Note: I’m a columnist for the Reader Weekly, an alt-weekly newspaper in Duluth, MN. Every Monday I post a new column.
Summer is almost over, and you’re not sure how much more you can take. These damn kids of yours are driving you insane, and you need some relief. If they roll their eyes at you one more time, you might just knock them unconscious with a shovel and bury them alive in the backyard.
Well it’s not too late, folks. Just because it’s August doesn’t mean your precious, horrible child can’t still get a rewarding, fully unpaid summer internship with me, famous newspaper columnist Paul Ryan. It’s like getting an internship with Maya Angelou, if Maya Angelou were untalented and living off extended unemployment benefits.
I know what you’re thinking. You think the Reader Weekly is the laughing stock of the community. You think I’m an unpaid volunteer who can’t get published legitimately anywhere else. You suspect that I don’t have a real office and couldn’t possibly offer any benefit to your child’s education. Well, you’re certainly not wrong. But as long as your child is fetching me coffee and spending most of their day staring out a window and sighing, it’s as valid as any other internship, and pretty much identical to their future real world job.
It’s time to face facts. Your daughter has been pissed at you ever since you told her you don’t have $10,000 for her to go backpacking through Europe with her friends, so why not trick her by offering a trip to my apartment in sunny California? It’s a worry-free solution for you. She won’t be spending time at the beach, because beaches in Los Angeles are filled with dirty syringes and homeless people. She won’t be partying in Hollywood, because I won’t pay her a dime for her work. She won’t be calling you whining and complaining, because I don’t allow my interns to speak to their friends or family.
My goal is to have roughly 40 or 50 interns by the end of the summer. Your children will wash my car, buy me coffee, fix my meals, beg for change so I can pay rent, get vengeance for various wrongdoings done to me, and if they’re attractive females over the age of 18, they’ll occasionally bathe me. But the real point of this internship is to beat down your children mentally, and make them realize they’re not as cool as they think they are. And unlike internships at the Duluth News-Tribune, I promise to only beat your children mentally, not physically.
I prefer college interns because they’re legally allowed to work 20-hour days, but my program doesn’t discriminate based upon age. If your child can walk, then I see nothing wrong with you sending them to a stranger to be exploited. Scientists have actually conducted studies and confirmed that babies intelligent enough to talk are also smart enough to ride the bus by themselves and get me a 12-pack of Pabst from the supermarket.
The knowledge your child will attain from their “Hollywood internship” is vast. Aspiring network executives will learn about TV scheduling and how pissed I get when Seinfeld and Simpsons reruns are on at the same time. Aspiring doctors will learn firsthand how quickly the smog here can cause asthma in visiting teenagers. Aspiring psychologists will learn how many beers it takes to make me enjoy watching the Minnesota Twins lose by six runs every game.
There are only a few simple rules to this internship. First, if I’m watching “Robocop” and it’s the scene where the guy covered in acid gets splattered by the car, wait until it’s over before speaking to me. Secondly, don’t walk in front of the TV while I’m playing video games. It’s rude. Thirdly, if the homeless people outside try to touch you while you’re sleeping on the sidewalk at night, you can usually scare them away with loud noises. Finally, keep in mind that one of my interns will be acting as a food taster, so don’t even think about trying to poison me.
Making your spoiled child my intern is very easy. All you have to do is send them here and pretend to be surprised when they return a month later telling you all the horrible things they had to do. You’ll still be a hero for sending them to California, and like Batman, I’ll be the bad guy because I’m whatever your family needs me to be at the given time.
You really don’t have a choice. Nannies cost too much and Sam Cook’s internships will make you look bad because he’ll be a better father to your children than you ever could. You don’t run that risk with me. Send them by train, plane, or automobile. Send them on a Greyhound. Ship them in a crate if you must, because this asbestos in my ceiling isn’t going to remove itself.