I recently had an article about the benefits of procrastination. Aside from being probably the best article I have ever crafted, it is filled with great notions. It’s seriously long, so I imagine lots of you couldn’t make it through the whole thing, with your post-Mtv buzzfeed listicle brains, so I will give you a little summary: I humorously described how to still be productive while feeling guilty that you weren’t producing what you meant to be at that exact moment.

it me

I still agree with that fully, but today there is a difference. When I had written that, I was still filled with the spirit of not-quite-efficiency. I had “up and at whatever” “can do some things” “go get ’em, someone, maybe, you tiger-shaped stuffed toy” spirit. Today, however, I am just a blob. This is not a depression. It’s just pure laziness. And I think that’s okay. I have believed the horrible things people think about laziness, too. But now, here, in the middle of a good powerful laze, I realize that I may have been being too hasty in my judgment.

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Before actually working at a party supply store, I was unaware that there are party supplies for EVERYTHING. I had previously been under the notion that people weren’t so stupid that they would need to run out and buy a giant bull skull to complete the look of their “Tex-Mex party,” which would just end up looking like a regular party except with a giant shitty foam bull skull hanging on the wall.

herein is torture and pain

While perusing the mind-numbing amount of overpriced shit for parties, I wandered upon a section, nay, an entire AISLE, just for celebrating old people’s birthdays and such. Well, let me rephrase that since it’s not entirely the truth: An entire aisle just for mocking old people’s further decline into a miserable old age and eventually to a depressing death that will most likely be filled with memories of the time their children bought them a fake jar of Viagra for their 60th birthday.

Some would call them “gag” gifts, and I suppose they are. Only I have never seen so many, and some so completely brutal, in one area before — all for simply being old. It’s as if to say “Congratulations on living for 3/4 of a century and accomplishing more than most of us ever will, now put this chicken suit on and DANCE YOU OLD SHIT.”

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If you’re like me, you think that time spent in the bathroom could be used for some other things. Multitasking is essential in 2017 and if you aren’t doing something while you piss no matter how few seconds it takes, it’s wasted time.

learn always

June is Bathroom Reading Month, so clear off that shelf of toilet paper and toss it under the sink. Dust if off and turn it into your Bathroom Bookshelf or your “Poop Library,” if you’re feeling elegant. Show up to your social events with new and interesting things to say, all because you drink the right amount of water or ate too much fruit.

 

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Born on May 1, 1952, Martha “Calamity Jane” Cannary (or Canary) became a true frontier legend. Many of the claims about this gal were exaggerated, especially the ones she made herself. But she was a strong, memorable old-timey woman. And who knows if she would have found her place among those men without her tall tales.

scream insanity

 

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In 2001, I landed what I consider to be my first “real job.” I say this because this was the first job I ever had that I would willingly tell people about. Instead of hiding my employment status behind mumbles, I would gladly sit down with you and tell you at great length what my job is, where it is, what I do at it, and a million other details that would cause you to want to punch me if you could just stop feeling so damned happy for me long enough. So after I get the call telling me I have the job, I am given instructions on where to go to do a piss test. Now normally they do these pre-employment, but I was told that the facility this takes place in was under construction and had just re-opened to an extent. “To an extent” was an exact quote from the lady talking to me, just so you know.

a man about to pee

I arrive there, wearing some fairly nice clothes. I got the job so I decided I could drop the illusion that I knew how to dress, but I didn’t want to start dressing like a complete scumbag until I was there a few months… so I was in something sorta in between. Like if someone woke you up from a deep sleep and yelled to hurry up because one of your family members just decided to get married on the spot. You wouldn’t have time to put on a suit and tie, but you wouldn’t go in anything that smelled like three days worth of ass. That was the balance I was striving for.

 

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They say that “no man is an island,” but I disagree. I think we are all capable of being islands, but because humans seem to mostly be social creatures, they seem to think that we should not be islands. According to them, it is healthiest to be part of a big land mass teeming with herd animals. But being remote and inaccessible definitely has its perks. Take it from me, a devotee to the School of Aloofness, located on Emotional Isolation Island.

Mysterious

The benefits of being a reticent character might not be obvious to the uninitiated, so allow me to explain a bit before I give you some hot tips on how to improve your life. We all love attention, don’t we? When you are a mysterious figure, you become extremely intriguing. Other people won’t stop talking about you, and you don’t even have to do a thing! Just evade a series of personal questions, and you’ll be a delicious source of speculation. Appear as though a normal social interaction is as invasive as unrelenting scrutiny, and the contrary folks around you can’t help but wonder why. Let them wonder. Let them TALK.

That satisfaction of feeling like a strangely compelling character is the #1 draw, but if I have to have MORE reasons, I guess another one is that it cuts down on having to keep any stories straight, or accidentally revealing something told to you in confidence. If you are the sort of person who feels a little stressed over such possibilities, then just become mysterious. It’s easy once you get the hang of it! Let me tell you how.

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You know how out there in the real world, appearances are important. Whether we like it or not, we are judged for our clothes, hair, general upkeep, and so on. People also seem to respond favorably when you are well-spoken. I think this is also true on the Internet, although people aren’t convinced yet, judging by the appallingly low standards everywhere you look. But suave, sophisticated internet personalities like to give off the impression that they have a decent command of the written language. Unfortunately, typos exist.

