by Shai NIr
Our loyal Pennsylvania Punch Bowl fans1 might be wondering about the decrease in quality apparent on the Punch Bowl website in the last two weeks. For example, anyone who’s seen my previous column would agree that the person responsible for that travesty should be tied down and and subjected to harsh corporal discipline.2 I assure you that I can explain why I couldn’t come up with anything better for my last column, and I can do it with three words: experimental hamster farm. So that’s my excuse, but what explains why the other columnists are such miserable failures? Well, let me assure you, dear reader, that these tragic dips in performance, all coincidentally within the span of a fortnight, should not reflect the standard of quality you expect from Punch Bowl, and that my comrades in columnry all have perfectly good reasons for the disastrously unfunny content of the past 14 days:
11/30: Dan Berkman couldn’t send in his column because he was swallowed whole by the sea monster that lives in the Schuylkill and only managed to escape by putting together a makeshift raft out of driftwood and monster tendons. That or he spent the whole week high off his rocker.3
12/1: Rahul Sharodi lost all his saved columns after his USB drive was repeatedly violated by the neighbors’ cat, and so had to make do with his crappy backup column.
12/2: Walker Hawkins didn’t come up with anything because he was too busy training a hundred gerbils to work together as a circus. They’ll be touring the Midwest next month; be sure to catch their show if they appear near your town.
12/3: Rish Chaudhuri hasn’t actually been present for months. Following his mysterious disappearance, he has been replaced on the Punch Bowl team by an android, also named Rish Chaudhuri.
12/3: Robot Rish Chaudhuri had been badly on the fritz for a while now. The first sign that something was wrong came when he submitted last week’s image under the mistaken impression it was a column.4 The editors quickly sent him off for repairs but posted the image anyway because they had nothing better.
12/5: Bob Hoke deliberately deprived his column of any semblance of wit in order to set to rest suspicions that he is the Riddler.
12/6: Kelly Dolor spent the whole week high off her rocker.
12/7: Agnes N. couldn’t deliver a quality column due to her obligations as president of Penn’s chapter of the Justice League. Her powers include super speed and the ability to talk to lipstick.
12/8: Alexander Jacobson drew the short straw and was forced to clean up every bathroom in his frat house. The vapors disoriented him so much that he thought what he wrote was a good column.
12/9: Jotham Klein could not be reached because he is invisible.
12/10: Matt Bloch was going to write a column, but he kind of forgot, and then he was maybe going to write a column but first he had too much work and he was hoping to grab some dinner first, but when he went out to Savory it started raining too hard so he started going back home, and by the time he got back he didn’t really feel like doing anything. Maybe next week.
12/11: Lauren Kapsalakis’ patience with mankind has grown thin, but she’s not good at expressing it. Her subpar column is a form of passive aggressive retribution for centuries of raping the environment and for letting Tila Tequila get a second TV show.
12/12: Finally, there was no Bowl column yesterday because of finals or something. Blah.
And that brings us back to this very column, which not only restores the Punch Bowl website to its original level of quality, but far surpasses it, to the point that its author should probably get some kind of humanitarian award just for writing something so great.2
2Preferably from your little sister.
3I keep confusing the two.
4Actually, he first tried submitting an oatmeal cookie, but it was in the wrong file format.