Comics I Wish Everyone Would Read

This is how cancel culture can often work

This is how a lot of people seem to think privilege works

This is our legal system and every business contract in a nutshell

This is the platform of a lot of politicians when campaigning (regardless of party)

This is what it feels like to become old and not “with it” anymore

This is the people in your life that make you feel good despite your flaws

This is all the stuff that makes you irrationally mad until it suddenly doesn’t

This just reminds me of Wiz Khalifa bragging about having a car that “pushes to start”

You should definitely peruse at some point in your life because Gregor does great work that I cannot recommend highly enough.


This is the best thing I’ve seen written about Coronavirus all year. Turns out Bloomberg is far less of a finance bro website than I thought:

Somehow Reddit of all places had the best internet discussion of systemic racism I’ve come across this week:

Being in the Transition Generation is Weird

I’ve been thinking about how weird it is to be a part of the generation that is able to clearly understand pre and post internet life.

There’s a generation above me (my parents and all of humanity before them) that have a very minimal understanding of the internet. 

There is a generation below me (my younger cousins and all of humanity after them) where this is basically the world that they’ve always known.

And then there’s the weird in between generation that I’m part of that kind of has a foot in both worlds.

You don’t have to be a sociologist to understand that the internet has changed how we socialize. Just look at this tweet:

It either means nothing to you or like me it brought a smile to your face because you can read arabic and have seen this:

Memes and emojis are a language we’ve now all become fluent in. Way more people now meet online than offline. Videogames are now more popular than movies. Instagram and TikTok mean everyone can now choose to have their own personal reality show. And to old folks it feels hard to understand, to younger generations it makes perfect sense and to people in the transition generation it all feels…kind of weird.

You also don’t have to be an economist to understand that the internet has changed how we work. I vividly remember trekking around with my parents to drop off physical resumes and less than nine years later most of those same places would literally only accept online job applications. Also, look at this chart:

CompanyCap Rank5-12-20Market Cap5-12-201d Chg5-12-201m Chg5-12-2012m Chg5-12-20

The five most valuable companies according to investors right now all make their money primarily thanks to the internet. At its best the internet makes things more convenient. Pretty much anything we could ever want is just a click or tap away. Connecting with family. Learning pretty much anything. Even your favourite treats. Remember when you couldn’t do that? It sucked. But internet driven businesses have also made the lives of some undeniably worse. Just because the seemingly unstoppable combination of software and capitalism is good at commodifying data doesn’t mean we need to commodify each other and ourselves. 1

Now I don’t mean to get all “old man yells at cloud”. I love the internet. An argument could be made that Google (with the exception of maybe organized religion if you are being picky) has accomplished more for humanity than any group of people in history. And I think a big part of why it feels weird is solely due to being a part of this weird in between generation. One day we’re helping our parents understand how to set up online banking and the next we feel old because we don’t understand what this finger touching emoji actually means. It also means you have to mentally filter whether every piece of advice you get from someone older is actually practical or valid in the post internet era. It’s jarring. 

But I also tend to just overuse the words weird and strange so I googled the definition to be sure it’s what I truly mean. 2 Apparently weird is defined as “unusual or surprising in a way that is unsettling or hard to understand” and while that may be a bit harsh it definitely somewhat captures the feeling I’ve been having on the internet quite a bit lately. There are aspects of internet culture that are amazing and aspects that are horrifying and as the generation primarily responsible for shaping it in its infancy we should all put a little more thought into which ones we support.

What a time to be alive.


Perhaps the greatest subreddit of all time

The movie “The Terminal” (highly recommended btw) somehow happened in real life

Super cool music challenge

  1. These are all good things to read. All I’ll add is that I strongly believe you should be able to live comfortably in society without a “personal brand” or “side hustle”.
  2. It’s weird. I use it to mean everything from a polite way of saying “that’s dumb let’s stop talking about this” to “I’m having an unbelievably strong reaction to this for some reason and I’m not quite sure why”

Arrogance is the Worst

I don’t feel very strongly about many things but arrogance is one of them. Arrogance enrages me viscerally. In fact, I am fairly certain that the only piece of generic advice I ever feel 100% confident about giving is this..

