Inconspicuous

Volume I | Issue ii

Letter from the Editor
Dear Reader,

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ife on the underground is tough. Some evenings over these past weeks, we have worked long into the deepest and darkest hours of the night, agonizing over every word within these pages, for We Will Stop at Nothing Short of ExcelImage by Inconspicuous Staff. All rights reserved. lence. On that morning when distribution finally rolls around, you will know us by the circles under orange juice … to you all, our peers: the pretentious, the malicious, the rebellious, and the cyniour eyes. cal alike. We would have you know that Inconspicuous is not merely a “lit ‘zine.” We are here, necessarily, Life on the underground is an adventure, after to tackle the subjects that are vital to the students all. of South, whether they be sex, drugs, rock’n’roll, Anonymously yours, or Sophie’s World. It takes something extraordinary to stand out in the sea that is nonconformity Inconspicuous Editor In Chief at South. Inconspicuous is a compilation created by that sea, and it will become extraordinary because of you. In that vein, submissions, comments, and questions are welcomed at inconspicuouslit@gmail. com. You may also submit work from our website, http://www.inconspicuous.uni.cc, which is a pretty cool website, by the way. Soon enough, you may see your own words within these pages. Submissions are by default anonymous, but let us know if you want your name in the byline (should we choose to publish it). Somewhere within the body of students, we are sitting next to you in your classes. We are waiting for your responses; we are gauging your reactions. So now, on behalf of the staff, I raise my glass of … 

We leave you to enjoy Inconspicuous with this final thought: “The usual high school paper is run by puppet lackeys of the administration. It avoids controversy, naughty language, and a host of other things foreign to the 4-H Club members the school is determined to mass produce. The only thing the staff is good at is kissing the principal’s ass. Let’s face it, the aim of a good high school newspaper should be to destroy the high school.” -Abbie Hoffman,
In fact, one thing that I’ve noticed... is that all of these conspiracy theories depend on the perpetrators being endlessly clever. I think you’ll find the facts also work if you assume everyone is everyone stupid. - Unknown

Inconspicuous

Letters to the Editor
I had lots of trouble trying to get my hands on a copy of Inconspicuous for the first issue. I know there were some in the science resource area, but I had problems finding them elsewhere. My English teacher had some in the morning, but by the time I tried to go and get one, there weren’t any left. You should release more copies of your magazine if you want people to read it. Thanks. - Annoyed
To Annoyed, Don’t worry. We’re releasing more copies of each issue now. Look out for copies of Inconspicuous in the library, classrooms, IHS hallways, practice rooms, and other mundane places around the school. Good Luck! I really liked your first issue, the news (fake news is definitely more entertaining than the real stuff), poetry (that emo stuff really was crap...but it was so crappy it was...good crap), the stories, and I liked the drawing thingy. I found it interesting I now attend HIS instead of IHS, but the typos didn’t really slow me down. What’s been bugging me is that’s it’s been over three weeks now and no magazine. I mean, is this a one time magazine? Cause you didn’t make it sound like it, but I’m still waiting. So could you hurry it up a little bit. I know it’s a lot of work but come on... Oh, and the H5N strain of bird flu was confirmed in 8-0 dead birds in Eygpt. - Bored and Waiting...

T

hree weeks ago, if you walked around the school, you would be able to see, scattered randomly throughout the school, 17 page white zines, spotting the science wing, the practice rooms, the library, the classrooms, and even certain departments. Our goal was, by 7:45 am, Thursday, January 19th, 2006, the first copies of Inconspicuous’ first issue would be released to the public. We Inconspicuous, Volume sat back, and crossed our finOne, Issue One, released gers, hoping that we wouldn’t on January 19, 2006. bore you.

Dear Editor, I just thought I’d drop a line and say that I think your ‘zine is pretty damn cool. I especially liked your article on Perryman. She was a pretty sweet teacher. It definitely made me smile. The emo poetry epitomized “emo,” and the stories were quite enjoyable. As were the Oscar Wilde quotes. Congrats for a fucking awesome read. 

-Wishes to Remain Anonymous Dear Editor, Sup? How’s it going? My life is goin’ good. Thanks for asking. Oh, hi Inconspicuous peeps reading this. How are you guys? Um...Yea...see ya all later -Also Anonymous
Hi Anonymous, I’d say things are going pretty well… pretty status quo, if you know what I mean. We’re all doing pretty well here at Inconspicuous. Nice to hear that your life is “goin’ good” too.

It’s better to keep your mouth shut and give the impression the impression you’re stupid than to open and remove all doubt. - Rami Belson

Send in your questions and comments to inconspicuouslit@gmail.com. Submissions may be edited for length. All submissions will become property of Inconspicuous. That means we can make fun of you and not get sued for it. Thank you!

Article

Volume I | Issue ii

SCALIA SUPPORTS GROUP SEX
Something we would never have expected from our most conservative Supreme Court justice...

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s usual, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has been giving speeches; however, President Bush may disagree with this staunch conservative on some of the content of this year’s speeches--specifically, his words on group sex. The Harvard graduate, born in 1936, stated in a speech at his alma mater that “sexual orgies eliminate social tension and ought to be encouraged.” Feeling a little stressed? Group sex is for you! However, first you need to know the basics. How many people should be there for this therapy session? According to the associate justice, the proper number is “presumably…between five and the number of people required to fill the Coliseum.” For your information, that’s 45,000 people.

sex! Each and every one of the up to 45,000 must be arranged as carefully as an ionic compound so that the positively charged women only come into contact with negatively charged men and vice versa. The world could falter should you accidentally caress another human being of the same gender! 

