Sometimes, I Pretend I’m the Floor

Since the days of my youth, I have been frequently told by well-meaning adults, “You shouldn’t let people walk all over you.” But they don’t understand. Nobody does. The truth of the matter is, I like when people walk all over me. Sometimes I even pretend I’m the floor.

I think it all started the day I was born. I was dropped, as many babies are (considering how slippery the average baby is), and upon impact my baby brain was filled suddenly with a lust and yearning for floors, and with a desire to become one, feelings which would grow exponentially with every passing year.

My earliest memory is of that very desire. I was laying down playing with my dinosaur toys, as usual, when I decided I wanted to become the floor. I put the dinosaurs on my back and stayed there motionless for upwards of two hours. My mother found me, and asked me what I was doing. I didn’t know, I just knew it felt good.

I would indulge myself a few times a week for years, just laying on the floor of my parent’s living room, or in the kitchen on special occasions. At first my parents didn’t know to watch out for me, so they would step on me or kick and trip over me. I liked that, but after a month or so they learned, and they stepped over me effortlessly, wherever I was. Then I would whine, and beg them to step on me. If I was lucky, I would get a light foot on my back out of pity.

That was the state of things for some 15 years, but now I’m at Pitt, and everything has changed. I’m a couple hundred miles away from the floor that I loved so dearly. This has, it seems, only increased my urges.

You may have seen me last semester, prostrate in the middle of the Commons Room in our beloved landmark Catherine. The problem was, of course, that no one would step on me there. They would see me lying there and step around, except for a few merciful frat boys who made a game out of stepping on me. There was one instance, though, that stands out exceptionally in my mind: a tour group, led by a Pathfinder, who was walking backwards as she spoke to the prospective Pitt students about the Honors College or something. And, facing the other way, she didn’t see me laying there, and she stepped on me!

The feeling was something incomparable to all the steps I had experienced before. This was unintentional, so I felt all the more floor-like. People don’t step on the floor out of pity, or out of jest, they step on it because it’s there, and for the first time since the very depths of my youth I experienced that. I felt like a true floor.

My life has since been a desperate struggle to reclaim this feeling, which I call ‘euflooria’. Yesterday I positioned myself just outside one of the elevators on the first floor of the WPU, and though only one person ended up stepping on me, I had an absolutely genius idea as wave after wave of groups with very specific shared interests gathered around me: I’ll start a club.

So, this is what this article is ultimately about: if you also like to pretend that you’re the floor, join my club and we’ll pretend to be the floor together. Maybe we’ll even step on each other from time to time, depending on where the mood takes us. If this interests you, please contact me.


By: Eric Brinling


“Would you like to switch to Renewable Energy?”

A man in a Green Mountain Energy shirt stops you in the street. He asks if you want to switch to renewable energy. You tilt your head. He tells you it changes the power they send you, but not the source of the power. You take a pamphlet. you realize you don’t know exactly where your power comes from. “The source is the same!” he calls after you in a vaguely taunting tone. “The source is the same.”


A man tabling for Red Mountain Energy stops you in the grocery store. “Would you like to switch to renewable energy?” Before you can get a word in, he assures you that “nothing will change, except the source of course.” You still don’t fully understand. You smile at him and he smiles back, wide and uncanny. The smile doesn’t leave his face as you walk away. You feel his eyes follow you as you shop.


You are sitting at home when you get a call from Blue Mountain Energy. They ask if you are happy with your new renewable energy plan. Silence. You don’t remember switching. Whatever is on the other end of the line is breathing heavily. It doesn’t seem like anything has changed. Your heart is beating out of your chest. You don’t remember giving them your number. You say yes. “Good.” You exhale. You didn’t realize you were holding your breath. “The source is the same.” The line is dead.

By: Laura Stockler

Textbook Industry Sends Hitman After Professor Who Didn’t Tell Students to Buy a Textbook

On the morning of February 7th, 2019, professor Michael Hawk finished going over the syllabus of his Organic Micro Marine BioChem III class by mentioning that the textbook was available at the bookstore, but not necessary for the class. This did not go over well with the author of the textbook, Sue King-Cox. Ms. King-Cox had previously sent a check for $100.59 to the professor, and executives of the textbook industry sent him a bottle cheap wine which had aged about as well as his racist tweets from the 1890s. Refusing to repay them for these generous gifts by making students buy an unnecessary textbook led to the industry hiring a hitman to deal with the problem, who probably would have succeeded had Professor Hawk not gotten fired for said racist tweets.

On January 11, that Friday, Agent Y, the world’s most renowned hitman, showed up in disguise for Professor Hawk’s class. He sat in the back, took his sniper rifle out of his backpack and assembled it, then waited for the students in front of him to move their heads so he could get the perfect shot. However, listening to the lecture caused him to fall asleep until the class was over and Professor Hawk was long gone. Agent Y tried this method a few more times before ultimately deciding to just kill the man at office hours instead. Unfortunately, the professor was not at his office hours, because no one showed up for them anyway. The agent ultimately decided to just kill the man when he wasn’t at work, but a new problem appeared when the news broke about the professor’s racist tweets.

