This is the online component of the humor section of the Argus, the Wesleyan University newspaper.


Take it From Me: Fire Alarms

I smoke pot often enough. Not as often as I eat watermelon, but with the same fury. It helps me slow down the often needlessly racing train along my brain-rails. When I’m stoned, not only do I think more slowly, but life is a drama. My microcosm becomes a magnum cosm, starring me as the protagonist. Only it’s me as a seven year old. I talk to watermelons as I eat them, delivering lines like, “I’m gonna devour your pink jelly if it’s the last thing I do,” my rigid finger pointing at its green shell. “Seeds?” I roar to myself. “My spoon can handle your seeds, you silly, juicy bastard.” Sacrifice is made by both sides, but in the end, there’s nothing left but its bitter, thick rind. If I also happen to be drunk during these productions, then my common sense, which is already fluid at best, has to wear a helmet.

I’ve been burning plants at Wesleyan for three years now, and I’ve never encountered a smoke detector that wasn’t totally fine with me getting high next to it. This year, I’m living in an enormous senior house. Now, I don’t know if everyone feels this way, but for years I’ve been dreaming of smoking in my own mansion, and a few days ago, my dream came true. For thirty seconds. Then the fire alarm started shrieking like a Cantonese opera star. I was like, buddy, you are a cold-hearted abomination.

After the alarm went off, firemen and P-safe officers arrived within a few minutes. In the meantime, I was so drunk that I would be heaving liquor at regular intervals the next afternoon. I was confused and stressed, and my tall friend told me to “burn some toast or something.” I didn’t have any food because I’d just moved in, so I threw two playing cards on the stove. It almost made sense, but in retrospect, it was a shameful decision. I burnt two playing cards to cover the smell of smoking about a deck’s worth of drugs, all the while completely convinced of my heroic cunning.

The P-safe officer told me that it sounded like I was maliciously burning household items, which would constitute the crime of reckless burning and endangerment and, though he couldn’t say for sure, “You might be spending the night in jail, son. Uh police lock up, that is. Not too comfortable a place to sleep.” He paused. “You should probably stay here.” Then he went inside to examine the scene, and I finally exhaled. Waiting on the lawn with my housemate, it immediately made sense to me that I should be arrested. I was drunk, high, and pyromanic inside a house made of wood that didn’t really belong to me. I was the villain now, and I shivered in arousal.

After a few minutes, the officers came out of the house. “There seems to be a problem with your fire panel,” they said. “We’re calling the manufacturer to send a guy to fix it.” Feeling what I thought was a hernia, I could only nod.

“Wait. Was the alarm messed up before, or did we break it?” asked Susan, my housemate.
They glanced at each other, then one of them mumbled, “No, well, you see. It’s, uh, my understanding that. Just hold on.” He turned to talk into his radio. “OK, that’s what I thought.” He looked at me. “Yeah, you can go inside now.” I was suddenly reminded of an ice cream sandwich I had in the fridge. Fuck, I thought. I’d have to offer them all some.

As they left that night, one of the firemen told me not to do it again, but also to have more beer next time. The P-safe officer called me stupid but said I didn’t seem like such a bad guy. As I closed the door, I turned to Susan and said, “This night was awesome.”

She narrowed her eyes. “You’re so fucking annoying. I had to get out of bed for this.”

A Word From the Editor

Don't try arson at home.


The Weekly Convo

This week’s convo reflects the theme of fire-starting by giving readers a peek into the home life of the cave man who discovered the element. Scientists have named him Conrad.

Conrad: Honey, I found something that is guaranteed to get you hot!

Lucy: Yeah right. You haven’t managed that in years.

Conrad: It’s not my fault your legs spring closed whenever I beat you with my love club. Anyway, I’m telling you, this is the craziest shit you’ve ever seen. I’ve named it “heat pile.”

Lucy: Well are you gonna show me, or just keep masturbating those sticks in your hands?

Conrad: Would you just stop yelling at me for one second? Just one goddamn second? I will wait. Thank you. Anyway, this is how you make heat pile. You rub sticks together until your arms get tired, and poof.

Lucy: Poof, yeah. That sounds brilliant. You’re a real thinker.

