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.

furcadia

 

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halp

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?

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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.

WATCH OUT

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.

 

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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.

get away

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.

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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. 

swallow it

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.

World Bipolar Day by Amanda Wood

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.

 

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Being a girl is one of the best things ever to happen to me. My gender allows me to live in a pink world filled with unicorns, kittens, pillows, sweets, and all manner of nice things. I get to Girl Talk, rely on boys to lift heavy objects for me, and to remove insects from my sight. Also, for a few days every month, I get to be a hyper-emotional psycho with very little in the way of consequences – whether I want to be or not! Other girls understand and allow it (unless they are also in that time of the Most Terrible of Cycles), and boys understand just enough to try to ignore it. This bittersweet reward is known as the P.M.S.

yaaaay being a girl!

This article isn’t going to be a guide for helping boys to better cope and appease the women in their lives during this bleak moment. Every girl houses a specific, unique, terrible tapestry of physical and psychological destruction, and it changes with every month. So it is nigh impossible to write a comprehensive list on how you could meet your lady friends’ needs. It just isn’t going to happen, fellas.

 

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It’s so damn hot, you guys. It’s like, really hot. I’m not saying that it’s never been hot before, and I’m not even saying it’s never been THIS hot before, but what I certainly am saying is that right now: it is really hot. Did somebody accidentally bump the sun a little closer to us on the last trip round? I’m looking at you Jupiter, you stupid piece of goddamn shit.

poor juper

I’m.. I’m sorry, Jupiter, and fans of Jupiter. I didn’t mean to have an outburst. It’s just, you guys… it’s really hot right now. It’s like I’m playing the maracas underwater and every time I shake my maracas, the water gets hotter. And everybody wants to do the samba, and also everyone else has maracas too, and also everyone has a serious tremor in both hands AND ALSO the song we are all playing is “Johnny Fast-Hands Plays The Maracas Faster Than Usual.” Additionally, instead of a pool it’s a furnace fill with water, and instead of that water, there’s fire, and no maracas, and Johnny Fast-Hands’ fast hands are fused together, pock-marked by the embers and pitch black like your grandparents’ souls.

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