Illustrations by Victor Kerlow
Just Calm Down, Don't Freak Out, All Kinds of Things Are About to Happen to You
Unless you grew up with assholes (in which case, congratulations! You escaped!), you've spent your life thus far happily sheltering under Mom and Dad's warm, clucky wings. Now, for the first time ever, you are alone. All alone. You are excited because you get to drink and bang people, but—fess up!—secretly, you are also terrified. You probably don't know how to do things like pay an electric bill, or do your taxes, or get an abortion, or stop crying. But stop! Stop crying. Don't freak out. You're definitely going to fuck some stuff up. At some point, you're going to get a red envelope that's like, "YOU DIDN'T PAY YOUR ELECTRIC BILL SO WE WILL MURDER YOU NOW." If that happens, you know what? You'll figure out how to pay the bill. If they shut your electricity off, you know what? The food in your refrigerator will spoil. If that happens, you know what? You can get new food. If you overdraw your bank account paying the bill so they'll turn your refrigerator back on and you can refrigerate your new food, you know what? You'll get a part-time job to make some more money. If you get fired from your job? Get another one. Flunk a class because you were working too much at your part-time job? Take it again. Yeah, it's annoying. Problems are shitty, and you don't know how to deal with problems yet. But problems have solutions. Almost nothing is as big a deal as it seems. Stop crying.
How to Be a Functional Drinker
First, ask yourself these questions: When very drunk, do you become annoyingly sentimental? Or suddenly and irrationally aggressive? Or deeply and dangerously morose? Or (if you're a man) tragically flaccid? Or do you just cold black out? If you answered yes to even one of these questions, forget it: Stay away from heavy boozing—it's just not for you. Drinking is all about holding your liquor, and, sadly, this ability cannot be taught; you are either born with it or not. It's all in the genes, in the secret history of your blood. The world has yet to see a boozer who has progressed from mean drunk to nice drunk. Once you are mean, always mean; once you are nice, always nice. And you will rarely find nice drunks at AA meetings. If you can't hold your liquor, we recommend that you find another substance to abuse—khat, ganja, certain prescription pills.
How to Binge Drink and Not Die
Binge drinking is very dangerous. If you do it, do it with friends you trust (preferably at least one person who is not drinking) to keep you safe. Don't hold it in: If you feel like barfing, barf safely. Don't "rest for a minute" on your back, or you will choke on your own vomit and die. Pass out on your stomach and use gravity to send barf away from you, rather than into your lungs. If a friend is unresponsive, dry heaving, and/or seizing, they may have alcohol poisoning—go to the hospital. Don't fuck with this rule. Don't put them under a cold-water shower to see if they get better—the hospital, right now, via 911 if needed. Do not operate anything with wheels. Walk or cab. Don't get dehydrated. Buy generic Pedialyte and finish the bottle before bed.
How to Not Feel Like a Sack of Vomit After a Night of Binge Drinking
You wake up, your head is throbbing, and you realize your stomach has been replaced with a sack of vomit. Instead of reaching for some bullshit remedy like coffee (it dehydrates you), or charcoal pills, or another drink, here's what you need to do: Swallow two ibuprofen with a huge glass of water, and haul your seasick ass to the nearest pho restaurant. Pho, a Vietnamese noodle soup, is the ultimate hangover cure—it's cheap, the rice noodles are easy on your stomach, and the clear, warm broth has the salt and potassium your body needs after binge drinking. The best pho in town is found at Pho Bac in the International District. If you have a compassionate roommate, have them drive your ass there. Order the small chicken noodle pho. Marvel in amazement as each slurp of hot broth makes you feel more human. Then go home, drink more water (or juice), and go back to bed.
Drugs Are Illegal and Abusing Them Can Fuck Up Your Life (but if You're Going to Do Them Anyway, Here's What You Should Know)
You don't live in your parents' house, finally. You can stay out late, you can have sex in your own bed, and you can get stoned at any goddamn hour of the day. FUCKING FINALLY. Maybe you've never seen weed before. Or maybe you've been getting high every day since the seventh grade. Either way, you're on your own—and you're going to be doing a lot more drugs now than at any other point in your life. There are plenty of ways to do drugs that lead to inevitable regret. But there are ways to do drugs that minimize that possibility—and a few guidelines that we wish we'd followed during our hazy, stony college years.
You've probably already discovered that it's way, way easier to get marijuana than it is to procure alcohol—especially if you live in a dorm. Why subject yourself to the hassle of pestering your one friend with the fake ID until they make a liquor run for you? It's easier to just walk down the hall and score a dub from that sketchy guy who listens to Zero 7 all day.
First guideline: Buy from that guy, but don't be that guy. Dealing is risky, and the rewards aren't all that great. You will get high on your own supply. You will find yourself buying totally sketchy drugs from totally sketchy people in totally sketchy places at totally sketchy times of night. People will use you, talk shit about you, and bang on your door at all hours of the night. They will tell you they can pay you later. They will not do this. And you will not make very much money, unless you go career, and why are you going to school if you are just going to be a career drug dealer?
Okay, another guideline: Don't get high until after class. Waking and baking is no good, except on weekends. If you go to class stoned, you're going to flunk out. Exceptions: If you are taking any of the following courses, by all means attend class zooted out of your gourd: (1) Any survey of jazz course. You won't understand Coltrane without a little bit of the smoke train, dig? Eh? Eh? Eh... ahem. (2) Modernist art. You think Dalí painted that shit after going to church and drinking lemonade? The guy was high, and in ways you or I can't even imagine. (3) Any film class, particularly one that focuses on film noir, the French New Wave, or the American cinematic renaissance of the 1970s. Movies are better stoned. Period. This is an indisputable fact.
Guidelines for other drugs:
Acid: Do it no more than twice. If both times were ohmygodsofuckingamazing, and you didn't freak out or punch a mailbox or jump out of a window, then you can do it again. Don't do it more than five times. Seriously.
Ecstasy: Again, no more than five times, and don't do it more than once a month. Ecstasy is fun, fun, fun, but it really does make you stupider. Also, do it if at all possible with someone you want to fuck. But again, no more than five times. Shit's expensive, anyway. On the other hand...
Mushrooms: Do as often as you like. If you eat too much, you'll simply puke 'em out, and unlike acid, it's a lot harder to permanently fuck yourself up on fungus. If you like 'em, do 'em. You will get bored with mushrooms eventually when you discover they stop working the way they used to and just give you a headache.
