Anthony Salerno

"Coworker Still Wearing Event Wristband from the Weekend" by Anthony Salerno

May 19, 2017 (Plano, TX)Nearly three whole days into the work week and your office coworker, Brian, is still wearing his “Over 21” paper wristband he presumably received over the weekend. As the self-named office “fun guy,” Brian has come to work on previous Mondays wearing wristbands and stamps from local bars and concerts, but these accessories are usually shed from his wardrobe by Tuesday. Brian appears to be making sure everyone in the office knows that he, indeed, went out and had a few drinks with his friends over the weekend.

According to Cheryl in Human Resources, Brian is “really struggling” with the fact that his days of Alpha Pi are slipping away. As a senior at Arizona State University (ASU), Brian was elected as Alpha Pi’s president and oversaw all the chapter’s campus events. He organized everything from the fraternity’s Naked Mile run to its Don’t Break the Seal party, affectionately known for free beer at a local pub if no one used the restrooms for the evening. Three years removed from his days at ASU, the entry-level temp position he holds is a harsh comparison to his glory days.

Many officemates are comparing Brian’s current wristband epic to Monica from Accounts Receivable hospital band saga. For two weeks last summer, Monica wore her hospital bracelet after going on an abrupt medical leave before Memorial Day weekend. Many assume this was her way of solidifying a made-up medical story to add an extra day off, but Monica is quick to point out that, “You’d want people to know if you had an emergency appendectomy, too, ass.”

When questioned about the wristband earlier this morning, Brian said, “Oh whoa, I didn’t even realize I still had it on! I’ve been pretty busy this week so I haven’t found time to take it off. Got back to the gym, had a few Tinder dates, and I’ve been practicing my new product pitch for Shark Tank. It’s called Frat Chat, for lonely fraternity dudes to know when another lonely bro wants to hang out. Hey now that you mention it, me and my buddies did go to a pretty chill Dave Matthews concert on Saturday. It was an acoustic set. Dave was playing guitar and whispering into the microphone. It was a special night, man.”

It’s unclear when Brian will remove this subtle reminder of his social life, but many in the office are inferring that it has begun to smell. It’s important to know that the wristband doesn’t just reflect on Brian’s life outside the office, it’s a cautionary tale for all Alpha Pis. When you burn too bright in college, the flame of life is harder to sustain. Also, if you’re burning in college, please see the campus physician and have that looked at.

Anthony Salerno is from Buffalo, New York. He is a current DCH student and performs with Ewing Troupe: Clementine. When he’s not working at Improv or his day job, he’s trying to talk himself out of buying Uncrustables at the grocery store.

(Image: L.A. the Blog)

"How to Survive that Wedding You Don’t Want to Go to" by Anthony Salerno

May 8, 2017 (Dallas, TX) – Spring – a season that brings revival to all things that have gone dormant from the fall through winter. The season when animals awake from their hibernation slumbers and venture out to find food, a new home, and possibly a mate. A time when life is renewed. Those joyous few months when it seems like everyone you’ve ever met has found someone to share their life with, but first the wedding.

Yes, spring may bring life to many things, but it is a deathblow to your savings fund and free weekends thanks in part to the barrage of wedding invitations stuffed in your mailbox. Like a 10-point buck traversing the forest during deer hunting season, you too can navigate the nuptial season safely, and here’s how:

Say No

Many people don’t realize that you can actually say no to attending a wedding. Sure, it’s an option on that impossibly tiny card you fill out, but you don’t want to be rude, right? Wrong. Couples expect declines, that’s why it’s an option. So, before you go checking off “attending” like you're swiping right on Bumble, recognize that this is an adult decision and you’ll have to put on pants. Before you start picturing yourself dancing around like Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson, take a moment and come back to reality and know it’s far more likely you’ll drink too much, take an expense Uber ride home alone, and exorcize that prime rib you were so excited for into your toilet.

Solve the +1 Mystery

Make up a name right now and it has probably been used as a detective on one of the number of CSI shows CBS surprisingly keeps making. The difference between you and that fictional character is that you’re not a detective; however, you may need to play the part when figuring out if you have a plus one to a wedding. Did the invitation say “[Your name] and Guest”? Well, then congratulations, you probably have the option for a date. Any other combination of invitation address, guest option on the RSVP, or just a “Number of Guests” slot and you’ll have to do some sleuthing. Oh really, you want me to bring my entire softball team to your wedding, Erica? Oh you, don’t? Seems like an option by this RSVP card.

