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Tilt your head upwards.

January 4th, 2009 · 78 comments

Josh from Annapolis, Maryland says the first and last note in this exchange were apparently written by Stephen, a college student at a school “known for it’s obtusely intellectual, chronically spacey student body.”

The notes were gone within a few days, but Josh says the situation hasn’t exactly improved. In the meantime, he says, “I’m kinda worried for my own safety. I recently saw this kid chopping firewood in the backyard, so he definitely has an ax.”

Stop using a typewriter on looseleaf. It makes you look like a pretentious asshole. -a concerned citizen
related: passive-aggressive mad libs

FILED UNDER: Annapolis · garbage · neighbors · note wars · recycling · that's disrespectful · You call that punctuation?

78 responses so far ↓

  • #1   john

    well that is the best way to write a manifesto

    Jan 4, 2009 at 12:32 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

    • #1.1   TheOldSchool bang

      Whether or not Stephen’s typewritten postings are indicative of manifesto-writing proclivities, the fact that these two individuals are living in some sort of “commune” hasn’t escaped my scrutiny.

      The tape that both of these socialist/anarchists used to add their rejoinders appears to be from the same roll.

      Given their apparent inability to afford even the cheapest of computers, printers, or even unlined paper, these two criminals have obviously stolen the masking tape from their own underfunded university.

      Some gratitude.

      Who knows what other stolen supplies they have squirreled away in the “communal supplies area” of their hide-out?

      These elitist squatters are like vampire leeches sucking on the meaty white thighs of a student body grown morbidly spacey and obtusely obese from endless hours spent doing nothing but playing video games featuring sexually-androgynous cartoon characters, interrupted only by their bi-weekly recycling escapades.

      Interesting that these bi-sexual terrorist thugs have formed their communist cell in Maryland, right near our nation’s capitol.

      After these hate-filled degenerates have had their filthy wanton ways with us (yes, even anal), I suspect we’ll all be writing our notices on old typewriters and using only Stephen-approved lined paper.

      If you think Stephen will be the one who’s still chopping the wood, well, then you must be chronically spacey.

      Comrade, welcome to the United States of Stephen.

      Don’t say you weren’t warned.

      “a concerned Citizen” sounded the alarm, but you just hit the obtuse button.

      Jan 4, 2009 at 7:53 pm   rating: 25  small thumbs up

    • #1.2   Lthrace

      TheOldSchool is either really funny or really crazy for writing #1.1.

      Doesnt matter to me which one though. I’d still want to marry you and have your babies.

      Jan 5, 2009 at 9:34 am   rating: 2  small thumbs up

    • #1.3   dare

      I’m surprised no one contemplated the possibility of all of these notes being written by the SAME person!!!

      Jan 5, 2009 at 10:44 am   rating: 3  small thumbs up

    • #1.4   RandyinReno


      TOS just knows his way around a manifesto, anal or otherwise.

      Jan 5, 2009 at 8:20 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #2   Canthz_B bang

    Writing perpendicular to vertical lines makes a concerned citizen look like a moron.
    Maybe he has more than one thing in his life “twisted”.

    Jan 4, 2009 at 12:37 pm   rating: 8  small thumbs up

    • #2.1   se

      “twisted” is probably an accurate description of someone who can’t decide whether to use cursive or block letters in one short note.
      or, maybe, he is a moron.

      team stephen

      Jan 4, 2009 at 1:01 pm   rating: 8  small thumbs up

    • #2.2   Singe

      Looks like printing to me. I see no cursive here.

      And for that matter, writing perpendicular to vertical lines looks to me simply like somebody who doesn’t take lines seriously. Why should somebody care about lines in a casual setting so long as they’re completely legible? I mean, unless the reader is some pretentious asshole.

      Jan 4, 2009 at 2:55 pm   rating: 15  small thumbs up

    • #2.3   Canthz_B bang

      Or, given that argument (looks or seems?), the writer him/herself is so pretentious that they don’t think the lines pertain to him/her.
      Six of one, half a dozen of the other. ;-)

      Jan 4, 2009 at 3:05 pm   rating: 11  small thumbs up

    • #2.4   jfentry

      no, no, no, no. not six of one.

      i guess it’s possible that the person doesn’t think lines pertain to them but the far more likely answer is that writing perpindicular doesn’t mean a single thing.

      buying and maintaining a typewriter is a laborious and expensive thing to do with no tangible, real-life value. ‘stephen’ is doing it for looks. there is no other possible reason. and it looks fucking stupid and pretentious. he sucks.

      notes are notes, not art.

