A LIFE PLAN CHOOSE-YOUR-OWN-ADVENTURE BOOK BY SARAH LAMMER LET ME SET THE SCENE FOR YOU. YOU ARE A SENIOR AT A WELL-KNOWN ART SCHOOL ON THE EAST COAST. YOU’VE BEEN RUNNING A NEW STUDENT GALLERY/ ART SPACE IN DOWNTOWN PROVIDENCE CALLED EXPOSÉ, WHICH YOU CO-DIRECT WITH ONE OF YOUR BEST FRIENDS. YOUR ROOMMATE IS AN ASPIRING FILMMAKER. YOU ARE FAIRLY AMBITIOUS, AND HAVE WIDE INTERESTS, ESPECIALLY FILM, DRAWING, AND FOOD. TRY TO DO SOMETHING INTERESTING, WON’T YOU? START WITH ONE OF THE FOLLOWING EIGHT PATHS FOR THE NEXT 9 MONTHS AT RISD AND READ ON AS IT LEADS YOU THROUGH THE NEXT SEVERAL YEARS.
You decided to dedicate your entire year to Exposé; and nothing else. You become obsessed, a total square with the hots for a good business plan and conservative purchasing. You fail too many classes. You try to argue that business notes can be your thesis project. You lose your personality. Exposé is taken over by total nerfs that run it like an inviteonly warehouse show. You stay in Providence taking classes to get enough credit to graduate. The failings of the new “cool” Exposé team really puts a fly in your cheerios every time you see a confusing and mildly condescending poster for a new show around town.
Go to Page 2 PATH TWO
You balanced your own work with the Exposé biz and succeeded in passing it down to trustworthy directors. You are pretty happy with what you’ve done with your work. You made a sweet short film that played at the Senior Show in FAV and put on a killer solo show of drawings and prints at Exposé. You even have a couple cool zines and do some work for Mothers News. Exposé was crushingly difficult at times, but you made a ton of potentially career-making connections, and helped make the space never boring or pretentious. Perhaps you are even asked to speak at commencement. Also you decided to keep your little cat, Pierre, who no longer has ringworm. You are offered a couple opportunities from people you followed up with through Exposé. You also apply for a job at McSweeney’s publishing in California. Go to Page 3 to sequester yourself with your co-director. Go to Page 4 to get the job at McSweeneys.
Go to Page 5 to stay in Providence.
You discover an incredible and now obvious solution to unlocking the key to your fine arts work after coming to after a severe head injury acquired in a bicycle accident. You lose interest in Exposé and most of your friends and work constantly on your new oeuvre.
Go to Page 6 PATH FOUR
You fall in love with the traveling buddhist-doctorbonsaigardener-artist-homebrewer up the street, and run away to Indonesia.
Go to Page 9 PATH FIVE
Exposé failed, or at least was crushingly mediocre. Your perception of yourself plummets and you graduate quietly, unfulfilled and friendless.
Go to Page 12 PATH SIX
Exposé fails. I mean really fails. Everyone hates it. You lose your cookies and go on a freaky rampage, running fromstudio to studio destroying artwork in ripped children’s clothing and screaming bloody murder. Your co-director totally goes berserk and burns down 2ndLife and Exposé and attempts to take a chunk of downtown Providence with it. You pull her into a stolen VW Rabbit hatchback as she is applying a hairspray-and-lighter flamethrower to the wig store across the street and gun it out of the city, the police hot on your tracks, Paolino and his slumlord mob soon to follow.
Go to Page 13 to head South. Go to Page 19 to head North.
The well-connected anarchist you’ve been having a fling with wants to turn it into a deeper situation. Things start to get a little too heavy and you cut out. He doesn’t take it well at all. All of Providence is suddenly against you. You can’t leave the house without passing cyclists dressed in only shades of black and brown throwing empty beercans and manifestos at your face and calling you a heartbreaking fascist. With difficulty, (living in studio) you finish well at RISD, taking animation classes to hide from your tormenters. Someone else takes over Exposé. Emily grudges you eternally for ruining Loui’s for her and Isaac. You leave Providence immediately after graduation.
