Two Turtles Reacting to Miley Cyrus’ VMA Performance

Harold and Brian are two neighbor turtles that commute to work every day. Their job is about 150 feet away, making it a 45-minute commute. This was their conversation Monday morning:

“Hey Brian.”

“Hey Harold, what’s going on?”

“Not Much. So did you catch those VMA’s last night?”

“Sure did. That Miley Cyrus has really come out of her shell since ‘Party in the USA,’ huh?”

“You got that right. How about the shots of the crowd during her performance? And I thought we were awkward.”

“I mean it was so weird. I didn’t understand the backup dancers with bears tied to their backs. Uhh, I’ve been carrying something heavy on my back since the day I was born and let’s just say it’s not easy to twerk like that.”

“Yeah, no kidding. She kept singing about Molly? What’s Molly?”

“I think it’s a drug that the kids are taking these days. My son, Franklin, says all the rappers are singing about it.”

“Oh that makes sense. I wonder if that’s what that Hare was on that tried to race you. Remember, last week?”

“Oh yeah, that dude was definitely on something. He was so fast at the start of the race then he just crashed like halfway through.”

“I mean, honestly the performance wasn’t even that bad until she started dirty dancing on that zebra.”

“Zebra? That wasn’t a zebra, that was Robin Thicke…I think he was wearing striped pants to hide a certain something.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, let’s just say I don’t think I was the only slow poke that came to see the performance last night.”

“Oh, come on, man. Grow up.”

“Sorry, sorry, sorry…. You got to admit, that one was pretty shell-arious.”

“I guess. Miley acting all provocative really wasn’t that surprising, but I was shocked that Woopie Goldberg would associate herself with such demeaning behavior.”

“Brian, you dummy, that was 2 Chainz.”

“Oh really? That actually makes a lot more sense now that I think about it. That dude raps slower than I walk.”

“Shell yeah he does.”

“So, would you let your kids listen to Miley after seeing that?”

“My youngest is 94 years old, they can listen to whatever they want to. She was being super slutty, but it’s not like she killed anybody.”

“Tell that to Will Smith’s family. They looked pretty upset.”

“I think they were actually reacting to Lady Gaga.

“Either way, they couldn’t have been more upset than I was after seeing After Earth. I felt like a sea turtle after seeing that sinking ship of a movie.”

“Haha. Good one.”

Thanks.”

“Well, I guess we’re here. What were you going to do for lunch?”

“I was thinking about leaves.”

“Alright cool, I’ll see you back here around noon.”

“Later man.”

-Jonny Auping. 

The Cat Who Never Made It On the Internet

How can I focus on the string AND look cute at the same time?”

That’s what Misty was thinking as her owner dangled the piece of yarn in front of her. She knew she would never catch the string, but that wasn’t the goal anyway. She could see her owner’s friend sitting on the bed looking at her iPhone. Sure, she was probably just texting, tweeting or updating her Facebook status, but if Misty could manage to add that little extra bit of adorable to her yarn chasing then all of a sudden the human might take a picture with the camera on her phone. That was half the battle. 

Misty was seven years old and had never appeared on the Internet. It was humiliating. All her brothers and sisters had made it on to the Web before they even turned four years old. Two of them had Tumblr pages devoted to their daily activities when they were just kittens. Her brother, Demetrius, even had a very provoking piece written about him in Thought Catalogue. It told the story of how he inspired his owner to follow his dreams and travel the world. 

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Getting Mugged to the Sounds of Jason Derulo: An Untold Story

The name of this website was somewhat arbitrary.

I’m not the one who came up with it. My good friend and co-founder of the site, Clark, thought of the name. We knew we needed to call it something and he threw out Stories For Sunday.

The idea being that Sunday is the day of the week that is meant for being lazy, perhaps doing one errand that will of course be treated like the hardest task in the world (usually laundry) and trading stories with your friends about all the shenanigans that ensued Friday or Saturday night.

The title was never meant to be taken too literally. We actually wanted to write about topics like television, movies, music, social and cultural trends, even politics and history at times. We wanted to attempt to challenge ourselves as writers while also having fun writing and sharing funny or interesting ideas about the topics we want to write about. Besides, if we actually used the site to simply talk about stories of us and our college friends getting drunk and rejected by girls then no one would take us seriously (not that anyone does now) and more importantly, everyone would think we are enormous douche bags.

