Thursday, July 30, 2015

what do i have to say to a cop?

the first time i ever got pulled over by a police officer there were drugs in my car. i was driving a shitty 1988 ford escort hatchback with a busted taillight south on green bay road in north evanston late on a weeknight, 19 years old and mostly ignorant to my rights as a united states citizen. the car was illegally registered and willfully uninsured and my driver's license was taped the fuck together and i'm not entirely sure how i charmed my way out of going to jail that evening. the prescription bottles and maybe some mushrooms were shoved in my backpack behind the passenger seat and i could feel them radiating incriminating heat up my back and neck as dude stood at my window asking if i knew that my taillight was out. thankfully he let me go with a warning because, and i'm not even fucking kidding, i worked in a bakery at the time and he recognized me from behind the counter.

when i watched the dash cam video of sandra bland's arrest the only thought bouncing around my head louder than the sound of my own heart breaking inside my chest was "what would i have done if that had been me?" would i have gotten out of the car? tried to make a phone call? put down my cheese sandwich!? (i don't smoke, and i'm incredibly realistic in my hypothetical situations.) it struck me how loudly and clearly she was narrating the cop's actions as they moved off camera. would i ever have thought to do that? it's terrifying to realize just how much i don't know about how i can/cannot protect myself against police. so i hollered at my lawyer kaitlin jackson and asked her to answer some basic questions to give all of us a better idea of how to best take care of ourselves when dealing with law enforcement. and i know i usually keep it light (albeit hate-filled) around here, but this shit has got me vexed. i mean, samuel dubose had his head blown off over a missing front tag? WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS LIFE. so i need to chill on these jokes for a minute and use what i have to do what i can.

BIG GIANT FLASHING NEON-LIT DISCLAIMER: this is really an abridged cheat sheet for encounters with the police that has been painted with really broad strokes. reading this doesn't make you a legal expert; pleeeeeease use this information to protect your rights and NOT to argue with the cops about the law. because lawyering at the cops is never wise, and even if it were you'd need a lot more information than provided here to do that well. also keep in mind that laws vary from state to state, every situation is different, and this doesn't substitute for advice from your lawyer. last thing you want to do is be in court talking about "well sam said..." i mean, come on. i completed, like, three semesters of community college and still eat diet hot pockets as my real dinner sometimes. i love you, be safe.

do you have to let the police search you if they ask to?
legal answer Hard no. You NEVER have to give the police permission to search you, your car, or your house. They cannot arrest you because you didn’t give them permission to search. BUT there are times when they can search you without your permission. For example, if an officer has "reasonable suspicion" that you might be armed he can pat you down. You never have the right to refuse a pat down. Additionally, if an officer has probable cause to search you they can search without your permission. Or, if they have a warrant, they can search without your permission.

practical answer Most of the time you get to decide whether an officer can search you, but occasionally it isn’t your call. Luckily, you don’t need to be able to tell the difference in the moment. You only need to know two things: 1 ALWAYS respond to requests to search by saying “You do not have my consent to search.” As long as you do that, you’ve preserved your rights, and a judge will decide later if the search was legal. 2 NEVER physically interfere with a police officer who decides to search you.

one other note:
People often consent to searches because they don’t think there is any contraband an officer could find. This bites a lot of people in the foot. There could be something in your car or house that someone else put there that you don’t know about. You also might have something that you don’t realize is illegal. For example, some states have rules about what types of pocket knives are legal and, if you unknowingly have the wrong kind in your toolbox, you could get a weapons charge. Or maybe you carry your spouse’s prescription medicine in your purse—that can easily turn into a controlled substances charge. The moral of the story is memorize the phrase “You do not have my consent to search” and then USE IT.

do you have to answer questions from the police?

legal answer If you are on the street Generally no, but in some states you do have to give identifying information like your name and birth date if you are asked. Otherwise you do not have to answer questions—that includes questions about your citizenship status. If you are in a car You have to show your license, insurance and proof of registration. Otherwise, you do not have to answer questions. 

