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Contributors:  Sunil Kunnakkat  Josh Eason  John Martin  Garrett Badeau

 Rebecca Bostick  Kayla Baltung  Xuan Ma  Beth Kobialka

Staff:     

Josh Eason Rebecca Bostick John Martin Beth Kobialka Rob Howard

1 | The Procrastinator


CONTENTS PROMPT: SUPERCALIFRAGILISTICEXPIALIDOCIOUS ...................................................................................................... 3 SUNIL KUNNAKKAT ........................................................................................................................................................ 3 THE WEAVER ............................................................................................................................................................. 3 JOSH EASON ............................................................................................................................................................... 3 KITCHEN STADIUM...................................................................................................................................................... 5 JOHN MARTIN ............................................................................................................................................................... 5 PROMPT: JAZZY FIZZLE ............................................................................................................................................. 7 GARRETT BADEAU ......................................................................................................................................................... 7 THE EDDIE EFFECT .................................................................................................................................................... 8 REBECCA BOSTICK ........................................................................................................................................................ 8 STILETTOS: A WOMAN’S TORTURE DEVICE .............................................................................................................. 11 KAYLA BALTUNIS ......................................................................................................................................................... 11 THE BOY WHO STOLE THE PINEAPPLE.................................................................................................................... 12 XUAN MA .................................................................................................................................................................. 12 CARDBOARD FRIGHT ............................................................................................................................................... 14 BETH KOBIALKA .......................................................................................................................................................... 14 HUMOR FREE WRITE ................................................................................................................................................ 16 GARRETT BADEAU ....................................................................................................................................................... 16 PROMPT: JAZZY FIZZLES ......................................................................................................................................... 17 SUNIL KUNNAKKAT ...................................................................................................................................................... 17 POISON IVY.............................................................................................................................................................. 19 JOSH EASON ............................................................................................................................................................. 19 THE BLUE LOBSTER SKETCHES ............................................................................................................................... 22 JOHN MARTIN ............................................................................................................................................................. 22

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PROMPT: SUPERCALIFRAGILISTICEXPIALIDOCIOUS SUNIL KUNNAKKAT

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. That word is ferocious This prompt is hopeless I’m about to mope, shit Super California, starring Arnold Schwarzenneger Come on, he’d make a nice Super California Fragile as in Axl Rose’s career I mean what is he even up to now? Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious… things? I’m so bored. I’m so goddamn bored. That last prompt drained the fuck out of me. All of the fuck. Thank the sweet Lord this is only 4 minutes I’ve got a HUGE urge to just keep writing the word swag until the prompt stops But I won’t, I’m better than that I’ll just talk about curry Man, curry is so good, who the fuck wouldn’t have curry Maybe I talk too much about curry Let’s talk about coffee

THE WEAVER JOSH EASON

I hope I never have to be a commuter. Spending countless hours sitting in a tin can in a hurry to sit in a line of cars to get somewhere only to have to turn around and sit in a line of cars 3 | The Procrastinator


again a few hours later. The commuter is strange breed. I have not come across a single one that seems happy. They all march on, seemingly programmed, to perform the loop over and over. Wake up, shower, grab a cup of coffee, maybe a muffin or bagel, get in car, sit in car for two hours, contemplate suicide for same two hours, wonder why all the other lanes seem to be moving faster for two hours, sit in front of computer terminal for 8 hours, sit in car for another two hours, complain about job and life until asleep. Repeat for 50 years. It’s an unfortunate scenario, because most can’t find a way out of the habit, mostly because houses and jobs never seem to exist in the same place. I enjoy sitting in traffic. Then again, I’ve never been in a rush. My daily patterns to and from work and school usually avoid the overflow of people that the morning commute brings, so the only time I run into traffic is when I’m randomly trying to get from one place to another. When I did have a job, I left early enough so I never had to worry about traffic. Unless I have an important appointment to make, I usually meander, I’ll even add an extra 30 minutes to my lengthy drive from Massachusetts to Troy, just so that I can enjoy the scenery of the back roads. So when I do hit traffic, I don’t react with the pure fit rage like most commuters seem to. Traffic gives me more time to myself, reflecting on whatever’s on my mind, jamming out to my ipod, and singing deafeningly loud and out of key. Traffic also lets me find the very common, very entertaining commuter: the weaver. Yes, the weaver, a driver who is utterly convinced that he can beat all of the statistical models that say fighting traffic is useless; who believes that by darting in and out of each lane, like an ant blindly looking for a new source of food, it can work its way forward against the bottleneck; who thinks the entire time they are making more progress than any of the schlubs around it. I will 4 | The Procrastinator


