The Hairpin
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A Man Walks into a Bar

A man walks into a bar. He takes a seat at the bar, nods to the bartender, orders a Corona. The man is alone. He is the joke.

A man walks into a bar. His girlfriend is at home, alone, watching a Parks and Recreation rerun. She would love to have a drink, relax with a beer at the bar, but the man seems to have forgotten to invite her. Just like he forgot that they made plans to go to IKEA last week.

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The Best Time I Was a Child Con Artist

My family has many unwritten rules. The second most important is: do not open the door if the doorbell rings only once. In our family, if the doorbell only rings once, you were either a salesperson or a canvasser. And salespersons and canvassers are liars and thieves.

My mother came to this conclusion shortly after she first immigrated to Canada; two scam artists pretending to work for the government tried to enter our home. Looking back, this is probably why I couldn’t make it as a (sort of) con artist, selling chocolates on the mean streets of southwestern Ontario.

I have a really big extended family by [...]

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A Song of Spice and Fire

The night's chill lingered into the early morning, coming through my window, rustling my curtains in their wake. Birds hooted from their branches: It's time, it's time. Bodega cats crawled from beneath their milk crates and yowled at the rising sun. In the distance, like on Coney Island where there's space, a tumbleweed rolled through a yard.

I awoke instantly, and I knew my call had come: Today I would drink my first Pumpkin Spice Latte.

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A Weekend at the Last Abortion Clinic in McAllen, Texas

The walk from the rear parking lot at Whole Woman’s Health to the entrance on Main Street is 100 feet down a sidewalk. The clinic is located in southwest McAllen, Texas at the corner of Main and Houston Streets—both of which are busy thoroughfares that run through the old medical area where Whole Woman’s is. People driving by on those streets have been honking their horns at patients and volunteers outside the newly re-reopened clinic all day.

Next to the clinic is an empty lot filled with wooden signs that say things like, “Abortion, The Ultimate Child Abuse.” This is the same lot where protesters recently built a [...]

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The Best Time I (Maybe) Got Rabies

The August before I left for my freshman year of college, I received a letter containing my dorm assignment: a two-room double with a girl named Amy. All I know about Amy is from a five minute phone call. She’s from Lawrence, Kansas, and she’s willing to go half on a microwave. All she knows about me is that I'm from New York and can bring the microwave with me. What she’s going to find out is that I am fucking chaos, a fact that, as I prep to leave, all my petty criminal friends are excited about. "Lola, you are going to blow this girl's mind," they [...]

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On Hair, There and Everywhere, and Intra-Cultural Shame

“A girl told me today that I would be a lot prettier if I got my eyebrows threaded. So I told her she’d be a lot prettier if she got surgery to turn her fivehead into a forehead!!”

File that one under the “swing and a miss” column of my sick burn top hits listicle, but biting wit notwithstanding, my mother was unperturbed.

“Maybe you should start threading your eyebrows,” she conceded, staring fervently at the thicket perched above my nose like it was an unsolvable calculus problem.

I was not expecting that response. I was nine.

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Any article trending on the Internet right now can [...]

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How I Became an Adult Backstreet Boys Fan

"Sorry, we went with another candidate."

I briefly considered putting this on my tombstone, but then I realized the better idea would be to get cremated and have a trusted friend blow my ashes into the eyes of job fair recruiters. If I were to die this instant, that is. You don't want to hire me? Too late, I fired myself from being alive.

"You'll get something,” my mom assures me. "How is your writing going?"

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I spend all my extra money on a video player for the TV. It's small and compact enough that I could probably lose it if it didn't have wires attached. I [...]

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Adventures in Sexting: An Interview with Kara Stone

Kara Stone makes the games she wants to play. A Toronto-based artist, her primary mediums are interactive films and video games; her first game, Medication, Meditation was a Kill Screen Playlist Pick. Her latest, Sext Adventure, was recently chosen to be showcased at Indiecade.

Users playing Sext Adventure will find themselves sexting with an automated bot. The results of your sexting adventure are entirely up to you—the bot’s responses vary wildly. There is no way to predict the outcome of the game. Sext Adventure was designed to give the bot its own consciousness, personality, and sexuality as players progress. The bot can even reject its sexuality altogether, if [...]

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Snackwave: A Comprehensive Guide to the Internet's Saltiest Meme

Over the past few years, an aesthetic we like to call "snackwave" has trickled up from Tumblr dashboards. Now a part of mainstream culture, snackwave is everywhere: it's printed on American Apparel clothes and seen in Katy Perry music videos. It's the antithesis to kale-ridden health food culture and the rise of Pinterest-worthy twee cupcake recipes. It’s the wording in your Instagram handle, a playful cheeseburger selfie, Jennifer Lawrence announcing on the red carpet that she’s hungry for a pizza. In snackwave world, everyone is Claudia Kishi, and your junk food drawer is also your blog.

What we’ve written here is merely a guide to [...]

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Bloodfeast: The "Ragwood" Sandwich

Let’s raise our Diva Cups for a toast. This is a momentous occasion: we are now all on same menstrual cycle. At least that’s what I’m happily assuming. Look at us, braiding each other’s hair, holding hands, surfborting together on ye olde crimson wave. Someone please pass the Midol. I’m wearing white culottes because I like to live dangerously. My dearest Sync Sisters, let’s celebrate this period party with a Bloodfeast snack we can all share!

A couple of years ago I hosted a party based on a legit fantasy: a “Midnight Cartoon Sandwich Party.” I wanted to surround myself with supportive friends cheering me on as I [...]

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An Extensive Catalogue of Bodily Impulses

The summer I was 22, I tagged along with a group of samba percussionists to a music festival at an organic farm in southern Ontario. My ride would be free so long as I assumed the role of “Bus Captain” on the decrepit yellow school bus they'd rented for the occasion.