practical answer It is almost never in your best interest to answer questions without speaking to a lawyer first. It’s much easier to talk yourself into trouble than it is to talk yourself out of it (overconfidence is your worst enemy). Your two safest options are to 1 end the encounter, or if you can't do that, 2 get a lawyer. A good way to find out whether you can end the encounter is to calmly ask: Am I free to leave? If the answer is yes, great. If the answer is no, calmly tell the officer you don't want to speak to them without a lawyer. And then make good on your promise and don't speak.
two other notes
 1 It's rarely wise to run from the police. Even if you aren't doing anything illegal, running has the potential to escalate the situation. 2 If you are stopped in a car, keep your hands where the officer can see them for the same reason, to avoid escalation.

do you have to blow into a breathalyzer/do field sobriety tests?
legal answer No. BUT the police can use your refusal to blow into a breathalyzer and/or do field sobriety tests as evidence against you. In other words, if you are charged with driving under the influence, a prosecutor can argue to a jury that you refused because you knew you were intoxicated and would have failed. Additionally, in some states the DMV will automatically suspend your license for refusal to blow.

practical answer Does that mean you should always blow? No it doesn’t. It means you have a decision to make. If you haven’t been drinking it’s in your best interest to blow into the machine. But, if you think there is any chance you will fail the breathalyzer or field sobriety tests, it’s probably in your best interest to refuse. Here’s why: if you are likely to fail, the jig is up. You’ve been caught. At this point the best thing you can do is stop giving the police more evidence to use against you. Blowing in the machine and doing field sobriety tests that you are likely to fail can only make you look guiltier.

one note Most field sobriety tests are based on balance. If you have leg or knee issues, weight issues, are wearing high heels, are advanced in age or have any disability that causes you to struggle with balance, you may fail these regardless of whether you are sober or not. If any of those apply to you, make clear to the officer that you are refusing field sobriety tests because you struggle with balance, and then don’t do them.

are you allowed to record the police?
legal and practical answer Yes. If the police approach you and ask why you are filming, you can remain silent; that is your right. The ACLU has a great set of apps called Mobile Justice (there are different ones for different states so make sure you download the right one). If you record police encounters using that app, they are automatically uploaded to an ACLU server so that even if the police take your phone, the video is preserved.

what are your rights in an interrogation?
legal answer You do not have to answer questions during an interrogation. You have the right to an attorney, and the right to remain silent. If you are being interrogated, and tell the police “I want to remain silent and I want a lawyer,” they must stop questioning you.

practical answer Police are well trained in the art of getting incriminating statements. You are not trained in the art of resisting their tactics. Do not overestimate your ability to talk yourself out of a bad situation. I repeat: do not think you can talk yourself out of a bad situation. DO NOT assume you can’t talk yourself into trouble just because you’re innocent.

three notes 1 Police are allowed to lie to you. They can, and often do, tell people untrue things designed to get the person to make an incriminating statement. Don’t be tricked into responding. 2 People get convicted of crimes all the time based primarily or solely on their own statements. For real, for real. Don’t be that guy. 3 Just being quiet isn’t enough to invoke your right to remain silent. You need to say something along the lines of “I don’t want to talk to you” or “I want to remain silent.”

what's the deal with miranda rights anyway?

legal and practical answer Miranda is the warning you hear cops read on Law and Order when they arrest people. You have two Miranda rights 1 the right to remain silent and 2 the right to an attorney (whether or not you can afford one). When the police read those rights, most people waive them. Meaning they decide to go ahead and speak to the police without an attorney. Sometimes because they are confused, but more often because they are intimidated and think they have to talk to the police. But now that you have read this, you know better. Use your Miranda rights, and silent treatment the police (after giving identifying info) as hard as you’ve ever silent treatment-ed anyone.

so i know i am supposed to be "cooperative" with police, but what does that really mean?

It’s always best not to escalate a situation. Be calm, polite and respectful. Don’t threaten or yell at police. However, being cooperative does not mean answering officer’s questions (other than requests for identifying info) or allowing them to search you. Remember that you are on different teams. If you’ve ever played sports you know that being a cooperative player doesn’t mean scoring goals against yourself for the other team. Often people imagine they are helping themselves by being cooperative, when in truth they are just assisting an officer who is building a case against them. This is true even if you are innocent. Don’t risk it. Saying “You can’t search me,” “I don’t want to talk to you,” and “I want a lawyer” are the best things you can do for yourself. Once a lawyer gets on the scene they can help you figure out the next best move.

note Don’t be tricked by statements like “if you answer a few questions or just let me look in your trunk I’ll let you go…” See above: officers do not have to tell you the truth.

keep your heads up, champions. be cool out there.

