I am a smoker. And, if there were enough hours in the day I’d probably smoke a carton. I’d smoke four at a time – lighting fresh ones with butts – blowing smoke rings out of my nose. I’d blow it in the faces of innocent bystanders where am I going with this? Ok, I don’t like smoking that much. But I still like the shit out of it.
Despite how much I like smoking, it was probably the stupidest thing I ever did.
I quit one time, and the first week was on par with heroine or methadone withdrawal. I bit one of my fingers off. There were shredded napkins everywhere. My eyeball fell out. I might have thrown up blood at some point. But other than that, things went pretty well.
You don’t really realize how engrained it is in your routine until you stop doing it, and after that, you get the crabby panty syndrome, or what I call, ‘Cigarettes Tourette’s’.
It goes something like this:
CH: I don’t know what to do with my FUCK hand I need to smoke something SHIT and this straw is not working LLAMA not DICK working at all and this gum FUCK sucks and it tastes like rubber and SHIT chalk I can’t see straight and the lights are FUCK dimming.
And that’s why I quit the first time. Because somebody said to me somewhere once that this is a healthier alternative to smoking. I felt fine before I quit, and then that. Peer pressure. Again.
That’s without a doubt the worst part about being a smoker – having to listen to some obese man with a cholesterol problem lecture me on the reasons why I should quit smoking while he is chewing on a rib bone. Duly noted, sir. And now please wipe the sodium-rich barbecue sauce off your face because it’s making me look at it.
But all these ads with smoking fetuses, and some girl with cigarette butts on her tongue, and voice box guy – it’s all too much. SHUT UP I’m trying to concentrate on smoking. I get it. We all get it. I’m waving the white flag indicating that you’re right. You win. Smoking is bad.
So here I am now, staring at a box of Chantix and wondering what the shelf life is on this drug is. It’s an ugly box. A stupid box. I’m not sure when I’m going to eat them. I not sure I want to eat them. If I eat them it’s going to be like that scene in Titanic at the end when Jack is sinking to the bottom of the Atlantic:
Cigarettes, come back.
Come back, pack.
Pack, come FUCK back…
**Bonus Contest Alert **Bonus Contest Alert**Bonus Contest Alert**
If you guess correctly what kind of cigarettes I smoke, I’ll make you a free banner or some badges for your Facebook/Twitter pages. But one guess only, cheaters!
And don’t stop smoking, because quitting is bad for you.
In case you missed the Blog Hop backstory, you can read about it HERE.
The goal was to demonstrate that an episode of either Anxiety or Depression can in fact have an application: awesome, and sometimes downright hilarious fiction. Why not laugh at the quirks? Sitting around and crying into a bowl of chicken noodle soup never did shit for me personally. Everybody on the tour has had some kind of experience with either, and I don’t think it’s a coincidence that we also know how to write some kick ass fiction. Screw the label. Screw the stigma. At the source of it all is an active imagination, and a fabulous fictional tale awaits.
There are twelve writers ahead of me today, with each of them featuring the next part of this highly outlandish tale, and each post is around 200 words. Here’s a double shot of humor to go along with your morning espresso.
*kicks door down Chuck Norris-style*
The Most Outlandish Tale About Anxiety and Depression Ever Told
So anyways, I was meandering around the mall the other day, bags in hand, when I accidentally ran into this little elderly lady with white hair. We literally ran into each other. Clumsy me. We were both very apologetic toward each other after the bump-in however, and immediately went our separate ways.
A short while later, I accidentally bumped into the same elderly woman while in a different outlet store, only this time I was in a hurry, so I ran into her pretty hard – like, she was on one leg at some point and almost kicked me in the face as she was tipping backwards. The woman was less apologetic this time as she adjusted her knee-highs, but managed to eek out a half-grin before we again parted company.
I was starting to grow a little bit paranoid at this point, hoping that I wouldn’t accidentally run into her again. I started thinking about all these crazy what-if scenarios, and my head turned into a washing machine of bad thoughts…
What if she had a contagious skin infection? Maybe I should find a bathroom and scrub my arm? What if we keep bumping into each other for a reason? What’s the reason? Maybe she’s my soulmate? WHAT IF SHE WORKS FOR THE MOB AND SHE’S GONNA FUCKING KILL ME IF I BUMP INTO HER AGAIN?!
