Barcelona, Spain. “Oh, the wonders of Google!”, Helen Robinson thought to herself as she typed her symptoms in the google search bar of her phone. It was somethig she did every night before going to bed in an attempt to prove that she was perfectly healthy, and yet, at the same time, on the verge of doom.
“It is amazing how much information we have access to these days. I google my problems for free and depending on my mood, sometimes I am positive I suffer from several terminal illnesses and sometimes I am absolutely convinced nothing is wrong with me. This however gives me just about enough leverage to alarm my family and friends of my impeding death. After a long and depleting suffering, that is. Only when they implore me to seek medical attention am I willing to admit that things aren’t actually that bad and that it’s probably nothing. Although at times I am sure it is something. And something really serious, like a brain tumor or the flu. Or both. But then again these things can’t really happen to me, can they? And yet, sometimes after doing my research on forums moderated by really experienced professionals, I feel that something is very, very wrong. Maybe. I think, but I’m not sure. So confusing…”
Helen almost made an appointment with an actual physician, one she eventually decided against. Her mood was pretty good the day before she actually planned on deciding whether to call the practice or not. “I’m sure it’s nothing” she kept repeating. “Atfer all, what’s the real value in actually knowing if something is wrong?”
Lying in bed at night with her friend Google, Helen felt a mild pain in her back. She quickly entered the symptom in the search bar of her phone, clicking on the first link that popped up: “Tumors in the spinal column may cause back pain from expansion of the bone or from weakening the bone, which in turn can result in a spine compression fracture, compression (pinching) of the nerves, or spinal instability.”
“Oh my Goodness, it’s the end”, she thought. “Tomorrow I am going to make that appointment once and for all. Of course, if I make it that far…”
Unable to sleep as a result of medical terms having a party in her brain, Helen kept scrolling through the internet’s verdict on her ulcer, brain and spinal tumours, dengue fever, flu and foreign accent syndrome, until she found a really interesting and promising website with a completely different approach to disease treatment. She had never come across something like it before.
Before she managed to fall asleep, Helen uttered a few grateful words for the newfound Google-approved medical goldmine: “Oh, the wonders of Homeopathy!”. Now she knew that whatever was threatening her wellbeing, had a cure. There was a way out. Hope.
She decided to learn more about it, prepare PowerPoint presentations for family and friends, advocate for the alternative medicine because it seemed to kind of make sense and then, maybe, call someone up and make an appointment. “Finally doctors realised there’s simply no gain in discouraging people from eating candy.”, Helen thought as she fell asleep smiling.
Written by Ana-Maria Taut, based on an idea provided by Anonymous.
Barcelona. Spain. “No offence to drummers, but I want someone to look at me the way they look at their favorite lead vocalist. Or at least at bacon!”, a ruffled green lettuce leaf thought to himself on Friday during lunch as he was pulled aside once again from a delicious Angus Beef Burger. “It is the curse of my kind, I know”, the little leaf hung his head. “I feel so useless most of the time and I don’t think it’s really fair, I am basically the only healthy component of this beefy monster. Be that as it may, I am always at the bottom of any sandwich, my properties all fading next to those of cheddar cheese, bacon, beef and even those of the wrinkly pickles.
Does anyone care that I am holding the sandwich together? That without me there would me no rhythm, no beginning and no end? That even though I am pretty much invisible, hidden behind all the other members of the Burger, it is me the one keeping the beat for the combo? No, of course not.”
There will come a day, I hope, when my kind will be respected and valued at its actual worth for the numerous health benefits it brings to the table, but also for quietly living in the shadow of other ingredients without making a fuss, without even requesting an upgrade to say, jazz drummer, you know, they do that nice thing with the brushes. Yeah….so I hope one day we get to take center stage and stop living the the shadow of…, of….
– What, what are you laughing at, you pig?”
Highland, Scotland. United Kingdom. The Loch Ness Monster, affectionately and justifiedly referred to as Nessie, reported a strange occurrence this morning as a consequence of unexpected eyesight improvement. While swimming in what he thought of as his natural habitat, he started to see something strange. A two legged creature was standing in front of him with a weird head out of which two eyes were staring. The next thing Nessie knew was that the two legged creature used his paw to raise Nessie´s world up to his head after which the waterlevel of his lake suddenly dropped. This made absolutely no sense. Soemthing like this had never happened before.
