Dorm Maintenance Problems

By Shawn

Years ago, I was at school in England, and during my time there, I lived in one of the university’s grad dorms. This dorm evidently suffered from some serious maintenance problems, because we’d receive a constant barrage of e-mail updates about them, all in the same matter-of-fact, semi-apologetic tone. This led me to write the following parody, which I thought I’d share.

Dear residents,

We have been informed that there is no hot water in the building. Please be patient, as we have called Maintenance to deal with the problem and will have the hot water restored as soon as possible.


Dorm Admin.


Dear residents,

We are aware that that there is still no hot water. Maintenance was unable to identify the cause, so we have called in outside contractors who will hopefully rectify the problem. We apologise for the inconvenience.


Dorm Admin.


Dear residents,

It has come to our attention that, as a result of the repair work done by the outside contractors, there is now running hot water in flats 1-10, lukewarm water in flats 11-31, and no water whatsoever in flats 32-40. Maintenance will attempt to repair the problems caused by the contractors, and we will call in additional outside contractors should Maintenance not prove up to the task. In the interim, we would ask that the residents of flats 1-31 please allow the residents of flats 32-40 to make use of their showers. Should the shower queues prove too long, the reception desk will be handing out moist towelettes. Again, we are sorry for any inconvenience.


Dorm Admin.


Dear residents,

It would seem, as a result of the repair work performed by the second set of outside contractors, several pipes have exploded in flats 23-27, blowing gaping holes in the walls. For those residents who are now exposed to the elements, please be patient as we attempt to call in outside contractors who will build some sort of temporary structure to seal up the openings. In the interim, Maintenance has agreed to turn up the heating slightly in your flats, which admittedly will do little to protect you from the death-giving caress of the cold night air. We assure you that this inconvenience is temporary and will swiftly be dealt with.


Dorm Admin.


Dear residents,

It has not escaped our notice that the outside contractors failed to completely repair the wall damage to flats 23-27, and, by blocking out the sun with scaffolding, have instead made the dining rooms of the affected flats ideal nesting grounds for giant bats. We know that, as of this time, a colony of giant bats has indeed taken up residence in flat 26 and that more are on the way. Maintenance is planning to bring in a group of ravenous polar bears to deal with the bats, so please rest assured that this situation will be rectified shortly.

In the interim, residents whose flats still have walls are cautioned to keep their windows closed at all times, as the bats have been known to fly in through open windows to feast on their screaming prey. That said, we would appreciate it if residents could keep their bloodcurdling shrieks down to a minimum. This dormitory is located in a residential neighbourhood, and we have already received several complaints about the noise from the people living across the street.


Dorm Admin.


Dear residents,

We are aware that the bats and polar bears have joined forces and have kidnapped the Prime Minister. He is currently being held in flat 34 along with several other officials, including the Chancellor of the Exchequer. Scotland Yard and the Ministry of Defence have been notified and a special operations unit is expected to make a daring rescue attempt shortly. Should they fail, outside contractors will be called in.

We have also received a letter signed by several prominent biologists who believe that the giant bats are evolving at an incredible pace as a result of prolonged exposure to our cleaning chemicals. It is likely that the bats will soon possess the ability to reason and possibly take on human form, à la the movie Screamers. Please bear in mind that the bats could be anyone, or anything, and trust no one.

Screamers, incidentally, will be shown in the common room at 8 PM for Sunday Film Night and we sincerely hope that those residents who are still alive will attend.


Dorm Admin.


Deer resedents,

Plese com outsidd. Theer is no risin to bee afrid. The bats arr gon fur gud.


Barry the Hu-mon


Dear residents,

Please disregard the previous e-mail as it was written by a giant bat. It was a long and grueling battle, but the special forces unit managed to drive out the Giant Bat-men and their polar bear allies once it was discovered that silver was their weakness. We wish to once again to thank you all for your bravery and endurance throughout the siege and to apologise once again for any inconvenience you may have experienced these past few days. We are still sifting through the wreckage of flats 19-36 and fishing out the bodies, so please be patient: we will confirm the death of your friends on a large bulletin board posted in the reception as soon as we know ourselves.

Incidentally, it has come to our attention that there is no longer any hot water in the building. Maintenance will be called in to deal with the problem shortly.


Dorm Admin.