find a wild weaver in the sea of drivers, and wait until my car is alongside it. Then I will, assuming traffic is slow enough to allow it, make eye contact with it. I will make sure to stare until it recognizes my gaze. Then the weaver scurries away, usually cutting me off in the process. For several minutes it will vanish, and every time I wonder if this weaver is finally the one to buck the trend. But my lack of faith is always proven wrong, and I will, without making any concerted effort, slowly catch up to the weaver. Again I will find myself alongside the weaver, with a disheveled face as it becomes more stressed about the time it’s wasted stuck in traffic and all the effort he’s putting into overcome the flow. I’ll coolly pull alongside, with my most calm and relaxed face and I’ll make eye contact again. On the rare occasion that the weaver is actually paying attention to its surroundings, it will react like a child who just discovered Santa Clause isn’t real: crushed, everything they have been working for was for nothing, they were living a lie, and even worse, a lie they placed themselves under. And while broken, it looks at me; I’ll chuckle and watch as the weaver starts all over again.

KITCHEN STADIUM JOHN MARTIN

I believe in the existence of another world. It isn’t the Christian Heaven, Elysium, or Middle Earth. I guess it’s closer to Valhalla than any of those. It’s a place where the greatest chefs on Earth perform their intricate ballets on the kitchen floor, where they fight ferociously but at the same time elegantly, where all of the past is forgotten, and all future expectations are ignored. A 5 | The Procrastinator


place where, in the span of one hour, any ingredient from tofu to lobster, and even some things I’ve never seen before or since, are transformed into a 5-course meal of impeccable detail and nuance. Kitchen Stadium. (Almost) no one knows where it is, myself included. Nothing in the only document that hints at its existence, the television show “Iron Chef,” provides any indication of its location. It could be on Mars, it could be in Atlantis, Hell, it could be in Iowa. Or maybe it is in Valhalla. Maybe the organizer of Iron Chef, known only as “The Chairman,” is a servant of Odin. He assembled the chefs and has them forge their meals in battle. Maybe this is the only way to make food suitable for the great warriors who reside there, fighting during the day and feasting at night. Where Odin and Thor and Loki and Heimdallr are the pantheon of gods in Valhalla, Masaharu Morimoto, Yutaka Ishinabe and more recently Bobby Flay are their cooks. I would very much enjoy visiting this place and consuming some of the divine meals that are prepared. When I go to a local restaurant and its no-name chef prepares my meal, I think that it is delicious. I cannot even begin to imagine what this master race of culinary gods and goddesses could prepare with the finest, most extravagant ingredients, and a level creativity and skill unimaginable to mere mortals. Perhaps I am not even worthy…Perhaps my basic appetite couldn’t even palette the foods I would be offered. But I would still very much like to go, even if that meant that I would first have to die in battle with my hand on the hilt of a drawn sword, as the Norse believed was the only way into Valhalla. 6 | The Procrastinator


PROMPT: JAZZY FIZZLE GARRETT BADEAU

Willy Wonka opens up a New England jam company, and the newest flavor is Jazzy-Fizzle. It’s sponsored by the Jam-Man, Jack Nicholson, and the back track of the advertisement is Janis Joplin’s Bobby McGee. Jack Nicholson sits at a table with his chin fat sticking out, and he butters up a delicious piece of toast with the jam. The trick here is that the jam is for a very specific group of people—people who are too embarrassed to pop a thorazine pill and want to take their anti-psychotics while munching on an enchanting piece of wheat bread. He walks off set and pushes the talkative producer backwards. He says he wants a Subway sandwich with only pickles and mustard and half a cup of cognac mixed with the jam. He’s ready to get Jazzed Up—that’s what the company decided upon. It’s not a too imaginative slogan because they want their customer to feel like he might have thought it up when with friends. He walks around with a huge gash in his neck from the time he went without the medication for too long, and he felt himself losing himself to the forces of schizophrenia. He might say that the only way to get out is to feel an uncontrollable rage and let loose. So he did that and went into the kitchen. He hit his fist on the newspaper, but it lifted up a spork that was left in a Chinese take-out box from two nights ago, and the flying spork hit him right in the neck. He went to the hospital, so he wouldn’t bleed to death. The special spork extraction official had to be called in from two towns over. It wasn’t all bad though; now when he rides his bike through the trails 7 | The Procrastinator


