The “Perpenplanker”: A Campus Legend Unmasked

by Celine Delaunay, Moderate Annoyances Correspondent

It was several months ago, on November 4th, 2016, that it was first reported that a man was spotted on the exterior wall of Wean Hall. As there was no physical evidence or substantial witnesses to corroborate this story, the tale was deemed simply a poorly executed prank. But when he was seen on the walls of the UC on the 7th and then again on the 15th on the side of our very own Margaret Morrison, it could no longer be dismissed.

After many months of failed attempts where it seemed the wall stander would disappear right as readme got wind of his whereabouts, he would vanish, this past weekend, finally, one of our own was able to successfully go undercover in order to find and interview this man.

His name is Norm A. Lity, a sophomore here at CMU with an undeclared major. He was very clear that he referred to his work as “perpendanking,” no doubt a pun on the dank meme of planking that began to grow in popularity starting around the early 2010s. One notable difference, however, between the two activities is that rather than hold his arms at his sides, Norm holds his above his head in a sort of steeple grip.  When asked further questions, unfortunately, Norm refused to respond.

Why is Norm doing this? What does he hope to accomplish? How is he able to defy the laws of gravity? No one quite knows, but one thing is clear: knowing that this man has walked in his shoes that he has then placed on the walls of their campus, CMU students will be further dissuaded from licking the walls. Furthermore it seems, for now that he is not a danger to anyone at CMU, he simply wishes to share his craft with his fellow students.


by Céline Delaunay, Moderate Annoyance Correspondent


Has this ever happened to you? You’re a writer for a satirical newspaper who’s been called upon to write this week because like no other people have written, and your roommate, who also happens to be a writer for said satirical newspaper, is looking over your shoulder to see what you have so far? Don’t you just hate it when this very relatable situation happens?

Well, you’re in luck. We’ve come up with an effective way to deal with this event. Just write words! Language first evolved around 350,000–150,000 years ago. It is hard to pinpoint exactly when due to lack of direct evidence from this time, but somewhere around then, people started using words. They still do now! Words are used every day by people all over the world. You will find them on billboards, on pamphlets, in books, in stores and even in your own home if you know where to look. Words truly are omnipresent.

“How will words help me write an article?” you may ask. Well, our team here at readme has been sifting through articles and we have found that all good articles have one very interesting thing in common: they all make use of words. It is, therefore, our strong recommendation that you do as well.

“How do I use words?” you might be wondering. Our team has also anticipated this question. We have observed many people of all walks of life making use of words. We have separated their approaches into two categories for your convenience. The first approach is to use a thin cloth-like substance, usually white or very light of color, coupled with a writing utensil—generally a pen or mechanical pencil, but in some rare instances, we have found humans using non-mechanical pencils as well. With this writing utensil, you are then to form symbols on your cloth-like substance. Though we are not yet sure what these symbols represent, we have found that when put together, they are somehow able to make words.

We assure you that we have our best analysts working on finding the source of these mysterious symbols and will report when any new intel is gained. For now, we hope that this information will be sufficient in providing you with the tools to write good articles should you find yourself in this stressful scenario.

Dear Clean Roommate

by Céline Delaunay, Moderate Annoyance Correspondent


Dear Clean Roommate,

Look, I know you are a very busy person and can’t possibly make time for everything, but if you could find a few minutes every day or so to just dirty up after yourself a bit, that would really help me out. I know you’re going to say that you’re just a clean person and you’ve always been this way, but I was like you too until I realized how much the shared space needed to feel like it belonged to everyone.

I know that the temptation is there after you’re done eating to just go wash it immediately, but if you just take the few seconds to become engrossed in something else, I think you’ll find it’s much easier to just not. Let the dish sit there! Don’t scrape off the ort or anything.  Flies need to eat, too!

Another thing: when you come back from outside, there’s no need to take off your shoes.  I know we have carpets, but just waltz on in. Wear your shoes to bed even. You’re going to have to put them back on eventually, so really it’s a waste to take them off in the first place.

If you’re working on the table and print something out that you don’t need to turn in, just leave it on the table. And in that vein, if you’re looking for something and have to move stuff in order to get to what you’re looking for, just leave the stuff there. There’s no need to expend more energy to put it back, and now if someone’s looking for it, it’ll just be strewn about and they won’t have to do any of that pesky moving.

Finally, feel free to cover the walls with your posters and art. If there is even an inch of beige paint showing, they’ve won.  Be sure to leave your knickknacks everywhere. How will I be able to judge your character if not from your quirky useless tchotchkes? How else are we going to get to know each other? By talking?

I hope these suggestions will help improve our cohabitation.


Your Roommate

The Likeness of Matrix Algebra and Rugby to Water and Oil

by Céline Delaunay, Moderate Annoyance Correspondent


To the student watching rugby in the front row of their matrix algebra recitation: we do not advise this.

Not because we think that you should be a model student and pay attention in your classes, no. But if it’s a recitation that immediately follows an exam that we aren’t getting back until the end of that week and attendance isn’t taken, then we see no reason for you to do your sports viewing in class.

