What Really Happens When Girls Go To The Bathroom In Groups: A Piece of Investigative Journalism

By Sam Jarvis

It was a night like any other, all of us sitting around a big table in the middle of PF Changs. We laughed and ate beef and broccoli, flirting with the boys across from us. It had taken me months to infiltrate this group, hundreds of dollars worth of gel manicures to gain these girls’ trust and prove that I wasn’t a rat, I was their friend. I had fooled them.

Roxy chewed on a bite of orange chicken, reaching into her mouth to pull out a piece that was definitely too- something. She set it on her plate and I gagged in my mouth. It was then, under the dim lights of this critically acclaimed restaurant, that Lena made eye contact with us.

“I’m going to go to the bathroom.”

As soon as she said it, the girls looked to each other in understanding, rising from their chairs in unison.

“I’ll come.”

“Me too.”

I felt the temperature on my face rise. This was the moment I had waited patiently for, and I wasn’t going to screw it up. Lena looked at me.

“Are you coming?”

I nodded, stood. I took my purse with me but I’m not even sure why. I could feel my heartbeat in my ears, trying my best to ignore it so I could hear the end of Jacqueline’s story about switching eyebrow threading places.

Lena led the girls into the women’s bathroom and I immediately took mental notes of my surroundings. Three stalls, two sinks, automatic paper towel dispenser. This was information they’d need when I reported back to the agency. I’ll be honest, I was in a bit of a daze. Having always been a loner, I had never been asked to go to the bathroom with a group of girls before. I was scared, but elated.

Roxy went into a stall and without shutting it, started peeing. I adjusted my bra to make sure the wire I was wearing was still intact. Deep breaths, I thought to myself. I knew they were picking up my heartbeat in the audio.

Nothing happened for several minutes, as I pondered the possibility that I had gotten a bad lead. But suddenly, Lena and Jacqueline were talking in whispered code. As I leaned in, struggling to make out the words Cote d’Ivoire, and Tuesday is the drop off, I put it together. Holy shit, they’re arms dealers.

Roxy put on her reading glasses and scanned a detailed map she procured out of her bra. Lena asked if anybody had a tampon. I truly couldn’t believe what I was seeing: these women were selling machine guns to African soldiers.

Sudanese militants, secret weapon bases, they were discussing it all in great detail.
And as I watched tens of thousands of dollars pass from one girl’s moisturized hand to the other, I breathed for the first time in several minutes. My palms were sweating so profusely that I needed a paper towel to wipe them. I casually walked over to get one, but of course the machine couldn’t sense my hand motion beneath it.

All of the girls were looking at me. I glanced up nervously, wondering if this paper towel dispenser faux pas had demolished the cover I’d worked so hard to create. Lena saw the terror on my face.

“Something wrong?” She asked, putting a hand on her slender hip.

“Nope.” I said, as convincing as I could. I took Improv 101 a couple years ago and hoped to God it was shining through now.

It had been hours. They’d sketched out twelve drop routes, paid, in cash, for seventy five semiautomatic weapons, and made me try on four different shades of lipstick.

My focus waning, it was thankfully time to go. They rolled up the plans, stuffed them back in their undergarments, and took a last and final look at themselves in the mirror.

“I’m thinking about getting low lights,” Roxy said to both herself and no one. And although I couldn’t believe that millions of innocent people’s blood was on her hands, I did think she would look excellent with some darker pieces near her temple.

We walked back to the table, now completely cleared. All that remained was a small pile of fortune cookies. One of the guys looked up from his phone.

“What took you so long?”

Lena smirked, glancing at the girlfriends who flanked her sides. I was oddly proud to be one of them.

“Oh, you know. Girl stuff.”

 

You might also like Always A Bridesmaid, Never A Desk Lamp.

Weekly Horoscopes For Strong, Independent Women

By Sam Jarvis

Aquarius  
(January 20th-February 18th)
You’ve got a lot on your plate this week, Aquarius. Three Facebook friends are going to get engaged, and you will do squats in your living room while talking on the phone with your mom about how unhappy your cousin Megan must be now that she’s tied down. Remember to relax and remain optimistic about the future.

Pisces  
(February 19th-March 20th)
Ruler Neptune will decide a lot of your fate this week, Pisces. Your coworker is going to imply that you must be on your period since you didn’t reply to his email with, “the usual girlie exclamation points.” Your instinct will be to slice his throat from ear to ear, but try to hold back. You know he has a small penis. Let that be enough.