Ever since leaving the dark cardboard box he was stored in, Nessie’s senses started to improve. He could hear, see and feel better, enjoying the fact that he was placed in water soon after his release. Yes, the water temperature was a bit too high for his taste, but he decided to try and be flexible. Then out of nowhere this weird creature started to move and sipped all the water out of Nessie’s loch. Judging by the rapidity with which his natural habitat was destroyed, Nessie immediately realized that this must be the much talked about human creature, but he had no other immediate proof, as these creatures tended to live on land, not in water, and were rarely spotted among Plesiosaurs.
Excited by his discovery Nessie wanted to go and tell the rest of his kind about this incredible event. Right after being showered in the sink by the human creature and placed in a sort of dry cupboard along other cute fun coloured Nessies, the little cutie was ready to share his findings!
“These humans are so weird, right? Like they wouldn’t know we live in water.” – his brothers greeted him upon entering the cupboard.
“I saw a human creature, dudes!!!”, Nessie yelled excitedly.
All the other Nessies yawned and looked a each other: “A newbie”.
Written by Ana-Maria Taut, suggested by Anonymous.
Barcelona. Spain. “There is nothing like fall and winter for someone like me”, the eternally preoccupied area woman Wendy Autumn tells our colleague Juanjo Invierno during their interview on Tuesday. “Throughout the year there are many opportunities for me to think about the wellbeing of others and warn them against invisible dangers such as texting and driving or not wearing any sunscreen on a July afternoon (yes, you!). It’s not like people can’t look after themselves, but everyone is busy and may forget some small details that in the long run turn out really important. That`s where I step in, and let me tell you, by far the best season for worrying about loved ones is winter! Yaaaay!”
“Wendy, how does winter boost your preoccupation with the wellbeing of others?”
“Mainly, the possibilities and occasions to ask them if they put a warm coat or a hat on are literally endless. If by chance there is a snowstorm, I can also try and make sure they closed the windows and that their fridge is in full survival mode and by that I don’t mean a tortilla from last Christmas. ”
“Sounds reasonable Wendy. Tell us, what are your top three questions?
“Oh, God, this is so exciting! I mean, BY FAR, my favorite question is Have you eaten? Followed, of course, by its twins: What have you eaten? and Was it tasty? This is so cool for a number of reasons the most important being that it opens a conversation about food. I mean, what better topics are out there? You can discuss recipes, make plans about what to try next or where to go out to eat. It’s cool. And in winter especially comforting.
Of course, there is life beyond food, sort of, leading us to my second favorite request: Text me when you get home. This is a no-brainer for several reasons. Have you seen what goes on in the streets and highways today? People are mental. They drive too fast, they drive too slow, they are reckless when it comes to their safety and that of others. I mean, it’s really important to know the people I care about got home safely, whether they were getting back from a trip or just returning home from a night out.
And last but not least, Juanjo, I think I’m gonna go with Did you drink enough water? There is so much negativity in the world, isn’t there? Why choose to be a prick when you can just be nice to each other? And not drinking enough water is the root of most evil, wouldn´t you agree?”
“Wendy, how much is too much? I am sure the people closest to you have reached an adult age after having developed strong survival skills and an ability to lead an independent life. Is your enthusiasm met with resistance sometimes?”
“I have no idea what you`re talking about. Juanjo, what do you mean?”
“Wendy, should someone constantly worry about whether you’re hot or cold, whether you ate or not and whether you took your umbrella with you on a rainy day, successfully transferred from one bus to another without getting hit by either after you remembered to lock the door, but before drinking 8 glasses of water and putting a sweater on in order to avoid getting a cold because it`s windy today, how would that make you feel?”
“Honestly, Juanjo, that sounds pretty….that, that sounds pretty…. annoying… But it’s also kind of nice, isn’t it?”
Barcelona. Spain. “Everything you know about evolution is wrong”, PhD Roberto Bibiano states in a groundbreaking study about the evolution of species from fish to terrestrial animals. The main focus of Dr. Bibiano’s study is to establish the reasoning behind such an important evolutionary shift. Fueled by the intial question What on Earth can make any being in its right mind want to stop living in water?, professor Bibiano has conducted an important study and is here today to present its conclusions.