Conrad: Nothing I do is good enough, is it? I’ll never be like your brother, the faaaaamous elephant hunter. Why don’t you just mate with him?

Lucy: Believe me I would’ve if he hadn’t mated with our sister. You know I can’t stand her.

Conrad: Wait shut up. Here we go. It’s about the start.

Lucy: Hmm. That’s actually kinda cool. So now what do we do with it?

Conrad: Uh. I mean, you know. We can look at it for a while. Isn’t this fun?

Lucy: Whatever. I could use some food. Too bad you can’t hunt as well as you make excuses.

Conrad: I can feel it, baby. This discovery is going to be revolutionary. It’s gonna change the course of history.

Lucy: Fine. But change that ridiculous name. It’s what our son calls the gorilla shit he plays in.

Smokey The Bear Embarks on National College Tour

The controversial flame-retardation spokesman, formerly known as Smokey the Bear, recently finished the Northeastern leg of his “Careless Combustion” tour. Under fire in the past for his questionable reinventions, Mr. Bear has undertaken another effort at curbing man-made fires. His latest campaign makes use of popular social networking media. On his Facebook profile, under obvious pseudonym “Smoke this Bitch,” Mr. Bear encourages “smoking meats, not trees,” but also advocates safety when barbecuing and using hair curlers. A chilling anecdote of his own hair straightening faux pas brings the page to life. The many groups he belongs to include “Our children are flammable. Stop the madness!” and “8th Graders need to back off 9th grade guys especially other peoples BF’S.” His most recent Twitter posts were “I’m going to get those fucking bees and their honey” as well as “just set my toaster on fire … fml.”

For those readers who blindly support Smokey and his newest alternatives-to-smoking crusade (, it seems prudent not to forget his last disastrous reinvention as “Smokay Da Bear.” That plan was extinguished when Smokey began to advocate the use of inhalants and intravenous drugs as alternatives to fire-starting activities. Taking a cue from international anti-smoking symbols, Smokey got a tattoo of a cigarette being destroyed by termites shaved into his lower back. Said politica tramp-stamp attracted negative press, including reports in US weekly with names such as “Smokey the Slut,” and “Iconic Bear Disgraces Race.”

Blazing Athletics

If I learned one thing over the summer, other than why you should never, ever accept rides from burly truck drivers named Preston while hitchhiking through the southwest, it’s that there is one ingredient which can instantly improve just about anything. I am of course referring to fire.

Since the dawn of time, man has used fire to make things better, from marshmallows to grain alcohol to job interviews that aren’t going in your favor. But believe it or not, this elemental phenomenon has yet to breach the area of sport. Why this is the case is beyond me, especially once one considers what various games would look like if they were set ablaze.

Golf: In some sports, such as football, adding fire is hardly necessary, what with the regular, crowd-pleasing spinal injuries. Some athletic events are so painfully boring, however, that the only solution is to burn the shit out of them, which is precisely the case with golf. Sure, a burning ball would put some pressure on the competitor to finish their shot before the forest catches, but add a burning club, and the game starts to make sense.

Tennis: In some cases, fire will exist less as an element of play and more as an aesthetic contribution to the game. Flaming tennis nets are a good start toward making every match an epic duel, but setting the ball on fire endangers lives!

Water Polo: Two words: Fire Polo.

Olympic Diving: In this case, the fire acts as an incentive. Like many of these suggestions, the fire will act as a way to judge performance under pressure. A diver who is able to concentrate more on their form than on their melting skin will be sure to earn high marks.

Competitive Eating: Would you like some fire with that cheesecake? Yes, please.


California Forest Fires Miraculously 
Extinguished by God

CA--God made an unexpected appearance this weekend when he put out numerous wildfires that have ravaged the West Coast in recent weeks. California residents were stunned on Sunday when a massive yellow stream poured from the sky and doused the seemingly uncontrolable blaze. The liquid made its way across the coast to each isolated fire, culminating with a few last drops landing around Mount Wilson. Though theologians continue to debate the meaning of the event, everyone agrees that God’s intervention was a giant relief.

