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Tag Archives: McDonald’s

How To Get Fired From Your Unpaid Internship

13 Oct

freework.jpg.scaled500

I’m a junior in Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. This summer, I got ‘fired’ from my unpaid editorial internship after The Atlantic published an article that I’d written.

That’s the lead. The full story is a little more complicated. I spent this summer writing for a small weekly paper with a tiny, fiercely dedicated staff, downward-spiraling circulation and five editorial interns, all unpaid. Now that print journalism is on its last legs, working for the weekly felt a little like pushing an old lady in a wheelchair. But I liked the creative and autonomous nature of the internship, which meant that I could walk into the office, write about anything that interested me and publish it on a legit site. Could I write about Nicolas Cage and Disney Princesses? Sure. Walk to a park an interview homeless guys about philosophy? You betcha.

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21 Things I Would Do For $1

22 Aug
Let's Scrooge McDuck this mofo

Let’s Scrooge McDuck this mofo

As you may have ascertained from my previous posts about college, I recently graduated. It’s great and terrible at the same time. Honestly I’m a wreck. But that’s not what this article is about. This article is about money.

Unless you’re lucky enough to get a full ride scholarship (smart asses) or your parents are paying for all of your school (rich bitches), you’ve probably taken out a student loan or two to pay for your totally-worth-$50K-a-year education. Unfortunately, once you graduate, they expect you to pay those back. Which kinda sucks, especially if your “real job” hasn’t started yet. This is the situation I’m currently in, and it has left me both broke and bored. So, naturally, I’ve compiled a list of things I would do for $1:

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30 More Things That Go Through The Mind Of Every Northwestern Student (Almost) Every Day

30 Apr
Is it true that Morty once took Margaret Thatcher to a nice dinner and never called her back?

Is it true that Morty once took Margaret Thatcher to a nice dinner and never called her back?

Because 33 things that go through the mind of every Northwestern student (almost) every day just wasn’t enough.

1) OF ALL THE GIN JOINTS IN ALL THE WORLD WHY DID TISDAHL HAVE TO SHUT DOWN MINE.

2) No but it’s fine The Keg wasn’t that great I’ll just go somewhere else in Evanston OH MY GOD THERE IS NO WHERE ELSE.

3) TIIIIIISSSSSSSDAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL

4) It’s April. Why the fuck do I need to wear a Northface in April.

5) If BK was a McDonalds I would be broke and fat.

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The Top 20 Ways to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day at the Library

17 Mar
Follow this list until the Catholic guilt is too much to handle.

Follow this list until the Catholic guilt is too much to handle.

1. Read an article about religious sectarian violence on JSTOR
Curse like an Irishman every time Northwestern logs you out.

2. Do an Econometrics problem set
Congratulations! You’re receiving the education that eluded the 1/8th of your ancestors who endured brutal ethnocentrism in the streets of America!

3. Work on your 25-page paper you should have started in mid-February for your research seminar, “Gender and Sexuality during the Irish Potato Famine”
It’s only a matter of time until “Irish Studies” becomes an official major.

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Things You Should and Should Not Do Before The World Ends Tomorrow

20 Dec

Okay guys. It’s here. We’ve been anticipating its arrival for a while now, and there’s no way to avoid it.

The world is going to end tomorrow.

Now, there’s no need to panic.  This is our fate and it is unstoppable.  The Mayans predicted the world would end this way and wait maybe if they were so smart their whole goddamn empire wouldn’t have fallen they were apparently good at predicting things.  At this point, all we can do is make the most of our remaining eleven hours on this planet.

This might seem overwhelming.  “How should I spend my last half-day alive,” you might ask yourself, suggestively eyeing the bottle of KY Jelly you keep in your pantry.  Well fear not, you soon-to-be-dead reader.  Sherman Ave has got you covered with the essential shoulds and should-nots of your last day on Earth. Continue reading

Sherman Ave Freshman Guide: Sobriety

15 Aug

You may have noticed that many of the articles in our award-winning* Freshman Guide series are related to alcohol. This is largely because all of the 21-year-olds on our staff enjoy imbibing with great fervor. However, we are fully aware that many freshmen are not yet 21 years of age, and that a large portion of freshmen and current students may choose not to puke all over themselves every Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday night. So, we take it upon ourselves to offer up a steaming hot plate of super sober funtivities:

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10 Things You Should Appreciate More Than You Do Right Now

5 Dec

As a nonsarcastic person who is truly grateful for all that is sacred and pure in the world, I have compiled an anthology of joyous occurrences in our day-to-day lives for which we should occasionally praise the Gods Of Modern Innovation. Remember: your life could always be worse.