I was about to enter the fifth year of my undergrad degree—an attempt at postponing Real Life. I'd just returned from a summer of data entry temp work in my Midwestern hometown and was not quite a grown-up but definitely, somehow, a woman. The cubicles that had neighbored mine in the office complex were occupied by lifers [...]

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The Best Time I Met Captain Jack Sparrow in Brazil

There's a tiny island town in Brazil called Morro do Sao Paolo where the idea of "the honeymoon" was born. It takes a winding cab ride through the jungle and two boat rides to get there, but once you do, you’re hit by sweeping ocean views and the smell of passion fruit that mysteriously wafts through the air at all times. This is a place where cars aren’t allowed. Where beautiful Argentinean girls with tan legs and ankle bracelets invite you to parties on the beach. Where you dance to the Brazilian pop song of the moment in the rain at 3 am, while guzzling down drinks made of Cachaça [...]

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Dude Text Decoded

We dudes can be a confusing, emotionally constipated, nearly-illiterate group of horndogs with smartphones. And since it’s 2014 and most people are paralyzed by the idea of speaking into a phone receiver, we must fumble our path to fornication via cryptic texts which barely constitute as flirting, let alone communication, most of the time.

But hey! I’m a dumb dude with thumbs and a libido! So let me pull back the Old Spice-scented curtain and let you peek inside the mind of the modern bro’s texting intentions:

hey = I am scared, unfathomably scared.

sup? = Please do not discover my insane insecurities, I do not feel cool. Ever.

[...]
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The Service Was Terrible and I Won't Be Coming Again: A Yelper Reviews Some Dicks

Tim, 29, Los Angeles, CA (✮✮✮☆☆): This dick used to be great, like, three years ago. But it’s really taken a turn for the worse over the past year—now the lines are huge, it takes forever to be served, and when you finally get your dick, it’s usually cold and too salty, but they won’t take it back and get you a new one because they’re “too busy.” I blame the neighborhood influx of hipsters—ugh, go back to Ohio, you guys! Anyway, I’m giving it three stars for all my memories of how good this dick used to be, but I guess it’s time for me to find a new [...]

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Notes From a Future Shitbag Mother

On the last day of August in 2014, following an especially harrowing phone conversation, I typed, “I want to stop hating my mom” into Google. There were 63.5 million results.

This is a mere fraction of the 209 million results for “I love my mom,” but it is a result that gives me pause. At 29, I have landed solidly in that period of adulthood where choosing a partner might be largely informed by mutual interest in procreating. Friends have told me that the question of whether or not a date wants children has been a dealbreaker in a way that seemed unheard of even two years ago. The [...]

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Disrupters, Disconnectionists, and Dicks

On Tuesday, Nev Schulman took a selfie in an elevator. The photo shows him standing with his hand over his heart, staring all serious straight into his iPhone. In the corner, a bag of groceries and a water bottle rest against the door to block it from closing. The light in a closed elevator is rarely flattering; when you have upwards of 740K followers, there’s not much room to fuck around.

“Cowards make me sick,” read his accompanying tweet. “Real men show strength through patience & honor. This elevator is abuse free. #RESPECT.”

Schulman is the star of the 2010 documentary Catfish, a film [...]

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The White Beauty Myth

Growing up in suburban Connecticut, I was the minority by default. Anything and everything that was the physical manifestation of my non-white background was fuel for mockery. My hair was too curly, too kinky, and too frizzy. My lips were too big. My nose was too wide. People made a game out of guessing my ethnicity, believing such an activity was as harmless as pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey. My peers and adults alike made it abundantly clear that I did not belong; my blackness was a constant reminder of my status as an outsider. I can distinctly recall riding the bus in elementary school with a white classmate; He turned to me and [...]

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Nighttime in the Devil's Garden

It was early fall 2005 and I was driving cross-country in a station wagon I had impulsively bought from a woman in a department store parking lot in downtown Seattle. (What? She had the paperwork. It was fine.) I had given her most of my savings, so I decided, when possible, to car camp my way back home to New York City. In Moab, Utah, at dusty, red Arches National Park, I found a campground by the Colorado River. I would sleep in the shadow of the Fiery Furnaces, and I had even seen signs for something called the Devil’s Garden. I hadn’t meant to get Biblical. I just [...]

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The Great Hope of TV's Female Crime-Stoppers

I don’t remember how or why I first started descending into Law & Order afternoons, letting bright days slip by in the darkness of my parents’ den with the curtains drawn. I was seventeen or eighteen – a few years before Netflix made marathoning a known verb and acceptable pastime; all I knew was that the show was hypnotic, and USA never aired fewer than three in a row.

It didn’t occur to me that my particular taste for SVU, the sex crimes spinoff in the franchise, was messed up until I moved east and spent a summer living in New York. There I watched episodes on my friends’ parents’ [...]

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The Breast of Times: Ten Years of Irrational Nipple Controversy

No body part inspires puritanical pearl-clutching in decent Americans quite as much as the humble nipple. Ten years ago, Janet Jackson slipped the nipple heard ‘round the world, prompting comic levels of outrage and morality policing. This summer, the MPAA banned Eva Green’s Sin City 2 poster for hinting at the possible existence of a nipple through her sheer robe. In between, there was a decade’s worth of similar incidents regarding this particular brand of anatomical exposure:

Janet Jackson at Super Bowl XXXVIII

The nipple-baring that started the national conversation about wardrobe malfunctions took place at the 2004 Super Bowl XXXVIII halftime show. When Justin Timberlake dance-ripped Jackson’s top, viewers [...]