HUMANS OF THE 6

LATEST STORIES

 

“I used to poke fun at the superstitious, until the cosmos bit back.  What got me?  Mirrors… found out the hard way it’s true what they say: you break one of them and it is indeed seven years… of not being allowed back in that Dairy Queen."

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“A little while back I discovered the secret to getting free Starbuck’s.  Basically, when they ask for your order name, all you need to do is say it’s the n-word, start recording and wait for their move.  Whether or not they go soft ‘a’ or hard ‘r,’ that gingerbread latte’s gonna be on the house.  Turns out gentrification has its perks.”

"I've been through two dozen or so lovers in the past year alone... not by choice. The worst of it is I'm never sure if it's because of something I did or just rough luck, but it seems every time I find someone I feel totally and completely comfortable with... they end up murdered. It was hard at first, brutal really. Every time I'd start to open up again was when I'd get the call to identify their body. Poisoned, strangled, shot, drowned, pulled into an escalator by a shoelace I saw them double knot that morning, you name it, its hard to think of a type of clear homicide one of my relationships hasn't ended in recently. My grieving process is pretty much down to clockwork too. In fact it's to the point now where I can safely schedule brunches between stages. But I dunno, it's like... am I just attracted to super killable people? Is that a thing? Am I cursed? Is this punishment for enjoying Suicide Squad? Maybe I'm destined to be alone forever. Well not totally alone. I still have my bestie: Raoul. I don't know how I'd cope without him. Like sometimes he'll be first to the scene of the crime just to be there for me when I learn another boyfriend's been slain. Such a nice guy. Totally not my type, but we did make one of those silly 'if we're still single in however many years we'll just marry each other' pledges once. He seemed to take it pretty seriously so I bet all these convenient deaths are really spooking him."

"'Sports stuff if you made me proud, a doll if you failed me.' Each year was the same speech, and every birthday... I got the doll. Thing is, I wasn't even crazy about sports, I just wanted his approval. I fantasized of it, but reality always fell short. One year it was I 'failed to meet an acceptable grade point average.' The next it was that I 'failed to keep the perennials alive.' He claimed it was because I use 'dry humour.' Then there was 'failing to not get dumped' and the classic 'failed to cure degenerative bone disease.' I was never good enough. So I thought. It wasn't until after I graduated med school early, married and unlocked the key to growing crops of fresh fibulas using stem cells, that I came to realize my father had just been pushing me to be better. So the next day I decided to visit him on a lunch break. I walked in. Saw him. And I wasn't sure what to do. So I hugged the man. 'What the hell was that for?' he said. And I told him I knew the whole reason he gave me those dolls was as motivation to achieve more. And I saw him smile... then laugh, followed by hysterical laughter. I was wrong. That was the last time I saw him alive. Today was the will reading and sure enough what did I get? Yep. If I had to guess why, I'd put my money on... 'failing to pass him his heart medication as he was clutching for it.' See I would have, but my break was ending and I had a bone to pick."

"It's easy to forget on social media that you only see people's 'highlights.' Cause you end up comparing them to the whole spectrum of things in your own day to day, like an absence of friends or your basement's iguana problem. And you start to think 'why isn't my life all highlights like theirs?' So maybe you decide 'screw it, my life IS going to be all highlights like theirs.' And you dedicate yourself to it. Then soon you notice more people are noticing you, smiling more and yes some try selling you Molly, it happens. Friends are able to spot you in crowds quicker. You find that where there were once dark times, you're now capable of finding those pesky iguanas. Everything just seems... brighter. Then it dawns on you, you've forgotten to make posts. But strangely you find yourself not caring. You're too busy living and actually enjoying your life to. And all it took was a positive shift of perspective... and accidentally leaving some Starbursts in your pocket before laundry."

"Happy New Year? Uh uh, I don't think so, not that easy. Look I've been burnt by years before, so if 2017 wants in my good graces it needs to put in work. Ever notice how no one says 'Happy Old Year' on December 31st? That's right, cause by then we've seen its true colours, and breaking news: they clash like Pizza Pizza logos... or for that matter Pizza Pizza and stomach linings. Yep, I remember thinking 2014 was gonna be 'happy.' Nope. Halfway through my appendix burst, almost died. 2015: also big nope, missed the Supermoon. 2016: appendix grew back. So before I call this one a 'Happy New Year' I'd like- hmmm wait, okay... I'd like a man that cooks- oh and can remove organs- but not in a creepy way. Ummm, lashes that separate like horror movie teens, and for the love of all that is holy I would like some Brendan Fraser abs on the big screen again! Until then it's just 'Welcome to 2016 Part Two.'"

"2016... is it... is it done with us yet?"

"I think the most common thing people get wrong about me is my 'Naughty' and 'Nice' lists. See I don't actually decide who gets on them. Thankfully too, cause if it were up to me I'd barely need a cue card for the 'Nice.' I'm not a people person though. Never have been 'cept Mrs. Claus. It's why I got into 'B&E Philanthropy' in the first place: barely any social interaction and I can mostly just do my thing. I am however fond of elves, which is why I employ so many. Their work ethic is unbeatable and labor is cheap as chestnuts. But I'm decking away from my point now. Where was I... oh ho ho yes the 'Naughty' and 'Nice' lists. Those are made using an unjingled bell curve these days. Why does it seem the rich are likelier to make the 'Nice' list then? Well you're probably not considering all the good they do for the economy all year. After all what is the meaning of Christmas if not to celebrate the splendour of capitalism? And besides I'm sure the merry trickles down to everyone else eventually."

"As a Destination Divorce Lawyer nothing has brought me greater schadenfreude than helping countless guests of loveless destination weddings enact revenge on the couples that bamboozled them. What am I talking about? Well I guess you could call it a sort of 'matrimonial insurance' for the attendees. See with D.W.s, the invited patrons are expected to lay down their savings for a specific week in paradise filled with obligations. Not ideal, but the air full of love and skimpiness of foreign swimwear are strong justifiers. However the expectation is that the marriage is until death, right? So if the couple decides to call off their sacred bond a year down the road, the former guests feel swindled. To prevent this what I do is provide a type of prenuptial 'wedding party and attendee agreement' that states: if the bride and groom decide the destination of the wedding, the attendees may choose the location of their divorce. And let me tell you, over the years I have seen some very 'creative' scorn guests. Of course duration of time between wedding and official separation also plays a factor. One decade after matrimony: a Denny's after last call is acceptable for the divorce. One year after: front row of a rural Corey Feldman concert suffices. One week after: garbage barge on the way to someone else's destination wedding. Basically I ensure when the lovers say 'I do,' the audience can think 'you better...'"

"I was 9 when I lost my genitals to a hunting accident. People forget bear traps are actually pretty accessible to children. So that was a mess. For awhile I was really confused about my identity, which washroom to use, box to check, pronoun to welcome. I got teased of course and it sucked. But being the only one able to take shots to the groin was kinda cool, a few bets were won that way. By 16 I had all but given up on having what could be considered a 'normal' relationship with anybody. Little did I know prosthetic technology had come a long way and my parents had a surprise that Christmas. When I opened up my gift I swore it was a mistake, that it was for my mother or sister or something. They smiled and shook their heads. 'We didn't know what size to get you, so if it's not right you can always trade it in.' I told them 9 was more than enough. And man oh man you should have seen the looks I got wearing sweatpants to school after winter break. Even teachers were doing double takes. When I turned 18 I had surgeons add a socket to my pelvis. That way I could switch different models in and out with ease. Some guys like to say I'm 'not a real man.' I'd argue I'm so much more. When I bring girls back to my place they have options: width, length, ribbed, avatar, it's like a build-a-bear for adults in my dresser. So while they're busy fretting over the construct of sex and gender, I'll be constructing my own with the help of their girl. Cause as it turns out, it's pretty hard for the average dude to compete with a unit powered by its own miniature turbine engine. Or as I call it 'The Friday Night Special.'"

"Trust? Ya we used to have that. Along with a sleeve of thin mints that went M.I.A. this morning... and no, not saying she gulleted them, but I think it's awfully strange how for years she was pissed with me for choosing to save the duffel bag of cash instead of her twin sister in that bank heist gone wrong and today she's all grins and giggles. Very strange indeed. And it's like- I made the choice anyone would have. The getaway copter wasn't gonna make it after swat teams colander'd its fuel pod, we had to lose weight and the sack of bills didn't have a twin... so I made a judgement call. Thought we had an understanding at the funeral, but clearly one of us was harbouring feelings about it. What? No if it was mice then guess who's fault it would still be for saving the jewels instead of my cat when our train robbery went south. That's right yours. Sorry, she's just being ridiculous now. Ugh, it's like, as soon as thin mint season is over it doesn't matter how much money you've thieved over the years, you still have to wait for next October through November like everyone else. So frustrating. Next job we pull there'll be no hard decisions, I'll tell you that much."

