Points in Case https://www.pointsincase.com Enlightening & Irreverent Comedy Fri, 09 Apr 2021 10:18:03 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.6.2 I’m Not a Bad Person, I’m a Performance Artist https://www.pointsincase.com/articles/im-not-a-bad-person-im-a-performance-artist Sun, 11 Apr 2021 17:00:00 +0000 https://www.pointsincase.com/?p=83727 If I failed in this life then it is purely because our society is designed for artists like myself to do so. What may appear to be a lifetime of poor decision-making and selfish acts has actually been one long piece of satire designed at taking down the entire system. Allow me to explain.

You see, when I was fired from my job at Target for stealing money out of the register, it was actually a clever commentary on American capitalism. Quite subtle, I know. And ditto for the pair of dockers and Friends t-shirt they caught me with on the way out. The dockers were a very clever jab at the state of the modern workforce and shirt, a take on toxic fandom of course. Assume that whenever I’m caught stealing, or have been caught in the past, that I’m attempting to make a grander point about some injustice or infallibility in our nation.

My blatant, and incredibly vocal, refusal to pay taxes and my battle with the IRS that followed was, you guessed it, another big charade aimed at taking down a sleeping giant. What may appear to some to be an aging white guy throwing a fit outside of an H&R Block has actually been me parodying the modern American man’s love/hate relationship with Uncle Sam. My indictment by grand jury on tax charges and time served should illustrate my overall commitment to the work. Did Rembrandt ever go to jail for his art? Didn’t think so.

The countless affairs, a critique on monogamy and my refusal to pay child support, a play on the postmodern helicopter parent. While my ex-wives and children may not fully comprehend the totality of my work, they can’t help but respect it, despite what they may say publicly and privately.

The increasingly bizarre, and borderline dangerous, ramblings posted on my Wix blog site do not represent my actual thoughts on the state of American politics, but I’ll assume you already knew that. All those who actually take the time to actually read my posts understand that I am lampooning the two-party system, and doing so with great effect. My time spent at various MAGA rallies and the countless donations I’ve made to help Republicans get elected in local races serves as further evidence of my sly and biting satire. I’m doing character work at the absolute highest level.

The laundry list of DUI’s and open intoxication charges that I’ve obtained over the years should be strictly viewed as an indictment on the alcohol industry. That I was caught breaking into a brewery in Kalamazoo, Michigan, to steal entire kegs of beer was, of course, intentional on my part. That break-in was a calculated attempt to take down Big Alcohol and showcase the arrogance of major corporations when it comes to their weak security measures. I also think I might have been trying to say something about the minimum wage. I can’t remember.

What you view as a lifetime of failure has, in fact, been a lifetime of public advocacy and art. Books will be written about me in the future and statues erected in my honor throughout the country. But until that time, I will continue on with my mission and remain steadfast in exposing all phonies and posers. Few greats are recognized for their achievements whilst still achieving them, but I have little doubt that my work will be remembered hundreds of years from now. School lessons, perhaps even entire units, will be taught in classrooms across the country chronicling those stolen Target brand dockers and that Friends t-shirt.

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Hi, I’m Reader #2, and I Wouldn’t Be Doing My Job If I Didn’t Tell You That Your Writing Is Garbage https://www.pointsincase.com/articles/hi-im-reader-2-and-i-wouldnt-be-doing-my-job-if-i-didnt-tell-you-that-your-writing-is-garbage Sun, 11 Apr 2021 13:00:00 +0000 https://www.pointsincase.com/?p=83724 Congrats, dear writer, on your new academic book or article, though I should really be congratulating myself because the version of your book or article I wrote in my head is much much better than the dog shit you wrote. How do I know mine is better, you ask?

Well, let me introduce myself: I’m Reader #2, an important, though often overlooked, part of the writing process just as significant as any editor or publisher if not more so. After all, without me, you might not have writer’s block, imposter syndrome, or that deep-seated fear that the only real result of those many years in school was actually the college sweatshirt you gave your mom so she could tell people you’re a doctor, never mind what kind of doctor.