      Jan 4, 2009 at 8:58 pm   rating: 8  small thumbs up

    • #2.5   anglophile bang

      Maybe he found the typewriter out on the curb, where it had been discarded, along with a box of ribbons. That would be no purchase/upkeep expense.

      If we’re doing hypotheticals, let’s do hypotheticals!

      Jan 5, 2009 at 8:03 am   rating: 2  small thumbs up

  • #3   Canthz_B bang

    Tilt your head upwards. See?
    God and Al Gore recycle.

    Jan 4, 2009 at 12:44 pm   rating: 5  small thumbs up

  • #4   MAMARILLA2 bang

    A real typewriter? A time-traveler from the past? A bad sci-fi plot.

    Jan 4, 2009 at 12:52 pm   rating: 4  small thumbs up

  • #5   se

    Stephen, at least, has the balls to include his name and apartment # on his notes. Josh writes as “a concerned citizen”.

    Jan 4, 2009 at 12:52 pm   rating: 18  small thumbs up

  • #6   columbiatch

    “known for it’s obtusely intellectual, chronically spacey student body”

    Brown! It’s Brown, right? Maybe Vassar. But my money is on Brown.

    Jan 4, 2009 at 1:09 pm   rating: 5  small thumbs up

    • #6.1   Canthz_B bang

      Those rejection letters still bother you, huh?

      Columbia is a fine school, no matter what they say! :-)

      Jan 4, 2009 at 1:23 pm   rating: 6  small thumbs up

    • #6.2   anglophile bang

      It’s probably one of them fancy colleges where the students learn when to use it’s and when to use its.

      Talk about obtusely intellectual!

      Jan 4, 2009 at 2:06 pm   rating: 10  small thumbs up

    • #6.3   Canthz_B bang

      Maybe there was a sale on apostrophes?
      They’re perishable…use them, or lose them.

      Jan 4, 2009 at 2:12 pm   rating: 5  small thumbs up

    • #6.4   spyderqueen

      Considering they mention he is a current student and in Annapolis, I’m willing to place money on him going to St John’s.

      They are some weeeeiiiird people at that school.

      Jan 4, 2009 at 11:17 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

    • #6.5   RandyinReno

      Could be worse: He could be a midshipman who will have his finger on the launch button of a nuclear sub in four years.

      Jan 5, 2009 at 8:22 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

    • #6.6   W.U.

      St. John’s College, actually.

      Jan 16, 2009 at 10:49 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #7   Canthz_B bang

    I never worry about those whose axes actually chop, Josh.
    It’s the ones with axes to grind that are worrisome…like you. ;-)

    Jan 4, 2009 at 1:17 pm   rating: 4  small thumbs up

  • #8   Emily

    I going to have to agree… team Stephen.

    And is the college in question St. John’s??? It must be.

    Jan 4, 2009 at 1:26 pm   rating: 7  small thumbs up

    • #8.1   Canthz_B bang

      “I going to have to agree…”?

      CUNY? It must be! :-P

      Jan 4, 2009 at 2:02 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

    • #8.2   ihityouinthenose bang

      i’m certain it’s St. Johns. “obtusely intellectual, chronically spacey student body” is exactly what i think of every time i pass that campus. “overblown sense of entitlement” comes to mind as well…

      i also have twisted visions of what would happen if mommy and daddy actually cut off one of the Johnnies.

      crap now i just sound envious.

      Jan 4, 2009 at 4:09 pm   rating: 4  small thumbs up

    • #8.3   Wade bang

      If the school is in Annapolis, it has to be St. Johns.

      Nothing says “obtusely intellectual” & “chronically spacey” like a Great Books education and a crackerjack croquet team.

      Well, that and typewriting a note on lined paper.

      Jan 4, 2009 at 5:44 pm   rating: 8  small thumbs up

    • #8.4   jfentry

      yeah, st johns kids are the worst. especially the guys.

      Jan 4, 2009 at 9:01 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

    • #8.5   mazzi

      I vote for St. Johns.

      My brother is an Alumni, and he was always trying to set me up with his nerdy friends, any of whom could have penned those notes. For some reason they never seemed to understand why everyone outside the school hated them.

