The Safford Sun’s Weekly How-To Column

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By Cameron Burry

“How to Pick Your Dream Profession”

By Julian Flowers

To find your dream profession, you need to find your passion. What is it that you want to do with your life? Why is that what you want to do? Do you only want a paycheck or is something else driving you? These are all questions that you, as a budding professional, should ask yourself. When I decided to be a writer, it wasn’t a snap decision. It was a decision borne of years of contemplation and self-actualization. But, I finally was able to determine that, above all else, writing was my dream job. When picking your dream job, make sure that you are asking yourself the right questions. If you are like I once was back in college, you might find this a little difficult. That being said, here are a few steps to follow:

Step 1: Make sure the job you pick is one you can see yourself doing until you are old. If it is not, then you are not in the right job. When you are 65, what do you want to retire as? This is key.

Step 2: Find out what your passionate about. Pottery? Cooking? Javelin? It doesn’t matter what you’re passionate about; all that matters is you will be happy doing it.

Step 3: Allow yourself to look past the dollar signs. Happiness is not established by money, but by contentment in the state of your life. Of course, if you are passionate about making money, then you might look into investment banking or day-trading. Doing sketch art is probably not for you.

Step 4: Get a firm support system. Make sure that your significant other and friends are supportive about what you want to do. It is hard to accomplish anything with your wife or husband telling you that you are shooting too high.


“How to Find your Perfect Mate”

By Julian Flowers

Finding the perfect mate is a battle. Not with any potential suitor, but with your own standards of happiness. What is it that will make you happy in a mate? You need to find someone who loves, lives and laughs like you do. In addition, it needs to be someone who will support you (for more information on this, check last week’s column on finding your dream job). When looking for a mate, the only thing that you need is a heart and willingness to compromise.

Step 1: Location! Do not search for a mate in a place where you would not want your own child searching for a mate. Finding a mate at the local bar might be sitcom-y, but if you watch those sitcoms closely, it rarely works out well.

Step 2: Find out what makes him or her laugh. If you do not laugh alike, it might not be in the stars.

Step 3: Take a walk together. If you cannot sustain a conversation for a jaunt around the block, how is the rest of your life going to look?

Step 4: Remember that “perfection” is a myth. You will likely not find someone who is absolutely perfect in every way. You will need to decide what is most important to you in a mate. It’s about making a “best hits” list. What are your best hits and what are the ideal best hits in a potential mate?

Step 5: Food Counts. Or rather, it is the small details of everyday life that count. Is she a vegetarian, but you are a firm lover of cow-meat? Is he a vegan, but you love milkshakes? If you conflict in these minor issues, finding a relationship together is going to be difficult. Believe it or not, the small details are the ones that can tear a relationship asunder.


“How to Resolve Marital Conflict”

By Julian Flowers

All I have to say about this one is “Compromise.” You need to make sure that your spouse is happy at the end of the argument. If you feel well enough to go to bed at night with a head clear of marital conflict, then you made the right choices in that argument. However, if you feel like you just went three rounds with Sugar Ray with no end in sight, go back and find out what the root of the issue is.

Marital conflict can be a raging sea of headaches, yelling and disappointment. You are not trying to “win” at an argument or conflict. You are trying to arrive at a point where both you and your spouse can look at each other and decide that you are okay with his or her existence. Sometimes, you might have a few loose ends that are left untied, but don’t sweat the small stuff. Solve the major issues and the rest of it will fall through the cracks. To break it down simply, it goes:

Step 1: Listen well

Step 2: Learn a lot

Step 3: Apologize often

Step 4: Change when necessary

Step 5: Repeat until death

*It should also be noted that sometimes, your spouse needs space. If your wife needs to go out with friends and spend some time alone, let her do so. If she needs to go to a friend’s house late at night to talk about some of the major issues that you and she are having, let her go. When she gets back, lock the door and have it out.

How to Get Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize

I must admit, this week’s column will be a bit of a brag about my recent article “How to Resolve Marital Conflict.” My editor submitted the story and, wouldn’t you know it, I was nominated. I would like to take a minute of this week’s column to thank you, the readers, for being supportive and appreciative of my work. It is a true testament to the quality of a writer when he has fans as devoted as you all. This nomination wouldn’t be possible without your loyal readership and letters to the paper.

I can’t tell you how blessed I am when I get a letter saying that one of my articles helped one of my readers. It brings a tear to the eye of this old, foolish writer. I would also like to thank my supportive wife. Even in my times of turmoil, she has always been kind enough to remind me that a Pulitzer is not everything and stuck by my side.

That being said, I can’t actually tell you how to get nominated for a Pulitzer. After all, I am not entirely sure how I, the son of a small-town preacher, could make it to this point. Instead, I have a short list of steps that you, my faithful readers, can follow to pursue and achieve your dreams, no matter how ridiculous your high school English teacher says they are (That one’s for you, Ms. Fraeks. You always said that I could never be a writer).

Step 1: Work hard.

Step 2: Never give up.

Step 3: Lather, rinse, repeat.