Five Simple Rules for Making a Movie with Sam Worthington

By Shawn

Sam Worthington is an Australian actor with the personality of a mollusk and the charisma of off-brand toilet paper. Despite this, he’s managed to star in a number of major motion pictures. The most noteworthy are probably Clash of the Titans, Terminator Salvation, and Avatar, in which he plays, respectively, a soldier-guy, a soldier-guy, and a soldier-guy. I have seen all three of these films, and I’ve discovered that there are five simple rules to making a Sam Worthington movie. I will explain them in detail below.

File photo of Sam Worthington, in his role as the blue thing that’s going to sky-rape that red thing.

Rule #1: There Has to Be a Battle Between Two Sides, and Sam Worthington Must Be Part Bad Guy, Part Good Guy

A Sam Worthington film, to be a Sam Worthington film, must feature a conflict between two sides, one of which is a sympathetic underdog, and the other of which is a senselessly evil and seemingly omnipotent force whose motives are nonsensical. The twist is, Sam Worthington must somehow belong to both sides, which he will eventually realize in an underwhelming voyage of discovery. That voyage should run roughly as follows.

Sam Worthington: I’m just an everyday Joe. I’d make a pretty unlikely hero, given that I’m an orphan/a criminal/crippled.

Good Guys: Holy shit, adversity!

Sam Worthington: (does something everyday Joes can’t do in the face of adversity)

Sam Worthington: Oh. I guess I’m also a god/robot/magic leader of the blue people.

Good Guys: (suitably impressed)

Rule #2: Everyone Else Must Do the Work of Establishing Sam Worthington’s Character

You can’t make Sam Worthington act. No one can. Maybe because he can’t; maybe because he doesn’t care to. Regardless, it’s necessary for all the other actors to help Sam Worthington establish the character he simply will not on his own. Hence Sam Worthington films must heavily feature dialogue like this.

Other Character: Your parents/loved ones/non-crippled twin brother are dead, Sam Worthington. How does that make you feel?

Sam Worthington: Bad.

Other Character: That sure makes you a compelling protagonist whose struggles are relatable.

Sam Worthington: Maybe.

Other Character: I bet you’re prepared to make many sacrifices over the course of this film.

Sam Worthington: Can’t talk. Staring at a bug.

Rule #3: A Woman Who Should Know Better than to Help Sam Worthington Must Help Sam Worthington

At some point in the film, Sam Worthington must encounter an uninspired, one-dimensional heroine who, in spite of herself, comes to love Sam Worthington. He will win her over with scintillating dialogue like this.

Heroine: Just who exactly are you, Sam Worthington?

Sam Worthington: Dunno.

Heroine: I was initially suspicious of you, but now I think you’re here to help me and the group to which I belong.

Sam Worthington: Maybe.

Heroine: God I love you. Let’s share an awkward sex scene that forces everyone in the audience to look away in embarrassment.

Sam Worthington: Okay.

Despite the fact that the heroine has reason to distrust Sam Worthington, she must wind up helping him, and her assistance will prove critical for whatever dumb thing Sam Worthington is trying to do. He must then crush the heroine’s dreams by getting her killed/getting himself killed/getting her father and her giant tree house killed. You can love Sam Worthington. But you’re gonna pay for it.

Rule #4: The Plot Must Culminate in Sam Worthington Facing a Dramatic “Identity Crisis” that Lasts All of Two Seconds

In the climax of the film, Sam Worthington has to come face to face with a representative of the evil thing with which he partly identifies. This representative will try to tempt him and fail. Example:

Villain: Sam Worthington, you don’t want to help those humans/humans/blue people. Look deep into your heart. You’re really one of us gods/machines/humans! Join us, and together we’ll do something evil for no reason!

Sam Worthington: I dunno.

Villain: Hahaha, you’re tempted, aren’t you Sam Worthington? You’re tempted to help me achieve my senseless objective!

Sam Worthington: No. I’m going to do the opposite of that.

Villain: But—but why?!?

Sam Worthington: My burgeoning love for Representative from Underdog Group.

Villain: Curses! Love! An emotion I do not understand, because I’m a god/a robot/in the military!

Rule #5: The Main Villain’s Plan Must Make No Sense and Have No Room in It for Sam Worthington Doing Predictable Things

Another rule of Sam Worthington films is that the villains must never take into account the simple things Sam Worthington might do to stop them. It should go something like this.

Villain: My plan is perfect. First, I’ll use Sam Worthington to accomplish a goal I could achieve without the convoluted use of Sam Worthington, such as luring my enemy to my headquarters or convincing blue people to die! Second, in the course of doing so, I’ll perfectly position Sam Worthington to thwart me by obvious means! Hahahaha!