that wrap around the Koi pond nobody stops him to look at his bill fold because they know that he is a crazy mother fucker who stabbed himself in the throat with a piece of Americanized Chinese cutlery. I feel better because of it, and now that I know, I would really like my own jar of Jazzy Fizzle and a glass of imported Canadian cider to coat my palette after the taste of sanity burns the back of my mouth hole. It’s always good to have enthusiasm for the products that adorn your pantry and refrigerator door.

THE EDDIE EFFECT REBECCA BOSTICK

I first met Eddie at orientation while standing in a circle of my new floor mates. We introduced ourselves one by one, stating name, hometown, major, and other such forced nonsense, but when Eddie’s turn rolled around he definitely stood out. In a voice far louder than anybody else had used so far in the icebreaker, he proudly proclaimed, “My name’s Eddie, and I’m a big boy!” I’m not even sure if anyone laughed or not, but the overall reaction was awkward, people glancing around, eyebrows raised and not knowing what to say. I’d imagine most of us were basically thinking the same thing. Who the hell is this guy? My second encounter was in the hallway as I made my way through a large group of people listening to Eddie play the guitar. He was strumming some made up tune and creating the lyrics on the fly. Generally his songs didn’t usually make sense 8 | The Procrastinator


and he threw in Spanish phrases and sexual innuendos whenever possible. Some people, myself included, found Eddie hilarious. Others were sort of uncomfortable with him. But it wasn’t long before we all began to consider him somewhat of a floor mascot. Later at an orientation event I learned that not only could Eddie make music, but he could also dance. The guy had some smooth dance moves. He could move his hips in ways that I could not even imagine mimicking. One of his favorite routines involved some dirty dancing, during which he’d bump and grind his ass against any available target, girls, guys, walls, and even the air when all else failed. I don’t think anyone was surprised when he became one of the three males on the cheerleading team. With his loud voice and energetic personality, cheerleading was a great fit. Always enthusiastic, he would occasionally come up with his own cheer routines and show them to me in the hall. My personal favorite has to be “Moan in a Different Tone”. He clapped his hands to make a rhythm, and the chant went something like, “Moan, in a different tone! Let’s all moan, in a different tone!” And then Eddie would do just that, first moaning in a throaty, guttural voice and then in a high pitched squeal, crouching down and leaping up again to add emphasis. And you definitely haven’t lived until you’ve experienced a genuine Eddie birthday party. You’d know it was someone’s birthday when Eddie was jogging through the halls announcing the special day and herding everyone into the third floor study rooms to celebrate. And if he saw you, you’d better participate in the 9 | The Procrastinator


makeshift party. Eddie would not take no for an answer. So whoever was around at the time would all end up singing happy birthday to the lucky student. Eddie added to the end of the happy birthday song with his guitar and made up lyrics every time, making everyone laugh but also feel sort of embarrassed as he gave a lap dance to the birthday boy or girl. Eddie’s real claim to fame had to be his habit of running around in his underwear though. He did it so often in the beginning of the year that a couple of guys convinced him to cross dress, complete with makeup and a stuffed bra, and wait in someone’s bed as a prank. One day Eddie received an anonymous gift from someone on the floor, which turned out to be a pair of Batman briefs from Walmart. As if he needed any more encouragement to go pants-less. As Eddie and I became better friends, some of my weeknights became a bit more interesting. I’ll never forget the time that he placed me, probably around the same height and weight as him, on top of his shoulders and carried me through the entire dorm. I won’t lie, going down the stairs that way was absolutely terrifying. Then there was the time where we ventured outside in our bare feet at one in the morning as a study break, and preformed an interpretive dance to represent the food at Commons dining hall. Eddie’s dance was far better than mine, naturally. To be honest, I’m not even sure if my descriptions can do Eddie’s personality justice. He’s got more spirit than anyone I’ve ever met in my life, and has the rare ability to make me laugh in 10 | T h e P r o c r a s t i n a t o r


almost any situation. Without Eddie, my freshman year may have been a hell of a lot more normal, but nowhere near as interesting.