Only God Can Prevent Forest Fires

Contributing Writers--09/08/09

Samuel Korda: Blazing Athletics
Craig Malamut: Breaking-Update
Jillian Moreno: Smokey College Tour

A Word From the Editor

What is the Ampersand, you may ask? In short, it’s a multi-billion dollar government conspiracy revealed, an experimental predatory lizard-ape on the loose, the biggest porn star in history turned state governor. We here at the Ampersand take our job very seriously. The job of Infortainment. We take all the triumphs and tragedies of the world and condense them into a few paragraphs about our genitals. For all you freshmen out there (and you know who you are), the Ampersand is the one thing on campus that is lower on the social ladder than you right now. It is the entity you make fun of to be cool.

There’s a lot for you all to learn during this orientation week, and you probably won’t because there’s also a lot for you to drink. But for now, don’t worry, that’s pretty much the only responsibility you have. Once classes start, well, actually it’s still mostly fucking around with crayons and pot, but there are appearances up which to be kept. The Ampersand knows how you feel, and it can help. It has a masters in psychology and can guess astrological signs with frightening precision. Sagittarius, right? Now, allow me to demonstrate the blinding force of a fully operational satire column in this liberal-arts-university newspaper. In closing, I encourge you all to bust it off and burn it down.


The Weekly Convo

The Ampersand strives to bring real life to real people. This weekly segment will bring it straight up as real, or realer, than it gets by highlighting a particular aspect of human nature each week that we feel should be brought into public awareness. In this first installment, we present a chat between two people, Fred the Freshman and Seymour the Senior.

Seymour: “Hey, you look like a freshman. Are you?”

Fred: “Yeah.”

Seymour: “That’s so gay. In a bad way. So what is this, your first time on the hill, dickjelly?”

Fred: “Uh. I was out here yesterday actually. Why?”

Seymour: “What are you, like, a child? God, I feel so bad for you, thinking you’re all cool and shit. Just so you know, dicktilt, you’re not cool. I’m cool.”

Fred: “Uh, OK.”

Seymour: “‘Eh, o-hay’. Is that really how you talk, dickbutton?”

Fred: “I mean...wait dickbutton? What is that?”

Seymour: “What are you retarded too? I should’ve known. You are such a freshman.”

Fred: “Well, I am literally a freshman.”

Seymour: “Are you still talking, dickfloss? I thought you passed out from trying to be cool and left.”

Fred: “I passed out and left?”

Seymour: “Obviously not in that order, dicksplash. So how do you like Wes?

Fred: “It’s pretty cool. I’m enjoying it so far.”

Seymour: “You would. So you wanna hit this bowl?”

Fred: “Sure, thanks.”

Seymour: “Well, despite the fact that it has freshmen, this school is pretty great. I think you’re really gonna like it here.”

Fred: “I should tell you to act your age, seeing as you’re almost in the real world workforce.”

Seymour: “Interesting point. But when that happens I’ll just like a dicktack freshman all over again, which sucks. Just let me keep calling you names for a while, and you can get drunk and party in my house. Now let’s get high already.”

Fred: “Deal.”

Take It From Me: You're Not Getting That Forty

Freshman orientation was when my mom lost her phone for a week, swearing she had left it in her shoe, and then eventually found it in a half-full peanut butter jar.

But that wasn’t really at orientation, because my mom wasn’t with me at orientation. She was at the hotel looking for her phone. The point is, orientation is both excruciatingly painful and hilariously painful. Pain and hilarity often go hand in hand. Meaning they show up at parties together with one bottle of wine and jointly sign birthday cards? No. If you’ve ever broken a bone and been screaming in pain in the back seat while your mom misses the exit for the hospital, the tears only make it funnier.

But it’s subtler during orientation week.

