Dead Light Bulb Spotter
Lifting up a classroom ceiling tile, Turner explained, “Now, you might think this one’s dead ‘cause it’s not on, but in fact…” Turner pushed it slightly. “It’s actually just out of place. An NNTP. No. Need. To. Panic.”
“Stop doing this profile on me I’m honestly not Batman,” said Pitt Junior Bruce Wayne. “My parents are from Transylvania and had never even heard of the character when they named me. I am a different Bruce Wayne,” he said before wrapping himself in his cloak and shuffling off into the night to solve crime and think about his dead parents.
“NO! No. NONE of that is true” Bruce Wayne yelled. But give him a break, his parents are dead.
A junior, Ivana is always meticulous in naming the things she enjoys. “I like water bottles, especially clear ones, and the way they reflect the yellow-ish light of the library,” she giggles. “See?” She says with a smile. “Yellow!”
As a philosophy major minoring in Canadian and Slovenian Art and Technology with a certificate in the Religious Studies of Wallabies, she enjoys diversity in her subjects, something she attributes to her parents always teaching her to, “follow her non-existent heart.”
Growing up in Pripyat, Ukraine, Ivana and her family became literal ghosts in the Chernobyl Disaster of 1986. Ukraine was a harsh place to live in after the accident. “My parents were farmers and dog-walkers, and had to make the switch to only growing and eating nuclear toxins and radioactive waste. We only ate radioactive waste because it became the only food our ghost organs could digest. My favorite food is radioactive french fries with nuclear cheese,” said Ivanova.
She traded in the comfort food of radioactive waste for Primanti Bros. “I technically moved to America ten years ago. My family moved to California where they became underwater basket weavers. They started a lucrative, international business, where they regularly funneled baskets and drug money, and through this where they were able to send me to the only private school for ghosts on the west coast. I was very lucky. They taught me so much about what it means to follow your passions.”
As for adjusting to life on the east coast, Ivana says, “Dating is hard. My last boyfriend was a zombie, and he only dated me because he couldn’t eat me. He said I was too ‘toxic’ for him. Whatever that means. He’s dead to me now,” she said.
A kind spirit, she plans on one day working for the U.N, and teaching art therapy to underprivileged wallabies in an orphanage she plans to build in Tanzania.
Editor’s note: In a previous version of this article, The Pittiful News reported that Ivana murdered an entire village of children accidentally. The Pittiful News also reported that Ivana’s parents were skilled rappers before the accident. This is inaccurate. The Pittiful News also reported her boyfriend was a cultist leader involved with Church of the Subgenius. The Pittiful News also reported Ivana’s favorite pastime is stalking Criss Angel. The Pittiful News regrets these errors.
“I fixed the lamppost, table fence,” he said. “I’m Jack, big strong man Jack, smart wondrous festive student Jack so good at words math puzzles tests,” said Jack. “Jack be a man so good he’s good as none who be so bad they’re worse than Jack.”
“I definitely know this move. I just need a second,” he assures us.
With his well-fitted khakis, tailored suit jacket, and surprisingly toned upper arms, Jack Inghoff might seem like someone who’s always had it all. But it took a lot for this 20-year-old to become Pitt’s chess prodigy.
“I don’t really know what you’re talking about. I mean, I have ADHD, but I’m pretty well medicated. I don’t think it’s ever really affected my chess,” he claims.
Jack is being modest. The Pittiful News knows all about Inghoff’s difficulties with his given name. With a name so similar to every preteen boy’s favorite pastime, it’s no wonder Inghoff has tried to distance himself from it: He goes by “J. Inghoff” during matches.
“That’s just how they put the names up on the scoreboard. Everyone’s is like that,” the wunderkind claims. “Can we talk about chess now?”
In order to survive vicious grade school bullying and endless workplace mockery, Jack Inghoff has erected a wall of denial too sturdy for the Pittiful News to break down in one brief interview. When we ask him why his parents hated him so much as a newborn, he looks at us askance.