But don’t let that keep you from enjoying yourself. Gather yourself a rousing group (perhaps invite Justice S Scalia as well) and rigorously eliminate your social tension through sleeping with many of the opposite gender as they do they same. Should you have any more questions, you can call the Public Information Office of the Supreme Court at 0479-. Or perhaps the “Cult of Scalia” would know; you can sign their guestbook at http://members.aol.com/schwenkler/scalia/. And we wish all But before you gather all the inhabitants of Ras al of you the best in ridding our country of social tenKhaymah for you close knit sexual party, keep in sion. mind that Scalia believes Lawrence v. Texas could This is true. Google it. cause “a massive disruption of the current social order” because it allows men to sleep with men A word to the wise ain’t necessary, it’s the stupid and women to sleep with women. As it is dangerones who need advice. ous to do so, you must be careful with your group
- Bill Cosby

Inconspicuous

Article

BUSH DECLARES EUGENE “AN AXIS OF EVIL”
Students say, “It’s about time.” Washington D.C., -- On March , 006, Presi- Eugene to flourish in America. If anyone opposes dent George W. Bush, during a press conference, the government, they should not be allowed to announced to the nation that Eugene, a small city live in the country,” said Delay fervently. in Oregon, is an “axis of evil.” Statements denouncing Eugene have caused much The CIA has been investigating the area since controversy in Congress, in the White House, and January. The administration, after hearing reliable throughout the nation. People around the globe rumors about the anti-American activities of the are rumored to be celebrating Eugene’s proud defilocal self-proclaimed “hippies,” found evidence of ance against America’s government. A moment of nuclear weapons and other forms of weapons of silence was observed by many Iraqi citizens today mass destruction. for the Eugeneans, though it abruptly ended after a soldier accidentally fired at a civilian, claiming A proposal, fathered by Representative Tom De- that the civilian’s silence threatened him. lay, is currently being debated in Congress. The proposal’s contents include a forced secession When asked why he made this declaration, the within two weeks of Eugene’s release, followed by President responded with: “This city [Eugene] is an a war declaration. “We cannot allow places like axis of evil because... uh... it’s very evil. Right?”

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STEPHANIE CANNON SUSPECTED OF WORKING WITH TERRORISTS
Students say, “It’s about time.” Eugene, Oregon -- On February 8th, 006, a
America is not an elephant. For one thing, elephants never forget, whereas Americans don’t really know much to begin with. Ninety percent of them can’t pick out their hometown on an unmarked map. - Rick Mercer

full Department of Homeland Security anti-terrorism squad marched into the South Eugene main office and placed Stephanie Cannon under arrest for terrorist activity. It is known that Cannon is not well-liked by the student body, causing insinu-

Cannon
ation of mal-intent or at least flawed character, but no one suspected anything like this. Cannon, it seems, has been collaborating with terrorists since before she even came to South. The arrest came as a complete shock to South Eugene High School principal, Randy Bernstein, who spoke to our agent on Wednesday.

Volume I | Issue ii

works or fast food joints. Life will go on as usual.” By the end of the week citizens were feeling safe again.

“We’re simply grateful that the Department of Homeland Security’s fast action prevented any lasting effects on the students,” one South Eugene parent said. “We truly must be thankful for every“In all the time I’ve known Cannon, I’ve never thing our government is doing to combat the ternoticed anything particularly traitorous or un- rorist threat.” patriotic about her” he said, adding that he did not believe anyone else could have known ei- However, there may be a need for follow-up investher. A short investigation by government tigations. agents revealed no collaborators, confirming this claim, and removing south staff and stu- “We have seen unfortunate signs of eco-terrorism dent’s from under suspicion. While questions around this town, and the fact the enemy combatwere raised about the legitimacy of this arrest, ant in question was of course associated with the the government was quick to quash all rumors. NEA (National Education Association), a known terrorist organization, is not promising,” said vice “Our agency is perfectly able to be misdirected president Dick Cheney. and ineffectual without outward help of any kind. We are a functioning unit of misappropriation and But whether they find anything or not, Eugeneans other such important services.” One department can rest assured that they are in good hands. In spokesperson said in a public meeting, Thursday, response to this arrest, President Bush offered the drawing thunderous applause. Later, classified evi- following statement: “I fear for the hearts and… dence reportedly showed the arrest to be legitimate. the…the hearts of young Americans. It is difficult. It is difficult to imagine that there is, even now, Cannon apparently had connections with Al- that there is people in-filtering our schools. CorQueda and had been feeding them informa- rupting our youth from the very base of their… tion about the innermost workings of the South hearts. This disturbing incident has left myself Eugene High School main office for over a year. shocked. We will get to the base of this educationDepartment of Homeland Security spokesmen al in-filtering before any more young Americans refused to comment on exactly how much was are exposed.” leaked, but it is quite likely that they may have even been given access to copies of The Axe. Furthermore, it is imminently likely that Cannon has been subliminally affecting the students. Her complete contact and effect upon the student body has yet to be quantified, but as a school administrator her presence poses questions about the safety of student’s in schools across America. However, authorities say that no one should worry. “The situation has been stabilized, and no one needs to fear for our American way.” Bush later issued the following statement to clarify the lack of danger: “It is unlikely this will affect any major television net-

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The wit is ironic.

