Editor’s note regarding COVID-19

By Sonya Acharya

I know we’re all cooped up inside, being sad and stuff. But I have news for yinz! It’s something to make you less sad! It works at any time, but I thought I’d share it so people can be less sad during these trying times.

My *hot* tip is this: Light Fires To Feel Joy. Yes, I know that’s a Pitch Perfect reference. No, I’m not going to take it back. I did it on purpose, and I also meant it.

You wake up. You feel sad, probably. Think of flames, warming you up and filling you with warmth. You have to set something on fire. That will make you feel better. You’re going to need a steady source of fire like a candle or a blowtorch or the stove if you’re not a coward. (I’m not a coward.) What? A lighter? You’ll have to speak to my legal counsel about that one.

Step 1 – Find steady flame.

Now, you’re going to need a goal. Not a life goal, that’s pointless. (In this situation at least. Please don’t actually give up on your life goals.) You’re going to need a pyrological goal. Find something that you wish to set on fire. No, not bridges, I do not recommend burning bridges to feel joy. Unless they’re really mean, then maybe. You could burn an entire box of pencils, because you won’t be needing them anymore. What’ll you do, take notes while watching lectures in bed? Ok, maybe you’ll do that a little bit, so keep one pencil aside and burn the rest of the entire box. Or you can do what I did and just try to burn a 3-wick Cedar Firewood candle that has a lid and everything. Start small but be fancy.

Step 2 – Find something to burn.

Next you’re going to execute your goal. The specific steps and rules to follow for this will really depend on what your goal is, so I’ll just tell you how I executed mine. I needed a way to transfer fire from source (stove) to goal (candle). I used a combination of junk mail and borrowed spaghetti. The junk mail was from a credit card company that’s not mine but that wants to be mine, and the borrowed spaghetti was three of my roommate’s noodles, from the box on the counter. I couldn’t use my own because I don’t have spaghetti and I knew one day I’d look at my empty bowl and wish I had just three more noodles. But my roommate’s spaghetti was a different story, and I knew she’d understand when she saw how happy I was.

Step 3 (optional) – Find kindling.

I used strips of junk mail to try and light the three wicks. As I held bits of burning paper, with flames, I realized I’d never felt more alive. I also realized that the burning paper smelled a lot like plastic and fireworks and I decided it probably wasn’t safe. That’s when I switched to borrowed spaghetti. This wasn’t as fun because the flames spent a long time being further away from my hand so I felt less alive. But I managed to light the wicks of the candle, which made me feel more alive, so I guess my overall feeling of aliveness by the end of it was elevated. Lighting fires DID make me feel joy!!

Step 4 – Execute goal.

I know that there is still one burning question. What if you light your house on fire? Well, I’m not worried. We all have working smoke detectors, right? I know I do, because the third time I met my landlord, he was flipping his shit while putting new batteries into my smoke detector because apparently he had someone die in a housefire. If you don’t have a working smoke detector and you’re still worried, move to a location on the same street as a fire department. That way, when you light your house on fire, they can see the flames shooting out of the roof before you even have to call them, and they can come to put out the fire and find you roasting marshmallows on your size XL campfire, singing “On Top of Spaghetti”. I know that’s oddly specific, but trust me, everyone’s been there.

TL;DR – In the short term as well as in the long term, lighting things on fire will make you feel better and also make you feel warm inside and out. I know things may seem pretty bleak right now, but I believe that we can get through this dark, sad, difficult time together.

What’s in the elephant’s trunk?


By the writers of the Pittiful News

  1. A monk
  2. Some funk
  3. Bed, bunk
  4. Something I drunk
  5. A little spotted skunk!
  6. Alvin the chipmunk
  7. My battleship, you sunk
  8. A spunky hunk’s hunky spunk
  9. An AM radio
  10. A vintage Louis Vuitton trunk
  11. A myth the elephant plans to debunk
  12. Junque

I Caught Feelings for the Naruto Runner Guy From Area 51

By Abby Stoudt


Are you there Naruto runner guy from Area 51? It’s me, Abby.

Ever since my lonely gaze fell upon your splendid bod, it was like love at first sight. Your form was so perfect that it reminded me of how it felt to be alive again. It’s been a long time since I’ve felt anything. I stopped feeling things when I watched episode 109 of Naruto (that’s the one where Sasuke leaves the village, for all of you uncultured losers out there). But Naruto runner guy, you made me feel a new woman. I swear when you ran across that desert behind that reporter, a million butterflies took flight in my stomach. I grew weak in the knees. I can’t stop thinking about you.

