Heck (Hell but more Inconvenient)

By Tyler Sikov

Before I tell you about my experience in Heck, I should probably tell you how I died. I was running around in one of those revolving doors, forcing people to go through the much less fun normal door, I was then decapitated while trying to leave the door, the door was spinning so fast that my head was just gone. I appear inside a room and an attendant puts lotion of my hands and feet. I am then told that I must go to the reception area for processing. This was immediately a difficult task as to do that I needed to open a door, and I could not stop sliding around the room. The lotion smelled really nice so I decided to lick my fingers which gave me a great idea, I could open the door with my mouth. I put my mouth around the handle and the door immediately flies open sending me sledding across the floor. The man in the doorway tells me to follow him. I follow him down many twisting and turning halls with him talking at a volume I could hear but not quite make out everything he said. At many points I lost him only to find myself walking down the wrong hallway and falling down a random pit. I must then climb the long stair case where each step is a different height, this really killed my ankles, get it because I am dead, eh. You living folks will get it when you are dead.

Finally, I find him and am escorted into a reception room. This room is filled with many buttons. None of the buttons have labels so I begin pressing random buttons. The buttons I pressed did these to me: had a group of people run out and lightly brush my face with feathers, had someone play twinkle twinkle little star on my teeth, someone come to give me a hug but it lasted a few seconds too long and he was really sweaty, someone walked near me with a chinchilla and every time I tried to pet it they would pull it slightly farther away. Finally, I pressed a button that brought out a lady who introduced herself as the receptionist. I asked where I was and she said Heck, an eternity of small inconveniences. I thought of myself as a good person but I guess I inconvenienced a lot of people in my life. She tells me that I am all checked in and that I am free to leave the reception room and go find lunch.

I leave the room and after getting lost for a mildly inconvenient amount of time I find the elevators. I was expecting them to be empty but when one arrived it was almost full, there was one spot left. I get in and as the elevator is descending, I realize that everyone else in here has not showered in months. I turn and talk to one of the people to ask them why they are all in here and why they smell bad, yes I am a blunt person, all of the people in the elevator say in unison “We never leave, we never clean ourselves, we make all elevator rides inconvenient”. The elevator then got stuck for 30 minutes. The elevator does not have numbers on their buttons so you would press random floors just hoping it took you where you were looking to go. Once I get to the floor I was searching for, I go and get myself a burrito bowl from Chipotle but they are always out of a random ingredient, so just normal Chipotle. I order what I ordered while I was alive, but when I go to pay, the credit card machine is broken so I pay in cash, I have just enough to pay for it and tip 10% in my pocket.  I eat the food but I find a hair in it, I go up to the customer service desk to complain about this.

I get to the desk and the woman at the desk screams at me for wasting her time. She then starts to talk about how she knows corporate and demands to speak to my manager. I finally get a word in and complain about there being hair in my food and this woman smacks me in the face and then punches herself in the stomach and starts screaming that I hit her, so I decide that this is a lost cause, I ate a lot of cat hair in my life so eating a bit of mystery hair in my afterlife is not the biggest of deals. As I am walking away from the desk someone hits me on the back of the head with an empty wrapping paper tube. I ask why, and this guy replies, “Whenever your sibling thinks of you someone will come up behind you and hit you on the head with an empty wrapping paper tube, as I have just done”. Right once he finishes saying this, I get hit on the head again, I have 20 siblings, lucky for me it does not hurt that much it is just more a mild annoyance, just like having a sibling.

Right then I stumble into an alley that is full of people asking me to sign their petitions, I start signing some of them and on one of them I write the date wrong, I go to erase it but the eraser bits stick to the paper and you can tell that I wrote I wrong the first time because it does not erase fully. I then get a notification on my phone that my job has been changed and will be changed every day. I question this because in life I never had a real job, I would just go to a business for a week, reorganize their computer systems and cabinets, then leave without telling anyone where they can find their stuff in the new systems and cabinets. It tells me that today I get to mow a lawn, I am allergic to mown grass so I will be sneezing for a week after today. The map on my phone shows me that I am a 20-minute walk away from the lawn I am meant to mown, and I need to be there in 15 minutes. Right then the path I must take to get to my job is filled with people, not enough to stop me from getting there, just enough that it will be harder for me to get there on time.

