Unemployed in the Apocalypse: Why Not Trade School?

“Maybe you could work in a trade?” I can hear my mother pleading from her modest home in suburban Wisconsin. It’s 2023 and I still don’t have the credits to graduate from community college. There have been 37,500 deaths in metro Atlanta and I am a twenty-nine year old single woman with a four month sublease and no degree.

The pandemic turned fall of Western Civilization as we know it has changed everything, except me. I still drink myself to sleep. I still google online therapy once every month or so. I dropped out of school again. I still call my ex.

But you know what? I am thinking about getting a welding certification. “The world will always need trades people,” I confidently announce to the four other people at the once crowded bars I insist on frequenting. There are nods and groans of agreement. “At least that much hasn’t changed.”

“There are a few good programs still out there,” I explain to my father, who has had to sell nearly all of his possessions just to keep his household afloat while still managing to lend me $20 every few weeks for cigarettes and miraculously, Arby’s.

Bernie Sanders is running for office in 2024, and this time there’s no way he is going to lose. Student loans will be a non-issue by the time I enroll in a certification program at what’s left of the Atlanta Technical College. I hear we might even get the checks we were promised in the beginning of the outbreak.

“I could do sculpting in my spare time outside of work, too. Remember how I used to be an artist?” I enthusiastically explain my new scheme to my mother. There is a silence and then finally a breath.

“Please stop calling me.” Her voice is cracking but I know she’ll be proud of me. One day, as I repair the worlds last working radiator (or whatever), it will all have been worth it.

-Kat Jimenez

Atlanta’s Gay Coke Bars That Also Serve Pizza

1. Jack’s Pizza

Smoke illegally!

Jack’s pizza is a local favorite for smoking inside despite the ban, doing cocaine until 4am, and using Grindr to meet up with people at neighboring establishments. Not many people realize they also serve pizza! Try the “Jason” which has mac and cheese and hot dog toppings. Or don’t, you’re really high. Chain smoke in the back for now and maybe order something next time.

2. Cameli’s Pizza

The famous Cameli’s “Monster Slice”

Home of Atlanta’s monster slice, this gay coke bar has many food offerings. “The Prince” is a delicious slice with a creamy garlic sauce base, chicken, onions and mozzarella. The largest food item on this list, it’s probably a bit much right now for your waning appetite, but it’ll be a great Instagram picture. Let everyone know just how gay and hungry you are with the tag #monsterslice.

The pizza is really just okay.

3. Argosy

For a more high end cocaine fueled gay pizza experience, try Argosy in East Atlanta Village. Brick oven style pizza and flatbread pair well with the large beer and cocktail selection, which you will certainly be grateful for after your fourth trip to the bathroom. Leave the flatbread you ordered on the table, it was mostly a place holder. The hostess will be annoyed but there’s nothing she can say if you keep telling her you’re “still working on it.”

Buy a slice for Digger, a local favorite personality. He also loves root beer.

4. Savage Pizza

Located in the heart of historic Little Five Points, right besides gay coke clothing and record store Junkman’s Daughter, sits Savage Pizza. The meat lover’s specialty pie is highly recommended by the local LGBTQ, homeless, and college football communities. Why not do a key bump with a closeted Auburn fan? The world is your gay oyster.

If you’re lucky the corporate team will be on their lunch break reading manga.

5. Arby’s on Howell Mill Rd

While a less traditional part of this list, it’s truly a secret treasure. Close to Arby’s corporate and local breweries, the place is swarming with bears. The pizza slider is a small and affordable bite, and gives you a great excuse to sit in the bathroom for half an hour, manically railing lines off of your phone before you head back to Urban Tree Cidery to meet up with the otter you met an hour ago at Monday Night Brewing Company.

Best Kansas City BBQ Spots to Text Your Ex-Fiancé

Slaps BBQ sells cheesy corn in many sizes.

1. Slaps BBQ

This restaurant was featured on “Burgers, Brews, & ‘Que” and that’s why you thought he would love it. You wish he could be here, you know what he would order – the brisket, as featured on the Food Network. You can’t bring yourself to try it without him, and can hardly stand to be in this line alone. The fluorescent lighting is harsh and everyone can see the tears welling up. Order your gallon of cheesy corn for $33.95 and Uber back to the Sheraton honeymoon suite by yourself.

Buy a gift set of sauces just in case he calls.

2. Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que

Known for its ribs and being a gas station, Joe’s is one of the quintessential barbeque places in Kansas City. Foodies and tourists consistently name it as a favorite. It was the perfect place to bring him. You’re here to experience the food on your own now, you don’t need company to enjoy things. The plate of burnt ends, while reasonably priced, is a bit much for you. Usually he would finish what you couldn’t, and you dump your half eaten food away in shame.

“Pickles are a required accessory,” – Old Artie Bryant

3. Arthur Bryant’s

You heard the sausage was one of the best things on the menu, and you’re looking forward to it. That cheesy corn didn’t sit right last night and you really need something solid on your stomach. As soon you receive your food, you lose your appetite. There he is all over again, between two buns that aren’t yours. Pull out your phone, send a “wave” emoji, turn it off. Leave the sausage on the table. Walk away like he did at the altar.

The secret menu’s “Meat Mountain” is honestly what you need right now.

4. Arby’s

Be honest, you don’t even like BBQ that much, but you had all the hotel reservations and nothing else to do but explain to your family why you got a refund on the catering and venue. Order 5 roast beef sandwiches for $10 and douse them in Arby’s sauce. The staff understands better than your bridesmaids. Kansas City was the last place you thought you would spend this special weekend but you were doing it for him. Now only Arby is here, and maybe that’s for the best, unless… Just text him and ask how he’s holding up?

Why didn’t you just stay home? This didn’t make you feel better.

5. Gates Bar-B-Q

The line is long, the meat is tough, and the sauce is ketchup, but it was the last stop on his list of Kansas City BBQ restaurants he always dreamed of visiting. Why couldn’t it be LA taco trucks? Why couldn’t everything be different? Send him a picture of the burnt ends sandwich, so loaded with sauce it’s almost a high school cafeteria sloppy joe, say “Wish you were here!” and then turn your phone off. There should be at least a pint of cheesy corn left in the mini fridge at the hotel. You’re weeping softly again, but no one sees, no one asks.