Publishers and editors look to me because I’m established in whatever topic area you now find yourself involved. Many college students know me as their least favorite professor, having secured my job long ago when you could just hand-write your application on a napkin and give it to your adviser. Obviously, I’m probably white and male. I have published, but not recently. Now, I mostly stick to talking at people, unironically wearing blazers with elbow patches, and maintaining the status quo in part by shitting on any new writers or students in my field. And frankly, these newbies are getting off easy, because I am absolutely litigious.

I take my job very seriously, though I will put it off, holding your writing hostage and slowing the publication process more generally. When I do settle down and write my reader’s report, reviewing your work, I will most definitely recommend that your editor stop the process altogether and rethink publishing your book or article. I will make my “do not publish” recommendation without constructive criticism, as is the spirit of the peer review system, but instead in a meandering diatribe entitled “Reader’s Report #2” or “Gatekeepers Gonna Gatekeep” that will most certainly hit several specific key points, most of which revolve around the fact that my subjective take on your work is truth and also truth is not subjective.

First, if you reflect at all on a history of racism or misogyny, I will argue that you are off-topic or overly concerned with millennial relevance and/or cancel culture. Classical music has nothing to do with whiteness, it’s just about the music. We haven’t heard of that female writer because she’s just not that good. And it doesn’t matter that the wife of that male painter created most of his masterpieces herself. After all, she was his muse.

Another favorite tactic of mine is to diss your writing style by claiming that it is somehow inappropriate because it does not actively use words like “discourse,” “hermeneutics,” or “Foucault.” I do not care that you are trying to broaden your readership. After all, as I always say, anything worth writing should be overly complicated, off-putting, and hopefully just a little offensive. If you hashtag anything in your prose, I will throw your manuscript directly in the trash and only tell your editor I couldn’t review your work six months later, after several unanswered emails and phone calls, though I would respond immediately to a carrier pigeon.

Now that you know what I don’t like, let me tell you what I do like. Besides carrier pigeons and other obscure relics of a bygone era, I enjoy Genius. Yes, I believe in the idea of Genius and all that that entails: a man alone suffering for his art. And my role in that art is to ensure the suffering part.

My report as Reader #2 will haunt you, just as I haunt those who might deal with me in person. This will help you, I’m sure, unless of course you are not white and a man, in which case it should hurt you, deeply.

If my report as Reader #2 feels personal, good. Being Reader #2 is very personal for me. Without my work as Reader #2, what power would I really have? I’d be just another overly privileged prick with a job I don’t deserve. But as Reader #2, I can make sure you know that you don’t share my privilege. On the bright side, your righteous anger might just fuel the writing of your next book, which I will of course mercilessly disparage when I get the chance.

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Your In-Flight Guide to Self-Care in the Unlikely Event of an Emergency https://www.pointsincase.com/articles/your-in-flight-guide-to-self-care-in-the-unlikely-event-of-an-emergency Sat, 10 Apr 2021 17:00:00 +0000 https://www.pointsincase.com/?p=83631 As you prepare for your flight, we would like you to know that we have done everything in our power to ensure your safety and comfort, besides fully staffing our crew, performing routine maintenance in the last 20 years, or keeping the supplies needed for basic operation in stock.

In the unlikely event of an emergency during the flight, please remember that we’ve done the best we can and any emergency situation is completely out of our control. Because we genuinely care about your positive experience with our airline, we’ve provided this complimentary guide to self-care in the remote possibility that you experience some distress during your flight which could certainly not be caused by our own negligence.

In the very unlikely event of an emergency, please remember that stress is a normal response to abnormal situations which we’ve somehow failed to predict. There is no need to fixate on future problems before they arise by preemptively discussing a plan for an emergency situation which may never occur. Look to our flight crew as a shining example of living in the present; the fluster of imminent crises has no effect on their blissfully laissez-faire attitude.