Aries  
(March 21st-April 19th)
With Mars as your ruler and fire as your element, things are going to be smooth sailing, Aries. You’ll get a bunch of Tinder matches, but you aren’t in a hurry to respond. This week will be better spent with your lady posse, drinking wine and discussing current events.

Taurus  
(April 20th-May 20th)
Watch out, Taurus. You’ll order a green juice and the guy will call you sweetie as he hands it to you. Tell him you are a badass bitch and the next time he demeans a complete stranger he should remember that he is talking to the owner of a company and not one of his sweaty ass food truck peers.

Gemini  
(May 21st-June 20th)
Your moon is over Venus this week, twin. Some guy’s gonna ask if you need help carrying that humongous Amazon Prime box full of stemless wine glasses to your third floor walk up. Don’t lose your cool. Say no thank you, carry that heavy ass box up three fucking flights of stairs, and put more money into your 2016 Roth IRA.

Cancer  
(June 21st-July 22nd)
With Mercury rising (?), it’s time for a change, Cancer. You’re starting to realize that maybe your boyfriend is a fucking loser. Has he washed his sheets in the last three months? You will hit your breaking point and dump him. Your bestie will respond to the news with a, “You go girl!” gif.

Leo  
(July 23rd-August 22nd)
You’ve got the travel bug this week, great lioness. You don’t need an excuse to book a trip or even a spa day, you’re a grown ass woman who earns her own paycheck. Spend the weekend in Palm Springs raging with older gay men. Go to a Korean spa and hang out with very naked Asian women while someone scrubs all your dead skin cells off. It’ll hurt, but in a good way. Treat yo self, girl!

Virgo  
(August 23rd-September 22nd)
Don’t be over analytical, Virgo. An old lover from your past will reenter your life, possibly stirring up forgotten feelings. Remember that you are doing so much better at life than they are. I mean for god’s sake, he sells supplements. Be polite, say hello, and keep it moving. It may feel better than you think.

Libra  
(September 23rd-October 22nd)
You’ll find balance in your apartment this week, Libra. Rearrange your space without any help from anyone. You don’t need a god damn man to move the couch. You like when your legs feel like noodles and you have two dead arms the next day. That means you did it all by yourself and now the chaise is on the south facing wall!

Scorpio   
(October 23rd-November 21st)
Biting your tongue will be your challenge this week, Scorpio. A guy you’re casually dating will bring up the fact that his ex used to cook him chicken pot pies on rainy days. Although you’ll immediately think to say, “Well you can cook your own damn meals with me,” try just giving a long, overdramatic eye roll instead. He’ll get the picture.

Sagittarius   
(November 22nd-December 21st)
With ruler Pluto, you’re going to find yourself feeling a little melancholy this week, Sag. You may be craving some male attention, and that’s okay. Flirting is not the same thing as needing someone to open this motherfucking jar of salsa that I’ve been trying to get open for the past three days. Like, is this what my life has come to? Bursting into tears alone in my kitchen eating shitty plain eggs with no chunky medium spice salsa? UGH like seriously, I knew I should’ve bought that little rubber square the last time I was at Bed Bath and Beyond but I was too focused on what I was going to use my 20% off coupon on. As if I have even used that stupid Vitamix a single time in the last three months. What a waste of money.

Capricorn  
(December 22nd-January 19th)
Don’t expect the worst this week, you sexy mountain goat. A new job offer or promotion may be extended to you, and it’s a good time to take it. It will come with a significant raise, so be sure to enjoy it. As Rihanna once said, “Bitch better have my money.” Also your DVR’s on the fritz so make sure it records The Bachelor this week. And delete all those episodes of Lockup: Raw. It gives you nightmares.

Read more of my short humor pieces here.

 

How Many Houseplants Is Too Many? 10,000?

By Sam Jarvis

Decorating your space is important to not only the aesthetic of the room, but also your happiness as an individual. And what better way to add some color (and oxygen!) to your apartment than buying a shit ton of houseplants. But how many is too many? Let’s discuss.

Look around your living room. Take note of any areas that get good light, and also every spare inch of the floor. Can you see the floor? Yeah, that’s no good. Honestly if it doesn’t look like a god damn Rain Forest Cafe in there, you’re going to need more houseplants.

Put shorter plants on countertops, side tables, desks, your cable box. Put taller plants everywhere else. Sooo many tall plants, okay? Put a plant in every drawer of the kitchen. Put fifty in your closet. Just start gluing leaves to the walls. It’s going to really liven up the space.

