I Know It’s a Little Late to be Asking This, But—Could Anyone Tell Me What “Schools” Is?

By Betsy DeVos (and Shawn)

Hi, America, it’s me, Betsy DeVos. I’ve recently been nominated by President Donald Trump to serve as Secretary of Education. I couldn’t be more honored, and I hope I’ll be confirmed by the Senate on Tuesday. But before I tackle my new job, I was wondering—is there anyone out there who could tell me what “schools” is?

I keep hearing this term, and I’m getting the sense that it might be important to whatever it is I’ll be doing. What’s most troubling is, the way people keep saying it at me, it’s almost like they expect me to already know what it means somehow.

For example, at my confirmation hearing, one of the senators kept asking me things like, “Do you believe schools should be taking a proficiency-based or a growth-based approach?” I managed to deflect the question pretty well by saying something like, “Uh huh, yeah, ‘schools.’” But in my head, I was thinking, “What is this guy talking about? Are they really allowed to just make up words like that?” And I was pretty angry for a while.

But then I started to suspect that it was a real word, because I kept hearing it on the news. I’d be watching CNN, and the anchor would be like, “Betsy DeVos burble burble SCHOOLS.” After the sixth or seventh time this happened, it dawned on me that I had a real problem on my hands.

When the kids don’t know something, they’re always using the Internet, so I thought I’d try that. I looked up Google’s address and wrote them a letter, in which I very politely asked, “Please, oh Google, what is schools?” So far, they haven’t responded. Maybe it’s my router? I’m not much of a tech whiz.

If I don’t get to the bottom of this, I’m worried it could affect my job performance. The other day someone was asking how schools should handle sexual education. And I gave what I thought was a pretty measured response, which is that sexual education is something the children should learn from department store mannequins as God intended. The questioner looked at me bug-eyed, and I thought, “Oh no, I didn’t use the word ‘schools’ in my response.” So then I yelled “Schools!!”, but she only stared harder. I’m not sure if I wasn’t loud enough, or if I waited too long, or what.

I guess things aren’t as simple as they used to be. When I was a kid, education had nothing to do with “schools.” My parents gave me a broken abacus and “Jesus Loves Businesses” coloring book, and those things, plus a department store mannequin, taught me everything I needed to know. But I’ve got to be Secretary of Education for the children of the 21st Century, and that’s apparently going to involve this schools in some capacity, however limited. So please, America, fill me in—you seemed happy to explain to Ben Carson what is house, and it’s only fair you do the same for me.

 

A Mother-Daughter Outing to the MVA

By Ann

Yesterday, my mom and I went to the MVA together. Here’s how that went.

After waiting for two hideous hours:

Mom: Hi, we want to transfer the car title from me to my daughter.

MVA Rep: You don’t have the same last name. You need proof of relation if you don’t have the same last name.

Mom: Yes, I’m sorry, we didn’t realize that until we got here. But we were hoping, since her middle name is my last name, and that’s all written out on her driver’s license, and also because the address on the car title is the same as her home address, that might work as proof?

MVA Rep: But you don’t have the same last name.

Mom: That’s correct.

MVA Rep (To me): Why is your name different?

Me: Huh? Because my last name is my Dad’s—

MVA Rep: Are you married?

Me: Yes, but—

MVA Rep: Oh, so your name changed when you got married.

Me: No. This has always been my name.

MVA Rep: Always since you got married?

Me: No. Always.

MVA Rep: So you’re not married?

Me: No, I am married—

MVA Rep: Do you have your marriage license?

Me: Uh, no, why would I need my—

MVA Rep: To confirm your name change.

Me: But I didn’t change my name when I got—

MVA Rep: Hold on, now I’ve got to go look up your marriage license in the computer.

(Walks away for incredibly long amount of time.)

MVA Rep (Finally coming back): Well, we don’t have your marriage license in the computer.

Me: Right. Okay, but I’m sorry, what I’m trying to say is that it wouldn’t matter whether or not you all had my marriage license, because that has nothing to do with my name.

MVA Rep: So you’re not married?

Me: No, I am, but—

MVA Rep: If you’re not married, I have to look up your birth certificate.

(Starts to walk away again.)

Mom: Wait, but on her birth certificate, my last name is different than it is now. Does that matter?

MVA Rep: Your name doesn’t matter. Her name needs to match yours.

Mom: I’m sorry? My name on the birth certificate doesn’t matter, or—

MVA Rep: No. I’m checking her birth certificate. Your name doesn’t matter.

Mom: But my name needs to match hers?

MVA Rep: Correct.

Mom: But my name doesn’t matter?

MVA Rep: Correct. I have to go look up her birth certificate.

(Walks away for incredibly long amount of time. Again.)

MVA Rep (Finally coming back. Again.): We don’t have her birth certificate either. You’ll need to come back.

Mom: Okay, so it doesn’t matter that her middle name is the same as my last name?

MVA Rep: Let me show you something. You see how your last name starts with a “C” and you see how your last name starts with an “F,” they’re not the same last name.

Mom: We understand that we don’t have the same last name.

MVA Rep: So, since she’s not married—

Me: I am married!

MVA Rep (Completely unfazed): You need to bring in her birth certificate. Next!

What a stellar outing. Mom and I can’t wait to do this all over again next week.

Late Night Chats

By Ann

Anxiety: Hey, bud, wanna think about the fuuuuuture?

Me: No. It’s 1:30am.

Anxiety: That’s the perfect time to think about the fuuuuuture, when everyone else is asleep and no one can hear you scream.

Me: Come on, Anxiety, this is a played out trope. We don’t have to do this. Mix things up. You could be on my side this time?

Anxiety: I am on your side, buddy! I just want what’s best for you.