But sometimes… there may actually be a story out there that might just be worth telling. I think I might have one of those stories. It has been buried deep in the “REGRET” memory slot of my brain (which is filling up fast). But I might just remember enough of it to share it with you all…

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The “Ha” Etiquette

This is a short story. It’s a story. And it’s short. And I wrote it. 

Each message is so small that every little subtlety means so much.

Daniel was deep in thought as he stared at the screen of his phone.

One “ha” is different than two. Two “ha”s is different than three. Daniel would never use “LOL.” That’s just not his style.

When you send a text with just one “ha” it’s almost like an insult to the recipient. It’s like telling them that their joke was not funny and that the subject needed to be changed.

“What do you call an unmarried lady breaking a minor law with an interesting look on her face? A miss-demeanor.”

That’s the kind of joke that Daniel would text back with a “ha” and then he would ask an unrelated question that implied “okay, let’s move on from that terrible joke.”

But if you place one “ha” next to another one forming a “haha” then you still need to follow up with something else in the same text. It’s like saying “that was funny, let’s keep this back and forth going.”

“I thought I was watching Mad Men, but it was just a video of my dad shown at his first alcoholism intervention.”

“Haha, your mom always did remind me of Betty Drapper.”

But anything above two “ha”s, well, that just stands alone. It’s essentially like saying “that was so funny that I need to send you a special text just so you know that I’m laughing uncontrollably. I typed out all four of these “ha”s so you better believe I enjoyed that joke.”

The last time Daniel typed out more than four “ha”s in a single text was that day his friend sent him a video of the two penguins dancing at the zoo. In retrospect, it wasn’t really that funny, but he didn’t want to keep the conversation going and typing just one “ha” or even a “haha” without anything to follow it up just seemed rude.

It’s crazy how the simple addition of one “ha” can mean so much to the meaning of a text. But Daniel couldn’t get caught up thinking about it much longer, he had already wasted enough time. He needed to respond to the the text he had just received. Sometimes you just have to use your best judgment on how many “ha”s to use. 

“Haha. Yea, I think the funeral starts at 3:00” 

Jonny Auping

The Untold Story of the Pretzel-Induced Invention of the Credit Card

I didn’t expect to learn anything that day.

I was driving on the the freeway with another 20 minutes to go until I reached my destination. All of a sudden, I had to use the bathroom. I had recently drank an entire Brisk Watermelon Ice Tea. It was about 32 ounces. It was a little too sugary for my taste, but it was only 99 cents. Even a bottled water was $1.29. How could I not get it?

Anyways, I knew that I wouldn’t make it to my destination without having to stop so I pulled into a rundown gas station. For some reason I specifically remember seeing the sign for the station. “Double A: Gas and Foods.” I parked my car and speed walked into the convenience store portion of the station and found the bathroom door. It was locked. I walked up to the counter where an old man with grey hair under a backwards cap and a full grey beard was standing.

“Excuse me, is there a key your bathroom? I’ll buy a candy bar or something.”

The man squinted at me and it gave me an eerie feeling. For whatever reason, I got the feeling that the man hadn’t left the store in days, maybe weeks. There was an old cat sitting on some storage boxes behind him. They were both staring right through me.

Finally he held out a key.

“You can buy some candy if you like, but I’ll give you this key if you promise to listen to a story when you are all finished.”

“Umm, what if I buy a candy bar and a drink?”

The man just stared at me without saying a word.

“Uhh, sure I’ll listen to a quick story, but I sort of have to go to the bathroom right now.”

The man handed me the key and I hurried to the bathroom. It was pretty much how you would expect any gas station bathroom to look, pretty disgusting and felt to be some unique temperature that no one had ever experienced outdoors, like 82 and a half degrees or something. Also, on the wall, next to the mirror, there was a poster for the nineties show Reading Rainbow. The strange thing was that the poster looked new, like it had been put up in the last month.

I finished using the bathroom and as I was washing my hands I remembered the odd contract that I had made with the station attendent. I started to feel an awkward feeling coming upon me. I thought about just backing out on my promise and walking out of the station and driving away. But what if I had to go to the bathroom on my way driving back down this freeway? You want to keep as many bathroom doors open to you as you can on this road that we call life.