As soon as the tweets were discovered, protesters descended on Professor Hawk’s house, preventing Agent Y from getting anywhere near it. At first it was just protesters who wanted the man fired for tweeting racial slurs in 1894, but a flock of counter-protesters joined the fray a couple hours later to defend the man’s job, citing reasons such as how “everyone was racist back then” and “he was just 65, young people make mistakes like that all the time.” However, those who stand by wanting the professor fired insist that 125 years just isn’t enough time to change one’s racist views. But these protesters didn’t just block hitman physically, but also in a deeply emotional way. “I couldn’t even get within sniping range of the house because those people were so damn annoying!” Agent Y reportedly told the Pitt News, although we here at the Pittiful News question their credibility as a news organization.

Ultimately, the textbook’s second edition was published a few weeks later and the industry called off the hitman. Professor Hawk has since written his own competing textbook/memoir titled “Biology and Blackface: Science Meets Deep-rooted Prejudice” which is to be released this Friday.

By: Blair Kriz

Susan, What Do You Think of My Pearl Harbor Fan Fiction?

[Alright, Susan. I’ve worked on this for a long time. For months now, it’s been my main passion, outside of worshipping you from afar. I give it to you now in the hope that it lets you discover the real me. And I hope that after you read it, we can be more than friends.

-Your soon-to-be-more-than best pal, Randy Stencil.]

It was 6 AM. The sunlight, in dazzling, exotic shades of pink and orange, was beginning to peek through the gently waving palms. Lt Col Randy Stencil, his non-regulation cargo shorts and flower print shirt doing little to hide his powerful, masculine physique, strode commandingly along the beach.

Susan, the beautiful native girl who came from a culture where physical intimacy was to be freely enjoyed and brassieres were a strange and unwelcome contrivance, still lay asleep on his cot, the shade from the palm fronds casting intricate patterns onto her bare stomach.

Hours before, Randy had wished the night would last forever. But now, the stillness of the morning, ruffled only by a breeze that lightly tickled the shoreline like a playful kiss on the thighs, seemed less a rude awakening than a heavenly consummation. And he should know, because he’d done a lot of consummating lately.

It was a perfect moment, which nothing could disturb. He noted the date, which he knew he would keep in his heart, symbolizing this moment of supreme bliss, for all time: December 7, 1941.

As Randy skipped into the general’s office, he greeted the company clerk, Titus, who was busy with his calendar.

“Oh, good morning sir! Can you believe it’s less than three weeks till Christmas? And not a snowflake on the ground! I tell ya, I just can’t get used to this here ‘Huh-why-uh.’ No doubt, this’ll be the strangest December 7th I’ve ever spent.”

Just then, the general walked in.

“Good morning, Stencil! Glad to see you! A beautiful morning, no?” Then, grinning devilishly, he whispered so that Titus couldn’t hear, “I’m looking forward to that shindig you’ve got planned for tonight. Heh heh. If it’s half as wild as the last one, this day will live in infamy!”

Randy was about to agree when the admiral burst in. “Men!” he exclaimed. “We’ve got serious business to discuss. Into the briefing room, now!”

“Yes, sir,” Randy and the general said in unison, and into the darkened room they went, to sit in front of a projector screen.

“Men,” said the admiral gravely. “I’ve wanted you both to see this for some time. It’s been a matter of concern to me for quite a while. Look.”

Preparing themselves to look at some deadly serious pictures of naval threats, Randy and the general were instead delighted to see some slides of the admiral’s cat.

“It’s my girl, Wrinkles!” he beamed. “Isn’t she cute?”

Grinning widely at the cat’s pronounced girth, the general announced, “That is one heckin’ chonker, admiral.”

In the next installment, the Japanese pay a surprise visit! (Now will you let me touch you, Susan?)

By: Ernie Tremper

Top Five Tips to Keep the Heat in This Winter Season

By Rachel Boward

1) Beef! Warm it up, baby. Those meaty patties will keep you all warm and snuggly as the ice storms rage outside. Just apply a nice slab of freshly microwaved cow flesh on all your exposed bits and you’ll be steaming in seconds! Makes for a delicious meal for you and your honey on those long winter evenings as well. Just add some ketchup and mayo and you’ve got a meal fit for a king!

2) Asbestos makes a comeback this February. What might call an “infamous public health menace” is really your key to a nice, toasty abode. Who doesn’t remember those wonderful evenings at Grammy’s house, fire burning in the fireplace, chestnuts roasting, and you and your five siblings huddling for warmth while you all cough to expel that hot, hot carcinogen from your little bodies. Nostalgic, effective, and 100% safe, asbestos is your key to keeping those gas bills low this winter.

3) Fire. More fire. So much fire. Hot. Burning. Engulfing everything. Let it smolder. Flames lick the ceiling. Scorching heat. Burn. Burn. BURN.