Instead of focusing on the turbulence that we have been experiencing for the past hour, focus on the things you can control. Take a deep breath. Make use of the breathing techniques that we have posted around the cabin. In the extremely unlikely event that we suddenly lose airlift stability, make plans to do something you enjoy. It feels good to look forward to something, like a hot bubble bath and a glass of wine, instead of obsessing over the possibility that the loose flapping part that you can see from your window may contribute to your untimely death.

In the incredibly unlikely event that the cabin begins to lose air pressure, please remain calm. You have no choice other than to remain calm. We did not plan for anything else. We are counting on you to keep it together so we do not have to address your collective trauma. Should the cabin lose air pressure, please place your personal self-purchased oxygen mask over your own mouth and nose before attempting to assist others. If you were unable to purchase an oxygen mask before the flight, we have graciously provided one oxygen mask per seating section so please take the time now to connect with your neighbors and discuss a plan to share them.

After securing your own oxygen mask, please take a moment to ground yourself, remembering that you cannot effectively assist others during an abrupt loss of altitude if you have not first taken care of your own emotional well-being. Smile, take a deep breath, and relax. Even a smile that feels forced can dramatically lift your mood and put those around you more at ease even as they gasp for breath and beg for help. Please take the opportunity to make use of the guided meditations available on your headset in the extraordinarily unlikely event that the aircraft begins unexpectedly plummeting from the sky for reasons beyond our control or understanding. If you are a person of spirituality, use this opportunity to check in with your higher power.

We recognize how difficult stress-management and avoiding air travel “burnout” is when your own negative mindset continues to misinterpret situations as threats to your own physical safety. Although learning self-care is challenging, we are here to support you, which is why we will be providing helpful self-care tips over the P.A. system every five minutes to take your mind off of that clunky rattling noise coming from the engine.

Please relax and enjoy your flight.

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It’s Me, the Hacker Who Broke into Your Phone, and I’m Staging an Intervention https://www.pointsincase.com/articles/its-me-the-hacker-who-broke-into-your-phone-and-im-staging-an-intervention Sat, 10 Apr 2021 13:00:00 +0000 https://www.pointsincase.com/?p=83628 Remember that time when your screen went black and the Apple logo started bouncing around like on those old TVs, and you watched for three hours until it finally bounced into the corner? Yeah, that was how I got in, and now, I know everything about you. So, as the hacker who broke into your phone, I’m staging an intervention.

Okay, first–

Stop shaking your phone, it won’t work. Think back to the last three times you’ve seen the undo tab pop up, was it saving you from an accidental reply-all? Or did it just undo your grocery list that you spent half an hour making?

Exactly.

And… now you’re stabbing your phone with a screwdriver when we’re 20 years past removable batteries.

Calm down, let’s get to know each other first. I’ll introduce myself, and break the ice by playing two truths one lie.

My name is Q. No, that’s not my real name, and no, the two truth one lie part hasn't started– Wait, you don’t get the Bond reference? Ugh, what do you do all day… Don’t answer, that’s why I’m here.

Here are three things about me: I love volunteering, I’m obsessed with Taylor Swift, and I just got this online therapy license. It’s like those wedding officiant licenses you can get online, but for therapy, you know, for you, because I want to do this right.

Oh wait, I forgot to tell a lie. Moving on.

So… first up, I was going through your photos, which– Stop screaming, you know you have nothing incriminating. But I had to find that out after scrolling through about a million memes and TikToks. You know when you ignore a group chat for a while and get a million messages that you then have to catch up on because your social life depends on it? Yeah, your photos were like that, except, everything is outdated and stale, like your personality and your artisan bread that mysteriously disappeared. (It’s under your car, by the way. You know that pebble you wedge the back tire with? Look closer.) Anyway, it might be better to keep photos of friends and family, especially now? Oh you start spontaneously weeping at the sight or mention of social interactions? Fair enough.

Second thing, we have to talk about screen time– No, your mother didn’t hire me, you’re not twelve anymore. I’ll make this short, the Minesweeper addiction needs to go, (that game is literally filled with red flags), and your eyes need breaks throughout the day, so try audiobooks maybe? Hey, stop shaking your head, you have tons of audiobooks actually, I’ll elaborate later.