Do your best not to be arrogant. Ever.

There are many types of arrogance. 1 Preachy arrogance. Discriminatory arrogance. Taking yourself way too seriously to have fun arrogance. Avoiding all responsibility by blaming everyone else arrogance. Etc. Etc. Etc.

Most religions are very against arrogance but don’t get it twisted there are arrogant people over there too. We should all worry a little about systems that result in arrogant people winning or taking power. I’m all for strong beliefs, disagreement and the competition of ideas just don’t be arrogant.

Don’t be too arrogant to teach, learn or change your mind. Don’t be arrogant enough to think people aren’t entitled to make mistakes. Don’t be too arrogant to apologize when you make a mistake and don’t be too arrogant to accept a sincere apology. If you’re ever unsure, it’s probably better to just err on the potentially less arrogant side. And if you think someone else is behaving arrogantly give them the benefit of the doubt until you can’t anymore. 

No good comes from arrogance so try to avoid it. Or as better and more succinctly put by someone way more poetically inclined than me..

Be humble. Sit down.


Have you ever seen a giant cheque out of context? My neighbour has multiple for some reason.

  1. I googled “types of arrogance” as a part of writing this and according to researchers there’s apparently only 3 types of arrogance…the arrogance of thinking you have discovered a grand unified theory of arrogance ?

TikTok is Good and Resiliency Can Be Too

The last post was kind of depressing so it’s time for a little pick me up. There’ve been two things that have given me a surprising amount of joy and optimism during these dark times:

1 – TikTok

I’ve discovered that asking for someone’s opinion on TikTok is a good litmus test for determining if someone is a buzzkill or not. Anybody that “doesn’t get it” or that takes themself to seriously to enjoy it probably isn’t someone that you want in your life because it’s a damn good app. 1

2 – Quarantine wedding content. 

At first I found them a bit sad but the more I come across them the happier they make me. There’s something super cool about people being resilient and celebrating a joyous occasion amidst all this. 2


There’s no such thing as a clickbait headline anymore:

With so many terrifying graphs and charts lately it’s nice to see a funny one:

Unexpected quarantine trends:

  1. The fact that Quibi is asking for however much a month while TikTok is free is laughable.
  2. Resiliency in the good way not in the “hold up, that’s actually sad” way.

How is anything even knowable anymore?

I’ve been having two seemingly conflicting thoughts recently: 

1 – We’re all hopeless idiots who know very little individually.  

2 – Being able to discount or filter out potential false information is more important than ever.

The first is an idea I’ve become a little fascinated with ever since I heard this incredible piece of radio. So much of our society is built upon trusting other people that know more than us and as this pandemic has demonstrated over and over again a lot of bad things happen when that trust is eroded.

The second has been something that has crossed my mind quite a bit as we all struggle to separate fact from fiction during this pandemic. Are masks necessary? Are recovered people immune? How did this all start? Nobody seems to know. We have gone from a world with gatekeepers of information (which had its own downsides) to an exhausting world in which we are bombarded with more conflicting information sources than ever before.

So how is one supposed to survive in this world? The first remedy that comes to mind is by increasing overall media literacy. Being able to gauge the quality of information and its source is becoming an increasingly valuable skill in and of itself. Perhaps this has changed but I know I sure as hell didn’t have a class covering this in school and is critical thinking something that can truly be taught in a classroom? I’m not sure but I’ve definitely found this to be a handy image to drop in the occasional group chat:

And the thing is this isn’t even the worst of it because….the deep fakes are coming.

I don’t really have much to add on this beyond the frighteningly obvious thought:


I hope and pray that there are a bunch of smart people working on ways to counteract and get ahead of this.