Go to Page 16 PATH EIGHT
You’ve been pouring yourself into your work, and your appearance has really suffered. You wear the same progressively dingier jeans and t-shirt every day, and all your shoes are coming apart and covered in ink. Before you graduate, your friends emphatically encourage you to dress better if you ever want to make it big after school.
Go to Page 27 to take their advice and stay in school. Go to Page 28 to look fabulous and drop out. Go to Page 29 to disregard their fashion tips.
PAGE 2 You snoop around the gallery, coming in sometimes and looking disdainful and asking a lot of pointed questions. You are eventually banned from the space when you have made it a routine to come in everyday to weep silently at whichever student is unfortunate enough to be working the desk. Luckily, your tiny cat, who miraculously you were able to keep alive through school, catches the attention of a wealthy cat show officiator. You begin a fulfilling career as a show cat breeder with Pierre by your side. You get a show on Animal Planet which is pretty fun although you know you are often portrayedas slightly disturbed and lonely. â€˘
PAGE 3 You and your co-director, still delirious from the success of your art space/gallery, begin to feel the shocking void of work after RISD graduation. You hole yourselves and a couple other school chums up in a remote little house in Warwick, Mass and convert it into your temporary studio, filling it with your grandmother’s old shag carpeting and mod furniture. You work part time at a pizza joint and start getting some voiceover work online, and your codirector does some work as a freelance personal shopper for a few rich folks around town. You are bored enough to make good work, and busy enough to get along well. You throw raucous parties that few can make it to, but meet some unexpectedly interesting characters from around town and entertain visiting friends from school. Throughout the year, you and your makeshift collective make some cool stuff. You produce several good zines. You get fired from the pizza joint when they discover you’ve been smuggling your zines in with the delivered pies. With the money you’ve made from online voiceover jobs, phone-sex hotlines, the pizza place, some freelance writing, and zine sales, you rent a space in Queens. You ship yourselves and your new work to NY and you both move there and reunite with another good friend who now runs a community garden and an eccentric lunch and dinner spot. You invest in a Risographprinting machine and begin to establish a small publishing press, mostly for your own work, but renting out printing time for the public as well. You make pocket money with more voiceover jobs. Your voice has started to become somewhat widespread as American English Female in Japan. You continue to work with your co-director on a joint project, and slowly your studio becomes more well known in the young art scene. You and your best friend are trying to make some Gilbert & George-style artworks, but it’s hard with so many other things going on. Seeking advice, you both end up working in apprentice positions with Tom Sachs and the Neistat brothers (whom you met through an Exposé guest critic series you both organized) and this sets you on a clearer path. You work to establish your ideal art space in Queens. You organize a pirate radio station. Later on, as the space gets more business from local folks, you open a lunch spot/café in the space called _______. •
PAGE 4 You get the job at McSweeney’s and fly out there, harboring intentions to start your own magazine, possibly with your codirector. You work at the magazine doing drawings for a couple different publications and eventually get to do a couple of your own quippy articles with your illustrations. You stay with your established-artist-cousin in San Francisco, and get to meet a lot of her cool friends. You still want your own magazine to captain, and you plan it constantly when you’re off work, using your new experience of layouts and magazine organizing. You find likeminded writer and designer types to help you with the content and organizing, and after a year and a half of hard work and near breakdowns, you finally print a first edition of ________ magazine. After the first edition you’re pretty wiped out. Go to Page 17 to recover in isolation Go to Page 18 to keep toiling at the magazine
PAGE 5 You donâ€™t get the job- instead you take an offer from a Johnson & Wales professor you got in contact with from a friend to work with him on a project to develop the perfect way to educate children and adults about easy cooking and the necessity of good food knowledge. You also work part time for Dan Wood helping with printing jobs and keeping Dan organized. You occasionally do some of your own prints and illustrations. You begin work with the JWU or Brown Professor, doing extensive research and a great deal of drawing of produce and residential chicken coop maintenance for a future illustrated book. You apply for a ton of grants to further the project, get a couple, and this takes you all over the country, seeing the way America eats. You write and draw along the way when you can. You are immersed in the project, and you and the JWU professor do a small talking tour of several schools and homeless shelters and community gardens. Itâ€™s received well, but you feel you need a broader way to teach people that cooking is not a stupid fad for white middle class food-bloggers. Go to Page 23 to continue with the collaboration. Go to Page 24 to branch off.
