- “I could never do that!”
Although you mean that your instinctive sense of self preservation would never allow you to do something so embarrassing in front of so many people, your friend will think you are simply admiring their unique performance. Everybody wins!
- “You’re so spontaneous!”
This little number is perfect for when your friend very clearly forgot the lyrics about halfway through their solo and did some panicked improv vocalization.
- “You have such great stage presence!”
A perfect quip for when you left to go use the bathroom and missed your friend’s only solo performance.
- “So many noises were coming from the stage!”
This one is perfect for those who don’t like to lie, preventing them from saying anything positive about the concert, but also need their friend to keep driving them to their 9 am.
- “You all came together so well!”
Even though this is entirely false, your friend should be ego tripping hard enough to buy it hook, line, and sinker.
- “Best concert ever!”
All of these concerts are exactly the same.
- “I loved the part where the person sang!”
This indicates that you knew the vocal performance was supposed to be musical in some way.
- “You really are America’s Top Aca-fucker!”
You can show that you know the a capella lingo and actually care about your friend’s horrendous passion by giving them this prestigious title.
- “The humming in the background was stupendous!”
Despite its droning quality, a capella groups take their humming very seriously. Be careful though, this one may encourage them to keep at it.
- “I was shocked when you were singing one song and then started singing another at the same time! What a twist!”
This comment will make it seem like you were paying attention to the concert regardless of if you showed up 90 minutes late. Every single acapella group will do this in every concert without fail.
- “That choreography was something else!”
It sure was! Was it something good? Maybe not, but your friend doesn’t need to know that. Say this to create the aura of a compliment while maintaining your honest soul.
- “I can’t believe there wasn’t any auto tune, really!”
Yeah, it’s pretty much okay to stroke the ego of your little a cappella friend at this point in the game, especially because again, it’s not truly a lie. There probably should have been some auto tune.
- “I wish I had your confidence!”
- “You could totally go viral for that!”
Not a lie! The only downside is that you will likely subject millions to hearing your friend’s craft, and your for-you page will be forever haunted.
- “That must be so useful for when you put food in your mouth but it doesn’t taste good so you aggressively spit it out!”
This provides assurance that this is a transferable and applicable skill! They totally weren’t wasting their time when practicing for ten hours a week for a month or anything! Mom and Dad would be so proud!
- “The last song was my favorite!”
Shows you were paying attention! (…to the clock, but you don’t have to mention that)
- “I have no clue how you’re still single!”
Don’t worry that this one won’t apply. It always does.
- “Your performance honors StarClan.”
Because they sounded exactly like a feral cat in heat.
- “I love a good throwback!”
This one is perfect following a performance of any song written between 2005 and 2016. If you’re looking for something reliable, this is a great go-to.
- “When’s the next concert?!”
Now is the perfect time to ensure that you will be busy.
- “I had no idea that people could make noises like a drum!”
By simply omitting the fact that you also do not care that people can make noises like a drum, an otherwise mean-spirited comment becomes an encouraging line of praise.
- “I wish there were more songs!”
No one has ever wished this, but the magnitude of your lie will convince them.
- “You guys should go on tour!”
Sending your friend far away is a great way to make sure you won’t have to hear them for quite some time.
- “I haven’t seen a performance like that since High School Musical 2 released!”
Conveniently, High School Musical 2 released shortly before the 2008 financial crisis, which is what you are referencing.
- “Way to hit that octave!”
Octaves have something to do with music.
Alack! Alack! It is with great sorrow I must announce mine truest donkey hath passed into the angels’ realm while traversing that treacherous expanse, Collegiate Avenue.
Alas, poor Bartholomew! For many years he hath been mine dearest companion and closest confidante, far surpassing my wretched wife Dorothea. His gentle brays and unfailing nature hath brought my heart much joy on the darkest of days. When came the bitter famine of ‘19, my horrid missus (curse her!) suggested that we kill Bartholomew for his meat, as our seventeen children were struggling mightily against the cold and our youngest was at death’s door. I elected to boil mine leather shoes for to eat instead of sacrificing my bosom friend. I always liked him more than that dratted Mattias (may God keep his soul) anyway.
