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Snapshots (Intro anxiety, comic books, comments, junk mail)

Curtailed commentary on current conditions: The nervousness of new introductions, comic book fantasies, comment sections, junk mail



Print Edition: September 4, 2013

Illustration by Anthony Biondi

First day blues

It’s the first day of classes and you’re up and moving much earlier than your summer slumber schedule allowed. You make your way to the appropriate classroom, find a suitable seat, and become enthralled with the screen on your phone. Professors make their way through the start-of-semester motions.

First the taking of attendance, then the handing out of the syllabus, and then my least favorite part of this first day dance. That is when everyone takes turns saying his or her name, program, reason for taking the class, and so on.

This is not an impossible or even challenging task; however on that first day I cringe at the thought of it. Realistically I know that every other student is much more concerned with what they are going to say then learning my reason for taking this class. My throat goes dry and my mind goes blank.

Yes, I know that I have made it through every first day of classes with no major embarrassments or disasters – still, I would much rather skip this dreaded tradition and save these details of my life for someone who is genuinely interested in hearing them.


Illustration by Anthony Biondi

X-ray glasses

At the end of a comic book—whether Marvel or DC—you can see ads from businesses selling their wares. Probably the most well known joke ad was the one trying to sell you on buying your very own X-ray glasses. The price was low enough for a child to afford, and while I never actually sent my money by mail to acquire them, I’ve always wondered what it would be like to own some.

I couldn’t begin to imagine how kickass it would be –  like a super power. What would be the first thing you would do? There are practical medical applications for X-ray vision; it would save you the trouble of a visit to the hospital. When searching for buried treasure, you wouldn’t need a map showing you where “X marks the spot,” although it would still help.

Now, as you read this article, you might be asking yourself: “But what about the real reason X-ray glasses are desirable?” I’ll admit that if X-ray glasses were real I’d love to go do some gawking. However, being a man of science, I know that wouldn’t work. X-rays would only reveal sexy skeletons. Alpha-ray glasses are where the future of spectacles is heading.


Illustration by Anthony Biondi

The comment section

What’s the best way to turn a picture of a black and white kitty into a ferocious evil storm of bitterness, stupidity, swear words, and bad feelings? Post it on Facebook!

Nothing deteriorates and polarizes arguments like a comment thread. Things can go from a-okay to BAT SHIT CRAZY in a hop, jump and a skip. And I’m talking about a black and white kitty here. Post a picture of Miley Cyrus and things go much, much faster.

Ever wanted to know what concoction createsthe perfect thread? Anonymity and hot-button issues are a good base mixture. By anonymity, I mean the lack of face-to-face rather than the anonymity of name. Add in a few stupid people, a few people who care too much, a few trolls, and BOOM!

It’s like the sun exploded.


Illustration by Anthony Biondi

Junk mail

There’s a bin in the foyer of my apartment building labelled: “Junk mail only, please.” When I moved in, I didn’t anticipate how much I would be using it.

I receive a consistent amount of junk mail in my tiny mailbox. I don’t even look at it –  it goes straight in the bin. It drives me crazy –   it’s such a waste of paper and energy.

So when I went on holiday this summer, I left a note in my mailbox: “On vacation. No junk mail, please.” I was gone for a month, and when I returned, I was dismayed to notice that a corner of shiny advertisement paper was escaping the door of my mailbox.

The box was stuffed—and I mean stuffed—full of junk mail.

You know when you cram a bunch of stuff which under normal circumstances shouldn’t fit into the closet or the trunk of the car or under the bed? Then when you go to take something out it all falls on you? That is how full my mailbox was. And it was all junk mail, with the exception of a tiny recipe card at the very bottom – my note.

I can already see this is going to be a major pet peeve for me.

The mailbox is for mail, not for garbage.


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