Cocaine: Wait until your junior year to do coke. You'll be older, wiser. You'll have gotten fully acclimated to your academic workload and will know exactly whom you can and cannot trust. Cocaine turns some people into jackals. Don't be one of them. And blow stops being fun after about the 10th or so time you do it, so if you find yourself continuing to do it beyond that point: Congratulations! You're a coke addict. Hope you like giving blowjobs to score eight-balls, because that's your future. And last year, the DEA reported that over 70 percent of the U.S. cocaine supply is tainted with a livestock-deworming drug called levamisole. (Why are Colombians cutting a dewormer into the coke? See this story.) Levamisole makes some people's immune systems crash—they get very, very sick with fevers, rashes, and sores—and a few people have died. If you think you have levamisole poisoning, go to a doctor RIGHT AWAY and be honest about your cocaine use so you can avoid a painful bone-marrow biopsy (imagine a gigantic needle in your pelvis) that is part of the workup for mysterious immune-system crashes. Coke ain't looking so great anymore, is it?
Heroin: You're kidding, right? Stay away from it; don't hang out with people who do it. Cocaine turns some people into jackals, but heroin turns all people into machines of narcotic longing. Being addicted to smack is like having each cell in your body individually suffering from the most severe heartbreak you can imagine—and the full-blown addict would steal a morphine suppository out of their own grandmother's asshole if they had half the chance. If you don't want to turn into that guy, keep your distance.
A Guide to the Drugs You Haven't Heard of Yet
We like drugs as much (or probably more) than you do, but trust us—some drugs aren't worth it. Most new drugs fall into that category. Here are some. Doda: a South Asian word for poppy tea, newly popular with law enforcement. The proper dried poppies used to be readily available in flower shops and craft stores, and turned a few people into full-blown addicts who needed to go to rehab. You probably won't be able to find so much of this these days. Meow: a newish synthetic amphetamine that feels like cheap, speedy ecstasy. One member of the Stranger Test Kitchen reports: "It burns to snort, comes on with a kind of overwhelming feeling, and turns you into a slack-jawed, bug-eyed goon for a few hours. I wouldn't recommend it." Salvia divinorum: You probably know about this already—a little weed that briefly turns you into a cat on acid. Some Stranger Test Kitchen members have described it as "disorienting" and "terrifying." Synthetic opiates: Synthetic versions of natural drugs—like coca leaves and poppy pods—are the gold ring for drug dealers: They're easier and cheaper to get away with making, and they don't require lots of land and labor. Oxycontin, fentanyl, and the like are synthetic narcotics that are going around. Think of it like laboratory heroin—the first time you use it, you'll puke. The second time you use it, you will feel warm and dreamy. Then you will probably spend THE REST OF YOUR LIFE trying (and failing) to reproduce that precise warm-and-dreamy experience. If you want to trade your entire life for one two-hour high, be our guest. But we don't recommend it. Cheese: a heroin-and-cold-medication mixture that's turning kids into addicts and corpses in the South. Another thing we don't recommend. The fundamental lesson: Stick to the classics.
What You Should Do if a Friend Is Unresponsive Because They Overdosed on Drugs
You should do the same thing you'd want them to do for you: CALL 911 FOR MEDICAL HELP. Right then. Lots of people don't do this. Washington averages two fatal overdoses per day, sometimes with witnesses standing by who are afraid to call 911. They're afraid of getting busted. Maybe that will change this year, now that state lawmakers have passed a law that says people seeking medical help for an overdosing person will receive IMMUNITY FROM CHARGES OF DRUG POSSESSION. (More info on the new law is at www.stopoverdose.org.) A couple words of warning: The law only protects you from charges of drug possession (not sale, delivery, or manufacture); moreover, if that person dies and you were the one who provided the drugs, you could still be charged with "controlled substances homicide." Better to not let them die in the first place. Call 911 right away—just like you'd want someone to do for you.
How to Be Straight-Edge and Not Be a Dick About It
Simple: Don't tell anyone you're straight-edge. You can tell people you don't drink, smoke, or do drugs, but when people ask "Why?" (and they will), DO NOT use the term "straight-edge" unless you want people to assume you're going to smash their face in with a brick if you ever catch them smoking (don't laugh—it happens). Just be cool about the personal choice you've made to be drug-free. It's hard to maintain in an environment where everyone else is constantly drinking and smoking up. Don't rub it in anyone's face, don't take pictures of people when they're drunk and then tag them on Facebook the next morning. Be a pal. Besides, the majority of kids your age who are straight-edge now will eventually start to drink or do drugs. And maybe you'll be one of those people. The less of a stink you make about not drinking now, the less of a stink everyone else will make if/when you start.
How to Meet Someone on the Internet for Dating or Sex and Not Get Murdered
No one ever looks like their photos. You think you are getting some babe or stud, but in fact you're getting a blob of mashed potatoes with clothes and hair. Sometimes the mashed-potato blob is a murderer (especially if you meet on Craigslist—never a good idea, stick to sites with full profiles). Sometimes the rapport you had online is misleading, and in fact they are incapable of carrying on an actual conversation (because they spend all their time on the internet, where you met them). You have to graduate the interaction to a phone call if you're considering meeting—you can sense a lot more through a phone call than you can through a computer screen. If the call goes well, meet up somewhere in public where there are other people (coffee shop, bar) and where you can get away easily (have an excuse ready). Make sure at least one friend knows what you're doing, and that the person you're meeting knows that a friend knows what you're doing, and don't do anything that doesn't feel right. And definitely wear a condom. People lie.
Different Sexual Positions You Need to Try in College
Just like how Southerners allegedly "speak" the same "language" as the rest of America, most sexual positions apply to all genders and orientations. In that vein, we have chosen the gender-neutral names "Pat" and "Sam" to describe our sex-position test subjects. Missionary: Pat lies on back with legs up. Sam lies on top of Pat. The Stopperage: Same as Missionary, but Pat's knees are doubling as Sam's earmuffs. Doggy Style: Pat is on hands and knees, Sam is behind Pat, penetrating like there's no tomorrow. Spooning: Pat lies down, Sam also lies down, penetrates Pat from behind. The inclusion of actual spoons is optional. Cowboy/Cowgirl: Sam lies down faceup. Pat climbs on top facing Sam and bounces up and down while trying to not make a joke about Native Americans. Reverse Cowboy/Cowgirl: Sam lies down faceup. Pat climbs on top facing away from Sam. Both climax while secretly fantasizing about a young, hot John Wayne. The Steve Jobs: Sam stands up, idly fingering an iPod Touch and ignoring everyone else in the room while Pat licks Sam's asshole to climax. The Rock Lobster: Pat hums B-52's songs at a very low volume while barely tolerating whatever Sam's doing. The L. Ron: Pat squats on an ottoman while reflecting on childhood traumas. Sam quickly fucks Pat from behind and then takes all of Pat's money. Reap the Whirlwind: Sam is tied to a chandelier. Pat is on a trampoline. Whatever penetration occurs is considered "fair game." The Mintz-Plasse Gambit: Pat has one leg up on a stepladder while wearing a powdered wig. Sam leans over backward in an arch and makes a gibbering noise as they rub their jam-smeared genitals together. The Wandering Missionary: Sam arrives at Pat's door wearing a short-sleeved shirt, a tie, and magical underpants. Pat fists Sam back to reality.