Monday, July 6, 2015

the case against guacamole.

i don't really pay attention to what barack obama tweets. but last week i was scrolling through my timeline and saw that your boy (ie some lowly staffer assigned to the task) tweeted: respect the nyt, but not buying peas in guac. onions, garlic, hot peppers. classic. WHAT DID YOU SAY, MY DUDE. IS THIS THE MAN I WOULD'VE VOTED FOR IF I CARED EVEN A LITTLE BIT ABOUT VOTING. what tf does he care about guacamole, i thought. then i logged onto facebook to find that no fewer than 137 people rage-linked a new york times recipe that suggested adding green peas to guacamole and bitches was flipping the fuck out, writing outraged status dissertations lamenting just how erroneous a choice that was. but guys: guacamole is disgusting. why aren't you all lathered up about things that matter, like motherfuckers who make chicken salad with too-big, uneven celery chunks and/or (gasp) put grapes in that shit!?

DO YOU GUYS NOT KNOW THAT THERE ARE PEOPLE IN WISCONSIN MAKING THEIR OWN SUSHI AT HOME RIGHT NOW. who gives a shit about gross guacamole when somewhere in america someone is putting a slice of american cheese on top of a plate of perfectly acceptable spaghetti? some misguided asshole is putting a jar of miracle whip in his grocery cart and we're all talking about guacamole!? fuck it, i'm moving to canada. we've already established that second to cream-based dips tacos are the most perfect food group, and everyone i love is always like "can we get a guacamole to start?" when we go the the taqueria, especially if it's the kind of place where they wheel the avocado cart over to the table while you squirm uncomfortably in your privilege feeling guilty about asking for a little less cilantro. you know it's gonna maybe be too spicy but you can't ask her to make it less spicy because maybe the problem is just your gringo tongue and you don't want to be insulting. i am never insulting. i love mexican food and i'm going to shut up and eat this fiery diarrhea because polite.

i'm just not a fan of the avocado. there is nothing you could mix it into or artfully arrange it on top of that would make the original dish more appealing to me. now you already know. if you like it i love it. i want you to do whatever you want to do, as much as you want to do it. but i have the right to hold my nose and make wretched child faces across the table from you while you do. because:

1 what does guacamole even taste like? i know, i'm a stupid asshole, but i want all my guacamole lovers to do me a flavor and describe what guacamole tastes like without using any of the ingredients you add to it. granted, this is a difficult assignment no matter what the food. i'm not sure i could articulate what a pancake tastes like, but i also wouldn't take to the twitters to vilify a writer who added raspberries to hers. so many purists pissed off about something that was terrible to begin with. i will change my mind if anyone can describe that shit in a way that makes it sound palatable. but you can't. i'll go first: probably bland brownish-green mush that tastes like crunch lumps.  NOW YOU GO.

2 it's too easy to destroy. oh sure, i've had it before. i tried to join in the fun. but i don't like fun. guacamole is one of those pretend fun food items that, even when tolerable which is maybe .001% of the time, if the person making it adds so much as one extra grain of salt the entire thing is ruined. a little too much cumin, not enough cayenne, lemon juice instead of lime: the whole bowl may as well be garbage. there's no salvaging it, either. a few too many red onions, not enough cracked black pepper: BASURA. why do people insist on having it at parties, like the minute you pull that chunky green pudding out of the refrigerator a corona commercial is gonna break out? not if you are heavy handed with the roma tomatoes, my guy. just get a couple jars of tostitos queso and let's party down for real. it's probably even on sale at target.