Also, you have to stop watching the same SNL sketches over and over again. I have only been watching your phone for three days, but I’ve already seen the same sketch 75 times. You have to explore new horizons, like, stand-up specials (You didn't know but you have Netflix too, again, I’ll elaborate later), or… if you want to stick with SNL, try new sketches, like Cats!

Wait, that's not a feature-film length SNL sketch? Yeah right. Anyway, if you just step outside your comfort zone, you’ll find that… this place has everything.

Last thing, I was looking at your schedule: you work from 9 to 5, and go to sleep at 11, which is pretty impressive during quarantine, but I don’t know if you did it to feel yourself better, or if you thought it was funny while drunk and forgot about it afterward… but your clock is set for Perth… Australia, not Ontario. What I’m getting at is, you might want to add 12 hours to the clock to get your local time. (Of course, you would know that if you opened the curtains once in a while.)

Okay, that’s everything for now. Good talk. Look, I know we’ve had our differences, me flooding your YouTube algorithm with The British Bake-Off highlights and all, but think about what I said. I’ll check in with you again next week, just don’t freak out the next time your phone starts playing a Taylor Swift song by itself.

P.S. I made a list of everything you subscribed to at the start of quarantine and forgot to cancel after the free trial, including two audiobook libraries, three VPNs, five streaming services, and a bunch of things that I think went bankrupt. The bad news is, they charged you for 11 months. The good news is, most of them offer 10% off for your second year of subscription, which starts tomorrow.

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Literary Reviews of Mom Texts https://www.pointsincase.com/articles/literary-reviews-of-mom-texts Fri, 09 Apr 2021 17:00:00 +0000 https://www.pointsincase.com/?p=83685 “Black Pants,” Patti Bunkins

Midway through her most recent text message, Patti Bunkins outshines even herself. There's no living author with a better take on the “excruciating telegram” style of mom text messages.

“Hi – Forgot to tell you used Kohl's gift card to buy 3 pairs black pants on sale. Forgot if you watch The Good Wife but nurse from ER is on there. Forgot why I was texting you hahahahahahaha. Oh yeah, black pants! Not jeans.”

By challenging her readers to follow her stream of consciousness down the murky path of memory, and leaving most of her nouns unmodified, she both celebrates and defies the conventions of literature and grammar. 4 stars.

“Retirement,” Deb Matucci

Observe fan-favorite Deb Mattuci as she improves upon her own proven calling card: lead-burying.

“Went for a walk yesterday to enjoy WARM but not HOT weather. Saw a Heron and a Robin, possibly 2 robins?! One seemed MEAN. Did a dry felting craft with Grandma!!! Like wet felting but less glue. Maybe we’ll sell them at the farmer’s market! [laughing emoji]. Didn't want 2 forget 2 tell you I've decided 2 retire at the end of this school year and move 2 California with Bob. Guess it maybe was a LITTLE hot yesterday but BooBoo still loved going to the park to see his other DOGGY FRIENDS [cartwheel emoji] [fire emoji] TTFN [12 heart emojis]”

The poignant subtext seems to whisper, ”you’ll never catch me” as she muses about the commodification of art and the conflict between humans and the natural world. We never see the hammer before it falls, and we’re left wondering whether it really fell or was all a dream. 4.5 stars.

“The Mole,” Donna Chavert

By eschewing traditional notions of punctuation and adding her own where least expected, Donna Chavert gives us emotional whiplash as we attempt to follow her thematic thrust.

“Guess whos going to “the lake” soon??? Its us!!! Lol hehe… How is Ben. Ive been thinking about that mole on his foot I think its probably fine but Diane could “check it out” on Sunday at lunch….whatever it is lets get it fixed b4 u bring him to the lake if u do end up coming….open toed shoes etc!!! Remind me to tell u about “lunch”…lol hehe…lol hehe”

As the characters undulate into focus and her pauses force us to face her real meaning, the jagged rhythm of the prose sweeps over the reader like a tide of nostalgia. This had me thinking back to the intercalary chapters of The Grapes of Wrath, or a scratched mix CD, or a stroke. 4 stars.