Unfortunately, walking through a cloud of febreeze is not an adequate substitute for doing one's laundry

1. Antibacterials
Judging from the state of your bedroom/bathroom/kitchen, you should be making blood sacrifices to Alexander Fleming’s ghost in thanks for saving your life from everything that’s been lurking in the dark crevices of your home since three months after the last time you cleaned it (whenever that was). If it wasn’t for Penicillin and Febreeze, 1 out of every 3 Northwestern students would have died after moving out of the dorms.* So as long as your housemates don’t find out that the lovestains on the couch probably pose more of a public health threat than Miley Cyrus’s bubonic-plague-infected pubic lice, you’re in the clear to keep up the sanitation substitution.

2. Drunk Sex
Not only are you getting some (however mediocre it may be), you have an excuse for absolutely anything that goes wrong: STDs, ugly partners, impotence, birth control malfunction, commitment, name amnesia, or being a shitty lay.

3. You’re Not a Music Major
Do you want fries with that?

4. Man Nipples
They’re useless and goofy-looking, but amusing all the same. Kind of like Furby.

A Motherfucker

5. Motherfuckers
If it weren’t for people unjustly treating you like shit, you’d have nothing to complain about. How could you play the martyr if that douchetard hadn’t cut you in line at Starbucks this morning? It took a whole extra five minutes to order your lowfat caramel soy frappalatte, and by the time you got home you’d missed the first five minutes of Gossip Girl, and everyone knows if you miss the first five minutes you might as well have missed the whole goddamn show.

6. Motherfuckers Who Have to Wait on You
Next time the almost-middle-aged hippie taking your order at BK starts snarking, put on your best holier-than-thou attitude and consider yourself well off. Nothing will make you appreciate life more than knowing that an asshole observably nearby is significantly unhappier than you, and there’s only a 1 in 17 chance of improving their pathetic present situation.** They will be dealing with drunk Evanston kids at 2 AM for the rest of their lives. Schadenfreude, bitches.

7. Prostitutes
You’ll never be that slutty. See previous sentence.

8. Lady Gaga
Most of the time, she’s doing her best to make you feel normal. But then there was the night you needed fashion inspiration for your pre-Rocky Horror shopping trip, and Johnny Depp wasn’t going to cut it.

9. You’re Not Anne Frank.

Finish your hot cookie bar! There are starving children in Somalia.

10. The Freshman Fifteen
To you, “Ethiopian cuisine” means skipping the dining hall buffets for Addis Ababa, not half an ounce of stale flatbread and a leaf of rotten cabbage with the occasional Vitamin Beetle protein supplement. Struggling with your muffin top is infinitely better than struggling out of the dumpster behind your local Denny’s. Then again, your weight problems could also be correlated to your NU-student-loan-related inability to afford anything but the McDonald’s dollar menu, in which case, there’s always prostitution. See #7.

Now zip up your pants, you goddamn ego masturbator, and get back to your finals. They’re the only thing you have left to bitch about.

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*2010 study by John Michael Bailey.
**2011 study by John Michael Bailey.

Badasses in History: Jean Lafitte

31 Oct

The Somalians know what's up

Pirates rock. And no, I’m not talking about the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, only the first of which was really any good. Yeah, Johnny Depp is a great actor, and Jack Sparrow is awesome and even got a song written about him by The Lonely Island. But in general, the movies sucked. At least we can all agree, real life pirates were awesome.

Well actually, most of them fucking sucked.

Being a pirate in the 18th and 19th centuries was a lot like being a cook at some shitty “restaurant” like McDonald’s. People made fun of you and you had no job security. Also, you were dirty, smelled bad, and were more than likely illiterate. I’ll end the comparison here, but I could go on and on.

The point is, the life of a pirate was not glamorous. Pirates more often stole food and everyday goods than gold. And really, what kind of idiot would bury his treasure as opposed to simply fucking buying an island or something?

Also, scurvy.

Widely renowned as “the douche of the seven seas”, scurvy killed more pirates (and sailors in general) than any high seas adventure ever did. If Pirates of the Caribbean depicted the life of a pirate accurately, 90% of the crew would have been dead of scurvy, disease, and starvation at the end of the first hour, and Jack would have either been caught or just said “fuck it all, I’m going back to land” in the fifteen minutes after that, thus ending the film before most of us could finish our two-foot long hoagies.

