Slacker

“So that’s when I said Phil Hanlon? More like Phil Banlon.”
“Jesus, dude.”
“What?”
“I mean—“
“Is that not funny?”

***

Our client Acme, & Co. is a high-end import/export business located in the former Soviet republic of West Karmolvia. There have recently been major changes in the Soviet republics with respect to imports and exports of all kinds, with the law of large numbers and other supply/demand pressures exerting themselves in pointed and painful ways upon our clients' bottom line. Describe, in detail, how you will pretend this is interesting. Feel free to take a step back to consider a future in which you work fourteen hours a day on spreadsheets and presentations that don't matter.

***

"But come on though, I'm just saying, like if you're going to do it then just do it. Go all in, slam down on the throttle, and for once in your life like commit to something for once. It's like Yeats said, you've got to keep an eye out for the second coming or else you're just totally existentially hosed — the rough beast whose hour has come will mount you when you're least expecting it and next thing you know you've wasted all this time and effort just to be stuck with a big fat NR on your transcript where your B+ should be. It's not worth it, man."

***

“Over the past week we’ve discussed Tier 1 and Tier 2 (or ‘Tails’ events), today the Steering Committee will begin discussion on Tier 3 events, also known as ‘bangers.’”
“No they’re not.”
“Yes, we will David. This ship needs steering.”
“No, I mean to say they’re not called ‘bangers.’”
“According to the Dartmouth College Social Event Management Procedures, Tier 1 indicates ‘brothers only,’ Tier 2 ‘Tails,’ and Tier 3 ‘bangers.’ Hop aboard, David, we’re steering away.”
“I’m sorry, Professor, but I’m not sure I’ve heard that before.”
“Luckily the Dartmouth College Social Event Management Procedures offers realistic scenarios to help illustrate the meaning of each Tier. I’ll read.

‘A:  Are you going to that Brothers Only (Tier 1) event tonight?
B: No, I’m not a brother.
 
A: Are you going to that Tails (Tier 2) tonight?
B: Yes, the theme is abstinence.
 
A:  Are you going to that Banger (Tier 3) tonight?
B:  At Kappa Sig Fraternity? You bet.
 
“I see.”
“Take the wheel, David. Where do we steer?”
“I think we should stop calling them bangers.”
“Brilliant. You have a steady hand, David. That’s enough for today. Next week: 8 Ball Hall. Would more pinball machines help?”

***

What happens to periodicals after they leave the Periodicals Room? Do they dry up like a raisin in the sun?

***

Our client Combined Industries Inc. is in the business of selling partial shares of children in developing countries. Consumers can buy an arm and a leg, for example, and, less a reasonable processing fee, the child will receive that money in order to invest in their future. Our client's problem is the secondary market that has developed in children's limbs — a competitor start-up has begun selling futures contracts hedging against these arms and legs, and our client is looking for ways corner the industry in limb futures without creating the impression of a conflict of interest.

***

“I think we hooked up the Thursday of Carnival, but I’m not sure if we did again.”
“Don’t you mean you don’t know if you will again?”
“No.”
“Oh.”

***

"I've spent a lot of time this term working out this theory I might have, right, just hear me out, let me know if this is making sense and if it could go somewhere. So you know the basic idea: Jeff Mangum comes out with Avery Island in '96, and you're like just starting to have memories right around this time, probably, or at least I remember my dad playing it around the house when I was really little. Like you know how most people have really vivid emotional memories from that age? Mine are all of my dad telling me, imploring me, to ID all this mid-90s indie rock stuff out of Athens, GA. He started me on the easy stuff, like R.E.M. and the kind of thing you could almost hear on commercial/ mainstream alt-rock stations at the time, and then moved into Panic and the collective jam band hangover that was never that distinctive to begin with and thereby a kind of traumatic memory for me, with the difficulty and un-distinctiveness of the sound. But so anyway even Avery Island didn't feel that distinctive, just like another album from another 60s psych-rock throwback band out of Athens. 

And then Aeroplane happened, and everything changed. And so here's the idea — I'm developing my consciousness and sense of self at the moment this stuff is being played around the house, but so the idea is you've got the obvious references in "Holland 1945" about the Diary of a Young Girl, and it obviously had a big effect on him — Jeff, that is. But have you ever thought about that flying gramophone they have on some of their band merch? What does that look like to you? If you're thinking a time machine then I'm thinking you're right. So here's the idea — look at his wife, I mean Jeff's wife. Google it. Come on dude, pull out your phone, play along with me here. Now who does she look like? If you're thinking Anne Frank then I think you're goddamn right. 

And now Google Anne Frank. Or like Wikipedia. Look for her grave. No one knows where she's buried, do they? You know why? Because Jeff Fucking Mangum used that winged gramophone time machine to go back and save her, wrote this incredible love album to her, like one of the best single compositions in the history of human auditory hearing, and then married her and passed her off as a normal human being who now makes movies with Slavoj Zizek, who himself is famously communist-ish and anti-Nazis in a big way. What do you think?"

***

“Long time no see.”
“You’re getting a post-2A package too?”
“Week 2 and I’m still online shopping.”
“I know right? How about our class?”
“I know, our class.”
“I mean that class is so—“
“I can barely stay awake.”
“I know, right? I mean it’s probably my favorite class this term.”
“You’re so right. This is probably like the worst professor at Dartmouth.”
“That’s so absolutely true. I mean I think I just really enjoy his teaching style and hope he gets tenure.”
“I totally agree. And the exams are so unfair and difficult.”
“Yeah I think so too! I got an A- without even doing any of the readings.”
“Are you being sarcastic?”
“No. Are you?”
“No.”
“…”

 

 

2/24/15: An earlier version of this story misspelled Jeff Mangum's name as "Jeff Magnum," like the condoms. We're sorry, Jeff.