I had to get out, and quickly.
My fragile existence was now at stake and…
…THAT LEG WAS PRETTY HAIRY TOO NOW THAT I THINK ABOUT IT!
I dashed out the mall entrance door and threw my bags in a nearby bush…
Have you ever had one of those moments where suddenly, out of nowhere, you felt really nervous for absolutely no reason? Maybe, like, you’re standing in line at the grocery store, staring at someone’s bananas on the conveyor belt…
…and then you begin creating this catastrophic what-if scenario in your head in which you all of the sudden FREAK OUT and hold up the register with a banana under your shirt, which leads to some kind of hostage situation, which leads to police helicopters and news reporters and swat teams, which leads to your mugshot being flashed on CNN headline news everywhere, which leads to getting hit in the head with one of those bean bag guns, which leads to you going to prison, which leads to having to share a cot with some guy named Dimples who likes to cuddle, which leads to a terrifying stroll down the death row corridor with a potato sack over your head, which leads to being strapped into the electric chair…
…and then the very polite girl at the register timidly says, “your total is $4.99″, sir, and you’re all like,
“PLEASE DON’T SEND ME TO PRISON IT’S JUST A BANANA LOOK!”
And then everybody looks at you with weird looks on their faces, and probably thinking to themselves that that’s exactly where you belong…
That’s called Anxiety. I do that sometimes. Well, sorta..
But it got me to thinking (irony) about how much anxiety (and depression) have helped me write stories. After all, that’s basically what anxiety is, right? I guess it’s all in how you look at it. Are you a “poor, helpless anxiety sufferer”? Or, do you have the gift of being a fucking great fiction writer? When you think about it, having a freak out episode, or an anxiety or panic attack, or a grey matter meltdown, or whatever you wanna call it, is nothing but a series of creatively fabricated events that never happen. It’s fiction. A lot of the time, it’s really good fiction.
So I thought it would be a cool idea to celebrate our varying degrees of mainstream neuroticism by kicking of a BLOG HOP starting HERE this Thursday. Anxiety deserves a laugh, and for that matter, Depression does too. Rather than sit around and cry about it, why not recognize these things as gifts? They are weird gifts, yes: “Gee, thanks for this, um, gift stuff…”
The point I’m trying to make is this: Apply it to Something. Many already do, and just don’t recognize it. Maybe you’ll learn to recognize it beginning today?
The blog-hopping story – similar to the one told at the intro to this post – will mozy on down a long trail of other crazy people – all with the ability to produce great anxiety-inspired fiction. If it works (it’s already working), you’ll get a chance to read a really funny, highly outlandish story, collectively told in very small parts by a lot of really talented writers. You’ll get to visit all off your buds, click the like button, fart, and move on to the next blog in no time flat.
Sound like fun? It will be!
Want to join? You should!
Sign on the dotted line in the comment section!
Oh, and Psst! Ericka Clay is playing along at some point along the story path, so you know it’s gonna be 2 legit to quit. Nothing like a good old fashioned name drop.
For the first time ever, this is not a spoof LAP news announcement: The entire Long Awkward Pause cast is being featured on WordPress News today, so please join us for an insightful interview into the underworkings and underwears of of this marvelously disorganized humor mag of sorts!
We will also be offering a very simple (very late) complimentary breakfast buffet for our guests, which will consist of Coffee and bagels, and also muffins if you prefer. We also have cream cheese for you bagel buffs. Oh yeah, and we also have whole grain cereal and oatmeal, and a toast selection for the fiber people, and flapjacks with chocolate chips and/or blueberries, and a variety of high-grade maple syrups to choose from.
Oops! Almost forgot to mention the poached eggs, fried eggs, scrambled eggs , the grits, the standard bacon, turkey bacon and Canadian bacon, the sausage links, the Kobe beef sausage sampler (haven’t tried it yet, but sounds pretty good), and the imported tropical fruit spread that came from some warm island, too.
Waffles! Forgot to mention the waffles with powdered sugar and strawberry toppings. How could I forget about the waffles?
