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Alex Cooper

Medium meets Monty Python

Spam is not welcome here. (Image from Canva)

Unlike the famous Monty Python sketch, it seems Spam is off the menu here on Medium.

Users woke up to see tens, hundreds, even thousands of followers frittered away. Chaos and confusion reigned until this update from Medium shed (some) light on things:

I was one of the lucky ones, I guess — I only lost 10 followers, but from comments I’ve seen, others lost as much as half of their following.

Is This a Good Thing?

Many people say followers are a vanity metric, and that is partially true. …


Move over, Chrissy

I’d like to apologize to everyone, but mostly moths. (Images from Canva)

Hi everyone.

I’m sure you’re all sick of me. I’m sick of me.

At least, you will be sick of me at some undefined point in the future when I’m famous and someone uncovers my sordid past.

That’s why I’ve preemptively prepared this apology.

I’m not sure which of the bad things I did came to light first, but I know that I regret it deeply and feel truly humbled. I’m a disgusting, horrible, no-good human being and I deserve to sit in my shame while you all point at me and say I’m a very naughty chap.

I’d hate…

two cartoon penguins, title is plural apostrophe penguins
two cartoon penguins, title is plural apostrophe penguins
Images from Canva, words by author

Here to help, whether they like it or…

Could we end racism with a rebrand?

two zebra heads in the shape of a heart
two zebra heads in the shape of a heart
Image from Canva, slogan by author

White with black stripes, or black with white stripes?

No one knows, and that’s the beauty of it — all zebras are the same underneath. Lions do not judge them on the color of their skin, but by the content of their delicious haunches.

With this in mind, I believe that a rebrand is long overdue. The animal formerly known as zebra can heal the world as the Racial Harmony Horse.

A Mascot for Change

Do you hear that sound? That’s the thumping hooves of change.

Racial tensions are running high, but — by looking to the animal kingdom for inspiration— perhaps we can…

I have reached peak YouTube procrastination

small boy holding goat
small boy holding goat
You’re never too young to flip your first goat. (Photo by Tom Schuller on Unsplash)

How do you correctly flip a goat?

Well, that’s the million-dollar question. You might think your goat flipping technique is rock solid, but in your arrogance, it’s likely you’ve picked up some bad habits.

I have to admit, prior to this morning I’d never even watched a goat flipping video. Like most people, I just assumed I had a natural talent for it, and I wasn’t willing to put in the work to better myself.

Luckily, YouTube user has created this video to answer all the questions you had about flipping goats, and several you never even considered:


Historical Humor

Everyone asks “how’s Aeschylus?” but never “how’s Tim?”

eagle dropping tortoise on man’s head
eagle dropping tortoise on man’s head
If he’d only worn a pondering helmet, this wouldn’t have happened. (Images from Canva)

Aeschylus was a Greek playwright, known for being the “Father of Tragedy” and also for his bizarre — albeit likely fabricated — death-by-tortoise. Several sources write of the incident, but history does not tell us what became of the offending reptile.

This is his story.

“Oh my Gods, the Father of Tragedy has just been killed in a tragic falling-tortoise-related incident,” shouted a Sicilian farmer, thus becoming the Father of Irony.

A crowd gathered. To be fair, it’s not every day you see a famous Greek playwright taken out by a reptile projectile.

I must take issue with the “accident”…

A liege lord’s lamentations when the King hath given modest rewards

Maybe it’s nicer than the name suggests? (Images from Canva)

We’ve all been there. You almost singlehandedly repelled the heathens, smiting God’s enemies with thy holy blade. And for what? The King hath given out fiefdoms like trinkets, yet he insults you with a most humble piece of land.

’Twould be churlish to complain, and yet…

You are beset by enemies on all sides. The soil is sickly. The stream is nary a trickle and contains a single elderly trout. The serfs lack respect and don’t know the meaning of an honest day’s backbreaking toil. …

Creature Feature

Small birds are hiding a morbid secret

great tit saying braaains
great tit saying braaains
Image from Canva; edited by author

Great tits, blood and guts.

No, those aren’t the ingredients for a low-budget zombie movie — I’m talking about the morbid habits of a small bird with a silly name.

The jury is out whether the great tit is a birb, a borb, or even a floof, but I’m sure most of us agree it is a fairly innocuous specimen.

Humans tend to anthropomorphize animals, especially those we find cute. …

I’m not confused. You’re confused.

person putting cookies in piggy bank
person putting cookies in piggy bank
Photo courtesy of Gratisography

I’ve gone through the whole gamut of human emotion since hearing about Medium’s June bonuses. Or should that be May bonuses?

No, not the bonuses for April some of us got in May — the bonuses for May some of us got in June.

Confused? You ain’t seen nothing yet.

To begin with, this bonus was added to June’s earnings, to be paid out in July. There was no email confirmation — I only learned of the bonuses after reading other people’s stories. …

Alex Cooper

Freelance writer, humorist, and author of two weird books about animals. Top writer in Humor & Satire. Get my books here:

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