PAGE 6 People start talking about this drastic personality change you’ve had, and word gets out about the crazy shit you’ve been making. A couple curators from New York and Philadelphia come visit your studio, which is now half of the senior studio because no one wants to be around you anymore since you’ve become so unfriendly and manically productive. You quit school early and get an agent and have a solo show in a new gallery in Brooklyn. And then another. And another. Your shows begin to sell out, but making your work is all you care about. Your agent, on the other hand, is delighted with the monetary situation, and milks your madness for all it’s worth. You’ve begun to get very severe headaches and experience occasional black outs. Your agent continues to push you. The old Italian man who works at the deli you frequent insists that you seek medical attention when you collapse in his shop as you are ordering a quarter pound of sliced sopressata. Go to Page 7 to take his advice Go to Page 8 to ignore it.
PAGE 7 After an examination, your doctor tells you your brain is hemorrhaging and needs immediate surgery to avoid blindness and death. You go through with the procedure. When you awake 12 hours later with your head dramatically bandaged, it’s as though the past three years had been acted out by a different person. You meet your agent and step into your gallery only to realize that your work is completely distasteful and superficial to you. You return home to Philadelphia for some mental rehabilitation (you can’t seem to be able to walk backwards or see the color green anymore), and dedicate your time to writing and drawing about your strange experiences of the past 4 years. It becomes a fairly popular cult comic, and later is published in a classier compiled edition. You continue to write and draw, making comics and working at a cafe making very good sandwiches in Philadelphia. •
PAGE 8 You are struck blind on your walk to the mannequin warehouse to get materials for a new piece. A taxi kills you instantly as you wander disoriented into the street. â€˘
PAGE 9 Living far outside of Jakarta in a remote village, a sinking feeling begins to set in. Your betrothed has been out of the hut a lot and the conversation and non-conversation between you hasnâ€™t been as captivating as it was initially. It was just all too perfect, wasnâ€™t it... Go to page 10 to stick it out Go to page 11 to get outta there.
PAGE 10 You stick it out with the still extremely good-looking gardener and turn your focus to helping him figure out the perfect way to graft hops and cannabis plants together. Your relationship is rocky at best, but the THC IPA you brew together is pretty successful. You export it to Europe to great success; new buyers are demanding it constantly. Even with the great writeup in High Times, you are unhappy. You finally crack when you come home from the village with the weekâ€™s rice and ginger root to find your botanist beau entertaining three local girls on your woven mat bed. You completely lose it and try to machete all their heads off. Despite being twisted off homebrew, your lover is too quick for you, and you manage only to clip off a couple toes before he takes away the machete and tells you to whoa baby, chill out. One of the local girls, also blind with jealousy, cracks a full bottle of beer over your head, and you are rendered unconscious and soaked with award-winning homebrew. â€˘
PAGE 11 Living with the Bonsai gardener in your rickety shack becomes intolerable. You move to Yogyakarta, the cooler Indonesian city, which you hear has a thriving art scene and excellent street food from a puppeteer friend of yours. There you meet a charming Japanese chef. You follow Yukihiro back to Tokyo and he gets you a job working part time making plastic food for window displays at his restaurant while you take rigorous Japanese lessons at a university. â€˘
PAGE 12 While you are packing up your junk in Providence, you suddenly realize as you are winding up your string collection that it is all, in fact, junk that you own. Disgusted more than ever by your gross consumer ism and unnecessary accumulation of materials that only remind you of your failed endeavors, you donate everything to 2ndLife and burn most of your artwork. You sell enough furniture and supplies to pay for a one-way ticket to Tibet. You speak to no one and climb mountains searching for monasteries, surviving only on berries and boot leather. You finally find a monastery that feels right and sit resolutely on the floor until a monk agrees to teach you to behave properly and seek understanding through rigorous meditation. For seven years you study the universe through your own consciousness and the