"In surgery you learn early on to compartmentalize, that you're not gonna save everyone. Especially if you're trying to break another attending's record on a speed run."

"I once dove from of an airliner at 35000 feet with nothing but the broken collar bone of my target and a ball of yarn. Knowing how to macramé my own 'chute was essential to surviving not just the fall, but also the frostful night of that Siberian tundra. Yes, I suppose I've been known for some interesting accomplishments: completing a four-minute mile... backwards, proving string theory with an actual string and opening clamshell packaging with bare hands. However I always had felt this sort of 'incompleteness.' That is until I met Demetri. He came into my life after a meth lab explosion obliterated his parents. I happened to be walking by the day that calamity ensued and snatched him from the trajectory of a molten I-beam. Afterwards it was clear he'd been raised in a country without hobbies, so when I adopted I knew I had my work set out. Now Demetri wasn't particularly athletic or quick witted or accurate with a harpoon gun. In fact his achievements were about as middle of road as one could get. Yet I found myself wrought with pride each day he discovered himself more capable than the last. Even something as simple as learning to crumble saltines into soup for delicious texture filled his face with joy and my heart with seeping warmth like I'd never felt before. And this... coming from a man who's escaped volcanic eruptions by tattered wingsuit. Yes Demetri helped me find the one thing money, medals and scores of Hennessy drenched models never could - Purpose. He may never be world renowned, but I know for a fact he's well respected at the Costco he manages. Maybe it's the least interesting thing about me, but I still consider his happiness my greatest success. In that sense I believe life's much like an airplane emergency. After you've secured your own mask, the best thing you can do next is lend a hand to those that need it... unless you've just ripped out their collarbone."

"My parole officer says I have issues with authority. I think he has issues with being awesome. Cause let me tell you this: if that police horse didn't want freedom it wouldn't have let me ride it through the mall, end of story. Sure I can be a little impulsive, but why do people have to get so up in arms about chaos like it's a bad thing? It's like they don't even realize I'm the reason they're making trips to the water cooler the next day. I bet their properly hydrated skin is thankful I use 'Coyote Ugly' as a verb though. Chalk it up to boredom, undiagnosed ADD or Jesus dropping the ball saving me, but if I wanna hit the bong mid keg stand then make out with Mr. Face Tattoo until the aux cord is free, you better have the lighter ready cause I'm making a mark on your night and it's gonna be exclamation. I don't look back on life thinking 'what if.' I'm too busy finding out the answers in real time, like what's gonna happen when someone finds the fire I just started in the bathtub. Ahhh... classic me."

"Finding a corpse in that quarry was the best thing that ever happened to us. 16 years ago the experience cemented our friendship and we've been on a murder mystery to find the killer ever since. Well... at least one of us has. A couple years back I meant to tell him the truth about that day, about what really happened: how I set it up and the life I took to kindle the greatest bromance of all time. But when the moment came to confess I couldn't. We had been through too much. They say the truth sets you free, but if it causes more damage than the guilt is it still the right thing to do? So to be honest I'm not sure if I'll ever tell. I think it's probably for the best I don't. It's just a shame he'll never get the closure he desires for his 'former' best friend."

"When I first heard his Gucci Mane ringtone I thought we would never make it. Having grown up in a 'Young Jeezy' household, my parents had always forbid me from dating outside the 'Corporate Thugz Entertainment' family. They were very intense about it too, they even threw a block party the day Guwop went to jail and flew their flag at half mast the day he got out. So when I realized I had fallen for an admirer of the Trap God I broke into tears in front of him. All the signs were there: the ice cream dates, the lemonade stocked fridge. I knew I'd been in denial because of how much I loved him, but more than anything I was scared to lose what we had. As mascara streamed down my cheeks, I told him who I thought ran the Atlanta trap scene, expecting he'd leave quicker than a Zaytoven hi-hat. Instead he wrapped his arms around me, brought me close and said he knew and had for a few months. Apparently I'd left my Spotify open to the track '24-23.' When he said all that mattered was that we bumped Southern Rap in the whip, the relief I felt was deeper than any beat that's ever dropped. Turns out as long as your relationship brings heat in the booth it doesn't matter how incompatible you are on paper. Never in a million fire mixtapes did I think I'd end up in love with a Mr. Zone 6 fan, but here we are about to bring our first child into the world - he's a little disappointed it wasn't during 'Woptober,' but what can ya do. We're getting married soon too. Our first dance is going to be to 'Icy.'"

"Traditionally I suppose the kitchen is a bit of a 'boy's club,' which makes it all the more sweet when my competitors go under and finally see the face that crushed their dreams. In fact for Christmas this year I got myself: three rival bistros declaring bankruptcy. Sorry, just got goosebumps thinking about it. I know there's been a lot of talk of glass ceilings as of late, something about a reality tv winner or whatever, I dunno, I don't really watch MTV. I find everyone puts too much emphasis on people being the first 'blank' to be a 'blank' anyway. Like if you think you can't be something because someone else hasn't been it before you then you need to reassess your mentality. Cause I'll tell you this: inspiration is a very small part of building a ceviche this damn fresh. You know what did build it though? Going beast mode 25/7 until I was capable. Mark my words the only handouts you should be taking are resumes from those you put out of business. You do like me and your recycle bin won't know the meaning of hungry."

“Wha gwan?  K yo it all bout duality righ fam?  Dey be sayin' stay tru to ya, but wha y'all lowkey mean is be one dude round everyone.  Like, are you dum?  Bruh, that's like settling on one pair of J's.  Nah b.  Topleft dropped dem bills on sum greezy Tims an Imma sport dem when I feel, ya feel?  Like dawg don't cheese me.  Ya know wha I do Mondays?  I linx up wit sum mid-age white gyals an make artisanal soap.  Real talk tha fragrance wheel is turnt af when ya start hittin' does aromatics.  Lavender's my jam boi.  Den Chursdays' be drop-in ballroom seshs.  An I ain't talkin' dem hoops ahlie, I mean Foxtrot tingz.  Room like dimepiece charcuterie eyein' ya jus to be dipped yo.  An Friday/Sat me an tha mandem finna tun up.  But ya know what each dem circles regular on?  We live af in our own ways yo.  You not jus you fam, you tha summa everyone you choose to rep.  Ain't nuh-tin wrong wit bein bout extra long as you stay lit."

"Yep, so bungled my life up again: classic. Call me a 'Class A Klutz,' a real stumblebum ya know. See men always compare me to girls in rom-coms. They'll be like 'wow you're like a Katherine Heigl, except likable!' That's the start of the relationship, and I've learned it's why rom-coms end after the first misunderstanding's resolved. No one wants to see what kind of toll the next twelve have. The expectation seems to be that I'll become less butterfingered and tongue twisted. Nope. Fumbling fresh lattes on your crotch, vulgarity slips and colliding affluent people on the daily is just how I was wired. So way to go me right! The sad reality is quirks have shelf life. It's like using a joke too many times, eventually people resent the punchline - especially if it's their face... accidentally during their prestigious gala. See my dress caught on my heel. That was last night. Which wouldn't have been so bad, but the charity was for domestic abuse and I was holding my lucky roll of quarters... so him and I are done. Managed to sneak a whole ziplock of shrimps out in my purse afterwards though, so I guess the past two years with Devin weren't an entire loss."

"Oh you're looking to buy condoms are you? It would be a shame if I happened to grab the Magnums and put you in a position where you had to announce in front of the line those would not work out... I'm kidding, but I do like to have fun. In my heritage deadpan humour is a way of life. Jokes are merited on their subtlety, not their broad appeal. I think in North America many don't get that. People are quick to ascribe confusion to what would otherwise be seen as dry wit just because you know more languages than them. Or maybe our humour really is that understated. I mean to my parents Jason Bateman was considered slapstick. Perhaps it's the way I was brought up, but I could never see myself taking the easy punchline out of 'convenience.'"

