Ramadan Press Conference

INT. PRESS CONFERENCE – DAY

DR. MOHAMED ABDULLAHI stands at a podium in front of a crowd of reporters.

DR. MOHAMED

Once again, I’d like to thank you all for listening so attentively to our Ramadan press conference. In addition to our website which has been updated, the press packet you’ve all received contains some additional basic facts and FAQs about the month. I’m sure some of you are eager to ask questions however, so I’m happy to open up the floor.

Dr. Mohamed points to a reporter on his right.

NANCY JEFFRIES (CNN)

Nancy Jeffries, CNN. When you say refrain from food and drink, what type of beverages are we talking about? Is it just a month off from alcohol or is it all beverages? Where do you draw the line?

DR. MOHAMED

Well actually, Muslims are completely forbidden from drinking alcohol year round so that’s not too much of a change. However, Ramadan fasting does apply to all other food and beverages.

NANCY JEFFRIES

Even water?

DR. MOHAMED

Yes, even water. Next question?

Dr. Mohamed points to his left.

BECKY SANDERSON (US WEEKLY)

Becky Sanderson, Us Weekly. Sorry, she just asked my question. I was going to ask about water.

There is an awkward pause as we all question why it took Becky so long to put down her hand.

ETHAN MILLER (FOX)

Ethan Miller, Fox News. What is your response to those who’ve been saying fasting is un-American?

DR. MOHAMED

Who’s been saying that?

ETHAN MILLER (FOX)

(clearly lying)

People.

DR. MOHAMED

Did these people happen to mention why it would be un-American?

ETHAN MILLER (FOX)

Everyone knows that America’s all about freedom and choosing to restrict yourself so severely just seems kind of...un-American.

DR. MOHAMED

I’m not sure I would 100% agree with that first statement but as far as I’m aware American freedom includes religious freedom and the ability to choose your own beliefs and rituals. Think about it this way, people choose to diet all the time – is dieting un-American? Next question.

BECKY SANDERSON (US WEEKLY)

Becky Sanderson, Us Weekly. How do you guys not die?

DR. MOHAMED

I’m sorry?

BECKY SANDERSON (US WEEKLY)

Well I would think that 30 days without food or water would result in, you known – death?

DR. MOHAMED

We break our fasts every night. I guess we’ll have to add that to next year’s press packet.

NANCY JEFFRIES (CNN)

Do Muslim’s brush their teeth during Ramadan? Does that count as breaking your fast?

DR. MOHAMED

Nope, since toothpaste isn’t a food that is ingested it would be fine.

NANCY JEFFRIES (CNN)

What about gum? Sometimes I swallow my gum by accident, would that be fine?

DR. MOHAMED

Yes, since you didn’t intend to eat the gum that would also be fine.

NANCY JEFFRIES (CNN)

I read somewhere that we eat eight spiders a year in our sleep. What does Islam have to say about this? Say I was dreaming about food, would that count as intent?

DR. MOHAMED

I’m not sure. I’ll have to reach out to some scholars and get back to you on that one.

ETHAN MILLER (FOX)

Can you comment on a recent study that indicates that Ramadan hunger related anger is fuelling terrorism?

DR. MOHAMED

I haven’t heard of that study can you tell me more about it?

ETHAN MILLER (FOX)

I think that we can all agree that most Muslims are pretty angry and I know I get angry when I’m hungry so maybe the two are related?

DR. MOHAMED

Once again, not sure that I’d agree with that first part. And without concrete proof, connecting those two claims just seems a little outrageous to me but I’ll have to look through that report before I can comment. Can you send it to me?

ETHAN MILLER (FOX)

Sure..It’s been quite a while since I’ve read it so I’ll have to see if I can find it.

Dr. Mohamed nods and points to another reporter.

DR. MOHAMED

Yes, Becky?

BECKY SANDERSON (US WEEKLY)

Becky Sanderson, Us Weekly. Can you tell me a little more about the benefits of the Ramadan diet?

DR. MOHAMED

I wouldn’t exactly call it a diet but yeah I guess there could potentially be health benefits. I’m not a medical doctor though so I can’t really comment on that.

BECKY SANDERSON (US WEEKLY)

But your name’s Dr. Mohamed? And I’m pretty sure I heard you referring to it as a diet earlier in this press conference.

DR. MOHAMED

(exasperated)

I have my doctorate in Islamic Theology and I was just using dieting as a somewhat analogous choice earlier, sorry for the confusion.

NANCY JEFFRIES (CNN)

My neighbour who’s a Muslim once told me that it’s extremely offensive in his culture to turn down a gift or invitation. If I invite him over for dinner in Ramadan what would he have to do? Say yes or say no?

DR. MOHAMED

I don’t want to speak for your neighbour but I think most Muslims would say no. Ethan, you get the last question.

Nancy pumps her fist in joy. She clearly doesn’t like her neighbour.

ETHAN MILLER (FOX)

How do you think Ramadan fasting affected Barack Obama’s effectiveness as President?

DR. MOHAMED

Come on Ethan, you really think you would fool me with that one? But for the record, Obama’s not a muslim.

For some reason Dr. Mohamed winks slowly as he answers that last question. As the press conference wraps up and all the journalists begin leaving the room we close on Ethan from Fox news. He’s clearly frustrated and a look at his notepad reveals several potential outrageous headlines that have been crossed out. He then smiles and writes out a new one “Potentially fake Muslim doctor questions America’s freedom and refuses to respond to Ramadan rumours. Terrorist? We’ll let you decide.

 

White People Say the Darndest Things

INT. STUDIO – DAY

THE OPENING GRAPHICS AND THEME MUSIC of the show begin. It initially seems like your typical wacky game show intro except the camera work is a little too frantic and the studio audience has no white people in it.

STUDIO ANNOUNCER (V.O.)

It’s now time for White People Say the Darndest Things! As always, the white people on today’s episode are not scripted actors and have not been told what to say. Now let’s get going and bring out our host – STEEEEVE HARVEEEEEY!!!

STEVE HARVEY swaggers out onto the centre of the studio stage. What should be a quick walk to centre stage takes forever due to his excessive waving, grinning and pointing to audience member as they cheer him on.

STEVE HARVEY

Welcome to White People Say the Darndest Thing everybody! On today’s show we have not one, not two, not three but four white people! That’s right – double episode!

The audience cheers at this news.