3 everyone has his own "way" of making it. much like chili, chocolate chip cookies, scrambled eggs, red sauce, HOLY FUCKING SHIT POTATO SALAD: foods that people experiment with or have their own interpretations of ("nah see, the way i make my macaroni is to boil the noodles in miracle whip and use old shoes in place of the cheese") are usually horrible. i don't mean adding a little chicken broth and heavy cream to your mashed potatoes (delicious), i mean putting a bunch of boiled cauliflower into a food processor and serving that saltless mushpile as mashed potatoes. why don't you care about hurting my heart. i'm talking about when a person intentionally added raisins to meatloaf and served it to me as if it was real food. i cried at the table. WHY YOU GOTTA BE CUTE. that shit has three ingredients: meat, eggs, and loaf. jesus god the list drags interminably on. cornbread, "fancy" peanut butter and jelly, chicken noodle soup, people who put fruits and shit in stuffing, tuna fish, garlic bread, deviled eggs, FRIED CHICKEN, greens, spaghetti (why tf is there sugar in this), jell-o mold, noodle kugel, seven layer salad, crab dip, lasagna, overly complicated salsas, SLOPPY JOE, adding nuts to shit that doesn't need nuts, grilled cheese (get those pears off my sandwich), pound cake, baked beans, grits, beef fucking stew: all things that rarely taste the same from one house to the next. my sisters grew up under the same fucking roof! would eat: carmen's pork chops. would not eat: janie's pork chops. OUR MOM IS THE SAME, LADIES. why is one the maker of delicious collard greens and the other one janie!? (to her credit, her yams are spectacular.) guacamole is no different. it's all purportedly the same damn shit (avocados, garlic, jalapeƱos, sad feelings) yet no one ever makes it the same way twice.

4 it leaves your tongue feeling like it has lotion on it. or like you just ate a bowl of butter, but worse. and then it just sits there in your belly, making your throat slick and your mouth taste like aftervomit until you drink enough modelo to cover it up.

4a MOTHERFUCKING CILANTRO. "did you rinse this bowl after you washed it? yeah, i know you said you washed the dishes but did you rinse out this bowl? the one the guacamole is in? is the dishwasher on the fritz again? i swear this bowl tastes like undiluted dish soap. are you sure you rinsed it all the way clean? this guacamole tastes like it's full of dawn! i'm literally nauseous after eating it because it tastes so soapy. maybe we should dump this batch and make another in a clean bowl. make sure you use hot water. oh wait, what? you doubled the cilantro this time? that explains this deathfeeling in my mouth. feel free to go die."

5 watching a person eat guacamole is easily in the top five worst things. i can't tell if that chip is coming or going, honestly. IS THIS BITCH EATING OR THROWING UP. if we're being totally real with each other watching anyone eat anything is totally disgusting, but watching a human consume guacamole is the tenth circle of hell. you may as well be dragging that chip that's totally about to break in half across a baby diaper. then you gotta open your mouth awkwardly wide to shovel it in without getting gloops on your shirt, and even if you're successful you definitely have clotted grey-green goo clumped in your mouth corners. i mostly eat alone at home in the dark, because i care about people. i will never subject another sentient being to my consumption of: ribs (please don't ever make me "your version" of ribs), buffalo wings (omg), a popsicle or ice cream cone, yogurt, or oversized pizza. mostly because i'm on nutrisystem now but also because those are private foods. anything that you wouldn't eat in a nice shirt is best enjoyed on your bed, surrounded by napkins, with the tv on. doesn't food just taste better after you've taken your bra off? this is why i don't like sitting outside at a restaurant, all the eyeballs leeching the deliciousness out of my dinner. and i know from being a hideous, disgusting foodbeast. yesterday at brunch i pulled a stringy clump of dry pot roast i'd been gnawing on out of my mouth because i was afraid of choking to death on it and hid it under the bread i'm not eating these days. brooke looked at me like i'd given birth at the fucking table. AT LEAST IT WASN'T GUACAMOLE, OKAY. that would've been a million times worse.

maybe i'm crazy. maybe i need to get some from an authentic mexican. maybe i just need to try your guacamole and i'll change my mind. because it's your mom's handed down recipe and see what you gotta do is slice the onions this way and mince the garlic that way and the avocado needs to be just a hair underripe and room temperature and stirred counterclockwise, see? my guacamole is delicious. and i'm open to it, i guess? maybe i just haven't had the right one. MAYBE IT JUST NEEDS TO HAVE PEAS IN IT.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