Now if you’re like me, and you always think partying looks more fun than it is, don’t worry if you’d rather stay home and watch the television in your teletubbie jammies and tweety bird slippers, like I did.
The night will start out with you jus’ chillin with some kids on your hall (“Yeah they’re kind of freaks but I’ll find cooler people soon,” you might say. Hint: You won’t. These are, and always will be, your best buds, so don’t be a dick). Then you’ll meet up with some other kids who you all don’t really know but kinda sorta went to high school near each other and exchanged numbers earlier on your cell phones that my mom will probably steal from you and misplace. You’ll join up in a big rowdy group of largely sober, pretending-to-be-happy-and-friends-with-each-other strangers and realize that some scary kid in the back of the cluster has a forty in his hand and a spare in his pants. Then everyone will try to get the kid to give them the forty by acting all buddy-buddy with him (“Yo! Alexander! Can I bum that forty? Is your name not Alexander?”). You’re not getting that forty. He’ll drink both of those plus the one hidden under each armpit and then throw up on the sofa and some hot chick at Psi U.

The moral of the story is, don’t go to orientation. And if you do, don’t leave your dorm room. And if you do, don’t leave your hall. And if you do, make sure you have forties hidden in your pants. And hey, while you’re down there, can you check if my mom’s phone is in your peanut butter?

Freshman Orientation: Do's and Don'ts

DO pee on Olin. DON’T vomit on Olin.
DON’T hook up with anyone who can be described as a ____mate (room, hall, class, etc.) even though you probably will.
DO attend Foss Cross in drag.
DON’T make any major lifestyle changes based on how much fun you had dressing in drag for Foss Cross, but DO feel free to consider yourself a Queer Ally thereafter, even if you have never participated in Queer Activism and still regularly say “No homo” (like after you hooked up with your roommate at Foss Cross).
DO offer your RA a blunt if he or she shows up at your room and doesn’t bust you for being loud.
DON’T get blunted and awkwardly invite yourself into your RA’s room when he or sh6e is having friends over.
DO get plenty of sleep but DON’T sleep through your meeting with your academic advisor. DO sleep with your academic advisor.
DO learn the Wes Fight Song.
DON’T sing it every goddamn time you’re drunk.
DO the walk of shame with pride, but NOT to your first class on Monday morning.
DO enjoy dance parties, power hours and breakfast shots.
DO go to parties on Fountain, but DON’T leave them with a full handle of Dubra tucked in your coat as soon as PSafe shows up.
DO be polite to PSafe Officers when they show up but especially if you clearly have a handle of Dubra tucked in your coat.

Service Yourselves

Dear Freshmen, trolls, and other mythical beasts. We love you all equally. And because of this, we at the Ampersand have deemed it appropriate to provide you with a short list of informative resources at Wesleyan. They vary in quality and usefulness, but you should take advantage of all of them because it’s take-advantage-of or be-taken-advantage-of here at Wes. And trust me, you do not want to be taken advantage of by a newspaper. The ink stains are impossible to get off in the morning.

Wesleying: This trusty website (recently updated from a mere blog!) is a solid source for all things happening at Wes. They also find it necessary to throw in random YouTube videos and other irrelevant articles, but they mean well. Generally entertaining and informative, like Rush Limbaugh.

Anonymous Confession Board: Ah…the ACB. Yes, I search it for my name sometimes. Yes, I’ve been written about on it, and I loved it. Yes, I masturbate to the allegedly autobiographical fantasies people post in moments of extreme depravity. TheACB is simultaneously one of the most entertaining and despised institutions on campus. Sound interesting? Check it out for yourself.

Chalking: Chalking doesn’t really exist anymore, but it’s all cyclical. Until a couple of years ago, it was a major source of information on campus. Then Doug Bennet, president with an otherwise stellar reputation, banned chalking, thus propagating the opinion amongst the student body that he was in fact, a douche-juice guzzler. I’ve heard that he was actually a good guy though. Controversial, maybe, but hygienically above reproach.

The Argus: This trusty periodical holds the distinction of being one of the oldest college newspapers in the nation, and the oldest bi-weekly. The Argus is known for its fine reporting, reliability and level-handedness. The front page is always laid out perfectly, with color pictures. The editorial often reflects on a topic of great importance on campus. The sports page is splendid as well. It, sir, is perfect.


Attention-seeking Transvestite Goes Unnoticed at Foss Cross, Joins NRA

Contributing Writers--09/03/09

Lily Bushman-Copp: Do's and Don'ts
Jillian Moreno: Take It From Me
Benjamin Smolen: Breaking-Update headline and picture
Abaye Steinmetz-Silber: Service Yourselves