When I get to my job, 35 minutes late, I go to shake my boss’s hand and he begins to do the worm. Once he notices that I am attempting to shake his hand he gets up and asks if the culture changed again, I ask what he means and he says that every few months the culturally accepted greetings and other culturally accepted practices are changed, and no one will tell you what they have been changed to, so sometimes you come off looking rude. He then tells me to mow the lawn. Once I am done mowing, I decide to go to a rooftop pool. I get into a swimsuit and jump in. quickly I realize that parts of the pool are salt water and parts are chlorine, I am very confused as to how this works but more bothered by the fact that different parts of the pool are wildly different temperatures.

Once I am done, I get directions to my apartment. It takes me an hour to get there. Once I get there I reach into my pocket and find a ring of keys, and the 15th key I try opens the door. Right as the door opens, some cats jump into my arms. Right when I think that this may be a nice place to be, the cats jump off of me leaving my entire body coated with hair. I walk in and find that I have a dryer full of clothes, I take the clothes out and as I am walking back to my bed to fold the clothes, I drop a sock onto the dirty floor. I pick it up and decide that I should wash it again so I put it into a different basket. I notice that this sock has a hole in it, I look through my other socks and I notice that all of them have holes in different places, many of them will cause some of my toes to be out of my sock. I knew that this could be a bit annoying because I have to walk up hill everywhere I go. Right then I get a message telling me that tomorrow my job is stapling individual pieces of very sticky paper.

I change into my pajamas, freshly clean and folded and go to brush my teeth, while I am brushing my teeth water is constantly dripping down my arms, because of this I wash my hands. I pull up my sleeves so they do not get wet but the second I turn on the water my sleeves fall back down and get soaked. There is a knock on the door, I open it and get hit on the head by an empty wrapping paper tube, again. I go back inside and decide I should watch some Netflix. I go to search for a show I like but every key I press types a different letter or symbol, it takes me a long time to find the show I want to watch. After a bit of buffering because the wifi is slow I watch an episode. The next episode starts after a bit of buffering but it is not the next episode in the show, it is a random episode of the show. I try to find a way to watch the episodes in order but all shows autoplay their episodes in a random order. I look at the clock and see that it is getting pretty late so I decide to go to bed. The bed is part box spring, part memory foam, part air mattress and part water bed. It is going to be hard to fall asleep but soon enough I will and then I will wake up and live in this world of small inconveniences. This is my own personal Heck.

 

I Accidentally Summoned Mortal Kombat Characters into Animal Crossing: Here’s What Happened

By Tyler Sikov, Savannah Teman, Abby Stoudt

Authors’ Note: We wrote this as two people who have only ever played Animal Crossing and one person who has only ever played Mortal Kombat

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So, since the launch of Animal Crossing New Horizons in March, my life has become centered around Pietro the sheep. Every single night I close my eyes to sleep and I dream about him. My waking hours are filled with thoughts about his silly little clown face. I want nothing more than to have him live on my island and be my best friend and yet, he has yet to move in.

 

I spent hundreds of hours grinding to earn Nook Miles so that I could buy tickets to visit other islands and find Pietro and I just couldn’t find him. Friends offered to invite me onto their islands to ask their Pietro’s to move onto my islands and on the very day that I planned to ask him to move in, someone else took his place.

 

Needless to say, I was getting desperate. So, I decided to buy some amiibo cards off of eBay. I didn’t want it to come to this, but I needed the clown sheep on my island. I needed it more than I needed air to breathe. However, when the cards came in the mail, I noticed something weird: they were unmarked. I didn’t think anything much about it, only that I would have to scan them all to find the Pietro one; but when I scanned one into the game, I noticed something weird. They didn’t call a lovable sheep or cat or other similarly cute animal, they summoned Mortal Kombat characters who I couldn’t get to move out at all. Here are some of the weird things that happened once they moved in.

 

  1. My villagers can now perform x-ray fatalities
  2. Biff started greeting me with “Time to die, little man” instead of “MUSCLE MADNESS”
  3. Raymond has now begun to attempt Rolling Thunder (Raiden) on Peaches
  4. Scorpion has a peaceful home where he has many pet scorpions, then once he leaves his home he stabs people though their skulls with his chain knives
  5. Sahara the traveling carpet dealer is now only selling trait cards
  6. Isabelle’s business casual attire started to become a little more Kombat-casual
  7. The only way to get a five star rating is to fight every Jock villager in a grueling 76-on-1 match
  8. Tortimer has come back for final revenge on Johnny Cage
  9. The female characters all have tiddies
  10. Nightwolf has started killing my villagers to add their animal spirits to his army
  11. Tom Nook now routinely removes disobedient villagers spines and then impales them with their own spine
  12. Goro has now mated with many villagers to create a generation of villagers with four arms
  13. Timmy and Tommy swear now
  14. Kotal Kahn is now forcing all of the villagers to come to his talks about te Mongol Empire
  15. Absolute Zero froze the water around my island, collapsing the thriving fishing industry

