Tag Archives: flyers

Happy Presidents Day

Happy Presidents Day everybody. I ran for President once. It was for President of my residence hall during my sophomore year at college. My motivation wasn’t really one of civic duty or anything like that. And it’s not like I really wanted to be President. I kind of just wanted to post flyers in the hallways.


A year earlier, I was living in one of the freshman dorms, Alumni Court North, which was actually a lot nicer than the sophomore dorms. I guess it made sense from an administrative point of view, like we don’t want to scare them out of the housing system just yet, let’s see if we can’t squeeze two years out of the students, give them the not-so-shitty dorms their first year and then the really shitty dorms in year two.

Almost immediately after orientation during year one, people started putting up flyers. Join the lacrosse club, or come to a social justice forum, or, if you have to puke in the stairway, try to clean it up, at least maybe post a warning flyer on the stairway entrance. It was ridiculous the amount of paper, it was like you couldn’t even see the wall behind the flyers.

So I started making my own, fake flyers. One of them advertised hopscotch intramurals, another told everybody about a staring contest club, with a picture of a big set of eyes, the text, “See you there!” superimposed along the bottom. I thought it was so funny, I remember laughing so hard at my handiwork that I worried I’d maybe reached the pinnacle of my comedic career.

Unfortunately, my flyers lacked the required “Approved for Posting” stamp that officially sanctioned eight by ten photocopies as fit to tape to the wall. While I got a huge kick out of my harmless pranks, my laughter was never sustained for more than half a day or so. I don’t know how my college experience ranked with everybody else’s, but the RAs in my dorm were pretty hardcore, strict enough to scan the walls, plucking down unlicensed pieces of paper with the zeal characteristic of a twenty year old student empowered by the university to be officially in charge of a bunch of eighteen and nineteen year old subordinates.

Eventually I gave up, and then it was sophomore year. I figured, if I ran for President of the dorm, they’d have to give me access to that stamp. I’d be able to post campaign signs, and whatever else I wanted up on the walls without having to worry about any of the RAs spoiling my fun.

And so yeah, I registered to run for President. I made a bunch of fake campaign flyers, pages of really small text, nonsense manifestos printed alongside scanned photos of my high school yearbook portrait. There were empty promises, contradictory messages, inside jokes that probably weren’t as funny as I care to remember.

But it wasn’t the same. That manic euphoria, the first taste of real independence that characterized the joy of freshman year, as a sophomore, it didn’t really exist. The going out partying, staying up the night before a test to try and cram a week’s worth of work into a four hour study session, and making up bullshit excuses to unconvinced professors in an attempt to extend already overextended deadlines, we were all going through the same motions, but the shine had lost a lot of its luster. When someone puked in the hallway the year before it was like, “Oh my God! Someone puked in the hall! That is so funny!” This year it was just like, “Goddamn it, someone puked in the hall again. This is disgusting.”

So yeah, I had my flyers on the wall and, OK, they were stamped as official. But it just wasn’t the same. Nobody was laughing, I don’t even think anybody ever even looked. Worse, I wound up running unopposed. What had started out as a big joke culminated in me winning a race. I was now officially a member of student government.

I had to go to these meetings once a week. I felt like I was doing everybody a disservice. It was everything I could do just to give my classes the bare minimum of attention they needed so I could get by with a GPA that wouldn’t arouse complaints from my parents. Extracurricular activities, well, if they did give out grades for clubs, which they didn’t, I would’ve received a D- for my role as President of Martyrs Hall. But it wouldn’t have even mattered, because if I weren’t President, nobody would have been President. And all we really did was host pizza parties once a month.

So yeah, being President isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be. And so on this Presidents Day, I’d to like to take a moment, to reflect on my own Presidency, on all of the college sophomore dorm Presidencies out there. Yeah. Well, that’s it, this was the reflection. And now it’s over. Happy Presidents Day everybody.

Be a part of the Pollution Solution

I’ve been really concerned with pollution lately, air pollution, noise pollution, all different types of pollution. Last night I had this great idea for a campaign, I’d call it the “Pollution Solution.” It’s great, a great name, it rhymes, I thought it might be a terrific way to raise awareness about pollution, you could teach it to little kids and print out flyers and t-shirts that say something like, “I’m a part of the Pollution Solution,” you know, in reference to that old saying about being a part of the problem or being a part of the … yeah, you know.


