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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. 


Originally published in Synthesis Weekly: August 2013

Well dear reader, it’s that time of year again. If you’re a regular reader of the Synthesis, then you’re probably noticing the streets are once again aflame with familiar activity. By day this means seeing the hordes of new, incoming Wildcat students leading their parents around by their purse strings and chattering incessantly, while giant SUV’s zip around downtown flying the wrong way down the clearly-marked one-way streets. (And here I thought arrows were pretty universal…) By night the streets take on a louder, stickier vibe, where packs of boys in bedazzled button-ups yell charming words like “homo” and “retard” at each other and passersby, while the young ladies in teetering heels clip-clop down the sidewalks like Clydesdales in skirts too short.

If you’re not a regular reader of the Synthesis, on the account that you just moved here to attend school, welcome! We’re all totally excited to have you here. Don’t pay any attention to my poor attitude; I’m probably just bitter because I’m closer to thirty than twenty-five and I still have a year of school left because I dilly-dallied in finishing my scholastic goals and I’m jealous of your youthful ignorance. I only ask that when I apply to your bedazzled t-shirt company as a part-time bedazzler, that you don’t hold my past misanthropic musings against me.

If I may, I’d like to offer up some unsolicited advice for your time here in Chico. I know you won’t listen, but you should. Or not, whatever, I’m just fulfilling a word count.

Pregret: I know you think I just misspelled “pregnant,” but I didn’t. “Pregret” is the regret you feel preemptively before doing something you know you shouldn’t. These things might include going home with some guy you just met at the bars who says things like “irregardless” or “for all intensive purposes,” or it might be attempting to drive home in spite of all the jello shots you consumed, because you’re not that far from your house and you don’t want to leave your Jetta downtown. Trust me, just get a cab. Or, do what I did once and hail a hobo with a cart full of empty cans, and ride in that hobo-cart back to your house. Same thing, really.

Bike Stuff: Don’t be an idiot. Things that would fall under the idiot umbrella include riding on the sidewalks, riding against traffic, or trying to ride your bike home from the bars when you can hardly walk.

R-E-S-P-E-C-T: Find out what it means to me… well not me really, because I’m not important, but the people who were here before you. We know that you’re really excited about living away from home, making new friends and having that classic “college” experience that you’ve been looking forward to, but try to be mindful. If you’re going to vomit downtown, try to aim for a toilet, or at least the gutter and not the sidewalk. Be polite to bartenders, bouncers… anyone in the service industry really.

Oh, and don’t try to use “pregret” in any of the papers you write for class; it’s not actually a word.

Arielle Mullen