Oh yes, geez, and there will also be orange juice, mango juice, papaya juice, cranberry juice, Juicy Juice, Banana juice, some green juice stuff that looks gross so probably don’t try that one, and also spring water with ice and straws, and those little umbrella toothpick things (…if you want to look important while you’re eating).
If that isn’t an incentive to join us this afternoon, then you probably hate the shit out of breakfast. Or maybe you just don’t like breakfast in the afternoon, which is understandable. Fair enough. Hope to see you there!
I might get myself into a heap a shit today with the some of you this morning, BUT! Just another routine day at the office…
Today it’s time to do some ball-busting, and those cheeseball inspirational posters that everybody plasters all over their social media pages are due for a call-out. You know what I’m talking about, right? Those really sappy quote posters about “climbing to the top of the summit and blah blah blah..” and “You’ll never know what you had until you blah blah blah…”
The only thing this inspires me to do is stick my finger down my throat and tickle that hangy-down thingy until I throw up…
There is a subliminal message in each of these too, and I’m pretty confident that I’ve cracked the code. I think. So grab your Friday Java, and make sure you don’t drink any of it while you’re reading this list, because I cannot be held liable for coffee sprayage all over your high-def Samsung computer monitor.
CLICK HERE for all the action happening over at Long Awkward Pause today.
I promise it’ll deliver.
Or it will completely suck.
One or the other.
I’m a skeptic when it comes to pretty much everything. I also realize that the previous statement is about as obvious as a forehead zit in a senior yearbook photo. But for some reason, whenever a strange gypsy lady lays out a deck of creepy-looking playing cards and tells me I’m gonna be wealthy, get married to Jessica Biel in Santa Cruz, and have three kids and a Pontoon Boat, my ears perk up.
Sadly, there are too many naive people like me in this world, cart-wheeling around with their thumbs up their butts, more than willing to waltz in and bend over for anybody that has a business card with the word Psychic on it. Which begs the question:
Is your Psychic really telling the truth?
But because of the dramatic influx of amateur fortune-teller talent over the past few decades, it’s becoming increasingly more difficult to identify authentics like Sylvia Browne, Ms. Cleo, and Madamme Weebles from the average con.
Before you eagerly toss a loaf of cashola into the lap of a potential fraud, be aware that there are foes lurking in your Psychic Friends Network. Consider the following tips to avoid getting scammed the next time you pop in for a glimpse of the what’s-to-come.
Never trust a Medium that:
- Furnishes the reading room with white retro leather furniture and a Jim Morrison poster.
– Is wearing an “inside psychic-joke” t-shirt that says, “I knew you were gonna say that”.
– Begins a session with a pop-voodoo ritual asking the candidate to make a wish, followed by waving his/her hard-earned cash over the deck like a magician’s wand and repeating a mantra like, “highsy lowsy here we goesy”.
- Offers any up sells under their Psychic Goods and Services Umbrella. ie. mystical shampoos and body products, polished rocks, holistic witch serums, or spousal surveillance.
– Wears a green plastic poker visor.
– Claims to be picking up messages from the abyss from a non-human source, like a deceased pet cat.
– Speaks artificially broken-English.
– Asks questions that they should already know the answers to. ie. You have a woman in your life, no?
– Offers a coupon package like, “buy 2 readings, get 1 free”.
– Drives a Volkswagon bus.
Of course, this list doesn’t guarantee you’ll weed out every dingleberry clairvoyant on the market – that’s your responsibility. Use your own intuition when shopping for a reliable fate-sayer. The last thing you want is to find yourself prematurely setting your work desk on fire with a bucket of kerosene after learning of a non-existent trust fund inheritance.
But if it turns out that you are in fact a beneficiary, toss me a bone, will ya? *wink
- Keep your friends close, but keep your Psychic Friends even closer, Chowderheads \m/
I’m not proud to admit it, but I’m still floundering away at The University of Microsoft Paint.
If you’re not familiar with it, MS Paint is a watered-down photo editing program that comes standard with every PC. The only thing it’s useful for is drawing a perfect circle, square, or trapezoid, then filling it with a primary color. Basically, it’s one step above an Etch-o-Sketch.