Men were born ignorant, not stupid; they were made stupid by education. - Bertrand Russell

Inconspicuous

Article

FATAL SPOT STEALING FRENZY
Our parking lot sucks.

S
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pot stealing has always been an issue at South, yet the problem had never been as big as it was last week. It all started with Student A, who parked in Student B’s spot because Student A didn’t have a spot and Student B was late returning from lunch. So what did Student B do? Student B parked in Student C’s spot, who consequently parked in Student’s R’s spot, who parked in Student L spot. Student L was pissed but late for class, ’s which caused Student L to take Student Q’s spot. Student Q proceeded to steal Student T’s spot. At this point, Students D, J, and M could no longer recognize their spots because everyone around them had moved, causing each of them to park in each other’s spots, except for Student J, who is rather terrible at parking (no offense meant to Student J) and went over into Student S’s spot. Student S, having access to black and yellow paint, went through the parking lot with Student’s G, X, and I, and repainted numbers into binary code.

Student W flipped off Student F and Student U, who each proceeded to yell “fuck you!” Now, Student H thought that Student W’s gesture was in his/her own direction, and as Student H thought that polite gestures were for the wimps like Students E and K who settled for parking on the street - despite both having parking permits to spots now in binary code - he/she attempted to wade through the traffic. Thus Student H “accidentally” reversed into Student W’s car, getting a cheerful round of fuck you!’s from Students F and U, who had wanted to crash into student W’s car first, as they both smashed into the back of Student W’s car.

Just then, Student V showed up, returning from his/her UO class (we think, although that report cannot be confirmed). Student V took an angry glance at the mess, recognized his/her binary-coded spot and left to park in the visitor’s parking lot, reporting the car of Student P who’d given up on , reading binary to find his/her correct spot. MidNow no one knew whose spot was whose, but ev- frenzy, Adrian and Officer Z rushed to the scene eryone was returning, and Students N-P started for backup - their funerals will be later next week. trying to find their spots very slowly. This prompted Students Y and U to race around the school parking lots almost crashing into students A, B, and D;
We’re in a giant car heading towards a brick wall everyone arguing over where they’re going to sit. - David Suzuki

Article

Volume I | Issue ii

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Diagram of what happened in the parking lot. Image copyrighted by Inconspicuous Staff. All rights reserved.

The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent full of doubt. - Bertrand Russell

Inconspicuous

Opinion

Ruggers are Very Badass

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s the halls clear after a long school day, certain groups of hardened sports-playing individuals can be found throughout the purple cavern that is South Eugene High School. At ten minutes past four, the members of one of these groups in particular begin their transformations from well-mannered, attentive high-scholars to Ruggers. The cream of the crop. The craziest of the crazies.
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bruises; any real Rugger will play through everywill play through everything as long as it doesn’t slow down their game.

Stupidity is an elemental force for which no earthquake is a match.

The basics of the sport, they assure us, are quite simple. The ball can only be thrown backwards. Players move the ball forward by carrying or kicking it. Unlike football, there is no blocking and play does not stop. When a tackle is made, the Every Day, except Wednesdays, this group of young ball-carrier is forced to release the ball. Once the men and women gathers together after school to ball is free, the two teams fight over it in what they practice a sport older than our state. According call rucks and mauls. This upcoming season is the to some players they show up to hone their skills, South team’s fourth. to learn to play as a team, and to “fucking enjoy” themselves. Other players admitted they still don’t The Ruggers say fans are always welcome to come know why they show up so often. “It’s cold as shit... to home games. I don’t know…a lot of days I just don’t feel like coming.” Indeed, the larger-than-average rainfall Rugby players come in many different forms, but left the field they practice on (the soccer field east they all have a certain personality trait that distinof the turf) looking something like the wetlands guishes them from “normal” teens. They are the that used to take up the same space. “The entire type who recklessly wrestles in the hallways, the practice is like wading knee-deep through mud type who doesn’t care how much pain they will and dog crap,” one long-time Rugger explains. Of be in after-the-fact. They are the type who simply course, practice also involves tackling, which is loves life and everything that comes with it. Yes, what the players especially look forward to. Rugby that’s it. To be a Rugger you must be badass, you is a dangerous game, though the coaches and ref- must be hardcore, but even more than that you erees take constant action to avoid serious injury. must be high-spirited, energetic, and simply vivaDuring a Rugby game, if you leave the field due to cious. an injury, you are not allowed to return. ThereThis is a paid advertisement. For your own club adfore, all players have to learn to play with lots of vertisement, please email <inconspicuouslit@gmail. bruises, bumps, cuts, etc. Ruggers don’t care about com>.
- Unknown

Opinion

Volume I | Issue ii

South’s Genocidal Cliques

Fascism in the Halls

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very year, South Eugene is plagued by applications for new clubs. These range from the bizarre, like the South Eugene Women’s Lacrosse Club, to the downright silly, like The South Eugene Save Darfur Club. But in this past year, students have outdone themselves with the inappropriate: The South Eugene Communist Club. Communism, for those who don’t know, is a system of religious beliefs poorly disguised as a system of government. This system, which lends itself to dictatorships, has been prevalent throughout the darkest times of the twentieth century. From the oppressive regime of Stalin, which ended the lives of more than seven-million ethnic Ukrainians, to the right-revoking leadership of Mao Tse Tsung, communism represents the most revolting system of leadership human kind has ever created. More indicative of religion than actual government, communism has a way of controlling people’s lives. The theory is that everyone is equal and everyone works for the good of everyone, but to quote George Orwell: “All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others.” The fact remains that this mass belief in equality breeds a willingness to be oppressed. And now, this year, a group of pseudo-intellectual juniors have decided it is an appropriate exercise of civil liberties to wear the hammer and sickle on their sleeves; a symbol, under which more people of a single ethnic group died than under the Jew-killing Nazi swastika, is now branded in our hallways.