STILETTOS: A WOMAN’S TORTURE DEVICE KAYLA BALTUNIS

Wearing stilettos is like tiptoeing on cobblestones—it’s extremely painful, and you feel like you’re not really going anywhere. Those heels—six inches, perhaps—stretch my toes like they will never be able to function properly again. They cripple my feet after just five minutes, and I limp like my legs were just sliced, shot, bitten, or mutilated in some crazy, agonizing way. But no, I was not approached by a sword, gun, or rabid dog—I was just wearing those heels, those heels that rival those other terrible fates and so closely resemble hell. Yet, we still wear them to enhance ourselves in some ways: to be taller, to be more elegant, to be more feminine, to be more attractive. Why do we do this to ourselves? Is it because we want to all feel like seven-foot-tall supermodels, strutting our stuff, looking down at everyone, and feeling glamorous? Is it because we want to match up to the height of our men, so we don’t feel so short next to them? Is it because we want our shoes to be our hidden weapons for anyone attempting to intensely hit on us at any random point, so that we stab our spikes through their shoes and tell them to fuck off? Or, is it because we all secretly want to be slutty versions of Cinderella, using our sex shoes to get attention and a potential date in bed? I don’t know the true answer, but what I do know is that these shoes are pure pain. Indeed, we often have to sacrifice our comfort for looking good, so we have to simply endure the pain of those foot-killers 11 | T h e P r o c r a s t i n a t o r


for now—tiptoeing on those cobblestones of discomfort, stretching our feet like the Chinese did back in the day until our feet break beneath us and we can no longer walk. At least, that’s what will probably happen if we keep using these torture devices in due time. And all for just gaining height and apparently looking better. Couldn’t we have thought of something better by now, for fuck’s sake?

THE BOY WHO STOLE THE PINEAPPLE XUAN MA

The boy who stole a pineapple with a funny name “You You”, lived in a crazy country and a studied in a stupid middle school. He had an English teacher, whose family name is “Hu”. How can an English teacher have this kind of name?! Who’s hu? Or Hu is who. He also got a political teacher name “ She He” (‘family name, given name’). Can you tell me what the teacher’s gender is? She was just a middle-aged woman, yelling ‘Mao Tse-tung Thought, Deng Xiaoping Theory, three represents theory’ all day long, hypnotizing her students. One day, when he was running around the school (for passing PE, I guess). I did not know what he was thinking about, he was always ‘creative’, but not in a hip-pop singer way. Maybe he was hungry, or he just wanted some sting on his hands. He did a very courageous thing; the one even could be recorded in human history. He stole a pineapple from a fruit stall! He may have thought it was a mission impossible. He was so excited and generous, could not wait to show the pineapple around 12 | T h e P r o c r a s t i n a t o r


to his classmates. The whole class boiled when he was flaunting his pineapple, like they had never seen a pineapple before. However, He did not notice that the fruit stall owner noticed his stealing, followed him secretly like a professional spy, and then condemned his guilty behavior to his teacher wrathfully. His mother hurried to school after the phone call from his teacher in charge-“She He”. I could not ever forget her facial expression, which was exactly like her name “Ou Mai Gao”. And her eyes were full of confusion when the teacher handed her a pineapple when she just opened the door of the office. “What do you think? Any clue? ” , “She He” asked “Ou Mai Gao”, quoted every word slowly and deadly like Premier “Wen” answering reporters. The boy “You” stole the pineapple stood behind the teacher, bowing his head. Some kids sneaked around the office, leaning their heads to have a look and tittering. I was one of the kids, of course. “I am sorry, I have no idea.” The mother “Ou Mai Gao”, squintingly looked her son “You”, holding the pineapple anxiously. “It is not a reward, it is a thievery.” The teacher answered. “ How about let Mrs ‘Sun Bi Chi’ told you the story. She was the victim.” “ Don’t waste time, it is just a one sentence summary: Oh, my god! You stole a pineapple from son of bitch!” English teacher “Hu” finished the conversation as quickly as possible.

