Issue #71 – “As the World Interns” – July 7th, 2005

-Prostitution is the world’s oldest profession, which makes me wonder – were whores the first summer interns?  I can just imagine the young and eager interns spending the bulk of their June and July doing mindless busywork like answering the pimp’s phone and putting everyone’s blood test results into a big spreadsheet.  This summer, the tradition continues (I’m talking about interns now, not whores, though I’m sure there’s another joke in there somewhere).  Millions of impressionable college students have descended upon the globe’s major cities in the hopes of adding a bullet point to their resumes and will leave in August with nothing more than the experience of dialing “9” and wearing an undershirt for the first time in their lives.  The summer is a soap opera and I love to watch…as the world interns.

-Tradition dictates that the summer intern gets the worst seat in the office, that is, the seat where everybody else can see your computer screen.  This blows of course because now that asshole sitting behind you who brings tuna salad in a Tupperware container for lunch every day can clearly see that you’re reading my column right now instead of doing work.  When they sense someone coming up behind them while they’re jerking around on the Internet, most summer interns will quickly alt-tab to another document.  I’ve found this to be a rookie mistake because it implies guilt.  If tuna salad-man rolls up on you while you’re half an hour deep into, hold your ground.  Most likely you won’t be questioned.  If you are, explain that you’re doing research into targeting highly coveted demographics and ask where he got that marvelous Tupperware from.

-One really fun game that you and your fellow interns can play during downtime (i.e. always) is something I like to call “Guess Who’s Fucking!”  Each intern picks two people in the office who might be doing the nasty.  Whoever guesses correctly (confirmation can be discreetly obtained from the assistants who know everything), gets free beers all night from the other interns.  Bonus points for extra-marital.  For added fun, once drunk, yell, “Guess…Who’s…Fucking!” out loud very slowly and with extra emphasis on the last word – just like the announcer from “Wheel of Fortune.”

-After celebrating your victory in “Guess Who’s Fucking!” with about fifteen Sam Adams Summer Ales, you’ll be hungover in the office the next day and want to nap.  I suggest utilizing a two-man spotter system.  When tired at my old job, I’d call out a number to my buddy Chi in the next cube.  That number would be the amount of minutes I wanted him to let me sleep before throwing a stress ball at my head to wake me up.  And of course, I’d do the same for him.  Only problem was, I tended to forget to wake Chi up.  He has really tall, spiky hair and also kept a shitload of Post-it notes stuck to his computer screen.  When he slept for more than eight minutes, his face would lean in toward his monitor and his hair would knock the Post-it notes off.  I’d usually remember to wake him up when I found him passed out on the keyboard and his cubicle filled with tiny scraps of paper swirling in the air like a deleted scene from “Edward Scissorhands.”

-I’ve had my fair share of internships, from my dad’s company (fell asleep in front of his boss), to a consulting firm in London (got drunk at lunch, then spilled entire glass of water on copy machine, not sure if it broke because I ran away), to a huge firm in New York (threw up in subway station at 8am, turned around and took subway back home).  But in all instances, I got rave reviews from my employers by August and so can you.  I did it with a little discretion and a lot of luck.  After all, your bosses this summer are totally stressed, don’t have time to follow your every move and, in some ways, are quite similar to the earliest prostitutes.  The only difference is, now you have to guess which one is getting fucked.

-As always, here are some random things I’ve been ruminating about lately…

-Last week I could not get my lock to open at the gym.  I started to get really nervous like in middle school when I’d come back from winter break and forget my combination and have to call the janitor to get the bolt cutters to chop my lock off in front of everybody.  Thankfully, I eventually got my gym locker open.  Which was good because my He-Man lunchbox was in there.

-There’s actually an ad for McDonald’s in my gym.  I’m dead serious.  That’s like having an AA meeting sponsored by Heineken.

-I’m sure by now you’ve seen the ads that Citibank has plastered across the country with slogans that basically say there’s more to life than money.  For instance, one billboard says, “Hugs are at a 52-week high.”  I’m sorry, but that’s the very last message I want my bank to be sending.  They should run ads that say, “We will kill a man for a nickel.”  That’s the kind of bank I’d like to have a checking account with.

-I say we put the Sprint PCS guy and the Verizon Wireless guy in a ring and have them fight to the death.

-The other day, my remote control died.  I grabbed some new batteries, opened the remote, took out the old batteries, then looked down at the pile of four batteries in front of me – two new, two old – and had no idea which was which.  I think the shock of how dumb I felt was enough to power the remote.

-To do a little research for my earlier joke involving Sam Adams, I went to  It asked me to enter my birth date before viewing the site.  Same thing when I went to – I couldn’t enter unless I put in a birthday older than twenty-one.  That struck me as the lamest security system I’ve ever seen.  Then, just for kicks, I went to and discovered the highest age you can even enter is seventy.  Presumably anyone older than that either can’t use the Internet or has already succumbed to cirrhosis of the liver.

-A few of my buddies went camping over the long weekend.  They asked me if I wanted to come along.  I asked them if there’s a more negative word than “No.”

-And, finally, over the years I’ve gotten many requests from fans inquiring if I’m hiring interns.  While writing today’s column, I got to thinking about what my requirements for an intern would actually be.  A hot chick, obviously.  A good copyeditor.  Hard drinker preferred.  An aversion to Tupperware definitely a plus.  But, alas, the summer is almost half over and I don’t really have the need for an intern anyway.  It would have been a sweet gig, though.  I mean, how hard could it be to wake me up from a nap?  Of course, I just realized that my buddy Chi in the next cubicle asked me to wake him in “four”…and that was four years ago!  Fuck me.