So it is along these lines that I propose the following pursuits of patriotic exercise: The Nazi Club: Skinheads unite! Selling swastika cookies to raise funds for Jew ovens, and visiting elementary schools to inspire third-graders to join the Hitler Youth. Club activities include curb-stomping and gypsy-hunting. Viking Raiders Student Union: Seaside villages beware, all your huts are belong to us. Pillage, rape, and have some ale. I am the key-master, are you the gate-keeper? The Redneck Club: Send those Mexicans home! Drive them south with whips, shotguns or Pabst Blue Ribbon. Hold speeches where the audience leaves dazed, confused, and dreaming of that perfect, rusted out muscle car to park in their front lawn. The Spanish Inquisition Student Union: Hunt down Jews and make them confess to crimes against the Lord. Burn banks and bagel stores in the name of Lord Jesus our Savior. Torture, disappearances, and ridiculous uniforms a must. Yachting Club: Snooty bastards.
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Most people would die sooner than think; in fact, they do. - Bertrand Russell

Inconspicuous

Commentary

Why Wiretapping?
From the NSA official site: The National Security Agency/Central Security Service is America’s cryptologic organization. It coordinates, directs, and performs highly specialized activities to protect U.S. government information systems and produce foreign signals intelligence information. A high technology organization, NSA is on the frontiers of communications and data processing. It is also one of the most important centers of foreign language analysis and research within the government.

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n an age where information circles the globe in mere seconds, we find ourselves forced to ask how much of our own information is out in cyberspace. Privacy has always been a concern for Americans, but this issue has recently come to the headlines. The Bush administration has come under fire for authorizing the recent National Security Agency (NSA) wiretapping. The necessity of the program is often questioned because the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) set up courts to handle warrants for secretive wiretappings. Why, then, should Bush override this court by giving authority for these NSA wiretappings? The answer can be seen in Bush’s response to Hurricane Katrina. After the hurricane, many thought Bush had erred by not stepping above the bureaucratic red tape to provide a more immediate response. Suppose some terrorist attack occurred in the next few weeks. And, sometime in the fallout of investigations afterward, it was found that information could have been presented to stop the attack, but a warrant was held up in FISA courts for weeks. Bush would be criticized exactly as he was for Katrina: for not stepping through the red tape when he could have. It’s not like these wiretappings are hitting every citizen. In fact, the NSA is only targeting calls going to suspected members of Al-Qaeda overseas. How many times have you, or anyone you know, called suspected members of Al-Qaeda? The

answer for nearly all American citizens should be zero. If the answer is not zero, perhaps there are some more questions that need to be asked. Frankly, without the wiretapping, it could come down to the worst-case scenario: the possibility of NSA agents not collecting the information they need to thwart a terrorist plot. With the NSA wiretapping, an agent would simply listen in on a call or two for information which could foil a terrorist plot. Remember, an NSA agent isn’t going to care about other things you may let slip - they don’t care about what other ill advised activities in which you may have partaken over the weekend. We live in an age where there are people who largely resent the Western influence on their societies. Some people, an extreme minority, respond in a direct and violent manner against that western influence. Terrorism is a threat to our nation, and to the administration’s credit, we haven’t seen a successful attack since September th. There have been several foiled plots (such as the West Coast Plan of 00). Clearly, the administration is working to prevent attacks. What we must remember is that the government is working to protect us. It will inevitably make mistakes, but the government is doing a good job of ensuring the security of our nation; it needs to be allowed to take steps through red tape when it’s necessary to continue ensuring that security.

Guns have little or nothing to do with juvenile violence. The causes of youth violence are: working parents who put their kids into daycare, the teaching of evolution in schools, and working mothers who take birth control pills. - Tom Delay

Submissions

Volume I | Issue ii

Fairy Tales
Fighting Once upon a time, there lived a girl. She had a brother. She always fought with her brother. When she woke up, instead of saying good morning, she had a fight. When she went to bed, instead of saying good night, she had a fight. Because of this she was always angry and irritable. One day, she didn’t have a fight. That day, she felt good, was nice, and didn’t act irritable. From then on, she never had a fight with her brother and she was the happiest person in the world. The End. Tuck and Roll There once was a man who fell over. He tried to catch himself with his arms. As a result, he dislocated his shoulder. The moral of this story: If you fall over, tuck and roll. Don’t catch yourself with your arms extended, because you can dislocate/break things. The End.

Sad Boy in a Corner He was sitting. Not smiling. The sad boy in the corner. She approached. Invited. She was interested. He drew interest. The sad boy in the corner. At a party, he sat. Not smiling. The sad boy in the corner. It was her party. Her friends were interested. He was interesting, that sad boy in the corner. He was nervous as they drew around. The sad boy was forced out of the corner. They made room. Pushed her out of the way. He was the sad boy in the light. And one by one they forgot about her. All he ever wanted was to be the sad boy in the corner. Now all she was was the sad girl in the corner. The End. Ugly Siblings Once upon a time, there was a beautiful fairy princess who ran away from home because her sister was ugly. The moral of this story is that we should all run away from home if we have ugly siblings. The End. 