The Ceremony Is Optional

Nothing says, “share our special day with us” like stuffing into an old, poorly air-conditioned church in the middle of summer. It’s by far the least eventful part of the wedding. Although, if we’re being honest, there’s that exciting moment when the crowd is asked if anyone objects to the union, and that’s always some thrilling seconds of silence. At the reception, if the bride brings up that she didn’t see you at the church, always say you were sitting in the back to the right talking to her aunt (or was it the groom’s cousin?). Whoever it was, they were nice and bawling like a baby with you. If she still presses you, bring out your trump card (no, don’t grab her there…), switch subjects, and tell her she looks beautiful. If the groom asks you where you were… well, he won’t.

Find the Photographer

Now you’re at the reception and dinner is over. You’ve suffered through a way too drunk/nervous best man speech and a rhyming maid of honor speech that barely passes as a fourth-grade English assignment. You hear the first songs of the night come on the dance floor and you decide it’s time to cut bait. And bravo to you. You’ve shown up, contributed a gift to the couple, and maybe even tried to hit on a bridesmaid/groomsman. It’s time that you’ve made your exit, but first go the extra mile and find that wedding photographer to show that not only were you there, but you also seemed to be the life of the party. Try and make it in every shot the photog takes for a minute, progressively loosening your tie or taking off your painful heels. No one looks their best at the end of the wedding, so do your best iguana imitation and try to become your surroundings. Once you know you’re in at least five pictures, you can make your move to the exit sign.

Live a Little

We get it, your boyfriend's third cousin is getting married and he dragged you to it. You’re not even sure they’ll last, heck you’re not even sure you’ll last. But, you are dressed up, out at a large social gathering, surrounded by free drinks (hopefully) and a mediocre-at-best dance party. Appreciate the moment, for better or worse you’re with this conglomerate of people in this stuffy banquet hall. You’re not at work, filling out loan deferment papers, or trying to work up the courage to watch 13 Reasons Why. Alcohol does wonders as a social lubricant. Have a drink, enjoy yourself, and remember this evening in the future as the reason why you decided to elope.

Anthony Salerno is from Buffalo, New York. He is a current DCH student and performs with Ewing Troupe: Clementine. When he’s not working at Improv or his day job, he’s trying to talk himself out of buying Uncrustables at the grocery store.

(Image: EliteReaders)

"Festival Under Fyre" by Anthony Salerno

May 5, 2017 (Exuma Islands, Bahamas) – Last weekend should have been magical for many college students. No, not because they just graduated from their local university with a degree in communications, no job, and a mountain of student loans. It should have been unforgettable because of Fyre Festival. The festival had looked to bring young adults from all over the country down to the Bahamas for a weekend full of music and recreational drug use; however, what they found was not the party that had hoped for.

Fyre Festival was promoted by attractive models to be a music oasis in the Bahamas, where festivalgoers would stay in luxurious villas and eat gourmet food for a small price tag of $12,000. Who was the main founder of the festival? What’s the first name you think of when you think “luxury”? Was it Ja Rule? It wasn’t? Well, the main founder of the festival was indeed Ja Rule. Yes, the average-at-best rapper who was popular in the early 2000s. Possibly the first mistake the festival organizers made was taking a meeting with Ja Rule that was centered around anything but how he tricked Jennifer Lopez into dating him.

When people did start to arrive on the Exuma Islands for the festival, they were greeted with FEMA-style refugee tents, not luxurious villas, and cheese sandwiches, not gourmet food. Many felt duped, including Jessica Kerner and Jenny Perkins, two career-oriented women just trying to run from spreadsheets and that creep who stares at them in the gym a little too long every time they’re on the treadmill.

“We were looking for a break from our boyfriends,” Kerner said. “We both recently moved in with them and didn’t realize they would be around all the time. I mean, I love boyfriend Ben, but he may be the most annoying person I know. Anyways, we decided to come down here get some sun, lay on the beach, and see a few good concerts, but no, crap-town down here, too. I went in the ocean a couple of minutes ago and a freaking pig swam by. Who even knew pigs could swim? Anyways, this has been a disaster. At least we’re on a beach and I snuck a crap-ton of vodka in my shampoo bottle.”

When questioned about the unsuspected conditions, Perkins replied, “Yeah, they’re not great, but, I mean, oh well.”

Both Kerner and Perkins have joined a $100 million class-action lawsuit against Ja Rule and Fyre Media hoping to receive justice from their harrowing experience of being stranded on a beach in the Bahamas. Ja Rule and his defense team don’t appear to be worrying about any pending lawsuits at the moment, citing specific Purchaser Agreement clauses. When asked about the looming litigation, Ja Rule yelled, “Murder Inc.”

Anthony Salerno is from Buffalo, New York. He is a current DCH student and performs with Ewing Troupe: Clementine. When he’s not working at Improv or his day job, he’s trying to talk himself out of buying Uncrustables at the grocery store.