“Darwin is history. There is clear evidence that fish have consciously decided about 3 million years ago to venture outside of their natural habitat and explore the world beyond. We have observed that this sudden change was synchronous with another defining moment in the pyschobiologocal history of the species. Not long after fish developed speaking abilities something started to change dramatically. Amazed by the newfound possibility to expresss themselves, female fish were unable to stop talking, voicing millions of years of concerns and unspoken feelings, as well as detailed information about the character and actions of their female neighbors and coworkers, not sparing even the cutest starfish. I mean, seriously!?
Evidence points to the fact that this took a considerble toll on fish life and male productivity. While the female vocabulary is measured at approximately 30.000 fishwords, the male vocabulary is said to be as humble as a few phrases: yes, no and I’m hungry. It was only a matter of time until new challenges were raised among couples by this imbalance. It seems that at a certain point male fish decided to put an end to the overwhelming linguistc burden and face a dry and hostile world on their own. Many died in the attempt, some on rocky, some on sandy beaches, until one of them was able to set his newly formed foot on firm ground and walk away.
It’s a fascinating process, if you come to think of how far some species are willing to go to escape their loquacious partners. The struggle is real, no doubt about it.
Also, important findings show that timing is of the essence. This evolutionary step was possible three million years ago, but can you imagine something similar happening today? Legend says there’s a feminazi next to a semiautomatic on every beach in the world waiting for her man to evolve.
On secluded riverbanks of the Amazon it is said that tribes can still hear the female fish chatting away, this being one of the reason why the indigenous people moved further away from the water and into the rainforest. “We just needed our peace and quiet after a certain amount of time listening to their stories”, Captain RedClaw informs.
On a personal note, I would like to point out the following, much as each and every species may have changed, evolved, and adapted to hostile environments over time, we are yet to achieve a status where no human name will ever end in “Ano”, PhD Bibiano stated. I will probably not live to see that day, but I sure hope my grandchildren will, if they don’t live too close to water.
Written by Ana-Maria Taut on a suggestion by Anonymous.
România. Europa de Est (către Rusia). “Avem decât câteva probleme in România momentan”, declară Liviu Dragnea, președinte a mai mult decât bunul simț ar trebui să permită. “Este important ca societatea noastră să dăinuie așa cum o face încă de la Adam și Eva, când Dumnezeu a pus primul om pe pământ și l-a numit “dac” (eu și colegii mei lucrăm intens și la o ediție revizuită a Bibliei in versiunea PSD).
Pentru ca spiritul român să reziste, trebuie sa ne asigurăm că cetățenii cu o orientare sexuală diferită de cea pe care noi o considerăm corectă, vor continua să plătească impozite fără a beneficia vreodată de drepturile pe care statusul marital le oferă unui bărbat și unei femei. Sau nouă, celor căsătoriți, divorțați și cu gagici cu vreo 30 de ani mai tinere. Că decât ce e frumos și lui Dumnezeu îi place.
Este de asemenea important ca un părinte singur să fie pus la zid și judecat pentru alegerile sale. În special văduvele și văduvii trebuie să se simtă vinovați pentru faptul că le lipsește un partener/o parteneră de viață, eventual să plăteasca și o taxă pentru imoralitate (vom dezbate în următoarea ședință).
Treaba e clară. Uitați-vă la pensionarii, care dau cu ștampila de vot pentru o sticlă de ulei și un kilogram de făină. E o chestiune de perspectivă. Dai poporului drepturi, educație și idei liberale și încep să se gândească la lucruri ciudate, la ei înșiși. Incep să își dorească baie în casă, deși locuiesc la țară, încep să vrea să și iasă din spitalele românești, nu doar să intre sau chiar să spere că atunci când se vor întoarce de la munca din străinătate, copilul familiei tradiționale nu se va fi spânzurat de dor în grădină. Pe de altă parte, dacă nu dai poporului nimic în afară de ură, iraționalitate, foamete, neajuns și frustrare, un NU constant aplicat ferm și cu scârba obișnuită, observi cum un pachet de mălai primește altă semnificație, cum dintr-o dată cântărește mai greu.
