The Gateway’s Underrated Objects Bracket

We brainstormed a bunch of random inanimate objects, drew them out of a hat, then argued which one is the best inanimate object of the bunch. See if you agree.

The Contenders:

Pennies

Gutters hold a special place in society by providing homes to the knick-knacks we value the very least. Which is why it’s easy to find pennies in them. These zincs discs do a better job at making drainage gunk look prettyish than they do in adding value to your liquid assets. Being absolutely devoid of value (save for in penny collecting hoppy groups), pennies have caused mills to run deficits for at least 50 years.

Pennies have some plus sides; they helped include the peasantry into nation economies. It’s good to give these guys an in. The only problem now is that there is no more peasantry.

— Jamie Sarkonak 


Thumb Tacks 

I’ve always been really scared of thumb tacks. You know when you have to hand someone a thumb tack and it’s like, do you hand it to them handle first? Pointy end first? Do you toss it into their hand? What if you accidentally poke them with it and they die? It’s a lot of responsibility. That’s why I don’t like thumb tacks. Sometimes I just think about, what if you were standing on a ladder trying to put up a poster and you were holding a bunch of thumb tacks in your hand but then you trip on the ladder and fall down and your hand CLOSES around the thumb tacks, that would hurt so much! I think about that every time I’m holding thumb tacks. We should only use poster putty.

— Sofia Osborne 


Fire Hydrant

Fire hydrants have it pretty rough.

When a battalion of neighbourhood dogs aren’t lifting their legs over hydrants, they’re getting a winters worth of crap pumped through them every spring. If they’re really lucky, they’ll make it through their whole lifespan without being run over after a drunk person hopped the curb.

None gives a fuck about fire hydrants unless they are testing them or their house is burning down. It’s like KnoxBoxes. Ugly pieces of urban life that only get used in a tragedy.

Fuck, apparently they’re also called fireplugs. That’s a way cooler name. I’d way rather be a plug than a hydrant. Future made a song about plugs, no song about hydrants.

— Mitch Sorensen


Fish Crackers

Among the pantheon of school snacks, along the ranks of Wagon Wheels, Fruit Rollups, and Oreos, they stand as one of the most versatile and most revered snacks of them all. Fish crackers are the bane of childhood lunch snacks. It’s the quintessential snack for when it’s 10:14 and you’re way too hungry for lunch, so you indulge in that delicious cheese powder-blasted cracker delight. It’s when the lunch that your mom made is all soggy and wet and the ratio between flavour/sustenance is overbalanced and starvation for the day is more attractive than trying to eat a water-sogged sandwich with whole wheat bread, four tomatoes, and mustard that’s been dissolved into the bread. But alas, fish crackers have come to save the day. They are made of bread, cheese, and love. Just like that. They’ve saved me on more field trips, long days, and excruciating classes than I’ve cared to remember. A bag of fish crackers could feed me 1,000 times over when the worst comes to worst. Fish crackers, millions of schoolchildren across the world salute you.

— Nicholas Villeneuve 


Rocks

Rocks are a perfect source of irritation. One does not know true anger until they have spent hours staring at rocks, pleading with them to reveal their secrets to you. If you dare to believe you have mastered rocks, and then write the EAS 100 lab final, you will discover that you have been lied to, and that everything you thought was mafic is actually full of silicon. Rocks will invade your dreams, your nightmares, your hopes, and leave you feeling jaded. Once you have decided you have hand enough, put down your hardness kits, and turned away from geology, the rocks will not give up. They will attack your feet by taking over your shoes. They will destroy your vehicle by cracking your windshield. Rocks never give up and will fight on until ground into dust. Even then, they will fight on by attacking your lungs and causing you to choke and sneeze. Rocks always win because in the end, after you die and decay, you will become composite materials of rock and recruited to their anti-human army to destroy you and/or your friends’ descendants. Rocks are the ultimate enemy because throughout your life they appear as no more than an irritant despite all their efforts, and so you never expect them until it’s too late.

