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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. …

Written by Christopher Shelley and Jennie Young

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Photo by Vera Arsic from Pexels

He didn’t “get” me, but Tinder was too scary because of the virus and it was easier to just get back together.

She gets who I was, but not who I am or who I’m going to be after the pandemic ends. But then she taught me how to make Tik-Tok videos, so I mean, I had to stay with her.

He developed a foot fetish, so we broke up, but there’s so much downtime right now and I didn’t want to have to pay for my own Netflix account.

He wanted to hide under the table and suck on my toes during my Zoom meetings, which was so annoying, but then his grandma got run over by an Amazon Prime truck, and I felt bad. …

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Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

Kaylee Carmichael, a 28-year-old single food critic for a New York City newspaper, goes back to her tiny Wisconsin hometown for Christmas. Unbeknownst to Kaylee, her mother has already engaged in some holiday hijinks by arranging for Kaylee’s high school sweetheart to retrieve her from the train station and deliver her to the family cheese factory. By the end of the drive, which takes seven minutes, Kaylee is in love. Brandon has grown into the perfect male adult: — sweet, wholesome, hardworking, and, as per usual, widowed. He is also polyamorous.

Kaylee doesn’t know what this means but glosses over it in the midst of all the Christmas frivolity. She absent-mindedly interprets the combined syllables of “polyamory” to mean something akin to “lots of love,” and who doesn’t want lots of love, especially at Christmas?! …

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Photo by Josh Hild on Unsplash

The year is 5020, and rubrics now control every aspect of human life. America itself is run by RubriCorp, a monopolistic mega-corporation topped only by Amazon Prime, which digitally warehouses and distributes all of RubriCorp’s rubrics. Rubrics are now used to evaluate every aspect of daily life, from the speeches of presidents to the lawn-mowing performances of suburbanites.

It is believed RubriCorp’s inception is rooted sometime during the early part of the 21st century, when university administrators first said things like, “Is this decision data-driven?” or “Can you quantify your students’ writing?” …

My boyfriend Cody claims he feels suffocated and gets zero alone time or guy time. But I feel like he gets away from me a lot . He’s constantly out golfing or drinking with his friends or trying to figure out where in our house I hide the plastic bags.

I told him I thought this “I’m being smothered” feeling was something we could talk through, but he said he couldn’t because of the pillows. I suggested he use a safe word so that I’m not always having to guess what’s “too much” (his words). He got all mad and said, “Last night in bed I begged you to ‘Please stop trying to suffocate me while we’re having sex.’ How much clearer can I be?!” …

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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 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. …


Jennie Young

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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