STEVE HARVEY

To my left we have Dick and Phyllis O’Callahan!

DICK and PHYLLIS (60s) blankly stare at the camera. Dick sweats excessively under the stage lights and they both look uncomfortable.

STEVE HARVEY

And to my right we have Tanner and Cheryl Hawthorne!

TANNER and CHERYL (20s) seem much more comfortable on stage. Tanner waves at the camera while Cheryl blows a kiss. Steve walks over to Dick and Phyllis.

STEVE HARVEY

Now Dick, do you like your name?

DICK

Yeah, I love Dick.

STEVE HARVEY

But even you have to admit. It doesn’t have the best connotations.

DICK

Screw the connotations Bill. It’s my name and I’m proud of it.

STEVE HARVEY

I’m sorry. Bill?

DICK

I’ve been watching your shows since forever Mr. Cosby so I feel like I know you pretty well. I was kind of hoping we we’re already on a first name basis.

STEVE HARVEY

I think there’s been a bit of a misunderstanding. My name is Steve Harvey. Bill no longer hosts the show.

DICK

You’re not Bill Cosby? What happened to Bill?

STEVE HARVEY

He’s been a little busy with his own issues lately. We can talk about it during the commercial break.

DICK

So are you related? You just look so alike!

STEVE HARVEY

Nope not related. Let’s talk about your family instead. You have any kids?

DICK

We have a daughter named Shannon and a dog named Aaron that’s pretty much like our son.

Dick takes a photo out of his wallet. It’s a picture of their dog messily kissing Shannon on the mouth.

STEVE HARVEY

Are you guys all so affectionate?

DICK

Don’t try to make this weird Bill. There’s nothing wrong with a little peck between family members. We all kiss each other.

STEVE HARVEY

And what does Shannon do for a living?

PHYLLIS

She’s a DJ, model and actor. I always joke that she has more jobs than a Mexican!

The studio audience, which laughed at every absurd line prior to this, does not laugh at her joke. A shot of the crowd shows unanimous disapproval.

STEVE HARVEY

What about you guys? What do you guys do?

DICK

We’re retired so we haven’t been doing much recently. Mostly just writing and eating. I really enjoy writing correction requests to newspaper editors and Phyllis just started a foodie blog so we’ve been out there eating up a storm!

STEVE HARVEY

What’s the most exotic thing you guys have eaten Phyllis?

PHYLLIS

Definitely this small Portuguese place we tried a while back. I think it was called Nando’s?

Steve gives his infamous look of exasperation into the camera and walks over to Tanner and Cheryl.

STEVE HARVEY

So where you guys from?

TANNER

Atlanta.

STEVE HARVEY

C’mon now. Ain’t no white people from Atlanta. Cheryl, where you really from?

CHERYL

Well I’m 3/8ths Scottish, 1/8th British, 4/12ths German , 2/13ths French and 1/19th Italian.

STEVE HARVEY

(fake counting on his fingers)

Damn, all that math just to add up to...one white person, that’s crazy! How long have you two been married?

CHERYL

We’re not.

STEVE HARVEY

Well how long y’all been dating?

TANNER

We’re brother and sister.

STEVE HARVEY

So? I hear that’s not a problem down south!

Steve gives a cheesy grin to the camera as the audience laughs

STEVE HARVEY

Now Tanner, that’s a bit of an odd name for you isn’t it. I mean we’ve already established that you’re pretty white. Do you know who named you that?

TANNER

My mom I guess.

Tanner points to a MIDDLE AGED LADY in the audience.

STEVE HARVEY

What’s your relationship with your mother like?

TANNER

I mean most of the time we’re pretty cool. You know except for when she’s acting like a bitch.

The audience gasps in unison. Mothers in the crowd begin shaking their heads and frowning in disappointment. Tanner’s own mom begins to blush in embarrassment.

STEVE HARVEY

Can you give me an example of a time where she was being a bitch?

TANNER

I never said she was a bitch. I said she was acting like a bitch. There’s a difference. Like sometimes she won’t let my friends come over. Or she’ll enter my room without knocking. The worst is when she buys diet Pepsi even though she knows I think it tastes like shit compared to regular Pepsi.

STEVE HARVEY

And how does your mom normally react when you tell her she’s acting like a bitch?

TANNER

Usually she acts like an even bigger bitch. Like she’ll take away my Xbox or something.

STEVE HARVEY

What else does she do to punish you?

TANNER

That’s it. She takes away my Xbox. What could be worse than that?

The audience laughs. Steve turns to Cheryl.

STEVE HARVEY

Cheryl, I understand you haven’t seen your mother or any of your family for a while?

CHERYL

Yeah, I just came back from a year of travelling! It was my gift to myself for graduating college and getting my first job.

STEVE HARVEY

An entire year of travel? Sounds expensive! What did you study that pays enough to afford all that?

CHERYL

I double majored in communications and humanism. I actually had to dip into my savings to pay for the plane tickets and my parents helped out with accommodations and food. Nothing too extravagant though – just hostels. I really wanted to slum it with the locals to get the authentic experience you know?

STEVE HARVEY

So where are you going to be working now?

CHERYL

I’m actually not sure if I still have a job lined up. I finally got the chance to go through my email after being off the grid for so long and my boss seems way less chill about my travelling than I thought he’d be..It’s cool though, I think I want to go to graduate school anyway.

STEVE HARVEY

And what are you planning on studying this time?

CHERYL

Food nutrition I think. I got really into veganism and buddhism when I was in India. I even got this tattoo – it says curry in Sanskrit. Ironic right?!

As Cheryl shows her tattoo to the camera, Steve Harvey returns to centre stage.

STEVE HARVEY

Well it’s certainly been interesting meeting all of y’all but we’ve got to get to the final section section of the show – the free for all. This is the part of the show where we open up the floor to both families to talk about a current events issue. Today’s issue is the recent NFL protests. Dick, you seem like a big NFL fan – what are your thoughts on these protests?

DICK

I hate them. When are these blacks going to finally quit crying racism? You’re millionaires for god’s sake! It’s like you said Bill, maybe if they pulled up their pants and didn’t look so thuggish the police wouldn’t be so afraid!

Steve Harvey opens his mouth to remind Dick that he’s not Bill Cosby before changing his mind.

STEVE HARVEY

What about you Cheryl? You seem like you disagree..