Different STDs That Might Want to Try You
You assume all these people you want to fuck are healthy because they're young and tan, they smile a bunch (diseased people don't smile), or they've got taut asses with "Juicy" stamped across the cheeks. But even people with juicy asses can be cesspools of disease. According to a 2007 Stanford University study, one in four college students has a sexually transmitted disease. The most common STDs on college campuses are genital warts (HPV) and chlamydia. Symptoms for chlamydia are often mild or absent, so it goes undiagnosed. Therefore, don't take someone's word that they're clean. Kiss them, fuck them, but use condoms. Condoms are the only way to reliably protect against STDs. If you begin seeing someone exclusively and want to stop using condoms, get tested first—both you and your partner. If you experience burning around your genitals, itching, a rash, pain while urinating, discharge, fever, madness, or sterility, go see a doctor. You probably already have an STD.
Where to Go if You Might Be Pregnant
Church is the wrong answer; you can't pray a potential pregnancy away. If you're uncomfortable visiting your school's health center (all schools in Seattle except Seattle Pacific University offer pregnancy tests to students for a fee—SPU offers "premarital consultations" instead), you can visit a number of clinics in Seattle that offer free pregnancy tests, such as Planned Parenthood's University District Health Center, Aurora Medical Services, or Seattle Medical and Wellness Clinic. If you're doing your own research, beware of limited-service clinics run by religious organizations. These clinics don't offer comprehensive birth-control services, abortions, abortion referrals, or prenatal care—and they often won't make referrals for these services (it's against their religion, you see). These faith-based centers only offer free pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, parenting classes, and adoption literature. What's worse, they are not required by law to provide you with information that is "medically and scientifically accurate," according to twin bills introduced in the state house and senate last session that would've corrected this alarming oversight (both bills were tabled).
What to Do if All Your Life You Have Secretly Wanted to Have Sex with Someone with the Same Private Parts as You
You have this really big secret that you have spent years hiding (not easy—congrats!). You're religious, or you're from a military family, or you just want to be "normal" and the idea of other people talking about how you're "different" makes you want to die. Here's what you don't know: No one actually gives a flying fuck. It seems like they do, but they don't. Keeping quiet only helps the asshole Republicans who want to stereotype and marginalize you (even though you've done nothing wrong) and the religious institutions that want to perpetuate evil while pretending to be the arbiters of what's moral (you're familiar with what's been happening in the Catholic Church?). People don't actually care if you're gay; they care if you're dishonest. And guess what? The people who say the most awful stuff about gays are often gay themselves. (Ask Google about Republican politicians Larry Craig, Bob Allen, George Rekers, Richard Curtis, or Roy Ashburn—type any of their names plus "gay sex scandal.") A study recently published in the New York Times found that men who are the most disdainful of gays get more aroused looking at gay porn than men who couldn't care less about gay guys. The good people, the morally superior people, the ones whose opinion you should care about: They are gonna be fine with it.
How to Not Be a Fucking Jackass Around People Who Are Genderqueer
There's a good chance you're going to meet people who don't fit neatly into the boxes you're used to. If you're not sure which pronoun to use and don't know what someone prefers, ask. If someone changes their name or pronoun, respect that change. You are allowed a couple slipups, but only a few—after that you're just being a jackass and doing it on purpose. Don't ever ask someone you barely know if they've had surgery or are on hormones. They aren't asking about your medical history or the contents of your pants; return the favor. There are a zillion fancy terms that people use to name their experience with gender. Don't be intimidated if you don't get it—but also remember that genderqueer people are not your Google. To learn about gender, do some research or take a class. To make a friend, be a kind and open person. It's not about being politically correct. It's about not being a tool. And broadening your worldview—which is why you came to college anyway, right?
How to Get Roofied and Still Have a Good Time
The key to enjoying getting roofied is good company. If you're drinking at a party or a bar, you should already be with a friend or friends who understand, seriously, how to look after each other (see How to Binge Drink and Not Die, page 17). You should be keeping an eye on each other's drinks, too—and no setting it down and coming back to it, dummy, or accepting a drink from the hand of someone you don't know. If you somehow do get roofied, then your wingperson or -people are there to fend off (and hopefully punch) whatever creep tries to drag you off into the night. (As a human being, it's also your duty to always watch for creeps dragging other half-conscious people off into the night: Stop them and yell, "Do you know her? WHAT THE FUCK, DUDE?" until the situation is made very clear.) With your friends by your side, you can relax and experience whatever psychotropic substance has been introduced into your system, which might not be that bad—some have reported crystal-clear double vision accompanied by fits of laughter, with only a small amount of blacking out later (with friends to keep watch—see how that works?).
A Few Majors That You Should Not Major In
Sociology is bogus. It's a discipline that sloppily combines bastardized versions of a number of worthy, in-depth fields of study. Unless you want to read about coal-mine disasters (hard on communities, who'd have guessed?) and listen to your professor bloviate about the significance of vanity license plates, this is not for you. Political science is nowhere near as asinine, but still, just major in history and get a minor in philosophy. Speaking of philosophy, while it is not an absolute no-no (no one likes an absolutist), you should know that unless philosophy majors are very, very careful, they are pompous, annoying, and repellent to those they wish to sexually attract. Journalism: Seriously? Furthermore, hardly anyone at any still-extant newspaper has a journalism degree—they all studied things that might, like, help them write better, such as English literature, or know more things about the world, such as environmental science or microbiology or history, or they skipped college altogether and attended the School of Hard Knocks. If you would like to dismantle the patriarchy, put that ladybrain to work inside the traditional phallocentric academic structure; women's studies is great, but it's a minor, not a major. And finally, communications: This is not a real thing. Actual smart people don't even know what it means. If you want a job in public relations, though, you're probably barking up exactly the right tree.
