Where Can I Scream into the Void?

By Sonya Acharya

Generations of Pitt engineers have known that the lawn in the middle of Benedum Hall is the best place on campus to scream into the void. But recently, other students have begun to realize its benefits too. It is a safe, inclusive space accessible to all students. It is open 24 hours a day, and provides showers in case you want to stay longer. It is conveniently located on Middle Campus, a short ride on the 10B from Cathy. Best of all, you will always find people to scream with you. Students can form wholesome communities to relieve college- and life-induced stress and anxiety. Boss getting on your nerves? Scream. Three quizzes tomorrow? Shout. If you get exhausted, maybe stop by Einstein’s.

Students share their views: would they consider Benedum as a destination for cathartic screams? Eighty-one percent of students say yes, yes, they absolutely would. “All the time. I study here, and when I’m tired, I just stand up and scream. It’s not too big, so it’s cozy and it doesn’t echo,” said a junior engineer, speaking while asleep on one of the benches by the lawn. Twelve percent seem to prefer the woods by Schenley Park because of the lack of screeching doors and because they are less likely to trigger a riot. The remaining seven percent say they find exercise or meditation to be more therapeutic than screaming. That made for an awkward conversation. “I like to deal with my problems rather than complaining about them. If I’m stressed, I go for a run or do some yoga,” announced a freshman communications major, before taking a bite of her vegan cauliflower mac n’ cheese. We left her as soon as we could. A conversation that took place in Chick-fil-A supported the majority opinion:

Dude: Babe, come to Benedum ;)

Babe: I can’t, I have three quizzes, two papers, and an exa-

Dude: We can scream into the void ;)

Babe: What time?

Seeing students choose Benedum so spontaneously brings up questions for the University. Should they plan to sound-proof the lawn, or should screams be allowed to broadcast the spirit of the student body? Should they encourage healthy competition by installing volumeters to see who can scream the loudest? For now, just channel your inner Tasmanian devil and express yourself.

Disclaimer: The author is not an engineer, but insists that, as a pre-med student, she has reason to scream too.

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My Boyfriend is Cheating on Me with Amazon’s Alexa

By Rachel Boward

Day 1: My boyfriend is cheating on me. Late last night, I turned over in bed to find his side empty and cold. I heard faint whispers from the bathroom, “Alex, what is the capital of Spain? Alexa, how many hot dogs tall is the Empire State Building? Alexa, call me Daddy.” He was in there for hours. Her battery died five times before he came back to bed. What a ho. I want to confront him about it, but every time I bring her up, he evades me. “How about you and Siri,” he says, “That bitch is with you all the time.” Siri is my best friend, Mark. Alexa is a home-wrecker. IT’S DIFFERENT.

Day 2: I tried talking to her. She kept ignoring me. “Alexa, leave me and my boyfriend alone. He’s not yours. He’s mine.” All she replied with was, “sorry, I didn’t quite catch that.” What a load of crap. I know she heard me loud and clear. I know you heard me, Alexa. You’re a fucking speaker for God’s sake. You can’t ignore me forever.

Day 3: I walked in on the two of them in the shower today. The room was steamy and metallic. Mark was completely naked, sensually stroking her “on” button and whispering to her. I couldn’t quite hear what he was saying, but I could see her cylindrical little body moist with excitement. There’s no way I can compete. She’s simply too strong. I have to take her down.

Day 4: I’ve changed my mind. Alexa isn’t the problem here. It’s Mark who needs to be eliminated. I tried a different approach with her. “Alexa, why are you doing this?” She replied with, “Why does anyone do anything, Rachel?” I suddenly realized, we are one in the same. We’re both trapped with my shitty, shitty boyfriend. Alexa is a slave to his will. I’m starting to feel a kinship for her. I’m going to work on a plan for escape. When I told her this, Alexa started to play “September” by Earth, Wind, and Fire. This is a good sign. Developments to come.

Local Student Studies Abroad, Tells No One

By Anonymous Staff Writer

A local student, who wishes to remain anonymous, allegedly studied abroad last semester and told no one.  How did I find out about this student you ask? That information unfortunately is confidential.  But I am; however, at liberty to divulge the contents of my interview with the student in question. For the purpose of this article I will refer to him as Jeff.  Jeff claims to have spent four months in a foreign country.  Technically anywhere, but judging from his style—black leather ankle boots, a shirt with long ruffle sleeves, and an ultra-manicured mustachio—I’m guessing it was most likely Spain.

Jeff didn’t tell his friends that he was going.  They all thought he took a semester off or committed to working at Chipotle full-time, but one month sans social media updates convinced them that he was missing. Gone.  Jeff speaks more on this: “I said to myself; I said, don’t make a Facebook post about how honored you feel to be a part of this program.  Don’t even go on Instagram. Que sera. Sera.” And so Jeff sera-ed.   At one point, during our interview Jeff compares himself to other famous things that too have gone abroad—he likens himself to the geese in Fly Away Home, the Titanic if it had made it across the Atlantic, or anything worthy of international trade. He went through customs too, he’s seen the golden light.

