Introducing Jezebel’s Bad Summer Story Contest

Have you been scammed by a beach club in Greece claiming to be owned by Lindsay Lohan? Did you puke in the canoe at summer camp and blame it on someone else?

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Introducing Jezebel’s Bad Summer Story Contest

This past weekend in New York City was disgusting. It was unbearably hot and muggy, the kind of weather where the air covers the skyline in a gross haze of what I assume is the evaporating sweat of 8 million people. The weather this week is more of the same. I feel duped. I spend nine months of the year talking about how excited I am for summer—and then the gross summer weather arrives and I lock myself in a tiny, air-conditioned apartment for a month and complain about how horrible it is outside.

Of course, you would not know this from my Instagram. Or most people’s Instagrams. Social media shows us the Europe trips, beach vacations, music festivals, BBQs, lake days, and sunset Aperol spritzes at City Vineyard, but never the lost luggage, sun poisoning, or diarrhea in a public restroom from too much ice cream. And I think that’s a shame, because those stories are much more entertaining.

To that end, we’re launching Jezebel’s first-ever Bad Summer Story Contest, so that those cringey summer stories can finally find a home. Have you been scammed by a beach club in Greece claiming to be owned by Lindsay Lohan? Did you puke in the canoe at summer camp and blame it on someone else? Did your hot summer fling leave you with a hot burning groin? If you love Jezebel’s annual Scary Stories Contest, this is very similar—except the horror comes from losing your bathing suit top in the ocean in front of your partner’s dad, and not from a ghost who lives in your kitchen.

Like any summer fun, there are a few simple ground rules.

  • Submit your bad summer story in the comments of this post. Or you can email it to [email protected] if you really want, but I’d much prefer you drop it below so that everyone can enjoy everyone else’s bad summer stories for all of eternity.
  • It has to be a true story. Sure, we can’t actually fact-check you, but we’re trusting you. If you win and we find out your story was fake, we’ll rescind your title and you’ll be banned from every Jezebel story contest for the rest of time. (Also, the other commenters will bully you, as they should.)
  • Make sure it’s bad not sad. We’re talking, “I stayed in my famous friend’s guest house and shit their bed,” not, “My partner of 10 years left me without explanation and I never heard from them again.” Think embarrassment and awkwardness, not heartbreak or regret.
  • Keep it short and sweet! We’re dying to hear your story but we don’t need the prologue, epilogue, extended version, and annotations.

So get to posting! We’ll pick the 10 best (aka worst) stories in roughly six weeks, and publish them as we mark the unofficial end of summer on Labor Day weekend. And remember, summer sucks. 

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