What the Albums in Your Dorm Room Say About You
The Beatles: You own an album. The Rolling Stones: You own two albums. The Beach Boys: You have never surfed in your life. The Clash: You're experimenting with Marxism. Sleater-Kinney: You're experimenting with lesbianism. Belle & Sebastian: You're experimenting with acting gay to get the girls who are experimenting with lesbianism. Minor Threat: You're straight-edge and no fun at parties. Fugazi: Used to be straight-edge, still no fun at parties. Q and Not U: Used to be straight-edge, learned how to dance, finally fun at parties! Jawbreaker: You get sentimental about punk shows. LCD Soundsystem: You get sentimental about dance parties. Phish: You were in high-school jazz band, and now you smoke pot. Bob Marley: Your parents know you smoke pot. The Ramones/Sex Pistols: You resent your parents for paying your tuition. Public Image Ltd.: You're in communications. Arcade Fire: You're in musical theater. Devo: You're in DXArts. Vampire Weekend: You wish you'd gotten into a better school. Pavement: You test well but don't do your homework. Public Enemy: You resent "the Man" and/or are embarrassed about being the offspring of "the Man." The Notorious B.I.G.: You're a chubby-chaser with necrophilia. Lil Wayne: You love comedy and possibly cough syrup. (No homo!) Lady Gaga: You hate social injustice and possibly pants. (Yes homo!) Prince: You are funky, sexually freaky. Al Green: You are tastefully horny and likely to be a good lover. Toby Keith: Your dick smells like goat butt. Glee soundtrack: You hate music. Anything "chillwave": You work at Rainydawg Radio.
What Your Art Posters Say About You
You think that a Salvador Dalí poster says that you are arty and take interesting drugs. But it does not; it says that you think a melting clock painted in 1930 is still avant-garde. You must take this down. A Mondrian poster is probably best if you go modern, but sharper would be a poster of a work of modern architecture. (Remember, modern is not the same as contemporary.) The color fields of Rothko are a cliché, but still workable for the sensitive (Rothko's paintings elicit more crying than any other modern artist's). If you must have one, try to say something cool about it, like, "Did you know that Rothko wanted his paintings to fill your entire field of vision, so that's how far you should stand from them?" It's true; situate your bed accordingly and you've got yourself a pickup line.
Your Identity Politics and Taking It Easy on Tattooing Yourself in Your Beliefs
College! So many new people, new ideas, and new feelings that you are required to experience and do your best to enjoy. However, never forget that you are still a freakishly pliable, under-construction human being—that's why it's great you're in college!—and you should do your best to refrain from ascribing permanence to your gloriously fleeting feelings (i.e., no tattoos of "BI AND PROUD!," "Communist and Lovin' It!," or the lyrics to some stupid song you may love now but will resent the shit out of in 10 years).
In Defense of Your Professors Who Seem Useless and Crazy
For a good example of a professor who may seem useless, let's turn to Wesley Howard-Brook of Seattle University. He teaches a class called Jesus and Liberation, and apparently only teaches that class. Now, why is this class useless? Because God does not exist. So Professor Howard-Brook is lecturing about something that is not even real. So why take this class and other classes concerning the spiritual Jesus, theology, and out-of-this-world stuff like that? Because without Jesus or God, the civilization we are experiencing at this very moment would be radically different. Yes, Jesus walked on water, and it is not possible for a human being to walk on water because humans have a different relationship with gravity than, say, a water spider, which walks on water all the time. But learning about water spiders will tell you nothing about how we (as humans) deal with our neighbors, and learning about Jesus and his bizarre miracles certainly will.
The History of Philosophy in a Single Paragraph (in Case You Meet a Philosophy Major Who Isn't Pompous, Annoying, and Repellent and Want to Flirt with Him or Her)
Philosophy in the Western tradition properly begins with Socrates, who never wrote a word, as far as we know, and is famous for being the main hero in almost all of Plato's existing dialogues—one of which, The Symposium, which is a party that involves drinking and conversation, concerns the nature of love. Plato himself did not really care about love and believed that the ideal society would have "women in common"—meaning, men and women fucked whomever they wanted. Aristotle, Plato's student, was very middle-class. He thought that marriage should be between a man and a woman. Lucretius, a Roman philosopher, disliked kissing. Thomas Aquinas didn't take the sin of fornication that seriously; Augustine, who did a lot of fornicating before his conversion to Christianity, did. Spinoza, the king of the rationalists, had lots to say about loving God and nothing to say about loving a man or woman. Karl Marx, like Plato, was into having women in common. Nietzsche did not like women. And Foucault is the only philosopher in the West to dedicate books (three in all) to the history of sexuality. He enjoyed anonymous sex in dark bathhouses in San Francisco.
The 10 Most Important Artists in 10 Words Each
The earliest artists were everyone; art was a communal event. Giotto was a pioneer among lone geniuses, giving flatness life. Leonardo: magical nature-copier in pencil, but not great at sculpture. Michelangelo: born sculptor—and painting was considered "higher" than sculpture. Bernini and Borromini, sculptor and architect, respectively, tried to outdo each other with twists, adornments, exaggerations—this was called "mannerism." Caravaggio exaggerated expressions and heightened contrast, but used real models. Picasso, distorter extraordinaire, said art's a lie telling the truth. Stieglitz saw that the camera was an art medium: revolutionary. And Duchamp jump-started the idea that art is an idea.
