English professor and humor writer based in Green Bay. McSweeney’s, Points in Case, HuffPost, Slackjaw, Little Old Lady Comedy, Human Parts, others.
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Photo by William Stark on Unsplash

I know you’re assuming I’m “safe.” I’m a cage-free, pasture-raised, organic turkey. My feathers are fluffy, my beady eyes are clear, and I’m “not from the city.” You’ve had me quarantined in the backyard for 14 days. Unfortunately, just like your teenage daughter whom you also believe is quarantined, I’ve been sneaking out at night. Brittany and I don’t do anything totally crazy, but we do get together with her friends, and sometimes there are boys there. Sometimes we make out with the boys.

Because I’m from a “good family,” you think I have access to masks, claw-sanitizer, and current CDC guidelines. And honestly, you’re right — I do have all those things. What I don’t have is incentive. We all know how this story ends. Why exactly did you think I’d take all these annoying precautions to stay COVID-free when I’m already slated to die before we’re even on the other side of the incubation period? …

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Photo by Ivan Aleksic on Unsplash

Good morning, Students,

Up to this point, you’ve had no idea which candidate I — a single, urban, feminist, anti-racist, female-identifying, liberal academic — supported in this election.

I won’t reveal my political stance today, either. The Biden/Harris victory is neither “good” nor “bad” and no political position is “better” than another. Choosing an accomplished woman of color to hold the second most powerful position in the free world isn’t better than grabbing women by their pussies; it’s just different. …

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Photo by Oleg Laptev on Unsplash

1989: IKEA was going to be *perfect* for dorm shopping. The brand new store had just opened in Pittsburgh, and we had just graduated from high school — it was kismet. We were East Side Cleveland girls whose sense of style was nascent at best, but the second we wandered into the magical minimalist forest that was IKEA, we knew we’d found our aesthetic. And shockingly, in this place, we could afford it.

Like the Kallax system, those college years were also somewhat modular. There was a template, you followed it, there were options, but the finish line was both uniform and easy to find as long as you followed the signs. …

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Photo by Richard Jacobs on Unsplash

Writers: It’s too far. We can’t give the head bull elephant the elephant plague.

Supreme Being: What do you mean it’s too far? Do you seriously think there’s an option of what happens next? This is a fable. Fable structure is set, it’s not up to us at this point.

Writers: But the elephant plague . . . we didn’t really intend to go that route.

Supreme Being: Look, in a fable you’ve got five literary elements to work with: Animals with human characteristics; a specific setting or situation; a problem caused by a character’s weakness, selfishness, or dishonesty; a resolution; and a moral lesson. …

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Photo by Rhett Wesley on Unsplash
  1. I’m tired of being invisible.
  2. I’m not really cut into half a person, it’s just an illusion related to my salary.
  3. The work hours really suck, but the pay is low.
  4. If you want to hold the audience’s attention, it helps to be hot.
  5. When I disappear, a completely different person replaces me, and no one even notices or cares.
  6. One of my co-workers got a knife thrown at her.
  7. Is this at all a serious job, or do you just want me to prance around waving shiny objects at these glazed-over yokels?
  8. I can’t believe I got all those degrees just to pull rabbits out of hats. …

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We’ve decided to come forward because this lobster-mascot situation has spun out of control.

Dr. Peterson’s fans, most of whom identify as “men’s rights advocates” but whom we’ll refer to as Incels for the sake of brevity and also for the sake of accuracy, are snatching up “lobster merch” as though their delusional, white-privileged lives depend upon it. There are entire pages on Amazon filled with lobster t-shirts — lobsters telling you to clean your room, lobsters telling you to stand up straight, lobsters stacked in a pyramid to visually symbolize “the dominance hierarchy.” It’s creepy. …

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