Let’s Update the Postal Creed

19926If you visit New York City’s Farley Post Office, you’ll see the following inscription: “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.” Because of the popularity of this phrase, most Americans assume the postal service will go to great lengths to deliver the mail. My name is Freddy Ahearn. I’m a postman from Romer, PA. And I’m here to say one thing: fuck that noise.

Seriously, did you read that inscription, or just skim over it? It starts with “Neither snow” because it can’t ease into the hard stuff. I’ve delivered mail in the heat. Start there. Or maybe with a cool Spring day! If it snows out, I’m going back to bed and delivering your circular and Southern Living the next day. You don’t need mail that badly.

If it rains, why do I have to get soaked? Have you ever tried carrying a mail bag and an umbrella at the same time? It’s fucking impossible. When I DO pull it off, my routes complain because the mail is soaked. Until there’s an umbrella wide enough for me AND the mail, just shut the fuck up, OK?

Don’t even get me started on “gloom of night”! Who speaks this way? Also: WHO DELIVERS MAIL AT NIGHT?!? Once that sun sets, I’m headed home. Did I not reach your house in time? I’ll simply start there the next day. People complain that this makes delivery unpredictable, but guess what: your tips are unpredictable. You wait until the holidays, and then it just so happens that you go on vacation and “miss” me. But yeah, go ahead and complain to my boss because I’m not out there slinging paper under the GLOOM OF NIGHT. Y’all are fucking crazy.

I know what you’re thinking: why do I still do it? I’ve tried so many times to get out of the game. I failed the UPS driving test. I failed the FedEx driving test. I failed the DHL driving test. Yeah, sure, LaserShip doesn’t have a driving test, but I can’t go home for the holidays and tell my dad I work for LaserShip. At least the post office has a long and proud tradition. LaserShip’s creepy vans are going to show up on To Catch A Predator one day. Mark my words.

Naturally, this is why I’m trying to become a writer. Will you be reading this in The New Yorker? Hopefully. If not, I’m sure some other fine publication will pick it up, and pay me a king’s ransom to run it.

The next time you complain about your mail not being delivered after your town gets 3 inches of snow, remember me. Remember my pain. Remember my aspirations. And then look me up on Amazon.com to see if I’ve managed to publish a book. If I have, please buy it. You won’t regret it.

Freddy Ahearn is a postman in Romer, PA. He is available for freelance writing gigs.

Tips for Student Filmmakers

Amovie comps a former filmmaker-in-training, I know how difficult it can be shooting that first college short without the proper knowledge and guidance. Sure, I picked up a thing or two from watching movies in my spare time, but the rest I had to learn through months of trial and error. In an effort to reduce some of that burden, I’ve written five helpful tips to get all of you future Steven Spielbergs on the right track. Enjoy!

Nick Klinger | co-founder, JohnAndNick.com

Always film on campus.

Your college campus is extremely versatile. Is your opening scene at a swanky restaurant? Toss a bed sheet over a table at the cafeteria. Need a dark alley for that drug deal gone wrong? Try the back entrance of the auditorium. Heck, you can even pass off the school library as a regular library. With a little imagination, there’s no end to the possibilities! And you can’t beat the convenience of filming five minutes from your dorm.

Don’t be afraid to cast one of your teachers.

Believe it or not, they’re excellent actors. Whether you’re looking for an overbearing parent or an uptight boss, your school’s TV/Film faculty are the right folks for the job. And be sure to stay in touch after you graduate. It’ll make casting your first feature that much easier! Hello, Oscar? It’s the teachers’ lounge calling. Yes, we’ll hold.

Use really obvious symbolism.

If your protagonist is at a crossroads in life, put him at an actual crossroad. Need something a bit more introspective? Film him staring into a mirror. Audiences, especially critics, eat this stuff up. Plus, it makes you look like a total pro.

Hire that student who brings his acoustic guitar everywhere to score your short.

No doubt he’s been toying with something filmic for a few years now. Don’t know him very well? That’s okay. Next time you two pass on the quad, say something like “Wow, cool guitar!” or “Pardon me, are you a musician?” You’ll be swapping favorite Zeppelin tunes in no time. If you play your cards right, he may even invite you to his next open mic!

Write, direct, edit, produce, and star in everything you make.

Collaboration and compromise will get you nowhere. Hollywood is a cutthroat industry, and the only way to survive is by putting yourself ahead of others. Who’s the best man* for the job? You, that’s who.

*Can also apply to women.

 

State of the Ünion

John3We like to have fun and games here at JohnAndNick.com, but today is all about business. I am going to walk you throw how this cutting-edge web site is going to monetize itself and scale that monetization across the globe. We’re not just here to make money. We’re here to boil the ocean.

Our plans will take us above and beyond the competition. Sure, our content is better, but our strategy is taking us outside of the box and into new and interesting fields of thought and territories of practice. This is a dynamic and proactive web site. We don’t rest on our laurels here.