Everything You Need to Know to Successfully Flirt with Someone Majoring in Film
The Birth of a Nation (1915): D. W. Griffith's silent epic about the inherent superiority of the white man, set before and during the American Civil War. It's the highest-grossing film of the silent era, the first film to cut between two scenes, and so boring you will die. Citizen Kane (1941): After a tumultuous career, a mentally ill newspaper mogul dies alone and friendless. Celebrated for the unprecedentedly intricate cinematic storytelling and writer/director/star Orson Welles's astonishingly successful display of artistic hubris. Rosebud is a sled. The Searchers (1956): Hailed as the greatest western ever made, John Ford's The Searchers stars John Wayne as a laconic loner on the hunt for a girl kidnapped by evil Native Americans. In one hilarious scene, a dim-witted cowpoke kicks a sleeping Indian squaw, who rolls down a rocky hill, breaking many bones. The Maltese Falcon (1941), Double Indemnity (1944), The Third Man (1949), Sunset Blvd. (1950), The Big Heat (1953), and Touch of Evil (1958): These are all "film noir," a genre of stylish crime films filled with cynical men, deadly dames, and long shadows. "Noir" rhymes with "Gwar." 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968): a gorgeous film about the world's boringest space adventure, with long, slow, extended segments devoid of dialogue. Noted for its extravagant pre-CGI visual effects and early acknowledgement of the evilness of computers. The Godfather (1972): Francis Ford Coppola's deeply perfect mob drama chronicles the transfer of power from the elderly Don Corleone (a middle-aged Marlon Brando) to his son Michael (a young Al Pacino). The pristine first installment was followed by 1974's imperfect but awesome The Godfather: Part II and 1990's ridiculous The Godfather: Part III. A Woman Under the Influence (1974): Writer/director/sadist John Cassavetes's most rewarding cinematic torture session, starring the heroic Gena Rowlands as a lady who goes totally fucking crazy in all sorts of shocking, dull, and disturbing ways, for a long, long time. National Lampoon's Animal House: Chilling 1978 documentary about the dark side of college life, from binge drinking to statutory rape. Watch and learn.
Spoiler Alerts for the Big Novels so You Can Flirt with English Majors as if You've Already Read Them
Moby-Dick: Everyone dies except the whale and Ishmael, who floats to safety while clinging to Queequeg's coffin. What you should say: "Everyone skips over the chapter about different classifications of whales, but it's actually one of the funniest parts." Invisible Man: After finding momentary glory as a political activist, the narrator is mistaken for a sellout named Rhinehart and is forced into in a dark basement by angry men. While it appears he's lost everything, he believes that his story—this novel—is his political legacy. What you should say (if you're not black): "I never dreamed that I could get so close to the African-American experience." If you are black, just stare sullenly out the window without saying a word. Three Lives: Gertrude Stein's first published book is made up of three novellas: "The Good Anna" ends with Anna dying of working too hard. At the end of "Melanctha," Melanctha dies of consumption after contemplating suicide. "The Gentle Lena" closes with Lena dying during the birth of her fourth child, who does not survive. What you should say (while shaking your head): "It's just so... raw." Ulysses: After a long day on the town, Leopold Bloom returns home, pees in his backyard, and goes to bed. As he falls asleep, his wife, Molly, reflects on the time they got engaged. What you should say: "Ulysses isn't nearly as challenging as everyone says—it just requires a serious reader, is all." Mrs. Dalloway: She has a party where she hears about mentally ill veteran Septimus Warren Smith's suicide and she reflects on the kindness he showed her. What you should say: "The clever similarities to Ulysses really make this a riposte from Woolf to Joyce about women's roles in society." The Great Gatsby: A man whose wife has been fucking around on him shoots Gatsby to death in his swimming pool, and even though tons of assholes used to come to Gatsby's parties, no one goes to his funeral. What you should say: "The parallels to our own time are stunning."
Books You Should Avoid
While you're in college, you should avoid Ayn Rand. Seriously, you'll thank us later. Sometimes, college students—especially white college students from middle-class-or-higher backgrounds—read her humorless but weirdly compelling novels and start to think that they've somehow pulled themselves up by their own bootstraps. They then become annoying pricks for approximately eight years, at least. Don't read Salman Rushdie's The Satanic Verses. The first half is mostly about how you should have a good time without hurting anyone else, which is fine. The second half is pseudomystical mumbo jumbo that has convinced a good number of acid casualties that they're Wiccan high priests. Rushdie is talented, but skip this one. Ladies, if your grandmother sends you a book by SARK, put it down and back away—otherwise, one day you might wake up a 67-year-old cat lady with cornrows and turquoise paint in between your toes. (Same with Rhonda Byrne's Secret books.) Skip Charles Bukowski right now, too—Bukowski will convince you that chronic assholism is a lifestyle, when it's just a hobby. And remember: Fight Club is a satire, not a lifestyle choice.
Everything You Need to Know About History
Battle of Hastings, 1066. Eli Whitney invented the cotton gin. Colonialism bad. That's pretty much it.
The History of Music Until 1950
Here it is in a single song: First comes a rhythm, a djembe maybe. Then a voice, a single line, a melody. A chorus breaks out, harmonies and textures all over the place, and then come the wind instruments and the string instruments, and a whole percussion section down to thumb pianos and bass drums and timpani, and before long, Beethoven is conducting this army of a hundred strong. A very big, wild-haired German named Wagner comes into the theater, sees this, and decides that live music would be better in the dark, so he takes down the lights and changes the relationship of the audience and the performer forever. (True!) Now it's a big noise, going gangbusters for a while, until suddenly, for a change, everything goes quiet, minimal, and repetitive—and soon, it's down to guitar, bass guitar, drums, voice, and some brass. Enter jazz and rock and roll.
The History of Music Since 1950
1950s: Rock and roll sprang from the fecund loins of the blues, R&B, and country. Chuck, Little Richard, Elvis, Bo, et al. injected danger, speed, and sex into popular music. Jazz became the ultimate sound of cerebral hipness. 1960s: Motown, girl groups, British Invasion, garage rock, psychedelia, prog, soul, funk, reggae, boogaloo, heavy metal, minimalism, and jazz fusion blossomed. Plus, the Beatles! People fucked and drugged like they never fucked and drugged before. 1970s: Funk and prog got freakier. Heavy metal got heavier. Dub materialized. Mainstream rock blanded out; punk arose to puncture its bloated corpus. Disco infernoed. Hiphop boomed and bapped. Kraftwerk invented techno and electro. 1980s: Hardcore roared. Metal got scarier. Chicago house and Detroit techno producers morphed disco's erotic fixations into futuristic travel/dance music. Shoegaze rock wafted. Lo-fi bumbled. Rap became a potent social/political force. 1990s: Raves proliferated. Rap burgeoned and blinged. Indie rock became iconic and ironic. Electronica weirded out before selling out. Country got corny. 2000s: Rock waned creatively. Illegal downloads crippled the music biz. Paradigms shifted, genre miscegenation/mutation ruled. Dubstep and chillwave conquered the hipsterati. 2010: There's too much music, yet it's not enough.
A Brief History of the Economy, or Why Is Everything So Fucked Right Now?