collective nonverbal knowledge of the monks. One day, after a powerful meditation session, you have an overwhelming need to return to your previous life in the ‘States. When you return to the U.S. and arrive in New York, you see some of your early RISD drawings displayed in an exhibition window in Chelsea, being sold for a fair chunk of change. You shrug, remembering your teachings of the past 7 years, and understand that ownership is a creation of the mind and therefore irrelevant to the enlightened. You continue on your barefoot journey through the city. You stay with an old friend from high school who you know will not ask too many questions. During the day, you offer earnest advice to people at the park in exchange for donuts and latté dregs. Later that year, a well-dressed androgynous photographer offers money for the chance to do a photo-shoot of you. You say you do not take money, but you will do it in exchange for vegetables and conversation. Mr. Mcginley, looking for a new direction after years of pretty youths floating around in dream worlds with kittens is very receptive to your perspectives on the world and becomes somewhat obsessed with you as a subject, although you are a little rough around the edges these days. You often meditate in his studio and have a reliable supply of fresh vegetables in exchange for your time. Late that year, the photographer publishes a ground-breaking series of life-size photos of you. The series is received extremely well for the most part, and you become an unintentional anonymous celebrity in the high art photography world. Mcginley, still taking meditation lessons from you, buys you a rooftop garden on an immensely tall apartment building where you spend many years. You keep bees and occasionally take in curious visitors from the lower floors who find your jars of raw honey in the elevators. •
PAGE 13 The Police have alerted local authorities to your misdemeanors and you have several narrow escapes involving entertaining several lonely sheriffs and stealing their watches and wallets. You eat nothing but burgers and pie all the way down through the southern states, and adopt a variety of different accents and disguises to prevent detection. You blast through the border fence in a magnificent leap off a makeshift ramp of dried cacti and broken down motorcycles, to great applause from the dozens of hopeful immigrants on the other side. You arrive in the big city after staying a few cold nights huddled in the car parked outside dusty tiny towns that are really just a gas station and a taco stand. Your co-director does not care for the spicy food, but you call her a wuss a lot and she eventually adjusts to ever-present chili peppers. You start a two person collective under new names, making really nuts work that hardly anyone ever sees, because technically you are still on the run. But you need money, so you... Go to Page 14 for the culinary solution. Go to Page 15 for a different sort of enterprise.
PAGE 14 ...start taking in tourists as a bed and breakfast with exceptional food served by two mysterious and offish artisttypes. The work you are making together is gaining momentum, and as the years pass, you bitterness towards the art world dwindles and you are able to convince your co-director to organize your new work into a show to put on display in your now sprawling complex in the outskirts of the city. Later in life, your tandem art careers (under new names) take off in Mexico first and then the U.S. and South America. You continue to Gilbert & George your way through the art world, having a pretty awesome time. â€˘
PAGE 15 ...get into dirty business in a drug ring in Mexico City. As you bite into your last juicy yet piquant carnitas taco, you are knifed in the gut by a competing gang member. Your handsome and troubled lover weeps over you noisily as you speak softly of hunting wild boars in winter. â€˘
PAGE 16 Your degree project animation places well in a couple student animation festivals, and you pursue an offer to work at a studio in California. (It’s not Pixar). It doesn’t pay super well, so you apply for several waitressing jobs. The vegan joint down the block doesn’t hire you because you do not have enough piercings and let slip your deep suspicions of tofurky and fakin’ bacon. Low on cash, you end up staying with your roommate from RISD in L.A. while you work far too hard at the animation studio. She has been working as an assistant production designer for an upcoming independent film by a pretty wellknown independent director. Being on set with her is pretty sweet, but the whole L.A. vibe is really not your thing. Go to Page 21 to stick with the studio. Go to Page 22 to move to New York for work.