"On Tinder I'm known as 'El Diabla.' It's a title I've put in my swipes to earn. I've grown accustomed to being called certain other names too, but at least 'chump' isn't one of them. I see myself as a necessary evil, a balance if you will. Men don't understand that when they break a girl's heart over and over again the pieces get smaller. They get harder to put back together. If I'd known that a few years back maybe I wouldn't have let mine turn to ash. Then again I do enjoy what I do. The Home Depot was even kind enough to make me a punch card for the shovels I go through. Two more until my next freebie. If I could offer the douchebags of The 6 a piece of advice, I wouldn't. They dug their graves the moment they left the seat up, I'm just the one burying them."

"Sometimes to sleep at night I'll make myself an Ambien smoothie, otherwise the screams haunt me. A few years back I was a 'Rides Operator' at a well known pier. I made the mistake one day of bringing a vanilla cherry cola into the booth, which if you know anything about the fair union's code, is a cardinal carnival sin. But one of my boys had brought it for me knowing I'd been searching for a place that still sold them, so I couldn't wait. After that first nostalgic gulp I was so distracted I placed the can down wrong and soda ended up draining over the console. People don't understand how complex the wiring in those things are, they're like the space shuttle man. That's when things got real bad. The Ferris Wheel I was in charge of started to speed its rotation and there was nothing I could do. I watched helplessly as people were flung from their pods like lacrosse balls. People I was responsible for. My coworker had to take an axe to the controls to stop it, but by then there was no one left in their seats, just a bodycount across the boardwalk. How the jury let me walk I'll never understand. Sometimes 'people make mistakes' isn't enough to forgive yourself. I later discovered the convenience store near my apartment sold vanilla cherry colas. Luckily they pair well with Ambien."

"I was 8 when I captained my first ship, not by choice mind you. It was my father's vessel but he had taken an airborne swordfish to the abdomen and that left me in charge of both our fates. Between tending the bridge and packing my father's mortal wounds with serving salt I managed to steer us back to port. By the grace of that night's red sky my father survived, but the doctor said he would never captain again. I inherited the boat soon after and vowed revenge against the fish that impaled him - it's uniquely hooked snout burned into my memory. For 30 years I chased that broadbill up and down the Gulf Stream. I was obsessed. Until one fateful June eve he ended on my hook. I had dreamed of the moment, but when I met the billfish eye to eye I felt strange. Before me was what I spent the better part of my life pursuing, it was what defined me. And that's when I realized the real reason I had been chasing him wasn't vengeance, for my father had passed a few years prior - tripped onto an actual sword at a garage sale. I was chasing it because I was afraid of having to define myself. So I let him off the fishing gaff, made way back to dock, sold the boat that day and never looked back. I have a family now and a humble little shack that serves fish n' chips. The other day I came across a piece that had a familiar hook to it. I think my father would be proud."

"Is it just me or does the premise of Cinderella fall flat when you really think it over? She must've had some pretty uniquely messed up feet to be the only one those slippers fit. Or maybe they were magic, I dunno. All I know is I'm tired of every romance being pitched as 'love at first sight.' Doesn't happen, it's a fever dream. You want real love? Real love is what's left after you put in time and work. Real love is being able to order each other's custom pasta at Olive Garden. Real love is when you have no more secret fetishes. That's what I'm in for. I just wish it didn't take me so long to realize at end of the day it's not the shoe that's made of glass, it's your heart."

"I'm... I don't want to call it 'polygamous,' but let's just say I have a lot of sidechicks. Like I have so many sidechicks my sidechicks have sidechicks. There once was a time when keeping track of them all was tough, now I use WhatsApp. Every time I get a new honey's digits I just add her to the group chat. That way I can send out a blast in the morning and let them take care of sorting out who gets me for the day. I kind of miss when I had to put in work to slay, but now I have way more free time to focus on my main girl. Her and I are Catholic so we're saving ourselves for marriage."

"Christ's sake, course I have a story. I have loads of em. An you know how they all end? Disappointment. I got a brother that can't play house for shit, a father who couldn't french braid a croissant if his life depended on it and a mother that ran outta milk 6 months ago. My world is a descending staircase to hell and life keeps shoving me off the next step. Oh 'it gets better' they say. You know what I hope gets better? My motor skills. Maybe then I wouldn't have to charades it all up when someone needs to know they should get bent. It's just frustrating you know? Every time I get cozy there's another new thing I'm obligated to deal with: talking, walking, pooping in a bucket, it never ends. Is this all living is? Just a series of wombs we're expunged from? Ugh... I need a Capri Sun and a light asap."

“Today is pretty special, because with not too much longer left until the baby, we’ve already decided on the name: Woah… right? How perfect is that? Ah, you don’t get it- honey do you want to expl- ha no it’s okay, ya I got it. See the name we’re going with is literally ‘Woah.’ W-O-A-H, Woah! A little out there, believe us we know, but hear us out okay. Names are just a construct or whatever right? Like if you look at that guy over there- ya that one- there’s nothing in his DNA that says he’s a ‘Jared,’ or a ‘Marcus.’ He’s a living breathing miracle, just like the rest of us. But the thing is we’ve all had these- these ‘labels’ slapped on us, that take the miracle we’re even here at all in the first place, and do it a disservice. So earlier today we decided, boy or girl, whatever the first thing to come to our minds when our child enters this world, that’s what we’ll name them. We’ll leave it up to the inspiration of the universe. But then it occurred to us, we already know what our first thought is going to be. It’s going to be ‘Woah.’ As in ‘Woah this is really happening.’ And in a sense, isn’t that what we all start as? Someone else’s ‘Woah.’ It’s that one perfect expression that captures everything incredible about existence and consciousness, good and bad. ‘Woah’ is who we all are before we are who we are. And we want to honour that wonder. So when our kid is born, we’re going be the first parents not to strip that magic away… and plus, oh man get this, every time their name is said it’s going to make everything sound so wicked sweet. Woaaah come here! Woaaah supper’s ready! Woah, your macaroni sculpture is amazing! Even as a time saver it’s great, ‘Woah slow down!’ or ‘Woah why are you rebelling at a much earlier age than is typical for children to do so? Not cool!’ So yeah, today is pretty special, today is the day we realized just how gnarly parenthood is about to be.”

“I used to think being a f-ckboy was a choice. My dad would even say things like ‘I’d rather die than have a f-ckboy for a son.’ In second grade I began to suspect I might be wired differently. There was something about leading girls on and breaking their hearts for no apparent reason that scratched an itch Pokémon couldn’t. I guess in a way they were my Pokémon. Wear them down, index and move on. Wasn’t long before my parents caught wind though. ‘Three girlfriends calling here in the same week!?’ mom shrieked from the kitchen floor, dad unable to look at me. They thought it was evil spirits, so that summer I was sent to one of those ‘pray the slay away’ camps. Had all the things you’d expect from camp: swimming, archery, Pokémon was still popular, so a bunch of kids playing that. Only difference was twice a day were these prayer circles where we’d ask the lord to help us not see women as objects. We were taught only the devil ‘hates labels’ and to be ashamed of wink emoticons. I returned home cured, but because I worked so hard to repress my own urges, I began to loath those who didn’t. So in the third grade I decided to commit to a girl and for twelve years deflected thot after thot who challenged our mutual respect, eventually proposing to her. She said yes. Then came Tinder. When I heard of it I thought it wouldn’t hurt to make a profile, you know, see what the hype was for. I got a match. Not soon after that I was soliciting nudes and playing with angles to take the perfect dick pic. I began relapsing, each time becoming more outspoken of f-ckboys afterwards. ‘Get married and you’re done for good,’ I told myself. Then came the day: ‘Do you take her to be your lawfully wedded wife? the priest asked. ‘Don’t worry about it,’ I blurted. It felt so natural. And that’s when I realized all my life I had hated f-ckboys, not because they were ‘evil,’ but because they got away with it. Racking up kill counts, wearing Supreme carefree, no commitments. If I had just given into my urges like them I’d be happy. So it’s time to come out of the El Furniture Warehouse. I am a f-ckboy. I always have been. And to all the girls who’ve had their time wasted, I ask this… u up?”