Bezos is hella rich:


This kid is a legend:

I Miss Basketball

I have no idea how it took me so long to discover the Wikipedia pages for NBA regular season / post season records but I’m glad I did. As a basketball fan that misses the playoffs dearly it was just what I needed. Some unfiltered thoughts upon first glance:

  • We are all potentially living through the golden age of basketball: 
    • At first I thought that it was because I am a bigger hoops fan than any other sport but a quick skim through the record pages for other sports I follow at a reasonably close level seems to confirm that there are just way more records held by NBA players playing over the past 2-3 decades than in other sports. 
  • Steph Curry is amazing: 
    • Reggie Miller is in second place all time with 2560 career three pointers made over 1389 games. Steph is slightly behind him with 2483 career three pointers in less than half as many games (694). It is only a matter of time before he passes Ray Allen in the number one spot with 2973 three pointers made.
  • John Stockton is underrated: 
    • This might just be my own basketball blind spot but how is John Stockton not ranked higher among all time greats when he is so far ahead of everyone in career assists and steals? He has more than 20% higher totals than the second place record holder in both (Jason Kidd both times weirdly). Longevity matters!
  • Random Raptor facts that blew my mind: 
    • Kawhi has the highest win percentage of all time (75%). 
    • DeMar has the record for most free throws made in a row in one game (24).
    • Giannis’ 20 rebound game against the Raps this postseason put him in a 9 way tie for most defensive rebounds in a playoff game.
  • The NBA has really good nicknames: 
    • Popeye Jones and Sleepy Flloyd in particular stand out since I hadn’t heard of them.
  • There will always be incredibly influential sports stars that you will not be aware of simply because they played so long ago: 
    • I mean how have I never heard of Joe Fulks?
  • Things that genuinely surprised me: 
    • Derek Fisher holds the record for most playoff games played in (259).
  • Things I knew but that still kind of surprised me when seen written out: 
    • Shaq missed an insane amount of free throws (5317)
    • The Lakers have made the finals a lot (31 times)
    • The spurs have been good for a while (22 playoff appearances in a row as of this year). 

God bless people that update wikipedia pages. I legitimately feel like I should have paid for this experience.


A super strange and fascinating read:

People with weird opinions:

Sometimes things are funny until they aren’t:

Another Bloggy Blog

So we are 3874932 days into quarantine (or at least it feels like it) and seeing as how baking and running (my two newly discovered quarantine hobbies) aren’t really viable options in Ramadan I’ve decided to start blogging. 1

Up until now my personal way of documenting this coronavirus madness has been by collecting funny memes about it that I’ve come across but we’re about two months in now, the dank memes are drying up, the sad idea that this is going to be the new normal for a while has fully settled in and I figure it’s time for something a little better.

My hope is for this to be a way to sporadically share thoughts and interesting things I’ve come across. I say sporadically because I’m guessing it’ll probably be a biweekly ting (the less ambitious biweekly) at best. Most of us are spending too much time on the internet right now anyway and I need something to keep me from being a complete hermit.

Now here is a tiktok that just might be my dad’s favourite video of all time.

  1. Quarantine has 100% turned me into a middle-aged housewife.

Urban Time Machine


The almost-laughably-long boardroom table is surrounded by a handful of sharply dressed suits who quietly make small talk with each other. The chatter dies down as soon as JEFF JEFFERSON (old, cocky) walks in


Time is money guys. Let’s get started.

Jeff takes a seat at the head of the table.


Really? Nothing huh. That joke usually kills.

One executive (Frank) near the back begins to laugh maniacally.


(between fits of forced laughter)

Because we sell time machines time actually is money for us! Very funny sir!


It’s not that funny, Frank. Keep it in your pants. Have some self respect.

Jeff surveys the room. Like most executive boardrooms, it’s very male and very pale.


It looks like everyone’s here. What about on the conference call? Debbie is anybody missing?


