And so, this is it. I told myself I wouldn’t cry, but now here I am, weeping all over this bowl of freshly-chopped onions like a dramatic baby. Why am I tearing up? Because this is the final thing I will produce for this organization, assuming those Punch Bowl-brand assless chaps never come to fruition.
Over the last four years, I’ve poured my blood, sweat, and tears into the ink of every magazine, hoping that future generations could use the residual DNA to clone me and outfit my body with giant laser gun arms. And in those four years, I’ve grown attached to this little ol’ Punch Bowl.
I’ve grown attached to the unique feeling of community we have, as people who all dislike midterms and terrorists.
I’ve grown attached to beards of bees, butternut squashes, Algiers for Flowernon, getting in the cage, and all the other weird little in-jokes that I couldn’t find anywhere else.
And finally, I’ve grown attached to Lance’s torso ever since we went swimming in that radioactive waste last Wednesday. If anyone knows a good doctor, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Lance and I pine for the days when we had separate internal organs.
So needless to say, there’s been a lot of laughs. Painful, traumatizing laughs. But there’s also been a lot of lessons. Some of them include:
-There’s a series of fine lines between vaguely racial jokes, sarcastic racism, benign racism, parodies of racism, and actual, honest-to-God racism. At Punch Bowl, we didn’t just toe those lines, we barreled over them driving a station wagon full of dynamite.
-Write with others. It’s the easiest way to steal their jokes and credit card information.
-Experiment. Write from different perspectives, tones, time periods, and sexualities. Constantly look for the most unexpected approach to a piece. Play around. Tinker. Tailor. Soldier. Spy. Starring Academy Award-nominated actor Gary Oldman.
-Make Punch Bowl what you want it to be. If you wish Punch Bowl had more orgies, then you should go down to the Pleasure Chest on 20th and Walnut, knock on the door thrice, and ask for Ramón. Those whips and chains aren’t going to buy themselves, and time waits for no man.
-If you drink orange juice right after brushing your teeth it tastes really gross. Not really related to Punch Bowl, I just thought it was worth mentioning.
-Edit down. Don’t nobody wanna read your 10,000-word treatise on cats who look like other cats. Keep it short and sweet. In fact, don’t be afraid to just stop writing in the middle of
-Write stuff. Nobody’s funny the second they’re born, except for twin puppies wearing top hats. So how do you become a good comedy writer? By writing comedy. The first few things you produce will be shitty. Everyone starts out that way. But writing, like most everything else, is a muscle you keep working out until suddenly you’re the strongest guy in gym class and that douchebag Andrew McCutcheons won’t ever bully you again. FUCK YOU, DREW!!!!
-Make the most of your time on Punch Bowl. Because this might be your only chance to produce university-funded(!) comedy without censorship, bureaucracy, or boundaries. Because the only limitations are your imagination, your drive, and maybe printing costs. Because four years can go by so very, very quickly. And because this magazine can mean a lot, if you want it to.
This all might seem like a lot of foofaraw for what is, essentially, a loose consortium of weirdoes who publish dick jokes. And maybe it is. All I know is that when I’m out in the business world, drinking scotch while staring wistfully out of windows, I’m going to think back on what a joy it was to be a part of this offensive magazine.
Thanks to the alumni, who made immeasurable impacts on the culture and voice of Punch Bowl. Thanks to everyone who let me put as many Wu-Tang references as possible into everything we published. Thanks to the young’ns, who I know will take this magazine to greater heights and weirder places. And thanks to my fellow seniors, whose enthusiasm, talent, and friendship made these four years incredible. So long, Punch Bowl.
Where the hell are my meds,