"Daredevil? That Marvel alley-dolphin hack has nothing on my power palate. Yeah, don't believe what you read. Bullets travel faster than sound so really the guy can sidestep firearms about as well as a damp roll of paper towel. Me on the other hand, I can taste a marksman's salty attitude in the air from a mile out. Yep, before they've even unpacked their sniping gloves I've flaked like a croissant. How you wonder? Well four years ago there was an accident. See being the saint I am, I tried to play superhero before I was one. On a warm summer day in The 6 I spotted a man deeply engrossed in his churro meander into traffic. When I sprung to save him from the bearing of a speeding lunch truck, it crashed into a pole, spilling its contents and coating me in a radioactive experimental vinaigrette. That was the day I lost my sense of direction, but in return gained a vastly superior superhuman sense of taste. And with my new gift I vowed to bring down any culinary fortress that crafted dishes as dangerously appetizing to the public as the churro had been that day. And believe me when I say I make Matt Murdock's 'gimmicks' look well under-seasoned. Oh he can listen to a heartbeat and figure out if someone's lying? Big deal, I can tell if they're sour about an issue from across the hall. Wanna know the temp out? Three degrees right now, neg two with the wind chill, couldn't tell you from where though. Ya I'd go as far as to say my only real weakness... spice. Never understood the point of it before the powers either though. Always seemed... mealtime masochistic to me. What's that? Do I miss being able to navigate the city? Well ya of course. Without my orientation I've accidentally stood up nearly a baker's dozen dates my heroics had earned. But at the end of the night I know in all my buds that people receiving the dullest possible food saved lives. And that's the thing about sacrifice, the only flavour it really comes in... is bittersweet."

"As it turns out my 'Shower Venetian Blinds' idea was less desirable to investors than I had hoped."

"We're saving sex until after marriage. Same with smokes and swears... also trans fats, season 5 of Breaking Bad, the smell of rain, the first sip of cold apple juice, avenging our friend's untimely murder, Daniel Day Lewis films, double stuffed Oreos, bass drops, the element helium, a proper stretch, high speed Internet, déjà vu, high speed Internet, parallel parking, the nay nay, finding out what's going on with those dark raised moles on our backs, Uber, snooze buttons, treason annnnd getting lit. Yep, sorry what? Ohhhh no no no, wait did I say 'saving?' No I meant to say 'savouring until after marriage.' Ya we just did all those things this morning... also never getting married."

"It was supposed to be a swan, but instructions and I have never mixed. That 'paint by numbers' crap just isn't me ya know? I mean if I wanted to spend my life checking boxes I would've been a gynaecologist. And as you can see... I'm clearly not great with flaps. Sure my origamonster may not be as ornamental, but at least it's original. It's mine. And I think people miss that a lot of the time perfection is subjective too. Wonky smiles, freckles, parachute ears and asymmetrical boxes: find someone that loves you for what makes you unique and you're irreplaceable as baby pics. Truth is there's no such thing as an ugly ducking, or for that matter swanling. Don't believe me, try and Google one. Any of them 'ugly?' Yah, didn't think so. Book shoulda been named 'The Least Basic Duck.' But also screw that dumb af Neville Longbottom transformation. Cause if the moral of the story is 'wait it out and eventually you'll be a basic swan' then no thank you. Imma stick with what I got and what I do. End of the day I don't wanna hear about your flawlessly creased paper bird, my 'origamanta ray' is as rad as they come and I'm sticking with it."

"Growing up I was always told to dream big. As a child I fantasized of world peace. Now I just dream of a world where guacamole isn't an additional charge. So suffice to say... still the same dream."

"I found I was sleeping in a lot, so my new alarm is just Siri reading off which people I went to high school with now have degrees, spouses and children."

"My fiancée left me last night... said she couldn't deal with my addiction anymore and walked out of our hygroscopically balanced, meticulously room temperature stabilized apartment. I guess I never realized how uncomfortable she was because we were always SO comfortable... climate-wise, I ensured it, obsessively in hindsight. But what can I say, I've always been hooked on air conditioning and anything to do with it. Entropy really gets me going, ironically enough. She used to love that about me, you know, that I had a passion. Last Valentine's she got me a cylinder of Freon, and damn did we put that to good use later in the night. Her and I, we met a few summers back during that bad heat wave, if you remember. I was installing her neighbor's unit and noticed her on the next balcony with a soda pressed to her neck. I asked if her A/C was alright. She said it wasn't. She also said she couldn't afford a new one. So I offered to take a look at it, seeing as I had my kit. In less than twenty I had that thing breezin' like an Alaskan beach. Afterwards she offered dinner as payment. She was cute, so of course I accepted. Six years later I proposed with a ring made from the condenser coil I replaced that day. Then I guess... maybe I got complacent? I didn't notice my zest for vapors and assembling expansion valves had started to wear on her. That's the second law of thermodynamics for you: she was hot, I was cold. Eventually neither of us had the energy to change the other. I just hope she's somewhere with a decent humidex right now, her skin dries pretty easy. Anyway... sorry, I guess I just needed to vent."

"Born too late to explore the Earth, too early to explore the stars, but just in time to hear everyone weirdly bitch about cartography..."

  "How many licks to the center of a Tootsie Pop? My Stratocaster says 'one.' Ya bud... game nights I shred this corner like someone ordered street nachos for The ACC. Can't help that the people need to eat right? You get more encores out here too I find. I dig that. But guess I've always loved the musician's paradox: closing set with your best song while saving better songs in case you're called back. Cause what if there's no encore? What if there is, but ya didn't save anything? Do ya close with your second best and save the real best because you're 'encore confident?' What if there's an encore after that? What if you close with your second best, but before the encore starts you get a call saying your wife gave birth to a fingerless child? How did that not show on the ultrasound? Can you put the baby back in for a week to grow them? Without fingerprints will they one day be the perfect criminal? Will they have gone rogue from resenting you not being able to pass your musicianship on to them and their exclusively knuckled meat branches? How do you play encore after that? Wanna know? Stop worrying bud. Just rock every moment whether you end up against paper or scissors. Too many curve-pucks in life to stress over perfecting it. Plus if your baby still has toes you can always teach them keys."

"How many licks to the center of a Tootsie Pop? My Stratocaster says 'one.' Ya bud... game nights I shred this corner like someone ordered street nachos for The ACC. Can't help that the people need to eat right? You get more encores out here too I find. I dig that. But guess I've always loved the musician's paradox: closing set with your best song while saving better songs in case you're called back. Cause what if there's no encore? What if there is, but ya didn't save anything? Do ya close with your second best and save the real best because you're 'encore confident?' What if there's an encore after that? What if you close with your second best, but before the encore starts you get a call saying your wife gave birth to a fingerless child? How did that not show on the ultrasound? Can you put the baby back in for a week to grow them? Without fingerprints will they one day be the perfect criminal? Will they have gone rogue from resenting you not being able to pass your musicianship on to them and their exclusively knuckled meat branches? How do you play encore after that? Wanna know? Stop worrying bud. Just rock every moment whether you end up against paper or scissors. Too many curve-pucks in life to stress over perfecting it. Plus if your baby still has toes you can always teach them keys."

"Is he doing the 'Miley-tongue' again? Ugh that's so hot I can feel the snow melting around me. If he starts twerking: red alert, I'll be swooning. It's just like... the confidence he does it with, my man sells it like the rent is due you know? He's actually the reason I came out of my... well okay, so I grew up with a very stoic no-nonsense upbringing right? And it became even more so after my father passed. Without him around to help run the family gas station, my mother decided she had to remarry his brother, owner of an ear poison factory. 'Better for the business' she said. After she suspiciously passed, I of course ended up in the custody of that uncle, who then had me drop out of school to tend the station around the clock. It allowed him more time with his floozies. That's when I met my man here. He'd come in once a week to stock the newest variety of Skittles and entertain me with his goofy faces. Then it was twice a week, then twice a day. When my uncle noticed what was going on he declared I was too distracted to be useful anymore and came at my ear with an eye dropper. Right before he could squeeze its bulb- from in front of the 5-Hour Energys- my man starts belting 'I came in like a wrecking balllllll!' It was beautiful, moving, very off key, but breathtaking. It also pulled enough of my uncle's focus that I was able to neuter him with a knee to the groin. I slid across the lotto tickets into the arms of my handsome 'wily Cyrus' and we never looked back. Thanks to my man I'm taking life less serious now. After all you never know if one day it'll be your own silliness that helps break someone out of their Shell."

"Our friends like to joke about us being the 'Rom-Com Human Centipede,' but having ourselves surgically attached at the lips was maybe the easiest decision we've ever made. For one we're madly in love and pretty certain that will never end. Plus, making out is hands down better than not making out so doing it non-stop is technically like non-stop living a better life. And oh, we're both ventriloquists. That was lucky. We actually found that out after the operation. Now it's like, we only pay for one ticket at the movies, we always got each other's six and well... interchangeable profile pics hellllllo. Downsides? Uh, hardly. I mean, okay it certainly limits positions during intimacy, all our clothes have to be tear-aways and our diet now consists exclusively of snortable foods. But other than tha- oh ha, ya bathroom sitch has also been kinda tricky I suppose. Thank the lord his aim eventually improved. It was like the inside of a dishwasher down there for a bit. It's weird, some people look at us like we're crazy for going through with it, but what they don't understand is when you're in love there are two times as many brains so technically the decisions you make together are going to be twice as smart: checkmate loners."