“hjKsj9en,” Carol Berkowitz

Carol Berkowitz has perfected the art of tricking the reader into assuming she ran out of battery and/or is being mugged, by stopping mid-thought or sending jumbled nonsense. Or better yet, both.

“Meant to tell you heard funniest story from Kathy did I tell you what happened to the gap at the mall at the mall hjKsjn9en.”

This could have played out with more suspense, to be sure. That said, with this one line she managed to both shake this reader to her core and dismantle the myth of the American Sentence. 3.5 stars.

“Grandpa,” Brenda Filber

Alternately, Brenda Filber opts for an ending truly befitting the Queen of the Dramatic Twist:

“Do you want me to send black boots I found in yr bedroom? [Shoe emoji] How about new Christmas socks? [Christmas tree emoji] Going to the post office soon so let me know and I can pack along with other treats [wink face emoji] Can't wait to see you in 3 wks! [party horn emoji]

PS Grandpa is in the hospital visitors not allowed. Can’t get through to him so who knows?? [old man emoji] [hospital emoji] [shrugging emoji] xoxo”

Not since Lynn Furman’s “Aunt Nancy (SO SAD)” has an epilogue been so chilling, and not since Dracula or The Color Purple has an author proven herself so in command of the epistolary form. 5 stars.

“Airport Pickup,” Anne Lombard

“Let me know when you land. Can't wait to see you!”

Anne perplexed us all with this one. 1 star.

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List: Kindergarten Missed Connections https://www.pointsincase.com/lists/kindergarten-missed-connections Fri, 09 Apr 2021 14:31:01 +0000 https://www.pointsincase.com/?p=83767 You were at the lunch table next to mine today. Your mom forgot to peel your grapes, mine forgot to take the slimy skin off my chickpeas. Our mutual disgust hung in the air like a kitten trying to fly a kite. Want to go to the animal shelter and look at kittens sometime? I’m not allowed to have another one just yet. Or another kite.

I saw you last weekend at the park. You were picking dandelions, I was picking my nose. I have hand sanitizer and can hop on one foot almost three times in a row before falling over; want to have a playdate?

You climbed to the top of the rope in gym class like a kid who gets to have the top bunk. I wish I still had a bunk bed, but after the bungee incident with my sister it's a no-go. Can I come over for a slumber party sometime?

I stood behind you in line for recess and your pigtails kept hitting me in the face. I’m pretty sure you’re the only one in our class who doesn’t have lice; do you want to trade hats? Mine has Baby Yoda on it—he's like Curious George, but for grownups.

You clapped for me in music when I put all the recorders in my mouth at once. They tasted like the way a basketball smells, but sounded almost as good as that time I borrowed Mr. Reynolds’ megaphone and sneezed into it. Do you want to start a band together? My guitar is missing two strings but I think it sounds better that way.

I sat across from you at Library Time. When the substitute said her name was Mrs. Clinkenbeard you laughed even louder than I did, which she didn't seem to like. Maybe we could make it up to her by shelving books after school? I don't know all my letters yet, but I don't think that will be a problem; we can sort them by color; Mrs. Clinkenbeard will love it.

Today in art when I was gluing pencils into all the pencil sharpeners I accidentally spilled glue all over my supplies. Thank you for letting me borrow your scissors! P.S. We look awesome with our new bangs!

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I’m the Couch You Left at the Curb, and I Am Pissed https://www.pointsincase.com/articles/im-the-couch-you-left-at-the-curb-and-i-am-pissed Fri, 09 Apr 2021 12:00:00 +0000 https://www.pointsincase.com/?p=83682 How do you sleep at night? Not on me anymore, that’s for sure. Now when you drain your third glass of Merlot and can’t drag your ass to bed, you’re passing out on that soulless sectional I saw them deliver from Ethan Allen.