"you comedy asshole."

can you tell me the proper etiquette for a man to clip his fingernails?

because i don't know shit about keeping testicles clean or folding pocket squares, i emailed/texted the least stupid of my old sex partners and asked each of them, "what is the proper etiquette when it comes to a man clipping his fingernails?" the responses were as follows:

1 "what kind of gay shit is this, samantha irby?"
3 "Who the hell is this from?"
4 "I get manicures every other Saturday. In general, though, a man should trim his nails at least once a week. Why do you need to know?"
5 "I file my shit twice a week. i'm sure youre like "that's moist." What R U doing later?"

here's the takeaway from that little experiment: a the sexual interstate i'm driving down is littered with idiots and jagbags, and b I AM A COMEDY ASSHOLE. on the off chance what you really were looking for was a technical manual: were you raised by wolves?! i was parented by the joint efforts of a barely-functioning television and our local DARE police. and even i know how to take care of my gross-ass hands. just in case, tho: clip your nails in the shower, let them dry, then file the jagged edges down so you don't look like goddamned wolverine. welcome to puberty.

ps please never do this in public. motherfuckers who clip their nails within earshot of other humans should be dragged.
pps don't be a jackass to someone who writes comedy about dicks.

why won't my girlfriend let me go down on her? women are supposed to love that. is something wrong with her?

two reasons, homie: 1 we live in a country that hates women so goddamned much that you might actually hear a "stinky fish pussy" joke on the evening news. and that's, of course, right after your eyes have been assaulted by no fewer than 137 feminine hygiene and maintenance advertisements that, while purporting to be pro-lady and supportive of our reproductive health, actually do little more than to reinforce the idea that our vaginas are wrong. they look wrong, they smell wrong, and without every single one of these waxes and wipes and depilatories and creams, no man worth any salt at all is going to want to put his handsome and clean-shaven face near that smelly jungle. because keeping your vagina squeaky clean isn't about a dude's penis, IT'S ABOUT HIS FUCKING FACE. men will stick their dicks in anything: corpses, livestock, fleshlights, apple pies. but it's where this motherfucker is willing to put his mouth that presents the real challenge, as some ladies have allowed lazy, selfish assholes to use "icky hair" and "funny smell" to get out of spending any quality time with their heads buried in our sand.

and 2 YOU'RE PROBABLY DOING IT WRONG. i have met every cunnilingus expert and orgasm specialist in the goddamned city of chicago. maybe it's this new "men wearing skinny jeans" sensitive era in which we currently live, but apropos of nothing dudes always want to tell you on the first goddamned date how good they are at mouth-to-lips resuscitation. and i'm all about getting naked with a progressive and forward-thinking stallion, but i went out with a dude once who simulated oral sex at the motherfucking dinner table, and what part of the game is THAT? because sure, it's nice to know that you have a tongue in your head, sir, and your ability to lick the outside of a wine glass really knocked my goddamned socks off, but my labia majora looks more like a medium rare roast beef sandwich with no mustard on rye bread. so if you're going to effectively simulate, we're going to need to close this bar tab and holler at a deli.

have you ever watched a dude eat a goddamned sandwich? meat chomping lettuce shoveling mayonnaise slurping crumbs in his beard revolting mastication? THAT SHIT IS DISGUSTING. if you saw me attacking a banana or an ice cream cone like a wild goddamned animal, teeth gnashing and grating and sending little bits of slimy chewed banana spewing every which way, would you invite me to have a go at a blowjob? no, you would not. you would muzzle me and insist on a handjob. that's the real reason i would try to get menfolk to go on food dates, because i could watch how dude handled an oozing, drippy taco and decide whether or not he could take a bite of mine.

getting eaten out is kind of boring. what's the worst thing about getting your dick sucked, fellas? inconsistency and pace interruption? WE HAVE THE SAME PROBLEM. just think of our machinery as an inside-out penis. if i tell you exactly what to do, and i will because i am bossy, just keep doing it. right there, the same way i just told you. wait, why are you getting creative? right there, that same motherfucking spot, over and over at that same pace until i'm finished. don't take a break, don't improvise, if you JUST KEEP DOING THAT I'LL BE DONE IN FORTY-FIVE MINUTES TOPS, I SWEAR TO GOD.