So t-shirts and flyers, right? Right. OK, I didn’t know how to make t-shirts, not by myself anyway. I tried my hand at screen printing a few years ago, but the farthest that I got in the process was buying a bunch of stuff at some art store, eventually leaving the bags in the corner of my living room for months until finally my wife put them somewhere in the basement. I was like, “What the hell? I was going to use that stuff!”

And at the time I was so mad, because that was my excuse for not doing cool stuff like screen printing, “like I don’t have any space, like, you keep hiding my stuff and I forget that I want to do it.” But now that I’m thinking about it, that was part of the problem, of the pollution problem. I was polluting my house with all of this junk.

So let’s keep going, keep moving, we’ll get to the t-shirts, eventually, but I don’t want to get caught up right away in another pollution trap, so flyers, let’s make some flyers. I got onto Microsoft Word, I wrote in some big letters, “Be a part of the,” and then in even bigger letters, “Pollution Solution,” all caps. I got this recycling logo from the Internet and started printing two hundred copies.

But right as they started spooling out of the printer, I had doubts, like, OK, you definitely need flyers for a campaign, but where would I distribute these flyers? Who am I going to give them to? Shouldn’t I have included some contact info on the flyer? I clicked on the printer icon on my computer, and I hit cancel, but you know how those things always are, it’s like, cancel, and it says cancelling, but it keeps printing, and you go to click something else, but that shitty program that installed itself when you hooked up the printer, it’s totally unresponsive.

I was like, OK, I guess I’ll have to buy some more paper. I went back to Word, then I started typing the contact info, my phone number, right? Maybe a web site? Do I have a web site? I looked online, pollution solution dot com. Nothing. I registered quickly, it only cost like twelve bucks. Then my printer made some noise, it was a sound like it was finally accepting the delayed command to stop printing, but it was already at copy number ninety-eight, and instead of finishing copy number ninety-eight, it just stopped halfway down the page.

Come on! Why couldn’t it stop after it was complete? What am I supposed to do with half of a flyer? That’s pollution right there, because, what can I do but throw that piece of paper in the trash? I crumpled it up instinctively before I had the thought, wait, it didn’t have to be a total waste, I could finish the bottom half of the flyer by hand, and that would be cool because it’s all crumpled up anyway, so it would really have that cool recycled look. And the half-ink, half-pen thing, it would add to the effect, the really making treasure out of trash.

But I needed some pens, I mean, I had pens, but just Bic pens, that would have taken forever. I needed like a marker. So I went to the art store to buy a bunch, but on the way in, I saw this box, a screen printing starter kit. Huh. That’s so much more convenient than all of the random stuff I bought last time. It was just these jars of chemicals and the screens and I got home and I didn’t know where to start and then my wife hid everything in the basement, it was like, no wonder I never learned how to screen print.

So I bought the starter kit, went home, then went back to check on the flyers which, for some reason, the printing job resumed. I figured, whatever, it’s OK, I think that in my excitement about the starter’s kit, I forgot to actually buy those pens, and so, whatever, it’s fine, I’m making progress, I’ve got the flyers, I was just about to get started on the t-shirts, but I got an email from some guy at pollution solution dot net. It was this whole cease and desist, but you could tell he wasn’t a lawyer, it was just some dude threatening legal action, threatening to get a lawyer, and trying to scare me with a bunch of made up legalese.

I think. I’m not a lawyer either, and so it’s difficult to distinguish fake from real lawyering. Whatever, I could feel my motivation was diminishing. Do I really have what it takes for a political campaign? Again, what am I going to do, start passing out flyers on the street, like those cell phone guys? No, it’s so much pollution, it’s obvious, and those guys are so annoying, so aggressive, like fine, you want me to take this flyer from you? You want me to throw this piece of paper in the trash for you? Fine. I threw all of my work in the trash. I don’t care, twelve bucks on some cheesy domain name, you can take it mister dot net.

And then I had this idea for a t-shirt, it would be like a skull and crossbones, but instead of a skull, it would be a robot skull, and instead of crossbones, it would be like a wrench and a screwdriver. That would be the perfect t-shirt to use with my screen printing kit. But I still needed those pens, those markers, not pens, for the design. And some t-shirts. But I was really hungry and I needed some lunch. So I headed out the door and I think I wanted pizza, but I wasn’t sure, and was I even headed in the right direction? Maybe I’d just get a sandwich. And look at all of this litter on the floor, all of this trash, so much pollution. Everybody’s just a part of it, a part of the problem, man, it’s too much.