Sam Worthington: (does predictable thing)

Villain: Curses and drat! I wasn’t at all prepared for this readily anticipatable setback! Nevertheless, I highly doubt the love Sam Worthington feels for Representative from Underdog Group will give him the strength to triumph over this monster/robot/guy inside a robot!

Sam Worthington: (does)

Villain: Nooooo, my plannnnnssss, my stupid, stupid plllaaaaaannnnssssss…

And there you have it. Now you’re totally prepared to go out and write your own Sam Worthington screenplay. If it’s greenlit, all I ask for is a shout-out. And that you make Sam Worthington something awesome, like half-salmon, half-bear maybe.


Just to get you started, here’s a little sample dialogue for that last movie idea, which I am tentatively entitling, “Clashatar of the Salmon/Bears Salvation.”

Male Protagonist Who Takes Needless Dislike to Sam Worthington But Will Later Respect Him as a Brother: We can’t trust Sam Worthington! He’s part bear! We have to kill him!

Assembled Crowd: (aggressive jeers, rumblings of agreement)

Heroine: Yes, he’s part bear. Which means he’s the only one of us salmon who understands the way they think.

Assembled Crowd: (hushed silence as weight of this sinks in)

Pop Songs as Sonnets #2: Rebecca Black – Friday

By Shawn

‘Tis Friday morn; the boist’rous cock doth crow,
And down the stairs I spring to take my meal.
The hour grows late and to the bus I go–
I spy my friends and muse on how I feel:
To kick it in the front seat of yon coach,
Or ‘stead to rest my feet up in the back?
To be in front, or be in back the coach,
That is the question (for Rebecca Black).
‘Twas Thursday ere the sun rose up this dawn.
‘Tis Friday now, and if ye hark this rhyme,
I’ll tell thee broadly of my goings-on,
And keep thee posted ’bout the current time.
‘Tis Friday, and with joy we greet this day–
Yeah party party fun fun fun fun yay!

Fuck Pandas

By Ann (Dedicated to Lara, for her mutual rage on the subject)

Here’s the thing:

Fuck pandas.

Fuck ‘em. I’ve had it with their bullshit.

People are always going on about pandas. “Oh, good heavens, the poor pandas are so endangered!” “Oh, my stars, we have to save them!”

Great idea. There’s just one problem.  You can save those giant failure-bears from poachers, but there’s no way to save them from themselves.

You see, pandas don’t want to be saved. They want to die. Because God made them to die. Think about it.

First, let’s talk about their food source. In spite of the fact that pandas were designed to be carnivores—they even have a carnivore’s digestive system—they scorn meat with all its life-giving potential and concentrate their efforts on obtaining… yep, you guessed it, bamboo. But why, you ask yourself? It must be because bamboo is better for them. Pandas couldn’t possibly be so bad at living that they made a species-wide decision to turn their backs on the food they’re supposed to be eating in favor of the shittiest, least nutritious plant that ever existed, right?

Wrong. Bamboo is the shittiest, least nutritious plant that ever existed. It is the most hideously inefficient source of energy nature was able to come up with. Pandas could eat three goddamn tons of that shit and only have the energy to sit up, sneeze on themselves, and then lie the fuck back down.

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This sneeze is the most action this panda baby is going to see for the next three days of its life. I would’ve said three years, but let’s get serious. It’s going to be dead by then.

So, okay, okay, maybe their food source isn’t the best choice. But maybe God gave them a break and made them especially good at having lots of hot panda sex?  Nope. Wrong again. Pandas hate having sex with each other. Probably because their potential partners (of which there are how many left? like, three?) are all lazy bags of crap who are about as sexually appealing as stuffed teddy bears—because, let’s face it, pandas are basically inanimate objects.

And even when, by some act of divine intervention, two pandas muster up enough energy to hump each other for the requisite thirty seconds required to produce an offspring, they’re too tired to take care of it. So, unless we step in to nurse the fucking thing ourselves, it dies just like its parents intended.

Humans have done everything to save pandas. We give them all the bamboo they could possibly require, we force them to have sex despite how creepy that is, and then we even take the fucking babies away and try to raise them ourselves, because for some reason we think it’s necessary help these incompetent, lazy-ass bears survive another day, against the manifest will of God.

Face the facts, people. Pandas don’t want our help. They want the sweet release of death. Just let them go.

