Hey hey, fellow Adjunct Professors! Whelp, it’s that time of year. That’s right: Brokeassuary! It’s when there’s still another six weeks or so until school starts up again, and the money you saved last Spring and Fall is gone, and it’s rice and beans for lunch and dinner—today, and everyday! Aren’t you glad you busted your ass to get a Master’s Degree, and aren’t you glad your employer is all like “Benefits, schmenefits?” Yeah. Me too.
But it’s not all bad. Sure, you’re drowning in insane debt—which is the price you pay in this country for trying to better yourself if you’re not born rich—your credit score is tanking because of all the unpaid bills, and any other potential employers think you’re “overqualified” because of that goddamn Master’s Degree, but hey: Knock off alla that “stinkin’ thinkin’!” Brokeassuary can be great fun, with the right attitude.
I’m here to help, Professor Brokeass. I’m here to help you survive Brokeassuary, and not only that—I’m here to help you find some enjoyment during this difficult time. So without any further ado, here are Fifty-One Fun Things Adjunct Professors Can Do During the Month(s) of Brokeassuary. Enjoy! Smiley face emoji! Thumb’s up emoji! American flag emoji!
1. Fill your empty shampoo bottle with water so you get an extra couple-two-tree days out of it. Yay! Fun!
2. Laugh heartily at the “crusty punk” sitting outside the Food Smart who calls you a “rich yuppie” because you can’t afford to give him the change he needs in order to attain a higher level of drunkenness.
3. Sell off all your favorite records, CDs, and books. You don’t deserve them, you lazy piece of shit. What did you ever do, besides get published, tour, work hard at things that don’t pay very much? Not a goddamn thing, Professor Bitchnmoan.
4. Learn to love Ramen.
5. Patiently explain to “Patricia” from Mumbai why you fell behind on your credit card payments.
6. Train a fleet of pigeons to send your oh-so-important texts to your friends, because your phone will be turned off.
7. Be delighted that your bank charges you a “service fee” of $15 if you don’t direct deposit at least $1500 in a month.
8. Go to job interviews, get interviewed by some Millennial dork who wants the workplace to be all “quirky” and shit, because that doesn’t feel forced, and as spontaneous as the cicada mating cycle. (“What?! It’s ‘Fake Moustache Friday!’ Oh, how fun! This is nothing like my grandpa’s old fart workplace!”)
9. Smile! (Why the hell not?)
10. Lose weight! Learn to live without so much food.
11. Politely explain—when those 2 or 3 figure freelance/odd jobs checks finally arrive—that you’re drinking PBR or Hamms not because you’re “a hipster,” but rather, it’s all you can fucking afford, you yelping piece of shit.
12. Look forward to dying penniless, if this shit keeps up.
13. Dog food, with what’s left of that Sriacha sauce you still have in your fridge, ain’t that bad, really. While some adjuncts swear by the “Healthy Radiance with Real Salmon” Beneful brand dog food, others insist that good old fashioned canned Pedigree Meaty Ground Chicken and Rice Dinner is the way to go. It really depends on your budget and your personal tastes.
14. Start a band and play shows. The “play shows” part is important. That way—you get a social life of sorts. You get a couple free drinks from the bar, and maybe somebody in the audience will enjoy the music you’re playing, and will offer you a drink. Then maybe you’ll meet someone who’s attracted to you, and sees your poverty not as the result of teaching at the collegiate level, but more because you’re an “artist,” an artist way ahead of his time and therefore beyond the comprehension of contemporary society. Own that shit, Van Gogh.
15. Sleep a lot. You might have dreams about working for a place that actually values, respects, and appreciates you.
16. Laugh what’s left of your ass off when some twitty-twat douche friend of yours wants to dismiss what you’re going through as—heh heh—“first world problems.”
16a. Don’t punch them in their stupid face.
17. Remind yourself that it will get better, somehow. Brokeassuary doesn’t last forever.
18. Eat a bag of dicks. You have no right to complain. You’re an American. Nut up, dude.
19. Watch the relationships with your loved ones strain and fray.
20. Wait for the next job interview. Brokeassuary is also the time when people who hire are on vacation. That’s great fun. Enjoy that!
21. Pretend you’re under house arrest and write your “prison memoir.” You can’t afford to leave your house anyway. Why not? “Prison memoirs” are hott and marketable. (Ever heard of a little something called “Orange is the New Black?” Hmmm?)