4) Soup bath! Ah, remember the good ‘ol days when you’d come home from a long day of sledding and snow angels to find the tub all filled up with the toasty, delicious liquid? Well, maybe mom’s not around anymore to steam the potatoes or cut up the carrots, but why not just do it yourself! Short on time? Grab a few cans of the store-bought stuff, microwave for a couple of minutes and voila, you’re got dinner and a bath fit for a king. The best part? You can always invite over your closest friends and family to share in the delicious, soupy fun with you once you’re done. Just make sure to clear the suds away before they get there.

5) Friction. Fun fact! Emperor penguins huddle for warmth. So, we can, too! Wanna take it to the next level? Just start rubbing. The faster the better. Remember those high school physics and let your Fsmax by μs η! Use this method to spark your tinder for number 3 as well. Don’t have a close chap to chaf around with? Well, a heavy blanket or textured wall can work just as well. Try it out with any rough surfaces around the house for an exciting day of friction fun!

A Towers Boi™’s Journey to Upper Campus

By: Zach Hartman

It was a chilly Sunday afternoon when I decided I would join the select few who had reached the highest point on Pitt’s campus. It wouldn’t be an easy journey, but after hiking up to Chevron at 8 AM 3 times a week, I knew I was ready. As I collected my things into my rucksack, I made sure not to forget my Panther Card lest I get locked out of Tower C again on my way back down. Leaving my beloved home, the towers lobby, I started the hike. The beginning of the trek was only a gentle slope, with a quick break at the intersection of De Soto and O’Hara. The incline was getting steeper though, and conditions were getting rough, and there was still a lot of climbing to go before I reached the base camp at 1040 ft, the Petersen Events Center. Luckily there were moving stair devices and a climate-controlled environment there to assist the climbers.

It was here where I met up with my Sherpa. Sarah, a native of Sutherland Hall had already been acclimated to these conditions. I only got called a wimp twice as I started to fall behind. Through even more stairs I persevered. The air was getting very cold and the oxygen running thin. Finally, the second camp at 1120 ft, Sutherland Hall, emerged over the horizon. We were almost there! As I climbed the final stairs inside Sutherland, I felt a rush of relief! Finally, after long last, I had reached the glorious summit! The Perch! Planting my flag and ready to feast in celebration of my achievement, I handed my card to the cashier, and she quickly swiped it. The last thing I heard before I passed out from dehydration was to the person behind me: “Thank you, next!”

Opinion: Why Cathy Should Have a Festivus Pole

By Blair Kriz

It’s that magical time of year. The campus has been decorated since before Thanksgiving, it’s a cold and rainy wonderland outside, and the crows have decorated the ground with various shades of grey and white. It’s almost Christmas! Or Hanukkah! Or some other holiday! Or nothing, if you follow another religion or if you’re just that really boring kind of atheist. If you’ve been to the Cathedral of Learning recently, you’ll notice that it has been appropriately decorated for the season. Well, almost. I propose that Cathy should be decorated for Festivus.
If you’re unfamiliar with Festivus, go watch season nine episode ten of Seinfeld. This article will still be here when you’re done. For those of you pretending to have better things to do, here’s a summary of the holiday: Festivus is celebrated on December 23rd by having dinner with your friends and family and participating in the “Airing of Grievances,” in which you tell everyone how they’ve disappointed you over the past year. After dinner, the head of the family challenges a member of the feast to a wrestling match known as the “Feats of Strength.” Easily explained occurrences are referred to as “Festivus Miracles,” and the holiday’s decorations consist solely of a plain aluminum pole in contrast to the flashy consumerism of Christmas.
This wonderful holiday should be celebrated and promoted at Pitt for a variety of reasons. Recognizing Festivus would help bring about the spirit of inclusivity here on campus. The kind of people who think they’re funnier than they actually are (e.g. everyone who writes for the Pittiful News) dig this holiday for its irreverent jabs at our culture. Those atheists I mentioned earlier who are the super stuck-up kind and not the kind who’re just about breaking the rules will finally have a perfect secular December holiday. Ultra-hardcore liberals will find solace in its anti-consumerist messages. Which leads us to the next big reason: we’re all broke college students. We just can’t afford to buy expensive gifts for our loved ones for a mega-commercialized holiday that was once about Jesus or something. With the exorbitant tuition we pay, the option to celebrate a holiday that doesn’t require us to spend any more money should be included in it. And finally, I think that a Festivus pole would be perfect in Cathy because they are both vaguely phallic. I performed a ritual with the Pitt Necromancy Club to reanimate Sigmund Freud and ask his opinion on the matter, and he said they absolutely are.
The only reason I could see the campus not wanting to spread Festivus cheer is that we might air our grievances about Chancellor Gallagher. But the truth is we would just do that anyway. Just look at any issue of this paper. Pitt has no reason not to adopt this wonderful holiday that will bring endless happiness and feats of strength to our campus.