Please send us a vote for your favorite Fairy Tale, at <inconspicuouslit@gmail.com> or online at <http://www.inconspicuous.uni. cc>. You may also submit your own Fairy Tale to <inconspicuouslit@gmail.com> or online at <http://www.inconspicuous.uni. cc>. Word limit is 200; Submissions are anonymous by default.

Stupidity, like virtue is its own reward. - Bill Davidsen

Inconspicuous

Submissions

Emo Poetry

Alone In Musings Alone in musings Stale. Bread sits triumphantly unthought Pen scratching bites Of mind In hell chance no sittings Forget inspiration; Satan Enflames poetry in the body (Standing o’er bony shoulders,

You Smiled you smiled at me as you stocked the chips so i swung to the music to show off my hips and when i dropped those bags of who knows what i guess i was just distracted with glancing at your butt i punched in the wrong keys and i forgot all the codes and everytime i look at you my heart kinda of explodes i giggled with customers feeling almost too cute meanwhile squishing and mixing up their fruit so i hope i happen to find you after my shift until then ill just let my silly mind drift

Crushed throughout years of godless Demons.) Crusty ceilings scream For silence. Far away choir in The corner only a whisper. Heated, Condemned soul clutching a perturbed Heart, whispering for salvation, she Comes. (Not white, nor colored -simple purity Untained; freedom unhampered. Delicate Words slipping doubts into doubts.) Lazarus one drop drops, tempting muse’ Surrender. Heaven in agony too perfect; Sinner in searing safety sits Further falling for h e l l 

I AM EMO. i am emo look at me cri i cannot spell i stqy up larte to cut cut cut cut i am emo

Send in your emo poetry to inconspicuouslit@gmail.com! Every issue readers will also decide on their favorite poem and send their decisions to Inconspicuous.
Stupidity is better kept a secret than displayed. - Heraclitus of Ephesus

Submissions
Waterstained Psyche Blue faces Apathetic Swim an azure sea of raindrops Raindrops Dropping downward Downward toward the abyss Abyss of drowning souls Souls reaching for a hand A hand to dry their tears Endless tears of injustice, Broken creatures’ pain, Search for relief understanding healing escape from this world A pale sky greets them, Pounding them to death with their own tears. Ego I feel like my heart is breaking all over again For a million different reasons This beauty raining down around my soul Is sharp bitter sunshine In a world so far from reality Dresden is burning next door Oblivious to our piteous love songs But there is no you and no I to speak of There are moments when you see through the Illusion And can’t figure out how to Escape The wonder captivates Your wide eyes search my new falseness Unaware in this new Dream I am ego I am soul I am more alone Every moment you fall And I will not catch you this time. Issue One’s Winner:
To dream again

Volume I | Issue ii

You won’t listen, And I don’t want to reYou won’t listen but member, These words pour from my But lips – Somewhere after the Bitter thunder, Angry Before the light, As everything shatters Between And my tears The nightmares Drip between my broken And daydreams… fingers I found your doorstep, As it rains And for a moment And reality drifts I understood your world Away into the dark As I looked out across the Flooding my emptiness dreaming city – With your silence: And you smiled at me Wet grass and bare feet Before you remembered, Running nowhere. too.

Games A game that you and I have played All too often: Across the room we stare, Deadlocked eyes and shadowed dreams. My lips would long to speak If trembling into silence you stood here, If in a dream you were changed And by the light you knew No difference. I swore it was true, But I lie even to myselfIn these pockmarked shadows, Scars of light across the forest flora Dance between nightmares, Fading embraces Of the stars. This haunting demon, Phantasm of ages gone, Towering fires would tell you The truth you could not see Between my false words Of dew-drop steam We kissed when we awoke. That was neither beginning nor end but A subtle step.
Creativity is the sudden cessation of stupidity. - Edwin Land 

Inconspicuous

Story

THE LIFE AND TIMES OF CID BOWLER
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he raucous sounds of a mistuned piano drifted merrily down the dark streets of End City. The precarious maze of half-built houses seemed alive with sound, and, were one to find oneself more than twenty paces from Bottle Bottom Saloon, the whimsical twinkling would have been lost amongst the laughter, cries, screams, singing and various other sounds of nightly activity in this city of sin. Inside, at the keys sits none other than the protagonist of this tale. A dashing lad of twenty-one, sound in body and mind, topped with a mop of sandy brown curls and a trigger finger faster than any who had yet drawn against him. Yes, our man was talented, handsome and deadly. Yet his face was marred: marred by a scar across his left eye and the bright red tinge from it. The man’s name was Cid, Cid Bowler to be exact, and he was in need of work. This need is what brings our hero to this dusty, whore-laden bar, in the dusty, whore-laden district of the dusty, whore-laden paradise that was End City. Back when Cid was eight years old, still a boy in his father’s eye, a babe in his mother’s, and a man in his own, Patrick Bowler (Cid’s father) pulled his son up to the cracked wooden piano that stood in their parlor, and told him to play. Now, there are two reasons for which the Bowlers kept that old piano. The first was: it had belonged to the late aunt May and had been her fondest possession. The second was that no one else owned a piano. With this piano, they scraped again at the bottom of the barrel of society that had never been properly filled. When Patrick told young Cid, who by means of his red eye had earned the nickname “Sin,” to play, the child was at a loss. But, being resolved in pleasing his father, and proving he could succeed, he creaked down onto the wooden stool, ignored how it wobbled, and layed his fingers upon what was left of the ivory keys. The sound he produced can be most accurately described as “Pee-crun-cher-lark-unk:” all quite fast, and only for an instant. But to Cid’s ears it was immediately the most pleasing sound he had ever heard. He sat at the piano for nearly seven hours before his mother finally insisted that he lay down his head to sleep. While his mind wandered that night, he fancied himself in heaven, where the angel’s harps made that wondrous noise, “pee-crun-cher-lark-unk”!
It’s too bad that stupidity isn’t painful. - Some French Guy 