Since I’m in a giving mood today, I thought I’d give all you graphic artist snobs an opportunity to point and laugh at some of my crudely-edited pictures from the past. Up until now, none of them have seen the light of day. The tour you’re about to take should give you an idea of what I’m working with here.
In short, my graphic design skills are about four feet shy of a slam dunk.
I’m a wizard at blacking out teeth. Lucky for me, Suze Orman is already missing one. The caption saved this one. The sketchy-looking thought bubble did not. Grade D+
The caption saved this one too. Grade: D
What began as a Chariots of Fire-inspired tribute to Michael Phelps, ended in a craptastic horn sympony of wet farts being lit on fire. I blew this on so many levels. First off, I butchered the name. Phleps? C’mon man. Secondly, the Olympic Rings look like they just got off some Woodstock hippie bus after eating a handful of brown LSD. Needless to say, this one didn’t bring home the gold — or any medal for that matter — just a raging case of genital herpes. Grade: F
Where was I going with this one…This was actually an old piece from my graphic design portfolio. People who interviewed me described it as being preposterous, laughable, and harmful to pregnant women. One guy even called a couple weeks after the interview to tell me he’d gone sterile after looking at it. Liar. Needless to say, my computer drawing career never panned out. Now that I look at it again, I can see where they’re coming from. You did’t have to be a dick about it. Sheesh. Grade: F
Wait for it…
…and boom goes the dynamite. This one gets high marks for originality of content. Unfortunately, I’m not sure The Enquirer is gonna fork over any loot for this Photoshop hack-job. A Kindergartner could do a better job of cutting and pasting. Look at Bush — he looks terrified. I’ll bet this won’t be the first time G-Dub’s had a low mark stamped next to his name. Grade: D+
The shading is spot on in this one, but I kinda goofed on Sara Jessica Parker’s hair. Oh, and I totally forgot that she doesn’t eat carbs anymore. Sorry chicky, this ain’t gonna help straighten out the long face —-> Grade: D-
…Exhibit G: *G-Money*
Here’s an exception. Not much wrong with this one. Except for the fried egg in Becca’s hair. It was supposed to be a daisy. Whatever. If you print this out, don’t try using it at Walmart. They just busted someone recently who was trying to score change for a million dollar bill. True story. It’s obvious that Walmart invests heavily in counterfeit and fraud prevention. But who would wanna get rid of something with that pretty face on it? Grade: A+
Gary Busey is so grouchy around the paparazzi. I think he has a sugar problem. Or a coke habit. Probably both. By the way, fake blood is hard to do on MS Paint. It looks like cartoon barbecue sauce. Someone give this man a rabies shot. Stat. Grade: D –
More pickin’ on Bush. Wait. That came out wrong. Nevermind. If you’ve never seen the movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off then you’re probably scratching your wig right now. Congratulations! You’re the only person on the planet that hasn’t seen it. The bong in the photo looks sort of believable, I guess. And it’s patriotic too! Who am I kidding. It all sucks. Grade: D+
I can’t imagine his monthly dry cleaning bill. Actually, who cares about that. I’m sending a Christmas card to the owner of the shop. What a saint for handling all those poopy pants. Grade: C
I even screwed up my tribute to David Dixon. Wait, is that his name or his nemesis? Either way, you make it look easy, my friend. Grade: F
End of Tour.
I hope nobody went sterile.
If you guys didn’t think this totally sucked, let me know. I have a lot more Fotoshop Fails in the dumpster out back. I could do a weekly bit called something corny like, “Fotoshop Fridays?” Meh. I’ll work on a title…
Oh, and check out the Post of the Week by Alien Red Queen. Nicely written, Ms Lady.
-Happy Blogging \m/
I can’t think of a better way to kick off the Chowderhead 2K13 Campaign than by drop-kicking a few more Hypothetical Head-Spinners into the dumpster along with a lit match.
If you weren’t here for the last Q and A shit-show, make sure you check out Hypothetically Speaking (Part I) for the rules of engagement. Otherwise, sit back and relax while I launch another list of stupid questions into space orbit where they belong.
Cut the lights. Fire up the Amps.
