People you don’t expect to come to your door during the Shelter in Place order

By Tyler Sikov

 

  1.   A Door to Door salesman
  2.   Dr. Anthony Fauci
  3.   A Birthday Clown
  4.   Christmas Carolers
  5.   A Bear
  6.   Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria
  7.   Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev holding a brick
  8.   Margret Thatcher
  9.   Woodrow Wilson with 14 pencils
  10.   Henry VIII with a very smelly mystery basket
  11.   Captain Ernst August Lehmann in a Led Zeppelin shirt
  12.   John Mulaney and Princess Diana
  13.   The Zodiac Killer
  14.   Carl Jung and his shadow
  15.   Gavrilo Princip
  16.   Ivan trying to not be Terrible
  17.   Alexander the OK
  18.   Genghis Khan and his 4 sons
  19.   The real-life versions of the Disney Princesses
  20.   All of the Pittiful News writers

 

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.

What are We Remembering Today?

By Tyler Sikov, Abby Stoudt, Sonya Acharya

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This memorial day at the Pittiful News, we’re remembering gay rights!

  1. On this day, on the 25th of May, in 1895 (in the olde London time), Oscar Wilde was arrested for doing gay things in public. The 1890s were not a good time to be gay. #BeGayAndDoCrimes
    1. (Basil to Dorian) “It is quite true that I have worshipped you with far more romance of feeling than a man usually gives to a friend.”
  2. Then, 118 years later, Ukraine held its first pride parade in Kiev. Coincidence? I think not!
    1. It was the biggest ever pride parade, too!
  3. That is it, but like just remember gay rights with us today! :  ^)

 

Greetings from Pitt’s 2020 Commencement (Virtual)

By: Sonya Acharya

The high cost of graduation ceremonies - Study International

It’s been a grand total of 22 days since Pitt did a virtual graduation thing on Zoom, because where else would they do it, everything’s on Zoom now. OK I lied, it was actually on YouTube. I’ve only just come out of my coma, which lasted 22 days because I was in mourning due to personal reasons, including but not limited to the fact that I’m going to be 22 years old. All of this goes to say that only now can I share my thoughts on the virtual graduation thing.

Here’s a link if you want to follow along! https://youtu.be/lh0CJDk9t80

Thought #1: Highly recommend tuning in if you’re in the mood to tear up at the experience of hearing Pomp and Circumstance while watching a vertical panning shot of Cathy.

Thought #2: I’m not so sold on these choppy jump-cuts of campus buildings and scenes (hello to the Music Building which I haven’t seen since Fall 2017, and R.I.P. to the 10A running on Bigelow) set to the “Alma Mater” song.

Thought #3: Yesss the victory lights!!! (Nooo to the vertical laser)

Thought #4: Gallagher misses us? That’s new. *tears up* This is the first time I’m seeing him and hearing him at the same time. Simply wild.

Thought #5: Cue the stock phrases about how we’ve adapted to these changing times.

Thought #6 / Interruption: Maybe I should stop referring to these as thoughts.

7: Wow I can see that he’s reading out this speech, probably from the same computer that’s recording him.

8: I wonder if he’s in his house at 718 Devonshire St. Maybe I should go there the next time I go for a walk. Maybe I should tap on the windows and make hissy noises to see if I can get him to move.

9: The second wave of cut-shots of people having fun without me, set to what is apparently “The Panther Fight Song”, are giving me a headache ☹

10: Made the 2020 vision joke, that we were supposed to have *gasp* 2020 vision but we didn’t *gasp* see this coming. *GASP*

11: Said the words “unprecedented time”

Edit: someone said it again

Edit #2: someone said “unusual times”. Probably multiple instances

Edit #3: also “trying times”, also probably multiple.

12: Comparisons I didn’t see coming – Pitt students are strong like bridges and tangy like Heinz ketchup.

13: Ladies and gentlemen, we finally have a face for the name of Provost Anne E. Cudd. She’s the only one thus far who’s worn academic regalia. Either she missed the memo, or everyone else missed the memo. Regardless, Ann E. is killing that hat.

14: Patrick D. Gallagher wants me to stand for formality even if I’m the only one in the room? Okay Patty, I’ll do it, but you WISH you could shake my hand.

15: Dear Patrick D. Gallagher, What is the fucking point of you sending me a virtual diploma? Sincerely (but not much), Sonya

16: You look forward to putting the real thing in my hands? Don’t bullshit me Pat, the real one will be shoved into my mailbox in the end of July.