But our friendship is at its end, and that foul College Avenue is to blame!
I knew–I knew–that I should not have loaded Bartholomew so heavy. His steps had grown less sure of late, and his exquisite leg muscles had begun to soften into sweet senescence. But Bartholomew so resented when I made concessions to his age, and often expressed his displeasure via strong kicks aimed at my least favorite children. And so I allowed my noble friend to carry mine backpack containing not one but three hydroflasks (for mine daily servings of water, mead, and gruel), mine Razer laptop (Exceedingly Bricklike Model, now with 50% more brick), and a flintlock pistol I like to keep on mine person in case I am accosted by bandits.
Forgive me, Bartholomew, I should have known!
But still we set out on that ill fated journey, not knowing it would be our last as two souls both on this Earth. Bartholomew took his burden uncomplainingly, as he always did. Although I knew the gravel must have been torment on his aging hooves, never once did he falter or bray aloud. However, as the journey continued his pace began to flag. “Easy, good fellow; soon we shall reach that most promised of promised lands, Oishii Bowl!” I soothed him. But at this acknowledgement of his weakness he redoubled his speed and set down College Avenue at a blazing clip.
‘Bartholomew, mind thine direction!” I yelled, but it was too late. No sooner had I opened my mouth than Bartholomew collided with a tremendous bulldozer! My poor steed may yet have survived, but the impact threw him bodily into one of the numerous open pits lining College Ave! And Bartholomew may yet have survived this, but one of the concrete mixers began unloading its treasured slurry onto him, encasing him in concrete forevermore! And Bartholomew may yet have survived this as well, but one of the construction workers dropped their cigarette onto the cement pool–and he should know donkeys are susceptible to lung cancer! Fie, fie on College Avenue construction!
Like many Cornellians, I enjoy a home-cooked meal but can feel uncomfortable about where my ingredients originate. Sure, the big displays at Aldi and Wegmans are cornucopias spilling with fresh produce, but where did they come from and how did they get here? While pondering these questions on a drive to the latter, my eyes caught a glimpse of a heaven-sent sign on the roadside: “Ithaca Farmers’ Market,” with an arrow pointing to the right!
What luck! The brilliant Ithaca natives had once again developed a brilliant answer to a pressing question with this new way of knowing how your food is grown. Instead of needing to buy groceries, I could simply buy a farmer to grow my foods right near my home! I was immediately persuaded and veered sharply to the right to purchase a farmer of my own.
Upon entering, it was clear fellow Ithacans understood the utility of this new dynamic. The covered boardwalk teemed with visitors, all in search of the same elusive farmer perfect for developing the first half of a fresh meal. And oh, how those farmers beckoned. In this, the harvest season, they were abundant and plump, with many attempting to woo the most trustworthy customers for an adoption. I traversed the lane with a careful and guarded eye.
After a harrowing transit through the throngs, I finally saw him: the perfect specimen. A broad, burly man with a well-trimmed graying beard and a gleaming bald head, he cut a distinctive image—even across the crowd I could make out his features. His presentation suggested both power and determination and yet fine attention to detail, which was only enhanced by the tidy broccoli crowns assiduously arranged on the cart in front of him. I hastily cut across the market lest anyone steal defeat from the jaws of victory.
As I approached, a faint smile touched the corners of his lips. Could he already tell I was his proper proprietor? He sported a nametag on his left lapel that read Carl.
“This broccoli looks lovely, Carl,” I said, careful to make a good impression. “I would love to have some… close to home.”
He replied with a polite and well-oiled discussion of his current rates; I bobbed my head along but ultimately shook it after he fell quiet. “Of course, of course,” I said, “but can you grow other vegetables too? Peppers, for instance, and maybe some zucchini? And what about berries—any livestock? I plan to enjoy a balanced and healthy diet—if you’re to work for me, I’ll need to know you’re up to the task. Have no fears about lodging; I possess a fine kennel for you to sleep in. Should we discuss a payment plan now?”
From his apparent bewilderment, I worried I had startled him. And then worse: his once-inviting complexion began to oscillate between horror and disgust. “I’ll be right with you, sir,” he offered before swiftly walking to a hidden location.
