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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. 

Let's Talk About Sex... And Cake Farts

Originally published in Synthesis Weekly: February 2013

Well kids, it’s that time of year again. The infamous Day of Love, Singles Awareness Day, and Valentines – it goes by many names and, like most things, people have strong opinions about it. You can’t fight it, so just sit back and relax as Cupid rears his disproportionately large raptor head and summons from the sky tiny heart-shaped beads filled with acid. As they pelt down, melting everything they touch (bums, cars, a dog here or there), Cupid throws back his head and lets out a thunderous laugh, sending a chill up the collective spine of humanity.

Hmm…this is awkward. Now that I read that last part back, I’m remembering that was actually a dream I had the other night. Well anyway, ’tis the season for love, so let’s discuss some such tomfoolery.

Our first story comes to us from Craigslist – Manhattan Craigslist to be precise. I can only assume the poster must really care about the person whose birthday it is, because it’s such a touching and heartfelt gesture.

“I know this sounds bizarre, but I need someone (preferably female) to come to my friend’s birthday and sit on his cake and fart on it. It will be in a public place and will not be a dangerous situation. Just for jokes. $50.”

I mean…that’s true friendship right there. $50 is pretty good for a quick squat and fart, but personally I’d be leery of any Craigslist ad where the poster feels the need to specify it won’t be a dangerous situation.

Our next point of interest deals with Spider-Man, specifically that fancy white webbing that ol’ Peter seems to have an endless supply of. An entomologist who goes by the name of “Bug Girl” and runs a blog has brought to light an uncomfortable fact about spiders that has some nasty repercussions for anyone who enjoys Spider-Man. Spiders make their webs from silk which is gleaned from glands called spinnerets. However, they’re located at the tip of the abdomen, not the wrists. So what does this mean for Peter Parker? Read on, if you dare.

“Male spiders have special appendages on the front of their bodies – they are really noticeable ‘boxing gloves.’ Those are not, however, what spiders shoot silk or webbing out of. These pedipalps have one function. SEX.”

That means the white sticky stuff Peter has been shooting out of his wrists all these years is…Oh, god. Poor Aunt May. Do you know how many times being thrown in a giant pile of that stuff has saved her? Yikes. You can thank i09 for that disgusting revelation.

Lastly, and on a serious note, like everyone else I was shocked and saddened by the recent loss of one of Chico’s best, Katie Kelley. Katie had such a brightness to her that was incredibly intoxicating to be around. Her enthusiasm for life was infectious, and I, like many others, am deeply struck by such a terrible loss. My heart goes out to her family. And to all her friends I ask only that we try to be easy on each other, and of course, give out hugs like it’s going out of style (which it never will).

Arielle Mullen