— Shay Lewis 


Dice

Imagine if you did every single thing in your life based on the roll of a dice? You could label each side

  1. What you want to do
  2. What you think your mom would probably want you to do
  3. Call a friend
  4. What you think Trump would do
  5. What you think Kanye would want you to do
  6. What your 5 year old self would want you to do

God damn. The dating game would be so much more simplified. That guy in the t-shirt with the sleeves cut down to where you can see the nipples that smells like red sourpuss but also somehow the old Chinese food in your fridge. He says to you, hey (insert gender here, ’cause I’m not a shitlord), I saw you making eyes at me, I thought I’d come by and start the conversation for us. You could just roll the dice and get a four and exclaim (whilst spitting on his face probably)

“fake news” or somethin’.

You could be at Sephora and look at like 600 dollars worth of make up and roll a 5 and realize you’re gonna be working extra shifts at your part time job for like the next three months because you couldn’t not buy that highlight

You could be in the middle of straddling someone and not know what to do in terms of a sex act and roll a 2 and put your clothes back on, clean your room, what the heck.

You could probably see that weird lump on your genitals and roll a three (probably I would do this on purpose).

— Pia Co


Glitter

Glitter is a magical, beautiful substance that is sure to bring a good time in almost any context. That being said, glitter is super overrated. Sure, your eyelids have never looked better. Sure, that poster-board is shimmering like never before. But that glitter is never going away. Did you spill a tiny bit of it on the carpet? It will be there until you die. Did some of it get on your clothes? That shirt will sparkle until the end of time. Glitter is the most persistent fucking substance on the planet, and it’s impossible to clean up. If you miss a single, tiny piece, you’re doomed. It’ll shine there forever. So, unless you’re ready to commit to a lifetime of shimmer, glitter is not for you.

— Emma Jones


Sharpie

The sharpie is quite possibly the most important invention of all time. More important than electricity, antibiotics, the wheel, gunpowder, the steam engine, or any of these other worthy inventions. I’ll go through each of these point by point.

Electrocution kills a lot of people, sharpies kill like no people. You might argue that electricity saves lives, but that’s largely a problematic narrative put forward by big electricity. Coal mining kills people. Nuclear energy produces radioactive waste. Oil is bad because of greenhouse gases. Hydro dams are environment-disturbing infrastructure. Wind energy kills birds. Gunpowder is loud. Antibiotics are largely abused. Sharpies are not guilty of any of these things.

The sharpie is lightweight, affordable, and can be used anywhere. You can’t put a steam engine in your pocket, and any wheel you’re going to be able to put in your pocket isn’t going to be able to build the pyramids. But a sharpie can help draw up the plans for the pyramids.

We live in a world where people are willing to backtrack in order to try to blend in with the status quo, to fit in. How often have people compromised their beliefs in order to be uncontroversial? The sharpie says fuck you, I’m not going anywhere. It’s vital for freedom of speech.

— Drew Kantor


Pillow

When I first moved into Lister, I lived without sheets for like a month and a half. I just didn’t bring any. It didn’t occur to me that sheets were a necessary item for people to own. Eventually my roommate shamed me for being a heathen often enough that I headed down to Superstore, became a real adult, and bought some sheets.

A pillow, however, I could not have lived without. No one really needs fucking sheets. They’re just another skinny layer between you and a rock-hard mattress, and they will make absolutely no difference to your quality of life unless you are insecure about your status as an adult. A pillow, though, is essential. Adult or child, Lister or no Lister, you need a pillow.

— Emma Jones


Fake Plants

As university students in 2017, we spend the vast majority of our time hiding in lecture halls, libraries, and coffee shops. Our lives consist of essays upon essays upon essays, with the occasional exam thrown in for good measure. Any free time we have is almost guaranteed to be spent catching up on sleep, with our faces glued to screens, or eating terrible, terrible food. We are so very far detached from nature, but let’s be real, we’re not going to change anytime soon. So why not bring the nature in to us? But plants are expensive, and upkeep of said plants is far too time-consuming to be expected of us time-wasting millennials. Thus, fake plants. They’re the best of both worlds – great aesthetic value and gives the impression that you’re more in tune with nature than you really are, you trashy basement-dweller. They give you none of the health benefits of real plants, but throw a tiny air freshener in the plastic pot and you’ll be convinced you’re healthier already. Step aside, real and wholesome nature – fake plants are here to stay.