First, humans traded in sheep. That was the economy: sheep swapped back and forth as payment for this and that. Then someone in China, in about 12000 B.C., got the idea to use cowrie shells as payment for debts owed. Brilliant! Next thing you knew, humans were swapping metal coins and then silver and finally, on Wall Street, on or about A.D. 2000, things called collateralized debt obligations and credit default swaps. That was not so brilliant a move, it turns out. With those exotic new financial instruments, many of them backed by risky mortgages, Wall Street was betting that this bananas thing called the American housing bubble would never burst—even though economic bubbles always burst, and this one had been steadily inflating for many years, in no small part because stupid American banks were giving money to anyone who asked for some (including, famously, many "subprime" candidates who obviously couldn't afford the mortgages these stupid banks sold them). Under whose watch did this happen? President George W. Bush, who also used his presidency to cut taxes on the wealthy, turning the budget surpluses of the Clinton era into a huge budget deficit by the time he left office. Also by the time Bush left office: The housing bubble had burst, the economy had collapsed, and no one could find a job. Which is still the case today.
FYI, We're in a Couple Wars— Here's How They're Going
You were probably negative 2 years old or something when the first Gulf War started in 1990, but, man, was that nuts. It's where the phrase "mother of all battles" comes from, and the guy who said it was then-president Saddam Hussein of Iraq. In 2003, President George W. Bush, based on faulty intelligence and oil lust and daddy issues, decided it was time for another Gulf war and set out to depose Hussein and invade Iraq because Iraq attacked the United States on September 11, 2001. (Iraq did not attack the United States, but many, many Americans came to believe this based on things the Bush war cabinet said.) Then the U.S. occupied Iraq, more than 4,000 U.S. troops died, countless Iraqi civilians died as well, and then, in August of this year, President Barack Obama declared combat operations over (never mind the 50,000 American troops that remain in the country).
We also have another war going in Afghanistan, which did harbor terrorists who attacked the U.S. on September 11, 2001. That war has been going for eight years, has killed more than 2,000 U.S. troops (and countless Afghan civilians), and is now in the throes of the new troop surge ordered by Obama earlier this year.
Ten Political Positions You Should Adopt to Not Be an Ass
Whatever the Tea Party–ish editorial board of the Seattle Times writes, believe the exact opposite.
You should despise Tim Eyman, and you should vote against every single initiative he puts forward, because he's a giant self- serving asshole.
You should support legalizing gay marriage and repealing "don't ask, don't tell," because you believe in equality and fairness.
You never liked the downtown tunnel idea, and still don't like it now, because it's a multibillion-dollar waste of time that's likely to bankrupt the city with its cost overruns while failing to get people out of their cars and onto public transportation.
You love Joe Fitzgibbon and would move to West Seattle and figure out what the hell the Washington State Legislature is, and why he wants to join it, if it meant you could be near him.
You will vote for President Obama in 2012, because you're a rational lefty who knows he's gotten a ton of shit done (health care, student-loan reform, stabilizing the economy) and that the alternative is going to be much, much worse.
You are pro-choice, because the government shouldn't be able to tell a woman what she can and can't do with her body.
You support legalizing marijuana, because duh.
You support Democrat Patty Murray for U.S. Senate and have hated her anti-choice, sleazy-business-dealing Republican opponent, Dino Rossi, from the time he first landed in the state Legislature in 1996, through his two failed runs for governor in 2004 and 2008, and all the way up to this day.
You do not support Lyndon LaRouche for president, Ralph Nader for president, or Goodspaceguy for anything, because you are not an incompetent, easily brainwashed jackass.
In Defense of Dropping Out
The American university system is the best in the world, and it's in crisis. The economy is squeezing foundations, enrollments are increasingly difficult to predict, and the universities are responding by doing what all big, clunky institutions do when faced with a crisis: forgetting their true function and doing whatever they can to stay alive with tuition hikes, program cuts, etc. (Note to universities, newspapers, and other institutions that are having trouble keeping up with the times—sometimes the biggest favor you can do your discipline is to disband. It hurts, yes, but you exist to further human potential and knowledge, not vice versa.)
Also, because of a demographic trend that began with the GI Bill in 1944, universities are flooded with middle-class kids who don't belong there. They don't care about learning—they're just taking up space for four to six years, waiting for a diploma, deluded into thinking it will guarantee them lives much like their parents'. If you are one of these people, DROP OUT NOW. For two reasons: First, according to a great many economists, you will be the first of several coming generations that will be poorer than the generations that preceded you. The old models of college/work/retirement-at-65 are dead. You'll have to find a new way. Second, you're fucking it up for all the poor kids (or just-poor-enough kids who can't afford tuition but don't qualify for free rides) who deserve to be where you are.
Your hanging around college like a cow waiting for the slaughter isn't doing you any favors, it isn't doing your peers any favors, and it's not doing the university system any favors (because you're helping it keep up a false delusion about its role and relationship to society and economy). Instead, cultivate a passion for something—anything—and follow it. That will serve you much better in the coming years. And now, the obligatory list of famous and successful dropouts: Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Harry Truman, Albert Einstein, Lady Gaga, David Geffen, George Orwell, Wolfgang Puck, Mark Twain, William Safire, and, um, Britney Spears.
A Roundup of Seattle's Neighborhoods by Stereotype
Ballard: Figuratively crawling with fishermen and Scandinavians, Ballard is tucked far up in the northwest corner of what most consider Seattle proper. It's also home to lovely joints such as the Sunset and Tractor Taverns, Hattie's Hat, and the Tin Hat, but watch yourself—everyone knows Scandinavians are not to be trusted. For history, Google "Cops in Ballard." Belltown: Get your shiny shirt, bro! Just make sure that sketchy guy standing next to the line into the club doesn't get stabbed in the neck for a rock—that shirt is only kind of stain resistant! Havens from shiny shirts and crackheads include the Crocodile, Shorty's, Lava Lounge, and Mama's Mexican Kitchen. Capitol Hill: There are too many quality bars, restaurants, theaters, and music venues on Capitol Hill to list, so you may as well get busy figuring out your favorites. You will hear inarticulate people lazily generalize residents of Capitol Hill as "hipsters." In reality, it's just like any other place in that you'll no doubt encounter people whose company you enjoy and people whose company you don't (also, tons of homos). International District: The land of plentiful and inexpensive pan-Asian cuisine, foreign-principled waste-management practices, and the venerable grocery store Uwajimaya. If you haven't been there, you're not allowed to tell people you "live in the city" yet. Queen Anne: The whitest neighborhood in Seattle that still feels slightly urban. Pioneer Square: Lots of old, pretty buildings. West Seattle: No one knows what goes on in West Seattle.
