Writer | Editor
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Synthesis - Columns

From 2008 to 2015 I wrote a weekly column for Synthesis Weekly under the name Zooey Mae. What started as an outlet to review graphic novels and comic books evolved over the years to cover everything from pop culture to whatever menial event was happening in my life. Looking back, I think I spent much too much time regaling Chico with tales of my allergies. 

Hard Opinions (Part One)

In March of 2015, I decided to embrace my inner cranky old man, and write a new column under the name Henry Huggins. Henry had a lot of hard opinions, and wasn't afraid to share them. Although I only wrote two Hard Opinions columns before the newspaper went under, they were among my favorite pieces I ever did for Synthesis, and so much fun to write. 

Originally published in Synthesis Weekly: March 2015

The world has lost its goddamn collective mind. But don’t you worry your dumb little brain, good ol’ Henry Huggins is here to guide you back to your sanity; you’re all just a hop, skip, and a swift kick in the ass away from sweet salvation, you smelly bunch of dumb-dumbs.

First up on my list of hard opinions: food fads. What in in the Sam Hell is a Cro-nut? It sounds like the medical term for a caveman’s nutsack. And ramen burgers? Sickening. Heap some more MSG onto your food pile, ya loon! You’ll get no sympathy from Huggins when you’re keeling over after years of constantly poisoning that jelly-like skin-sack you call a body with bullshit food fads like Dippin’ Dots and bacon-flavored everything. You keep eating your cronuts and fried dough, Huggins will be around long after you’ve kicked the bucket. He’ll be off with a fiery bearcat the likes of which you’ve never even seen!

Next up on my list: commercials these days. Have you seen the one from Nationwide? Malarky! Pure applesauce and horseshit. Why is every commercial designed to take me for a two minute walk around the emotional spectrum? If I wanted that I’d ask my damn grandkids to do their reenactment of that Freezing movie everyone’s been talking about. That dead Nationwide kid is the biggest bluenose I’ve ever seen. Pappy Huggins calls bushwa on that bullshit. Get a real job, ya bunch of dewdroppers!

Now, you may think that Huggins is a dumb layabout, who does nothing but sit around, sippin’ off the giggle water and yelling obscenities at the neighborhood kids. Well, you’re only half right. I might spend a fair amount of my day using my God-given right to park my pooper on the front porch and get spifflicated while doling out my valuable life lessons to kids, but that’s not all I do. Far from it! After my morning constitutional, I take my attentions to my classic ‘94 IBM Aptiva and peruse the world wide web.

I was shocked and dismayed to see the world so bamboozled by that damn dress! I mean c’mon! It should be plain as day to even the reddest Reuben that the whole kit and caboodle was just a ploy by the government to get people a chatterin’ so they’d lessen up their peepy gaze on the corners of the world wide web where the good stuff is. For instance, did’ja hear the one about the cherry factory in Brooklyn? Turns out the owner made a classic mistake of not knowin’ his onions, and got slapped with a surprise raid by the police and wound up dead on account of his shame at hidin’ a whole goddamn drug farm in the basement!

Take it from me kids, Huggins will never steer you wrong. If you’re lookin’ to make a quick buck… then head to nearest reflective surface and give that dumb idiot the what for, because there’s no such thing! In closing, I’d like to invite ya’ll to get off my damn lawn! And get a haircut! You all look terrible.

Arielle Mullen