So I walked out and went looking for a candy bar hoping that maybe the man would just forget about the deal. Luckily they had those whatchamacallits? Oh right, Skittles. They also had Whatchamacallits. So I grabbed my two favorites candy bars and headed to the counter.

The man rang me up for $2.15 and I gave him the money. He put the money in the register, but held the candy bars. I knew the story was coming.

“Son, have you ever heard the story of why the Credit Card was invented?”

“Uhh no, I haven’t. But…umm…do you know how long this is going to take? I sort of have this thing..”

“Once upon a time in 1983, there was man named Jason. Jason had it all, a great girlfriend, a promising career, a loving family, even a precious golden retriever named Sammy.

But one day, everything happened at once. It was a Sunday. And so many emergencies happened at the same time. His dream job had called and said that if he could come in immediately they could do a quick interview and he would likely have the job. But all of his nice shirts were dirty, he’d have to go buy a cheap dress shirt at the discount thrift shop to at least look acceptable.

But it was also his girlfriend’s birthday. She knew that money was tight and she told him weeks ago, “get me a card and a stuffed animal. That’s it. I know you forget a lot of stuff, but if you can remember that it will be enough for me.” And he had gotten her the card and the animal, weeks ago. But he left them at McDonalds immediately after buying them. Why did he even take them into McDonalds?

It was also his parents 30th anniversary and he had promised to get a new remote for their TV. Their current one had broken and they didn’t understand technology enough to find it themselves.

On top of all this, Sammy had gotten very sick and he needed his medicine, which was sold at the pet store.

Jason jumped in his car and headed to the mall where all these things were located. He was in real trouble. He had to find everything and act fast. He checked his wallet and his heart stopped.

$12.67. That’s all he had. The banks were closed. It was only enough money to buy one of the things he needed.

He realized what was happening. He was being tested. He had been so fortunate in life and had so many great things. It was time for him to decide which of those things meant the most to him. He began to panic. The mall was so crowded. Why were there so many people here? It made it harder to think. He began to breathe heavily. He ran to a mall directory to see where some of this stuff was.

Then all of a sudden, it happened. The aroma caught his nostrils. What was it? It was glorious, that’s what it was? It relieved his stress. Finally he looked around to see what it was.

There, standing in front of him, shining like a beacon, was an Aunt Annie’s Pretzels. It was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen. He was overwhelmed and all of his worries floated away. And there was the sign: Cinnamon Pretzels: $4.99.

He couldn’t. Could he? It wouldn’t leave him enough money to buy any of the things he needed…But without realizing it, he was walking towards the stand in the middle of the mall.

“I’ll take one cinnamon pretzel.”

“Sure thing,” the jolly man replied. “That will be $4.99.” Jason handed the man a five-dollar bill.

Then the man started laughing uncontrollably. “HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHA, WISE DECISION MY FRIEND.”

Then he threw the pretzel past Jason like an indifferent owner throws the rest of a steak past a dog to chase. Jason hurried after it and crawled on his knees. He picked it up and started nibbling on it like a rat, with tears rolling down his face. What had he done? He chose a pretzel over everything that meant so much to him in his life.

After finishing the pretzel and wiping away his tears, he checked his wallet. He still had $7.68 left. Not enough to purchase any of the things that he needed. ‘Well, I guess now, there’s no harm.”

He walked back to the stand.

“I’ll take one more cinnamon pretzel please.”

“Absolutely, here you go sir.” The man gently handed Jason this pretzel with a smile.

A young entrepreneur happened to be at the mall that day. He witnessed the whole thing and realized how dangerous it was to have an Aunt Annie’s Pretzels stand in a place where people came to buy their necessities. People only carry so much cash on them and what if they get tempted by the scent of delicious pretzels?

So that man invented the credit card to avoid other pretzel related tragedies.

“But only after Jason had lost everything. He didn’t get the job and he never got another offer anywhere else. His girlfriend left him. His parents stopped calling him and they never found out what happened in “Three’s Company” that week. And poor little Sammy died.”

Then the gas station attendent, still holding my candy bar, looked me straight in the eyes with a stare that shook me down to the inner most parts of my soul.

“And this Jason….that man whose life was ruined all because of a pretzel…that man…WAS ME!!!!!!!!”

And with that, he squeezed his fists, crushing my candy car into a chocolate ooze as tears began to run down his face.

And you know what the saddest part is?

I still ate that Whatchamacallit.

-Jonny Auping