      ( Oh man, I just had a flashback to a party where some guy recited “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” – from memory… arrrrgh!)

      Jan 4, 2009 at 9:01 pm   rating: 8  small thumbs up

    • #8.6   Mark bang

      I can recite parts of TRotAM, but that’s courtesy of IRON MAIDEN!!!! Eddie FTW!

      Jan 10, 2009 at 9:35 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

    • #8.7   Alexandra

      Your brother was an alumnus, not an alumni – alumni is a plural noun. And my Johnnie friends and I spend a lot of time at parties reciting poetry from memory to one another. Would you like to hear some Yeats, perhaps? I’ve got “An Irish Airman Foresees His Death” committed to memory pretty well by now.

      I love my school, and will until the day I die. All you haters can just go boil your heads.

      Feb 13, 2009 at 12:50 pm   rating: 4  small thumbs up

  • #9   Ti O

    “When the authorities finally got the search warrant for apartment one they found a 10×10 shack constructed inside with a well loved Smith-Corona sitting on a stack of ‘Mother Earth’ magazines and a dog-eared copy of the Anarchists Cookbook in it.”

    Jan 4, 2009 at 1:33 pm   rating: 7  small thumbs up

    • #9.1   Canthz_B bang

      “Unablogger” doesn’t quite make the same statement.

      Jan 4, 2009 at 1:59 pm   rating: 10  small thumbs up

  • #10   Bean

    Yeah, sure, go on believing it’s the typewriter that makes him look like a pretentious asshole, and your chicken scrawl makes you so down to earth. :roll:

    Jan 4, 2009 at 2:36 pm   rating: 6  small thumbs up

  • #11   anglophile bang

    Oh, wait.

    Stephen took the note down, typed the UPDATE, and reposted the note after posting the pickup schedule?

    Ok, yep. He’s a pretentious asshole, alright.

    Jan 4, 2009 at 2:40 pm   rating: 14  small thumbs up

    • #11.1   Canthz_B bang

      Well now, the pick-up schedule would have lacked credibility without Stephen’s imprimatur, wouldn’t it have?

      Jan 4, 2009 at 2:46 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

    • #11.2   Bunnee

      I still want to know what the update means. “Tilt your head upwards”? What does he want them to look at? Wouldn’t a recycling bin be on the ground? (Maybe I’m just being dense…)

      Jan 6, 2009 at 3:16 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #12   Singe

    Dear Apartment One:

    Go fuck yourself.

    I’ll be more respectful once you EARN my respect.
    Thank you.
    Apartment Thirty-Six.

    Jan 4, 2009 at 2:47 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

  • #13   Kristin

    Ahh…who cares if the note is typed on looseleaf. Obviously Stephen AND the concerned citizen have a little too much time on their hands. One feels he has to type a note and the other feels he has to leave a message about the note being typed.

    Jan 4, 2009 at 3:30 pm   rating: 8  small thumbs up

    • #13.1   jfentry

      no, josh is a hero for standing up to pretentious fuckwits like stephen. josh’s note took 5 seconds and stephen’s probably took 10 minutes, not counting the time he spent crying.

      Jan 4, 2009 at 9:03 pm   rating: 4  small thumbs up

    • #13.2   Necrophiliac

      Seems to me that you’re all a group of big losers with nothing else to do but read other people’s notes, critique their punctuation and insult their alma mater….Oh wait – I guess that would make me a big loser too.

      If I may add…I envision “Stephen the geek” being hung like a Bolivian pack mule. It’s usually the geeky, booky, nerds that are usually packing the serious heat. Must be God’s wierd sense of humor in action. Just an observation resulting from my many years of attending P.E. classes….I’m just sayin’……..

      Jan 5, 2009 at 12:42 am   rating: 3  small thumbs up

    • #13.3   jfentry

      maybe, but he’ll never use it.

      Jan 5, 2009 at 11:27 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #14   Amy

    Maybe Stephen’s handwriting is illegible?

    Jan 4, 2009 at 3:41 pm   rating: 4  small thumbs up

    • #14.1   jfentry

      and too much of an interesting person/deep thinker/unique mind to use a fucking computer

      Jan 6, 2009 at 12:10 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

    • #14.2   JamieSays

      Or a budding serial killer?

