The awfully awry adventures of a human disaster

The+awfully+awry+adventures+of+a+human+disaster

Anna Lim

“Make us laugh,” they said. Now, when someone asks you that, what are you even supposed to say?

So, I accidentally microwaved my phone instead of my Hot Pocket today…Oh, sorry, there’s no punch line; I hoped you would just laugh at me instead. Well, if my misfortunes aren’t laughable, how about a few jokes I’ll steal from the Reddit thread r/cursedcomments? Either way, even if I decided to just curl my chin in and strike a double-chin pose, or do a Minecraft zombie impression (I do a pretty good one if I do say so myself), there’s a whole lot of pressure for one person to provide adequate laughter for a drop-dead deadpan panel of people who choose to write for fun. Which is a lot of pressure for a self- proclaimed human disaster.

But this chaotic entrance was my first introduction to the rabbit hole known as the Junk Page, and I (albeit unknowingly) had been thrust into the lifestyle of trying to find the funny lining to every dark cloud.

For context though, my journey throughout the newspaper hasn’t been the smoothest. It actually seemed more like an awkward chain of dumb luck and coincidences. I joined the journalism class on an impulsive whim, after hearing that it would be Mr. Horrigan’s last semester teaching journalism, and shifted around my entire oversaturated schedule to fit it in. Somehow, I stumbled my way into the Howler, and napped my way through the rest of it. In fact, in the first journalism write-off I went to, I showed up an hour late and missed all the information. I ended up writing an extremely fulminating, scathing critique on a whole load of nothing.

And now in my senior year, I was unexpectedly (and surprisingly) given the responsibility of editing the Junk page. To somehow think of funny and interesting content. Impossible, I know.

I was extremely underequipped. I often deferred to the wise words (and only words) of wisdom my Junk Editor mentor had imbued with me: “Cluck cluck, don’t pluck up.” (The words had to be altered for certain reasons.) But in my given position it was hard. I had no basic understanding of pop culture. At all. Was it TiK ToK, or TikTok, or Tik Tok, or TiKToK? I had no idea at all. To top it off, I was by far the most tumultuous person on the staff. When I got too lazy to ask the photographers to take more photos, I just photoshopped images from scratch. Did there ever exist a photo in the Junk page that I didn’t somehow alter? (Seriously, I never got any of my photo requests in on time. Sorry Mitul!) From Trump heads to queen bodies, a pool of tears, a flying house, a swinging spiderman, a world on fire, you name it, nothing was real at all.

But after my countless hours poured into researching the dankest, most recent memes, or even mastering the art of horrible photoshopping, I had learned the ultimate news reporting skill: fabrication paired with exaggeration. My job was essentially to create memes. What more could a girl ask for?

The time spent in the newsroom playing Family Style, or Codemaster, or having dance battles, meme battles, cursed images doodling sessions, and stressing over aesthetic page layouts had become the apex of my highschool experience. If it weren’t for the Howler I wouldn’t have even bothered going to Prom last year (which thankfully I did, since senior prom is no longer a second option.) And I realized that this immaculate surprise fueled off of a chain of unlikely events, unfurling into a lifestyle that fueled me with purpose and entertainment.

So, maybe there are perks to being a human disaster. I had found an outlet for my hyperactive energy to be funneled into a creation, a home where my turbulence was not only embraced, but was cherished and used to entertain. And I’m really going to miss this chaotic newspaper.