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CARDBOARD FRIGHT BETH KOBIALKA

I grew up in a very relaxed household. My parents were strict when they needed to be, but easy-going as often as possible. My family tended to have a sense of humor which was dangerously close to schaden-freunde and we often end up laughing at odd and inappropriate times. So the fact that I am easily startled and nearly kill myself from fright every time someone scares me has caused no end of amusement. It can be quite disconcerting to hear your mother giggling over the fact that you nearly fell down the stairs just because you didn’t notice her standing in the hall. My father just likes to hear the stories or witness the aftermath of these experiences because he’s as easily startled as I am. My brother though is in a league of his own; he has terrorized me for years, as we grew up his favorite tactic was to simply pop out from behind a corner. He has made me deathly afraid of cemeteries and convinced me that dogs with glowing red eyes lurk behind every car after dark. It is nearly sad how many years it took me to realize that it was simply brake lights on the road. The first time my brother toilet papered my bedroom, it was after my parents had gone to sleep. They didn’t know what had happened until the next morning. My reaction was so amusing, they decided, that as long as we cleaned up the mess they didn’t mind. This lead to a game: we went back and forth and whoever had the extra set of hands for the night would try to cover the other’s room with toilet paper. I say try because while I sleep like the dead and nothing can wake me, it seemed as though my brother was always awake. Every time Kate and I, Kate being my most frequent partner in crime, tried to sneak into his room once he was asleep he would without fail say “Get Out” in a low dangerous voice. Spooked we would run as fast as we could to the bathroom, it’s the 14 | T h e P r o c r a s t i n a t o r


only door in the house with a lock. We camped there until we sure we weren’t pursued, ears pressed to the door listening for any sounds of movement. I remember one night we even dressed all in black and put dark eye shadow streaks on our faces, like G.I. Joes dressed in camouflage ready for battle. We didn’t get far, even army crawling he would notice us enter his room and get us out. I think we were giggling a bit too much to be stealthy. One Friday night, when I was about eight or nine, I went to sleep early because I wanted to wake up early for the Saturday morning cartoons. That night my brother had his friend over so I knew I would have toilet paper covering my room when I woke; and though there were enough clothes on my floor for the piles to classify the room full of land mines, I knew it wouldn’t stop them. I had high hopes that it would hinder their progress. I set my alarm clock to wake me at seven and with one last look over my nightlight lite room I fell asleep. My alarm clock was a horrible contraption, bright red with this green dial to select what nasty grating noise you wanted to drag you from sleep and shock you into an awakened state. The next morning it woke me with a garbled, shrill form of London Bridge and I startled awake and slammed the alarm clock with my hand to stop the offending noise. I opened my eyes expecting to see the nice light purple of my walls, or the dark purple and beige paisley of my curtains lite up by the warmth of the morning sun. Instead I was suddenly face to face with this disgusting monster. It had a head shaped like a Storm Troopers helmet; bright white, with a flattened top and rounded edges, a cylinder top flaring out into a square jaw. The jaw housed a mouth like the un-helmeted Predator; all distorted and bug like, with sharp teeth grouped close in the center and grabber appendages that looked like crab Sunil fallout though; my parents laughed the next morning after they were allowed to sleep, and they did make him get rid of that 15 | T h e P r o c r a s t i n a t o r


cardboard monstrosity that made me scream. I don’t even know if my brother remembers this, but I do; I still hate him a bit for it too

HUMOR FREE WRITE GARRETT BADEAU

My life sometimes seems screwed up, but I like it that way. Some years ago in high school I approached my friend Dante to ask if he was hungry. He said, "No, I smoked a joint for breakfast." We arrived at earth science, and the gothic chick and her white trash friend, aptly named Crystal, came in together. Crystal had the enchanting habit of narrating her wildly inappropriate sexual encounters. On one particular Monday afternoon, I chanced upon the distinct pleasure of hearing the unabridged version of Friday night. Her upperclassmen friend Bob, who was slightly taller than me and adorned a Mexicano-esque lip decoration, starred in that week's "romatic expose". He seemed like a friendly lad, and he always wore a blue sweatshirt. Anyway, Crystal came into class, walked over to me and told me to look as she simultaneously lifed up her sweatshirt, revealing her undershirt. Her white tank top was written on with a fabric pen, or maybe a washable Crayola marker, and it read in big letters: "BOB WAS HERE" with an arrow pointing to her genitals. Later I realized the arrow to be a perfect plagiarism of the arrow found at a McDonald's drive through. Although immediately frightened, I later came to love that moment because it brought her such unrestrained joy that she found herself wanting a piece of apparel commemorating such a divine encounter.

