moment. Yeah, just like that. You can make some room for a sweet, delicious pie. I know you can.

Still ill at ease, aren’t you? Here, let me show you that we’re not so different, you and I. See? I can form a hand. A slender, sexy, feminine hand, waving you closer, closer, closer. READ MORE