CHERYL

Yeah, as a fan of hip hop music, I’m pretty aware of the issues the black community faces so I’m completely in support of the protests. In fact, I even went as Colin Kaepernick for Halloween.

She pulls up a picture on her phone and shows it to the camera. It’s photo of her in a Colin Kaepernick jersey and blackface.

STEVE HARVEY

And you Tanner? What are your thoughts?

TANNER

I’m all for protesting, just pick a better way. I don’t think they should be disrespecting our flag and our veterans.

DICK

Excuse my French Bill but what the hell does kneeling have to do with our veterans? Stop fence sitting young man. Do you think the blacks are whining or do they have a point?

TANNER

Look I do think the police brutality issue is definitely overstated. Black on black crime is a magnitude worse and we don’t seem to be as concerned with that.

DICK

Exactly! This is a man that has his head on straight Bill!

TANNER

And even beyond this issue, I just feel like we’re moving towards an era of reverse racism . I mean the number of scholarships and internships my girlfriend is able to get just because she’s Asian and female is insane!

DICK

Wait, your girlfriend’s Asian? You can do better than that son.

TANNER

Nobody asked for your opinion grandpa.

STEVE HARVEY

Now come on now Tanner. There’s no need for name calling. Dick what’s your problem with Tanner dating an Asian?

DICK

I don’t have a problem with it. I just think it’s a sign that he couldn’t find someone better. Someone more like him.

TANNER

Fuck you, you can’t just talk about my girl like that! You think I won’t swing on you cause you’re old?

Tanner lunges toward Dick.

DICK

It’s about time someone gave your generation a whoopin!

Dick stand up and begins waving his cane aggressively.Two burly security guards jump on stage to separate the two. Steve Harvey takes this moment to address the camera.

STEVE HARVEY

Well that’s all the time we have today on White People Say the Darndest Things. We hope you can join us next week!

The credits begin to roll. They are completely normal except the first two which are tiny and scroll through at a much faster speed than the rest. These happen to say “Created By – Bill Cosby” and “Executive Producer – Bill Cosby”.

Club Tweet

This better be worth it. This better be worth it. This better be worth it.

This was all Melanie thought as she stood in line outside the club. It was a chilly October night and while her wool jacket did a decent job of keeping her torso and thighs warm, she was definitely starting to feel the cold in her knees and ankles. She tried hard not to think about how warm she would normally be at this time of night, watching TV in her living room underneath a blanket.

This is definitely not going to be worth it.

Underneath her jacket she was wearing her favourite black mini dress – although she wasn’t sure she could still call it that seeing as how she hadn’t pulled it out of her closet in about eight months. Eight months. That’s how long it had been since she’d gone out like this. Her friends had invited her here weeks ago and after running through several thoroughly researched excuses over the past few weekends, she knew she had reached the end of the line. She finally had to show up. So here she was, in front of the club wearing a black dress and cat ears – the ultimate Halloween cop out costume.

“Welcome to Club Tweet!” a boyish looking bouncer announced as Melanie got to the front of the line.

Behind him was another bouncer, a bigger, older, surlier one. Melanie guessed that the former was the brains of the operation while the latter was the brawn. She began pulling out her driver’s license to hand to him when the younger bouncer laughed and stopped her. A flood of thoughts instantly rushed through Melanie’s mind:

Had it really been that long? Did she no longer need ID? Was she….old?

“You must be new here” he announced a little too loudly. “We don’t need ID here at Club Tweet. Unlike some of our competitors you can really be whoever you want here.”

Melanie wasn’t sure what that actually meant so she did what she always did in this scenario – nod in fake agreement. The younger bouncer handed her a small black marker and a name tag. Clubbing sure seems to have changed. She filled out the name tag with her first name and began pasting it to her jacket when the bouncer stopped her again.

“I’m sorry but you’re actually not going to be able to use that name in here. It’s already been taken.”

“But it’s my name. And I thought you said I could be whoever I wanted.”

“Yeah it’s just kind of a club policy thing. Someone’s already claimed it and everyone in here needs to have a unique name.” The bouncer gave her a look of empathy and handed her a fresh name tag.

Melanie decided to add play it safe this time and wrote down her full name, including her middle name which she really hated. She handed it back to the bouncer who reviewed the name tag and then looked at his clipboard. He then looked at both again before giving Melanie a sheepish grin.

“You’re never going to believe this…”


A few minutes – and name tags –  later and Melanie was finally inside Club Tweet. It was loud. Really loud. Melanie couldn’t really understand the garbled auto tuned music that was being blasted throughout the room but everyone else clearly seemed to be enjoying it. The decor was mostly white with some light blue trim thrown about. Whoever designed this was clearly going for a futuristic look but it really didn’t work. Ironically, the club actually kind of looked like a leftover film set from the 80s. Think Miami Vice but even cheesier.

The first thing that Melanie noticed as she scoped out the club was that apparently she had filled out her name tag all wrong. Everywhere she looked she saw name tags with cool Halloween related celebrity puns like “Christopher Walken-Dead”, “Matt Demon” and “Blake Deadly”, while her boring looking name tag simply read “Melanie Beharrie Douglass”. There also seemed to be a lot of people wearing egg costumes which she really didn’t understand. Melanie couldn’t see her friends in the crowd and was just about to pull out her phone to try to reach them when she suddenly felt someone watching her. She looked up to see…Rick Ross?

It was just a costume but the young man wearing it was definitely committed to the part. He had what appeared to be pillows stuffed underneath his shirt, a big fake black beard on his face and a not at all realistic looking bald cap on his head.

“I’m sorry, can I help you?” Melanie said to Rick Ross.

“Do you like music?” he replied.

“Uh, yeah I guess.”

“Great! I made this mixtape that I think you should really check out. If you’re into music I’m sure you will love it. I can even spit you a little preview of what’s on it if you want.” As Rick Ross continued his sales pitch he began reaching into his shirt and fiddling with his “fat”.

Melanie was dumbfounded. Was this guy seriously asking her to buy his mixtape? Here? Now? In the club?

“It’s only ten dollars”. Ross said, smiling slightly. He pulled a fresh cd from underneath his shirt and was just about to hand it to her when —

“IT’S YOU? AGAIN?! DON’T NOBODY WANT YOUR TRASH ASS CD MAN. YOUR TAPES ARE LIKE CONSTIPATION BRUH KEEP THAT SHIT TO YOURSELF!”