Years later I find myself reclining in a friend's armchair while the five of us debate hitting the clubs. We are all of different mind. 16 | T h e P r o c r a s t i n a t o r


A beatles poster catches my attention for a minute or two, fifteen tops. I hear Erin say, "You guys go, I'll just go to Grand Union (a now bankrupted supermarket) and have a beer in the parking lot."

PROMPT: JAZZY FIZZLES SUNIL KUNNAKKAT

Seriously, jazzy fizzles? Like fizzle with an f as in fuck this motherfucking prompt? And what the fuck was the other one, cigarettes and French toast? I consume neither, which is sort of a secret blessing because I have the freedom to twiddle my fingers until something remotely interesting splashes onto this screen. But seriously, jazzy goddamn fizzles? Jazz fizzes? Are we talking about some avant garde shit? I hope to dear God that it’s some poorly manufactured bubble gum that can lead to lead poisoning, so then I’d have something to talk about. I mean, I’m talking now but I’m pretty sure this doesn’t come close to Bob Dylan. I mean, it’s Bob Motherfucking Dylan. He can play a harmonica, one whole harmonica, and a guitar at the same fucking time. Not to mention he can shatter mirrors just with his voice. It’s stunning. I like the part where he’s a poet. No really, I do think he’s got a way with words. Though I’m also pretty sure if Walt Whitman knew chords, he’d be just as good if not much much better than Mr. Bob Dylan. Mr. Bob Dylan. But seriously, jazzy fizzles? Or was it jazz fizzles? Did someone actually try to write about jazzy fizzles? I’m kind of curious right now. No I’m not. I could care less. I’ve got to write an ass ton of code before midnight tonight. As much as this attempt at a monologue is stress relief, I’ll be trapped in a library from 4 to 6 trying to make up for all of my procrastination. But 17 | T h e P r o c r a s t i n a t o r


hey, I like music. I can’t help it. As in when I’m supposed to do work, I listen to an ASS TON of music, not write an ASS TON of code. And I’m a comp. sci major. And you can’t divide by the amount of fucks I give over coding in Java. THAT is some jazzy fizzle, I shit you not. Java is some really bad jazzy fizzle that could probably lead to lead poisoning. But yeah, fuck cigarettes. Just fuck ‘em. Fuck if you’re offended. Ok not really, b/c I don’t enjoy the idea of bad blood. But seriously fuck ‘em. And why would I eat French toast when I could eat curry? Pounds upon pounds of curry? THAT’S WHAT I MISS ABOUT HOME, more curry. Do you just see what I did there? Pretty fly ass shit. Why am I cursing? Well wait I know the answer, some other brilliant man did it. Broke the comfort zone barriers. Set sail across the expletive sea and picked up some samples for us to have a gander at. And so I shall follow bravely in his footsteps. Cigarettes? Fuck ‘em. New paragraph. A nice clean new paragraph. If I end up reading this out loud because I want to live on the edge, I’m assuming that by this point whatever I’ve read out loud right now is kind of shitty. So I’ll take this moment to make myself switch topics. What’s the deal with mayonnaise? I mean, what is its value to this world really? It’s below jazzy fizzle. If I could choose between jazzy fizzle and mayonnaise, I’d choose curry. I lucking fove curry. And now I’m getting tired of myself. This isn’t even my style, I’m just so gloriously unhappy with the prompt that my attempt at avoiding it is just silly. Just 5 nickels silly. 5 whole nickels. Man I miss Bob Dylan. Oh wait, is it 13 minutes yet? Fucking Christ, if I’m put on the spot for this shit I swear I’ll flip a shit. Shit everywhere. My spew of words just flying all up in yo’ face. It gets pretty cray up in here. Fish fillet. What’s that ‘Ye? Fish 18 | T h e P r o c r a s t i n a t o r


Fillet. Ball so hard, motherfuckers want to find. I have so much money in my pockets, random members of our community truly want to hunt me the fuck down. Isn’t that lovely. How the fuck is this still going on? I could be writing code. I guess I’m just enjoying this. Eh, fuck it. Swag.