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Story

Volume I | Issue ii

For the next few days, months, and years, Cid always found time to come back to the stool and sit himself down to hear the sounds, and, by the time he was fifteen, he was easily the best pianist in the county. Back in that present day in 87, Cid was looking for work. And so, that night, he found himself sitting in front of a piano, banging out the tunes that, tomorrow, would bake his bread. Standing up from his set, he was met by no recognition of completion. The only patrons at the time were drunks too poor to buy a whore, or whores too drunk to tempt the poor. Cid walked towards the bar, where the barkeeper endlessly worked that futile job of wiping down the beer-stained counter, and asked for a verdict. “Well,” said the man, cautiously slinging the dirty rag over his shoulder, “you play like a son of a bitch, and the Remington at your side says you live like one. No, I can give you better praise than that. You’re the best damned piano player I’ve ever laid eyes or ears on. I’d love to give you the job. But your eye… it gives me the willies, and I don’t want trouble because a paranoid, superstitious, drunken customer of mine gets shot down by that aforementioned Remington. I’ll give you room and board, tonight, and money that’ll buy you food for tomorrow, but that’s all I can do for you.” Disheartened, Cid turned slowly away. As though through some mystical premonition, he dropped his hand to the butt of his gun. Behind him, the bartender’s doe like eyes widened in horror, and he prepared to scurry, rabbit-like, under the counter. But his fears were unwarranted. At that second the door slammed wide open, prompted eagerly by the boot of a man, masked and clothed in black. In a burst of gunfire, Cid dropped, rolled and drew. Twitching his hand and finger repetitively against the hammer, he fanned six bullets into the attacker before he could move. Scrambling back from cover, the bartender looked on in amazement as Cid caught the falling man, reached into his pocket, removed a wad of bills and released him to the floor. “Holy shi... sir, if you’ll shoot like that for me, I’ll let you play the piano all you want. This place has been robbed nine times in as many weeks, with a man like you to guard, I may just turn a profit this year. Yeah, you lay them down like you laid him down and I’ll provide for you.” 

5

Between a fellow who is stupid and honest and one who is smart and crooked, I will take the first. I won’t get much out of him, but with the other guy, I can’t keep what I’ve got. - Unknown

Inconspicuous

Periodical

2010
Chicago, Illinois Sunday, January 0, 00 6:6 pm

H_____
The roaring of the subway sounded like some lion captured in a tornado, blasting from the end of the urinesmelling tunnel while two furious bright but beady lights headed towards me. I stepped towards the yellow line, waiting for the tell-tale gust of air which would make my short brown hair jump back from my face. vvvvvrrrrrrrrrrroooooooooommmmmmmmmpppphhhhhhhhhh.... “Welcome to Chicago Transit Authority Green Line. We are now at State.” A set of double doors stopped before me and a mass of people flooded out and out, seemingly never-ending, while I struggled to fight through, finding my foot on the subway floor. When I was little, I hated Alice in Wonderland because of the awful cat, with its big grin and eyes that wanted to eat you up or laugh at you when something awful happens. I used to shudder uncontrollably when I thought of him disappearing, until the only thing left of him was the floating grin, the sadistic teeth… It reminded me of the clowns in fairy tales that chased after little children in the circus to kill them. I kept on having nightmares of dancing cats. I think I was about five when I watched it, and then my mom took me to the subway and the terrible machine became a replica of the cat itself, only it was heading towards me closer closer closer until I almost froze and fell over out of fright. That’s when I realized that people are stupid: stupid for voluntarily entering into the body of the monster and never really coming out quite the same as before, stupid for never really thinking, stupid for watching the mass of bodies and bodies and bodies swarm in and out and not doing anything about it. I had to stand on my tiptoes to reach over this tall and fat man who was hogging the bar handle. Not that it mattered anyway, since there were so many people that I couldn’t move. The lady whose head was an inch from mine reeked of musky men’s cologne, and I could hear gagging sounds from the boy also squished next to her. Ding. “We are now at Randolph. Our next stop will be Madison. Please do not ...” The lady rammed into me. “Watch where you’re going!” “I’m sorry, ma’am.” I watched sadly as she stumbled through the piles of bodies; the boy stopped coughing. Ding. My purse buzzed. Hastily scrambling for my cell phone, while the boy’s eyes watched it intensely, I answered.
I discovered early in my movie work that a movie is never better than the stupidest man connected with it. - Ben Hecht 

6

Periodical

Volume I | Issue ii

“Hi.” “Hey,” responded the male voice on the other end. “Where are you?” “I’m still on the subway. Two more stops, I think.” “Good. We’re all waiting for you.” “Sorry. You know how it is - the weather, the people.” “Yeah, sometimes I wonder why we do this.” “Me too.” The grayness is blinding me. “How are ... they?” I whispered. “_____y fed them the wrong info.” “Sweet.” Ding. “We are now at Adams. Our next stop will be Roosevelt...” “ I heard that. I’ll see you in ten or so minutes then.” “Yep. Bye.” The boy’s eyes still followed the cell phone as I placed it into my bag. I smiled. He looked away, face clouded by a flush of red. vvvvvrrrrrrrrrrroooooooooommmmmmmmmpppphhhhhhhhhh.... and 
7