Nick and I are on the same page. We’re giving 110%. Our mindshare is strong. But we don’t make the past an expense of our future. We are mobilizing behind great ideas moving forward, while circling back to the nuggets that have made us successful to this point. At the end of the day, however, we have no choice but to take it to the next level.

Iteration is the name of the game today. But we must reimagine iteration and swap out some letters: iteration is now creation.

The window of opportunity is closing. We must incentivize readers, and then facilitate them when they arrive. We’re attacking this problem with hybrid solutions that have yet to be employed on the web. They have a horse in this race, and it’s us. Giddy up. Once locked into our ecosystem, they will have no better venue in which to socialize.

Of course, there’s an opportunity cost with risks like this, not to mention out of pocket expenses. We’re getting our ducks in a row on the financial front. We’re in battle, but we are sure to come out ahead. We don’t skip across the lake; we drill down into core issues and make sure we’re competent in all fields. Once we achieve that, we streamline.

In the end, this is all about moving the needle. This trail blazing plan is not only a game changer, but a win-win proposition for ourselves and our core constituency. It’s time to go big or go home. Let’s circle the wagons, gather our best ideas in the parking lot, and capitalize on our actionable goals.

Future-proof. Synergy. Paradigm shift. These have always been the core tenants of JohnAndNick.com, and I look forward to taking them — and you — into the 22nd Century.

To infinity … and beyond,
John Carroll
Thought Leader
Carroll ünd Klinger Enterprises

My Pending Freelance Pitches

Being a freelance writer is hard work. You’re required to juggle dozens of projects at a time. I thought I’d peel back the curtain a bit and let you see my current works in progress:

John2 The New York Times
— TRAVELOGUE: send me to Thailand with $5,000 and I’ll write about how I spent it
— what I found in my father’s attic after he died (timing TBD)
— an article that’s entirely made up of corrections*

The New Yorker
— Talk of the Town piece about this party I’m going to next week (hosted by Billy Crystal’s older brother Joel)
— Shouts and Murmurs piece; very Woody Allen-esque (will steer clear of scandal)

Philadelphia Magazine
— Why the Cheesesteak is the Best Sandwich in America

New York Magazine
— Why Pastrami on Rye is the Best Sandwich in America

New Orleans Magazine
— Why the Po Boy is the Best Sandwich in America

Chicago Reader
— Lunchtime thinkpiece: Why I’ll Take Deep Dish Pizza Over A Sandwich Any Day of the Week

Gawker
— an article that’s written by the commenters but commented on by the staff members
— James Franco!

Jezebel
— thinkpiece on how Lena Dunham is single-handedly saving television

Maxim
— Lena Dunham takedown*
— How a bad vajazzling damaged my penis*

BuzzFeed
— 20 things that only a freelance writer can understand*

Grantland
— an oral history of Michael Jordan’s time with the Washington Wizards
— an oral history of that time Manny Ramirez used the bathroom behind the Green Monster*
— an oral history of ARLI$$
— an oral history of oral histories

Golf Digest
— the 7 habits of highly effective putters

USA Today
— A feature on which podcasts celebrities listen to (please note that I have ins with Kevin Sorbo, Debra Messing and Verne Troyer)

* denotes ideas most likely to go viral

Information Regarding My Content’s Availability

John1

Hello. My name is John. Please consume my content.

My content is available on a number of different platforms. It is platform-agnostic content. My content is available on the PlayStation 3, the XBox One, iPad, Surface 2 RT, iPhone, Android, your old Palm Treo, Apple TV, Roku, Windows XP, kitchen counters, local zines, filing cabinets, Medium, alt-weeklies and fundraising brochures. There are content providers who have prevented me from naming them in this list until their content providing platform is available for purchase, but I assure you, my content is there as well. (This includes tomorrow’s newspaper.)

In this content-rich media environment in which we now live, I know consumers have tough decisions to make about what content they consume. I assure you that my content is rich, but not too creamy; light, but not airy; absorbent, but not afraid to take a stance. My content is eminently consumable: admirers say it demands to be consumed, while critics confess that they can’t help but consume it.

I am now ready — nay, thrilled — to announce that my content is available on several additional platforms, thanks to recent cross-platform deals struck by my content and its global media partners. My content is now available on Sonos, Fitbit, pajama bottoms, Flipboard, Google+, the grapevine, Facebook, Instapaper, Pocket, Readability, your local Chinese takeout menu and, of course, Tumblr.

My content is ready, willing and able. It is also available in whatever format you desire: EPUB, MOBI, PDF, MP3, MP4, M4V, DOC, DOCX, TXT, RTF, EXE, DMG, LaserDisc, CD, Blu-Ray, DVD, copy paper, loose leaf paper, and daydreams. My content will be retina-ready by Q3 2014.