Este important ca în România cuplurile hmosexuale să nu poată adopta copiii abandonați de familia tradițională creștin ortodoxă, la fel cum e important ca noi să ne identificăm cu faptul că suntem mai buni decât minoritățile, de orice fel ar fi ele: romi, homosexuali, oameni cu dizabilități etc. Valorile unei societăți sunt cele mai importante bunuri ale ei. Ori când o societate nu are nici un fel de bunuri, e important să creezi iluzia că ceva valori totuși există și că ele exprimă decât superioritatea morală a majorității.
Și nu în ultim rând, în timp ce lumea se enervază, discută și se ceartă despre absurdul situației sau din contră își redescoperă dragostea pentru familia tradițională românească, în fundal se pot pregăti legi importante pentru absolvirea furtului, traficului de influență, abuzului în serviciu și câte și mai câte, astfel încât într-un final nici kilogramul de mălai să nu mai fie un item sine qua non în politica românească.
De Colectiv am uitat deja în mare parte, deci trendul e pozitiv, speranță există. Iar cui nu îi convine, să plece. Noi vom rămâne aici, neclintiți, până când vom îndeplini planul divin de guvernare. Alături de BOR și de Coaliția pentru Familie, viitorul este …nu, haha, nu este Orange… viitorul este al nostru, și din 4 în 4 ani și al vostru. Mici, bere, de toate. O experiență de povestit nepoților.
Un ultim proiect pentru acest an, despre care vom da mai multe detalii incepând cu 8 octombrie, este propunerea interschimbabilității între adverbele “doar” și “decât”. Un studiu efectuat de specialiștii noștri arată că 90% dintre cei care au pus bazele acestui referendum, susțin, votează și sunt de părere că o familie poate fi alcătuită exclusiv dintre un bărbat și o femeie, de asemena consideră că următorul referendum de 200 milioane de lei ar trebui să vizeze schimbarea gramaticii românești “a la PSD” cum ne place să spunem mie și Vioricăi. Să vedem dacă românii sunt la fel de preocupați de limbajul nostru mioritic sfânt, pe cât de tare îi preocupă viața intimă a conaționalilor. Ar fi frumos. E un vis de-al meu. Decât așa putem ajunge cu toții să uităm că deși frigiderul e destul de gol, încă se mai poate goli. Și că cineva e mereu prezent la datorie.”
Spain. Europe. Ser y estar – every non-native Spanish speaker’s worst nightmare (if we don’t count the Subjunctive vs Indicative battle from Hell). Shakespeare may have asked the seminal question in the early 17th century, but the Spanish seem to have had the answer all along (or at least since the poem of the Cid saw the light of day).
“We inherited this linguistic trait from the Latins”, Spanish scholar Pablo Abra explains. The verbs come from the old Latin “sedere” and “stare” which translate into modern Spanish to different aspects of the verb “to be”. A sense of being permanent is attached to the verb “ser” and a sense of being transitory to the verb “estar”. Personally,” Prof. dr. Pablo Abra informs,”I believe this development was heavily influenced by weather conditions. If you look at modern Italian, you can see it is a Romance language who also preserved the particularity of the verb “to be”. Is Italy a Mediterranean country? Yes. Is it sunny there? Also yes. Now look at Romania. They do speak a Romance language too, but what is their climate? Aha! Less sunny with pretty cold winters! Whose influence were they under for 50 years? Exactly! The Russians. You see my point? Less reasons to be so freakin’ excited about affirming the value of existence through language.”
“Mr. Abra, tell us about how this all relates to Shakespeare?”
“In the early 17th century, when Shakespeare shook the world with his existential question(s) which he basically copied over from the Greeks, the Spanish were already prepared and armed with 340 days of sunshine/year, ready to dismantle the gorgeous, but unpractical musings of the English bard. Between us,” Prof. Dr. Pablo Abra continued, “Hamlet totally had a free pass at homicide, but was forced to complicate things, because otherwise we could not call it a tragedy, only lyric poetry. Basically, he could have killed his motherf*****ing uncle Claudius, but couldn’t be bothered. At least not at first. Most scholars blame it on the damp, cold Danish weather. It is said to get your mind all foggy, that it tends to cloud your judgement and you get overwhelmed by a sombre mood.”