Believe it or not, it really is as easy as that. It is never going to be easy to achieve a life goal. But if you put your nose to the grindstone and really pursue your passion with the fire of a thousand volcanos, you can find yourself in a place of honor like the one that I am now in.


“How to Find out if your Wife is Cheating on you with Carl”

By Julian Flowers

In my last article, I wrote about how to resolve marital conflict in a very compromise-driven way. However, in light of recent events, I have found that a strong hand is sometimes needed. At least that is what some columnist’s wives would say. “Oh, you’re too flexible. Oh, you work too long. Oh, you never take a stand.” If your wife says these things to you after you come home from a Pulitzer Prize ceremony for your “How to Resolve Marital Conflict” article (in which, you lost), then chances are, she is sleeping with Carl.

If you want to know how to find out if your wife is sleeping with Carl, then, guess what? I have compiled a list of steps for you to go by.

Step 1: Look at your wife. Is she a lying, two-faced whore? If so, she is sleeping with Carl.

Step 2: Does your wife give you herpes? Does Carl have herpes? If you answered “yes” to one or both of these questions, then she is sleeping with Carl.

Step 3: Does she frequently go out to dinner with “Friends,” but never gives you the names of those friends? If so, she is sleeping with Carl.

Step 4: Does the name “Carl” frequently come up during your passionless, repetitive and unimaginative lovemaking? If so, she is sleeping with Carl.

Step 5: Does she make fun of your articles behind your back to her friends? (This may not be indicative of her back-stabbing betrayal with Carl, but it should be noted that you have put in a decade of hard work so that she could stay home and work on her ridiculous hobbies, like “Hat Designing” or “Drinking Gin at Noon.”) In any case, at this point, she is definitely sleeping with Carl.


“How to get Fired from your Job as a Columnist”

By Julian Flowers

I have found that, sometimes, if you write a controversial article in which many of the occasions link to your personal marital catastrophe at the hands of Carl, you get fired from your job as a columnist at the Safford Sun. However, I have also found that if you bribe the head of the printing department enough money, he will still run your articles (thanks, Vinny). So, you have a great job as an (near) award-winning columnist but you want to screw everything up in one swift action? Here’s how you do it.

Step 1: Marry Lisa.

Step 2: Look the other way while she sleeps with Carl.

Step 3: Find out conclusively that she is sleeping with Carl.

Step 4: Write an article about it and publish it without running it past your editor.

Step 5: Subsequently get fired.

Bonus Steps for Extra Points

Step 6: Soak Lisa’s clothes in cherry soda and put them in your Landlord’s deep freezer.

Step 7: Take a leak in Carl’s mailbox slot after drinking a fifth of Scotch in the rain.


“How to Hack in to the Safford Sun’s System and Publish an Article, Despite Being Fired, Blacklisted and Vinny getting Canned”

By Julian Flowers

So, Vinny got fired and can’t run any more of your articles, huh? You’ve been fired and blacklisted too? Well, guess what, there’s another way to publish an article at the Safford Sun without Vinny’s help. In case you married the lying succubus of a whore named Lisa who is now moving to Rhode Island with Carl to open a winery and you now want to write another article about how terrible of a person she is, then here is how you hack into the Safford Sun’s system and print it anyways.

Step 1: Memorize the printing software’s password.

Step 2: Sneak into the Safford Sun late at night (bribe the janitor, if necessary; thanks, Jorge).

Step 3: Go to the Printing department.

Step 4: Upload this article.

Step 5: Insert the article into tomorrow morning’s edition.

Step 6: Go get hammered at the nearest sports bar.


“How to Ruin Your Life”

By Julian Flowers

Did the Safford Sun still not change their password after your last debacle? Their mistake. After all, how much time do you need to wise up to your errors? You honestly can’t believe these witless buffoons still run a (mildly) successful paper! But, all the better because now, you can write one more article before they finally wise up and increase their security.

I am sure that you, my loyal readership is interested in how you can ruin your life in a matter of days. If so, just do what I did!

Step 1: Be a complete idiot and marry Lisa after only dating for five months in college.

Step 2: Get a job as a columnist at the Safford Sun.

Step 3: Write vague, fluff-word articles in which there is no real information portrayed, but have the sheep in Safford eat it out of the palm of your hand.

Step 4: Do NOT win a Pulitzer prize.

Step 5: Befriend your lonely stay-at-home neighbor, Carl.

Step 6: Get divorced and fired in the same week.

Step 7: Get arrested for trespassing and media tampering.

Step 8: Develop a drinking problem.

As this will likely be the final article I can run in the Safford Sun before they finally revoke my access,  I have one final point of wisdom that I would like to portray to you, my loyal readers after all of this strife. I would like to think that, after each and every trial of your life, you can learn something so that even the most devastating tragedy can have a glimmer of a silver lining, in spite of the crap-storm that it comes on the cusps of. That one, modest wisdom that I have taken away from this entire ordeal can be summed up in one simple, but profoundly poignant statement:

Lisa is a slut.

I just want the greater Safford Metropolitan area to know that conclusively.

Ta-ta, Jerks.

Category: Fiction, Short Story