Wednesday, June 8, 2005

From Code Name: Operation Mongoose:

After some initial misgivings, you decide to authorize the Bay of Pigs invasion. Your policies of economic and diplomatic estrangement have done nothing to weaken Castro’s power, and the whole thing with the mafia and the exploding seashell is making you and the C.I.A. the laughingstock of the foreign intelligence services.

Anyway, what could possibly go wrong? The Cubans want to be liberated from this evil dictator. All you need to do is arm the anti-Castro guerrillas, drop them off, and let them serve as the catalyst for the full-scale revolt that’s bound to occur.

And if anything goes wrong, you can just deny you had any part in it. Bulletproof, you assure yourself.


*   *   *

From Escape from the Yellow Wood:

You wish you could take both roads, but you’re only one person. After a quick flip of a coin, you take the road most traveled by. Its well-trodden look makes the choice even easier: if most people go this way, it must be the right direction. Plus, the other road is a little too grassy, and you hate wood ticks.

After walking for a few minutes, you notice that the yellow wood is beginning to look different. It seems to be taking on a cast of boring predictability. You are tempted to head back to the split and take the other road, but it’s too late. You, like so many others, have chosen the path of conformity, and it will make all the difference.


*   *   *

From You Are a Hollywood D-Lister!:

You decide to defer to Mr. Weisslemann’s experience. He’s been in the business for thirty years, and you are just an Iowa farm girl with big dreams. His insistence that all new starlets make it to the silver screen via the casting couch, and his persistent badgering that you’ll never do anything without doing him first can only be rooted in his deep belief that You Have What It Takes.

It’s just your virginity.

You look up from your folded hands. Mr. Weisslemann is watching, waiting, with a look like the fascination of a fox on a warmer full of new chicks. You sigh and nod. Weisslemann nearly trips over a box of dusty headshots in his rush to paw at you with his sweaty, hairy hands. You squeeze your eyes shut and make the worst decision of your life.


*   *   *

From Prisoner of Minimum Wage:

You decide to ignore your advisor and drop out of the pre-med program.

You spend a few days in boozy, stress-free celebration, then head down to the registrar’s office to declare yourself a philosophy/art-history double-major. When you call your parents and give them the happy news, there is a long silence. Your mother begins to cry.

“After all your mother and I have sacrificed for you,” says your father. You can almost hear his jaw clenching, unclenching. “And this is how you pay us back, you ungrateful little bastard”. He hangs up.

You begin to realize what a mistake you’ve made. Reädmission would be nearly impossible and your scholarship has already been forfeited. You were given a golden opportunity and you threw it away so you could have more time to get stoned.

Way to go, slacker. Hope you like delivering pizzas.


*   *   *

From Danger at Jonestown:

You choose to drink the Kool-Aid. As the convulsions from your cyanide-and-chloral-hydrate cocktail begin, you realize that this is …

Justin Peck is a writer and chronic dilettante. He spends much of his free time in bookstores. It has been almost 9,000 miles since his last oil change. He has never been to Paris. People often mistake him for a good listener. He still remembers all the words to the theme song for The Greatest American Hero. He prefers pie to cake. He lives in the Upper Midwest.

I Am Tom Cruise, and I Love Women Oh, man, do I love Katie Holmes, who is a woman. And I also love women, in general.
J.S.F., Loud & Close This month (um, circa) the Y.P.R. Book Club solicited your clever tricks satirizing or inspired by Jonathan Safran Foer’s Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, whether you’ve read the book or not. Extremely Long and Incredibly Bad Writer’s Blockby Angela Genusa...
Disquieting Modern Trends: The City So Nice We Complain about It Twice Edition "Family Values" in Times Square | The Relative Paucity of Large-Scale Civic Arts Projects by People from Europe with One Name | Those Little Blue-on-White Greek Diner Coffee Cups | The General Failure of Present-Day N.Y.C. to Be Like Taxi Driver | The Proliferation of Au Bon Pain like the Manhattan McDonald's It's Become

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