      Jan 7, 2009 at 2:32 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #15   ananananapolitan

    Haha. Josh has every reason to be scared. I went to this school. A few years before my time, one student chased another student through campus with a broadsword. Truefact.

    (This must be why Stephen has to do his woodchopping off-campus, blades aren’t allowed on campus anymore.)

    But as far as passive-aggressive notes go? For this school, that’s pretty weak. The ones from the administration are the best – especially the annual ones about hard liquor and taking furniture outside (delivered like clockwork every spring).

    Jan 4, 2009 at 5:04 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

    • #15.1   Obtuse Intellectual U. Alumna

      So true, re: letters from the administration. That place is small enough to run like it were more of a reality show than a college, so they do. More entertainment and less paperwork, I guess.

      Jan 4, 2009 at 7:06 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

    • #15.2   ananananapolitan

      The really funny thing about all this is that this entire blog/concept is like a roach motel for Johnnie types. Except that Stephen’s typewriter tendency seems to indicate that he doesn’t use a computer, I’d guess he would have already found this post, printed it out, and then posted it, with his own rebuttal, on the coffee shop board…

      If it weren’t for the fact that I refuse to become one of those alums-cum-townies, I might do just that in Steven’s stead, just to stir the pot.

      Jan 4, 2009 at 7:40 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

    • #15.3   Canthz_B bang


      Jan 4, 2009 at 11:50 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #16   anony

    Stephen doesn’t go to St. Johns, FYI.

    Jan 4, 2009 at 5:14 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

    • #16.1   Ok

      So if not St. Johns than what? Naval Academy?
      I live and work in Annapolis and am not sure how it can’t be St.

      Jan 4, 2009 at 5:50 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

    • #16.2   Wade bang

      Maybe Anne Arundel Community College? :P

      Jan 4, 2009 at 6:16 pm   rating: 4  small thumbs up

    • #16.3   Sara

      Lol, wow you must be familiar with the area.
      *hangs head in shame* I actually got my aa there before transferring to University of Maryland. Hey, I was 18 and had no clue what the hell I wanted to do with my life. Truth be told I had some pretty good professors there.

      Jan 4, 2009 at 8:23 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

    • #16.4   Wade bang

      LOL, Sara. Well, AACC is the best community college in the nation. ;)

      And why spend top dollar on basic courses at a four year college, especially when you are still trying to figure out your career path.

      Jan 4, 2009 at 8:42 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

    • #16.5   Sara

      Very true Wade!
      Ah, I just checked out your blog and see you’re from DC. Some of my fav professors at AACC were full time teachers from GW doing part time work at the community college!
      Btw, great photos.

      Jan 4, 2009 at 9:17 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

    • #16.6   Wade bang


      Thanks, Sara.


      Jan 4, 2009 at 9:22 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #17   Thanks!

    My grandmother doesn’t even use her typewriter anymore, or maybe typewriters are green?

    Jan 4, 2009 at 5:28 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #18   teeg

    At least neither of them used hearts over the “i”s and little smiley faces as embellishment.

    Jan 4, 2009 at 5:30 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #19   fluffy8u

    I want to marry Stephen just for that comment.

    And maybe Stephen just likes to use his typewriter. It might make him feel classy.

    Jan 4, 2009 at 5:43 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

    • #19.1   jfentry

      don’t worry, even if you met he’d never muster up the courage to ask you out.

      Jan 4, 2009 at 9:05 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #20   mamason bang

    Typing on custom stationery embossed with your family crest, now that makes you look pretentious.

    Typing on loose leaf paper just makes you look pedestrian and student loan reliant.

    Jan 4, 2009 at 5:58 pm   rating: 16  small thumbs up

  • #21   TheOldSchool bang

    Maybe you’re all being overly macabre.

    It could be the case that Stephen (in Apartment One) is the franchise owner of an Armani Exchange boutique, and that “a concerned Citizen” is a shopaholic, who knows that his financial life is already spiraling out of control — and this is BEFORE he’s even had a peek at the new line-up of trousers, shirts, jackets, and smart, up-to-the-minute accessories that AX will be trotting out in the coming weeks.

    That said, no matter how spacey he and his fellow students are, he should have known better than to use an upper-case C in citizen.

    I’d suggest that he offer to chop wood for Stephen, in exchange for must-have accessories and tutoring.

    Jan 4, 2009 at 6:03 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #22   Obtuse Intellectual U. Alumna

    I am disappointed in “Stephen” for not typewriting the response on a page torn out from a moleskine.