Jen from legal had a flight delay so she’s gonna be a little late in joining but every one else is on the call.


Great, legal tends to ruin the fun most of the time anyway. Just let me know when she joins the call and we’ll get her up to speed quickly.

Jeff turns to address the room.


So as you all know, our machines have been severely under-performing in the urban demographic. I’ve called this meeting to see if there’s anything that we can do about that. Richard has your market research group been able to make leads on this? Or is this pointless endeavor a restaurant trying to get certain customers to tip more you know?

Jeff doesn’t notice the uncomfortable silence in the room.


HEYYOOO! God, I love it when legal’s not here. Anyway’s what do you have for us Richard?

Richard hesitates as if considering whether to address this introduction. He decides not to.


So um our team was actually able to find a number of interesting potential root causes. For example, there was far less brand recognition in more urban demographics which is indicative of misallocated marketing resources. We also found they were more sensitive to the relatively high entry price point. Finally and probably most importantly, we realized that urban demographics demonstrated far less enthusiasm for going back in time.


Can you put that into numbers for me Dick? I’m a numbers guy.


Sure, 70% of black respondents in our survey selected the least interested response which was “I have interest in going back in time at all whatsoever.”


Any common reasons why?


We didn’t have any further prompts in the survey to ask why but I can definitely take a guess at one big one.




Well slavery, sir.


Of course! How’d we miss this? Shouldn’t we have caught this earlier?


In theory this is the type of stuff our focus groups should catch but there were some weaknesses




There was only one black person in the sample focus group.

Richard looks down at his notes.


Fatima Withers, age 36. While most of her answers where about average, she did seem to have a weird obsession with going back in time in order to ‘give that thang up to Tupac’.

Jeff thinks this over for far too long before turning towards the right side of the room.


That settles it, Tom I’m going to need R&D to quickly build out a version of the product that only goes forward. This’ll help ensure we don’t miss out on potential African-American market share.

TOM, the meek looking head of R&D looks confused by this request.


Well sir, that’s technically impossible. The laws of physics dictate that any motion --


You know what else was considered impossible? Fitting every song you could ever possibly listen to into the palm of your hand. But we have iPhones now. You know who did that?


Steve Jo-


Steve Jobs. He proved that if you believe hard enough you can make the impossible possible. So I promise you Tom that this is possible. You know why? Because I believe in you.

Tom, isn’t sure how to respond to this random pep talk.


What are you still doing here buddy? Get on back out there and let’s start making this possible!

A flustered Tom grabs his stuff and heads out of the room.


Tom whips out his cell phone as soon as he exits the room.


Hey Rajeev, guess what he wants now?


A blowjob.


No of course not. Why would he want a blowjob?


I don’t know you said guess so I did.


He wants a machine that only goes forward in time.


Is that motherfucker serious? You told him that’s impossible right.


Yeah I tried but he gave the Jobs speech again.


We’re so fucked.


The rest of the guys are going to hate me when they hear this.


Maybe not. What if instead of building a whole new machine, we just took out the back button?


Extracting that functionality from the code base is going to be pretty painful.


No no no no no no. Think simpler. We just have to take out the physical back button.


Brilliant! We were completely overthinking it. You’re a genius Rajeev.


Well I mean technically we both are.

The two share a chuckle at this.


Jeff has now turned his attention to the head of finance and initial ass-kisser, Frank.


So Frank, I understand Richard’s shared some of the data regarding the price sensitivity concerns with you. Do you have any ideas on how we can approach this?


Yes, I was thinking that we could begin to offer no money down financing on our time machines. I’ve run the numbers and even with pretty high projected default rates we’d actually be making quite a bit more on each machine thanks to the interest.


Wait, are you proposing that we become a bank?