"They say time heals all wounds... except clock poisoning. That one it makes worse... wayyyyy worse."

"Simply put the person I work for is a bafoon. A real monkey I'm tellin' ya. Immature doesn't even begin to descri- and just the lack of respect you know. Ugh... I get called in in like the middle of the night sometimes, early mornings, even on my days off. It's ridiculous. And always so demanding. How is it my fault I'm not like James Franco? Honestly I think there's a bit of a Napoleon complex at foot. All the incoherent yelling and screaming. It's like- and I'm expected to be perfect. They aren't. Not by a long shot, but if I get one trivial thing wrong with the food I make for them I have to start over. Like c'mon... cut me a break dude. My boss sounds like a jerk? Huh? Ohhh no no my boss is the best, chill af, the person I work for is my daughter. Love of my life, every dollar for that little one. She's the reason I wake up every morning and why it's all worth it... but I tell ya... sometimes she acts like a real f*ckin Kardashian."

"Don't you think it's kind of suspicious Santa's only problem with fog came right after Rudolph was bullied and conveniently had the only solution to the problem. Ya those reindeer got plaaaaayed by a fog machine son. Rudolph was as much a hero as Syndrome would have been had he came out on top in The Incredibles, ya feel? That's what I took away at least. And I've been applying it to my own life ever since. Like okay say my nemesis has a birthday I'm not invited to. What I do is I crash it. And maybe it's awkward for a bit, but when it comes cake time, what's that? No one has a lighter for the candles? Oh no we're gonna have to cancel the birthday? Nope. Here comes me with the party's only lighter, heroing the balls out of the situation while peeps shouting with glee. Why do I have the party's only lighter? Cause I spent the half hour after arriving stealthily pocketing everyone else's. Now they've all forgotten who's party it is and I'm getting invites to others left and right. That... is how you go down in history as the one that gets it lit: Rudolph Style of course."

"Ya I guess you could say we're for smaller government. We even like to set an example by being fiscally conservative with our own actions. For instance if we're in a confrontation: we try to direct it to areas like Trinity Bellwoods where the damage to public infrastructure is lessened, lord knows that's the last thing the Gardiner needs right now. Um, what else? Well when they rust, my arm pieces are pretty expensive to replace, so I try not to commit treason in the rain. And Cap here... well he used to be a big TTC user. Not so much since the fare hiked to $3.25, but I think it's mostly cause he got his shield stuck in the streetcar door once and has never lived it down. What, oh c'mon, who you kidding that's totally why. Okay then... Besides that we're actually fairly liberal. Although regularly the two of us are quite civil, we don't feel it should be our right to impose that on others trying to turn up. Our faith is in people, individuals. And if they want to get and stay lit, then no amount of half-baked soviet brain trigger words are gonna keep us from fighting for that."

"So I'm starting to suspect my Hogwarts acceptance letter isn't coming. Ugh... all those years insisting I live in the crawl space beneath the stairs: for nothing. In Junior High people thought I had the worst acne. Nope. Just a shit ton of spider bites. It's a shame too. I think I could have brought a lot to Muggles as a witch, really taken down the patriarchy you know. My biggest envy of the Wizarding World has always been its lacking gender strength barrier. Right? Everyone's only as strong as their magic, the great equalizer. Of course the fact it's known as the 'Wizarding World' and not neutrally as the 'Magical World' shows pretty blatantly there's still sexism afoot, but at least you're able to drop a Cruciatus on any mofo with the gall to wizardsplain the 'Sickle Gap' to you. Oh well. I guess there's always my kids? Like Dumbledore once said: 'we cannot choose our fate, but we can choose others.' So I plan on putting them through some Dursleys-level abuse to ensure they get in."

"Weird how people always say 'actions speak louder than words,' but will never act it out..."

"I wish we didn't have to suffer through the consequences of our mistakes just to learn from them. Like okay, figured this out the hard way: did you know if you shatter a mirror, it's 7 years... of not being allowed back to that Dairy Queen."

"I used to live with a roommate and every time I'd hear the floorboard squeak I'd think 'must be my roommate.' Now that I live alone, when I hear a bump in the night I'm more like 'well... here comes my murder.' Ha, ya my imagination can be a bit silly, I know the likelihood of it being a rogue killer is absurd. What's that? Why don't I have a roommate now? Ah, well okay- and this was literally one time: there actually was a rogue killer in the apartment that we were hiding from. Roommate made a break for it, and would have made it too, that is, if the squeaky floorboard didn't give her away."

"Most of the tunes I write these days are about being adopted. Songs like 'My Two Dads Don't Look Like Me' and 'The Brangelina Blues.' Was I adopted? No, but in music they're such an underrepresented demographic. Seriously, try naming one song about adoption right now. I'll give you time... see? Can't do it. They're rarer than asians in Westeros. Some don't like that I'm appropriating, but I don't think everything in art needs to be so autobiographical. You ever get pumped to Drake's 'Started From The Bottom?' Exactly. It's an anthem, not a statement. What matters is that people are feeling a connection to what you're doing. That's why my next album I'm switching solely to songs about unclaimed orphans. They're so desperate to connect to something because no one loves them I may just go platinum."

"Everyone has fears. Mine are mostly lip readers. You never know if they're listening because they do it with their eyes. Like, you could be having a private conversation with someone and as long as they can see your mouth they know your secrets. People say 'why don't you just gossip less?' And to them I say 'there's no way you could have heard that from all the way over there.'"

"Ever since I can remember people have called me a 'cool dude.' Which, okay, everyone has a right to their own opinion. I do get into a lot of dangerous situations though. Maybe that has something to do with it? Last week I stopped a runaway bus, subdued an armed robbery, then made reckless love with enough supermodels I could have filled out an ethnic bingo card. And that was actually just Monday. See the thing is I don't really consider any of those things to be quote-unquote 'cool.' You know what I think is 'cool?' Being able to open up to others, raising your kids right and spending below your means. That's what real 'cool' is about, the things you do before fate puts a gun in your face. Now if you excuse me, that loft over there is a front for a sex trafficking ring... and it's in desperate need of liberation only my bare fists can provide."

"My parents own a miniature chicken farm north of The 6 - have all their lives. A lot of people don't even know they exist, which I find funny. Then again I guess I didn't either when I was young. When you're so small they just look like regular ol' chickens and it isn't until you really start outgrowing them that their size hits you. Full grown they get about as big as a Guinea Pig. And I know, I know you're wondering 'what would anyone ever want with birds so small?' Well for one they pack a lot of meat on them and it is heavenly tender. A breast will actually fit neatly across a Triscuit making them ideal for dinner parties. Their eggs are also ten times as flavorful and they tend to lay twice as many so you can easily whip together several pocket's worth of omelettes for on-the-go snacking. Personally I think they're adorable and the best part is, unlike normal fowl, you don't need much space to raise them. Why you could have your own coop right on your very balcony if you chose! Well at least a few weeks ago you could. Since then my parent's runs were struck by a pack of miniature foxes who ravaged their stock. Luckily not all of their mini-eggs were in one basket so they're rebuilding. I think the biggest bummer, well besides the loss of thousands of tiny avian lives, is how lame the dinner parties are gonna be for awhile. Miniature turkey quiches? No thank you."

"Is anyone's soul not a hurricane? Sometimes around people I find I'll be playing a character, then afterwards I think 'maybe everyone else was too?' What if all happiness is, is the perception it can be possessed and not just those fleeting moments, fixes that lure you to the next hit. It's funny cause I can remember feeling it when I was young, but not how it felt. It's like a distant dream. One I can't fall back into. I know I probably need a life change, hell nearly everyone I grew up with was able to do it. But after investing so much in your habits they kind of become your children... and part of you doesn't want to give them up. Because giving them up means letting a part of yourself go too. And there's nothing scarier than having an empty space inside you that you don't know what to do with. Anyway... I'm sure The Simpsons will get good again at least once more before they're cancelled, they have to right?"

