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Essays & Satire

HOUSE TURNED INTO BLACK HOLE THAT SUCKS UP BOOKS, OTHER PRINT MATERIALS by Janine Annett
(Larchmont, NY) — Area residents Jane and Tom Wald have reported to local authorities that their house has unexpectedly turned into a black hole that sucks up books and other printed materials. “For better or for worse, we’re die-hard print addicts in our house,” explains Tom. “We have subscriptions to 6 newspapers, 12 magazines, we support our local independent bookstores, and we have Amazon Prime. We have six years’ worth of back issues of The New Yorker.

From the Joy of Painting Episode: “Stinger Missile Manual” with Bob Ross by Dave Petraglia
Hi, welcome back. So glad you could join me. Today we’ll be working on the manual for a happy little shoulder-held surface-to-air missile, the Raytheon FIM-92 “Stinger.” Here I’ve got a prepared canvas, gessoed and dried. Now that we’ve got our horizon and our nice warm blue sky done, it’s time to place our target. The target is the aircraft that we’re aiming at, the aircraft in the ‘Lock’ screen. That’s what the soldier sees in the weaponsight when the missile has identified a target and it’s happy. Then it locks onto the target. In the ‘Lock’ screen.

Cardiac by Josip Novakovich
Jon and I drove from Sarajevo to Oraŝje to cross into Croatia, and we were going to pass through Republika Srpska. I had a book listing 3,000 slain Croatian civilians by Serbian forces in Croatia. I thought if the Serbian police searched us, they might not appreciate such a book, and I tossed it into the bushes. I didn’t know that there was no checkpoint. Republika Srpska was quiet; several orthodox churches were being built. An old man walked two pigs on the side of the road, grazing in grassy ditches. I feel sorry for the pigs, I said. Probably some holiday is coming up and he’s gonna bake them.

Thomas Sageslush’s Support of the Moronvia Heights Pit Bull Ban by Douglas J. Ogurek
Dear Mayor Goobrain: I enthusiastically applaud your support of the recent Moronvia Heights pit bull ban. As a proud member of Concerned Residents Against Pit Bulls (CRAPB), I wholeheartedly agree with your contention that these abominations that kill 0.0000006% of the US population each year “pose a severe threat to our safety, and have no place in our community” (U.S. Census Bureau, National Canine Research Council “Investigative Reports”). It is with this focus on our beloved community’s safety that my fellow CRAPB members and I urge you to consider a few more bans.

No Further Questions by Daniel Tobin
“Are you ready?” asks Coach, his tone sympathetic. He sits next to you, much closer than he would under normal circumstances. He pats your leg as you lean your back up against the locker. The contact with your head rattles the metal.
“I’m not,” you reply. “What am I supposed to tell them? There’s nothing to even say. This was pathetic.”
“Look, this is part of the game. There are ups and downs. Wins and losses. Just go out there and be honest. I’ll be right next to you the whole time.”
“Not too honest,” chimes in PR Rep. He stands across from you in a suit and tie. “Say too much and social media will be all over it.”

My First Date: An Apology by Andrew Bertaina
Every good story carries within it the root of infinite possibilities. And the first time a girl asked me out, I briefly saw that infinity branching out before me in its intricate complexity, and by infinite complexity I mean the two of us making out in a back seat. I was a sophomore in high school the first time a girl asked me on a date. I was sixteen then, long blond hair parted down the middle, emulating Keanu Reeves in Point Break, only far less dreamy. I was skinny and shy with unsightly braces—your basic repository for feminine desire…

Quips

Writing a cookbook that’s just photos of different foods with the caption, “Melt Some Cheese on It” below each one. It’s for foodies.
~Frankie Zelnick

To make a long story short, just walk away from the person telling it to you.
~Frankie Zelnick

There are two types of people in this world and they are both unbearable.
~Frankie Zelnick

We spend 1/3 of our lives sleeping and 2/3 of our lives wishing we were sleeping.
~Frankie Zelnick

*On Family Feud*
Me: I lent my cousin fifty bucks and he refuses to pay me back.
Steve Harvey: Umm, that’s not really how this works.
~Frankie Zelnick

Trying to get my act together, but these squirrels won’t keep their tap shoes on.
~Frankie Zelnick

When people argue about sports and one says, “Care to make it interesting?” I just always assume they’re going to start talking about something else.
~Frankie Zelnick

