6 New Text Emoticons that You Need to Use

How many of you want to be able to express your feelings better? Now, just work with me here, teen readers.  Can’t you all at least pretend that you have feelings for the sake of this study? No? All right, let me adapt my sales pitch.

How many of you want to be incredibly annoying to all adults and create a language that none of them will figure out? All of you? I thought so.

See, this is where the original idea for the cell-phone emoticon came from: adults would never figure it out, especially English teachers.  “What’s that? A colon and then *gasp* an unclosed parenthesis? Detention!”

However, sadly, the adults eventually caught on.  Now they know the basic smiley, frown, heart, etc.  But what they don’t know is, they don’t know that I know that they don’t know that you know about this blog.  This makes it the perfect place to add to the arsenal of text emoticons.

One of the problems with the emoticons is that they were just too darn easy to figure out.  You’d send something like “hahahah:),” and the adults figured out that laugh=smile (something for which I give them great credit for).  So I’ve set out to fix that, and win the text emoticon language back for teens everywhere.

(:^(!) I just got braces on-a new take on the old “:-#” sign for braces.  Why Adults won’t figure it out: they will be of the opinion that the sign for braces should be (:^($$$$$$$$$$)

|:^| Default teen expression-used to signify that a joke bombed, or that you really don’t care that your friend’s sister’s hamster just kicked the can.  Why Adults won’t figure it out: they’d assume we have facial expressions.

:V^->( The “I was going to send you a great emoticon, but I couldn’t choose the right nose.”  Why adults won’t figure it out: Come on.  Would you have?

>:@( I just broke my nose and I am in excruciating pain OR my nose created a twitter account that has more followers than mine.  Why adults won’t figure it out: Adults, unlike teens, go to the hospital after breaking their nose, rather than texting some friends first.

(:^(<^^\ ) I’m so hungry I could eat a horse (or an odd-looking alien spaceship).  Why adults won’t figure it out: the great frequency in which this will be used by teens (mostly boys) will lead to too much data for the adults.

(:_^( =$ I just sold my kidney to buy a new skateboard and now I wish I hadn’t.  Why adults won’t figure it out: they haven’t yet learned of the massive organ trading that goes on in urban alleys (which, incidentally, is what happened to [insert Disney Pop-star here]’s brain).

I highly encourage that you use every one of these emoticons, because they are, to put it mildly, products of a stroke of genius.

Oh, yeah.  There’s one other thing I wanted to mention: I also find people who use text emoticons too frequently, or in improper places (“Our condolences; signed Billy :( and Joan”) annoying.

What does this mean for you? It means I’ve included a 7th, bonus, and completely free-of-charge emoticon that can be used whenever incredibly annoyed: @#$!

10 Things You Absolutely Have to do This Summer

Now that it’s summer, I’ll bet that many of you are still asleep as I write this.  That’s really a shame; I started writing at 10:35 this morning.  Do you realize that if this were a school day, you’d have been up for four hours by now? Do you even know how many opportunities that gives you to complain about how tired you are?

But don’t just lie there asleep.  Here are three good reasons to wake up immediately: you aren’t able to read this blog asleep, you aren’t able to tell others to read this blog if you’re asleep, and there could be bedbugs in your bed, especially if you live in New York.  See? That got you up pretty fast.

Now that you’re up, you should start to enjoy your summer. Go outside (never mind that the prolonged sun will cause skin cancer, or that the FDA just released new regulations for sunscreen that won’t take effect until next year).

I don’t want you to have any regrets at the end of this summer, so I’ve compiled a list of things you should do with all your spare time.Food Costume

1). A Large Piece of Food. You should dress up as an over sized piece of fast food, like a ketchup packet, and stand on a busy street corner.  Make a fake menu for a fake restaurant, with odd items such as “The we-packed-even-more-fat-into-a-burger, now only $0.04!” or the “NEW! Unhealthy-shakes: they come out of a faucet with the consistency of buffalo oil; 2 for 1!”  See how many people think you are actually employed at your made-up restaurant.

2). Teach Others to Swim. In a sink or swim situation, 90+% of people will swim or float (unless they just came from your fast food restaurant).  Therefore, the best way to teach people to swim is by throwing them in the pool.  I wouldn’t recommend this with people who can already swim, because they will probably climb out of the pool before you get a chance to run away.

Bug Cemetery3). Visit a Farm. But not just any farm.  Don’t go to one of those tourist farms with the truck rides.  Don’t even tell the farmer that you showed up; just go for a walk in one of his fields.  Try not to touch anything, because all the crops are covered with pesticides that could kill the consumer, that is, if the farmer forgot to get the antidote in the form of an FDA certification.  Also, don’t breath, or your growth will be stunted from the chemical fumes.  Simply relax, take a deep breat-no, wait, bad idea-and enjoy the open fields.