"Ever notice how wherever you go the Friday deal is always fish? It's like who among the food people decided 'we all gonna do fish on Fridays, cool?' It's crazy. Be your own damn person, or restaurant or whatever. Funny enough it's actually the reason I dropped out of little league as a kid - and baseball was my jam man, my BA and RBI were so high they wouldn't've passed a drug test, ya feel? I coulda been Encarnación and a half if I wanted, but I couldn't take that fish slop dude. Every Friday after the game my dad got me one of those tuna subs, you know from Subway. I just remember it looking like what would come out of an old person's clogged shower drain. Ended up switching to Karate, which was on Tuesdays. Didn't really care for it, but at least I got tacos afterwards... for real though is it cause Friday and fish both start with 'F?' Like c'mon, why? Hold up I just Googled it. Apparently it's a leftover from some old school Christian fasting thing... huh... well that's dumb."

"Ask any DJ what the hardest move to learn was and they'll say the same thing: scratch stopping the record while someone in the room says something awkward. Takes a sharp eye to read a crowd, spot a mark that's gearing for a confession and make them regret doing it in public. But when you do, it is magical. I'm talking 'black people briefly walking away' type magical. Trick is to look for the fidgeters. The ones that dance like they have a drug withdrawal. Then it's just a waiting game. I've had some good ones in my day but I think the first time you pull it off as a DJ is always the most special. It was a few years back I was break swapping two Aviciis into each other when I spotted a guy finish admitting something to his girlfriend. I knew I missed my window. Damn distracting acoustic guitar riffs. That's when I saw the girl mouth she 'didn't quite hear him.' I was so excited I nearly scratched early. The guy took a deep breath and as he restarted his admission I lifted the needle: "I said I had sex with your brother!" On point. Three seconds of dead silence - an eternity to him - and then straight into a cued beat drop. Shit was tiiiiiight. Just goes to show if you dedicate yourself to your craft and are patient you can nail anything you set your mind to, including your girlfriend's bro."

"K so mhmm k I'm... the best 'dog mom' okay - isn't that right Cobbler! Such a goof. I used to be really into men, and for a short time girls and for a slightly longer time juice cleanses. But I was missing something alright. And that's when I met Cobbsy here! He was like just wandering this alley right, kind of gnawing the fingers off passed out addicts and I thought 'oh boy... if he likes those, he's gonna absolutely die when he tries my fava bean salad.' So I scooped him up and ever since it's been amaze. I mean a lot has to do with the coke still matted into his fur, but hey I'm sure any parent can relate! What's weird is I always felt like life just wanted to bone me... I never thought it would actually throw me one or more importantly that it would like make me want to throw it for someone else. In Cobbler's case actual bones though, made sure to collect a few of those unconscious drifters' knuckles after seeing how much he enjoyed them."

“The first time I met my lover was through the scope of a sniper rifle. He was the target. His assassination, my mission. Before then I had only seen photographs in briefings and all had failed to capture the kindness resting in his eyes. As I awaited the order, there was this moment where he seemed to look directly at me. Of course he couldn’t actually see me. I was half a click from the embassy gillysuited atop an old roof. But it was as if he knew I was there. Like he had been searching, not for an enemy, but for me specifically. And I felt found. When the voice came over the sat-com asking if I ‘had the shot,’ I lied. I requested permission to make an attempt on his life at an upcoming gala, in absence of the clean shot. Permission was granted. Leading to the event I spent every moment studying him, admittedly, trying to find anything that would convince me his expiry was earned. Yet it seemed his only crime was being born to the wrong side of a proxy war. At the gala, alone with my doubts, I heard a ‘hello?’ It was him. He said ‘you’ve been staring at me tonight. Why?’ My mouth pasted. He said ‘perhaps a drink would refresh your memory?’ I agreed. We spent the entire party in conversation. He was remarkably candid, speaking at length of his disdain for his father’s regime and how he desired to go to The 6 and see a Drake. The next morning I trembled in his suite’s washroom with an open bottle of his mouthwash and a lethal dose of cyanide. Then like an idiot, I flushed it. The following weeks bred a cycle of lying to my superiors and sneaking into my target’s quarters. Being seen together meant death for us both. One morning I received orders to keep clear of the embassy as it was to be taken in a military coup. The target refused to believe it when I told him. And when I confessed I had the intel because it had been my mission to kill him, he hung up on me... I left voicemails even as gunfire pin-cushioned his residence and it burnt to the ground. His death went unconfirmed. Part of me still hopes I’ll run into him. If only for one photo with that kindness to his eyes. The others from the briefing made him look like a tool.”

“I was once in a love dodecahedron. It’s like a love triangle, but way harder to keep track of everyone. No for real, like, I had to buy a cork board, pushpins and string just to make sense of my private life. Friends would come over and literally be all ‘ummmmm so which cold case are you solving?’ And really, I’d just be trying to pick who to bring to my niece’s birthday. It was… ugh, like, okay, for instance if I went too long without addressing my ‘roster of suitors,’ suddenly it was boombox orchestras outside or charmers by the door wrestling cue cards for front of the deck. The jealousy! At first I thought, k, if I keep an even supply of bad boys and ‘well-intentioned likeables in a story arc to find their confidence,’ then all their efforts will cancel out. But some of the jerks began seeing the error of their ways ya know, showing, like, character growth? Whereas some of the ‘likeables’ ended up turning into obsessive creeps. It got to the point where if I was ‘curving someone,’ I literally meant that’s what I was grading them on to be fair. I had to carry around a TI-83 for Christ’s sake! Then of course there were my own crushes and competition to deal with. You know what 'The Bachelor' looks like when cameras aren’t pointed at the women the whole time? Let me tell you, it gets sadistic. The roses at the end of the night are just clumps of blood soaked hair and scalp. Was friggin tough man. Every other damn week I’d find myself back at square one. Until one day I sit down to do the math right... and I realize, I’m doing actual math! So it hits me, maybe I’ve just been conditioned by, I dunno, culture?- to believe my love life needed complication to deserve a storybook ending. And I’m like, okay, wait, at the end of the day love is a feeling right?- not some calculation. If it’s real, it shouldn’t require Cartesian Geometry. And if I keep treating my relationships like equations, best I can hope for is to get carried over and still face subtraction. Long story summed, I’m in a muuuch more manageable love rhombus now. Sure, it’s not a total 180°, but when you have to start over again, square one is gonna have a few kinks either way."

"This'll be unpopular, but I think we're too hard on Kim Kardashian. Everyone says 'how is she even famous?' But you never hear the same asked of like uh, like Brad Pitt. Oh wait... that's right, he does movies. But hold on, what does he do in them again? He behind the lens framing shots? Nope. Writing snappy dialogue? Nuh-uh. Costume design and makeup then? Not a chance. Those things don't make you famous. He's an actor: basically a liar with a support system born with the right jawline. Yeah... waaaaay more deserving. Everyone knows he's only pretending to be people with real achievements right? It's just ridiculous, cause we're always telling kids to 'be themselves,' then give no props to the celebrities that actually earned their status as 'themselves.' You know what Kim once said? She said 'we all come with baggage, mine just happens to be Louis Vuitton.' Let that sink in. That's a great line and she impov'd it. No team of writers. No prep. Just her. Huh? You think the sex tape got her where she is? Ya just like the millions on Redtube all rolling in Kanyes now too hey? Alright I'm getting too worked up. Cry at the end of the day, not when your makeup's fresh right? By the way... that's another Kimberly original."

"You bet I'm still rollin' from last night. Had some primo connects hook me up on the down low baritone deep ya feel? Am I an addict? Uh ya man without a doubt. I mean the crowd I hang with uses a bunch too, but they're more casual about it. For me it's necessity. The rush I get after doing a line rivals the intensity of a Real Housewives pre-commercial cliffhanger. I get so charged. Pull the credit card out and it's line after line after line from so many keys. That is until I can't feel my face and can hardly look at myself. But by that point it becomes less about the man in the mirror... since most of my enablers want to hear me do 'Thriller.' It's my specialty on karaoke nights."

"I've been meaning to start living a little healthier, but not sure where to begin. Does running from commitment and your fears count as exercise?"

"Last April I discovered chicken hot dogs tasted just as good as pork hot dogs, but were way cheaper. Not long after that, ironically I entered a vegetative state known as a 'food coma' and remained unconscious for nearly nine months. Having woken up just two days ago, all I can say is... what in the ever living f*ck happened? How is that gold-haired celebutante still on top after everything that came to light? Opposition was one of the most qualified women in history at what she does and she called ol blondy out on literally everything. But here we are. Was her online stuff that leaked really that off-putting to people? Not like we hadn't seen stuff like it before. And don't try to tell me it's because of her husband either. He may have a questionable history, but he's still very very popular, especially with minorities. I just... I really don't get it. That yellow headed elitist snob is anything but a 'down to earth' and 'relatable' populist... and is a proven liar! Okay, you know what, no, I'll stop right there. It being minus seven out is already making it hard to relive the summer I missed without trying to wrap my head around how Taylor Swift could have a Top 10 single again after what she did to Kanye with Kim exposing it. Guess she must've had a trump card all along."