Head explosion beginning in 3…2…1
Now that election season is over we can finally yank all those stupid political yard signs. Sigh of relief. But, being the earth-humping, new age hippie that I am, I’m concerned by the tremendous amount of potential waste being generated here. The optimist inside me assumes that someone has a plan to collect and recycle them, rather than toss them on top of a landfill pile. I won’t hold my breath…
Just in case the decision makers aren’t as forward thinking as I’m assuming they are, I’ve constructed a short list of recycling plans that should be considered by your community.
Here’s a few ways we could Make Constructive use of Political Yard Signs:
Build a Retirement Community for Ex-Presidential Hopefuls
Ex-presidential hopefuls deserve to retire comfortably too. I think it would be a nice gesture to have them put up in an apartment community constructed entirely out of yard signs. Sounds green to me? Let’s see how much you love your planet — seeing that you’ve all had enthusiastic eco-plans built into your campaigns. Oh, and no frivolous misuse of tax dollars allowed. We’ll provide whatever amenities you’d like, ex-hopefuls, so long as it can be constructed out of yard signs. A swimming pool you say? Maybe we can figure something out using the plastic ones. Enjoy your golden years Al Gore, but keep your hands off the in-home nurses.
Build a Bitchin’ Croquet Course
My vote goes to a Croquet course. A very, very big one. I’m thinking we might need to zone a piece of land the size of Connecticut to really make this happen. Create more jobs? Done and done! We can even have the course run through the retirement community. I’m sure Mitt is a real knocker at it already.
Olympic Hurdler Training Facility
Bring home the gold young U.S. Olympians, but stop wasting money on all of that high-tech training equipment. Am I the only one that saw Rocky? The Italian Stallion kept it modest. Punch a rack of beef, screw the heavy bag. Political yard signs would make great hurdles for our Olympic track and field hopefuls. Chop, chop, chop, Romney! Chop, chop, chop, Obama! Chop, chop, chop, Gary Johnson! Sounds kind of fun, doesn’t it? Equestrian facilities should also be considered for sign shipments.
Feed them to Goats
Are goats a naturally occurring animal? I’m starting to wonder if they were produced by a lab technician somewhere in the remote Nevada desert. Goats will eat anything short of rocket fuel. Why pass on millions of pounds of potential livestock feed? I say shred all of the signs and ship them off to goat farms. We eat steroid-injected beef supposedly, why not bullshit-injected goat?
Nudist Colony Fencing
I think a large shipment of signs should be distributed to nudist colonies for privacy reinforcement measures. Not for the sake of the colonists of course, but for the sake of everyone else passing by. It seems like all of the people that I don’t want to see walking around in the buff are the folks that love showing off their sag and jigglies the most. Please, embrace clothing! Hearing the term “birthday suit” brings a hot burp to the top of my neck.
Wind Energy Overhaul
Here’s another idea that I’m surprised no one else has considered yet. Experts are always spatting back and forth about how to create more green energy jobs, but the enormous cost and infrastructure required always seems to settle the debate prematurely. Why don’t we just pass out a couple million yard signs to jobless folks and have them fan the turbines? With that much man power, those propellers would be spinning like a ceiling fan. Low cost, high efficiency. I think we might be on to something…
Let’s all raise our glasses together and toast to the end of the campaign trail. Cheers! And remember, there’s no problem that can’t be solved without a little bit of ingenuity…
I’m looking forward to hearing your ideas!
- Woman has political yard signs stolen, receives postcard explanation from thief (cinewsnow.com)
- Don’t forget to recycle political yard signs (vindy.com)
- Political yard sign set on fire (wtvr.com)
At a time when I’d found myself wallowing in the deepest, darkest depths of writer’s despair, the universe once again delivered. Unfortunately, my newfound inspiration came with a price tag of a hundred dollars and a few days of lost blog-humping productivity. One all-too-anxious click of the mouse and I’d contracted a nasty case of cyber-gonorrhea, as well as an attitude toward the stinky prick that was responsible for it all.
It was hard not to feel remorseful about the timing of the matter. I was just starting to feel centered for once. The colorful aura that had surrounded my optimistic project faded, forcing me to shelf it for the time being. Back to the bitch diaries. I had a more pressing issue at hand.
