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. 

boohoo

I am sure that this is an irrational fear that everyone gets who has difficulty sleeping for a few days. But once you read up on this specific disease, you will REALLY get this fear, even though it is definitely very irrational. Very few people will ever get this brain disease, Fatal Familial Insomnia, and very few people have ever even had it. However, all of this is thrown out the window as soon as Wikipedia uses the words “can also develop spontaneously in patients with a non-inherited mutation variant.” What? Oh no!

Sporadic Fatal Insomnia is something none of us will probably ever have, but if we find ourselves struggling with insomnia, remember that it would set in as we near middle age. Have you been so tired that you get anxiety attacks and hallucinations? I sure have, and those are two things that happen in the early stages of this deadly, horrible disease. However, I thankfully usually konk out after a while, instead of trudging on in this manner, going slowly insane until the big sleep anywhere between seven to eighteen months later, when an exhausted ghost version of myself would escape this tired husk of mine and then find that there is actually no resting in peace after all. Noooo.

When my logical mind steps in to again remind me that I probably haven’t developed this, my paranoid insomnia mind counters with another irrational fear, which is that I have developed a brand new sleepless brain disease that will be named after me after I have died of it and have been studied by science.

Have you ever woken up from sleeping and found that you have fresh memories of just doing something, somewhere that is not in your pajamas in bed? Have you felt insane because of these “false memories”? Well don’t feel insane, because what you have experienced is a very common thing called “dreaming.” Everyone does it! Even dogs and cats.

Dreams use a part of your brain called the Imagination Zone. When this zone is activated, imagination glands crank out a slime that gives you creative thoughts. Sometimes, it is used when you are awake, in order to imagine solutions, or to predict possible consequences. The Imagination Zone is the bustling factory that allows you, after enough practice, to imagine absurd scenarios that are very impossible, but generally fun.

ok yes

When you sleep, it is not really a little death. Your body still lives without you wakefully monitoring it, and this includes the zone mentioned in the last paragraph. While you sleep, it still produces thoughts and visions. Although without your conscious mind cautioning it for being too zany, it will go off the rails and sometimes even throw house parties even though it is a factory setting. But a factory location can be the best place to host a party, didn’t you know?

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Bodies: We all have them. But what do we KNOW about them? Science suggests that maybe we should know more, whereas religion demands that we know far less. We always side with science here on the sneer campaign, unless it challenges our strict moral codes (haha we don’t have moral codes. C’mon). So clasp our hand parts as we drag you down the twisted, prickly path of learnin’ and we will explain to you the things that school should have covered a long, long time ago. Or, perhaps more accurately, I will expose my horrific ignorance as I tell you about things I never thought about before that it turns out everyone has indeed known since middle school.

huh?

 

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Picture it, you’ve just moved into a beautiful new home in a safe and happy neighborhood with manicured lawns. You’ve unpacked all your essentials, changed your address, and turned on your utilities… now it’s time to make an impression. A big one. You want your new neighbors to know how charming, intelligent, and definitely innocent you are.

childlissa

We’ve gathered a few ways that you can really make a name for yourself in your new town, while only raising a little bit of suspicion, instead of a lot. Say hello to your new neighbors in a way that violently screams, “I LIVE VERY CLOSE TO YOU NOW.” It’s a lot of work, but so is the social contract of a suburban neighborhood.

 

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Say what you will about astrology and the power of the stars and the accuracy of natal horoscopes. However I say, as of about an hour before making this post, that there must be something to it, and February 5th must be the Day of Weirdos I Wouldn’t Want to Bring Home to Mother. The universe gave birth to William S. Burroughs on this day in 1914 and he went on to become the world’s most beloved queer junkie weirdo whose droning voice blessed all kinds of things, and his addled words made poetry that became dear to people into that kind of thing. Meanwhile, in 1940, a baby by the name of HR Giger plopped out into the world and immediately began drawing demented things that became interwoven into certain pieces of pop culture, most importantly those Alien movies.

We have decided to celebrate these twin souls separated by a few decades, these angels who we assume didn’t know each other and never met, by creating a portrait of the wordy one in the style of the drawy one. Happy birthday, the two of you, we hope there really is an afterlife so that the two of you can sit down together and make friends and maybe make some other ghosts feel uncomfortable somehow.