Now I’ll be honest, 10,000 is probably too many, especially for a one bedroom apartment. But 9,990 is usually about right. Also flowers fucking suck, don’t buy flowers. They’re dead. They’re already. Dead. Houseplants are ALIVE, and you generally want things in your apartment to be living and not dead. Roommates, cats, foliage.

Once you have literally zero space left, sit on your couch and enjoy the beauty around you. See, that was a trick!! There shouldn’t be any space on your couch because you guessed it, houseplants.

Read more of my short humor pieces here.

Always A Bridesmaid, Never A Desk Lamp

By Sam Jarvis

Let’s face it, I am an amazing bridesmaid. I’ve got extra bobby pins. I know the right pace to walk down an aisle. I can inform Aunt Georgia that the reception buffet is the wrong place to tell the story of how she walked in on Uncle Bob spooning his tennis student. And as I watch every beautiful bride walk down the aisle, her soon-to-be husband smiling at her in what I’m certain is the most incredible moment of their lives, I will dab a tear from my eye. And then of course hold her bouquet and straighten out her dress.

I’m happy for my friends. Really, I am. But when is it going to be my turn? My time to shine onto a neatly organized surface, illuminating a collection of paper clips near a days-old coffee stain? It’s hard to watch the girls I grew up with get zipped into dresses, one after another, knowing that I may never get the chance to gather dust in a cubicle, a Post-It note saying, “Pay gas bill!” taped to my base.

You can’t force these things. I know that. But if you haven’t turned into a desk lamp by the time you’re 30 or 35, you start to worry that it may never happen. I’ve baked penis-shaped cakes, lunged for bouquets in turquoise chiffon, and scoured social media for anything filtered and cropped that’s missing #TimHeartsSarah. But will I ever be surrounded by a mug full of pens and a half-eaten granola bar that is quickly attracting ants?

The next time someone asks me to be their bridesmaid by sending me an adorable Pinterest-inspired DIY photo frame, I hope that I will be in the position to respectfully decline. I will tell her that I can’t, partly because David’s Bridal doesn’t make dresses small enough for office supplies but also because my Saturdays will be spent sitting silently in an empty, dark office, excitedly awaiting the arrival of a bustling Monday. I will therefore be unable to attend your celebration of love at the Marriot by the airport.

It’s important to have hope, to have patience. I struggle with that sometimes. But tonight, as my head hits the hotel pillow, spinning from the open bar and several rounds of the Horah, I feel at peace. Someday I will be complete. I will be a desk lamp, watching Nate from accounting pick his nose and wipe it under his swivel chair. And I can’t wait.

Read more of my short humor pieces here.

The Feminist Wolf

By Sam Jarvis

I’m always cold. Sure, it’s a girl thing. But it’s not so much that I’m cold in bed, my frigid feet snuggling up against a warm partner. Or that I’m cold in the office, the thermostat seemingly always lower than it should be. I’m more so cold because it’s fucking snowing outside and Alaska is freezing as shit. Fur or no fur, I’m ready for bikini season.

My pack is wonderful. I love my family, I love our domain. We have 20 square miles, but our den is homey. We roam our territory day in and day out trying to put food on the table for the kids. I mean pups. Mmm, I could go for a kid right now. Small goats are rare here but with a little lemon and pepper it would make a fine dinner for a school night.

There are dangers, but the men piss all over everything so they don’t have to murder the shit out of other wolves that come into our space. Do you know how many fictional loads of laundry it takes to get blood out of your husband’s muzzle after he’s fucked up a rival wolf? Make up wipes don’t do the trick, that’s for sure.

Wolves mate for life. But if my husband got killed or something, I would have to be with someone else. I wouldn’t have another option, really. And that’s the problem. There is not a lot of choice for us women wolves, and I’d like that to change.

I’m in a fucking dope ass wolf pack, okay? Like, we are the shit up here in Alaska. Oh, you’re a brown bear? You might as well be Lennie from Of Mice and Men (which is a wonderful read, by the way. I have it on my Kindle.). Wolves are different. We’re super awesome. Would you rather have a fat ass bear on your sweatshirt, or a sleek, mystical wolf? Right. You get me.