“Oh yes, back to Iberia. It’s very different down here in the South. With abundant sunlight throughout the entire year, spectacular olive oil, fresh fish and an impressive variety of tapas, we, inhabitants of the beautiful world, are less concerned about having to kill our uncles. It’s more of a live and let live mentality. Okay, unless you are a bull.
As the Northerners wonder if they should be or not, doubting even if that is the right question to begin with (jeez), we Southerners focus on two perspectives:
“Perdón, cuál era la pregunta?”
Barcelona, Spain. “I am an adult woman. I cross the street only when I am supposed to, I keep my expectations in check and I don’t eat funny ice cream flavors. But when I lose at Super Mario Bros., I freaking effing lose all my sh*****. I mean yes, world hunger and preventable deaths, but have you ever gotten as far as world 6-4 to lose all your lives in a down-spiral of mistakes, anger and regret? I mean heavy drugs demises have nothing on this type of pain. Suddenly my swearword amnesia is lifted and the f and m and s words start dancing around the room. It is what it is.
So you can imagine my heartbreak when randomly checking a certain YouTube channel just to find that a certain player has found the key to all the tricks that let you pass through all the worlds (no warp zone shortcuts) WITHOUT dying once, and rescuing Princess Peach with 10 lifetimes of togetherness left. I mean…it’s hard to believe this level of skill, Pii98!
Consequently, I am writing this letter to let you know that I am suing you for doping. I hope you can understand, that you cannot get ahead of the whole world by playing tricks and ingesting performance enhancing drugs. You run fast, you jump high like it’s 1985, you stop when you need to stop without ever getting hurt, losing your armor or turning small. Really, Pii98? You think we’re that stupid? Are you aware how that makes us feel? Do you ever stop to think about how hard the withdrawal period is, when we have to go to work or take out the trash and can’t be there to rescue Princess Peach when she needs us the most? We can’t stay in front of the screen all day and take whatever you’re taking.
Whatever it is that you’re on, a judge will find you and he will ki…, make you take a complete drug test. I am already personally working on uncovering your whereabouts. It won’t be long, I promise. And from what I hear the punishment is severe. They can sentence you to a lifelong playtime as Luigi. I wanna see how you’re gonna like that.
Sounds like it’s time to come clean and lose every now and then, like the rest of us Super Mario Bros. obsessed souls out there. I mean it’s even more relatable, Pii98. You don’t want to put that kind of pressure on today’s 30 year old kids, do you?
P.S. Ain’t the 1985 original like the coolest game ever in all history of time? Oh, and what’s your favourite world? It’s okay if you write back from prison. I’ll wait.”
Written by Ana-Maria Taut, based on a great idea by Anonymous.
Rabbit Hash, Kentucky. “A technical analyst has been placed on death row by his employer after he ordered a wrong spare part for an important customer”, the spokesperson of the leading brand in the printing industry confirmed on Wednesday.
The news quickly spread, filling the community with fear and sparking heated debates among the company’s current employees. “While the decision may seem a little harsh, we would like to set an example for the level of dedication and concentration we expect from our workers. We don’t treat our business lightly and neither should you. In this case, a highly sensitive customer had to stop production for an entire day. This level of carelessness is utterly unacceptable and results in the termination of the employee. Like, literally.”
A general meeting is expected to take place tomorrow to explain the new rules to the current employees and discuss the details of the execution of their colleague. “Ideas are welcome with respect to the way of dealing with this particular case. There will be a poll on how to end our colleague’s life, people can vote and express their opinion. Also, there’s a free buffet for everyone.”, CEO Phseyko Patrick announced.
The thought of food seemed to calm everyone down. “After all”, one could hear colleagues talking among themselves, “they aren’t called executives for nothing.”
Meanwhile, the reckless technical analyst is locked in a meeting room, where he is given a chance to reflect on his deeds, until the execution is scheduled. Thinking of the extreme boredom he might feel locked up in there all alone with almost no battery left to his phone, a thoughtful colleague sneaked in a book to cheer him up a little. “He always seemed like a Kafka kind of guy to me.”
Written by Ana-Maria Taut, based on a great idea by Anonymous.
