Happy Hour Sad

By Mo Macsai-Goren

OMAHA – Weeping softly into his third White Russian just before the clock struck 4:30, happy hour regular and self-employed local theatre critic Jamie Werty took part in what some are now calling the saddest happy hour of all time. Fresh off of his stint as the only audience member for Cleveland Middle School’s autumn matinee of Shrek: The Musical, Werty headed to his favorite spot in town to down over a quart of heavy cream mixed with vodka and Kahlua in complete silence. Chili’s bartender Aaron Dean attempted to speak to Werty about his job, family life, and every decision that led him to him being the only patron in a Chili’s located in a strip mall in the middle of the day. Fellow waitstaff gathered to watch Werty laugh too loudly at the Mike & Molly reruns playing on every TV at the bar as a single tear made its way down his cheek. They couldn’t ask him to leave. He was finally happy. He was finally home.

Man Refusing to Sit in Front of Uber in Case Anyone Mistakes Him and Driver as Equals

By Mo Macsai-Goren

Asserting his dominance over the hardworking Uber driver who picked him up from yet another long day at Deutsche Bank, area man Chris Cox refused to sit shotgun on his hour-long ride home. Citing his distain of being seen as equal to his driver, Cox flung his briefcase against the opposite side of the car before sitting and repeatedly calling the driver “buddy” or “big guy.” While Cox Ubers to and from his job as a financial strategist at Deutsche bank every single day, he has yet to sit next to the driver, even in an otherwise-full Uber Pool. According to his passenger reviews, Cox has been known to request that fellow Uber Pool passengers relocate to the front seat so he can maintain the illusion that he is in an episode of Succession. He has been known to ask the driver to close the partition despite riding primarily in PT Cruisers and Kia Sorentos. Sources close to Cox have said that he has always been terrified of being perceived as equal in status to service industry workers, despite never having worked in the industry himself. When asked why he also refuses to tip servers and drivers, Cox expressed deep concern and asked why he would give shell out more money for someone who is just “doing their job.”

Drum Circle More Like Drum Ellipse

By David Colton

CHURCH LOUNGE — Ever since Dex, the hip new youth pastor, joined our church, there has been talk of re-vamping the “Activities & Fun” branch of the church budget.

He started an adult Fortnite league, founded the daytime card players’ society and has successfully convinced three elderly church members to leave without making them feel bad.

None of that has been as controversial as “Dex’s Drum Circle.”

The group of non-percussionists meets three times per week in the church house lounge.

“Sometimes our circle fluctuates and changes shape a bit, to include new members and types of drums” said Dex, a youth pastor with spiked-up hair and a likely background in assistant high school football coaching. “We generally try to stay away from anything that changes or is different in any way.”

Asked whether he thinks he should instead embrace the changing world and all of its variabilities, Dex flipped us off from his car and drove away.

According to sources familiar with the weekly drum circle, if even one chair appears slightly out of position, Dex the youth pastor makes everyone leave building with their drum and chair and come back in. He calls it a “Redux.”

Kid in Giant T-Shirt Wants to Race

By David Colton

THE STREET — This year’s block party was already off to a good start. Paul from down the street brought out the cider he’s been fermenting and the fire engine showed up an hour early.

The truck was only there for about three minutes before the fire hydrant was opened and the neighborhood children all gathered in the spray.

The first child in the mist was, of course, Markie Dawson, whose parents nobody else on the street has met. He made sure to get soaking wet before hopping right back on his scooter for an air dry.

“That Markie Dawson sure is rambunctious,” said Barb Hammond, who has already ruined her only son for everyone else via social media, “I don’t want my Jonathan hanging around with him.”

But for Markie, dashing through sprinklers and spraying unsuspecting dads with water guns was only the beginning. Dawson developed a round-robin style bracket in which he will race on foot against every adult at this block party until either he loses or someone else wins.

Markie, who allegedly got kicked out of Ms. Wahle’s second grade class, was last seen preliminarily demolishing the entire block party supply of s’mores marshmallows.

Entire Day at Mercy of Early-Morning Co-Star Notification

By Mo Macsai-Goren

PORTLAND – Announcing that today’s moon transit will cause an intense negative shift in her worldview, the personalized astrology app Co-Star woke up Lauren Carmichael, 24, to tell her how her exactly how awful her day would be.

According to her roommate, this is a daily occurrence for Carmichael. The popular app sends her a hyper-personalized, passive-aggressive message at dawn to remind her that her day will either be good or bad depending on her astrological chart. Carmichael expressed her mixed feelings about the app to Gatekeeper reporters after finding out that her day was essentially over before 9 a.m.

“On one hand, it’s nice not to have to choose if I’m going to have a good day or a bad day,” Carmichael said. “On the other, I miss my autonomy.”

Although Co-Star destroyed Carmichael’s confidence within three minutes of waking up, the app also provided some daily words of wisdom and encouragement. The app encouraged her to “keep your chin up despite the adversity we just created” and to “download Co-Star premium for only $14.99/month.” Co-Star premium features “all the same features as the regular app but allows users to have their lives predetermined for them ad-free.”