PAGE 17 You spend a year or two in recovery working at your cousinâ€™s old residency job outside SF. You love the mountain and read and draw tons, and go into the city on errands for the artists staying at the residency. You slow down and recalculate, making new art and writing, and cooking all the time. You make a lot of cool artist friends and learn a lot about whether or not youâ€™d like to jump into the fine arts world. You start working at a small printshop in the city, and start putting together a small newspaper. The people at the shop really enjoy it, and you continue to write and draw the underground weekly, bringing in new collaborators. You meet one of these collaborators as you are watching him draw on the BART and end up getting sandwiches with him at the next stop. You work on the paper together for a while, finally profess your love for each other, and write an R. Crumb/Aline K.Crumb-style comic book. Later, you move to Seattle, have an unattractive yet talented child, and catch up with an old friend working at Light in the Attic Records. Much later in life, you move to some extremely romantic foreign locale and enjoy cult celebrity for your writing and collaborative comic work back home.â€˘
PAGE 18 You continue to toil at the independent magazine. If your codirector has joined you in this effort, your friendship is being constantly challenged with design quarrels and youâ€™re both really tired and wigged out all the time, and hate working on computers constantly. To save your friendship and sanity more than anything else, you put the next edition on hold (with some convincing of your co-director) and decide to travel for a little while. You pack your bags and head off for a WWOOF-ing trip. Go to Page 20
PAGE 19 As you blast out of Providence down 95, two white Cadillacs spiked with a mass of hairy forearms clutching berettas closely tail you. As reliable as the VW Rabbit is, this particular model seems more concerned with obeying the speed limit than evading bloodthirsty crooks. The two Caddys begin to pull up next to you, each driven by a Paolino brother grimacing happily and blasting Downtown by Petula Clark. Your co-director tries to blast them with her hairdresser’s flamethrower, but manages only to set fire to your shirt and singe off your eyebrows. Weaving dangerously down the middle lane, shrieking as your co-director attempts to put out your flaming shirt with the melted blue-raspberry Slushie in the cupholder, you somehow dodge traffic, the Caddys spraying clouds of bullets in your direction. Careening towards Massachusetts, the thugs pound at the back of your car until you lose control and spin out onto the shoulder. With no time to lose, and little to live for, you and your co-director tumble out and sprint past the mechanics shop and into the abandoned drive thru theater. A brilliant idea hits you- the paintball course they had been building appears to be up and running- you burst into their supply room, half-naked and breathless with terror and adrenaline, topple over the acne’d teen behind the counter and suit up for battle, paintball rifle slung over your shoulder, game face on. You hear the gruff shouts of the landlords’ thugs outside, and you sneak out back into the course, hidden behind palette-wood obstacles. The thugs are being pelted with zings of color from the kids on the course, oblivious to the danger. Enraged, one of the brothers opens a round into the air and everyone screams and scatters into the woods. The thugs kick over the obstacles one by one, getting closer and closer. A strange fearlessness overwhelms you, and you suddenly stand and open fire, blinding a few goons with furious neon pink and orange accuracy. Still firing frantically at the thugs, a volley of bullets reaches you, and you shimmy dramatically like a little art-school-girl version of Sonny Corleone. You die with a crazed victorious smirk on your face. Your co-director has somehow managed to escape the gruesome scene, hitching a ride off the highway. She makes it out of the country, and, under a new name, starts a rather successful design company in Norway, never speaking of the past, but always weeping silently when she’s had a few too many at the ice bar. •
PAGE 20 You drop everything and fly out to Sweden to do some unwinding over organic lingonberry harvesting. Upon arrival at your Swedish host’s farm, you are greeted with a throng of jolly young Swedes, all wearing a clover-flower chain and not much else. You are both handed a varmt glas of mulled vin, and then another, and you happily live and work with the nudist varmers in varmland for the next month and a half. After tearful naked goodbyes, you pack your bags, or rather stash a dozen jars of lingonberry wine and preserves in amongst your crisply folded unused clothes, and head out for the airport. Dåvid pleads with you to stay, but you know you have to carry on in America. You return the US and your magazine work, refreshed and on the right track again. After many charmingly worded letters back and forth, Dåvid travels all the way to the West coast to be with you. •