(Image: YourEDM.com)

"United Unveils New DRAG Initiative for Customers" by Anthony Salerno

United
United

April 21, 2017 (Chicago, IL) - United Airline’s stock fell another 4 percent Tuesday as the embattled company finds itself amid a massive consumer boycott over the mistreatment of Dr. David Dao. A week removed from the fiasco of Flight 3411, United is trying to turn the page and regain massive losses in share revenue. To do so, the company is betting big on a new customer incentive programs that United CEO Oscar Munoz (at least for the next few days) says, “Will be revolutionary for the airline industry.”

The first program United is rolling out is its “Buy a Seat, Get a Seat” incentive, which is built off of general and long-standing policies of service providing. The new initiative will exclusively guarantee that if a customer of United Airlines purchases a seat, he or she will now have the right to use said seat (except for female flyers wearing yoga pants, which is still against company policy, while the overweight man sitting next to you clipping his toenails is good for takeoff).

United isn’t stopping there though. They’ve also introduced an innovative internal customer care policy known as the Dedicated and Respectful Airline Guarantee or DRAG. Munoz outlined how United plans to integrate DRAG into its current interactions with customers through his fourth apology letter in the last seven days.

"It’s with great pleasure I introduce our new Customer Care policy that aims at providing a Dedicated and Respectful Airline Guarantee (DRAG) to all United Airline Customers. DRAG will not just be enforced on our airplanes, but it will also be imposed whenever a customer encounters all levels of United Employees. United will DRAG customers while they’re checking their bags or searching the status of their flights. We’ll even DRAG customers in their own homes while they purchase plane tickets online. That’s a guarantee.  

"As for the incident that occurred last week to Dr. Dao, again I am personally sorry. I know that I speak for all United workers when I say that we do not wish to deprive any customers of human dignity. Although, it is ironic that, as a profession, doctors sometimes deprive their patients of similar dignities. For instance, if I cancel a doctor’s appointment with less than 24 hours’ notice I must pay for that appointment, but if a doctor cancels my adult acne appointment hours before I’m scheduled to come in, I don’t get a free visit. What’s up with that?

So, to Dr. Dao, we’re sorry, but to the rest of society I think I’m justified in saying you’re welcome.”

United hopes that its new customer programs will be able to help prevent further declines in stock price and customer morale. While Oscar Munoz just hopes to finally put to rest negative news about his company and avoid any further media coverage about him or is adult acne. The only certainty with United Airlines is that, thanks to a bloodied Dr. Dao, it will be your cheapest airline option to travel home for your father’s third wedding that will almost certainly end in another divorce.

Anthony Salerno is from Buffalo, New York. He is a current DCH student and performs with Ewing Troupe: Clementine. When he’s not working at Improv or his day job, he’s trying to talk himself out of buying Uncrustables at the grocery store.

"Strife Erupts on Rec Softball Team" by Anthony Salerno

softball
softball

April 14, 2017 (Madison, WI) -- As spring is ushered into Central Wisconsin, so too are the sounds of the nation’s most beloved office pastime, recreational softball leagues. The crack of the bat, umpires calling a player safe, and Wendy from HR crying in her leased Jetta after the game because she totally embarrassed herself in front of Blake, the office hunk. Yes, spring is in the air at Municipal Field, but for longtime Colonial Inc. so is turmoil.

As a company, Colonial Inc. provides families with furniture to warm their homes, but the clubhouse for their softball team is anything but cozy. This year, the Colonial Inc.’s softball team, The Rebels, appointed a new team captain, Charles Meeks. Meeks was considered an unconventional choice to even be on the team with his background in high-end furniture sales. Past teams have been generally made up of warehouse workers and production lines specialists. Men and women who have played a sport in their lives.

Once appointed captain, Meeks brought with him his trusted advisors, Kenneth Hull and his son-in-law Robert Class. Both Hull and Class come from Colonial Corporate, once more jettisoning the prior Rebel team makeup of athletic players. Despite this variance during the first two weeks of the season, the Rebels had a respectable 2-2 record. Quickly though, reports of infighting began to surface that Hull and Class both wanted to play shortstop, the team's star position. The team's record fell to an almost historic low early in the season, leaving Meeks looking as though he shouldn’t have been appointed captain in the first place. The team’s second basemen, Leslie Nagle, believes a possible shake-up is coming for the Rebels.