As you can see, being a pirate left a lot to be desired.

Way too badass for a frechman

Unless of course, you were Jean Lafitte.

I know what you’re thinking. Yes, he was French. But he was so badass it doesn’t matter.

He has more epithets than can conveniently fit on a business card: “The Corsair”, “The Buccaneer,” “The King of Barataria,” “The Terror of the Gulf,” “The Hero of New Orleans”; all of them names for the same man, the same baller. The same Pirate King.

For have no doubt, that is what he was. Jean Lafitte was an honest-to-goodness King of the Pirates. Operating out of Louisiana, Lafitte claimed as his kingdom much of the Gulf of Mexico and large parts of the Louisiana bayous, including the city of New Orleans.

A maze of swamps, bogs, river deltas and marshes, Lafitte’s realm was nigh-inaccessible to outsiders, and left hundreds of government bounty-hunters shitting their pants in frustration, while the crocodiles sat nearby playing poker, commenting that these newcomers were really rather mannerless. Imagine! Entering a swamp without offering some meat. The nerve!

Frivolity aside, Lafitte was something else. While a pirate, Lafitte was also something of a philanthropist, providing much needed supplies and foodstuffs to the poverty-stricken people of early-1800s New Orleans at low prices, without expectation of real compensation. In fact, Lafitte would often give the goods away for free. Here, for example, is a posting regarding one such event:

COME ONE! COME ALL!
TO JEAN LAFITTE’S
BAZAAR & SLAVE AUCTION
TOMORROW
AT THE TEMPLE
== FOR YOUR DELIGHT ==-
CLOTHING GEMS & KNICK-KNACKS
FROM THE SEVEN SEAS

And the people of New Orleans came. Men and women, parents and children, all loved Lafitte for the bounty he provided. What kind of a-hole wouldn’t like this sort of guy?

(Yes, slaves probably didn’t like him. Ignore that for the moment)

Funny you should ask. The answer is this fuck: William Charles Cole Claiborne (who you know is a douche because he has four names. Pretentious shit folks. Pretentious shit). Claiborne, naturally, was the Governor of New Orleans, a guy who really didn’t give a fuck about the welfare of his citizens.

Let’s be real here, if a Pirate King is more generous than you, you’re probably an asshole. Likely of some extremely smelly animal. Let’s say, for the sake of discussion, an elephant’s asshole. Yeah, that big of an asshole.

Claiborne was such a fuckwad that he issued a posting offering $300 for Lafitte’s head. And no, the reward did not count if Lafitte’s head was still attached to his neck. In any case, three-hundred dollars back then was a lot of money. But Lafitte, being such a generous soul, responded as any badass would.

He simply put out an advertisement of his own, offering $1000 dollars for the head of the Governor, a giant middle-finger to authority if ever there was one.

This, along with Lafitte’s so-called “piracy” (lolz), led Claiborne to try to create a militia with the sole purpose of popping a cap in Lafitte’s French ass. This unfortunately made Lafitte angry. And like the Hulk, you would not like Lafitte when he was angry.

Before I continue, I need to take a moment to explain something about Lafitte. He was, by all accounts almost always a perfect gentleman. Let me quote Joseph Geringer, author of an article entitled Jean Lafitte: Gentle Pirate of New Orleans.

Many stories exist, most of them founded on fact, attesting to his chivalry. When a family named Martin found itself in danger caught in a rowboat during a violent storm in the Gulf of Mexico, a vessel manned by Lafitte took them aboard. Mrs. Martin’s diary reads: “Lafitte the Pirate…treated us with all kindness possible (providing us with) a bountiful breakfast (and) even supplying a hat for my husband who had lost his own.

He gave the man a hat! How fucking cute is that!?

But seriously, Lafitte was a stand-up guy.

On another occasion—I shit you not; this sounds like it is straight out of a Disney movie:

A charming story relates the night that the pirates were playing cards in Lafitte’s den. An argument had broken out between Lafitte’s crew and Gambi’s, the latter blaming the others for cheating. “We shall have a third party cut the cards,” Lafitte announced and sent Thiac to summon one of the fishermen from the coast up to his house. When the fisherman arrived he looked nervous; he had brought with him his little daughter in hopes that these pirates wouldn’t harm him in front of his child.

Lafitte smiled when he saw the girl and asked her to cut the deck, explaining to her in a gentle voice what that meant. She did, and Lafitte went on to win the play. Gambi stormed out. Before they left, the island chief called the little girl to his lap, thanked her for her help and dropped a $20 gold piece into her palm. She grew up never forgetting the dashing pirate who had been so kind to her.