It is frustrating to make a typo. You look like you can’t spell something and when you have to backspace a hundred times in order to appear to have any shred of intelligence at all, you just want to give up and start txtn liek it aint mattr. When I read a typo, by the way, I imagine that I have just read a mispronunciation, or in some cases, a total spazz out breakdown. It’s funny when other people do it, but when I do it, I just want to cover my face in varying levels of shame.

Worse, though, is the typo that makes a different, actual word. Sometimes it is the fault of that infernal autocorrect feature, but sometimes it is simply because certain letters are next to each other. And sometimes it is because your brain just wrote a completely different word and that’s weird and also not what I’m talking about here. That’s disturbing in an entirely different way. Anyhow, it is confusing for the other person to encounter this correctly spelled but not exactly relevant new word, and I have been personally HUMILIATED to have been the victim of these errors. And they have traumatized me enough that any time I write the word I mean to write now, I automatically check to make sure I did not accidentally write the wrong word.

And because every chat I have is imagined in my mind as one of my comics – only fully animated (yes, I’m very lucky), I will present these scenarios to you as small comic strips featuring my poor friends.

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Very recently, I wrote an article mentioning that I have always wanted to be frighteningly good at anagrams. It has been on my mind partly because I have been struggling with cryptic crossword solving, but mostly it has to do with the fact that I have been playing Alphabear. I have been playing it a lot.

You probably have seen images from this game around, if you have friends who enjoy wiling away their time with apps that make them feel smart. And anything involving words and flexing your big vocabulary muscle counts as educational, so it can be played with zero shame. It can be bragged about in the way that only the proudly nerdy can do. “I just spelled a twenty letter word! Beat that!” OH I WILL. AND I WILL LOSE SLEEP UNTIL I DO. I will lose my friends and family until I do.

Alphabears

I’m a special sort of wasted brain, though. When Dollissa got me to start playing, I very quickly developed a game INSIDE the game. Of course, at this point, I hardly even play it anymore because my game is more enjoyable at the lower levels when it is easy to meet the point requirements for the board, and I also can only stay addicted to a game for about a full week. But that’s how brilliant candles that burn at both ends like me operate, babycakes. You can’t slow us down.

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Recently, I was speaking with my friend about books we enjoyed as children. She spoke well of a book she had read so many years ago that was about a mighty, wild stallion who was captured by humans. They tried to break his fierce spirit every way they knew how, but he endured and managed to live the rest of his days carefree on the range once again, a symbol of spiritual freedom.

I realized while I was listening to her that I had read a similar book, although not that specific one. Not only that, but I had read quite a few books with that general plot! There was one set in the Pioneer Times about a Moonstone Stallion who rescued some little prairie girl who had gotten herself lost from the wagon train. And another story I dimly recall about another white stallion who pranced around, inspiring these children while vexing the austere and practical adults. Of course Walter Farley wrote a whole horrible series of books about the Black Stallion and his Island Stallion counterpart, Flame. Those were just a few I had read as a small child. But obviously, there have been others, possibly a thousand others!

Horse Fiction

Equine literature aimed at children is a very strange genre of fiction. Mostly meant to entertain “horse crazy” little girls. Some of the books were about young girls just like the reader who enjoy being around horses and learning about them, riding, laughing with each other, and friendship. Or they were about wild horses that resist taming, display perfect carriage and conformation, and are far above the intelligence of wily and sinister men who cruelly break horses for a living. These stallions (almost always stallions) refuse to be broken by all! Well, except for the little girl, or occasionally little boy, who manages to tame the horse just by being kind or particularly helpless.

When I was eight years old, I didn’t think twice about the improbability of these plots. For those of you who do not know anything about horses beyond being able to identify one in a photo of various creatures, I will explain a little about how silly these books actually are. You see, the story generally revolves around a wild stallion. A stallion is a guy horse that has not been neutered, or “gelded” as it is called in equine glossaries. They are not really friendly animals, typically. Usually concerned with procreation, protecting a “herd” from other guy horses, and eating grass when he has the time, a stallion has no interest in a little human girl who has twisted her ankle while hiking alone. He certainly wouldn’t express any maternal tenderness.

Horse Reality

Also, wild horses are not beautiful and perfect awe-inspiring specimens. Their manes and tales are full of brambles, they have scars from horse bites and horse kicks, they are often scrawny looking, and their hooves are cracked from not wearing shoes on the hard rock surroundings. It is true that mustang horses that have been made into pets are often pretty, but they have been brushed and fed well. Not even those tamed mustangs are quite what the stories try to describe. Fictional horses have silky manes blowing in the wind, glowing coats kept sleek and groomed by rain I guess, are tall and imposing, perfect in every conceivable way, able to later win shows and races, if the plot decides to go in that direction.

The most outrageous part is how the same book has been written and published probably as many as sixteen times every year. Stupid little girls read this same story many, many times, not even realizing it until one grey afternoon twenty-five years later. I am shocked. I am even a little angry. I could write a story that trite, ridiculous, and horrible! I WILL write it! I know horse-related words! I can occasionally write in an engaging manner! By God, I am going to write the most ordinary story and it is going to be a HIT. And what’s better, I can actually illustrate it.

Readers, read on:

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