“My dad’s name is also John. I’m John II, so they decided to call me Jack to tell us apart,” he says defensively, worrying a castle in his left hand. “And I can see what you’re typing, by the way. It’s not a ‘castle’ it’s a rook.”
The Pittiful News can only imagine what a touchy subject this is for Inghoff the younger, who was probably referred to with an up-and-down motion of the fist at the pelvis for most of his adult life. We try using this motion to see if he responds to it.
“You know what, I’m done. This is over,” Jack decides, tossing pawns and horses into their velvet storage sack.
“And it’s called a knight, for fuck’s sake.”
You can catch Jack in action at the 36th annual Greater Allegheny Chess Tournament this June, where he will compete against CMU’s reigning chess pro, Matt Sterbading.
By Riley Weber
The time is 6:58 PM on a Tuesday night. Jacob Bartley sits in his Sociology class, with his eyes not on the powerpoint, but the clock. 6:59, his stomach starts to rumble with anticipation, it’s almost time. Seated at the back of the class, he begins salivating. 7:00, finally! Snack time. Jacob reaches into his backpack and pulls out a warm thermos and a spoon. He can finally indulge in his favorite treat: a nice warm mug of delicious, homemade gravy. Jacob is the president three years running of the Pitt Gravy Connoisseurs, a club devoted to the creation and sampling of several types of gravy. The club is composed of three members, and was founded by Jacob in 2013.
Jacob is proud of his hobby, and happily explains the reason for the club’s existence to anybody he meets. “I always loved gravy as a kid. My mom made it all the time, sometimes just for me. When I got here, I was shocked there wasn’t some sort of association devoted to the godly sauce.” Despite his love for gravy, Jacob often catches a lot of flak for his tastes. Several of his professors have asked him why he eats gravy during class, and a few have even asked him to refrain from eating in their lectures. “It’s another reason I formed this club. Not only as a group of people with similar interests, but as a type of support group. Not everyone understands our passion, so we help each other through problems. Just the other week, I got broken up with after finally confessing to my girlfriend my love for gravy.”
We spoke to the ex-girlfriend, who simply told us, “Yeah, ew, right? What the fuck?” The Pitt Gravy Connoisseurs meet every Thursday night in the Schenley Café rain or shine, and Bartley encourages any Gravy enthusiasts, big or small, to attend.
“I just don’t think that my boy is ready for the difficulties of an independent life in college, even after the 18 years I’ve spent raising him with utmost care and comfort,” Sam’s mom said, adding that the world is such a dangerous place and she doesn’t want something non-good to happen to Sam. “From the time I decided not to vaccinate him, so as to help him develop natural immunity to diseases, chemtrails, pesticides, and the deadly dihydrogen monoxide that the government is poisoning us with, and all through his childhood of home schooling in a padded room with no TV, Internet, or sunlight, I’ve always found the wisdom and love to be the best mom possible.”
Sam’s mom has been living in an apartment a block away from Sam’s dorm since his freshman year. She spent all of her retirement savings to make one of the apartment’s two rooms an exact replica of Sam’s room at home, in case he ever got homesick. She uses the GPS tracker hidden near Sam’s heart to go to frat houses and parties with him to ensure his safety. “I always make sure that the alcohol and weed he might use are organic and pesticide-free,” she said, “and I stealthily test all the ladies in the house for STD’s and traces of consumed GMO’s.”
Being Sam’s mom isn’t easy. Besides telling off professors and TA’s for every non-positive comment about Sam’s work and sending anonymous and convincing death threats to anyone who makes fun of Sam, she says she sometimes has to defend her motherly protection against criticisms from haters who think they know how to be a good mother.
“When someone tells me I’m doing something wrong, I just shake my head and say, ‘Nope,’” Sam’s mom said, adding that her insightful argument always works. “I just stare at them indignantly and say, ‘Uh-uh. No-no-no-no-NO! No way, Jose, nope, nuh-uh. Like, noooo waaaaaay, nope.’”
