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How To Recover After The NYT Mini Jingle Plays During Class And Your Professor Says “What Was That”


Let’s set the scene: You’re in class on a Friday morning. You stifle a yawn, aimlessly perusing your computer until something dawns on you: the New York Times Daily Mini Crossword! It’s out. A beautiful 5x5 puzzle of possibility! You toggle over to the website, click begin, and the clock begins ticking. Across, down — quickly! Anyone’s who’s anyone gets it in under a minute. Your pulse is racing — the clue is Michael of Superbad…? Oh, Cera! Easy! Shit, you missed a key. Backspace, backspace, backspace. Fuck, you’re at 46 seconds. C’mon, one more and—

Fuck. Fuck fuck FUCK fukc fuck fuck fuck FUCKKK fufCKKCKCCKCKCKCKCK. 

Your volume was all the way up. 

You immediately mute, but it’s too late. 

The congratulatory ditty has already escaped from your laptop speaker. All twelve people — oh yeah, you’re in a seminar — look at you, eyebrows raised, stifling giggles. Your professor snaps their head in your direction and you know in your heart of hearts that your future has been irrevocably damaged. You'll be paying the price for the rest of your life.

“Um, what was that?” your professor says. 

You must go. You must go and never return. You must pack your bags and book a one-way flight— there’s nothing here for you anymore. You must rebuild your life. It won’t be so bad. Maine sounds nice. Yes, a small cabin in rural Maine. You’ll live a simple life. You don’t need phones or laptops — what good have they done you? You’ll live off the land. You’ll read (not the New York Times, obviously), you’ll write. You’ll crochet hats for the old ladies who frequent your farmer’s market and fall in love with a burly man with large dogs — he’s gruff, but has a good heart. Maybe even one day, you’ll be able to look at a crossword again. 

But I doubt it.