If you’ve been on the internet at any point between its inception and this very moment, you’ve probably come across those cute, easily digestible articles arranged in lists. These have been coined listicles, because if there is any sort of deity snoozing up above us, we mortals like to poke it every so often with a stick made out of very dumb words to check if there’s any more lightning bolts or floods coming our way.
But fear not, fellow humans, for I have come up with the answer. The List to End All Lists. 10 Ways to Never, Ever Write in Lists Again.
Are you reading this right now? Congratulations! That means that you, my friend, are literate. (You could say that makes us all members of the literati, but you shouldn’t. Because that’s another dumb word.) This also means that someone, maybe a dear loved one, perhaps a teacher, has invested time and energy into teaching you how to read. So let’s respect that profound power and use it for good. Not for another Buzzfeed list. So, here are 10 alternatives to writing in lists.
6. Don’t get me wrong. Numbers on their own are great.
And numbers with letters can be pretty neat, too. Like algebra. In high school, I took Algebra 2 two times, which despite the number two in its title is just supposed to be taken one time.
X. Hate math? Me too!
Instead of writing in algebra, you could write in a diary. You could even write in your diary about how much you hate math. But for the sake of anyone who might spend their valuable time breaking your lock to try to read your diary, don’t do that. Also, pages of anti-algebra rants will make you look like the next Unabomber.
3. If neither algebra nor diary-writing are your jams or jellies, try writing in rap.
Not me, you say? I could never, you protest?. Well allow me to present as counter-evidence this video of Jaleel White, better known as Steve Urkel, rapping about how much sex he does not have.)
I guarantee you could not be less cool if you went to your kid brother’s all-school talent show in mayonnaise-stained overalls and did a one-man rendition of Cats. And yes, I know. Overalls would make for a patently awful cat costume, even without the mayo.
4. If you’re worried about rhythm or rhymes, you could try poetry.
Here’s a very sad poem written by an old dead Greek poet named Aeschlyus. I mean, you figure he’d be a little bit happier given the way his chinstrap beard flows seamlessly into his hair. But no. Dude was a decided dramatist.
Even in our sleep, pain which cannot forget
Falls drop by drop upon the heart,
until in our own despair,
against our will,
through the awful grace of God.
Damn. Shit, Godshitdamnit Let’s just take a deep breath for a minute. Hoo.. Okay, okay, I’m good.
Robert F. Kennedy read that in a speech the day Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. Barely two months later, RFK would be shot dead at the Ambassador Hotel in L.A. There is no number of sad cat pictures that can communicate the day-to-day heartbreak of human existence like the poem above. I know this. Don’t ask me how.
4. Yep, here’s the number four again. Because, lists.
In the real world, you don’t get numbers and lists to orient yourself. Unless you work in a paint-by-numbers factory, in which case I would like to humbly request a picture of Shaq holding up Kobe Bryant like he is Simba.
# You could even write in iambic pentameter.
But don’t! who else but assholes would do that?
5. If you have no paint by numbers and are not feeling especially Shakespearean, you could always try writing in song and verse.
Do Re Mi Fa So La Ti Do
CATS is the name of my one-man show,
This feline may be rolling so-lo,
But I’ll knock your paws off like I’m Vincent Van Gogh
I love eating plain chicken, egg yolks, and seasoned trout
It’s almost showtime,so lose the phones and pagers and check me-owt!
Again, cooler than Urkel, but not necessarily your strongest play.
93. You could also try writing in conversations, or dialogue.
For example, observe a recent chat I had:
“So, how far into this list are you really?” asked my editor.
“Hold on,” I responded.
“What do you mean, ‘hold on’? Do you know how late you already are on this article?!” my editor exclaimed.
“Hush… 3,” I mumbled
“Are you counting? Are you really counting right now?” my editor grew incredulous.
“7. No.” I replied.
*Sigh* “Why couldn’t you just number this consecutively like a normal person?”
3. Recipes do proceed in ordered lists. But a listicle doesn’t end in a delicious chicken pot pie or cheesecake.
And you’d never catch early 2000s rapper/heart throb/convict Ja Rule writing a book about microwavable listicles. There is no publishing date set for Ja’s microwavable cookbook just yet, but both my freezer full of Swanson’s Salisbury steak and I are eagerly awaiting it.
2. If you’re not hungry, but feeling especially bold, and a certain special someone has caught your eye, you can always skip the list and write out your feelings in an old-fashioned love letter.
Here’s something I found on a seat next to me on a bus last week.
Your eyes are like two M&M’s that hopefully won’t ever melt. When we stand together at the bus stop, our mouths are like two exhaust pipes in the heat of the cold December wind. And O! How I long to put my exhaust pipe on yours. To stay warm.
Eternally yours forever,
Cheers to Ferdinand. For going for it.
Now, faithful readers, it’s your turn to go for it. Rap, sing, love, solve, write, paint or cook to your or Ja Rule’s delight. The world needs you. And I need to go lock up my diary.