Had I come on too strong? Would a less direct approach have been more effective? I began to replay the encounter in my head, looking for places I had erred, when I became aware of Carl again, this time at a distance through the crowd. He was flanked by two uniformed police officers as he pointed towards his cart—no, at me! I bolted for the nearest exit and ran through the winding parking lot, desperate to escape with my freedom.
Tragically, the Farmers’ Market failed to meet my lofty expectations of a revolutionized agriculture and consumer experience. All that hoopla, and for what—some $10 squash in a carton? Despite this apparent absurdity, Carl’s reaction laid bare that in spite of the name, the farmers are not for sale. I can only hope that the upcoming flea market will not disappoint me in the same way.
Oy gevalt! Jacob Schleiss ‘25 disappointed nice Jewish girls everywhere today by confirming that despite undergoing a 25-hour period of intense prayer, fasting, and repentance, he has no plans to abandon his study of business administration.
Way to miss the point, Jacob!
In what is already being described as the biggest Judaism-related fuck-up since the golden calf, Schleiss admitted that not once during Yom Kippur did he consider the impacts of a business career on the environment, the working class, or the 23-year-old mistress he will have a child with at age 47. He instead used the time to think about “how cool I’d look in a Goldman Sachs hat.”
Moses’s Mittens, that’s embarrassing!
Despite his Yom Kippur epic fail, Schleiss still believes he will be inscribed into the Book of Days, because “in business, it’s all about who you know. And G-d and I are tight, baby. Like my pants after eating all this yummy Yom Kippur food.”
The Lord Adonai did not break His two thousand year silence to comment.
After hitting a personal low in Olin Library (crying in the stacks for 3 straight hours), I decided to treat myself to some delicious, refreshing, and free water from the lovely little fountain in the basement.
I figured through sheer willpower alone, I could evade the inevitable disease that was indicated by the blaring red water filter sign before me. Little did I know, my natural defenses didn’t stand a chance against the hazardous waste brewing in the depths of Olin. Truth be told, I should have sucked it up and spent $3 at the Amit Bhatia Libe Cafe.
I first started to become concerned upon viewing the water, which was yellow, fizzing, and burning hot. I figured it was just the lighting that was skewing my perception of the water, and finished my entire Hydro Flask. The second red flag was the fact that the water tasted like freshly scooped dirt, but this too was a warning sign I ignored.
That night, when I turned off the lights to go to sleep, I noticed a most peculiar light emanating from underneath my sheets. Lo and behold, it was I. My skin was shining, dazzling, and blinding. It was at that moment that my worst fears were confirmed: the Olin slop had transformed me into some sort of bioluminescent creature.
Never in my life have I been told that I “light up the room” more frequently now that I glow in the dark, thanks to the Olin Library “water.”
KLARMAN HALL— With the upcoming onslaught of finals and never-ending last minute assignments, when your friend hits you with “My a capella group is having a concert this weekend, you’re definitely coming through, right?” the most immediate and resounding internal response is a shrieking, guttural “Dear God, no.”
So how do you, unsuspecting and innocent, navigate your way out of this awful-hellscape and into any other Friday night activities? There are a few ways out of this fate, should you brave the course:
1. “I’ll totally be there!”
It is, of course, always a safe move to just lie to them. It’s definitely not like they will have a check in at the auditorium on the night of the concert, and even if they did, who gives a shit? Definitely not your friend.
2. “Oh no! I have something that night 🙁 ”
A classic excuse, the “I’m busy.” This is without a doubt a surefire way to get yourself right on out of there, and right into some stinky frat basement. Pepper in the frowny face for some extra flavor, and kiss that sweet, sweet music goodbye.
3. “I’ll definitely let you know.”
Ah yes, delay the inevitable. If you put off telling your friend whether you can make it to their concert or not, word on the street is, the concert will eventually happen. Feel free to leave your friend in limbo for all eternity, and just like that, you’re out clean!
This one is a good bet if you’re looking for simplicity. A lie with no strings attached, a simple agreement can save you further conversation in the present, and you need only offer a confusion of dates in the aftermath.