Melanie could recognize that voice anywhere. That was Nia Harris. Melanie’s friends had finally found her. Nia, or “Necrota Fanging” as her name tag read, was one of Melanie’s oldest friends. Nia was always the loudest of the group back in school – a fact that had never really changed.

“AND LET ME GIVE YOUR DUMB ASS A TIP. IF YOU WANNA SELL A RAP MIXTAPE, YOU PROBABLY SHOULDN’T BE DRESSED IN BLACKFACE. THAT’S LIKE REALLY OFFENSIVE. I MEAN I SHOULD PROBABLY JUST SLAP YOU RIGHT NOW!”

Melanie watched Rick Ross’ confidence deflate as he quickly realized this sale was not going to happen. She couldn’t see his eyes behind his large sunglasses but his body language was certainly a lot more timid as he quietly slinked away. Melanie turned to Nia and the rest of her crew:

“Wow, thanks for coming to my rescue ladies. So is this a thing now? People are really just hawking off their mixtapes inside the club?”

Nia pulled Melanie in close and gave her a patronizing smile. The kind your parents might have given you when you asked as about sex as a kid.

“Listen Melanie. I’m sure I’m going to be saying this a lot tonight but this is Club Tweet….Hennything is possible here.


After spending about half an hour catching up with all of her friends and another half an hour going through the obligatory ex boyfriend bashing talk, Melanie was finally settled in. And sure, maybe it was because she was a few cocktails in but she was actually starting to enjoy herself. She had even made a new friend, one of Nia’s coworkers named Zola, who told the most amazing and entertaining stories she had ever heard. Melanie had just met Zola and was already pretty confident that her life story was going to be turned into a made-for-TV movie at some point.

It felt really good being around her old friends – almost like they were back in school again. Some big things had changed since then; Nicole had a kid now and had to leave early and both Layla and Tania were now married, but for this one night it was almost like none of that had even happened. If anything, it was the small changes that were most notable, like how some of the girls had picked up this unusual habit of repeating anything funny said in the conversation out loud in the club to no one in particular. Melanie also had to find out the hard way that she wasn’t as cool as she thought because it seemed that modern slang had evolved a lot since she last went clubbing. Apparently “washed” means tired now and “eggplant” means penis? Melanie sat there trying to wrap her head around how this worked – anatomically speaking – when her train of thought was interrupted by Nia.

“OH MY GOD! IS THAT JUSTIN BIEBER?!”

Melanie turned around at the table and sure enough, there he was. His Holy Bieberness. Well it was actually more like Justin Bieber, two bodyguards, a giant entourage and a flock of girls –  but you get the point. As Bieber walked through the club to the back of the VIP section, the mob surrounding him got larger and larger. Melanie was enthralled, it was like watching a really strong magnet pickup more and more metal at a junk yard.

“Lets go over there! Maybe we can get a picture.”

Melanie wanted to protest this change of plans and yell out “HE’S JUST A PERSON!” but a quick look around the table made it pretty clear that she would be in the minority. In fact, the only person who seemed as nonchalant about this was Zola who had apparently met Bieber the Great before.

“It was a crazy night! Remind me to tell you all about it sometime. Who knows? Maybe JB even remembers me?!” Zola bragged.

The girls all grabbed their drinks and shuffled over to the edge of the VIP section. Melanie had seen people gawk at celebrities before but nothing quite like this. This was insane. Pretty much everyone within a 50 yard radius of Bieber was either talking at or about him. And while some of the people on the outer fringes of the mob were trying to remain cool about the whole thing, the ladies up front were completely losing their shit. You know those cute videos of teenage girls freaking out over meeting a pop star? It turns out that it’s a lot less cute and a lot more sad when the girls women are middle aged and being awkwardly consoled by the man that they presumably came to the club with. So far Melanie had overheard countless marriage proposals, several graphic sexual offers and even a couple of open threesome invites thrown JB’s way.

Melanie could feel herself being pushed into the crowd as more and more people joined the mob behind them. She looked across the club and could see that the dance floor was basically empty. In fact, that whole side of the club was pretty sparsely populated. And yet here everyone was, packed in tighter than the joint that Yung Bieber was currently rolling. It reminded Melanie of when she used to keep score at her younger sister’s soccer league. The kids hadn’t really figured out the concept of spacing yet so they all pretty much crowded around the ball no matter where it went. Melanie had just about had enough when Zola leaned in:

“Let’s try to get in closer.”

Zola grabbed her hand and began pulling them deeper into the crowd. Melanie watched in awe as she contorted the both of them around dozens of people. Zola wasn’t a big girl by any means, but she certainly knew how to throw her weight around. A few nudges and calculated pushes later and suddenly both of them were right there at the front of the mob. Justin Bieber was at most 10 feet away from them.

“HEY JUSTIN! IT’S ZOLA! DO YOU REMEMBER ME!!”  Zola shrieked, nearly bursting Melanie’s eardrum.

Justin did not flinch. He kept his head buried in his phone. Melanie was kind of impressed in a weird way. It takes a special kind of sociopath to be able to ignore a crowd of people screaming your name and attempting to take long distance selfies with you. One man standing next to Melanie even appeared to be giving “play-by-play” of the whole situation to someone else over the phone.

“NO, IT’S NOT BLUE. IT’S DEFINITELY MORE OF A DARK PURPLE,” he yelled over the crowd.

“OH THE PANTS? YEAH THOSE ARE BLUE. THEY’RE JUST JEANS. I THOUGHT YOU WERE TALKING ABOUT HIS SHIRT,” he clarified moments later.

Melanie could feel a little bit of claustrophobia kicking in as the crowd pushed her into the man. Is this what society has come to?

“HE SEEMS TO REALLY LIKE THIS SONG. I THINK IT’S THE NEW 2 CHAINZ,” the man continued.

She could feel the nausea getting worse and immediately began fighting her way back out of the crowd.


Melanie took a deep drag of her cigarette as she stood outside the club. She turned up the collar on her coat which, once again, did nothing to help her exposed legs from the cold fall air. Melanie’s New Year’s resolution for the past three years had been to quit smoking but yet here she was. She was seriously considering just cutting her losses and moving on to another New Year’s resolution at this point. It’s too late she thought. I am what I am, and what I am is a smoker.