Naruto runner guy, I know this sounds corny but make me feel like I’ve just been named hokage. You make me feel like how Naruto must have felt after he was finally able to concentrate enough chakra in his feet to run all the way up to the tree and slash a mark higher than Sasuke could. You make me feel like Naruto when he finally mastered the rasengan.

If I’m being honest, Naruto runner guy (and I will be honest with you in our relationship. There will be no secrets between us because relationships need communication in order to work. I will respect you and I will listen to you. I will be your shoulder to cry on and your best friend. I believe that we might even be soul mates, Naruto runner guy, if you don’t mind me being too forward.), if I’m being honest, I think that you are so brave and courageous, and that you should even be named a national hero. Not just anyone could do what you did and run so beautifully on television like that, but I think it was so wonderful.

Naruto runner guy, if you ever see this, I hope that it sparks something inside you too. No, I hope it ignites a fire inside of you that is brighter than the fire release jitsu and it burns just as hot.

By the way, I’m single, 5’3”, Pisces, and have a fantastic sense of humor ;)



Meeting the Most Feared Gangster in the Underworld

Every muscle in my body is quaking as I walk to the door. This could be the end of me.

For as long as I’ve pushed speed in Seattle, I’ve heard stories about the Doc.

I’ve never met anyone who’s seen him and lived to tell about it. He’s one of those men so feared, no one will dare question his unusual habits.

Kind of like how Al Capone used to hang around gas stations late at night singing nursery rhymes while dressed as a giant mouse. Or how Lucky Luciano had a ballpoint pen fetish. Do you think anyone dared so much as mention it in front of them?

They say the Doc don’t drink whisky or gin. Nothing but fine, imported sherry. Sometimes he spends the whole day in his office, listening to classical music, not accepting any visitors. They say that’s when you know he’s getting ready…for wanking!

I mean whacking!

As my trembling hand grasps the doorknob, I realize with horror that there’s classical music playing inside the office now. I’m as good as dead. I stagger in, shaking.

It’s an elegant office space, with a large oak desk, behind which stands an enormous swivel chair, its back to me. Slowly, I approach, and then, with what little voice I can muster, whisper, “Sir?”

Suddenly the chair swivels round, giving me my first look of the formidable man. To my amazement, I recognize him.


His eyes widen with shock. Immediately he jumps up and closes the door. “You know who I am?”

Stuttering, I answer, “Of course, Doctor Crane! I’m a huge fan! You’re a mobster?”

In great distress, he answers, “No one must know. Fifteen years ago, I was hosting a dinner party for the Seattle elite. But my father’s dog absconded with the goose I was going to serve! I had no recourse but to contact a rather low and dubious gentleman who claimed to have ties that would enable him to procure any sort of poultry at a moment’s notice. Little did I know what ties these were!

“When my brother and I arrived for the trade-off, we found the man lying in a pool of blood, surrounded by the most villainous creatures you could imagine. Our only chance of surviving was to pass ourselves off as mob bosses. Poor Niles wasn’t the least bit convincing, so they drove a nail through his skull. Fortunately, they believed me. I’ve been trapped in this situation ever since. Fifteen years! I so long to see my father, if he is still alive.”

Deeply moved, I tell him that I can help him escape.

With profound gratitude, he answers, “Oh thank you stranger. At last this eternal exercise in seeing how the other half lives can come to an end. I shall be glad to be done with my trip through It’s a Small World pretending I was a UN interpreter – OH GOD!”

It was too late. Seconds later we both hit the floor.

By Ernie Tremper

Your Roommate Probably Hates Your Friends

Do you ever get the impression that your roommate hates it when you have your friends over? Do you feel that they just might not understand how you put up with those people? Well here’s some possible reasons why. Your roommate might hate your friends if…

  • They ask them the questions about the weird stuff on their desk that you’ve been polite enough not to ask
  • They’re the people who are at Market to Go at two AM
  • They hide under your bed and sleep there
  • They talk to you in another language so your roommate has no idea what you’re saying and as far as they know you could be making fun of them
  • They’re furries and they’ve just gotta make sure everyone knows about it
  • They correct you whenever you call a trebuchet a catapult
  • They play their Japanese music games at full volume
  • They decorate their room with memes that will be dead in a few days, and encourage you to do the same
  • They’ve spent a significant portion of their lives trying to figure out the words to Gwen Stefani’s The Sweet Escape other than “refrigerator”
  • There’s that one character that they like just a little too much…
  • They’re bio majors who are trying to create plants that can feel pain because of that one time a worker at the vegan section of Market was rude to them
  • They think reminding people that Bee Movie exists is funny
  • They like to pretend to be the floor
  • They constantly brag about how they take the Chevron stairs to upper campus and how it’s “good for your buns and thighs” (that one’s me, sorry)
  • They’re always complaining about the asbestos discovered where they live in Holland Hall
  • They hide under your roommate’s bed and sleep there
  • They talk about a really hard class in their major as if anyone else knows what the hell they’re saying
  • Whenever you quote from Spongebob, they start reciting the whole scene (also me, sorry)