A Quick and Dirty Guide to Politics Here
Rejoice, hippie/hipster (same thing)! You've arrived in one of the most liberal, pot-friendly, gay-friendly cities in the country. Seattle doesn't have red-versus-blue fights; our politics are a spectrum of green. Many of our battles these days result from a need to replace our decaying transportation infrastructure (like the I-5 aorta through the city or the 520 bridge to the Eastside). In one corner, environmentalists want to boost transit but reduce or maintain road capacity; in the other, Seattle Times editorial-page goons chant that we need more roads to grow jobs and business. The biggest hubbub of all is whether we should replace a decrepit double-decker freeway on the waterfront with a massive, $2 billion tunnel under downtown—or if we should just get by with surface streets and extending light rail. Other issues you'll hear about: the city's, county's, and state's budget deficits (they're all fucked); the police department's recent series of fuckups; and the election this fall, when a bunch of overfunded initiatives reach the ballot.
Last year, we elected greener-than-thou Mayor Mike McGinn, who rides his bike to work and has a penchant for driving the nine-member city council insane by reopening decisions that were made before he was elected. McGinn is refreshingly innovative but shockingly undiplomatic. On the other end of our green spectrum, the city council is dominated by smart but uncreative folks who walk in lockstep with downtown business lobbies to build more roads and criminalize the homeless, and are petulant to the mayor. Seattle is located in King County, which handles the bus system, most courts, and public-health programs. Democrats control the Washington State Legislature, but a moderate caucus paralyzes their progressive aspirations, so they end up doing little more than balancing the budget each year. The governor of the state, also a Democrat, is Chris (short for "Christine") Gregoire. She's kind of a cold fish, but she's our cold fish.
A Glossary of Terms You're Going to Need to Know
The Arboretum (pronounced ar-bore-EEE-tum): The lush public green space that runs along part of the western shore of Lake Washington. Near the south end, there are botanical gardens. Near the north end, men play with their wangs. "The Ave": Nickname for University Way, the popular strip of stores, bars, restaurants, and street folk just west of the University of Washington. Bumbershoot (prounounced BUM-bur-shoot): Huge annual festival of arts and music held every Labor Day weekend at Seattle Center. (It's an old-timey word for "umbrella.") Dick's: Popular local hamburger stand with late hours, cheap food, and numerous Seattle outlets. At the end of a boozy night, many people like to "eat some Dick's." EMP: Nickname of the Experience Music Project, the bulbous blob of a museum (designed by Frank Gehry!) devoted to rock 'n' roll artifacts (Prince's dress dummy, Heart's boots). Determined to attain maximum dorkiness, EMP transformed half its space into a science fiction museum in 2004. Geoduck (pronounced gooey-duck [seriously]): Very large saltwater clams that are frequently mentioned and occasionally eaten in the Pacific Northwest. (They look grosser than cow tongues but taste slightly better.) Hempfest: Annual pro-pot festival held in the summer at Myrtle Edwards Park, featuring tons of stoned folks and cops willing to look the other way. HUMP!: The annual amateur porn festival thrown by The Stranger where you can be a porn star for a weekend, not a lifetime (we destroy all copies of your film, as well as anyone who tries to record during the screenings). Plus you can win big cash. The deadline is October 15, so get on it: thestranger.com/hump. Sasquatch (pronounced SASS-kwatch): Another name for bigfoot, the mythical man-ape who resides in various forests of the Pacific Northwest. It's also the name of an annual, typically awesome music festival every Memorial Day weekend 150 miles east at the Gorge Amphitheatre. Viaduct (pronounced VYE-uh-duct): Short name for the Alaskan Way Viaduct, the double-decker freeway running south of downtown Seattle that was damaged in a 2001 earthquake but remains in use. Some people want to tear down the viaduct and replace it with a bazillion-dollar deep-bore tunnel. These people are evil.
Three Apps You Need for Your Phone Now That You Live Here
Sadly, Seattle is a bus city. Yes, there's light rail, but it's only good for getting to the airport from downtown. So you need a bus app. The best one out there is Seattle Bus Finder, which shows you the exact location of a bus you need to get to this or that place. You really need this app. Our city is rainy, and you don't want to stand outside getting all wet and shit while waiting for another fucking late bus. Another important app for you is the Cocktail Compass, which is produced by the tech people here at The Stranger. It offers a really good guide through the tricky world of cheap drinks and eats for those who're drinking age. From a real live student who uses this app: "It even tells you how much time is left at happy hour" (at the moment of the student saying this, there are 44 minutes left of the happy hour at the Comet). "And you can call a cab with one touch." There's one other app that's worth your while: the KEXP app. If you do not know this already, KEXP is a radio station, and it's where all the good music is at.
Where to Shop for Vegetables and Other Foodstuffs
Seattle has many farmers markets—so many that someone recently editorialized that there's too much competition. Take a date on the weekend and try every unfamiliar vegetable at least once (parsnips, chard, rutabaga, savoy cabbage, etc.) before they shut down for the winter. Can't afford the farmers markets? Join the party. Head down to Little Saigon, the Vietnamese neighborhood anchored at 12th Avenue and South Jackson Street, and get your veggies on the cheap all year long. For a more Americana experience, visit the Pike Place Market; it's a tourist trap, but unbeatable for selection, quality, and old-timey aesthetic. For the larder, don't shop at Safeway unless you have to. You've got better, cheaper alternatives. Almost every neighborhood in Seattle has a Trader Joe's, which carries stacks of tasty organics and acres of prepackaged stuff to satisfy the harried, half-drunk, microwave-worshipping college lifestyle.
Good Places to Eat Near UW
Aladdin Gyrocery: The falafel sandwich is perfect student food (cheap, fast, filling, portable), and the various thrifty gyro plates are exemplary. Bonus: open late! Araya's Place: This big, pretty joint specializes in Thai classics made completely vegetarian. The menu is vast, the food is good and spicy, and meat is gross. Chili's Deli & Mart: The back half's where it's at—an unassuming eating area, where diners can enjoy the variety of Southern Indian delights available for order at the counter. Best bet: the masala dosa, aka the Big Mac of Southern India, featuring spiced potatoes and onions wrapped in a perfectly buttery crepe. Pagliacci Pizza: good pizza by the slice. Thai Tom: Home to what many consider the best Thai food in all of Thai-food-drunk Seattle, Thai Tom serves up Thai standards in an exceedingly small space, so either prepare to wait or order to go. But if you can, sit at the counter. University Teriyaki: The teriyaki is thrifty and good, but raves are reserved for the Korean menu, featuring a widely beloved (and cheap!) bibimbap. More information about all these places (and every place in town): thestranger.com/chow.