“At first, when I heard Meeks was team captain, sure I was thrown off a bit,” said Nagle, wearing a “Drink Wisconsinably” t-shirt. “Then he gave the team a rousing speech before one of our games, and we all thought, ‘Hey, maybe we should give this guy a shot.’ Kenny and Rob then started clashing at work and at games appearing to try to get Meeks’ attention, and they’ve really started to butt heads. I think Meeks is ready to kick Kenny off the team. He wouldn’t cut Rob. He never wants to do anything to upset his daughter. They have a weird relationship I stay out of, but people talk at the watercooler.”

The internal strife couldn’t be happening at a worse time for the Meeks-led Rebels. Losing record aside, allegations have also been made against the team for colluding with league rival Jefferson Concrete to throw games. Some theories have the conspiracy going all the way up to Meeks himself, which would have dire consequences on the rest of the season. Whether Meeks truly is deciding on cutting Hull from the team is anyone’s guess, but this week Hull was moved down in the batting order from third to seventh. Perhaps a sign of what’s to come for the future of the Colonial Rebels softball team.

Anthony Salerno is from Buffalo, New York. He is a current DCH student and performs with Ewing Troupe: Clementine. When he’s not working at Improv or his day job, he’s trying to talk himself out of buying Uncrustables at the grocery store.

(Image: Sun Current staff photo by John Sherman)

"March Madness Mascots Look to Their Futures" by Anthony Salerno

spike
spike

April 7, 2017 (Phoenix, AZ)As the final buzzer rang in the desert of Arizona Monday night, the end of the college basketball season quickly followed. Many of the athletes on the court were already looking forward to the redemption tale of next season or celebrating their championship and preparing for the NBA draft. There were two more collegiate individuals whose seasons came to an end that night, Spike and Rameses. Unlike the athletes for their respective teams, these furry animals' futures are all but planned.

Michael Lawrie dons the mascot costume of Spike the Bulldog for the Gonzaga faithful and has for four years in a row. Much like most of Gonzaga’s athletes, Lawrie decided to stay in school the whole four years, although the thought of turning pro has always been alluring to him.

mascot school
mascot school

“Sure, the money of being a professional mascot has always been enticing, but I made a commitment to coach Few and the rest of the guys in that locker room,” Lawrie muttered through a giant furry bulldog face. “What will I do now that my collegiate career is over? Easy. Join the Choko Group, the Japanese school of mascots in Tokyo. If you really want to prepare for the pros, you go there and study the art under the best, Choko Ohira [pictured left].”

Lawrie then went into detail of the large sums of money he believed mascots made for major league sporting teams. Once confronted with the fact that most mascots work for a salary close to minimum wage, Lawrie seemed to become dejected.

“I guess I just always assumed… I mean NBA players make millions, are you sure the mascots don’t?” Lawrie said. “What about at, like, theme parks? Disney?”

On the opposite side of the court celebrating his team’s victory, but not getting too close to Power Forward Justin Jackson due to a bevy of unusually tolerant restraining orders, was Luis Delano, North Carolina’s mascot. As a senior as well, Delano is not in search of dollar signs but instead looking forward to keeping his heart on the sidelines.

After a game earlier in the season, Delano waved to his girlfriend, Shanna Redig, to come down to midcourt, where, still in his Rameses costume, he proposed. Redig appeared to hesitantly accept the proposal, but according to Delano has warmed up to a life of mascoting together.

“She was so surprised, I mean, right there at center court in the Dean Smith Center, while thousands of fans are making their way to the exits, feigning interest. It was pretty special,” Delano recalled. “Ever since I read her profile on MatchCot, I knew she’d someday be Mrs. Rameses.”

wuf
wuf

After their wedding in late summer, Delano and Redig will become the third married mascot couple in the NCAA. Mr. and Mrs. Wildcat were the first at the University of Arizona in 1998. The most recent nuptials were taken in an emotional ceremony between Mr. and Mrs. Wuf, that was, for no rational reason at all, officiated by Wake Forest’s mascot, the Demon Decon [Pictured in all its actuality to the right].

As the arena emptied Monday night, two student-furries gazed longingly in the cavernous stadium. One with his dreams of turning a prolific college mascoting career into wealth in the pros dashed, the other patiently waiting for his bride-to-be to stop making out with Power Forward Justin Jackson. Two very different roads were before them, but each with a similar path to their current spot in time. As Lawrie muttered while seemingly crying inside his costume, “They may be able to take you out of the mascot costume after allegedly stealing a box of Twinkies from a 7-Eleven that one night you ate too much of a pot brownie, but they can’t take the mascot out of you.”

Anthony Salerno is from Buffalo, New York. He is a current DCH student and performs with Ewing Troupe: Clementine. When he’s not working at Improv or his day job, he’s trying to talk himself out of buying Uncrustables at the grocery store.

(Top image: Hokies n Huskies. Middle image: Reuters. Bottom image: The Wolf Web.)