4). Join an International Aid Group.-and rebuild Vancouver, Canada.  Never mind being an extremely modernized city (in Canada, for crying out loud, where the most that ever happens is when someone crosses into it from the US side of the border.  That’s why 43 of the 47 Canadians live so close to the border), Vancouver has shown signs of an Arab Spring recently (if you don’t know what I’m talking about, scan this article).  While the French have valiantly offered to lead air strikes, the I think that sending a group of kind-hearted people to help them rebuild should be sufficient.

5). Make SERIOUS Money Mowing Lawns. If you already have a mower, you are all set.  Go around to your neighbors and offer to mow their lawns.  A good strategy to get business is usually ‘offer, compliment, veiled threat to subject of compliment.’

A lot of insurance companies use this, for instance: “For only 78% of your monthly income, you can insure your house from African Bullfrogs! By the way, you have a beautiful house, a lovely yard, and an absolutely exquisite kitchen-wouldn’t it be terrible if the amphibians wrecked it! That would be horrible! Oh my gosh, the ‘demo’ cage in my truck has been broken out of-the bullfrog could be anywhere! Quick, sign away your estate and be protected!”

You could use this strategy as well, something like, “I’ll mow your lawn for the low price of $4.99!  By the way, that’s a beautiful car you’ve got on the curb.  Wouldn’t it just be awful if I couldn’t find work, got bored, climbed the tree above it, and fell on top of it? What’s that-you’ll hire me?”Parts Store

That’s only half of the scheme, though.  The next part is really genius, if I do say so myself.  You need to have some hidden ketchup packets, some rubber limbs from a Halloween store, and some acting skills.  What you do is you ‘fake’ a slip under the blade, toss the rubber appendage in front of you (I find that arms or legs work best; I wouldn’t recommend a head, because it isn’t as believable) and cover part of your clothes with ketchup.  Then, just before you run, screaming, back to your house, you make sure your neighbor knows that for as little as $3,000, you won’t sue.

6). Window Shopping. This is terrific if there are some expensive electronics that you really wish you owned.  Ask the store owner if you can buy the panes of glass in his front windows.  Make sure, however, you offer less than the electronic item costs.  Assuming the owner has the brains of a dead plant, he will of course accept your offer.  Then you can come back at night and grab the electronics on display, for there will be no window glass to stop you.

Car-sized Catapult7). Build a Catapult. Frankly, I think this has endless possibilities.  Depending on your craftsmanship ability, you could build one large enough for something, say, the size of an annoying little sibling (if you get my drift).  Regardless, this could lead to many hours of fun, even if it is only large enough for a medium size worm.  To double the entertainment potential, point it in the direction of a neighbor’s yard.

8). Find a Pen Pal. Pen pals seem to have fallen out of style, mostly because they never were in style to begin with.  But if you found a pen pal, that might make it cool again.  Heck, you could even start a trend.  Everyone loves starting trends; do you know just how happy Lady Gaga is when she hears of butchers who wrapped themselves in bloody meat and scared away their customers?

9). Go to a Movie. As I continue to write, it is likely I will incorporate pop-culture jokes (unlike the Gaga joke.  Did you actually laugh at that? I hope not.  In today’s economy, crazed butchers are a serious matter, especially if your neighborhood cats start disappearing).  Movies can help you stay current with pop-culture.  Also, movie theaters usually have other people present, in case you are looking for a client for your lawn mowing business (just adapt your pitch; maybe you could focus on a nice clothing item or a young child).

10). Go for a Hot-Air Balloon Ride. I don’t know about you, but if someone offered to take me 1,000s of feet off the ground in a basket elevated by an over-sized garbage bag and large open flame, not to mention having a couple of containers of gasoline in that basket, I’d definitely say yes.  I’d take that over TSA security ‘searches’ and planes with tops that come off (not to mention snakes-see? A movie reference) any day.

Any one of these things can provide weeks of entertainment (especially if you forget how to land the hot-air balloon), but, in the case you are a busy person who still wants to get the most out of summer, I’ve included a bonus, eleventh choice that combines the merits of the ten above.

11). All-in-one Fun. You need to dress up as a chunk of lard.  Then, “acquire” a riding mower using my window-shopping method.  Drive to a nearby farm, and offer to mow the farmer’s fields (“That is a very fine grain silo you got there-it would be awful if it caught fire”).  Then, accidentally lose a couple of toes.  Threaten the farmer that unless he forms a humanitarian aid group and uses his hot-air balloon to fly you to Vancouver, you’ll press personal injury charges (he’ll be intimidated, because, remember, you are still dressed as a piece of lard).

Once airborne, allow the farmer to watch a movie on your portable electronic device of choice.  This will distract him enough so that you can construct a catapult out of gas canisters and matches.  When you are over Vancouver’s bay, throw the farmer out of the balloon using the catapult and see if he sinks or swims.  Then, light your balloon on fire, and crash into the bay.  Ask the first person who rescues you to be your pen pal.

I think that I’ve pretty much covered every possible fun thing to do this summer, but I may have missed a few (such as play Republican Presidential Candidate Bingo).  So, readers, is there anything you feel is a ‘must-do’ this summer? (Please follow my example and keep any ideas legal, or, at least, legal in the Middle Ages).