— Michaela Friedland 


Toque

I just learned how to spell this fucking word. Like for 20 years of life, the existential crisis persisted of a word that, colloquially, existed yet did not exist in any form of writing. I spelled it T-O-U-C-Q-U-E and even shamefully T-O-O-K-E (I was a dumb kid). Not even google could fix my spelling blunders as I’ve spent my whole life attempting to find this word but no success. I know my spelling isn’t the best considering Ashton’s edits are primarily focused on spelling and my non-existent grammar. Today, I had to google “toque” and was hit with a wave of enlightenment. Toque is a real word! All the arguments I’ve had with people, all the former friends I called idiots, all of them were right. I mean who needs April Fools when your life’s a joke.

— Nicklaus Neitling 


Wheels

What came first, the chicken or the wheel? Trick question. Chickens are an urban legend perpetuated by the Japanese government.

The wheel, usually a circle, revolutionized the early car industry and went on to become a main component in hamster exercise devices, bikes, scooters, and sliding doors. There’s a reason why the colloquial, “best invention since the wheel!” is widely used. And it’s not just because people are wildly uncreative, it’s because the wheel fucken rules.

— Enrique Marroquin 


Paper Bag

Paper bags are cool, you know? You’re bad, and wrong. They’re terrible. The history of the paper bag starts with Jeff Paper Bag on the day April, 20th 1669. It was a noble bag at first, used by working class people to carry their working-class things, but its past is interesting. Quickly after its inception it was used as a primitive contraceptive. It wasn’t great, but it got the job done. And It was compostable.

Paper bags were used as the first parachute, primarily by Jeff Parachutes. He died on his first attempt. It was terrible. Paper bags would be used as parachutes for 73 more years until people realized that they were better suited as lunch carrying devices. For thousands of years after that, paper bags were used to carry the saddest lunches known to man. Shitty sandwiches, shitty “wraps,” it’s just a fucking sad-fest all around.

We honour the legacy of Jeff Paper Bag by breathing into one of his famous inventions when someone is hyperventilating, or by throwing up into one if you are a weak ass bitch on a plane.

— Enrique Marroquin 


Beach Ball

The beach ball is such an underrated object. I mean, what other object can make its home on beaches, in concerts, volleyball courts and seal shows? The answer is none. It’s that ability to appear in a variety of different settings, without causing a scene, that makes the beach ball so special. It doesn’t matter if it is being used as a quick form of summer fun or as a means of bonding at a rocking concert, the beach ball can never be used in a wrong way. Not even when you accidentally hit your friend in the face with it or decide that its best use is to try and sit down on it. Whatever the situation, whatever the setting, the beach ball has you covered.

— Courtney Graham 


Shoelaces

Ah, shoelaces. The belt of your feet. These bad boys have been keeping shoes secured to feet ever since humans have been running away from velociraptors.

Whether you tie them up bunny ears or wrap around method, you can’t argue that shoelaces are the sole hero of everyday life. If you have them, you quietly tie them and get on your way. If you don’t have them, you’re fucked. Maybe it’s about time we started thanking our shoelaces more for their tireless work.

Enrique Marroquin


Velcro

It’s a teeny-bopper phenomenon for helping youngins feel grown up. They might not be able to tie their shoes, bunny ears or not, but they can Velcro the shit out of their sneakers. Sure, you get all kinds of shit stuck in Velcro: lint, and fuzz, and sweaters, and thread, and hair, and your dignity. But Velcro gets the job done. It’s an identifiable sound emanating from across the room. It’s both satisfying and annoying to rip pieces of Velcro apart, but that’s part of the fun. It’s unfortunate Velcro has become unacceptable for adults to use, especially for their shoes. I have to give Velcro props, because as much as you may hate it, it’s really made a name for itself. Velcro is the brand name, and the product is “mechanical based fastening products, including fabric hook and loop fasteners” according to Wikipedia, but that’s stupid and hard to remember, so good job Velcro for monopolizing the “mechanical based fastening products, including fabric hook and loop fasteners.”

— Ashton Mucha