Ding. “We are now at Roosevelt. Our ... “ I stepped out of the subway and was nearly hurled across the room from the momentum of the crowd. I’ll bet it was still snowing outside. Except, it never really was snow in Chicago. More like mud-bitten hail, not the pretty fluffy flakes that you see in National Geographic of Greenland or something. It was eleven at night, and we didn’t think about anything but putting sheets of paper together, then cardstock, then gold tabs to make it beautiful and perfect. We knew it was rushed. We knew it was crude. But we loved it. That’s all it needed. Time was mocking us, like it always does. Tick, tock, driving us to insanity while with every tick and tock we put another batch together, and with another tick, tock, and tick we smashed food into our mouths. We were Goddamn proud and dumb for not knowing what was going to happen. I think now it’s become a drug: driving us not because of the pride but because we have to. There’s no reason not to, and all of us are too scared to give it all up and pretend it never existed. But even now we aren’t willing to admit that part of each of us wished it were only a dream that would burn and desiccate like all other foolish dreams. The escalator slowly rose up and up, taking me from the barren underground of oil, noise, and machinery. The darkness, illuminated by artificial light, didn’t provide much contrast with the grayness of the subway station. I climbed some stairs, and some more, one two three fifty-two, and some hallways here and there, until the damned double doors, labeled, “EXIT,” finally appeared. Time to go home.
I am patient with stupidity, but not with those who are proud of it. - Dame Edith Sitwell

Inconspicuous

Periodical

I marched slowly down the street; a group of giggling voices somewhere in the background of the cement scenery sang, Ring around the rosie... I arrived at the right building suddenly, without even realizing, and my bright red, almost purple fingers gripped the icy keys in the bag. Click. A pocket full of posies The old man, who looked like he was ready to fall over, was waiting in line with three other people for the elevator. There are too many people in Chicago, and all they ever do is wait on other people and watch their lives move on, the minutes tick away. Ashes, Ashes... I headed towards the stairs instead, the fiftieth staircase I had had to face so far since work with those sick, bleeding, coughing-their-lungs-out-and-filling-the-air-with-viruses-and-gunk patients who engulfed more of my sanity than the station itself. Ashes, Ashes ... It’s strange how by the time you get to the fifth level, when you’ve barely started looking over the first three or four or five blocks around the building, everything seems empty, as if God sucked all the souls and bodies from your area so you’re finally left alone. Not that it made much of a difference. Ashes, Ashes ... 
8

I halted in front of the door that was decaying around the edges; the floor squealed uncomfortably beneath my toes. I hit the doorbell, half bored, half anxious to see the faces that risked their lives for this. “Hello.” “It’s me, H______.” Click. Clickity click click. More clicks. The door opens, and a relieved face stared back at me. “We’ve been waiting.” “I know, you said that already.” “Yeah, I’ve always hated redundancy.” Children’s laughter rippled in the background, and the door slammed shut. “To Inconspicuous?” I grinned. “To Inconspicuous.” And we all fall down. The laughter echoed, and I thought carelessly of the children’s innocence that drifted my way.

The great and almost only comfort about being a woman is that one can always pretend to be more stupid than one is, and no one is surprised. - Freya Stark

To Be Continued ...

Excerpt

Volume I | Issue ii

COLD PRECIPITATION

H

omework piled up. People got stressed, lost sleep, finished projects, partied, and got stressed again. Relationships grew and fell. Drama happened. Drama was avoided. The normal life of a group of high school friends continued on. In no time, February was long gone and March was slowly going over the horizon. Spring Break was late this year - the last week of March; which meant by the time it came around, everybody was ready to kill. There weren’t that many big plans for the week, though some families were going on trips. The kids just couldn’t wait to get out of school. A drive up to the snow was planned for Tuesday, and Helen was up very early that morning. She hadn’t thought she’d see snow this year, but it had been cold and had snowed late, so there it was - waiting. She couldn’t sleep. She’d only been in the mountains once during her entire life. It was an extreme understatement, then, to say that Helen was excited. She was actually bouncing off the walls for 4 hours until Jacob came and picked her up at 9:00. Her parents annoyingly decided to grill Jacob about his driving habits, and their plans for the day, and demand that Helen keep her cell phone on at all times, and that she had to be home by 0 o’clock at the very latest. Once she was safely in the car, Ethan and Jacob listened to her bemoan the fact that parents existed. Then they were off to pick up Alec. Another car of friends - Kat, Thomas, Charlie, and James - was driving up there also, and they were all planning on meeting each other at an apparently well known snow park. Helen couldn’t wait. The car was filled with snow tubes, skis, snowboards, extra layers of clothes, and lots of food. Excessive amounts of fun would be had on this day, she knew it. It was just turning out wonderful. After an hour and a quarter of driving and singing (badly) along with Alec’s iPod and laughing at stupid people, Ethan saw the first speck of snow on the side of the road. He yelled “Snow” and Helen flipped out. She practically jumped on top of him to look out the window and when he pushed her back to her side of the seat, she whipped around and pressed her nose tightly against her own window. For 0 minutes she didn’t say a word, just stared out the window. The guys laughed hysterically for a while and then lapsed into their own quiet, fascinated searches for snow. At the end of those ten minutes - exactly  seconds after those ten minutes - Helen jerked back from the window and shouted - no, positively exploded with - “Snow!” Alec jumped and
Just think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of them are even stupider. - George Carlin 