Perhaps for those of us who don’t sports, it is not so difficult to ignore the enthralling urgency with which these muscular men lunge for a ball. If our readers are among those people, and don’t know what rugby is, they should think American football on steroids. Oh, wait.

But for those of us who lived in the middle of nowhere and still got phone calls from neighbors asking us if everything was alright because of the screams emanating from our house during the World Cup, watching any sport in silence without becoming enraged at the ref’s inability to see that the opposing team is offside or undoubtedly faking an injury feels inherently wrong.

 This means that when you sit in the front row with your screen projecting moving sports pictures, those of us fitting into the second category have a very difficult time not giving away your non-academic viewing—not flinching at every missed drop goal or particularly painful-looking diving tackle.

 So on behalf of your peers, we ask you—no, we implore you—to please take your sports viewing elsewhere.

The Bagel-Eater’s Dilemma

by Céline Delaunay, Moderate Annoyance Correspondent


According to an anonymous source, a sophomore design major found herself in a bit of a pickle early Tuesday morning. As a design major, she is a very busy person and thus has little time for the fashioning of fine meals such as breakfast. She is still, however, a growing, living individual in need of sustenance, so she concluded that she must satisfy her insufferable hunger in some way. She had little time and few options, so she hastily purchased a bagel with cream cheese, but in all of the hustle, she forget to grab one of those dinky white plastic knives that are so graciously supplied for all of our mediocre cutting needs.

Catastrophically, she did not notice this until later, when she opened her styrofoam to-go container in order to rapidly consume said bagel. Enough time had elapsed that it would no longer be societally acceptable for her to merely return to the place from whence she purchased her bagel and obtain one aforementioned mediocre cutting implement. Furthermore, it would seem too much like admitting defeat, and she was a determined human who does not give up!

In order to prevent what could quickly become a rash of plastic knifelessness, readme has compiled a plethora of possible solutions to this age-old problem, and has weeded out the absurd.

One suggestion is to simply eat the two foods in sequence, as one might with dinner and dessert, say. The two are, after all, going to end up in the same place, so it should really have no impact on the user’s eating or digesting experience. Another suggestion is to survey one’s environment in order to find an object as closely resembling a knife as possible. This technique, however, has been found to be potentially unsanitary and is especially not recommended when eating one’s bagel outside. This, many have reported, may result in loss of appetite due to the dirt that tends to cling to many items found in nature. A third suggestion is to squeeze the creamy substance out of its container onto the bagel, but this often attracts the attention of many passersby and is not particularly flattering. Additionally, using this technique proves to make it horribly difficult to create an even coating across the bagel, and cream cheese plastic container collectors were dismayed that their cream cheese plastic containers were thoroughly misshapen in the squeezing process.

Which of these techniques, you may ask, does readme recommend? We will leave that up to your discretion. Just know that we support all of your bagel-eating decisions, but we urge you to be prepared and to remember to always practice safe bagel consumption.

Talking on Elevators

by Céline Delaunay, Anti Air-Pusher Activist


(Based on a true story. Some events have been changed to protect the innocent.)

Nobody goes anywhere at two in the afternoon on Sunday. Anyone who is planning on doing anything is either already doing it or doing it later. Thus, it is the perfect time for lone elevator rides to your apartment.

You walk to the hallway where the elevators are, content from your afternoon jog.  People were particularly people-watchy today. You press the button to call the elevator and look up above the threshold as the number nine is illuminated. You prefer for it to be on the third, because this is the perfect amount of time to prepare for the elevator’s arrival, but not too long to get bored from the waiting. Usually it is not on such a high floor, but it is okay, because it is Sunday at two o’clock in the afternoon and you make allowances for these kinds of things.

Then there is a sound. Talking. Two people talking. Two talking people have entered your building and they are opening and closing their mouths and pushing their air out of them at two o’clock in the afternoon on Sunday. You look at the numbers over the elevator threshold in disdain, reconsidering the allowances you had previously made. The three illuminates, as though mocking you. You stick your tongue out back at it. The air-pushers are searching for their key to make their way into the elevator room. The two illuminates. You assume the best stance to most efficiently enter the elevator once it arrives. The one illuminates. The door opens gradually. You dart in as soon as the gap is large enough to fit your frame.

You begin furiously pressing the ‘door close’ button, but the elevator gods are closely related to the crosswalk gods and their unforgiving nature is genetic. The excited banter grows in volume, so you assume an aloof pose as the deafening duo make their way into the metal box with you—one that says, “yes, this is exactly what I wanted.” One presses the button for the fourth floor. The other presses for the fifth. They talk uproariously, each word echoing off of the silver walls.  By the time you reach the fourth floor there is such a din, it’s as though the piano man has left his foot on the sustain pedal by accident. There is a ding and the noise cascades out through the open door as one regretfully gets off. The second one looks at you with an apologetic smile. “I always feel silly when someone gets off at the fourth floor and I get off on the fifth,” she says.

You look at the reflection of her intentionally messy bun in the door behind her. “Don’t worry about it,” you smile back.