* Welcome to The Big Jewel, where we not only know the whole alphabet, we can say it out loud without risk of fatality. We think. This Vijay Ilankamban fellow may or may not know what he's talking about.

How To Recite The Whole Alphabet Without Dying Of Exhaustion

By:
vilank@umich.edu

  1. Take it one letter at a time. Reciting the alphabet is as much of a mental game as it is a physical game. If you keep thinking about how you have 10, 15, 20, or 25 letters left to go, you’ll never make it to “Z.” Stay in the moment. Savor the letter you are on.
  1. Start slowly. You’ll hear this tragic tale all the time. An over-confident feller, caught up in all the adrenaline, races through the first five or seven letters at full speed, but ends up being fully spent, strapped to a stretcher and loaded into an ambulance even before the letter “T.” You don’t want to be this guy. Pace yourself.
  1. Hydrate, hydrate, stop hydrating. I can’t say it enough: “Hydrate, hydrate, stop hydrating.” Hydration is the key to keeping your energy up and your vocal chords lubed, but you have to stop hydrating at some point, or otherwise you’ll be hydrating instead of reciting.
  1. Keep your upper body upright, yet relaxed. ACL and MCL tears are the most common injuries that occur during an alphabet recitation. Bending your upper body back and forth during the course of a recitation distributes your body weight unevenly on the legs, making your ligaments highly susceptible to violently ripping apart at any time.
  1. Lather up your lips with a little Vaseline. Your lips are vulnerable to extreme chafing and burning during an endurance recitation. Don’t be a fool.
  1. Wear a breathable, lightweight hat. If you’re bald, this is especially important. Your exposed head responds to changes in temperature more quickly than any other part of your body. During the recitation, you’ll want to keep your body a cool and even temperature. Otherwise, it’s almost a sure bet that a hawk will snag your pruned sun-dried scalp and carry you far, far away.
  1. Eat a simple snack when you feel hungry. We all know that it’s a long recitation. 26 letters without food is quite literally an impossible task, but, fortunately, it’s fair game to eat a snack, like maybe some strawberries or walnuts. Don’t be tempted into eating a full three-course meal because you will fall into a long, dark sleep that you will never be able to recover from.
  1. Breathe. Don’t hold your breath. You need to breathe. You will definitely die if you don’t breathe. Breathe before, during and after each letter. Keep breathing.

 

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* Welcome to The Big Jewel, where we believe that man's best friend can be an even better friend than we thought. If you're dogged by suicidal depression, then this week's piece by Vijay Ilankamban is for you!

Training Your New Owner

By:
vilank@umich.edu

You just got a new owner and it’s not everything you’d hoped it would be! You thought you’d have a new friend to play with, but your new owner is shy, confused, lonely, suicidal and attempting to kill himself around you. This can be frustrating and you’re wondering if it will ever change. Don’t fret — this is normal. Your new owner is just uncomfortable living in the human world and is seriously considering leaving it forever. But it’s not that big of a deal!

If you take a close look at him, you’ll see that behind the adorable little guy carving “What is the point of it all?” into his nightstand, there is clearly a happy and lively person. All you’ll have to do is teach him a few things on how to take care of himself in this scary world!

First, you’ll have to train your owner to go potty at the right time. Your cute little fellow has been so busy planning the day of his eventual demise that he has been unaware of his need to pee or poop. He’s been holding all that unneeded stress inside his body and it’s resulting in him sticking his head in the oven!

To train him, you’ll have to notice some signs — if his foot is shaking, if he is crossing his legs and pinching them together, or if he is pacing quickly back and forth ripping pages out of the Bible, screaming, “Are you there, God?!” When you notice a sign, you have to immediately grab his attention by barking at him and then lead him towards the bathroom, otherwise he might start cutting his wrists all over the apartment!

Second, you’ll have to train him on what to eat! Your new owner will grow faster than you can imagine. One moment, he’s a 140-pound man ready to jump off a window ledge, and before you know it he’s a 170-pound man standing on a window ledge ready to jump off.

Although it’s exciting to see your new buddy grow larger, you’ll have to make sure that his growth is healthy and doesn’t leave his body limp with no pulse. To keep your little cutie-pie in check, you’ll have to keep an eye out for what he’s eating. New owners will eat anything they can get their paws on. They’ll eat sleeping pills from the cupboard, lick spilled Windex off the floor, and even put a gun in their mouth and try to eat a bullet! So be careful!

Now last, but not least, you’ll have to take your new owner out for a walk every single day. Humans need to get a consistent amount of exercise. It’s good for their bodies and also relaxing for their brains. It helps them clear their heads and rethink the notion that life is meaningless. So, once a day, wag your tail and tug on his pant leg and he’ll know to untie the noose around his neck, step down onto the chair below him, and go for a walk around the block with you.

Over time, through consistent training and guidance, your new owner will settle himself into the human world. He’ll have the energy to play with you every day. He’ll start smiling and laughing with you. He’ll turn out to be one of your best friends and the person you look most forward to seeing! Also, at this point, your owner will probably start recovering certain urges. So when he starts humping the lamp, the Pringles can and your leg, just let him do it. Give the little guy a break! After all, he’s a human!

 

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