"It's strange. A lot of people don't seem to understand why law enforcement needs cavalry, but you never hear them complain about the lack of crusades we've had lately. Mounted police, or 'coltstables' as we sometimes call ourselves, are the main deterrent of steed-based crime. When was the last time you heard of a felony perpetrated on horseback? Probably what... a century ago? That's us. We're the reason you don't get lasso'd for your silver dollar on the way to the saloon, and we have a damn fine track record to prove it. Does that mean leaving behind a little excrement here and there as a warning to wrongdoers? Unfortunately yes. But would you rather the bandits feel safe or the fine people of The 6, cause all boroughs considered, this town still ain't big enough for the both of us."

"We just moved into one those new M.C. Escher inspired apartments. My husband and I adjusted pretty quick, but our little one here is at the age where she can sometimes drive us up the wall and upside down impossible staircases."

"I'm really into role play, but like not just in Skyrim and the sheets, I mean all day, the method actress's approach. My favorite is pretending to be people's guardian angel. It's super easy, cause basically you're just looking out for total strangers. That's it, that's all there is to it. Find someone stressed and fulfill their unexpressed wish. Parking meter expiring on an exhausted parent's minivan? Quarter that shit. Chilly drifter shivering in the streets? Leave a warm blanket when they're not looking. Someone's significant other suffering from irreversible renal failure? Go check the drifter's blood type for a quick kidney 'match n' carve.' It's honestly so rewarding I've on more than one occasion had to check if my optimum points were gone. Oh also get this, I was at a Fox & Fiddle last night and the server asked why I had so much blood spattered on me. 'Messy surgery today,' I said, not even role playing. Ended up getting wings on the house. Guess my hobby is catching on."

"Since I was little I dreamt of having a family that could be mistaken for a Roots ad. Flipping through magazines my friend Ursiya smuggled, I noticed the Roots models always looked coziest, bundled up like wholesome human shawarma. Many years later I met my husband, he's by the poutine truck right now, and we had four children: carefully spaced out the exact number of years for the perfect sibling archetype. There's the oldest: our responsible 'mentor' role. Second oldest: our 'follows in the oldest's footsteps, but is still trying to be their own person' role. Third oldest: our mischief-maker 'looks for attention sometimes in the wrong way' role. And lastly the youngest: our hard to stay mad at 'lovable brat that garners the envy of our third oldest because of limited available attention' role. When they could all finally nail their parts we knew it was time to apply for residence in The 6. Which brings us to here and now, because as a patriotic local brand might say: it was 'SNOW-OR-NEVER.' That's their sale... up to 50% off... we're hoping our story brings us in a family set to complete the picture. Also I know I know, you can't recall ever seeing a niqāb in a Roots ad before, and I won't get into the politics of why I choose to wear it, but I will say this: during the winter I save more than you would think on scarves."

"My daughter and I always had a pretty strained relationship. To her I was the frigid 'workaholic' that couldn't comprehend her stress at school and to me she was the ungrateful melodramatic teen that didn't know how good she had it. Anyway thanks to a gypsy curse, a few weeks ago I woke up in her body and she woke up in mine. When we finally tracked down the jinx, she told us the only way to break the spell was by coming to a newfound respect and understanding of one another. Superrrr. Fast forward a couple days masquerading as one another and I gotta say... I was so sooo wrong about her. Turns out she had it wayyyyy easier than I could have imagined. Being young and hot with no responsibilities? Dude I turned her into the most popular girl at school in like 3 days. All it took was having skin thicker than a baby pear and not giving a f*ck. So yeah, decided to keep her body at least until the menopause finishes in mine. Hope the brat is enjoying the 60 hour work week I'm indentured to until the end of time because of her spending habits. Now if you excuse me, I have a run to finish and a star quarterback to sleep with."

"Audio books is where it's at man. Honestly don't get why paperbacks are still a thing. Skimming pages is like the long division of reading. It's so dated dude. Sure you understand the fundamentals a bit better, but ay everyone got a calculator and headphones on their cell now so like why bruh? Might as well heave sundials everywhere in case you need the time too right? You know how many books I knock down a week? Man I eat the NYT Bestseller List for breakfast. Ya I got that new Nicholas Sparks on blast right now. TTC was shoulder to shoulder today. Picked off chapters like they were scabs. Girl across the train couldn't even open face clamp her fiction without trippin' into sternums left and right. Uh yep, people get like way too comfortable with how they livin' ya know? When if they opened up to change for like two seconds, their lives would be Easy Street. It's just crazy right, cause embracing change is like literally what every story ever written is about. So is it what, that people aren't putting down the numbers I'm doing? Weeeeeak. You ever see The Matrix? Where the dude downloads Kung Fu? Audiobooks: basically same thing. But everyone still lugging paper bricks around cause they thought the pill they chose was gonna be 'blue raspberry.'"

"Recently I've been working on getting out of my comfort zone. Like the other day I tried 'Speed Dating' for the first time, and I actually felt some really good connections. The only hard part was keeping the bus over 60mph."

"Once you hit 50 you've pretty much seen it all... 50 sexual partners that is. Learned that lesson in high school always needing extra credit. Eventually you realize there's a finite number of moves to everyone's playbooks, and yessss I've heard of 'Reverse John Stamos Style,' it's actually my specialty. But soon enough the surprises start to come few and farther between and then- well of course there's maybe a Thailand trip, but after that they kind of stop. And you feel cheated. Or at least I did. I went through a period of emptiness until a close friend of mine, this kind of nerdy girl I had known since childhood but never entertained romantically, came along and changed my life. She wanted to meet for lunch for an 'important talk' as she put it. So we met at this burrito place I had never been and well she basically accused me of treating intimacy like a game, trying to rack up a 'high score,' that what I was really missing was love and maybe it had been right in front of me the entire time. Then she just gazed into my eyes. I didn't know what to say so I took a bite from my burrito... and that's when I discovered Chipotle... woah... waaaaay better than sex. Haven't looked back since."

"In the 90s my father worked as Head Chef for a conglomerate of airlines, tasked with creating their in-flight meals. Yes, the ones relentlessly mocked by hacky comedians. It was sickening. They had no idea how hard he worked or the endless soccer matches I was left at because of it. I mean imagine having to design an entree simple enough that two flight attendants hired for their 'assets,' could whip up three hundred of in the space of a phone booth, and deliver in under half an hour. The fact they were even edible should have been a miracle! Instead his work was made a cheap joke. And it tore our family apart. By the time the premise went stale, my father had worked through my childhood and mother had drank herself into a coma. But after watching the doctors take her off life support you wanna know what really sucked? The hospital food man... straight garbage."

"So I'm a father now... swag. Quick message to all the other weak ass parents who had kids this year: best be investing in crutches now cause my little girl gonna be breakin' ankles out on the court. Damn straight. Any fathers out there that wanna contend 'Dad of The Year' are also welcome to square up. I got the light up Heelys ready to go moment baby girl learns to step right. She finna be glidin' round your off fleek bell-curve hugging tax breaks. That's right I'm talkin' honour rolls on honour rolls like we in a fancy carpet store. More liked than Beyoncé and still do whatever chores her mom spray. Real talk any bitch ass glass ceilings better watch out cause she'll already have the experience breakin' hearts. Give it 20-25 years and my little girl's birth gonna be the only thing that comes to mind when someone mentions '2016.'"

"With marijuana use in The 6 becoming more accepted, our dispensary has found a lot of success changing up the language we use. For instance nowadays we'll get, well I guess you could call them 'elitist' types, occasionally wandering in to see what we're about. Very easy to spot with their monocles and sword canes. We like to posh it up a bit for them. Instead of using the regular names, which they may find silly, we pop 'em into the google, type 'translate to french,' and that's what we say. Take 'Green Crack' for example, pretty popular strain of sativa and indica. It becomes 'Le Vert Fissure.' Very elegant huh... sounds like something you'd get from a concession stand at the opera. 'Grape Skunk,' that becomes 'Moufette de Raisin.' Which I hear pairs well with yacht club memberships. I mean, wine makers have been doing the same thing to make people feel self-important for centuries. Noir? Blanc? Rosé? They're just uppity ways of saying black, white and pink. If a couple berry squishers can dupe the upper-class into popping bottles, I don't see any reason we can't do the same to open their third eye. Do you?"