I spent the next couple of nights by candle light, snapping off tacky one-liners with a quill pen and a head full of trance. Nothing that I wrote satiated. I needed more. I was desperate for reprisal, so I decided to try and track down the bastard. If I was going to find any closure from the whole ordeal I’d have to do a little police work first.
I figured my best shot at finding the guy would begin with establishing a motive and a detailed profile. In between slugs of coffee, I paced the room like a nervous cartoon, jotting down notes on a spiral-pad. I was feeling confident, on to something I thought. The pencil in my head began to swirl a composite sketch of the perpetrator at large.
I knew that he didn’t work for a reputable company like Microsoft or Apple, because it would contradict his whole philosophy. It’s difficult to get hired into a company like either of the two when you’re on a bi-monthly bathing schedule. I could picture him; isolated in some basement hideout, screaming into a headset while touring the World of Warcraft – the smell of some off brand air freshener fighting off the stale pizza rolls and TV dinner trays piled up on his desk. In between yelling fits and large blocks of anime porn, there he sits, writing malicious code on a highly sophisticated machine.
Reason led me to believe that he probably didn’t leave the house often, so I’d have to track him down outside of his headquarters. Where would he go? What would he look like? My brain was in desperate need of answers.
He had long hair – an anything-but-trendy ponytail, perhaps. A person of poor hygiene would mean long hair. I’m sure a hairdresser wouldn’t leave their scissors near a person smelling like a dirty sponge, yet alone volunteer their services. Facial hair was also a strong possibility. He’s clearly a non-conformist, which meant rule out anything fashionable or trendy. Cheap sunglasses, military boots, an old recycled leather jacket even.
A strong supporter of the Unix operating system. Everything else was inferior computing, fit only for the common caveman like myself. Maybe I could track him down online. Start in the forums and look for the arrogant flake.
All I needed now was a motive. What would drive a human to bully the civilized world with such malicious intentions? The answer was obvious. The poor bastard was probably exiled from the rest of his peers at a crucial time during development. It caught up with him later on – revisiting, lamenting his awkward high school years. Now he was evil. Non-conformists are born that way though, no fault of another.
The Fruitless Pursuit…
There was no use wasting anymore time. Generally speaking, I had a good idea what I was looking for. In retrospect, it was a bit optimistic of me. More importantly, I didn’t know what I was going to do with him when I found him. What sort of punishment would fit the crime? More questions. Then it hit me: motherboarding — a method used for dealing with cyber terrorism, which involved tying the perpetrator to his throne, and beating him senselessly with a stack of motherboards. Half the problem with the prick is that he’s too smart for his own good, so I may as well bring his IQ down a few clicks.
I knew where I’d find him. The downtown district is full of non-conformist beatniks – lumbering around in large packs like prairie bison. What if this was all for nothing? What if I was pursuing the wrong person? Maybe he was much more refined — off shore bank accounts, suave dresser, expensive car, Rolex — the whole bit.
The once roaring fire of optimism within me was now turning into a smoldering pile of doubt as I watched the markers tick by. I could feel my foot easing off the accelerator as my reservations intensified. I decided to pull off for a bit and make sense of everything.
I ordered a coffee – no cream, no sugar. It was hard to keep myself from pulling napkins out of the dispenser and shredding them on the table. The smoke was heavy – a thick blanket of it hanging above the greasy diner tables. My mind was still in overdrive, but my thoughts were halted by an angry woman that stood up and threatened to off the male sitting in front of her. I could sense the tension mounting in the atmosphere after the blow up. Maybe it was the caffeine. Either way I decided to leave a tip and exit before I was the recipient of a misguided projectile.
Going back was intolerable. I’d been beaten this time, but not destroyed. What sense would it make to continue this pursuit? Tracking down one anonymous hacker and removing him would be like containing an influenza epidemic with a single can of Lysol. Let him have his kicks for now, I thought. The poor bastard has his coming…
-Happy Blogging Private Eye Bitchers…
- Security Brief: Anonymous Operations (news.softpedia.com)
- Hackers Take Over Mexican Government Websites (theepochtimes.com)
- How Anonymous Hacked the Media (thedailybeast.com)
- Following your own path–How to be a socially acceptable non-conformist (onehotmessage.wordpress.com)