Hello my sneer friends. Recently I went through an eye-opening and scary time, and I wanted to share some of my experience with you. My hope is that anyone who finds themselves in a similar situation will be prepared if this ever happens to them.
I’d been watching the Gordon Ramsey-led reality television show “Hotel Hell.” The sound of an Englishman yelling at people for keeping a refrigerator full of beetles or for making a placenta mural in the foyer really brings me down and gets me to a place where I’m ready to sleep at night. Sometimes in my dreams Gordon is riding a giant horse, and he trots up to the field where I take my picnics, and he showers me with warm beef wellingtons. The crust hits my cheeks with an audible crunch and I beam with pride at my famous man pastry cow circles.
Then it happened. One night, unable to quite make my way through an episode, I paused the show, to continue later.
A startling visage now lay before me – I knew it was human but there was something wrong – a feeling deep in my spine, a tingle in my feet and a sense of dread rolled through me all at once. If this frame of the show really belonged here, what could possibly happen next?
I’m not sure if you guys ever noticed this, but updates on this site can ebb and flow. As we are the most depressed mini-cluster of writers on the internet, this makes perfect sense. At any given moment, one or all of us is in the throes of a crippling despair — or, in contrast, one or all of us is chirpy and pleased with life. This wide range in overall mood is reflected in our overall productivity, here at the Sneer Campaign and also in every single aspect of our lives.
I guess I should start off by telling you about Depression, as if you are at all strangers to the concept. But I know our demographics. You’re all a bunch of first world 20- and 30-somethings mostly. I assume you are all actually in the midst of your own Pity Parties RIGHT NOW, and are just taking a break to read this article in the hopes of finding some gentle humor to ease your troubled souls. Well, indulge me here for a minute. Pretend that you are all perfect spring flowers and have never seen a reason to frown in your life. Do you remember what that feels like? I think I might, but I could also be severely mistaken and I am just emotionlessly imagining the color blue. But emotionlessness is just an absence of sadness, and that doesn’t automatically mean “happiness.” Although some days, it is just as welcome of a relief. Am I even getting ahead of myself here? You can bet no one cares.
Ordinarily it is a fact that you “get what you pay for” − but not on the Sneer Campaign! We do love to give you quality art that is guaranteed to work, however it’s supposed to work. Usually it is a coloring page, but today you get some nice cards to print out at your leisure. The only thing it will cost you is in printer ink. Or possibly in an entire printer because they have been making it so that it is cheaper to buy a new printer than to buy an ink cartridge. Save those angry letters for the printer manufacturers! We are here to get you and another a sense of relief and satisfaction and — dare we say it? Miraculous and immediate cures. We will, ourselves, be testing each and every one of these out on Daniel Haun, who is still battling his monster of an ailment to varying degrees in various ways.
Actually we will cater to the millennials who are banding together to kill the printer industry, and allow you to just do the ol’ right-click and copy image url, or save the image, if you want, AS WELL AS an option to print out a paper card which you can then write inside of. We will even give you some possible sentiments to scrawl inside of them with your lunatic writing. This is how much we care about you and sentiments.
First came the tentacle rape.
It was the beginning in a long line of horrors that OMGJeremy has subjected me to in his articles since the very beginning in 2002. (OMGJeremy.com was the site that most of us used to write for.) But you know what they say: what doesn’t kill you can only make you stronger. Well, I must be invincible by now. And not only have I seen a lot, but I’ve written about a lot too, articles that have been lost to time mostly, including a review of a site that teaches women how to rape their husbands. But in 2003, I found something that managed to combine all of those and more. It’s as if all my nightmares Go-Go-Power-Morphed into some unholy Megazord and returned to feed me my own ass.
“What is it?” you’re probably asking as you close the door and open a new browser window. Why It’s none other than Furcadia — an online game that let you take on the role of an animal and interact with others in a series of dream worlds. And not surprisingly in the least, it contains the three big staples of the internet diet: furries, cybersex, and MMORPGs.
Clear communication is extremely important to me. I try to maintain a large working vocabulary so that I can choose the precise word I need for any given moment. If I don’t explain something clearly then that is time wasted and I can’t live like that. Being able to express myself to another person in a concise manner is possibly my most valued skill, in myself and others really, and I can’t overstate this enough.
But then some days, I can’t do it at all. On the day of this comic, not only could I not find the right words, I was actually saying the complete wrong words. I was WRITING the wrong words. I couldn’t hear or see, either. It was a mess. I was a mess. It was making me all in a tizzy. I still sometimes have these moments and I still worry. What does it mean? Am I okay?
I like my comedy scripted and rehearsed please. Improvisation is best left for jazz, freestyle rap, and Twitter.
So, I recently moved to a new place. My darling cat, Sebastian, and I needed more room, as well as a space where I ideally didn’t need to lie to the agents about having a darling cat. Conveniently, after casually mentioning my search on social media, I was contacted by an old acquaintance who was looking to rent out his house.
There was some stuff in it, he said, but he’d taken everything he wanted, so I could take what I needed and throw out the rest. Give the house a new life, and all that. This all seemed well and good to me, plus the promise of no rental inspections, ever, was too good to resist. After making an agreement, I started sifting through the things and theorising about what they might be used for.
Any time, any place (that you are out in public) there is a horrible likelihood that a stranger is going to interact with you. All the time, right? Not just to me? They aren’t always bad encounters, not by a long shot. Some people are just being kind and good. Others, however, have boundary issues, or are simply so socially awkward and unaware that they don’t realize that they are causing a bad moment. Still others are plain and simple nightmares.
Why can’t people leave other people alone? Who knows! Even Amandoll, a recluse, has her fair share of unpleasant encounter stories. Well, here are some examples of some very uncomfortable interactions I’ve had. I have even included some suggestions at the end, for the next time you too feel trapped in a conversation.
We have a lot of fears. Some make sense; others, not so much. This latter type will be featured once monthly until we run out of material, at which point, we might begin accepting the fears of our readers.
I eat almost every day, so I should be an old pro at it. However, more than a few times, I just forget how to chew or swallow. Or I think I do? This is one of those things where it has happened enough that I worry about it a little too much, and fear that one day I will just choke because I suddenly am incapable of doing this very basic part of daily life. I have wondered if it is an actual medical problem, but I think if it were, then it would happen more consistently and not during a few seconds every once in a while. Sometimes, food just goes right down my neck while I am beginning to chew, and I sputter and fear death. Other times, I just can’t swallow, and then begin to panic because I can’t remember if it is something I should do automatically or if it is something we have to make ourselves do. Classic overthinking to make everything worse. Once, I even had a real panic attack thanks to a PBJ.
I can’t wait for food to just be a nutrition slurry, IV soup, or maybe a little tiny pill. That would relieve me of this burden.
When I was a young lad, I was afraid of one of my uncles. I was never around him, seldom saw him, but I knew he was a monster. I knew from how the other adults spoke of him. Not of his misdeeds, of which there were many, but the word they used for him, in hushed tones. “Manic-Depressive.”
Mental illness runs in my family.
Both of my parents have been in mental hospitals. An aunt on each side has unspecified “problems.” My brother has crippling anxiety. Suicides crop up here and there. Always whispered about. Always hidden. Always stigma.
I have bipolar disorder. Approximately 2-7 percent of the US population over 18 does. They have to estimate because so many people hide it, try to drink it away, or are lost to suicide. More are men than women, because thanks to stigma, those who seek help are seen as weak. Bipolar disorder is diagnosed in 5.7 million Americans. Roughly half of us will attempt suicide at least once. Of those who do, a third will ultimately succeed. Almost a million Americans alone. Mental illness is real, and it is lethal.