Barcelona, Spain. An unprecedented enthusiasm has been spotted among schoolchildren this year as the Spanish Ministry of Education revolutionarizes textbooks and mandatory subjects.
It is expected for kids to run to class on Wednesday, September 12, in order to occupy the best seats available as their hearts will overflow with eagerness to learn about things such as the mysteriously delicious Döner Kebab animal, the Barbeque Sauce tree and a brief history of emoticons.
“We are trying to meet them halfway. It is hard to win the attention of today’s children, thus we have decided to approach their world and address their interests and passions directly”, the spokeswoman for the minsitry, Quinn Sábe, declared on Tuesday evening in a press release.
It is said that optional courses on youtube vlog directing and instagram storytelling are in the making, to allow children to develop their creative side without the pressure of excessively many years of artistic tradition. “A clean slate.”
“We want to tell children that we think math has been undeservedly occupying the spotlight for way too many generations now. It’s high time to shift focus and teach practical things that immediately benefit the survival and wellbeing of our young, such as where one can harvest burgers, how one can use lasers to make a cat switch the light on, but mostly off, and how to boost the credibility of your pokerface, which will come in handy a lot over the next few years as children transition into adolescence, but why not, also later in life”, Quinn concluded.
Written by Ana-Maria Taut, based on a great idea by Anonymous.
Paris, France. L’Oréal, world leader in beauty, decided to keep giving to its customers and take the cosmetics market by surprise. Last Friday, August 25, the cosmetic giant released a revolutionary beautifying mask paying tribute to slasher film character Michael Myers. “Apart from hydrating your skin and visibly reducing wrinkles, this incredibly efficient face mask makes women run faster and manipulate sharp objects with increased dexterity. We are looking to push the envelope when it comes to bringing something new to the table and making our customers’ lives easier, more enjoyable.”, Joanna Carpenter, director of skin care products’ department shares with the public.
“The mask does wonders to your skin, it calms and soothes it, invigorates and nourishes it, leaving a soft, supple, and radiant feeling. A major plus comparing to your usual face mask is that it also provides you with a mysterious air covering your entire face, your head and your neck.”, Johanna continues. “It is designed to enhance your night vision and provide you with a sense of omnipresence. Once you put it on, everyone will start to notice you’re there.”, the label advertises.
The ladies who have already tested it, reported a confidence boost after wearing the mask, with some of them even reporting that this mask literally “saved their lives”, when they thought they had no place left to hide from bad and dry skin. Others, reportedly look forward to October when they plan to make use of this mask as their Halloween costume. “The multiple functionality of this product is undeniable”, Johanna adds. “After all, this is what we do here at L’Oréal. We develop the best products in order to make your skin healthier, your life easier, and your neighbors stay behind closed doors.”
Because you’re worth it!
Galvonia P83. A promising offspring of one of the royal Galvonian couples has let its species down about half a light year ago when he failed to conquer Earth over a rather trivial issue. Zosmus was quick to explain that this unfortunate event was caused by leaving the electric charger at home while on expedition on Earth. (Yes, he was repeatedly told by everybody else to stop being so pretentious and just forget about this renewable power nonsense.)
“I had about two thirds of the Earth’s population loaded in my space ship when I realized that the battery was really low. No way I could have gotten everybody back to Galvonia on 4% energy left. People of the Earth seemed to understand my pain over the low battery situation, although I don’t see how, and they promised I could come and conquer them some other time.”, Zosmus told his fellow aliens with tears in his eyes.
“I had to kindly ask everyone to step out of the vehicle. It was really embarrassing.”, he continued visibly affected by the event. “I don’t know how I could be so forgetful about the energetic level of the space ship. We were really close to Earth domination and I don’t know, Earthlings seem so nice, and they’re really good at sports.”
Standing in front of his peers and the Galvonian royal family, Zosmus did seem to have a valuable piece of information to share: “Mom, dad, brothers, sisters, friends, extras – I bind my honor to you, that what I’m going to say now is nothing but the truth – despite all evidence and common sense – the Earth is not flat. I tried falling off of it in order to speed up my return, but instead I sort of bounced, flying off like a feather. I am not quite sure what weird physics they have over there, but their planet is round like a yo-yo. Thank you….And sorry.”
Written by Ana-Maria Taut based on a great idea by Anonymous.