PAGE 21 You start helping out making props and some scenery and sometimes take off work to help out on set. You meet someone who gets you some voiceover jobs for $. You ditch the animation gig; they are starting to outsource a lot of their drawing to Korea. You work alongside your roommate and start to get paid a little for your scenery and prop work. Finding yourself with a great deal of free time, you wander the studios when your roommate is busy with production designer stuff, and you’ve finished re-painting the set’s walls for the umpteenth time. You stumble upon the set of a kids’ TV show, and sneak inside to watch. Hey, I could do that better than him, you say to yourself as the host speaks with a malevolent peppiness into the camera and men in pink and blue bunny suits “frolic” behind him. Inspired, you work diligently at the studio, slowly and steadily moving up in rank and pay. Commended around the studio for being daring in both physical feats (climbing tall ladders, getting yourself electrocuted) as well as social confidence (tactfully informing the set director when he is doing something idiotic), you make enough connections and $ to start your own venture. Your kids TV show is very small scale at first; you narrate, animate, and act in the show as much as possible, and have a solid crew of happy weirdos to make it really great. It starts out quietly, only streaming online, until an unknown 3D cable channel picks you up. It quickly gains popularity, among kids and kid-like adults, and you have a total blast doing it for the years to come. You fall in love with one of the puppeteers, which turns out to be far less disturbing than you’d thought it would be. •
PAGE 22 You go to New York City, driven to find success in the film industry. After more than several attempts at good work and a few fun but money-burning nights out, frankly, success just isn’t coming to you as easily as you’d imagined it would. You have to get a full time job as a waitress at a bustling downtown restaurant and bar to make rent on your friend’s broom closet you’ve been sleeping in (standing up). Competition for tips among the waitresses is tight. You acquire a sticky coke habit to keep up with the other girls. Your first crop of enhanced-performance lounge and bar tips is spent on more tip-making powder and several rounds of margaritas for the girls, with just barely enough to cover rent. You continue to over-enthusiastically wait tables at the lounge & bar until one hectic night you’re caught by the manager, craning over a serving platter in the back with two Benjamins from the register crammed up your nostrils. Now jobless in New York, and too ashamed of yourself to call up any old friends, you sleep hidden under a couch in a Barnes & Noble, and begin the search for new work the next day. Years later, unfortunate decisions coupled with experiments with homemade stimulants have crumpled your brain a bit. Your friends have grown famous and successful around you while you make Philadelphia Hoagies To-Go in cheap hoop earrings at the Port Authority Greyhound terminal. •
PAGE 23 You return to Providence to further flesh-out your plans for the project with the professor. You begin to realize that he may have some other ideas in mind involving your flesh, and after an unpleasant groping incident at the farmers market, you slap him across the face with a fistful of swiss chard and quit the project. Finished with Providence and the unpleasant gentlemen of academia, you leave for the West coast, eventually settling in Vancouver. Through a strange series of connections, you inherit a small Angora rabbit farm from an elderly lady friend. You apparently have a real knack for combing out rabbit fur, and bring in a fair amount of money through an Etsy store and the local yarn sellers. â€˘
PAGE 24 You decide to branch off on your own personal side project after learning a great deal from the professor and the extensive touring of American culinary centers and wastelands. Itâ€™s a welcome break of independence (that professor was starting to seem a little too touchy anyway), but the going is hard, and you have to put aside time around your bartending job at AS220 to write and research and illustrate. Just for the hell of it, you apply for that Slow Food University Fulbright grant in Northern Italy. Go to Page 25 to get the Fulbright. Go to Page 26 to stay in Providence.