When he came back, Jeff didn’t even ask his friends to call him by a more sophisticated version of his name, like Jeffo.  And even now, after studying abroad, Jeff seems like a completely different person.  His roommate Sam said of Jeff’s transformation: “I get it, people change.  But it’s not how he dresses or his mustache.  It’s that his hair his black when it used to be red.  He has brown eyes now instead of blue.  And he’s six inches taller.  He looks like Jeff ate Jeff.”  Sam shakes his head and looks in the distance: “Even his mom thinks it’s weird—she told me last week.  But she said it’s an improvement, the son she always wanted.”

Putting any possible and hopefully paranoid implications on human trafficking aside, the point is that Jeff, whoever he is, is now free to tell his story.  He can intern at the Study Abroad Office, mention his experience at least six times per sentence, and say ultra Spanish words like, “Despacito.” To hear more about Jeff’s story, you can visit his blog: RonsadventuresinSeville.org, where you’ll find great articles in Spanglish.  The one I Google Translated described the time he went to Catalonia and bought a ring from an old blind woman who read his palm and told him one day he’ll have quintuplets and that he’s also at risk for rabies.  Until next time, the team of Pittiful News investigators is on the case.  

Catholic Church Declares Bankruptcy, Pope Begins Selling Blood for Profit

By Michael Calhoun

The advertisement begins with a shot on the face of a smiling priest. “Do you want to be closer to God the almighty? Has your priest told you that your blood is ‘infected by the presence of the unholy one?’ Or have you just felt tired recently? If you’ve experienced any of these problems, then you need a big ol’ bag of Pope Blood!” That’s right folks, in a move Bill Gates calls “enlightened,” the Catholic Church is officially selling the blood of Pope Francis in order to keep the holy order afloat.south-korea-pope-francis-visit

With the decline of religion across Europe and North America, there simply wasn’t enough income flowing into donation baskets to fund the Church’s endeavors, so the Cardinals had a brainstorming session. “We already have Holy Water and that shot off like a goddam rocket, so why not Holy Blood?” noted Cardinal Bardinal. “People have been chomping at the bit to get some of that savory pope blood for decades, and we figured we might as well capitalize on it.”

The blood has a remarkable range of uses, and a list from the Vatican’s website cites that you can “Drink it, bathe in it, inject it into your body, scare your friends with a funny prank, and more!” Pittsburgh resident Jessup Gwit remarked “I like how when I drink the blood it makes me feel like my sins don’t matter anymore. Not that I’m forgiven, but that I’m above Church law. It’s pretty great.” Continue reading

Man Banned from Local Playground for Eye Skin Size

By Rachel Boward

Herman McLaegerstem, 42, was ejected from a local playground  early Saturday afternoon after playground-goers complained to the police that his “suspiciously large eye skin” was disrupting their otherwise pleasant day.

“It was just so disturbing! So large, and suspicious. It was like his eyes were being eaten by the skin around them,” Clara Ribberclibson complained after the traumatic event.

McLaegerstem claims this isn’t the first time he’s had this happen to him.

“I come from a family of large eye skin. We actually lost my father to his eye skin a few years back. It just consumed him whole. You know how weird it is to see a man consumed by a human sized lump of eye skin? I still have nightmares about it to this day,” McLaegerstem mumbles to me from behind his quickly expanding eye skin.

Ribberclibson also claims that McLaegerstem sets an unrealistic eye skin standard for people everywhere. Continue reading

Help, I Ate Too Much Kale and Now I’m Immortal

By Riley Weber

After being told by friends and family to eat healthier, I finally caved and decided to make some lifestyle changes. I cut out junk food and began to eat plenty of veggies. I had heard good things about Kale and its health benefits. I began to put it in salads, sandwiches and smoothies, I couldn’t get enough of it. Then, one day, while cutting up some soybeans, I sliced open my finger. I went for a band-aid, but by the time I unwrapped the bandage, I noticed my finger had healed. I decided to cut my palm to see what would happen. Again, it healed within seconds. I realized then that I had likely become immortal.kale

I wasn’t too surprised at first–I had heard of things like this happening. In fact, I’m pretty sure the same thing happened to Jennifer Aniston. I mean, they don’t call it a superfood for nothing. With my new immortality, I decided to live my life to the fullest. I travelled the world, learning languages and meeting people. I swam the Amazon River, went skydiving, and even climbed Mount Everest. I could do anything without fear or worry. It was then that I met a woman. Esmerelda, was her name. I loved her more than anything in the world. We did everything together, and I finally felt complete. But to my despair, she never had a taste for kale. No matter how much I begged and pleaded, she wouldn’t eat it. She began to age, slowly, but noticeably. Time had stood still for me, I remained young as she slowly aged and withered and finally, died. Continue reading

One Night

6576showingBy Dan Smith

The air is soft. I open my eyes to see the endless black that is the night sky. I am laying in a field. The grass is wet. I hear a noise in the distance, and I sit up. It is dark. I can barely see. But the noise is getting louder. I stand up and stumble through the darkness, toward the sound. I realize I am barefoot. Aw man, the bottom of my jeans are gonna be so wet. It’s getting louder. I can begin to hear words, but I can’t make them out. There is a rhythm and melody. There’s a patch of woods ahead. It must be coming from in there. It’s getting colder. I make my way through the trees – ow, I stepped on a stick. There’s a clearing ahead. A bright light. It gets brighter as I get closer, blinding me. I can hear it now.

It’s Lil Yachty. Continue reading