Those who know her describe her personality as being so captivating that it’s like she just motions her hands and casts a few hexes and people follow. Anna’s ability to rally her peers is put to good use as pursues philanthropic activities, such as raising money for charity and cleaning up around the community. “I just really want to make the world a better place for when the Dark One rises from his slumber.”
In her rare moments of free time, Anna enjoys pouring her black heart into her poetry. Those that have had the great pleasure of being enveloped by her masterful words tend to describe the experience as deep, mystical, and utterly unforgettable, no matter how many hours you spend screaming in a vain attempt to expel the voices from your head. “It wasn’t until I was 16, when I went to my first poetry slam, that I realized how much I loved poetry. But none of that truly matters, for soon it shall be the end of times.”
Anna has big plans for the future. She plans to rule as queen of this dimension after allowing the demon lord Z̈̋̔a̿̽ͭ͆ͯ̒l̝̝̳̿̾g̢͈̱̞͙̫̰̟̓͗̔͆̈o̫̺̳̥̒͊̀ to sodomize her upon a pentagram marked field drenched with the blood of the innocent. “Fire will rain down from the sky and his vile horde shall emerge from the underworld and overtake all there is and all there ever will be. There can be no escape, only doom.” Anna’s words then suddenly transitioned into an indiscernible string resonant growls, but we’re pretty sure that before leaving us by bursting into a mass of smoke and locusts that she whispered “Trump 2016.”
A connoisseur of small and unwanted “trash,” Ian Tobits has taken the art of collecting to a new level.
“My collections are my most prized possessions,” says Tobits as he begins to describe the many items that fill the many jars that have taken up his already small Lothrop Hall dorm room.
The University of Pittsburgh junior began collecting in the summer after his freshman year.
“At the end of the spring semester, I waited patiently for my family to come and move me out, but they never did. No one from the University stopped by to check and see if the room had been emptied. Everyone forgot about me.” Over that summer, Tobits began to fill the void in his heart by taking in small items that most people would throw away. Scavenging the dumpsters, Tobits would pick through garbage bags with a fine toothed comb to find cool looking fruity pebbles, toe nail clippings, and hairs that people had found in food.
“Those items interested me the most, because I could never understand why someone would throw them away much like I was. Why did they throw me away?” Already spending most of his time alone, collecting became such a time consuming hobby that he did not have time to make connections with new people. That is when his collecting went to the next level.
“I was shocked when I realized how much time I had been spending by myself, but instead of dwelling on it, I decided to make it into a hobby. Now I collect the moments I spend alone.”
Due to the fact that Tobits has not left his room since July 18, 2014, corresponding with others via AIM, he has calculated that he has collected approximately 897,120 moments alone. “I am quite proud of this accomplishment. Most people have too many friends or loved ones to spend 623 days without seeing, smelling, or touching another human being.”
Tobits hopes that he can continue this collecting late in life, but says that what he plans on collecting may change as soon as he can figure out a way to properly harvest his tears.
By Ilya Yashin
You would’ve been pretty pleased with yourself, your present life and past decisions, if not for Better You lurking around the campus, in spaces that hold your shame and failure and regret.
“I haven’t spoken to Roc in years. I guess he’s so busy hanging out with all the cheerleaders and football players that he doesn’t have time for me anymore. I can’t blame him—I wouldn’t want to be anywhere near a sorry shell of a cat like me. So next time you’re watching a Pitt game, and you see my brother dancing around, think of me, and how much I’d give to be where he is right now. Think of dreams crushed beneath a furry paw.”
By Ossia Dwyer
A fixture of campus since 1987, Dirty Jeff has been opening students’ mind to space travel and government conspiracies at the laundromat for over 20 years. He got his start at Pitt as a student in the mathematics department.
By Ilya Yashin