Not exactly but I do think that we have the scale to be able to handle a simple financing program. Plus fintech is a growing market and--


-- I know you’re pretty new here Frank so let me help you out a little. Unlike your old buddies over on Wall street who seem to have no issue with directly fucking over the poor for a quick dime, we really prefer to sleep at night with a clear conscience.


Sorry, I guess I got excited by the potentially significant revenue stream. I’ll tell the guys to stop working on it.


Don’t be silly Frank, we’re having trouble making next quarter’s target as is. We just need to find a way to contract out the actual lending while keeping the income. We have to be at least one step removed from that type of shit because unlike your banker buddies we’ve got a half decent reputation to maintain.


Oh. Kind of like how Apple outsources to Foxconn?


Exactly. See you’re picking up the Silicon Valley mindset already!

Frank’s face lights up at this validation. He smiles the way only a true sycophant can.


Great so now that we got the money stuff out of the way let’s talk marketing. Liam, you’re up.

Liam, the overly enthusiastic and dresses-way-younger-than-he-actually-is head of marketing stands up and walks towards the other end of the table where a projector and screen are set up.


Rather than walking you through a boring and mind-numbing marketing plan I thought I’d just show you one of the new ads we’ve been working on to target the urban demographic. After all if a pictures worth a thousand words then a video’s got to be worth a couple hundred million right? So without further ado, here it is. I really think you’ll enjoy it!

The lights in the room are dimmed and the ad begins to play on the screen.

A YOUNG BLACK BOY dribbles a basket ball down the street when he comes across a large billboard. His eyes widen and he immediately sprints back in the other direction.

A TATTOOED BLACK GANGBANGER is stopped at a red light in his lowrider with outrageous rims. He looks up at the sign and immediately screeches off into the distance.

AN OLD BLACK LADY in a ridiculous hat and her Sunday best comes across the billboard and faints.

The billboard is finally revealed.



Free at last! Free at last! Giantcorp time machines are free at last!

The projector fades to black and a grinning Liam steps in front of the screen.


What do you guys think? Amazing right?!


Liam, it’s not often that I’m speechless.

A few executives share nervous looks. No one is quite sure whether Jeff means the good or bad type of speechless.


It’s perfect. Let’s get this ad running as soon as we can. Way to end this meeting on a high note Liam! Debbie did we cover everything on the agenda?


Jen wanted to cover some legal stuff related to the no money down financing but I don’t see her on the call. Her flight must’ve held her up.


Thank god! Jen would only be a downer after that amazing work of art we just witnessed. Let’s call it a meeting and send her the minutes. And make sure to attach those two ads!


Sure thing boss.


That’s about it. Thanks for your time everyone!

Everyone shuffles out of the room. There is an eerie few moments of silence before the phone in the middle of the table lights up.

JEN (V.0.)

Hello, are you guys still there? It’s Jen. I’m so sorry about being late.



(email notification sound followed by another beat)

Meeting minutes already? That was fast.

We hear Jen beginning to watch the first of the two ads. She instantly recognizes what it is. Her voice suddenly sounds a lot more frustrated, a lot more southern and a lot


Oh hell naw! My blood pressure’s way too high for this shit.

Ramadan Press Conference


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


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

Dr. Mohamed points to a reporter on his right.


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


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


Even water?


Yes, even water. Next question?

Dr. Mohamed points to his left.


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

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


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


Who’s been saying that?


(clearly lying)



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


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


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


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


I’m sorry?


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

Dr. Mohamed nods and points to another reporter.


Yes, Becky?


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


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


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



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


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


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

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


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


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

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


Club Tweet

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

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

This is definitely not going to be worth it.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“You’re never going to believe this…”

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

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

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

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

“Do you like music?” he replied.

“Uh, yeah I guess.”

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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

“Let’s try to get in closer.”

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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

“I’m the Uber. Are you Jessica?”

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

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

The man turned and began retreating back across the street.

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

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

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

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

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


(555) 434 6854


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jack offered a handshake and Melanie introduced herself.

“So is this your first time here Melanie?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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