    P.S. The school in question can’t be anything other than St. John’s College (which is not the same as St. John’s U, fwiw).

    Jan 4, 2009 at 6:58 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #23   BurstingAtTheSeams

    Personally, I enjoy a note typed on a typewriter every now and then. However, that’s because I work at a research library and get reference requests from academic-types in the mail. I’d be a little weirded out by one from the guy down the hall too.

    But still, there’s nothing like receiving a freshly typed note that you can run your hand across and feel little indentions with every character.

    carriage return – ding!

    Jan 4, 2009 at 9:22 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #24   Goldie

    All right, here’s my version of what happened. Josh read the original note, and, being a law-abiding citizen, tilted his head upwards as he was told. To his disappointment, he saw nothing but clouds. While Josh was pondering that, someone short and scrawny ran up to him, and quickly kicked him in the crotch. Doubling over in agony, Josh saw a 5ft. tall guy running away, in the direction of Apt.1, laughing at his clever prank as he escaped. Due to severe pain he was in, Josh had no chance of catching Stephen. All he could do was leave a note with a personal insult. Stephen reacted quickly … out came the ax. For future updates on this story, please continue checking your local Annapolis news sources.

    Jan 4, 2009 at 9:52 pm   rating: 4  small thumbs up

  • #25   anony II

    There is no school in question. This thread is entirely speculative bullshit.

    Jan 4, 2009 at 9:53 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

    • #25.1   Wade bang

      Unlike your comment, for which no speculation is needed. ;)

      Jan 4, 2009 at 10:00 pm   rating: 9  small thumbs up

    • #25.2   Goldie

      The “school in question” is Unseen University.

      Jan 4, 2009 at 10:03 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

    • #25.3   aaa

      SRSLY, anony II? Or should I say Stephen in Apartment One?

      (Too bad you can’t see the eyebrow thing I’m doing. Oh well.)

      Jan 5, 2009 at 12:58 am   rating: 3  small thumbs up

    • #25.4   Canthz_B bang

      Interesting choice of letters.


      Jan 5, 2009 at 1:40 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #26   aaa

    What’re you so afraid of, Josh? This dude’s a retro-ass dinosaur-wannabe who thinks he’s just so bitchin’ with that axe and typewriter. Why not just kick his ass with a gun and a computer?

    Jan 5, 2009 at 12:56 am   rating: 4  small thumbs up

  • #27   concerned citizens friend


    I happen to know Josh, the concerned citizen, and I can reveal that on Saturday, Josh got a tattoo of a typewriter on his stomach. As far as I’m aware, this passive aggressive spat was not part of his reasoning for getting this tattoo.

    I wonder what Stephen, or all of you, think about his original comments about Stephen being a pretensious asshole for using a typewriter on looseleaf.

    Jan 5, 2009 at 12:19 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #28   Naptown

    Has to be a Johnny.

    Jan 5, 2009 at 1:51 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #29   Meg

    I want to know what was “up” there that has to do with proper trash and recycling procedures… Were used condoms and gum and other sticky things clinging to the ceiling above Stephen’s door? That would probably warrant some typewriter-fueled public seething.

    Unless it was posted on the front door… then Stephen could have dumped the improperly deposited garbage from his upper story window… right onto the obedient head-tilt-upper. Then he gloats, “so you’ll take the time to read my lengthy, pretentiously-typed message, but you won’t take the time to adhere to the city’s recycling guidelines and pickup schedule? Well then!”
    Oh Stephen.

    Jan 8, 2009 at 9:03 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #30   erica stratton

    Holy crap, I used to go to that college.

    Jan 17, 2009 at 11:24 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

    • #30.1   Alexandra

      Hi, Erica! I’m still here!

      Feb 12, 2009 at 6:05 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #31   I know stephen and that fucking type writer


    Sorry ladies, he’s a gay writer and he’s a total douchebag.

    I saw him scream into a deaf persons ear once.


    Feb 8, 2009 at 12:40 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

    • #31.1   anglophile bang

      Well, that’s a disappointment. He seemed like such a good prospect!

      Feb 8, 2009 at 2:28 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #32   Alexandra

    I’m a student there. I know Josh and Stephen. I’m lol-ing to death right now.

    Feb 12, 2009 at 6:05 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up


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