Again, an in-between place is a very nice place to start. Definitely hit your friend with that maybe, and then never, ever clarify your presence. It’s best, really, this state of confusion一no one gets hurt.
6. “My other friend actually has a concert that night too”
Ah yes, an a capella salvation. What can save you except the hell you have been damned to in the first place. If you cannot go to their concert, it must only be because you have another dear friend to support. Just like that you are saved, and you are glorious.
Nothing says Thanksgiving like joining friends, parents, and grandparents for a wholesome night of pure, unfiltered bullying! This evening Lynah Faithful will flock to Madison Square Garden to inflict permanent psychological damage upon the Boston University hockey team—a demonstration of the Cornell community’s admirable closeness and warmth.
“I look forward to bringing my family every year,” beamed alum Larry Walker ‘92. “There’s just something so beautiful about 1000 Cornellians, old and young, chanting in choir-like unison to inform the opposing goalie of his profound resemblance to Squidward, President Pollack, and the Low Rise 7 goblin-rat.”
Just in case verbal assault doesn’t do the trick, Cornellians have prop-packs prepared to remind the Massachusetts safety school of its place. Among the included items are newspapers (to read while BU is being announced, and to chuck at adjacent BU fans afterward); keys (to signal BU that they may warm up their bus, as their asses have been sufficiently whooped); and plush terriers on stakes (to light on fire for maximum PTSD).
“It’ll be my grandchildren’s first hockey game,” said alum Beatrice Appel ‘67. “They’re so excited to burn the terriers, behead the terriers, and throw the terriers’ charred remains onto the ice!”
At press time, it was still uncertain whether Appel’s grandchildren, aged 3 and 4, were referring to the team members or the plushies—or whether it mattered.
You know the situation. It’s Friday night and you’re on your shit, really vibing after a stressful week. The rest of the room is right there with you, alcoholic beverage in hand as they let the worries of the real world melt away. Everyone seems to be unified in action and intent. Well, almost everyone.
Eventually it dawns on you that there’s one guy who seems a little out of place. He’s not really talking with anyone, he’s not going out and dancing. He seems to sort of just… be there, standing off in the corner by himself. It’s not even really awkward, just a little unnerving. He scrolls his phone casually, sometimes glancing around the room while he takes a sip from his cup.
But then you realize: that’s not a cup, that’s a glass. Seems a little fancy for the setting, no? And—wait, that drink is white! That’s gotta be milk, right? What the hell is going on?!
We’ve all been there. To help make sense of it all, here are a few questions you can ask to get to the bottom of things.
- Is that milk? First off, it’s important to clarify that he is indeed drinking milk. Imagine how foolish you would feel if you presumed the beverage to be milk when, in actuality, he was indulging in a large glass of eggnog or a particularly opaque limeade? That baseline has to be established first and foremost.
- Is there any alcohol in there? Once you’ve confirmed the libation’s lactic nature, you can ask if it’s something like a White Russian. It would still be kinda weird but at least would fit the setting better.
- Did you bring a gallon of milk or just this one glass? You want to gauge their level of commitment to the milk. However, be aware that the answer is pretty definitely going to be at least one gallon, possibly more.
- If you could drink the milk of any mammal, what would it be and why? It’s a good conversation starter that also doubles as a screen for sociopaths, so this is really like asking two questions for the price of one. We’ve heard good things about llama milk if he returns the question and you need a response in a pinch.
- Can I have a glass of milk, pretty please? Once you’ve earned their trust and screened their sanity, you’re finally safe to reveal your true intentions and request that sweet, sweet party milk.
BAILEY HALL—This past Tuesday, in what has been a most shocking act of sabotage and treachery, Isabella Palacio 23’ received a less than a perfect score on her peer graded assessment at the hands of her classmate-turned-archnemesis Toby Grimes 22’.
“I’m on the edge of tears just talking about it,” remarked Palacio, clearly fighting back some kind of emotional breakdown. “I mean, I just didn’t see it coming. We have sat in the same row in this auditorium for months now, we might as well be roommates. Last week, our backpacks even grazed against each other as we were leaving. I just cannot believe he betrayed me like that after all we have been through together.”
