– Sonja Foust

A haiku:

My arms are jelly.
Surprise burpees make me die.
Kill me. Kill me now.

The Teacher of Grammar

– Sonja Foust

[An original limerick written for Whiskey-Pissing Unicorns: How to Lose or Quit Your Job and Become a Badass Writer.]

There once was a teacher of grammar
Who with edits in red was enamored.
When she marked a new line
On the precinct’s door sign
She — alas! — ended up in the slammer.

The Rime of the Harried Student

– Joanna Pendleton

With apologies to Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

A harried college student meeteth three other students who hath all completed their studies for the evening and are on their way to Tate Street Coffee, and detaineth one.

It is a harried student
Who stoppeth one of three.
— “By thy bloodshot, bugged out eyes,
Let go, and then be quick to flee!

The Coffee House is soon to close,
And I need my caffeine;
Unhand me now, or I know how
To kick you in the spleen.”

He holds him with a shaky grip,
“There was a disk,” quoth he.
“Say what!  I don’t care, crazy fool!”
And flippeth him the birdie.

The Coffee House pilgrim gets caught on a nail on his way past the harried student, and is constrained to hear his tale.

He heads on past but lo!  What’s this?
The pilgrim has been stopped.
His brand name shirt has snagged a nail;
The harried student plopped

Right down beside this wretched fellow
Who cannot choose but hear.
He valiantly tries to free his shirt,
But fears that it will tear.

“The disk was new, had all been cleared,
Merrily did I start
To type away, and all that day,
I typed straight from my heart.

The student tells how he began to type a long, long, long paper.

The Sun went down upon my left,
and typing I remained
Till Sun came up upon my right,
And all my mind was drained.

Typing and typing, there I sat,
Till every last page was done–”
The caffeine fiend here screamed aloud
For he would but could not run.

The young man goeth into caffeine withdrawal; but the harried student continueth his tale.

The two friends sit at Tate Street table,
Wond’ring about the other;
They ask and shrug, but then move on,
As they are not his mother.

The third friend here he struggled hard,
But got more tangled trying;
And thus continued our harried student,
On the verge of crying.

The paper is eateneth by a computer demon known only as the infamous Operator Error.

“And now that demon, on he came,
The bane of student life;
He struck with all the force of fiends
And caused no little strife.

That fiend, you see, is none but me,
For I am a rather large dupe.
‘Operator error’ rings loud and clear,
And now I feel like poop.

I typed, I saved, and typed again,
And then I saved once more.
A great fat lot of good it did me;
Computers I deplore!

The harried student goeth into shock.

And through my mind I wandered blind,
Feeling far from super,
It took some time to quite recover
From my catatonic stupor.

I scurried here, I scurried there,
Looking for a nerd,
For only such as he could help
Recover e’en a word.

The harried student catcheth sight of such a nerd, one Alby Tross, and recieveth him with great joy and hospitality.

At length I crossed one Alby Tross,
Pure-bred nerd incarnate,
And hailed him with such needy plea,
All he said was, ‘Darn it!’

He vowed and swore and said again
He would not help me through it.
He’d had enough of me and my kind
Begging him to do it.

And lo!  Though Alby Tross proveth at first to be a nerd of good omen, he quickly proveth otherwise and earneth the wrath of our harried student upon his head.

I groveled, knelt, and then implored
He take but half a minute,
But he was set and would not fret,
Though I be neck-deep in it.

The tears came fast now, hot and mad;
I could not cope at all.
Who was this sniffling, pompous creep
To heed not desperate call?”

The harried student inhospitably beateth the pompous nerd of good omen within an inch of his life.

An evil glint crept in his eye,
The held-fast captive saw,
“’Alby,’ said I, ‘you nasty old thing,’
And whacked him with a drinking straw.

Since thin and malnourished Alby was,
It took but little force
To beat him down upon the ground,
And make him cry, of course.

Now I, the student, in trouble be;
I knew I had done no good
To prove my case and not erase
My essay that printeth I should.

He crieth out in anguish and sorrow, for beating the nerd of good luck.

And I had done a hellish thing,
And it would work me woe:
For all averred, I had beat the nerd
That could my problem know.
Ah wretch! said I, the nerd to fry,
That could my problem know!

But when the guilt weareth off, he justifies the same, and thus screweth up his life all the more.

But beepeth the CPU from a corner,
And window box appear:
Said, ‘Sure to quit?’ and then was fit,
And I let out a cheer.
‘Twas right, said I, the nerd to fry,
And I let out a cheer!