22. Freak out and use your debit card anyway even though it only has $5.42. “YOLO!”
23. Remember when you had money, and you bought a bunch of drinks for your friends who didn’t have money? Hey, whatever happened to those friends? FUCKING FIND THEM.
24. Remind yourself that this is all your fault. There’s no one else to blame. The policies of higher education have always been sound and logical. Education and teachers are the highest priority of this country. The school didn’t do a lousy job of finding donors, and they didn’t blow their load buying up a bunch of buildings during the housing boom of the mid-aughts. IRONY IRONY IRONY IRONY IRONY.
25. Make a “gourmet dinner” out of one bean, like they used to do in the cartoons. Wear a bib, keep the bean covered and centered on fine china (or a plate-“fine china,” you don’t have that!), raise the cover, and make a dramatic production out of cutting the bean with your fork and knife.
26. Fantasize about all the things you’ll do when you actually have money. Buy groceries. Take your girlfriend to Burger King. Pay a bill. DARE TO DREAM AND DREAM BIG
27. Buy food with a lot of spare change. It’s fun to count the spare change on the counter of the corner store. Everybody loves counting change! It’s exciting! Does he, or does he not, have enough money for a can of lentils? Drum roll, please!
28. Apply your rolling pin to your nearly empty package of toothpaste. There’s still some in there, buddy. The challenge is in getting every last bit of that toothpaste out, and challenges are fun and rewarding and they bring out the best in you.
29. Don’t get sick and/or injured and have to go to the hospital. But, if you do, you’ll get three square meals a day. So there’s that.
30. Learn to juggle. Juggling is a fun and cheap hobby. Learn to juggle all the things you do that don’t pay for shit. There are so many! OH WOW DID YOU SEE WHAT I JUST DID THERE.
31. Have your friends with cable reenact the latest episodes of “your favorite shows” because of course, you can’t afford cable because you don’t deserve such a luxury you overeducated piece of shit.
32. Stand by the water faucet in your kitchen and pretend it’s the “water cooler” of an office breakroom and talk about “the big game,” or repeat incessantly the catchphrase in the latest hit comedy movie, or ape the talking point the right-wing screamy guy was all screamy about this morning…
33. Sit in the sun in the park long enough so the next time your friends see you they’ll be all like, “Hey, nice tan!”
34. Do your best to suspend your disbelief while watching “Gilligan’s Island” on MeTV.
35. Remind yourself that you’ve been through all of this before. Brokeassuary happens every year, and will continue to happen as long as you’re doing this.
36. Hang in there, buddy.
37. Accept the questionable life decisions you made, and live with the consequences.
38. Recall the good times. You’ve gotten to do a bunch of things most people never get to do, go places most people never get to go, and meet all kinds of incredible people.
39. Develop insomnia. That way, you get to experience every excruciating hour of Brokeassuary, and it will make you a stronger person. Brokeassuary builds character!
40. Take a shower and sing the Queensrhyche song “Silent Lucidity” like the cartoon character Foghorn Leghorn.
41. Porky Pig it, in terms of your dress, or lack thereof. It’s Brokeasuary! Who do you got to be profesh for?
42. Write a screenplay about a “nerdy teen girl” who is lonely and awkward and bookish who turns into a “beauty queen” when she loses those glasses. See if Zooey Deschanel (that fucking nerd) will be down to take part in this project.
43. Get together with Mary to get serious about the Chicago-themed She and Him cover band called “Dis Guy and Dat Gal.”
44. Still remain perplexed as to why they called that movie, “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids.” Shit makes no sense.
45. Develop a witty catchphrase like, “I can’t do that because I have no money.”
46. Have an opinion on the daytime talk shows, and be unafraid to verbalize your opinions, even if no one’s around to agree or disagree with you.
47. Dance like no one’s watching! No. Don’t do that.
48. Figure your shit out, dude. Seriously. Nobody wants to read whiny crap like this. Nobody.
49. Take up stick whittling, chaw chewin’, and idle gossip. (If you live in the South.)
50. Rebrand yourself, but don’t tell anybody you’re rebranding yourself, because nobody likes that word. “Rebrand.” Barf.
51. “Have a good time, all the time.”—Sir Mick Shrimpton.