Sources close to Carmichael said she briefly subscribed to the premium service but simply could not put up with the onslaught of devastating notifications. She had, however, commended the life-determining service on being ad-free.

Man Leaves Concert Early to Buy $85 Sweatshirt

By David Colton

CULVER’S CENTER — After weeks of anticipation, Kev and the boys were thrilled to finally have the chance to get plastered in a non-basement setting.

Thursday night saw this year’s second installation of the tri-annual Foreigner Concert Experience at the freshly erected Culver’s Center in Gary, Indiana.

Kev and the boys (Trey, Troy, Nick and TJ) attend at least two of the three Foreigner concerts at Gary’s Culver’s Center per year, according to a dresser drawer full of ticket stubs.

Each year, the gentlemen commemorate their trip with two celebratory torso garments. The first are custom-made with white t-shirts and airbrush paint, while the second are traditionally merchandise items purchased at the concert itself.

This year, Foreigner hired a 34-year-old wearing a floppy hat to design the sweatshirts, and Kev and the boys simply could not resist.

The “loved and broken”-style sweatshirt is a reimagining of the band’s hit sweatshirt from the 1996 “Foreigner Takes Canada” tour.

“I figured, we leave as soon as they start playing ‘Dirty White Boy,’ there will be zero line at the merch stand,” said Kev, leader of Kev and the boys, “Plus, by leaving 25 minutes after the set starts, we can avoid traffic.”

With this foolproof plan, K and the B’s say they have reached the pinnacle of streamlined concert attending.

Emotionally Stunted Teen Has Coolest Parents

By Ben Gaspin

GREENWICH –  Sixteen-year-old Jackson Smalls has the life most teens dream of. He has a girlfriend, a car, and access to his father’s medical marijuana card. That’s right: Jackson Smalls has the coolest parents ever.

Smalls didn’t always know his parents were cool. In fact, he thought he was the cool one. To him, they were just Mom, who taught his friend Shiera how to kiss a boy because her mom is too conservative, and Dad, who coached Jackson’s basketball team and gave the other boys pointers to improve their game, while he just told Jackson how proud of him he was.

It wasn’t until Jackson threw a party while his parents were skydiving in Malta that he realized he might not be the stud he once believed. He made the mistake of telling friends that his parents were out of town, not realizing that the main reason they loved his house was because his dad is hella funny and his mom once told the principal that she could go fuck herself. 

Jackson’s girlfriend, Amanda Greene, comforts him when she can. “I’m kinda like his therapist, you know. He can never really find the words for how he’s feeling, or if he’s got any prospects in life. I want to tell him to talk to his parents because they’ll make him feel better by saying he can be president if he wants to, but also I feel like that’s a burden on Becky–oh, sorry, that’s his mom–you know?”

It is a burden for Becky, which is why Mr. and Mrs. Smalls tell their son weekly that it’s perfectly okay to talk to a therapist, even if nothing’s wrong yet, and you know what? Why don’t they just go ahead and set up an appointment for next week; he can go if he wants to or just cancel it.

Jackson has yet to see a therapist. When asked for comment, his only response was “Why would I talk about my feelings when Mortal Kombat can bury them deep inside me?”

Man Leaves Debit Card at Bar for Narrative Reasons

By David Colton

HELL’S KITCHEN — Kyle Costello wanted to make sure that his coworkers knew that he had a crazy weekend.

According to his recounting of the weekend, which apparently began at 6:30 p.m. on Friday and continued nonstop until he ‘passed out’ Sunday, Kyle was interested in drinking alcoholic beverages as a means of unwinding after a stressful week.

Although a common feat among working humans, post-work drinking can sometimes bring out the worst in people — especially people named Kyle.

“I think it was the second shot that did it,” said Kyle, who has not explained why he hasn’t returned to retrieve his card from Rico’s Basement, “Bro, I was so gone — dude, I fucking snapped Kelsey. Kelsey. Can you believe that?!”

It remains unclear who accompanied Kyle on this strange excursion to the worst bar on the face of the earth.

However, The Gatekeeper was able to get in contact with Kelsey, who confirmed that she received Snapchats from Kyle Friday night.

“So yeah, Kyle sent me some shirtless pictures that were obviously taken in a public bathroom,” said Kelsey, who made out with Kyle at a prom afterparty nine years ago, “I thought I recognized the tile from Rico’s Basement. He’s always like, one of four people at that bar.”

Kelsey was able to confirm that generally speaking, none of the patrons at Rico’s really talk to one another.

As of Monday morning, Kyle’s coworkers confirmed that he left the card at the bar in order to have a topic of conversation when he got into work.

“It’s always something with Kyle,” said Terrance Buns, accounting dept. “Last year he signed a ten-year lease on a studio apartment so he could ‘always have someplace to bone.’”