Hopefully voiced by Tom Hanks

Seriously, how has Disney not made a movie out of this? It has adorable children and the softening of the heart of a “cold” man.

It’s literally like Up if you replace the tiny old guy with a badass Frenchman (I’m still not used to having those words together like that) and the fat boy scout with a precious little creole girl.

Also, replace the dog with, let’s say, a crocodile with a monocle and top hat? Yeah, that works.

So clearly, Lafitte was not just a badass, he was a nice badass, which is arguably much much rarer.

Well, he was usually nice. Like I mentioned earlier, Lafitte had a bit of a temper. At one point during his reign as Pirate King of Barataria, a group of men assembled outside Lafitte’s home, threatening mutiny. Lafitte, badass that he was, came outside his home (presumably to the sound of thundering trumpets, as John Williams or Danny Elfman arranges the nearby orchestra) with a smile.

He was, in fact, still smiling when he strode up to the leader of the mutiny and casually shot the man in the face, then turned (continuing to smile I imagine) and returned to his evening dinner without a word.

Lafitte: 1, Mutiny: 0

Pure fucking ownage.

To add to his badassitude, Lafitte was also an accomplished duelist. And by “accomplished” I mean “Inigo Montoya, check what’s really up.” Reputedly, Lafitte never lost a duel, and was one of the most skilled rapier-duelists of the age.

In fact, legend has it that one night while eating dinner with his lady-companion at what would later become the Courtyard of Two Sisters Restaurant, Lafitte was challenged three separate times. Pausing momentarily to presumably offer the men the chance to leave with their lives and their dignity (or at least their lives), Lafitte apologized to the lady and drew his rapier.

Three dead douchebags later, Lafitte is said to have returned unharmed and unflustered to his filet mignon with cabernet sauce, which he proclaimed excellent.

But what really makes Lafitte so fascinating is this: he loved America, even though he was a French pirate.

Seriously, he ordered his men to never fire on or raid an American vessel. The one time someone did, Lafitte himself shot the troublemaker.

Despite this (as we’ve seen), American politicians (fuck you, Claiborne) and even Presidents continued calling for Lafitte’s capture and execution. They didn’t really care which one.

It wasn’t until the War of 1812 came along that Colonel Andrew Jackson—yes, that Andrew Jackson—decided it might be better to have Lafitte on their side. And because Lafitte loved America, he agreed to help.

He didn’t do very much useful though.

Oh wait, yes he fucking did. He was actually almost single-handedly responsible for the American victory at the Battle of New Orleans. You know, the one that later helped then-Colonel Andrew Jackson later win the White House and that helped the Americans repel the British. Yeah, that Battle of New Orleans.

A badass always recognizes a fellow badass

Jackson was thankful (duh) and requested that the U.S. government grant Lafitte and his men pardons for their earlier crimes. The request was granted and Lafitte in many ways became a national hero. Jackson in fact wrote Lafitte a personal letter of gratitude as well, one Lafitte would always taken great pride in:

“I do an act of justice, and at the same time one very agreeable to my feelings to state the services you have rendered during the late invasion of your country…Sir, to one of those to whom the country is most indebted, I feel great pleasure in giving this testimony of your worth, and to add the sincere promise of my private friendship and high esteem.”

Personal thanks for Andrew “Old Hickory” Jackson himself and the title of “Hero of New Orleans”? NBD. Just a day in the life of Jean Lafitte.

But, since most people are fucking assholes, rumors began to circulate that Lafitte was once again committing crimes, this time adding a number of murders to the list. Things became so ugly that Lafitte and his men thought it wise to depart their much-loved New Orleans, choosing to settle anew on Galveston Island, off of Texas.

For a time, he became a freelance privateer, working for Mexico to sink and steal from Spanish ships. This obviously pissed Spain off.

Unfortunately, America was also trying to make an alliance with Spain at the time, so American politicians being what they are, they totally ignored how Lafitte had fucking saved their asses and instead sent soldiers to tell Lafitte to either abandon his new island or be destroyed.

Once again, it was unwise to make Lafitte angry, as he simply torched his entire island, probably mooning the navy as he did so.

Did he die?

No. When the flames died down, the navy went to inspect the island and found all of Lafitte’s ships missing. Where he went from there, no one knows. Lafitte never again appears in any known history.

Maybe he is still out there. King of the Pirates, Badass of the Seas.