It appeareth that the harried student hath recovered his toil of many hours.

On white and glim’ring monitor shone
My essay in all its glory;
I kissed my disk and then sat down
To finish up the story.

The computer hath been suddenly locked up.

Typed I a line, but naught appeared,
‘Twas sad as sad could be;
And I did speak only to break
The window glass with my scream!

All in an evil, silent state
That heinous essay mocks me.
And as if on cue, that Alby dude
Revives himself and socks me.

Tick after tick, tock after tock,
On the Elvis wall clock pass,
The room as idle as an empty cell
Or a maxed out Stat 101 class.

And Alby Tross begins to be avenged.

Paper, paper, everywhere,
And printers full of ink;
Paper, paper, everywhere!
Man, I need a drink!

My very soul did wilt:  O drat!
That ever this should be!
Yea, slimy bugs did eat at my lungs,
Or so it seemed to me.

About, about, I reel and pout,
My crazed eyes glowing bright;
I can’t believe, through all my toils,
I’ve nothing to show for the night.

And ever and anon throughout his (near) future life an agony constraineth him to travel from dorm to Caf, and Caf to dorm;

Since then, at an uncertain hour,
That agony returns:
And till my ghastly tale is told,
This heart within me burns.

(Although he hath just cometh from the Caf, so the heartburn could be due to the food, rather than the agony of the story…)

I pass, like night, from dorm to Caf;
And back to Caf again;
I know that most will not listen to me,
But you are my good friend!”

What loud uproar bursts from that poor
Nail-bound addict of coffee.
Forget the shirt, he’ll rip it apart,
If it means he can only be free.

“Hey, buddy!  Wait!  This soul hath been
Alone on a wide wide sea:
It was so lonely and so cold
(Though not a sea, literally).

O sweeter than the Coffee House,
‘Tis sweeter far to me,
To sit together here and now
With you for company!–

And to teach, by his own example, love and reverence for all things (and nerds) that God made and loveth.

Farewell, farewell! but this I tell
To thee, thou addict of coffee!
He doeth well who liveth well
By even a nerd like Alby.”

The harried student, whose eye is bright,
Still crazed with fatigue and alarm,
Is gone: and now the Tate Street pilgrim
Turned back to his own dorm.

He went like one that hath been stunned,
And is of sense out-thunk:
He shook his head, and went to bed,
And said, “That dude was drunk.”

I Am The Very Model of a Modern Pinterest Fucker-up

– Sonja Foust

With apologies to W.S. Gilbert’s libretto for I Am The Very Model of a Modern Major General.

[This spoof originally appeared on Pintester.com.]

I am the very model of a modern Pinterest fucker-up
I’ve done ‘em all from modpodgey to recipe to Jello cup
I read the right instructions, but I often do not follow ‘em
I post ‘em up for folks to read, but they can barely swallow ‘em
I’m very well acquainted, too, with people who are humorless
I understand that they are just the loser-y of loser-est
But those who stick around to read leave comments so hysterical
That managing a coffee sip without a snarf’s a miracle

The Different Indifferent

– Sonja Foust

With apologies to John Donne’s The Indifferent.

I can love both wheat and white;
That which the oven melts, and that served slightly chilled;
That which needs provolone, and that with pickles dilled;
That which is deep fat fried, or which is lite;
That with tuna, and that with meat;
That which delights with peppers’ heat,
And that which has honey’d mustard sweet;
Sandwiches many, I will gladly eat.

Will no other food content me?
Will it not serve to eat a burger, or whatever?
Or have I so, on bread and meat, become fixated ever?
Or doth a fear of foods so new torment me?
Oh, sandwiches are good, I know.
I eat them because it is so.
Rob me, and bind me up, and be my foe,
But do not take my sandwiches from me,
Or make me eat each new food that you do see.

Subway heard me sigh this song,
And by marketing scheme, big moola, it swore
If I would write it down, and then make the poem a whore
To sell, commercialled, to the fast-food throng.
I said, “Hell yes! Some four or three
Or even two hundred will be
Enough to ‘stablish a bargain with me.”
I did not tell them that mere sandwich whole,
Or even a half sandwich would have bought my soul.

The Lady Whines a Lot

– Sonja Foust

With apologies to Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s The Lady of Shalott.

Buried in the pillows lies
A tired student, about to cry.
She memorized 100 lines
(Or will have, when the hour is by)
For stupid, stupid English class.
And up and down her hall-mates go
Gazing blankly, walking slow
While exams do suck and blow
And they all feel like ass.