 

Cats (the musical) is an abomination before God

By Sonya Acharya
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     I recently watched Cats (the musical). Luckily, I watched it on YouTube, which allowed
me to take the precautions necessary to consume this horrifying piece of media with minimum personal damage. That meant watching the show (which, remember, is just shy of 2 hours long) in 3 sittings, on 3 separate days. That’s a weird way to watch a thing. But I had to prevent my brain from crumpling in on itself. It could have been worse. I tried watching it months ago, but that recording had twin cats jump out of a sewer pipe and hip-thrust repeatedly, 15 seconds in. I only made it twenty minutes before my brain just shut down. That recording also didn’t have great audio, so I’m actually impressed that I survived 20 entire minutes without knowing what they were doing or why. This time, the functional audio and lack of early hip-thrusts kept my spirit alive (though flickering) for like 40 minutes. After that, I had to scrape the remains of my brain off my skull and regroup. But overnight, I realized that painful as this was, I’m not a quitter, so the next day, I picked up where I’d left off.

To understand my experience, you have to know what I was seeing. Imagine humans.
Wearing skin-tight cat/morph/body suits (why the fuck does it have so many names when it shouldn’t exist at all?) with fur on the arms and legs and face/head. Also their faces are painted like if clowns tried to do cat makeup. And they have tails. It’s super unsettling to watch human-cat-Devil-things strutting around twirling their tails. They stand like fucking giraffes. Stretch your legs way apart. More than that. Are you doing a full split on the ground? Then a little less than that. Are you uncomfortable? No? Then join the cast of Cats, join your people, accept your fate. These creatures all sing and dance. Apparently they were choreographed to mimic real cats, but that’s a fucking lie. They move like snakes or spaghetti or something oozy, like toxic slime.
     Why and how did this musical do as well as it did? Who exactly has been signing up to
watch it? Is it like a kinky-thing cult classic or something? Maybe there are only like eight
people, but they really REALLY like it, and they alone are responsible for the rise of
anthropomorphic feline nightmare-fuel. Now that I say it, it’s definitely a kink thing. Remember how the coronavirus has been called “unprecedented”? Well Cats was also called “unprecedented”. An unprecedented success. I haven’t an everlasting fuck of an idea how it was a success, but I can guarantee that no-one, except maybe T.S. Eliot, anticipated Cats.
     I don’t feel like reliving the experience to give you all the details. Sitting down to the
third and final session was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do. You haven’t known hell until human-cat-Devil-things are trying to seduce you, when you’re actively not being seduced, when you’re in fact being repulsed as extremely as possible. That’s it, that’s what it’s like, the whole time. I will grant that of the 23 musical numbers, I enjoyed 3 or 4. Unfortunately, by thinking that, I’m now contractually required to watch Cats (2019), the movie. With the musical, I can curl up in the fetal position and tell myself that it’s just fursuits, face paint, and gloves, but CGI is a form of psychological warfare to convince you that things are real. I’ll be watching the movie sometime soon, and if you don’t hear back, I’ve probably died. So this might be goodbye.

I Bought My Nintendo Switch in 2018 so I Could Play the March 2020 Animal Crossing

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By Savannah Teman

It’s been 8 years. I have waited a little under 8 years for this game to be released. It was almost long enough for me to forget the game even existed. Yet I held out for this game. I bought my Nintendo Switch™ in 2018 solely to play the Animal Crossing that came out in March 2020, and these are the reasons why:

  1. Animals that cost 60 dollars
  2. Companionship that costs 60 dollars
  3. A vacation that costs 60 dollars
  4. The ability to put cute cases with Animal Crossing designs on my Switch
  5. The fact that if I wanted to make a bunch of dumb little people fight against each other I can just swat villagers with my butterfly net
  6. You don’t HAVE to talk to the people in your town
  7. Any mini game you can play on your Switch you can play on Animal Crossing:
    1. Hide and go seek
    2. Fishing tournaments
    3. Gardening
  8. Also essentially any hobby you could have in real life you can have in Animal Crossing