But even so, I am left with the feeling that as a female I can’t have it all. Every year when I get pregnant, I have to stay in the den until the pups are born, and even then I have to rely on my husband to bring home the bacon (or moose, deer, sheep, some bison burgers. Depends on the night.) And while it is lovely that he does so, I want to work too. Why do I HAVE to stay home with the children? I had a job before I got pregnant. I’m just as good at draining the life out of things as he is. Yet the second you’re knocked up it’s like none of that matters, and you have to just concede to being a mother and ONLY a mother. Can’t I still be a terrifying blood-hungry wolf, who just happens to have offspring?

Sure, there is a lack of babysitters amongst the pack. Not a lot of bubble gum chewing teens texting their BFFs while watching Pretty Little Liars. I understand that. But I guess I’d like it if my husband helped out too. He could spend a day in the den while I go out and piss on shit. I want to show everyone that we aren’t just baby making machines. We’re strong and powerful. Our purpose in the workforce doesn’t end when we get pregnant with a litter of small baby wolves.

So let’s fight, and prove that we can be anything we want to be. CEOs, athletes, predatory mammals! Don’t let a dominant male tell you shit, girl. You do you.

Because as the moon rises above us, its light shining onto our glistening grey fur and we howl into the darkness, it’s important to remember one thing. Even if things never change in our pack, no matter what, we are still (quite literally) badass bitches.

wolf military jacket feminist

Read more of my short humor pieces here.

Suicidal Math Teacher (The Downs and Downs of Mr. Greenwald)

By Sam Jarvis

The only thing Mr. Greenwald liked was numbers. Problem solving of any other kind was just too hard. Every day, he went to work in a bad taupe suit and looked into the eyes of 25 freshman. Was this all his life had become? A turkey sandwich for lunch and chalk on his hands? He stood in front of the class.

“Say there was a train traveling 70 miles per hour, and 3 miles down the track I’d tied myself to the rails.” He began. “How long would it take the train to hit me?”

“Don’t you mean how much time would you have to free yourself?” Rachel Cunningham asked.

“No.” He responded. Abigail Billows raised her hand.

“2.57 minutes.”

“Not soon enough, I say. But correct.” Mr. Greenwald paced as students passed notes and stared at the walls. He stopped, noticing chalk on his pants. He tried to brush it off but ended up spreading it even more. “Now let’s say-“ he continued. “I was at a record store and they were having a sale. Buy one CD for $13, get another 30% off. If I had $35 and planned on jumping out of my apartment window later that night, how many CDs could I buy?” Mr. Greenwald waited for a response. Trevor McGinley blinked at him.

“Um, sir? We’re supposed to be learning about parabolas today.” The class erupted in laughter as Mr. Greenwald set his chalk down. A paper football was launched in his general vicinity. He exhaled, rubbing his eyes with such force that he wondered if gouging them out should be part of today’s lesson plan. His vision soon refocused on the stupid kids in front of him.

“What if I had a gun and was going to shoot myself in the head. How far away could I hold it and still have it kill me instantly? Bullets travel at 1,126 feet per second, if that helps.” Abigail again raised her hand as Mr. Greenwald nodded in her direction.

“I would suggest putting the muzzle right up to your skull if you wanted to guarantee being killed instantly. The velocity of the bullet wouldn’t really matter at that point.”

“Also,” Rachel Cunningham chimed in. “Your sandwich just fell on the floor.”

Read more of my short humor pieces here.

Circus

By Sam Jarvis

Come one, come all, to the greatest attraction you’ve ever seen! All of the wonder and magic you could possibly imagine, with the greatest talent in the world! Introducing, for the first time on stage, spotlight please, drumroll… The woman who juggles!

In one hand she has her sick mother! She needs constant care and still has a house full of old yearbooks and crap to sort through! They’ve never been close, but now that she’s dying that doesn’t matter and she has to handle everything her mother is leaving behind!

In the other hand is her dream job that took her six years to get! The hours are long but eventually she might be happy! If only her evil boss Ted would cut her some fucking slack once in awhile everything would be good but of course he doesn’t so her dream job is quickly becoming her worst nightmare! Does she even want to work in this profession anymore? Who knows! Life is hard!

And up, way up in the air, is her serious boyfriend who is ready to settle down, boy he’s really flying up there! Even though there is a lot going on in her life he wants to get married and have babies as soon as possible!!

Can she fling her almost dead mother into the air just as her future husband comes crashing down to the hand that holds her dream job? We’ll see! Gather in the center tent, ladies and gentlemen, for the most thrilling show of the season!

Read more of my short humor pieces here.

Delay

By Sam Jarvis

The flight had already been delayed 6 hours, but he was finally getting close to his boarding time. They’d pushed it back twice, once for bad weather and a second time because the incoming flight got rerouted, but Josh had a good feeling about this. They’d be on their way soon.