Yes, Greg, I saw. Ever since you and Olivia dropped me here in the dead grass a week ago, I’ve seen it all: the masked mail carrier, the masked meter reader, the masked families trudging by like they’re in a bad Incredibles sequel. I know who stole your last two packages from Amazon, and I’m not telling.

Word on the street is there’s a lot of us getting dumped, thousands, according to the La-Z-Boy at the curb next door. The nerve of you people! Have you forgotten who always had your backside? Who cradled you while you cringed at Tiger King and wept at My Octopus Teacher? Who stared tactfully at the wall while you recreated those cheesy scenes from Bridgerton?

Speaking of cheese, Greg, whose fault is it I don’t look perfect anymore? I’m pretty sure it wasn’t my arms that splashed me with queso dip. Or every other goddamn dip you and Olivia shoveled into your mouths while taking me for granted.

But did I make more than a creak of protest? Of course not. I sat there, year after year, taking it. The same way I took it when you stood on me to change light bulbs. Or when you threw yourself on me, even at your shocking current weight, without a thought for my pocket springs. And don’t get me started on your cats.

A year ago March, I was suddenly working around the clock to support you—soaking up more of your sweat and drool than ever, not to mention those Bridgerton fluids. Disgusting, I know. But you were my person. We’d been together since, what, early grad school? I’ll never forget the day we met at IKEA, you in your Wittgenstein sweatshirt, I in my flat pack. I loved you unconditionally—even during those postdoc, pre-Olivia years when you got stoned on me every weekend and watched shitty reruns. I mean, Happy Days! Arthur “Fonzie” fucking Fonzarelli! Has there ever been greater proof of a couch’s devotion? After a decade of your throw-pillow talk, I assumed you loved me too.

And here’s what really gets me. A couple of months ago, when you and Olivia finally started smiling again, I was happy for you. When you crowed about “vaccine appointments” and “seeing friends again before long,” I felt all warm and fuzzy (and not just because of Kant and Hegel’s hairballs).

Good times, I thought. They deserve this. I hoped the first pal to come over would be Miguel, who always commented on how deep I am.

But then, within days, you were wanting “a fresh look.” You were swiping on Wayfair, ogling plump seats and shapely legs. All while you continued to drape yourself over me like a cheap afghan.

What an idiot I was. I’d seen HGTV. I just never thought it could happen to me.

And now I’m on the street, praying for a new family. No, not the squirrel family nesting under my middle cushion. I mean that nice couple with the old-school hats, who’ve stopped by twice to measure me and the La-Z-Boy. They would never ditch me for some trophy sofa. The thought of us living together—them, me, La-Z—is very cheering.

But not as cheering as the thought that, during your Ethan Allen delivery, I heard the driver ask the other guy, “Aren’t those bedbugs?” Before they brought you the sectional anyway.

In the immortal words of Fonzie: sit on it.

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List: Peloton Instructors’ Rejected Mantras https://www.pointsincase.com/lists/peloton-instructors-rejected-mantras Thu, 08 Apr 2021 18:31:09 +0000 https://www.pointsincase.com/?p=83703 Your body’s hot garbage, and I’m going to make it smell worse.

When people count you out, consider whether they know something you don’t.

We’re whipping that butt into shape. Shame about the face, though.

You didn’t wake up to be mediocre. That’s the job of the deadbeat still sleeping in your bed.

Feel good! Look good! Still think dark thoughts anyway!

Your workout doesn’t make you basic. You’re basic because you’re an intellectual cipher.

We’re not here for the trophies. Except, ya know, this Peloton itself, which you very much treat as a trophy, ensuring it’s just visible enough in your Instagram story so your friends know you have one, but not enough to seem out of touch with our economically insecure times.

You’re more than a number on a scale. Your 401k matters too.

Get in good enough shape to not have the worst body during the drunken fourway you're secretly hoping to have with your neighbors.

I only ride with royalty (except whichever racist one worried about Archie’s skin color).

