Eight Different Ways to Read the Title of Hillary Clinton's Forthcoming Memoir

It's Called What Happened, and That Makes Us Feel Sad

By Sam Eichner ·
Photo: Chip Somodevilla via Getty Images
America’s most devastating runner-up and infamously “fun” gal Hillary Clinton has shared the title for her forthcoming memoir about the 2016 presidential election, because let’s face it, nobody’s really over that shit yet.

It’s called What Happened, full-stop, and the words are plastered on a blue-and-white cover with a yellow border that just screams “I rock monochromatic pantsuits and will gladly explain my middle east policy for you in excruciating detail.”

At first glance, I thought it was a pretty sad title for a memoir about a period of time that will probably come to define Clinton’s legacy. (And it’s a great legacy! You know, for the most part...)

But then I read it a different way. And a different way. And a different way. And now I’m not really sure what the hell it means.

Here, see for yourself...

“What happened
You can almost hear the exasperated sigh that comes after the word “happened” when you read it this way. You get the sense with this one that she’s still replaying the events in her head, out there in a cabin in the woods, trying to figure out where she went wrong. This is probably the most pathetic read.

“What happened...”
Second-most pathetic. This is the title you’d read if you believe Hillary Clinton is still in a shell-shocked daze. Which I don’t. Which is kind of amazing, isn’t it?

“What happened?!”
"No, really, what the fuck happened?! How is this fucking lunatic president? Am I losing my goddamn mind? Bill? Bill?” [Picks up a pen and begins writing maternity leave legislation just to calm herself down.]

“What happened!"
Defiant. Weirdly excited. A little too proud for a book about being on the wrong end of the biggest political upset in the history of the United States.

“What happened?”
Simple question, setting up a straightforward answer—laid out in what I can only imagine is rigid, voiceless prose for 512 pages.

“What happened.”
Dry. Emotionless. A robotic regurgitation of facts. In other words, probably the most true to Hillary.

What happened
If you read it with distinct emphasis on both words, it’s like saying words that taste bad in your mouth. Try it. See? Yucky. This feeling is a kissing cousin to disbelief. But with the acidic aftertaste of vomit.

“What happened to my life.”
Ugh. That’s the one.
Sam Eichner

Sam Eichner likes literature, reality television and his twin cats equally. He has consistently been told he needs a shave since he started growing facial hair.

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