Popularity Advice for Rahm Emanuel from the Cool Kids

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Editor’s Note: According to a recent Chicago Tribune poll, Mayor Rahm Emanuel now holds a 35%  job approval rating, down from 50%a little more than a year ago. In an attempt to help the mayor increase his approval rating, the Second City Network visited a middle school to find out what makes popular kids popular. Here’s what they had to say.

Rahm, we at the cool lunch table would like you to know that we think this whole thing is super lame and stupid, but also, like, we get why you need our help. Plus, the nerds at SCN bribed us with rides to Old Orchard and a ton of Wet N Wild makeup, so we decided to help you. BUT THIS DOES NOT MEAN WE’RE FRIENDS! Got it? Good.

Act like a cooler and more confidant version of yourself.

In order to be popular, you have to act like yourself. Obviously, you can’t be 100% yourself, or else you’d be like Weird Al Menzler, who eats chalk when he thinks no one is looking. Luckily for you, you were considered “cool” once.

When you were elected mayor, you came in HOT. You swore a lot and had that cool Top Dog vibe going for you. You were a mystery man. Sure, you were a little arrogant, but you were also friends with the coolest president in history—Barack Obama (when he still smoked Newports), so Chicago gave you a pass.

But then…you messed it up. During your first term in office, crime and unemployment rates increased, the infrastructure of the city started to crumble and you closed 50 public schools. Now, while that is certainly a lot of stuff going against you, it’s not like when Al Menzler showed up to Margaret Thule’s 13th birthday party uninvited and tried to kiss her mom (total social suicide).

Since you’re naturally kind of cool, you should be yourself, but try to override the weird stuff you’re responsible for with your personal charisma. For example:

  • Try to make eye contact and smile more often so you look nicer and less stuck-up.
  • Try listening to people’s concerns.
  • Maybe formulate some kind of opinion on the red light camera ticket thing.
  • Or you can do what Al Menzler did and switch schools.

Put yourself out there.

Even though your reputation might precede you, you should still try to put yourself out there more. For example, Jillian Lewis used to be known for having a zitface. Then she started bringing beer to Leslie Cohen’s infamous bonfire parties, so she was allowed to join our group and sit at the cool lunch table. Now she’s more popular than ever, especially since she became a Proactiv model (shout out to Jillian, who is home sick with mono, we totally luv u, gurl!). Basically, put yourself out there and turn your weaknesses into your strengths.

Instead of hiding behind microphones and false promises like every other politician, do something good for the city without trying to brag about it. Volunteer at a soup kitchen—without inviting a thousand reporters to take photos of you. Make friends with at least one member of the Chicago Teachers Union and try to smooth things over out of the public eye. Buy beer for a bunch of middle schoolers, since Jillian isn’t allowed to hang out until her throat swelling decreases.

Stay connected through social media.

If you want to be popular in today’s world, you’ve got to be active on social media. If you can believe it, Rory Margolis was totally popular a few years ago…until her mom made her delete her Facebook and Twitter accounts. Now, Rory smells like lukewarm farts and wears a permanent retainer in her bottom teeth. Gross.

Okay, for example, Chicago is totally pissed at you for the crime rate and widespread gun violence, right? Just like how we’re pissed at Rory for smelling bad and having bad teeth. Maybe if you took to Facebook or Twitter to post cute pictures of the hottest girls in 8th grade, your popularity would increase. Instead of being seen as responsible for horrifying gun violence statistics, you would be seen as a Super Fun Party Mayor who really understands what the city wants: cute pictures of girls in 8th grade.

Don’t try too hard, but please try a little bit.

The essence of cool is moderation. Wear make-up—but not TOO MUCH! Flirt with the boys—but not TOO MUCH! Wear cool clothes—but not cool enough to make Moxie Henderson spill milk down your brand new blouse in 5th period study hall.

According to the Tribune, when you heard about the poll results, you basically said you didn’t care because it isn’t an election year. Instead of acknowledging that Chicago is super pissed at you for being kind of shady, you blamed “the economy” on your low poll numbers–instead of recognizing the myriad of other ways you have failed the city.

Rahm, we’re going to let you in on a secret that most wannabe popular posers don’t know: it’s okay to care about what other people think about you!

However, the most important part of being popular is the ability to show that you give a shit when other people don’t like you. If you ostracize your voters by pretending not to care about them, they will find someone else who is nicer and prettier to hang out with. That’s how Alexis Vreeland lost Middle School Prom Queen to Sissy Spornak.

We hope this helped, but like, we don’t hope TOO MUCH. Good luck in the next election, Rahm. And remember—THIS DOES NOT MEAN WE ARE FRIENDS.

Kristina Felske is a writer, actor and improviser currently living in Chicago. She is an editor and regular contributor to the humor site The Other Otter and has a performance-y resume posted on kristinafelske.com. You can tweet her @kristinafelske.

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