Today’s pain is tomorrow’s strength. Which will be useful for the double homicide you’re planning for the day after that.

We eat regret for breakfast—then a big ass pizza for lunch.

This bike might go nowhere, but you’re used to that, right?

It doesn’t get easier; you just get more cognizant of what you paid for this bike, guilting you into getting fit. Plus you spent all your food money on the bike, so there’s that.

They can knock you down, but they won’t knock you up unless you have abs.

You’re better than your best excuses. But that’s not any real compliment, as you’re truly shitty at excuses.

Your body’s not Uber—strangers are more discerning about whether they’ll ride in your rear.

Go, go, go! You’re going to die no matter what, but pedal anyway!

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We’re Not Denying You Had a Baby, But As Your Health Insurance Company, We Are Denying Everything Else https://www.pointsincase.com/articles/were-not-denying-you-had-a-baby-but-as-your-health-insurance-company-we-are-denying-everything-else Thu, 08 Apr 2021 17:00:00 +0000 https://www.pointsincase.com/?p=83679 Congratulations on the birth of your new baby! Below is an Explanation of Benefits for your recent “Labor & Delivery” charges.

Coming into a hospital through the emergency room means you considered your condition an “emergency,” which costs more. Your baby waving at you from your vagina does not constitute an emergency: it constitutes bad planning. You knew you had this condition for nine months! Next time, consider delivering in a Lyft, the cereal aisle at your grocery store, or during your yoga class.

Claim denied.

Every professional you see will bill for care provided. You should avoid unnecessary consults or tests. It didn’t take a nurse to confirm that, yes, your baby was waving at you from your va-jay-jay, or the two doctors who agreed you should have thought twice before having the huevos rancheros for breakfast. Your husband could have told you that, if he’d been man enough to look.

Claim denied.

Anesthesia is important; Studies show that controlling pain is integral to better outcomes and faster recovery. Unfortunately, your plan only provides for a stick of African Pearwood, Pine, or particle board to bite down on.

Claim denied.

Your hospital room charge was excessive, even if the room had all the equipment necessary to re-start your husband’s heart when he collapsed after seeing little Jimmy’s head pop from your nether regions. A Motel 6 charges considerably less. They will frown upon guests delivering on their beds but we’re guessing they’ve seen worse.

Claim denied.

Only the poor and underinsured pay full “sticker price” for services. We contract with doctors and hospitals to provide services at a discount… say 40% of charges. We raise your premium 20% and then deny any increase at all to doctors and hospitals. We pocket that additional 20%, just in case one of you gets diagnosed with something we have to pay for. But only one of you. This time, it wasn’t you!

Claim denied.

How did we determine this? We have thousands of highly-compensated administrators and utilization specialists standing by waiting to deny your claims. They review ten claims a day; the remaining tens of thousands get re-routed to a post office in Minot, N.D until Mercury is in retrograde. Neither you, nor your hospital knows when, or even if, a claim will be paid.

We try to be benevolent but six out of ten adults have a chronic disease! That’s your fault for getting diagnosed! Would we like to catch some of these conditions early when they can be cured or managed? No! Then we’d have to pay for those screenings and treatment! It’s much cheaper to bank on your fear of high health care bills keeping you out of the doctors’ offices until you die.

The teenager whose face erupts with a huge, volcanic boil the night before prom is as likely to get coverage as you, whose delivery of little Jimmy gutted you like a flounder. We don’t know the difference between an epidermis and an episiotomy, so it’s:

Claim denied.

So, next time, instead of paying for swaddling, diapers, and Ubering your baby in and out of your room in a miniature shopping cart, just shove that squalling bag of human protoplasm back into your vagina like a baby joey, discharge yourself and re-deliver your baby at home.

All claims denied.

We did, however, cover your $26 parking fee. After all, we’re not heartless.