POISON IVY JOSH EASON

When most people think about poison ivy, they imagine a few days of an irritating rash, and maybe the awkward consistency of calamine lotion that is used to ease the itch. I, however, do not fall into that category. If I even look at a picture of some fossilized remains of poison ivy, I will break out in a rash everywhere. I was blessed with my mother’s allergy to poison ivy, and when I show even the slightest rash, it’s a rush to get in contact with a doctor to get a prescription for steroids, the only thing that really does me any good. I‘ve always known how terrible my allergy is, and for most of my life I have always been overcautious about risking exposure. Any trek into deep woods involves me to wearing long jeans with socks pulled over them, along with a long sleeve shirt, even on hot 90 degree August days, to keep me as protected from the oil as possible. So it still embarrasses me that I could have completely avoided my worst exposure to the awful urushiol oil. In the summer leading into junior year in high school, I was stopping by my friend Pat’s house to help him finish packing for our yearly trip to my family’s Cape Cod house. When I got there, 19 | T h e P r o c r a s t i n a t o r


he was behind his house doing yard work with his dad. Some way or another, we wound up in the trees behind his house. While we were passing through, Pat pointed at a tree. “Watch out for that poison ivy hanging right there,” he warned, drawing attention to what clearly looked like a tree branch. “Poison ivy?” I said. “That’s just a tree branch.” “No, it’s poison ivy. I’m back here a lot; I’ve gotten very good at spotting it,” he replied. Like hell he knew more about what poison ivy looked than I did, and I had never heard of poison ivy growing on a tree—I’m still baffled that I didn’t know this at the time. “You’re wrong; that’s a tree branch.” “No, it’s an ivy vine; don’t touch it.” “Poison ivy doesn’t look like that.” “It definitely can.” “I don’t believe it.” This exchange went on for about another 5 minutes until I became so convinced that it wasn’t poison ivy that I proceeded to take a leaf from the branch, and rub it on my arm. “Haha,” I thought, “surely he’ll believe me now!.” Pat just stared at me speechless, unable to comprehend the utter stupidity he just witnessed. Right after that, he led me inside to the computer 20 | T h e P r o c r a s t i n a t o r


room and brought up the Wikipedia page for poison ivy and started reading. Paraphrased it read: Poison ivy, a plant known for the

rash it causes when its oil comes in contact with skin. It can grow as either a small plant with 3 leaves, or a vine that can climb structures and trees. Also posted was a picture of an ivy vine, which happened to have an uncanny resemblance to the vine outside. It was at this point that I began to panic. After an extensive attempt to wash the exposed area with poison ivy soap, we got ready and headed down to Cape Cod for the week with a few other friends. After two days, the exposed area was amazingly rash free. The rest of my body, however, had turned into a war zone. One quick call to a doctor got me to the fast lane for a prednisone (non-anabolic steroids) prescription to treat the outbreak. While it would bring the spread of poison ivy under control, it had the unfortunate side-effect of making me extremely irritable. For the first few days I was about as stable as Bruce Banner. At one point, I threw my friend Fabian to the ground because he was bouncing a ball. The thud of the ball just got under my skin, and I had to stop it, so I threw him to the ground (in a very controlled manner). After a trip to actually see a doctor, I was given some antihistamines that would significantly help with the itch, which also made me quite docile. When I made it back to the house everyone had already headed to the beach, so I made the walk down solo, doped on antihistamines that made me not quite all there. Everything had a dreamlike quality to it, I was starting to question how much of an affect the meds were having. As I was walking down, I saw an older man in around his 50s, crossing the 21 | T h e P r o c r a s t i n a t o r


street at a cross walk. A pick-up truck with about 10 kids in the bed came about 3 inches from hitting him. To voice his dissatisfaction, he proceeded to walk around the back of the truck and throw one of the kids’ hats off. The kid responded by jumping out of the truck, knocking the man on the ground and repeatedly punching him. In my state I wasn’t exactly sure what to do, so I just kind of ran the rest of the way to the beach. That event turned out to be wholly real, but my friends didn’t believe me, I wasn’t coherent enough to be conniving. I spent the rest of the week passed out on the beach not really wanting to do much else. Because of my unwillingness to back down, I caused two really awkward days for all of my friends, and wasn’t really present for the rest of the week. If this were a sitcom, the moral at the end of this story would be: don’t put yourself at physical risk to prove a point, especially when you clearly don’t know what you are talking about.