LOL IS SOMETHING WRONG WITH HER. um, yeah? her boyfriend is absolutely terrible.

how do i get out of spending thanksgiving with my girlfriend's family?

i'm sure there are some women reading this who just became instantly enraged upon reading this question, thinking about all of the times they've had to drag some kicking and screaming boyfriend to little joey's third birthday party or uncle jack's retirement celebration or gram and grampy's 700th anniversary dinner. women who have screamed, cried, yelled, begged, pleaded, threatened, cajoled, and otherwise worked themselves into a lather trying to get some asshole to drive six hours to aunt brenda's for turkey day, only to find that jerk sulking drunk on the couch with his jeans unzipped twenty minutes after dinner is served, texting some trashy girl who is less demanding.

here is the sweet shit about being a goddamned orphan: i really don't ever have to do anything i don't want to do, especially around the holidays. i killed my parents so i wouldn't have to deal with having to referee family arguments and pretending to have fun with people i sort of hate whom i happen to be related to IN THE SPIRIT OF THE HOLIDAY SEASON. my sisters and i were raised by the kind of people who didn't make construction paper hand turkeys or hang flint corn on the front door or LOVE US, OBVIOUSLY. we instead were subjected to my father's lengthy monologues about pilgrims and grave robbers and wampanoags; who wants to eat a dry-ass turkey leg after that?! i would just sit in my room and listen to lou rawls "merry christmas ho ho ho!" on cassette thanksgiving night, hoping the four-day weekend would hurry up and get over with so i could go back to school, a place where people actually cared about having fun and enjoying things. way to ruin my childhood, assholes.

anyway, i like to make my own frozen single-serving individual meal and stay home in my pajamas fading in and out of sleep while watching football on thanksgiving, not put on clothes with buttons and zippers and shoes i have to actually tie to sit in some stranger's living room eating food that will probably definitely land me in the emergency room. thanksgiving is a day to reflect on all the reasons i hate my life and all the things i would be thankful for if the universe would stop shitting down my goddamned throat. i like to spend thanksgiving musing over my failures and compiling a list of enemies and assholes that i'm going to try my best to totally fucking destroy in the oncoming year. what good health? what happy family?! i raise my glass to the many defeats that have befallen me and vow to rise from the ashes stronger and filled with more galvanizing hatred. I HATE EVERYTHING AND NOTHING GOOD EVER HAPPENS TO ME, and the last thing i would like to do on the last thursday of november is sit in someone else's lovely home and marvel at all of the proof that if there even is a god he loves them and hates me.

and since i will never have the joy of subjecting any future partner to the withering scrutiny of my mean-ass, joy-killing, holiday-ruining parents, i am totally never going to let anyone do that shit to me. so, gentle sir, tell your girlfriend your parents are dead. and that being in the midst of a happy family celebration when you don't have one of your own is unbearable for you. she should eat it right up. people love the idea that their bickering siblings and lumpy brown gravy are a source of pain and jealousy for you. seriously, bitches are fueled by the knowledge that someone envies what we have. IT'S THE ONLY REASON I'M ON GODDAMNED INSTAGRAM. so shed a few tears as she's mixing grapes into the jell-o mold (vomit) then enjoy your quiet afternoon on your own couch. and if you cave and find yourself sticking to a plastic-covered couch, squashed between her brother who lives at home and her aunt who won't stop hitting on you, i'll be at home awaiting your text.

today at school, someone came up to me after social studies and asked me why i said mean things about her on facebook. then i found out that my best friend got into a fight online, and to fix things she hacked into my account and backed herself up. it got me into trouble with my friends, plus she lied to my face about it. should i forgive her or not?