9

Inconspicuous

Excerpt

swore loudly, Ethan dropped the iPod, and Jacob swerved halfway into the oncoming lane. “Fuck, Helen. Why’d you have to yell?” Ethan chided her. “Sorry,” she replied, sheepishly, “it’s just…it’s snow! You have to be excited about snow!” Alec rolled his eyes in her direction, “You don’t have to be that excited.” Jacob, after he’d gotten over the shock of practically killing them all, just chuckled quietly. Helen was so much like a child sometimes. It just made her that much more fun to be around. After the incident with the first, or actually second, patch of snow, Helen refrained from shouting, but she still alerted the rest of the car to every new splotch of snow and the guys soon found they couldn’t interest her in any conversation or game for the next 0 minutes. She just sat there, grinning, with her nose freezing right against the window. Once they got close to their destination she started talking to them again, only because the snow was everywhere and she found she wasn’t able to call out “snow” every single second. The second group had gotten there a good 5 minutes before and they were already layered in clothing and frolicking in the snow mounds. Charlie drove too fast. Ethan, Helen, and Alec were out of the car before Jacob had even parked it. They threw open the trunk, threw on some more clothes, and threw themselves in the snow. The snow tubes were soon out and the group walked a ways up the path to find the best sledding spot, a patch on both sides of the trail. The right side was shorter and more conventional, but the left - the left was amazing. It resembled a water slide, minus the running water. It was probably 5 feet long and it curved sporadically and grew steeper or shallower as it descended. They just stood in awe for a good minute or two, until Kat shrieked that she was first, grabbed a tube, and made her way to the top. After a good hour and a half of sliding, rolling, and falling down giant snow piles, the group decided to move on to the downhill slopes. Charlie, James, Thomas, Jacob, and Ethan were planning on skiing. Helen decided she would pass on flinging herself down steep mountains with no braking plan, so she, Kat, and Alec played in the snow some more. They could never get too much of the snow. The skiers returned, in no time, and Ethan and Jacob walked up last, both flushed with the cold and oblivious to the snow coating their clothes. After a short and vicious snowball fight, Helen sat down on a little wall a few feet away from her friends to rest. She watched them laughing hysterically together. Alec threw back his head with his mouth wide enough to catch birds. Helen couldn’t help but smile. His jet black hair stood out so deeply against the white of the snow. Kat was holding onto Thomas’ shoulder to keep from falling over from laughing. It looked like Jacob or Charlie had just said something very funny. Charlie had his typical goofy grin on his face, more pronounced than normal because of
Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former. - Albert Einstein 

0

Excerpt

Volume I | Issue ii 

Image copyrighted by Inconspicuous Staff. All Rights reserved.,

the size of the laugh. James was holding his stomach and grinning along with Charlie. Both Jacob and Ethan were doubled over. From Helen’s point of view they looked like they were attempting to eat the snow behind them. She decided it was time she joined them, and walked up in time to catch a second dirty joke. More raucous laughter followed. Then the small group trooped back to their cars, still grinning. It was time to head home and get warm.
Genius may have its limitations, but stupidity is not thus handicapped. - Elbert Hubbard

Inconspicuous

Submissions

Hey Gertrude 



High school is full of melodrama and zing that older people commonly can’t grasp because of new technology, a different economy, and an overall change since way back when. Abigail van Buren is a sweet and well-meaning lady, but the flavor of our real life is missing from her responses, which resemble a much better organized world than the one we actually live in. If you want to, do, or have written to her, we hold nothing against you. But for those of you who want advice from someone living in the same sphere as you, dear ol’ Abby just can’t cut it. Instead, we offer you words from one of your very own, Gertrude Kalinowsky*. Has the shit hit the fan? Do you need, or perhaps more accurately, want, advice from a familiar stranger? Then boy do we have the thing for you! Enjoy. Instructions for sending in your own “Hey Gertrude” question follow the following exemplary question. --The Inconspicuous Staff * All bylines for staff members are necessarily falsified.

Hey Gertrude, Two of my close friends who are dating want me to join a threesome with them. I don’t think I’m ready for something like that, but how do I tell them no without hurting their feelings? -Odd Girl Out Hey “Odd Girl,” There is no shortage of sexual styles, and what makes a relationship work is the pairing of two similar types. Your friends, it seems, are well paired; however, you, with them, are not. You’re an apple while they are devil’s food cake. On the sexual scale of foods, apples are rather mild: tasty, sweet, but straightforward. What you need to remember is the lesson of Adam and Eve: apples are pretty fucking tempting, even to devil’s food cake, that exotic and mind blowing food (damn sexiest ever made). But I digress; not everyone can handle the saturation of divine pleasure devil’s food cake pro-

vides, and you, it seems, need to work your way up the karmic cycle to sexual nirvana. That is the damn honest truth. And lying only fucks up friendships, and as you are trying not to fuck with them (literally or figuratively), I highly suggest not doing that--which leaves one option: that terribly scary idea of honesty. You aren’t ready to rock the bed with two others, and if they are truly your friends, that is that. You aren’t insulting them. And really, any hard feelings are foolish and immature. Blow the bed sheets when you are ready. Love, Gertrude.
You may submit your own Hey Gertrude question to <inconspicuouslit@ gmail.com> or online at <http:// www.inconspicuous.uni.cc>. Submissions are anonymous by default.

It’s so simple to be wise. Just think think of stupid to say and say the opposite. - Sam Levenson