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. …


The mental calculations helping me make sense of my grief

Photo: Artur Debat / Getty Images

I think I knew she was dead before I knew she was dead. But the human mind is a stretchy and abstract thing when confronted with particular combinations of variables.

9:00 Saturday night, early January: My friend’s husband calls. She is “missing.” She has been missing for about 21 hours. We begin the math: They won’t look for her until it’s been 24 hours. He’ll wait three more hours to call. Could I try to contact her?

I text her and then stare at my phone, waiting for the message to flip from “delivered” to “read,” because she always uses…


Hey, Baby. Are you tired of sharing your adjunct with 500 other students spread across four different universities? Do you want an adjunct who has the time to actually read your writing? Who will even give you individual feedback for a small additional tip on top of your monthly subscription fee? You won’t be just be a square on the standardized rubric to me, Sweet Thing.

I’ll grade your essays with my sexy red pen in ways that are responsive and student-centered, if ya know what I mean. What I mean is that if you write a comma splice, I…


Written by Christopher Shelley and Jennie Young

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…


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…


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…


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…

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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