Me: Okay. Great.

Anxiety: And what’s best for you is considering all the ways everything you’ve ever done or not done could come back to destroy you.

Me: I’ve got an idea. Let’s focus on deep breathing: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. 6, 5, 4, 3, 2—

Anxiety: I’ve got another idea. Everyone you’ve ever loved is going to die.

Me: Oh, come on!

Anxiety: What? I don’t want them to. I’m just saying, they definitely will. Every single one. That’s the circle of life, you know.

Me: Yeah, okay. Probably not for awhile, though.

Anxiety: Well, you don’t know that. They could die any time.

Me: They probably won’t.

Anxiety: That’s arbitrary optimism. Life is a hideous soup of chaos. You could wake up tomorrow and one of your parents could have died in the night.

Me: I don’t think that’s—

Anxiety: What would you do without your parents? That would be so traumatic.

Me: We don’t have to think about this right now.

Anxiety: You’ll have to think about it sometime. There’s no way your parents will outlive you. Unless…!

Me: Do we have to jump to—?

Anxiety: You could die, too. At any time. You could be walking outside and BAM, TREE BRANCH TO THE HEAD! That could kill you, you know.

Me: I don’t think that’s going to happen.

Anxiety: Remember, hideous chaos soup.

Me: I know it’s not impossible. Just, statistically speaking—

Anxiety: Oh, you want to talk about the most statistically likely ways to die? I know lots about that. Heart disease, cancer… you could get hit by a car! Do you know how dangerous driving is? If you die young, that’s probably how you’ll die.

Me: Well, I really can’t control that, so let’s just hope it’s quick and that’s the end of that, okay?

Anxiety: Okay, you’re right. Let’s focus on things you can control. Since you could die at any time, I hope you’re satisfied with how you’re living each and every day. Would you say that you’re 100% satisfied?

Me: No one is 100% satisfied.

Anxiety: Someone better than you is.

Me: Okay. Settle down.

Anxiety: I can’t settle down. Every second you’re lying here not working on your goals is another second all your dreams could die.

Me: I should sleep now, so I can do better work tomorrow.

Anxiety: Sounds like quitter-talk to me, but if that’s what quitter-you thinks is best…

Me: I do think that’s what’s best. So just shut up, okay? You’re not helping. Shut up.

Anxiety:

Me:

Anxiety: Hey, what time is it?

Me: I don’t care.

Anxiety: Wow, now it’s past 2am. That’s a lot of time you’ve just been lying here.

Me: I’m doing my best.

Anxiety: Lying here doing nothing…

Me: I’m trying to sleep!

Anxiety: Tick tock, motherfucker.

Me: Stop it. STOP IT. Deep breathing: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. 6, 5, 4—

Anxiety: Pretty sure you’re supposed to count to 8.

Me: It doesn’t matter what I count to. 1, 2, 3—

Anxiety: Did I mention everyone you love could die?

Me: That’s it. I’m playing goddamn Candy Crush.

Trump Pick to Head NASA Proves Controversial

By Shawn

WASHINGTON – This morning, President-elect Donald J. Trump announced the nomination of Dr. Steven Ixxxzyx to head NASA, a surprise move that has caught both his supporters and critics off-guard. A figure little known to the Washington establishment, Mr. Trump claims that Dr. Ixxxzyx will bring a fresh outsider’s perspective to an agency that has become overly preoccupied with partisan, political issues, such as climate change.

Insiders close to the transition team say that Dr. Ixxxzyx was not among the initial list of candidates to lead the agency, but Mr. Trump began hearing the name chanted quietly at night as he attempted to fall asleep. Becoming increasingly interested in “this guy I keep hearing about,” Mr. Trump had his team locate Dr. Ixxxzyx and arrange a meeting.

Over a sumptuous dinner at Jean Georges, Dr. Ixxxzyx reportedly impressed Mr. Trump with repetitive, guttural bleatings of “O great one, I will serve you,” convincing the president-elect that he would demonstrate the degree of loyalty Mr. Trump expects from his appointees.

Trump dines with man who is clearly not an alien.
Mr. Trump (left) and Dr. Ixxxzyx dining at Jean Georges. The president-elect reportedly enjoyed a bowl of garlic soup, while Dr. Ixxxzyx ordered several courses of “Snails, more SNAILS!!”

Dr. Ixxxzyx, who holds a degree in “Human Science” from the University of [Untranslatable Cacophony], expressed his eagerness to take on the job in a press conference held earlier today. “Am grateful to foolish orange hair-beast. Can now proceed to Phase Two. Praise be to local deities and country,” the doctor told reporters.

At the conference, Dr. Ixxxzyx also forcefully rebutted concerns that he lacks the qualifications to succeed in the position. “Am much qualified. Am not member of dying race wanting to survive by mating with humans. Will make no hybrids to conquer anything.”

If confirmed, Dr. Ixxxzyx plans to steer the agency away from its recent emphasis on unmanned exploration, focusing instead on missions crewed via a country-wide search for “nubile” candidates with “ovaries unblemished.”

While many agree that NASA is due for shake-up, a number of critics question Dr. Ixxxzyx’s ability to serve as an effective director. “The guy’s a fucking alien,” said Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-NY). “I mean, he’s wearing a fake mustache, but it’s still really, really obvious. What is even happening anymore?”

Although most ranking Democrats are opposed to Dr. Ixxxzyx’s nomination, they admit they are unlikely to put up much of a fight. “Honestly, we’ve got to pick our battles, what with Rex Tillerson, Jeff Sessions, and Steve Mnuchin coming down the pike,” said one Democratic source. “This is… we’re probably just gonna have to let this one slide.”