She watched as a black sedan parked across the street from her. Moments later the driver emerged, he was a skinny young latino man and boy did he seem furious. Melanie was sure he had a bluetooth earpiece on and was yelling at someone over the phone, but from her perspective it really did look like he was just kind of crazily arguing with himself. After a few minutes of bickering in Spanish, the young man abruptly hung up the phone. He then crossed the street and approached Melanie:

“I’m the Uber. Are you Jessica?”

“Nope, sorry. I’m Melanie. It’s the other extremely basic white name. I can see how you would get confused.”

“Well that’s unfortunate. To be honest, I would say you’re more of an Ashley but who am I to judge your parents right?”

The man turned and began retreating back across the street.

“And why exactly is it unfortunate?” Melanie cheekily yelled out after him.

The young man turned around. “It’s just rare that I get a passenger at this time of night on weekend that isn’t a drunk mess. And one that isn’t drunk and as beautiful as you – that’s like winning the lottery type odds.”

Melanie blushed and watched as he got back into his car and slowly did a U turn. His car stopped right in front of Melanie and the young man rolled down his window.

“Hey Melanie, here’s my card. If you ever want to hang out or anything, give me a call okay?”

The young man handed Melanie his card and quickly drove off. Melanie looked down at the card:

JESUS COLON

(555) 434 6854

I GIVE RIDES ALL DAY & ALL NITE

Melanie flipped the card over to reveal its exquisite finishing touch –  a high-definition photo of his sweaty, veiny penis.

As the absurdity of what had just happened washed over her, she felt a tap on her shoulder. An older gentleman and a short woman, both wearing bright pink shirts, stood behind her. They had seemingly appeared out of nowhere.

“Hi, we noticed you mentioned Uber! Well we just thought you should know that Lyft is having a Halloween special tonight. If you give this coupon to your driver, they’ll be able to give you a 20% discount on your trip. You can even use it multiple times!”


“I can’t believe he didn’t recognize me!” Zola protested.

Melanie struggled to stifle a laugh as she sipped her drink. All of the girls had finally reunited back at the bar and were trading stories about the craziness that had split them all up. Apparently Prince Bieber and his crew left the club just a few minutes after Melanie went out for her cigarette. By this point, the club had returned to its normal state and it was almost as if none of that had just happened. Zola, in particular, still couldn’t seem to comprehend that Bieber did not recognize her and as she went into her story about why he should have recognized her, Melanie completely zoned out.

She stared at the various flyers posted on a pinboard behind the bar. There were flyers for all sorts of events, a contemporary art and dance show called “TumbleArt”, a poetry show called “Snapp Fridays”, and even a weekly warehouse rave called “Cloud of Sound”. Melanie found it odd that Club Tweet would promote competing events and this apparently registered on her face because the bartender immediately came over.

“What’s up? Are you enjoying yourself?” the bartender asked. He looked about 30 something with slick brown hair and a full but well groomed beard.

“Yeah I’m okay. Sorry, I was just checking out those flyers, I didn’t mean to call you over – although faster customer service is definitely one of the few pros of my chronic resting bitch face.”

The bartender laughed.”I really wasn’t sure whether you were deep in thought or deeply pissed off. I just thought I’d play it safe.”

“Yeah, I was just thinking that it’s kind of weird that you guys promote other people’s events that compete with yours.”

“I guess it’s just part of the philosophy here at Club Tweet. We want to be the hub where people hang out and find out about cool new things. Even if that means that they go off and do those cool new things for a while. Ideally, they will remember that they found out about it here and will continue to come back and hang out.”

Melanie was impressed. “Wow, you seem to know quite a bit about this place. Have you worked here long?”

“Yeah I guess you could say that. In a way I’ve kind of been here since day one. My name’s Jack.”

Jack offered a handshake and Melanie introduced herself.

“So is this your first time here Melanie?”

“Yup. I don’t really go out much anymore but my friends insisted I had to come check this place out.”

“And? Did it live up to the hype? Will you be back?”

“Yeah it definitely surpassed the hype in a lot of ways. I mean this place is kind of crazy. Although I’m still not sure if it’s crazy in  a good way or crazy in a bad way. I’m used to going to Club Face which is a little more…tame. Hey, how come you guys don’t have any flyers for Club Face events? I mean aren’t they the biggest club in the city?”

Jack looked offended, maybe even hurt. “We don’t just put anything on the board. It has to be something we support. And we certainly do not support Club Face. They have horrible generic music,  overpriced drinks and the worst most uncool clientele in the business – what is there to support? Fuck Club Face. In fact one of our biggest goals as a club is to avoid ending up like Club Face no matter how big we get.”

Melanie could see that Jack felt pretty strongly about this so she decided to change topics.”So do you like being a bartender?”

Luckily for Melanie, someone immediately called Jack over to the other side of the bar, relieving what seemed like several thousand pounds worth of awkward tension. She turned back to her friends and could see that Zola was still telling her story. Although her stories normally felt as vivid as a movie, this particular story seemed to be as long as one. Melanie cracked a smile as she realized the irony – normally she would be at home at around this time falling asleep to a movie anyway. She pulled out her phone to set up an Uber to take her home. The closest driver was 15 minutes away. She triple checked to make sure his name wasn’t Jesus and then booked him. As she sat there reflecting on the night a short slightly frumpy looking man sat next to Melanie at the bar.

“Hey Ashley! Or was it Jessica? Sorry it was Melanie right?”

Melanie didn’t get it. He seemed to be talking to her. Was he trying to hit on her? Be funny? Because either way he was failing.

“It’s a call back,” he explained, “you know, like back there when you were talking about super basic white girl names?”

Melanie suddenly realized what was happening. “Have you been following me around the club? Are you stalking me?”

“Nah, I just happened to be coming in while you were away on your smoke break. Don’t flatter yourself bitch. You’re not that hot.”

Melanie turned and pretended to be really intrigued by Zola’s story.

 

You Have Writer

INT. DOCTOR’S OFFICE EXAM ROOM – DAY

A nervous young woman sits on the examination table. She eyes the posters and pamphlets within the pristine room – each one more intimidating than the last. The door opens just as she is about to begin scrolling through her phone.

DOCTOR HARRIS

Hi Michelle! How are you this fine morning?

MICHELLE

I guess it really depends on the test results right? I’ve been doing a little self diagnosing recently and according to WebMD I might have brain cancer?