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When Am I Ever Going to Use This in the Real World, 2021 Edition https://www.pointsincase.com/articles/when-am-i-ever-going-to-use-this-in-the-real-world-2021-edition Thu, 08 Apr 2021 12:00:00 +0000 https://www.pointsincase.com/?p=83634 While many teachers may hear the dreaded “When I am ever going to use this in the real world?” question and furrow their brow, I hear it as a teachable moment and an opportunity to explore the real-world application of our core concepts.

With the world rapidly changing though, it can be tough to keep your real-world examples modern. The next time you hear this question, consider using these cross-curriculum examples to help get the conversation going!

When will I use math in the real world?

Every time you go to the grocery store, you are using mathematical concepts! From addition, to multiplication, and even percentages, the grocery store is like a math classroom come to life. This fact is true even as the global food supply chain crumbles. The next time you walk through the aisles of Trader Joe’s and wonder whether the shelves are empty because another pandemic killed the low-wage workers at the frontlines, or because farmers are facing severe water shortages due to climate change, try to estimate your total before you get the register, where your card will be declined because your whole office was laid off to provide more wealth to shareholders.

When will I use rhetoric and composition in the real world?

Rhetoric has it all: Ethos, pathos, and logos! When your elected officials begin to be replaced with fear-mongering conspiracy theorists who believe in using violence to retain power, rhetorical analysis will come in handy! You’ll be able to write an inspiring strongly-worded Facebook post critiquing their propaganda, a post which will be used as evidence against you when the loyalty trials begin.

When will I use world history in the real world?

As nations continue to fracture across the globe, and a dwindling animal-based food supply causes trade wars to escalate into thermonuclear armageddon that makes the “Book of Revelations” look like The Boxcar Children, you’ll be able to smugly explain to your friends that we, as humans, continue to make the same mistakes over and over again. You’ll get cool points for knowing your stuff even as the world burns to the ground.

When will I use French in the real world?

After the power grid is captured in a state-sponsored cyberattack, and the country is plunged into darkness, without heat or refrigeration, there will be nothing here but an apocalyptic wasteland of dilapidated Burger Kings and old golf courses. You’re going to want to have options when forced to become a refugee. Why not France? Or Quebec?

When will I use literature in the real world?

When you are kidnapped and imprisoned without due process for your lack of patriotism by your fascist government’s unofficial militia, you may find comfort in what Yale’s Robert Louis Jackson described as Dostoyevsky’s portrayal of prison as “the hell of suffering to spiritual salvation.” You might think about Raskolnikov in the epilogue of Crime and Punishment and smile to yourself for the first time in years.

When will I use physical education in the real world?

No, you’re not likely to play kickball outside of PE, but that doesn’t mean the skills won’t transfer to your new life being exploited by the ruling class. Knowing how to kick hard and run is essential to your success foraging for food in the garbage dump that was your hometown, and if you show enough athleticism, you just might find yourself the star of whatever televised death match the oligarchs think up. As our nation becomes increasingly obsessed with legal sports betting and increasingly less obsessed with basic human rights, if you’re lucky enough, you’ll find yourself in a coliseum, impaling your neighbors for a chance to win a trip to the dentist. Running the mile might seem like a big deal now, but when it’s you versus a guy named Sven and your own pulse on the line, you’re going to want to be in top shape.

When will I use engineering in the real world?

Two words: Nuclear bunker.

When will I use science in the real world?

Global pandemics do not occur in a vacuum. For a thing like the coronavirus to spread to as it did, quite a few people, government leadership included, had to ignore the principles of basic science for a very long time. Consider how empowering it might feel in the future to understand the importance of simple pieces of medical advice like washing your hands, avoiding someone who is sick, and covering your mouth when you cough. While a general respect for science may not save your life, it can help to prolong things. And there’s always something to be said for being on the right side of history.

When will I use biology in the real world?

In the best-case scenario for the human race, some members of our species evolve into something that can survive climate disaster. In the transitional period, you’ll want to know how to best choose your mate from the various mutations that spring up after the drug companies contaminated the water supply. Love is in the air! Just try not to breathe it in too deeply.

When will I use psychology in the real world?

Trust me, you’ll need this one because you’re going to see some shit.

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