THE BLUE LOBSTER SKETCHES JOHN MARTIN

“Ay yo check it. I’m tha Notorious BIG, an’ you tell this jokah thet if he don’t give me tha price we agreed upon he can kiss his sorry ass goodbye. Now get back in that booth, we got a rhyme to record.” The production assistant picked up a nearby phone, called his manager, and told him of Biggie’s demand for the discount that they had in fact agreed upon earlier. After a bit of grumbling, the manager conceded. The assistant got back in the booth and adjusted the levels of several nobs and slides. After a few

22 | T h e P r o c r a s t i n a t o r


moments, he flicked up a switch and gave Biggie a thumbs-up gesture. He spoke into the hanging microphone “I got a new rhyme, let me hit you up wit it. You the first person to hear this. Check it: It was all a dream *CLICK* I used to read *CLICK* Word Up magazine Salt'n'Pepa and Heavy *CLICK* “Dah Fuck is that? What the FUCK is that clicking sound? Get that shit off tha track, or I’m outta here.” The rattled prod. asst. awkwardly responds “Sorry sir. So sorry. I’ll get it fixed.” “Aight. Here goes again: … Salt'n'Pepa and Heavy D up in the limousine. Hangin' pictures on my wall Every Saturday Rap Attack, Mr. Magic, Marley Marl *CLICK CLICK* I let my tape rock 'til my tape popped Smokin' weed *CLICK* and bamboo *CLICK* “I thought I told you to kill that shit. That’s it, I’m bouncin.” “No wait sir, it’s not on my end. Let me get in there and check the room.” … “What the hell is that? Is that a motha-fucking lobster” There was a blue lobster slowly crawling across a messy pile of vinyls, meticulously stratching as many of the records as possible. “Don’t just stand there, go get that freak outta here.” The prod. asst. ran out of the room, presumably to try to find something to catch the lobster with. The blue crustacean shifted direction, and started to scurry at a faster pace, right at Biggie. “Ah shit. What the fuck! Get the fuck away from me you ugly alien son of a bitch.” He stepped back towards the door. 23 | T h e P r o c r a s t i n a t o r


Behind him was a black metal folding chair. He hit it backwards, and fell onto his back, twisting his ankle in the process. He lifted his head up to see over his enormous stomach, and saw the lobster crawling at him faster, more intently, and now opening and closing its claws viciously. He yelled out “Stay the fuck back, I swear to god stay the fuck back” but the foe persisted. Biggie reached under himself into his plus-sized jeans and drew a pistol. He pointed the weapon over his belly at the crab-insect and started firing as quickly as possible. In a mere two seconds, he emptied the 15 round clip into the sea creature, splattering pieces of meat and shell all over the opposite wall. The production assistant came running into the room with a hammer. He saw an enormous man lying on the floor, panting, with a pistol next to him. He saw equiptment and records that had been destroyed by the volley of rounds. And he saw little bits of blue. Bits of lobster meat and shell and organ spread thinly across the room. He said “Why the fuck did I hear gun-shots? That was a lobster. They sell those in STORES. To KIDS. That could have been some old rich guy’s dinner. You, the Notorious BIG, were that afraid of a LOBSTER?” … Police are required to investigate any discharge of a firearm, and the lucky officer who got to take witness information from this particular case was Jenkins, a lanky man with a mustache two sizes too big for his face. “So could you please tell me why you thought you were in reasonable danger to discharge a firearm inside a populated building?” “That thing could have killed me man. It had that look it its eye. It wanted blood.” “Ok sir. First off I don’t think lobsters even have eyes. And there is no way this was self-defense, you were clearly in no 24 | T h e P r o c r a s t i n a t o r


danger. You can go home for now, but we’ll be contacting you later. Stay in town.” … Later that night, Christopher Wallace was riding shotgun, being driven around town after a party was shut down. His car was at a stoplight when another vehicle pulled up along side, and its driver produced a gun from the window. Acting fast, Wallace drew his own pistol and squeezed the trigger, but the weapon was empty from his previous encounter. The other driver fired some rounds and accelerated away into the night. Biggie Smalls was dead.

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The Procrastinator  

Final try. Rawr

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