“Ladies and gentlemen patiently awaiting the boarding of flight 3775 nonstop service to New York’s La Guardia, I’m sorry to inform you there has been another delay.” The speaker system was muffled but the message clear. “We will now begin boarding at 11:15 instead of 9:05. We apologize for the inconvenience.”

Josh slammed his ten-dollar Chilis To Go turkey Panini onto his lap. He then gathered all of his belongings, his roller carry-on, his suit bag, and headed to the gate desk.

“Excuse me, but what in the hell is going on here?” he asked a meek but adorable airline employee. She chuckled, lipstick on her teeth.

“Well this is pretty typical of hell, sir,” she answered, continuing to type on her outdated keyboard.

“What’s the hold up?”

“Hmm, help me decide. Should it be de-icing? That we have to de-ice the plane?” Her eyes were filled with excitement at the thought. Josh looked outside.

“It’s 85 degrees out,” he responded. She laughed hysterically.

“Oh my God you’re right. I can’t say that! How about like, a bird got caught in the engine? That’s a scary one.”

“I’m sorry, but I’m afraid I don’t understand.”

“You asked what in the hell is going on. This is always what’s going on in hell.” Seeing that he still didn’t follow, she glanced at his ticket. “Mr. Hartnett?” she said, now sweeter. “You do know you’re in hell, right?”

“Hell?”

“Yep! All the books had it wrong with that fire and brimstone business. Hell is just an airport where your flight gets delayed every few hours for eternity.” With this Josh Hartnett gasped, taking a few steps back.

“Wait, I’m dead? Why didn’t I get into heaven?!” She looked at him, very serious now.

“You know what you did.”

He was horrified, until a smile broke from her face. “I’m just kidding, I say that to everybody! I don’t know why you’re here. I mean sure, murderers are all over this airport, we all know that’s bad. But beyond that it could’ve been anything. Did you pay all of your parking tickets?” She laughed and touched his arm. “I loved you in Lucky Number Slevin, by the way.”

“Yeah, thanks. So my flight will he delayed forever?”

“Yep! But there’s complimentary shoe shining at gate B14, so that’s kind of cool. Although remember to tip.” Josh scratched his head. “Also I would buy a neck pillow if you ever want to get any rest.”

“There are only like, four places to eat here.”

“I know, right? Couldn’t Satan have made it an international terminal? Those are so nice.”

“So it’s just Chilis To Go forever,” he started, now losing hope.

“Afraid so. And don’t try to get a discount because of who you are. This place is teeming with celebrities.”

“And murderers.”

“Yes! And murderers. And people hogging the charging stations!” She looked at him warmly now. “Anyway, what should your next delay be? I’m thinking storms over Tulsa. An oldie but a goodie.”

Read more of my short humor pieces here.

Heartbreak: A Vampire and a Mosquito

By Sam Jarvis

The vampire stood in front of the mosquito, trying to keep his eyes on her as she hovered.

“Please, Leonard,” the mosquito begged. “Don’t do this.”

“You’re great, but I just think we’re moving in different directions.”

“But we have so much in common! Drinking blood? That’s a big one.” The mosquito looked helpless. She tried to flutter her eyes, be sexy, but the vampire shook his head.

“I’m dead and you’re a very small bug. I just don’t think it’s going to work.”

“But we BOTH drink blood! That is like, super bonding.” She argued, flying slightly closer.

“Yeah, I get it, we both drink blood. But that isn’t enough to sustain a relationship.” Now the mosquito was getting annoyed. She sighed with gusto.

“What about all of our plans? Our travel dreams?”

“I don’t remember making any specific plans,” he started, now kicking the dirt at his graying, crusty feet. “I thought this was more casual.”

“Casual? You thought this was CASUAL?” Her little arms were now crossed. The vampire sighed.

“Look I like you, but you’re coming off as clingy.”

“I thought we were in love.” Her eyes darted around, tears streamed from her tiny face.

“I’m sorry, but I’m done. You gave my sister four bites and she was itching so badly she needed to go to the dermatologist to get prescription cortisone cream.”

“I thought she was some floosy trying to date my man!”

“I’m not your man, Veronica. And if you don’t leave me alone I’ll have to buy bug spray.”

The mosquito shook her head in disgust.

“You are not the vampire I thought you were, Leonard Van Hausen. Not that vampire at all.”

Read more of my short humor pieces here.