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While you were away at your sleepaway cartography camp, not allowed an iPhone or TV privileges, you missed a lot! Now you are headed back to school and you aren’t up to date on all of the goings on in everyday life and pop culture. The shame! 

Fear not, below are the ABCs to get you reacclimated to this fickle world of inane headlines and nonsensical news cycles. 

A is for Amazon.

Not the company, but the rainforest. It’s burning. And while you are using your Amazon Fire Stick to stream Planet Earth Season 2, the literal Amazon is on literal fire, which means season 2019 may be the last season of literal planet Earth. It’s far more important and unfortunately far less cared about than Amazon stock prices or Prime Day.

B is for bulletproof backpacks.

Sadly, these are this year’s must-have back to school supply for your non-bulletproof young ones. Don’t forget to also pick up a semi-automatic mechanical pencil and your shrapnel resistant Trapper Keepers from Walmart, which is only starting to limit sales of guns and ammunition to the bad guys!

C is for canceled.

Since you last checked in, the following things have been cancelled: Sarah Silverman, Soul Cycle, Equinox, Jimmy John’s, Wayfair, and maybe Olive Garden.

D is for Dairy Queen.

DQ actually responded to a question about whether they use human meat in their hamburgers. If you are eating hamburgers at Dairy Queen, you deserve whatever you get.

E is for Euphoria.

It’s a wildly popular, wildly explicit HBO show that features drug use, casual sex, violence, and has a transgender star. Do not watch with your parents (or my parents!)!

F is for FaceApp.

We were obsessed with this for 48 hours. The first 24 were ceaseless joy as we made ourselves look older. The second 24 were ceaseless panic as we worried that the app was a Russian espionage tool.

G is for Greenland.

Donald Trump wanted the United States to buy the world’s largest island (from Denmark), because he is a moron who has not learned from his terrible past real estate deals.

H is for “Hot Girl Summer.”

This was the official slogan and rallying cry of the summer, a catch-all for any feeling, reasoning, or motivation. The secret thing about hot girl summer is you don’t have to be hot, or a girl! That’s how woke we are these days!

I is for intermittent fasting.

We’re all starving for this dietary trend where people go a day without eating, every now and then. Think of it as the exact opposite for your cheat day. Also think of it as the exact opposite of healthy.

J is for Jay Z.

Guess who signed a deal with the NFL to advise on live music and social justice projects? In a media appearance alongside Roger Goodell, Jay Z said, “I think we’ve moved past kneeling. I think it’s time for action.” Then the Jay Z/NFL committee named Megan Trainor an Inspire Change Advocate.

K is for Kawhi Leonard.

Mr. Fun Guy led the Toronto Raptors to the NBA Championship over the Golden State Warriors. Then for his next trick, he then bolted for Los Angeles, signing with the L.A. Clippers, in the process spurning LeBron James and the Lakers.

L is for Liam Hemsworth.

The other Hemsworth bro split up with (but is not yet divorced from) Miley Cyrus, and it was a big thing for a couple days. Miley posted selfies kissing another woman and released a song called “Slide Away.”

M is for Marianne Williamson.

This person is running for the Democratic presidential nomination and had her “Hello, world” moment at the first Democratic debate, featuring such hits as:

N is for Never Ending Story.

It doesn’t matter if the movie and original song were before your time, this rebooted tune soundtracked the climactic scene in the biggest summer television series, Stranger Things.

O is for “Old Town Road.”

Yes, the same song that was popular before you took a pop culture hiatus. It was the number one song in America for 19 straight weeks, and there are approximately 448 official remixes of it.

P is for Popeyes.

The company of the summer, taking their chicken sandwich right to the face of Chick-Fil-A and selling out everywhere, conveniently, so no one can eat one and tell you it sucks. Marketing 101!

Q is for quesadilla.

As in a deep-fried barbecue chicken quesadilla pizza. As in the viral video that clogged the internet’s arteries with layer upon layer of plot twists and disgusting deliciousness.

R is for Rapinoe.

Megan Rapinoe, the purple-haired, ascending goddess who won the Golden Ball, the Golden Boot, and led the U.S. Women’s National Team to victory in the World Cup. She also drank all of the alcohol and said all of the swears in the weeks-long celebration afterwards.

S is for Streep comma Meryl.

Meryl Streep was apparently the only good part of Big Little Lies season 2. Look I just saved you 7 hours of your life!

T is for Tarantino comma Quentin.

For his ninth production, Tarantino wrote and directed Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood, his least interesting movie in over a decade. Look, I just saved you another 7 hours of your life!

U is for U.S. vs. Jeffrey Epstein.

Not a super fun one here. This case was filled with sex trafficking, suicide, and two of our (most recently) horniest presidents.

V is for VMAs.

MTV’s Video Music Awards were completely useless, save for a performance by Lizzo, which included a giant inflatable butt wearing a thong. These are the sentences that make my George Washington journalism degree so valuable.

W is for White Claw.

All hail the alcoholic seltzer that found its way into America’s hearts and koozies. Also receiving votes: Truly.

X is for okay you caught me.

There were no relevant stories about x-rays or xylophones this summer. Although X-Men: Dark Phoenix debuted.

Y is for Yang.

Andrew Yang, another Democratic presidential candidate, who’s big differentiator is an idea to give everyone in American $1,000 per month! It’s called the Freedom Dividend and would buy A LOT of White Claw.

Z is for Zion Williamson.

Have you seen the first pick in the NBA draft? The 285 pound 19 year-old athletic freak was the surest thing the NBA had seen since LeBron… until he showed up looking out of shape and an entire basketball nation jumped ship.

So, there you have it, folks. Now you know your ABCs. Now it’s on to more difficult lessons, like how to survive in this mixed up, crazy world.

Josh Bard

Josh Bard is a guy. A sports guy, an ideas guy, a wise guy, a funny guy, a Boston guy, and sometimes THAT guy. Never been a Guy Fieri guy, though.

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