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MAKING IT ON YOUR OWN
Because if you die, you can't visit this site anymore.

by Nathan - October 21, 2002

Having moved out of my parents' place rather prematurely (I hadn't planned it 'till, like, twenty-seven or so) I've been forced to adapt to a frightening new environment. The Big City is a far cry from the Little Towns so many of us have grown up in, and if you're not careful, it'll kill you.

I mean, actually physically murder you. The Big City has absolutely no time for people who can't adapt to its daily pressures and myriad oddities, and if you're not up to the task, it'll know. Fortunately, being such a quick-witted and intelligent person such as myself has once again come in handy, as I acclimated nicely to The Big City before it even realized I was there. Now that I've seen what it's like on the inside, though, I realize there are painfully few resources available for those who wish to prepare themselves for a big move of their very own. In light of this, I'm going to dispense a few handy tips for staying alive in The Big City.

LESSON 1:

If you just made eye contact with that guy, you're toast.

A big part of living in The Big City is learning how to pretend that you're the only person that lives there. Oh sure, you can acknowledge a few key people, like your roommate, or that nice lady at the Tim Horton's down the street, but besides that, it's just better for everyone if you try not to realize they exist. As soon as you've made anything close to contact with them, they can react unpredictably - or not at all, depending on your luck.

At best, nothing will happen. Occasionally someone might say something, and in a worst case scenario, which is the most common, you will get mugged. Which brings us to;

LESSON 2:

Muggers - Come on, they need to eat too.

Something you will learn quickly is to never carry anything on your person that is of any value whatsoever. Recent polls indicate that approximately twelve out of every ten people in The Big City are muggers, which actually doesn't seem possible at all. Especially given the fact that I filled out that survey and specifically stated that I was not a mugger.

Possible or not, it's still important to recognize that there are a lot of people who are perfectly willing to rob you blind at the drop of a hat, especially if it's a nice hat. Fortunately, fellow apartment-dweller Conrad has this advice to give on the subject of muggers:

"The trick is to keep moving. Muggers can only see what's standing still, which is why they always yell 'Freeze!' and stuff like that. Just do a crazy dance, or walk in a zig-zag pattern. They'll never be able to keep track of you."

LESSON 3:

Learn to eat cheap. For example, this is lunch.

As you know, everything in The Big City is at least twice as expensive as The Small Town. The government tries to trick you into thinking it's cheaper by removing taxes from 'essential' food items, like bread, but you're saving a whole twelve cents as opposed to the fourteen dollars you just paid for a litre of milk. Thus, it's important that you learn to budget your money properly, and be prepared to eat a little less than the gigantic country buffets you're used to back home.

Soup Cups are, of course, a staple of The Big City's nutrition. They're quick, affordable, and delightfully easy to prepare, unless you have some kind of pathological fear of Microwaves. Don't worry, lots of people do. You don't have to be ashamed to admit it. (a lie: yes you do)

Other sources of nourishment are breakfast cereals (they're not just for breakfast anymore!), miniature chocolate bars, potato chips, and any food whose cooking instructions are "Microwave on HIGH for 4 to 6 minutes". In time, you will learn to strategically plan your weekends in order to hang around your parents just long enough to get a free meal.

And finally,

LESSON 4:

Nobody likes you.

It's true. Wherever you came from, you were probably a pretty well-respected guy, with a good number of friends and hangers-on. Well, in The Big City, that all goes out the window. Back there, you might have been 'funny' - here, you're just some crazy moron. Back there, you might have been 'outgoing' - here, you're creepy and probably a criminal of some kind. See where I'm going?

From reading the above article you might think that The Big City is a horrible, awful place. Well, it kind of is, but there's also a lot more stores than you'd think, and way more diverse movie selections at the video stores. So as long as you keep your head down, your hands in your pockets, and your bus pass well hidden at all times, you'll be fine.

(Probably)

-Nathan
-e-mail: [email protected]


Magic Story Time is way friendlier than the big city. You'll like it there.
(please note that I didn't really mean it when I gave you the finger in that picture)

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