Doctor Harris laughs a little too loudly and sits down across from her. He’s middle aged and British which gives everything he says an air of authority.

DOCTOR HARRIS

You probably have nothing to worry about but it never hurts to be cautious. Let’s take a look.

Doctor Harris opens up a manila folder and begins reading Michelle’s test results. Michelle simultaneously attempts to read the doctor’s facial expressions.

DOCTOR HARRIS

Hmmm..

Michelle’s face drops. Doctor Harris flips the page and his brows immediately furrow.

DOCTOR HARRIS

Well that’s not great.

Michelle’s eyes widen. Doctor Harris flips the page once again and looks even more concerned.

DOCTOR HARRIS

(to himself)

Never would have guessed it.

MICHELLE

Is everything alright? You’re kinda scaring me doc.

Doctor Harris looks confused – almost as if he forgot Michelle was right there. He then immediately snaps back into “super professional” mode.

DOCTOR HARRIS

According to the test results, you have writer.

MICHELLE

I’m sorry did you say writer?

DOCTOR HARRIS

Yes, are you familiar with the condition?

MICHELLE

No. What is it?

DOCTOR HARRIS

It’s a neurological disorder that results in unusual psychotic tendencies.

MICHELLE

Like what?

DOCTOR HARRIS

Well it’s technically quite complex and like most neurological disorders it’s really ultimately caused by a slight chemical imbalance but let me see if I can explain it simply.

Doctor Harris thinks for a moment.

DOCTOR HARRIS

You know those weird thoughts that everyone has? Like, if a turtle were to lose its shell would it be naked or would it be homeless? Or where do forest rangers go to get away from it all? Or why is abbreviated such a long word? Well normal people have those thoughts and then think that’s a weird thought I probably shouldn’t think of that and keep living their lives. People with writer don’t do that. People with writer obsess about those thoughts and keep thinking about them for way too long. It’s like..unhealthy dysfunctional daydreaming.

MICHELLE

Sounds serious. How worried should I be?

DOCTOR HARRIS

It can get pretty bad so I won’t sugarcoat it but some have been able to live relatively normal and successful lives despite it. Mild cases are a lot more common than you might think.

MICHELLE

How bad do I have it?

DOCTOR HARRIS

Well according to your test results you have a rather severe case. But I’ll have to ask you some questions to really verify the diagnosis. I do have to warn you though. Some of these questions may be a bit...personal.

MICHELLE

Not a problem. Go ahead.

Doctor Harris flips to another sheet in his folder and pulls out a pen. After each question and answer he takes notes.

DOCTOR HARRIS

Did you read a lot as a child?

MICHELLE

Yes.

DOCTOR HARRIS

Do you often spend time endlessly re-wording text messages and emails until they sound just right?

MICHELLE

Yes.

DOCTOR HARRIS

Have you ever thought less of someone due to their poor spelling?

MICHELLE

(Hesitant)

Yes.

DOCTOR HARRIS

Would you consider yourself popular in highschool?

MICHELLE

Yes. Wait....No.

DOCTOR HARRIS

I’ll let you in on a little secret. That last one is a trick question. People with writer are almost never popular in highschool.

MICHELLE

So do I officially have it?

DOCTOR HARRIS

Yes, one of the worst cases I’ve probably seen. It’s a shame really. Any decent doctor should have caught this by now.

MICHELLE

But you’ve been my doctor since forever.

DOCTOR HARRIS

Really? Have you still been coming in for your annual checkups?

MICHELLE

Every year! You always do that thing where you joke about how I’m now officially too tall for a lollipop but you still end up giving me one anyway...You don’t remember?

DOCTOR HARRIS

Well that’s embarrassing.

MICHELLE

Is writer curable?

DOCTOR HARRIS

Unfortunately not.

There is an awkward silence as they both stew on this.

MICHELLE

So what am I supposed to do?

DOCTOR HARRIS

Sorry, I probably should have lead with that.

Doctor Harris hands Michelle several pamphlets. One of the them is for a medication with a ridiculously long and graphically detailed list of side effects.

DOCTOR HARRIS

These will tell you everything you need to know about writer as well as your current treatment options. I’m also going to refer you to a specialist who can get you started with therapy and begin prescribing medication. Do you have any other specific questions?

MICHELLE

I don’t think so. This is just a lot to take in.

DOCTOR HARRIS

Well you can always meet with me or the specialist if you think of any. I highly recommend some of those online support groups listed. Some of my patients really swear by one. I think it’s called Medium.com? I’ll go get the specialists information for you.

Doctor Harris begins to head towards the door.

MICHELLE

Hey Doc? This might be a stupid question--

DOCTOR HARRIS

There’s no such thing as a stupid question Michelle.

MICHELLE

This writer thing. It’s not in anyway related to writing is it?

Once again Doctor Harris laughs a little too loudly. It’s demeaning.

DOCTOR HARRIS

As in the physical act of putting thoughts into words on a page?

MICHELLE

Yeah.

DOCTOR HARRIS

Nope. Completely unrelated.

 

Honest Everything

Honest Track Listing

1: Pretentious and boring intro
2: Radio single that you will briefly enjoy before it slowly drives you into insanity
3: Extremely extended metaphor about how love can be like a drug sometimes
4: Vague disses that are definitely not about my ex
5: Completely forgot I stole this so I’m probably gonna get sued
6: Pointless interlude you always forget about
7: There’s a hot rapper on this one so maybe black people will check it out
8: Yeah you better put your hands up because I told you to
9: Surprisingly good song that made you listen to this album
10: Let’s just call this a bonus track so I can charge more for this version

Honest Job Posting

GLORIFIED SERVANT
Salary: Way less than you’re hoping for
Benefits: What are thooooose?
Location: We’re technically within the city but plz don’t Google maps us
Schedule: Let’s just say you’re going to be here a lot
Minimum Qualifications: An attractive LinkedIn profile photo
Preferred Qualifications: An extremely attractive LinkedIn profile photo
Responsibilities: Fulfilling your new hellish boss’ every desire

Our hot startup finally has enough funding to provide our man-child CEO a personal assistant.
Dudes need not apply because we’re all just hoping for someone we can ogle between our manic coding sprees and it’s a pretty big sausage fest over here already. We’re also really hoping that our cool furniture, office foosball table and karaoke machine will be enough to distract you from how terrible this workplace and position is.