17: Damn, we get a speech from Tom Wolf!! Also Joanne Rogers!! And Rachel Levine! Those are a few of the few names I recognize. *tears up at some point* I appreciate all the love and stock phrases being showered upon me by strangers.

18: I do not understand why I’m tearing up yet again. I’ve done it about 4 times already and it’s only been 25 minutes. This is very new to me because I rarely cry. The only movies I cry at are Up because duh, Inside Out (against my will, for Bing Bong), and Little Women (2019).

19: I AM LIVING FOR BRADY-BRUNCH-STYLE PITT BAND PLAYING “SWEET CAROLINE” WITH FIREWORKS

20: small comment, after weeks of my professors referencing The Brady Brunch, I still do not know exactly what The Brady Brunch is, and at this point I’m almost too afraid to ask.

21: Fuck it, I never asked questions in college and that’s why I’m like this.

22: Who are the Bradys? Why are they having brunch? What’s special about this brunch of theirs? What does that have to do with Zoom?

 

Door Dasher

By Tyler Sikov

Many people lost their jobs due to this pandemic but my job has turned from a seasonal occupation into a full time 24/7 job. You see, I am a Door Dasher. Yep that’s right, I got up to people’s doors, steal their packages and dash away. When I got into this competitive market, I thought I would only work around the holidays. This was not a problem for me as I have no family since the “accident” that I orchestrated. All my siblings were killed by trombones, my mom was skewered by a clarinet, and my dad’s head exploded when I played the sickest guitar riff. Now that everyone is having everything delivered it is my job to steal their packages and use whatever they had in them. So far, I have collected: 1000 rolls of toilet paper, 12 flat screen TVs, 3 years’ worth of food (4 if I intermittent fast), and 4 thousand Mother’s Day cards. I have also become famous. I am on TVs all around the world. I always make sure to let the ring camera get a good look at my face. What is the point of doing crime if it does not pay, and I want my crime to pay me in money and clout. Since my theft has become more publicized many people have been setting trap packages to catch me, luckily I am always wearing a strange assortment of paint, glitter, tar, and chicken feathers. As a master Door Dasher, I know how to protect myself from people trying to steal my packages. I have not had that many delivered to me lately, obviously, but my traps have been getting some use. The FBI keeps coming to my house to try to “arrest” me or something. They never get that close because of all my traps. Just yesterday 5 of the agents got stuck on some of the human sized sticky mouse traps I set out for them. In the past they have also fallen for many of my other traps. Some examples of my genius are: when one of the agents fell through the trapdoor I installed in my porch and could not get out of the pit, when one of the agents rang my doorbell but I rigged it to spray bear mace at them, and the time that the FBI came to my house only to find out I pulled an UP on them and lifted my house off the ground with thousands of balloons. Oh, there’s a knock at the door, I wonder what shenanigans I get up to today!

Celebrities Whose Unbirthday is Today

By the writers of the Pittiful News (Sonya, Tyler, Abby, Eric, Savannah)

  1. Sonia Sotomayor

  2. Jeff Goldblum <33
  3. Mahatma Gandhi
  4. Ashley Tisdale
  5. The Kool-Aid Man
  6. Danny Phantom
  7. Mrs. Butterworth
  8. Aunt Jemimar
  9. Eugene V. Debs
  10. Eugene Levy
  11. Eugène Sue
  12. Eugene Cernan
  13. Eugene H. Krabs
  14. Eugene O’Neill
  15. Eugene Fitzherbert
  16. Eugene Lee Yang
  17. https://www.ranker.com/list/famous-people-named-eugene-v1/reference
  18. Danny Devito
  19. Guy Fieri
  20. Hunter Fieri
  21. Cory in the House
  22. Billy Squier
  23. Old Fuss and Feathers
  24. Old Rough and Ready
  25. Tippecanoe and Tyler Too!
  26. Blaine, Blaine, James G. Blaine, the continental liar from the state of Maine!
  27. Henry Bird
  28. Mr Monopoly

 

What Is Making Me Break Out?

By Savannah Teman

Starting summer break made me realize something: I want a beach body, but beach body isn’t all in the actual body. It’s the face. And I have a face, so I figured it’s time to kick it into gear and figure out what the heck is making me break out.

I started by making a list of common factors in acne. Cosmopolitan says it’s my mother-in-law stressing me out about how to raise my kids. I’m not a 35 year old mother who needs a margarita so I’ll rule that one out.