I can see five years into the future. I have 2020 vision. (Not even sorry.)
~Frankie Zelnick

I may not be smarter than a 5th grader, but at least I can buy booze.
~Frankie Zelnick

Rome wasn’t built in a day. I just col’em like I ‘seum.
~Frankie Zelnick

Adulthood is my least favorite after-school program.
~Frankie Zelnick

Beds are just sleep envelopes that mail you to your dreams.
~Frankie Zelnick

Misunderstandings happen when one person is clearly an idiot.
~Frankie Zelnick

I’m hoping my parents just forgot to tell me about my trust fund.
~Frankie Zelnick

Girls go to the bathroom in groups to plot the takedown of the patriarchy.
~Frankie Zelnick

You can keep telling yourself that Sesame Street is educational, but Cookie Monster has lived there for like 40 years and he still can’t conjugate a verb.
~Frankie Zelnick

Food journal:
(9:00 am) 6 oz of quinoa and 8 blueberries.
(9:15 am) Extra large box of Froot Loops and a wedding cake.
~Frankie Zelnick

Fun drinking game: Have 2 glasses of wine and then post all of your feelings on the Internet.
~Frankie Zelnick

You can tell a lot about a person just by breaking into their home and going through all of their stuff.
~Frankie Zelnick

Phunk: A word to describe the collective stench of Phish fans.
~Cynthia Reeser

I always give 110 percent, but I spread it out over five days.
~Frankie Zelnick

There are now more photos of Starbucks coffee cups than there are of the entire 1940s.
~Frankie Zelnick

Hot singles in your area want to harvest your organs and sell them on the black market.
~Frankie Zelnick

Sighing is just caring leaving the body.
~Frankie Zelnick

It feels like one of those “stay in and do nothing” kind of decades.
~Frankie Zelnick

Seems like kind of a missed opportunity that “The Love Boat” wasn’t called “The Relation Ship.”
~Frankie Zelnick

And the doctor said, “No more monkeys jumping on the bed!” And I said, “How about you just treat my concussed monkey and STOP TELLING US HOW TO LIVE OUR LIVES?!”
~Frankie Zelnick

My life is exactly like a Disney movie in that one time I ate spaghetti in an alley with a stray dog.
~Frankie Zelnick

My chiropractor knows more about posturing than all of NYC combined.
~Cynthia Reeser

I started this new diet where you just eat everything and hope for a miracle.
~Frankie Zelnick

I’m at Home Depot trying to decide between “Eggshell White” and “Complain About Immigrants White.”
~Frankie Zelnick

A lot of people don’t seem to know this, but you have the right to remain silent even when you’re not being arrested.
~Frankie Zelnick

Me: Hello darkness, my old friend…
Darkness: New phone. Who dis?
~Frankie Zelnick

Give a man a fish and he’ll Instagram it, but TEACH a man to fish and he’ll still probably Instagram it. We are literally the worst species.
~Frankie Zelnick

coldcupcake
Illustration by Patty Bowman

If a tree falls in the forest, I hope it lands on a guy who tells women to “smile.”
~Frankie Zelnick

I thought I was really depressed, but it turns out the mood ring I’ve been wearing for 18 years is actually just a black onyx stone.
~Frankie Zelnick

Do you guys like jokes about sodium and hydrogen, or NaH?
~Frankie Zelnick

Before social media, people used to have to write their feelings down on pieces of paper, tie them to rocks, and heave them through the windows of strangers.
~Frankie Zelnick

American Horror Story: There’s Nowhere To Charge My Phone
~Frankie Zelnick

My guess is that guys who say “bros before hoes” aren’t faced with that choice a lot.
~Frankie Zelnick

When life gives you lemons, take a big bite out of one of those lemons while maintaining intense eye contact with life. Prove you are a crazy wild card who won’t take shit from anyone.
~Frankie Zelnick

You are always only two beauty product purchases away from being the perfect person.
~Frankie Zelnick

A group of Liberal Arts majors is called a waitstaff.
~Frankie Zelnick

I’m like 80% sure that my death will somehow be connected to the opening of a pressurized Pillsbury roll container.
~Frankie Zelnick

How dare you call me mentally unstable, on this, the day of my cat’s quinceañera.
~Frankie Zelnick

Dropping Bones by Jan Karlsson
Dropping Bones by Janne Karlsson