With the knife still fresh in her back, Palacio was able to stumble out of the class without facing too much humiliation from her professor and peers. Witnesses described the situation between the two as a “heartbreaking example of raw humanity.” But even this devastation could not sway Palacio’s cold and unfeeling classmate.
“Before Tuesday, I had literally never seen this girl in my entire life,” Grimes defended. “Besides, I thought we were supposed to grade truthfully, and I am a man of my word. This chick needs to be held accountable for her misunderstanding of Bayes Rule, as I am sure this economic principle will be critical to her future. How could I let her go in good conscience knowing that she doesn’t understand how to calculate p?”
The scene between Grimes and Palacio evidently left its mark. The subsequent Ed discussion had Grimes listed in a wanted ad, with a petition for his immediate expulsion and removal from the class for “the ultimate kiss of Judas, but not in a sexy way.”
Readers, I was once like you. I was a normal student who knew the feeling of the sun on my face and the agony of an 8 am discussion. Then, one day, as I made my 8:45 pm journey to 7/11 for my nightly snack-dinner of beef jerky and Mountain Dew Code Red, I felt the siren call of my bed, a mere eight minutes away down the nearest seventy-five degree incline hill. “Truly, I hunger for sleep more than any man has hungered before,” I mused, “but with a workload such as mine I couldn’t possibly go to bed for the night.” That is when a man clad in a trenchcoat and low-brimmed hat emerged from the shadowy little courtyard… alley… -thing by the UPS store.
“Hey, kid,” he hissed. “I heard you want some sleep?”
“Well, yes,” I replied, startled by his sudden appearance, but hoping that by engaging him in conversation I could get him to add me on LinkedIn, “but it is too early for me to retire.”
At that the strange man began to chuckle. “‘Retire’? Kid, I got the kind of stuff that’ll get that essay done in no time.”
“Really?” I enquired, intrigued. Could his claims possibly be true?
“It’s called a nap. You tuck yourself in at 9 pm, catch a few z’s, and then bada-bing bada boom, you get up at 9:30 feeling ready to work. All the cool kids are doing it.”
“All the cool kids?” I thought about all the attractive students who paraded their “Remove Before Flight” keychains about the engineering quad. Could the secret to moving myself up from working as Squeaky the Children’s Birthday Clown during the summer to working in a Fortune 500 company really be as simple as a 9 pm nap?
“All of them,” he assured me. “Trust me, kid, one taste and you’ll be coming back for more.”
“I suppose one nap couldn’t hurt…” I ventured.
The man began to laugh, “Heh! Believe me, kid, you’ll be surprised at all the things a nap can do for you.” Then, he vanished into the shadows faster than my hopes of academic success during prelim season.
Thus resolved, I made my way homewards, stopping only to wolf down my 7/11 beef jerky (either my first or seventh meal of the day, depending on your definition of “meal”). As soon as I reached my apartment I collapsed into my bed. “Just a quick thirty minutes,” I vowed, “and then I shall resume work again.” This was the last I thought before my world faded to blackness.
Sometime later, I awoke, tangled in my bedsheets and drenched in sweat. My mind was in a state of utter confusion. If it was the morning, why was it so dark? And why was I filled with the terrible dread that was only caused by failing yet another important assignment? I flailed for my phone, and what I saw caused me to bolt awake. It was not in fact 9:30 pm as the man in the alley had promised, but two in the morning!
“That scoundrel lied to me!” I swore. Then reason tamed my anger: “If I am already failing my liberal arts class, I may as well return to sleep,” I decided. But slumber eluded me. My 9 pm nap had provided me with more energy than any one of my fourteen hour depression sleep marathons. It wasn’t until day had broken that fatigue claimed my body once more. When I awoke again to darkness, I knew I had entered a cycle with no escape.
This is my life now. From dusk till dawn I scamper freely across campus, doing spineless rat person things like chewing electrical wires and joining consulting clubs. Then come morning I flee to the blessed release of sleep while cursing the wretched sun that blinds my rodent eyes. Reader, I beg of you, remember this: If nap you must, set an alarm, lest you never know the sweetness of day again.