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. 

leave ur beams outta this

Welcome to my irrational fear that makes me so uncomfortable that I have never allowed myself to think about it for very long. I wince when I consider it. Perhaps I should start with a little backstory.

When I was about seven years old, I had a series of night terrors where I would wake everyone in my family up at night because I was screaming horribly. The dream always started the same, with me being within one of five beams of light that appeared to be both moving and still, somewhat eternal or infinite I guess. But I’d be hurtling through space, then veer of towards Earth where I was suddenly me, as a child, in a weird dystopian service station somewhere. Eventually, the dream always ended when some space technology that had been harnessed and not fully understood would go haywire and there’d be repetition that was speeding up exponentially until I woke up FREAKING OUT.

I also hated (and still hate) night time windows being uncurtained because I don’t want things looking in. And also, I don’t like to look up at the night sky in case I see something I can’t explain. These things have bothered me for a really long time and there was one day in my teens that I wondered if I had been abducted, and I immediately stopped thinking about it. But by now, I worry about what if I am actually an alien and that’s why I don’t understand screaming or dancing. And why I see people in buffet lines and feel like I am observing livestock. Have I forgotten who I am and why I’m here? Have I gone totally insane, or am I just really close to it all the time? Halp.

Do you have RFD-TV? Have you ever even heard of it? It is a television station devoted to rural living and rural concerns. I know you city slickers out there just scoffed out something like, “what, so like, shows about corn and tractors?” Yes. That’s actually exactly right. Throw in a little casual gospel music and perhaps talk of quilting, and that’s it. It is a wonder of a channel, let me tell you.

Back when I was a younger sort of person, I would visit my parents, or be living with them, depending on the year or month of that time of my life, I discovered this station and its outstanding, high-quality programming. Sometimes they would speak of corn — which is more interesting than you probably are willing to believe, and sometimes they would teach you how to teach horses. That was more interesting to me, although just as relevant to my day to day existence.

they all look the same

I didn’t really have a particularly favorite show, however. RFD-TV was like that strange channel that featured snippets and clips of audio visual “art.” You would just tune in and tune out, as they say (do they say that?), as you just vacantly watched footage of fields and a rural voice speaking. But then one magical day, I caught the Big Joe Polka Show. I was infected by the RFDTV BJPS Bug!

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Somewhat recently, fellow resident of the Sneer House, Lisa, and I took a trip to the Midwestern United States’ Largest Flea Market, which is conveniently located just north of Cincinnati. For those of you unfamiliar with the large scale flea market, let me just describe it as an expansive building filled with booths that are full of an array of garbage that is for sale. Some of the booths actually sell quality items, and you wonder what they are doing there, but mostly it seems to be junk that fell off of the back of a truck and these people scavenged it and put low, low price tags on it — or absurdly high price tags. For those of you who ARE familiar with flea markets, you know that the “bottom” in my title means a butt.

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Mark Twain was born on November 30th in the year 1835. His name then was Samuel Clemens but he obviously changed it at some point. According to this documentary I watched about him once, he had an exciting life and a complicated personality. I encourage you to go on ahead and learn more about him for yourself. He was also a humorous man, and if anything happened in the world, the newspapers would ask him for his opinion, because he was pretty good about only speaking in quotable soundbites. Later, people would gather these quips into quote books, so that we could always learn from his eternal, universal wit and wisdom. Also, he wrote books and stories.

mark twain

I was made to read a few of his books in school — I assume we all were. And I really hated Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. I know it was “important” for a bunch of reasons, but I hate books written more or less phonetically. It was a pain. I don’t remember anything about it aside from how much I couldn’t stand how river people of the 1850s spoke. I can see how it was so amazing, or whatever, that he represented people from all classes and how they spoke, but I just couldn’t take it! Anyway, there have been a couple of short stories that I HAVE particularly enjoyed. One is “The Facts Concerning the Recent Carnival of Crime in Connecticut” and the other is The Mysterious Stranger.

 

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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.

aaaa

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?

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