“But they’re so cute!” Sure, they’re cute. You know what else is cute? Every other fucking mammal. So let’s stop giving our time and energy to a creature too sleepy to live and bestow it upon one that’s going to go out and do something for itself.

I don’t know, like wolves maybe. Wolves are go-getters.

Pop Songs as Sonnets #1: R. Kelly and Usher — Same Girl

By Shawn

Fair Usher, I would have a word with thee.
— Pray, Kells, tell all; I’ll gladly hear thee speak.
I’ve met a maid whose aspect charmeth me.
She’s named T.T. and hath a rosy cheek.
— Alack! Black day! This cannot be the truth!
What sayest thou? Thy homie bids thee tell!
— I too have bed this wench; my phone holds proof!
My heart, it burns with all the fires of hell!
— R. Kelly, friend, we must avenge this slight.
I’ll call her up, and thou wilt stay concealed;
She’ll get into the airport late tonight;
We’ll ambush her and all will be revealed!
O what a wicked, cruel, and heartless churl!
To think that we had messed with the same girl!

An Interview with Ann

In the interest of getting our blog off to a good start, we figured it was only proper to introduce ourselves. So naturally, we decided to interview each other.

An Interview with Ann, by Shawn

Shawn (S): I want to start with some basic biographical questions. Where are you from originally?

Ann (A): Maryland. PG. Represent. Which you know.

S: If this is going to work, you’re going to have to accept the premise here.

A: Fine. Continue.

S: Tell us a little about Maryland as a state. What is your favorite thing about the state bird?

A: I like that it sucks less than the sports team named after it. That being said, however, you gotta love that the O’s never give up and never surrender.

S: Just like the Japanese. Well, I guess they finally did surrender. It just took two atrocities. What would you say is your favorite historical atrocity?

A: Probably your birth.

S: I expected that answer.

A: Softball.

S: Let’s change the subject.  How do you feel about the bombing of Dresden?

A: I mean, not great. You know, it being a bombing and all.

S: Alright, we’ll talk about something different.

A: Great.

S: In the Boer Wars, the British waged a series of campaigns designed to protect their South African holdings against the Boer republics. Do you think the extreme measures employed by the British were justifiable in light of their war aims?

A: Let me answer that question by posing a question to you. In light of my aim to not answer any more questions about historical atrocities, do you think it would be justifiable for me to terminate your existence by burying you under the ocean?

S: Touché. Moving on, tell us a little bit about your present endeavors. What projects are you working on these days?

A: These days, I spend most of my time freelancing and trying not to waste vast quantities of time poking around the internet. Also, I’ve been researching recipes to make in my crock pot. These goals are antithetical.

S: That must not leave a lot of time to adopt scores of children and kill them one by one in a sawmill.

A: It does not.

S: How do you manage it, then?

A: I have shockingly little to say on the subject.

S: I’m disappointed, but hardly shocked. That’s okay, everything I want to know I’m sure they will shortly reveal in the papers. Moving on. What is your favorite color, on a scale of 1-10?

A: Purple, on a scale of 7. Now what, Shawn? Now what?

S: Let’s move on to return to the irritating line of questioning about the Boer Wars. Winston Churchill first made a name for himself as a correspondent reporting on the Second Boer War. He would later go on to lead the United Kingdom in its war against the Nazis. Would you describe yourself as an active member of the Nazi party, or merely a sympathizer?

A: No. No, no, no, no, no, no. Oh my god, no.

S: Let’s move on. I’m going to ask you a series of brief questions. Paper or plastic?

A: Paper.

S: Boxers or briefs?

A: Boxers.

S: Did you kill those children, or are you a Nazi?


S: Okay, new question. Tell me about your childhood. What is your favorite childhood memory?

A: Maybe playing Juliet in our 7th grade production of Romeo & Juliet.

S: Was that your first time on stage?

A: No. My first time on stage would have been the year before, when I was in The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe. I was a Mistress of Illusion–which, it turned out, was another way of saying Narrator who will be dressed in only a unitard and a couple of strategically placed scarves. I was a chubby middle schooler. It was terrible for everyone.

S: But you’d later go on to star in other productions?

A: Indeed. I was the talk of the town.

S: Did you ever have the chance to go inside Ford’s Theatre?

A: Is this leading up to an elaborate series of questions in which you accuse me of trying to assassinate President Lincoln?

S: No. Don’t be silly. Were you ever in a production of Our American Cousin?

A: This interview is over.

S: And that concludes our interview with self-described Nazi John Wilkes Booth.