You might also check out part 2 of this list, entitled “10 More Things You Absolutely Have to do This Summer,” published summer 2012.

Students Become Fungi as Finals Begin


MushroomBy: Gnott Mie-Reellnaim

Readers: I have written this as I assume it would appear in the NYT.  Apparently, the NYT doesn’t focus on these serious issues, instead spending time on more lighthearted issues.  For instance, yesterday’s online front-page headline was something like, “Fleeing Romney takes refuge on Turkey Syria border as FDA reveals new sunscreen regulations.”

A shocking new report has been published, telling how thousands of students will settle in to hard metal desks and be evaluated on their ability to bubble in circles this week.

The report comes from the trustworthy and exceedingly perfect HighSchoolHumorBlog.com, an expert on the topic.

Apparently, this week marks the end of school, or the start of finals.  Finals stands for Finally I’m Nearly Almost Leaving School, as school is almost over.  “I can practically taste the lemonade by the pool,” quoted one student, before the chains attached to his legs dragged him away.

Another student recalls the finals of last year: “They were very long, but we did well, as a school, I think.  That year, we only lost about 19 people.” As detailed in the shocking report, the students of America are forced to achieve a passing grade on the exams to move to the next grade (in numerical order ascending, except for kindergarten, where, instead of moving up to vegetablegarten, students go to first grade).

A few parents were “outraged” by the report.  One stated, in a call to the publisher, “I am OUTRAGED that my child actually has to receive a 70% or higher to move on.  I mean, not even the pros bat that average.  Tackle him! I ask that-somebody better guard that guy, guard that guy, c’mon now-the study be modifi-GOALLLL!-ed.” It is assumed that this parent was watching curling at the time, or maybe a Russian ballet, but the quote was included to give a fair and balanced analysis, and because we are paid by the inch.

Also, it could have given us an excuse to put in a picture of a Russian ballerina, which, like most pictures near newspaper articles (excluding the ones where the author drew a self-portrait using a pen that only works if you smack it against the paper and make a dot), would be extremely relevant.

According to the report, common tasks for finals include in-class essays, questions-and-answer type quizzes, math, and open-heart surgery with a mechanical pencil.  Sometimes, there is the unconventional true/false question.

Not many people at a nearby high school we ‘checked out’ (to give this article credibility) have any opinion on finals.  In fact, when asked why he looked like a train wreck that had been genetically modified, one student replied, “I…no sleepy last night.  My brain…oatmeal…didn’t breakfast…studying.”  This profound statement gives much insight to the findings of the report.

Now that you’ve read this far, we feel it is fair to actually tell you what the report says.  It states that, “The average health and function of a high school student deteriorates…until, after all of the finals are over, the student….will be not much more than a mushroom, the kind that look edible but aren’t actually so.”

Since us, at the news desk, didn’t quite understand what this conclusion meant, we e-mailed the report publisher.  In particular, we were stuck on words such as ‘student.’  After being assured that we would not reveal our source, the author of the report (who can be found, for those curious, at HighSchoolHumorBlog.com) gave us the definition of student.

According to him, “student” is a non-gender-specific term used to refer to an unpaid laborer who has not yet learned time-management skills.  Also, our news staff went the extra mile to go the full nine yards with the story (although, for those math whizzes, we’ll tell you that yes, we understand a mile is actually only seven yards) and learned that a “mushroom” is a type of fungus similar to a newborn child, in that they both look innocent but aren’t actually so.

In fact, in a heroic act of superb investigative reporting, the vice-news-editor gave his life by eating a poisonous yet unassuming ‘mush-room’.

Regardless of our intelligence levels, though, we can rest assured that we are smarter than the author of the report, who trusted us not to reveal his location (HighSchoolHumorBlog.com).  With that, we wish the “mushrooms” of America good luck in the next couple days of finals.

Readers: Summer is fast approaching (2 days, or less if I move to Australia) and I want to know if you have any opinion on what I should post over the summer.  Short stories? Regular posts, only about summer instead of school? Fake news articles, like this one? Personal narratives? An increase in illustrated posts (I’ll have more time)? An announcement that I am running for the 2012 Republican Nomination? Comment or e-mail me and let me know.

Teenagers: We don’t Deserve Our Bad Rep

Tim Jones has put my guest post that I wrote for him up at his blog, under the “Guest Post” section.  Because his audience is mainly adults, I figured I would capitalize on the opportunity to defend the worldwide reputation of teens everywhere, so people will finally realize what perfect little angels we are.  I highly recommend that you check out not only the post (which I think you’ll find funny), but Tim’s humor blog as well.

“Wow! Ridiculous! Phil has really outdone himself this time! If you liked ‘A Tale of Two Cities,’ you’ll find this even funnier!”-The NYT*

*Note: Since I mentioned yodeling nowhere in the the post this time, I, uh, encouraged the NYT to give such a great review.  (Not sure what I’m talking about? Click here).