facebook is a fucking life-ruiner. stupid assholes insistent upon tagging the most awful and wretchedly disgusting open-mouthed pictures of your flabby arms and sweaty skin beard; your nonstop stalking convincing you that that one dude you're obsessed with is banging all 37 girls that constantly comment on his statuses (EVEN THE DUMB ONES) and post pictures of their butt cleavage on his wall, forcing you to sit up all goddamned night trying to discern the nature of his online relationships from a stream of suggestive comments with zero fucking context or background; misinterpreted messages from your friends that read as bitchy or dismissive and you have no idea whether or not that jerk is mad at you for real, so just in case she is you respond with an equally terse, vague message for her to try to translate; spoiled attention whores littering your newsfeed with pictures of their labia all day long (or bombarding you with links to their stupid fucking blogs, i'm sorry); bitches you hated in high school flaunting their happy lives and handsome husbands and adorable children in your face every goddamned day while you post about tv shows and what the cat is doing: I'M SURPRISED WE HAVEN'T ALL COLLECTIVELY HEAVED OUR COMPUTERS OFF THE NEAREST CLIFF.

but then how would we know what restaurant you just checked into?!

i wish i never had to meet anyone in real life. I AM SO MUCH BETTER ON THE INTERNET. i'm so much smarter, so much funnier, and the cropped parts of my face and upper body are so much better looking in the thumbnails on my profile. it's amazing to have that level of control over how people you will never meet perceive you. on the internet no one has to know how much you don't have your shit together unless you want them to, and what kind of idiot would ever do that?! my real life is pretty stupid, but my internet life is fun and hilarious.

i love facebook. how else would i know so much about people without having to spend even a minute in their company?! i can decide, based on your religious and political beliefs and your taste in youtubes, whether or not you're the kind of person i could possibly tolerate in real life. i can determine, based on the kind of shit you post, whether or not you are an idiot. do you have awful friends? do you unironically post fake news articles that you actually believe are true? all these things are right there for me to click through and i never have to hear your voice or smell your breath or discover that you're a bad tipper. that's some magical shit right there.

but omg, i cannot even imagine what my life would have been like if facebook had been around when i was in school. it makes my stomach hurt just thinking about it. seriously, i got stress diarrhea just reading this question. i'm not kidding, I AM IN PHYSICAL PAIN imagining what a nightmare my life would have been if the jerks i grew up with could add facebook to the arsenal of tools with which they tormented me. good luck being the ugly kid in these modern times. to go from school, which is a microcosm of everything that fucking sucks about real life, home to get on facebook, which is an even smaller distillation of everything that fucking sucks about school, must be ridiculous. it's like bullying, concentrated. the thought of even having had a cell phone when i was in high school gives me the meat sweats, all that texting nasty rumors about people and spreading camera phone pictures all over school. just think about it: awkward health class conversations, your jibs on display during swim class, exposed underpants in the locker room?! all opportunities to take a grainy cell phone video or picture likely to make some kid drop right the fuck out.

i'm too old for internet bickering. and even when i was a kid i was pretty docile and harmless, the least likely person to instigate a fight. i just wanted to read books and stay out of everyone's way. don't believe me? FAT KID MARCHING BAND. pretty much sums up everything you need to know about my high school experience. next time you see me, be sure to pull my underwear out of my pants or knock all my science textbooks out of my hands. i'll tape my glasses for the occasion. anyway, my fertile imagination is coming up with all sorts of sordid reasons your girl got into a comment war with some mean girl on the jv cheerleading squad. did they show up at homecoming wearing the same dress? choose the same project for physics class? develop crushes on the same soccer forward?! it is destroying mr not to know.

you kids need to learn how to junk punch a person the minute she picks up your laptop. i'd set this bitch on fire for messing up my e-lationships. but you probably shouldn't go searching for your dad's blowtorch just because i would. I HAVE NOTHING TO LIVE FOR. but you on the other hand are still young, this too shall pass, blah blah trite platitudes blah. also they put kids in real jail now so you probably shouldn't risk it. i feel like after a certain age you shouldn't be doing a whole lot you have to apologize for, and that most times someone offers an apology it's not really for the intent of that action (because people usually mean the fucked-up, horrible shit they do to you). it's mostly to make themselves feel better and to try to convince you to keep them around so they can cut your fucking throat and shit down your neck again. but you guys haven't even learned sine and cosine yet, have you? maybe you can let it go, before your bitter and unlovable years set in. (read: as soon as you have to worry about shit like some dick you hate on the job eating your lunch in the breakroom.) so yeah, forgive her. and change your fucking password.