PAGE 25 You get the Fulbright grant, and go to Italy to enroll at the Slow Food University in Bra, Italy. You arrive at the school in a rundown orange cab and are greeted by a dilapidated complex of buildings and a freckly girl with a basket of produce. You ask her in broken Italian if she knows where the admissions office is, and she responds in Georgia-twanged English, Owh, ahre you uh new stuudent heyer? Suuper! and hands you a few fingerling potatoes and fresh spinach. You settle in, and spend a happy week relaxing amongst the pretty Italians in the town and the intoxicatingly idyllic local cuisine. You also begin to realize that the Universitรก is a little more relaxed than you anticipated. Classes are infrequent and teachers either unreliable or incomprehensible. Your classmates appear to be almost exclusively middle-class white American ladies with food blogs, and you become increasingly resentful of their fantasy escapist attitudes. Toward the end of your frustrating but delicious time there, you fall in with a group of beautiful Italians from the town over. You accelerate your graduation and stay in Italy with your new friends, having frequent dramatic triangular romances. โข
PAGE 26 You don’t get the grant, but you had been beginning to second-guess the value of a group of upperclass white people fawning over Italian fantasy-land cuisine, escaping America’s own issues. After another year and a half, a rough draft of your co-authored book is ready for publishing. A young and like-minded publishing house picks it up, and it is published according to your wishes (no expensive hard-cover and no hipster-mom appealing cover art), and distributed cheaply and widely up and down the East coast. It does well, and you promote it like crazy, doing talks and blogs and interviews if you get them. Distribution widens westward, into those “food wastelands” you visited two years before. You know that a book in the modern era probably isn’t going to change the world, and also begin podcasting and hiring people to work on an accessible website for you as well. It does very well, and Jonathan Safran Foer gets in contact with you to do a joint project (perhaps a film). You realize your dream of starting a small lunch & breakfast spot called _____. Many years later, you settle down to get a food & philosophy radio show on NPR. After your death, a sandwich is named after you at the lunch spot: The Slammwich. •
PAGE 27 You follow their fashion-is-power advice, and buy a new wardrobe, subtle tones with occasional color accents, tasteful accessories, complete with a daring pair of heeled leather boots. You look fantastic and powerful. The day after graduation, you start down the stairs you always take to studio, laden with bags of luggage from your apartment, slip in your brushed leather, wooden-heeled, stylishly angled boots, and fall to your death. â€˘
PAGE 28 After you clean yourself up, trim your unwanted hair, get a new wardrobe, and paint your nails, all of a sudden you become so unbelievably good-looking that everyone wants to bone you. You walk down the street, it’s all like, “EEEYYYYY baaayyy beeee,” and “Whatchu doin tonight, honey??” At the mall, the heavily foundationed woman with the clipboard and Bump-it in her hair asks you, “Hiyouaresogorgeous have you ever considered modeling???” You flip your hair, utterly failing to look demure, and say, “Well gosh, I mean I guessss haha!” Your undeveloped ego suddenly explodes with selfish vanity, and you leave school to pursue modeling. You go on to model foot creams, toothpastes, deodorant, and all manner of hair-removal solutions. Later on, you get fat on free cheese platters on set, get fired, and have a series of plastic surgeries. •
PAGE 29 You dismiss your friends’ advice, and they once again look at you with bewildered pity as you wipe your dirty hands on your jeans. You stay in Providence for a few months, getting fired from jobs when the smell begins to offend the customers. Businessmen and old ladies start throwing increasingly large amounts of change in your direction whenever you go outside for a smoke break on the street. You start to catch on to their misdirected pity, and in one week you make about 50 bucks. You ditch your jobs, and start to go from corner to corner of Providence, making bank as a vagrant. You put on acts of illness, disability, insanity, and paying for the bus excuses, getting resentful looks from the homeless regulars of the choicest blocks. After 6 years, you pay back half of your school fees. A gang of panhandlers decides they’ve had enough of this upstart asshole college-grad, and gang up on you as you’re smearing your face with gutter debris one afternoon. They beat the shit out of you, and you are forced to escape to Philadelphia in a body cast, and live in your parent’s house for the next 40 years, sucking away their retirement funds. •