The next article I read says it could be “what I’m putting on my face.” I’m not sure what that means because I don’t put anything out of the ordinary on my face, really. I use face wash, moisturizer, and toner. Oh, and pimple cream, and that weird serum with the snail stuff in it. And sometimes I use an overnight cream. And that stuff for under my eyes. And some anti-aging goop. But that’s really it. Vogue models use them and they look hot. But then again it could be the mask I use every morning that Buzzfeed claimed would help my skin. It just has like mayonnaise and pickle juice in it. Like a moisturiser and exfoliator in one. That can’t be it. Maybe I’ll try ditching the eye cream first.

Then I wondered, maybe it’s my hair. I mean it like, touches my face and all. I think it must be what I’m washing it with. I use that stuff from the commercial of the girl in the jungle in the big pond and her hair is all shiny and she keeps tossing it over her shoulder. She has nice skin too. I just don’t get it. I keep my hair well-maintained. I pick the bugs out. Use my pickle-mayonnaise leave in treatment. I even wrap it around my face at night to keep it smooth. There’s no reason why I should be breaking out from it.

Maybe my pillow is the cause. It touches my hair, my hair touches my face. I really tried with this one. I washed my pillow in the bathtub once I was done every day for a week, and then I hung it in the oven to dry. But every night I’d fall asleep and wake up the next day with a greasy, stinky face.

I think I’ve had enough. Doctors can’t pin it, my mom has no more advice, and my cat just keeps licking my face to make me feel better, but none of them are helping. I think I need a full life change. A spiritual awakening. I decided to move to the mountains. I will live amongst the goats. Hopefully this stress free life will finally clear my mind and my skin.

 

My trip to IKEA

By Tyler Sikov

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I am thinking of getting a new apartment but it is not furnished, so I need to buy some furniture. I heard of this store called IKEA, I have never been there before but I decided that there is a first time for everything, so I head to the IKEA nearest me. I get there and I start wandering the store looking for the bed section but since I do not speak Italian, I get lost. By the time I find the beds it feels like days have gone by, in case you are wondering where the beds are, they are just past the flugflorgs and around the bend from the sängar. Since I have been walking for so long, I decide to take a nap on one of the beds, as I am falling asleep, I think to myself, why don’t I just live here.

I awake to someone asking me where a section is. I tell them I don’t work here, they then say “but you are wearing a shirt and have a nametag”. To which I respond, “no I am not”, but then I look down. They are right, somehow, I am now wearing an IKEA shirt and I have a nametag on that says Finn on it, I guess my new name is Finn. My wallet is also gone, but I presume that is just how they have had me pay for lodging and the new clothes. I decide to accept my new life and work there, so I try to help this customer because the customer is always right. When I am walking around, I touch some weird sap on one of the pillars, so I go to wash my hands. I head towards the in-store restaurant because I know they have a sink. I wave my hand under the motion sensor but no water comes out, so I try again, to no avail. A customer comes over so I step out of the way to let them try. I tell them that it was not working, they say that they think it will work. Sure enough when they wave their hand water comes out. This definitely happened because the customer is always right. I then see a sign that says “all employees must wash hands * before returning to work”, but in small letters it says “* at show room sinks”. When I go to the sink section, which I find easily, now that I am an employee, I seem to be able to navigate easily, one of the sinks activates and I wash my hands there. A gold star appears on my fanny pack. Oh, by the way, a part of my uniform was a fanny pack.

I work for the day and now it is closing time. I was planning on going to sleep but when I got to the bed section all the beds were disassembled. I opened my fanny pack to see the employee handbook, it says “all employees must build their bed each night” and then “once morning comes employees must build all show room furniture”. I build my bed much slower than all the other employees, as many of them have had a lot more practice building beds, like 3 days more.

I awake at 4 am and get right to building. Once I build 5 office chairs and 12 sinks, I look in my fanny pack and find a bag of carrot sticks. I eat these veraciously as I had not eaten anything the previous day. It is forbidden to eat in front of customers, as they can not know that we are humans, or, I mean, that we were humans. Today there are a few new people working. I feel that they fell for the same pillow-toped trap I did. The longest working person there, Mike, was not around this morning but we did have a new piece of furniture, the mikrofon. It seems like every day one of the workers goes missing and then a new piece of furniture shows up. Eh, I guess I am seeing something where there is nothing. Luckily, we build all the furniture before the first customers show up.

I have been here a week now and I am getting excited as the manager told me that I get to launch the newest piece of furniture. He takes me into his office and I get into this weird machine. The next thing I know there is someone sitting on my lap. I try to ask them to get off but they can’t seem to hear me. I look over and see an item name tag on my wrist that says finländare. I managed to get over to the computer section and finish writing this, just remember what they always say. “In IKEA no one can hear you scream”.

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.