If you’re desperate enough, please send your resume to jobs@ourstartupisonitswayunder.com

Honest Obituary

So Chad finally had a heart attack last week. Social norms dictate that he was famous enough to deserve one of these but let’s be real he was kind of a dick and the world is in all likelihood a slightly better place without him. He was never much of a reader so I guess it makes sense to keep this obituary short and sweet in his memory. I also really don’t have that many nice things to say about him and the longer this obituary is the more expensive it is. Chad didn’t really accomplish all that much so instead let’s all just focus on how “vibrant” and “memorable” he was. He is survived by his two children Jaxon and Skyler who are both currently trying to figure out how long to pretend to mourn before squabbling over his estate. Chad’s funeral service is this Friday, please swing by because it will be pretty sad and pathetic if we’re the only ones attending.

Millennial Film Reviews

🔥🔥🔥 film criticism in 140 characters or less

CLUMSY CAREER WOMAN FINALLY FINDS A MAN
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Starring: Quirky chick, architect
This is a fantastic fucking film. Sure the characters, dialogue and plot are all paper thin but it’s amazing Netflix and chill material. You see what I did there? Fantastic fucking film? Where do I go to pick up my Pulitzer?
Rating: 🍆🍆

PEOPLE IN CAPES BLOW STUFF UP REPEATEDLY
Genre: Action
Starring: Everyone & their mama
It was good I guess. Just all a bit much. Speaking of which, did you know that 3D films now cost $18? MAN YOU KNOW I GOT STUDENT LOANS AND SHIT.
Rating: 😡😡😡

THIS HAPPENED DURING WWII SO IT’S DEFFO IMPORTANT
Genre: Drama
Starring: Meryl Streep
Way too long. People are putting out life changing content in 7 seconds online but you need three and a half hours to tell me about a couple of wartime scammers? And people say our generation is entitled…
Rating: 💩💩💩💩

DISNEY CHARACTERS GIVE YOU ALL THE FEELS
Genre: Adventure
Starring: Extreme vocal fry, token black voice
I laughed, I cried, I reminisced. 90s nostalgia is a hell of a drug.
Rating: 💫💫💫💫💫

UNDERACHIEVING MAN CHILD GOOFS OFF
Genre: Comedy
Starring: Adam Sandler, Judd Apatow stand-in, various other white dudes
All the funny bits are in the trailer. In fact, the only funny bit left out is when he comedically show his….never mind I just realized there’s a red band trailer.
Rating: 😑😑

EVEN MORE DEFINITIVE PROOF THAT THE WORLD IS FUCKED
Genre: Documentary
Starring: Academics trying to be cool, Morgan Freeman voiceover
Yo old people, we get it. You screwed us over – quit bragging about it.
Rating: 😩

Supervillain Gregg Popovich

INT. UNDERGROUND LAIR – NIGHT

COACH GREGG POPOVICH stares at a GIANT NAKED MAN that floats upright in a glass pod filled with water. Popovich runs his fingers along the glass and marvels at what is soon to become his newest basketball player.

COACH POPOVICH

It’s beautiful. This is your finest work yet.

We see that he is talking to a MEEK SCIENTIST who presumably created whatever this floating human thing is.

COACH POPOVICH

Can we make it’s hands bigger?

MEEK SCIENTIST

Bigger? They’re already a lot bigger than the last one.

Popovich gives the scientist a harsh look that says this is not a conversation we are going to have. He’s practiced this look on countless sideline reporters over the years.

COACH POPOVICH

They need to be even bigger.

MEEK SCIENTIST

I’ll see what I can do.

COACH POPOVICH

That’s not a yes. Are they going to be bigger the next time I come back here?

The scientist acquiesces and nods.

COACH POPOVICH

Good. I wanted to talk to you about Steve’s guy. Steph.

There is notable disgust in Popovich’s voice.

COACH POPOVICH

Can you believe the ego on that asshole? Who uses their own name? I thought Phil had a big head and even he had the decency to use the name Michael.

The scientist open his mouth to respond to this when Popovich continues.

COACH POPOVICH

And Steph’s not even better. He’s just more likeable. I thought we had that sorted out in the last release.

MEEK SCIENTIST

About that. It uh. It turns out the data we were using was a little outdated. Braids and a cool nickname just aren’t enough anymore. We can try to keep working on the personality but it’ll slow down everything else.

COACH POPOVICH

Forget it. It’s too late. Put all those resource into shot development. Let’s give the two Steves a run for their money.

Popovich begins to head toward a pair of large elevator doors before stopping and turning.

COACH POPOVICH

Oh yeah, I almost forgot. I know I’m being sentimental but let’s give Timmy a little more juice. I have a feeling that this is going to be the year it all clicks.

Popovich presses the up button and enters the elevator

MEEK SCIENTIST

Pop?

COACH POPOVICH

Yes.

MEEK SCIENTIST

The new guy needs a name. So far I’ve just been calling him Bobby.

COACH POPOVICH

Bobby? That’s not bad. He needs to be foreign though. People are going to start asking questions if it’s another American.

Popovich thinks for a moment.

COACH POPOVICH

We’ll call him Boban. Boban....Marjanovic.

The elevator doors close on a grinning Popovich.

 

Smartphone Eulogy

Nothing can truly convey the pain that I felt the day I lost my smartphone but I’ve prepared a few words that will hopefully illustrate why I loved him so much. My smartphone’s legal name was model 1289000-00-01-6568 but not too many people knew him by that. Most people instead just knew him by his many nicknames, my iPhone, 4169671111, and my personal favourite ‘don’t you dare try to mooch off this hotspot’. The two of us spent pretty much every waking hour together over the past few years and at times it felt almost as if he knew me better than myself. For example, one time he noticed I was feeling a bit sheepish about my internet search history so he recommend an article about how foot fetishes are actually quite common. Did you know that 11% of people are into feet? My smartphone did. I’m not sure whether it was all innate or whether it was due to his early years spent in the rigorous Chinese education system but he certainly was the smartest phone I’ve ever had the pleasure of interacting with.

Of course, there were hard times in our relationship too. For instance, there was one month where he had a cracked screen and I strongly considered moving on to an android but even during those strained periods of our relationship he would often help me out with fake phone calls and text messages.That’s really just the type of phone he was – a people pleaser who was always happy to put the needs of his family over his own. I think I’ll miss him most during the quiet moments of the day, such as when I’m standing in line at the grocery store or waiting for a friend who’s running late. Those would often be the times he would tell me funny jokes or ‘interesting facts’. I’m sure you’ll all miss him too. He’s probably in a better place now though. At least I hope so. Please let me know if you find him.

