Liquid Ink

The official website of Gint Aras, Finalist 2016 CWA Book Award

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What your ringtone says about you…

If you have a ringtone that sounds like a motorcycle starting up, you might be tough. Or you might wish you were tough. If your ringtone is a pop song, you might be the fan of that pop artist. Or you might wish you were that pop artist. If your ringtone is the sound of crickets or of soft harp music, you might be soft and gentle. Or perhaps you fantastize about being softer and gentler than you are. You might also be wishing for a softer and gentler environment.

Here’s one way to get one: shut the thing down. When your ringtone goes off during a quiet period—and when that ringer is a crowing cock, the phone’s volume turned all the way up—you draw attention to yourself. People wonder, “What connection is there between you and a crowing cock?”

Some of them, of course, pity you. After all, this can happen to anyone. You select a ringtone. You feel it expresses your personality. And then—boom!—one unexpected moment that ringtone is interfering with everyone’s peace. Your cock is crowing. Reminiscent of the hour when Peter realized he had denied his Lord three times. Or at the hour when your Peter rises in your pants and you cannot perform tasks at the blackboard, walk down the street in your puritanical neighborhood without being deemed a pervert and stoned to death.

You’re wondering, no doubt, about my ringtone. Mine sounds like a phone. After all, it belongs to a phone, so I’ve selected a traditional sound. And when it goes off by accident—we have these convenient machines, we masochists, that allow our friends, loved ones and creditors to communicate with us while we defecate—people do *not* wonder, “Who the fuck is calling him as he shits?” Not at all. Instead, they think, “Why can’t I get peace and quiet in this toilet?”



Photo by raymondgobis/Flickr


Essay prompts for contemporary college students

Final exam
Instructions: Pick one (1) of the following prompts. This means you should not pick more than one or less than zero. You *may* pick a prompt other than number 1. “Pick one (1) prompt” means you pick less than two prompts from among the possible ten. If this is confusing, please ask for clarification.

Compose an essay of at least fifty (50) words. Good luck.


Consider this ethical dilemma: The person you love more than anyone in the world has been kidnapped by a madman with a biological weapon at his disposal. He will either shoot his single hostage in the head or deploy the weapon in a major metro area, killing millions and possibly starting a pandemic. But he is leaving the choice up to you. You decide if he kills millions or his hostage.

Explain how will you face society after you refuse to sacrifice yourself. Will you mostly text or will you also be available on Facebook? At which time and on which days? Also, explain in detail why the deployed biological agent will have no effect on you.


Imagine a nightmare scenario: the internet, television and mobile phones have been deactivated for 48 hours by a Texan whose superpowers allow him to control all electronic communication. Explain who must step forward immediately—either a government leader, a representative of private business or an educator—to ensure your self-esteem feedback loop is properly maintained. What punishment will be appropriate in the event that s/he fails?


What would give you greater pleasure: fucking a vampire or killing a zombie? Explain in detail and be sure to use relevant sources.


Imagine that you found some money to buy a car. You ended up driving this car through a bus shelter, killing a pregnant woman, her unborn son, a veteran of Iraq and a rabbi. The police arrived to discover that you have no insurance, that your license is suspended and your car unregistered.

Using what you have learned this semester regarding civics and ethics, explain if the person who misplaced his money, your parents, educators, the salesmen of the automobile or the urban planner who left a shelter in your path are most responsible for this atrocity. What would be an appropriate punishment for the guilty party?


Once you graduate from college and secure your dream job, where will you go for your first summer vacation? Describe in detail.


Imagine the online service that has been writing all your essays suddenly went bankrupt. Although it would be legal for an opportunistic competitor to charge you double or triple for a last-minute service, would this price increase be ethical? Be sure to apply at least one principle of business ethics to your argument.


Invent at least three facts that would help support an essay arguing for the creation of a grade higher than an A and meant for the most special students. Be sure these facts do not contradict any of the facts you have invented on earlier essays this semester. (They are recorded in the class database.)


Cut and paste a text written at a level that is four to six times higher than your current reading capacity. Do not document where you found this text. (Failure to follow this instruction will automatically lower your grade to B+. Do not test this!)


Consider this theoretical situation: In an effort to keep tuition costs from skyrocketing, the college devises a plan that allows instructors to supplement their income by charging students fees to write their assigned essays for them. This equals an automatic “raise” for faculty to the tune of 35-40%, but costs the college nothing. Students, instead of paying online essay writers, divert those funds to their instructors. Given that the instructors already know what they will write, AND that they are the only one who will “read” these essays anyway, should they be written at all? If these essays never exist, would your degree be more or less marketable?

10.) If any of the above prompts offends or confuses you, make up your own prompt. Be sure to take the offensive material to the dean and demand a full refund for the semester. (Note: in most circumstances, students who receive refunds do not get credit for having taken the class.)

Extra points:

+50 for writing at least three complete sentences
+100 for writing at least one coherent paragraph
+500 for demonstrating vague knowledge of at least some of the assigned reading material
+1000 for completing the assignment without your asinine hip hop ring tone erupting