By Blair Kriz

My Trip to Valhalla

I should probably start with how I ended up here in Valhalla. Well I love to kill people, I kill everyone regardless of race, age, gender, religion, you tell me and I’ll kill ‘em. See the problem with my addiction to killing people is that once the person is dead they don’t come back. I wish they’d come back so I can kill them a different way. I figured that if I got into Valhalla I could kill people everyday and they would be back to eat dinner. I’m not normally the heroic type so the next time I went to kill someone I didn’t stab them I instead stabbed myself and welp here I am.  Once I got here I was greeted with Odin’s hour long “10 step plan to succeed in Valhalla”. The highlights were “eat your mead”, “report every time Loki visits you in your dreams”, and “don’t kill my ravens”. I was then rushed into an elevator and sent to the 177th floor aka the floor for people who did something stupid to get into Valhalla. I was in room a room all the way at the end of the hall 38 miles away from the elevators. My neighbor got in because he, the son of Tear (the god of personal challenges), got challenged into a fight in a bar that he was ill prepared for because he has no arms. Jeff on my floor was on the ground and suddenly had flashbacks to his war days where he was afraid of paratroopers and started shooting at the skydivers above, he was then killed by a stray lightning bolt from Zeus if you believe in those fake gods. Another person who lives on my floor got in because he was sky diving with his trusty AK-47 and then suddenly remembered how much he hated ants, unfortunately the ants he thought he saw were people, he then got shot by Jeff.  This makes dinner at the table for those who died single, or as we hate to call it the kids table, very awkward. While at the kids table Odin came over to me wearing one of those fake nose and mustache glasses disguise. He thought I could not tell it was him, but I definitely knew it was. Despite Odin being right next to us we decided to throw mead at the Valkyries. I was immediately in a dark room with a oily weasel man strapped to a table, I was pretty sure this was Loki but luckily I had my intro to Norse Mythology book and it confirmed my thought. Loki then gave me a presentation on his “2 step plan to not succeed in Valhalla”, the highlights of this were: “get in to Valhalla” and “Kill Balder”. After his 7-hour long presentation, he kept getting interrupted to have snake venom poured in to his eyes, he told me that he had been watching me and was impressed. He said since I finished step one of his 2 step plan, I might as well do step 2. He then handed me some mistletoe to kill Balder with and I must have misread the signs, but we kissed and then I woke up in a cold sweat in the baggage claim area of Valhalla. Balder came and was doing a strobe light demonstration and he began to crowd surf. I saw my chance and I took it, I touched Balder with the mistletoe and he instantly disintegrated. I tried to play it cool but I just hadn’t killed anyone in a few hours so I couldn’t contain my excitement. I went back to my room but as soon as I entered it turned into a dark room filled with the gods. Odin was sitting there with a spotlight on him and he yelled “How Could You! You are hereby Banished from Valhalla and we never want to see you again so you can no longer die”. I was on board with this plan, I was getting bored of killing someone just to see them again at dinner.

By Tyler Sikov

Lucky Bitch Sees Hamilton for the Fourth Time

Unbelievable. That lucky bitch. How dare she. Seeing Hamilton again? How many times has it been now? Four? She already saw it on Broadway. Twice. (Once with the original cast). She saw it in Chicago, and now she’s seeing it in Pittsburgh! And she has the nerve to tell me, “it wasn’t that good. And it got boring after I saw it the third time anyway but whatever.” That spoiled bitch. Unbelievable! Here I am, working so hard to enter the lottery every day, coping with through the crippling anxiety of deciding whether to bid for one or two tickets, and what do I get to see? Nothing. Just the picture of the Playbill on her Instagram story. But really, everyone is seeing Hamilton now. The Pittiful News Social Media Humans went and bought out the whole theatre so no one else could see it, and now my physics TA is seeing it too? Seriously? Am I the only person who hasn’t seen it yet? I’m glad Angelica was good, but I still don’t know what a Coulomb is! Fine, you know what, fine. I guess I’ll just have to watch the bootleg on YouTube again. *hffff*\

By Zach Hartman