If you have any questions about my content, please contact it before leaving a rating. Thanks for consuming my content. Remember that you can follow my content on Twitter @_mycontent.

I Took Kate Upton To Prom And All I Got Was This Lousy Blog Post

by Pete McCormick
Senior, Newbridge High School

I gotta admit: when I made that YouTube video asking Kate Upton to prom, I didn’t think I had a chance in hell. I only asked because Fat Dom said he’d give me his Amazon Kindle Fire HD if she actually said yes. As you probably know, McCohorts, the video went viral and Kate Upton said yes. So I got that Amazon Kindle Fire HD, right? WRONG. Fat Dom’s fat parents called my parents and the whole thing was off. But if you think that’s a travesty, just wait until you hear what it’s like to go on a date with Kate Upton.

Don’t get me wrong: when Kate responded to my video and not only said yes, but offered to cover transportation for me and my crew, I was amped … until she pulled up in a Hummer Limo. A HUMMER LIMO. My family respects the environment, Kate, and you bring the biggest Hummer possible into my driveway? We compost! We drive a Prius! We own An Inconvenient Truth on Blu-ray!

Anyway, I tried to let it go. I was taking the hottest woman in the universe to prom, so why not keep it chill? We slid into the Hum-Lim and headed off to pick up my buddies Jimmy Deegler — most of you know him as Deegs — and the aforementioned Fat D. I’d swiped a classy bottle of el vino from my parents’ “hidden” stash. But as I filled our solo cups to the brim, Kate told me she didn’t want any wine. I insisted, but she shot me down again. This was primo stuff, man: a Yellow Tail Shiraz. At this point, Kate pulled out a small orange bottle and started popping some pills. She said she had a headache. I asked her to save some for me. “Shiraz always goes straight to my head,” I confessed. But Kate told me she had counted the pills, and that I better not touch them. I almost had the driver turn on the heat because things were suddenly ice cold.

Things started warming up when we got Deegs and F-Dom in the H-Lim (a.k.a. The Fat Dom of Limos). I was double fisting my Australian reds while Deegs cracked open a case of Keystone Light. The party was finally kickin’ into gear. But you’ll never guess what happened next: Kate started chugging a beer. My Shiraz hadn’t even properly aerated before Kate grabbed a second Peestone, stabbed it in the side with her house key, and shotgunned the whole thing. My beauty had become a beast.

When we finally got to prom, I started feeling better. My jams, man. Picking me up. Feeling that bass in my feet. I’m on the dance floor, putting in work. Kate wandered off to the bathroom and I got me some ME time. The entire room was hoppin’. And then it went next-level when the DJ blasted that medley of songs from Pitch Perfect. It was just, well, a pitch perfect moment, and I forgot about the disaster that was Kate Upton until she draped herself over my back. She put her wet mouth right in my effin’ ear and started groaning like a dying dog. “Pete, Pete,” she says, “I wanna feed the kitty.” I got a little harsh with her: “Kate, what in the hell does that even mean?” And then she just dove in and tried to get her a sip of Irish whiskey: her lips on my lips. I did what any sane man would have done: I shoved her away. “You disgust me, Kate Upton,” I yelled, loud enough so that she could hear me over the Macklemore cut the DJ had rung up.

I turned and stormed off the dance floor. I was straight FUMING, but fortunately I had the chance to cool off with my Calc teacher, Mrs. Carmine. Boy was she a sight for sore eyes: she’s obviously not my age, but she looked bangin’ in her blush pantsuit. “Mrs. C,” I told her, “I should’ve taken you to prom instead.” We both shared a good laugh about that, but then she dropped some knowledge on me.

“Go have a good time, Pete,” she said. “You don’t want to look back in a decade and regret making a viral video to get a celebrity date to your prom.” And I told her: “You’re right. You’re absolutely right.” I looked over her shoulder at the lonely Skyler Jones and something dawned on me: Skyler is totally into me, and she always will be, so I should make sure Kate Upton has a good time tonight, get her home safely, wake up for my interview with the local newspaper, fly out for my Today show appearance on Monday, then eventually date Skyler at some point in the future when I have no better options.

So I turned back to the dancefloor to find Kate. Except now her face was attached to the Fattest of the Doms, Fat Dom. That’s right: my best bud was making out with my celebrity date. I just started weeping right there on the dance floor. JT’s “Suit and Tie” was playing at the time, and is just forever ruined for me. Mrs. Carmine and Skyler both took me out into the lobby and tried to console me, but they were just lone kayaks in my raging river of tears. (Poignant, right?)

I’m sorry I ever asked you to prom, Kate Upton. I hope you get the help you need, and that you get it soon. In the meantime, I’d appreciate it if you could pass along my contact information to Penny from The Big Bang Theory. I need a date for my post-graduation bash. It’s gonna be a pool party.