Good Places to Eat Near Seattle University and Seattle Central Community College
Cafe Presse is a great-without-being-fancy French place, open every day from 7:00 a.m. until 2:00 a.m., with a menu that goes from $5 sandwiches to $16 steak. Genki Sushi is a big Japanese chain conveyor-belting decent rolls to your mouth for so cheap, they're practically paying you. Pho Bac, Pho Cyclo, and Than Brothers are the places to discover the joy of pho, the world's least expensive and arguably best soup. Seattle Deli and Saigon Deli are the places to discover the joy of banh mi, the world's least expensive and arguably best sandwich. Baguette Box and Homegrown have more-expensive-but-worth-it sandwiches. Rancho Bravo is a taqueria located in a former KFC (whimsical plastic furniture untouched) with good tacos, burritos, etc., also very cheap. Dick's walk-up window has couple-bucks hamburgers and fries that absorb alcohol nicely. Chungee's: good Chinese. Guanaco's: good pupusas (find out!). Sage Cafe, the Highline, and In the Bowl (and, if you're feeling flush, Plum Bistro) are vegetarian or vegan, if you must be that way. More information about all these places (and every place in town): thestranger.com/chow.
Ten Places to Take Your Parents to Dinner When They're Paying
Joule in Wallingford: French plus Korean, sounds weird but equals magic. Cantinetta in Wallingford: super-yummy Italian, good in case French plus Korean is too weird-sounding for your parents. Le Pichet in Belltown: very French, very marvelous, like a bustling place straight out of Paris. Campagne downtown: also very French and very marvelous, but more hushed, much fancier. Re:Public in South Lake Union: The name has a stupid colon, but it's super-cool inside and the food is really good. Spring Hill in West Seattle: way out in a weird neighborhood, but also super-cool inside and totally worth the trip. Blueacre Seafood downtown: Your parents want a piece of really good fish, and here's where to get it, if in a generic setting. Shiro's downtown: If all of you like sushi, this is the best place in town (though the new Sushi Kappo Tamura on Eastlake is nicer inside and worth a try). Restaurant Zoe downtown: always really good. Sitka & Spruce on Capitol Hill: ditto. Also consider: Art of the Table, Boat Street Cafe, Lark, Mistral Kitchen, Monsoon, Spinasse, Tilth, Volterra, any Tom Douglas restaurant, any Ethan Stowell restaurant. Do not go to Wild Ginger—it's nowhere near as good as it used to be. Do not go to the Space Needle—the food is terrible, and it's run by conservative jerks. More information about all these places (and every place in town): thestranger.com/chow.
How to Ride a Bike
Seattleites are known for their great legs and asses. If you want to fit in—if you want a great ass, and great legs sticking out of that great ass—go buy a cheap used road bike (DO NOT BUY A FIXED-GEAR BIKE), a U-lock, a helmet, and rain fenders. Figure out where the Burke-Gilman Trail is (more on that in a minute) and get acquainted with your new bike. Practice yelling, "On your left!" at pedestrians as you pass them. Then find a hill near your school—one without much vehicle traffic—and practice shifting gears while climbing. Lower numbers are low gears: Shifting down to a lower gear will make a hill easier to climb. Higher numbers are high gears: Shift up if your legs are spinning the pedals too fast. Once you feel comfortable with hills, you're ready to become another knockout legs-ass combo to honk at on the road.
Places to Ride Your Bike To
Cascade Bicycle Club hosts free daily rides from leisurely to super- strenuous—it's your best bet for discovering great rides in and around Seattle. Or you can ride solo on the Burke-Gilman Trail for 27-plus miles, which is its own destination. The bike and pedestrian trail begins in Ballard and runs through the University District before skirting Lake Washington and transforming into the Sammamish River Trail in Bothell. From Bothell, the trail runs another 10 miles to Redmond's Marymoor Park, a beautiful 640-acre paradise. Another great place to ride: along Seattle's downtown waterfront. Head north and you'll hit Myrtle Edwards Park, with two public beaches, the free Olympic Sculpture Park, expansive views of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains, and (November through February) a pier to watch fishermen jig for tiny squid (which shoot water up into the air like viscous confetti when caught). Ride south and you'll hit Jackson Street, which runs through Pioneer Square before hitting the International District. There you'll find the best cheap food in the city. Other great rides include Mercer Island (across Lake Washington over I-90—there's a separate bike lane), along the bluffs in Magnolia to Discovery Park, or around Lake Union and up to Paseo in Fremont for a kickass Cuban sandwich.
How to See Art for Free
Unlike almost everything else in life, art is almost always free. It has two economies: The primary one, where art is bought and sold, supports the secondary economy, where non–art collectors get to visit museums and galleries to see the art that other people have bought or might buy. Start with galleries. Go to Pioneer Square, where the city's biggest art walk happens on the first Thursday night of every month. Recommended: James Harris Gallery, Greg Kucera Gallery, Lawrimore Project, SOIL, Platform Gallery, G. Gibson Gallery, and Gallery4Culture. Elsewhere, the Frye Art Museum, Seattle Art Museum, and Seattle Asian Art Museum are free or ask for only a suggested donation (and it really is only suggested; don't be intimidated to pay only what you can afford). The Henry Art Gallery (Seattle's contemporary art museum, located right on campus at the University of Washington) is always free for students.
Don't Let These People Dupe You
Sometimes, you will be walking down the street, just minding your own business, thinking about the Battle of Hastings (1066), and a person will approach you. This person might say something like "Do you want a free book?" or "Do you like local hiphop?" or "Do you like brownies?" or "Do you want some candy?" or "Do you want money for college?" If/when this happens, here is what you must do: Wave your hands in the air and scream, "TRAP! TRAP! TRAP!" as loud as you can until the person goes away. Because that person talking to you is not a person. IT IS A TRAP. "Do you want a free book?" is code for "I am a weird monk who will not stop talking to you until you give me $20 to stop." "Do you like local hiphop?" is code for "Buy this CD... unless you're a RACIST!" "Do you like brownies?" is code for "Have you heard about this totally radical bro named Jesus?" "Do you want some candy?" is code for "Sign up for this credit card and spend yourself into crippling lifelong debt." "Do you want money for college?" is code for "You look poor. Go to Iraq and die." These people are dupers, and they are trying to dupe you into ruining your life. Seriously, try the screaming/ waving thing. It works.