"Cheesus frickin' Christ, am I surrounded by animals? 4 seconds! That's how long I was gone for and now there's no nachos? It's like, I'm not even mad, that's bonkers. You all stuffing Tupperware down your blouses? C'mon... someone look me in the eye... Rachel? Don't play me, I see that jalapeño caught under your bra strap. And- hey! Hey Andre! I swear if that 'isn't' sour cream... wha- ya that's what I thought. Just so you know you're all monsters, ya hear? I spent like half my day on those. That was award worthy dip you just pawed down your BJ makers. Oh you think Jason's the life of the party cause he 'wile's out?' Nuh uh. Think again. Jason's a cheap trick. I'm the one shoveling coal in this boat's engines and hand to god I could sink it if you pushed me. Ya that's right... now will someone plllllease do a shot with me? No Rachel not you... you traitor."

"I mean sure, I guess you could say we're a bit of an odd team. Hell our heritage is riddled with vilifying each other's kind, even though our groups are more similar than people tend to think. So to us, just being out with one another feels like a public service. We feel like we're showing the world: yes, love conquers all, no matter how doomed or broad the differences may be. For instance, her family takes themselves very serious while mine likes to joke around a bit. You know, like we'll sometimes just sit there and laugh at how ridiculous and 'made up' the cities she reps sound. What? Oh c'mon you know they do babe. But at the end of the day the only origin that matters is that we're all human. Even though I'm Marvel for life and she's DC as Washington, I know I'm gonna love her until the very last issue hits its shelf."

"Is everyone around a hypochondriac or are these beats really as sick af as they say?"

"I made my first million before my 14th birthday licensing my lemonade stand brand to neighbourhoods across the continent. How many people can say something like that? Of course having an alcoholic mother and an abusive stepdad of the week didn't help, but it certainly didn't hurt either. My options were innovate or become like them, and with our low income housing, bed bugs and a shortage of food stamps the odds were stacked towards choosing the latter. However true motivation requires the right perspective, not silly words in needlepoint. Since then I've made it my life's goal to humiliate the dealer who delivered my hand. I now own more buildings than a Godzilla film could handle, enough trained tigers to populate a jungle and stakes in 173 companies - one of them makes gold dildos. When life gives you lemons, you go out and you make some f*cking dollars with them."

"When did Gushers Fruit Snacks get so expensive? Were they this pricey growing up? I swear they're like a luxury item now. Guess that's why my parents always made Greg and I share. He was my older brother and would never let me have the red ones. Just how things are as siblings, there's a hierarchy. Back then my mother used to take us for walks along the river where we'd see who could skip rocks furthest. Greg would win of course, I'd take second and mother was always last. She had weak wrists. One day we were hit by a flash flood and mom could only hold one of us from being carried away - wrists remember? She chose me cause I was lighter. That was the last time I ever saw my brother. It was devastating and afterwords mother was never quite the same, but man those red Gushers though... I'd been missing out."

"My friends think I worry too much, but after accidentally burning down three houses and an apartment building you start to learn the value of anxiety. By law I'm no longer allowed to own a straightener. Trust me we're safer for it. I own a lot of bibles though. Not because I'm 'Born again' or anything, they're just really useful when my scalp's frizzled and I have evening plans. I'll lay back and press my curls between 1st and 2nd Corinthians for a few hours and by go-time I look like Sandra Bullock post-shower. It's a hassle, but I guess so is grieving for loved ones lost in a carelessly triggered inferno. Sometimes I wish I could start over, you know, leave a flat iron plugged beside a box of Kleenex in my history. But I know it would only undo responsibility I've grown from guilt; the one thing that's survived all four blazes. People like to talk about 'slaying' their demons, I think I'd rather mine kick around and remind me to- oh no... okay I may have forgotten some Bagel Bites in the oven before I left today. Shit."

"I used to be one of those girls that let people walk all over her. Literally. I was addicted to Ashiatsu massages, the ones where they dig their heels into your L4. If you've never tried it, your spine probably resents being attached to you. The first time is like Christmas inside your back. After that you're basically chasing that original high. For me it got to the point I needed them wearing rugby cleats just to get the same tingles. That's when I knew I had a problem. I tried replacing my sessions with other vices: cigarettes, needlepoint, percosets. None of them scratched the same itch. One night I found myself in a cold sweat staring down a pair of Tims. I needed my fix and had an Uber scheduled to deliver me to the nearest parlour. Outside I heard the driver's horn, but when I went to meet them no one was there. The beep wasn't real. That's when I realized neither was the hole I was trying to fill. The only reason I needed a habit was because I believed I did. Beliefs are powerful like that. If you're not the one in control of them, it turns out they'll control you. I'm better now. I still get the odd vertebrae stomp, but it's much more casual. I guess sometimes all it takes to get your life in order is a willingness to put your foot down."

"I never planned on being a barber, that was Rico's dream. Him and I were in the same platoon though, and when you're in combat with someone you learn a lot about their hopes and dreams. Keeps you sane thinking about 'what could be' and not 'what is.' Truth be told I was more into model trains. Rico said it was because I have to be in control all the time. Okay Rico. He always enjoyed a good ribbing. I suppose he'd still be doling them out today if god weren't so cruel. One day while waiting for command we decided to pass time with a round of hackysack. Unfortunately all we had were live grenades; pins in of course. Turns out those pins were a lot looser than we anticipated cause after heel kicking it back to him he ended up with a hole in his belly the size of a watermelon. As he bled out in my arms I wondered if this sort of incident might keep me from passing Basic Training. It did. Following discharge I returned to Rico's widow and she remarried with me. Her and Rico had had six kids together and she needed all the help she could get. I found his ol clippers one day and decided to give hair slicin' a shot. Since then I've never been happier. Turns out you have a lot of control as a barber."

"Siiiiiiick, another match. Ya boy's Tinder profile is turnt today. Oh she's a Capricorn too, double score. Man I don't understand how people are against this modern dating. Other day I saw a post: since sex got easier to get, love got harder to find. Like okay dude, ever heard of 'The 60s.' Back then fast food joints asked if you wanted a 'handie' with your meal. You know what I think it is? People are afraid to get messy. They see perfect couples in movies and all up on the social media, but don't realize it's highlights. I think love should take some trial and error man. It's like that jump in The Matrix, no one makes it first leap. And even if you did, you gonna call it a day? You haven't even tried a Latino jump yet! All I'm sayin' is I'd rather meet my soulmate at the end of an orgy, than wait around hoping for a storybook romance I did nothing to deserve. Oh dope, just matched a french chick."

"People like to talk big game, but I actually did time for Harambe. Public Indecency: Three months. Had my meat hanging out and didn't notice the children's choir. Still think about them whenever the Coldplay they were covering plays. I think my wife would've been proud of me... if she were alive today. Hell she'd probably do the same if she had the noodle required. She was amazing like that you know. She died from an unexpected mosh pit at a Coldplay concert last spring. They must've been playing one of their bangers. So it's been a hard year to say the least. But I know they're both watching and wouldn't want me to stop being me, so as Coldplay would say 'Viva la Vida.'"

"My coworkers think it's weird that all I talk about are genocides. I've been through half a dozen though so it's kind of hard to talk about anything else. At a certain point you're just like 'here we go again... hope my race isn't the one being cleansed this time.' Funnily enough they're actually the reason I got into cooking. When you're hiding from the rebels and forced to eat each other or risk capture, you learn pretty quick what makes a good marinade. I'll give you a hint: it's not tears, that's for sure."

"I once mistook my dick for a microphone and because of that interview I'm not allowed on network television. It's funny, I think it would have been fine, but hosting reality tv has always been one of my major turn ons. Ended up paying for the guy's surgery. 3 years later my motivation to keep going is still the same: locating Frankie Muniz. I think I'm close to the end. Then again I could be 'In The Middle.' But hey it's all about the journey right?"

"I've had 14 children and a drinking problem ever since I can remember. Tonight I'm drinking to celebrate acclaimed singer-songwriter T-Pain's birthday, it is necessary. I lost my faith a few years back after coming to in the 'Cash Cab.' Since then I found Jesus in the taste of deep fried food and new Maroon 5 records. Life's been a trip but I've always had my passport ready. Oh hey, is that a reason to drink?"