Post-Convo Monologues

Your Internal Monologue:
That was dumb. Did you really just say that out loud? Why the hell would you say that? What were you thinking? I mean everyone is bound to say dumb stuff every now and then but you pretty much said nothing else in that interaction besides that one dumb thing. No, the initial “Hey, how are you?” doesn’t count. At least if you had said a few other non dumb things they might not have noticed. The worst part is you were doing so well before then. Sure, you were secretly panicking on the inside, but they probably thought you were the quiet and mysterious type. And then you ruined it. You spent so much time building up this perfect persona just to shatter it by saying something so incredibly stupid. I mean really, I can’t emphasize enough just how dumb that was. Face it, your life is over now. You can never show your face here again. You’re just going to forever be known as the guy that once said that dumb thing.

Their Internal Monologue:
That was odd, I probably just misheard. I wonder if Chipotle is still open?

Adult Yearbook Superlatives

Most unexpected premature balding: That one guy that used to kind of look like Kurt Cobain

Most humblebrags per minute of conversation: Your co-worker who just got into crossfit

Most annoying Facebook friend: Your ex

Most gullible: The girl that keeps reposting really dumb conspiracy theories

Most surprising bigot: The guy you used to buy weed from

Most unsurprising coming out announcement: Spenser from glee club

Most captivating glow up: That girl you were once kind of friends with

Most likely to be a serial killer: Your landlord

Most successful: Definitely not you

Welcome to the Special Place in Hell

You are cordially invited to the special place in hell. The truth is you don’t really have much of a choice but we enjoy sending out these invitations to ensure that you feel the sense of dread that comes along with RSVPing for an event that you are sure to hate attending. Special place invitations are reserved for the truly despicable which means it’s actually quite the honor to be selected to participate.

EVENT PROCEEDINGS
3pm: Reception and networking
4pm: Keynote speech (Donald Trump on humility)
5pm: Intermission concert (Taylor swift & Pitbull)
6pm: Dinner
7pm: Networking
8pm: Lifetime achievement award presentation (Adolf Hitler)
9pm: More networking

Note: You will be seated at a table 24 with your slow walking neighbour and all of the weird people who clap at the end of movies.

The Year Ahead in Headlines

– Happy New Year! Here are some tips to help delay the eventual screwing up of your New Year’s resolution.

– Someone in Florida did something stupid again.

– Republican presidential candidate says something racist. While attempting to defuse the situation, he accidentally says something even more racist.

– You’ve already broken your new year’s eve resolution? Here’s where you fucked up.

– Angry mob of social network users threaten to jump ship after new feature is added. After spending a few minutes back in real life most decide to reconsider.

– Olympians overjoyed that we are all at least pretending to care about their sport again.

– Self deprecating celebrity reminds the world that they’re just like the rest of us

– Black teens turn unsuspecting white male into meme.

– Apple admits their last product was trash. But today they’re revealing something truly revolutionary -and it only costs twice as much as last time!

– Playing golf all year round is cool and all but this climate change stuff is actually kind of serious guys.

– It’s Columbus Day! Time to remind you just how bullshit this holiday really is.

– D list celebrity wears extremely offensive costume. Claims they had no idea it was offensive.

– Nerds still seem to think this bitcoin thing is pretty important. Let’s try to find out why.

– Remember that meme that was funny earlier this year? You can now give it to someone for Christmas!

 

Terrible Roast Jokes

Kevin Hart

– Doesn’t it seem like Kevin Hart has been everywhere the past few years? Kevin, you are aware that you can turn things down right? Kevin Hart says no less than Bill Cosby’s dates.

– As a matter of fact, I hear he’s going to be hosting a fundraiser for Jeff Ross and Hannibal Buress in the parking lot after the show.

Martha Stewart

– Does anybody know why Martha is here? Martha and Justin couldn’t be any more opposite. Justin is a young heart-throb that can fuck any girl with a pulse. Martha is so old after you fuck you should probably check for a pulse.

– They even have opposite styles. Justin is an innocent young kid that’s been trying to convince people that he’s a thug his whole life. Martha’s been trying to convince people she’s an innocent old white lady when she’s really the hardest person here. She’s the only one here who’s actually been to prison. Not jail…prison.

Pete Davidson

– I always wondered who the hell checks in the “other” box on the race section of forms and then I saw Pete.

Hannibal Buress

– Hannibal, I know it probably sucks that the first thing people associate with your name is a serial killer; but after meeting you, I have to say you’re parents were kind of ahead of their time with that one.

Jeff Ross

– Jeff looks like Humpty Dumpty after he fell of the wagon.

Shaquille O’Neal

– Shaq is 7’1. His girlfriend is 5’2. So when Shaq comes up to tell his terrible jokes and you feel like you’re being punished, just know his girl is going to take some way way way worse punishment later tonight.

Chris D’Elia

– I like to call Chris Tarzan because he’s a really handsome white dude that spends all of his time on Vines with monkeys. If you thought that joke was racist just know that you’re actually the real racist because I was just referring to his vine videos with Justin Bieber’s monkey.

– Chris is also Justin’s favourite comic, which means that when they hangout Chris gets to eat more trashed leftovers than homeless guy behind your local McDonald’s.

Snoop Dogg

– Snoop’s house is the only place where the smoke detectors are set up to go off when they don’t detect smoke.

Justin Bieber

– Justin is the only guy I know that somehow looks more feminine after puberty. You’re like the Benjamin Button of sexuality.

– Honestly, does it disturb Ellen that every time that you go on her show you look more and more like her?

– Besides the fact that he’s a former child star, you know how I know Justin Bieber is going to go broke? Because Justin allegedly paid to sleep with a prostitute in Brazil. Justin paying for sex is like Kanye West doing affirmations for self-confidence.

– Justin’s meltdown has given us some amazing moments though. Like the legendary smile in the mugshot. It’s funny because that’s the exact same face all the inmates made when they heard they were going to be sharing a cell with Justin Bieber.

– Justin says his favorite colour is purple. But I’m pretty sure he means that his favourite movie is “The Colour Purple” because that’s the last time there were this many uncomfortable black people on one screen.