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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Time for another old real life on the internet conversation comic! This time it is starring that always-delightful Kevin friend of mine. Kevin “KayFlay” Flasch-in-the-Pan. He’s definitely the star here, as you see that I am caught swirling after him, helpless in the wake of his caprices — merely a supporting character. A target.

kayflay

Kevin is a very good friend of mine, and maybe some day he will write for us. In the meantime he can occasionally generate content in the forum of conversations with me where he basically mentally and emotionally abuses me because that is apparently a hobby of his. He is the sassiest person. This is what friendship looks like to me and is it any wonder that I don’t form close bonds with people??

You probably won’t need to click to see things bigger for this comic, but you can if you want to. I believe in providing you with options.

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I am not a person who is given to complaint — don’t believe anything you might hear from the rumor mill! Vicious lies. In my daily living, I am not about to complain about regular human error. Mostly I am thinking that if I am served the wrong food, because I don’t have any outrageous food allergies or restrictions, I will just eat it because I would rather not waste food. And I guess I would rather not make a big fuss over it. Although I just realized that they probably would let me eat for free so maybe next time, if it ever happens again, I will say something! Witness my character growth in the very first paragraph in real time.

me a lot

However, the point of this article is to tell you the story of this one time when I felt WRONGED. I was misled by packaging. So I went after the Kroger corporation in the only way I could figure out that didn’t involve speaking on the phone or to anyone’s face. I wrote an angry letter, just like an old person.

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It is a statement of fact when I announce to the world here that dogs 100% love Halloween because they are animals that enjoy being dressed up in ridiculous costumes. Our four-legged friends excitedly wag their tails when they see their human companions lunge toward them with doggy-sized clothes. They yip in ecstatic delight and dance their paws in place when they see fabrics sewn to fit their quadruped shapes that then showcase these proud little companions to be some sort of dog-related pun, or the star of some television show that the dog does not appreciate OR even watch at all! Dogs love being made into laughingstocks, there only as spectacles for human snickering – the tune of which either sounds misguided, derisive, or full of pity (dogs can tell the difference). I mean, even going to a costume site will display for you, one after the other, the expressions of pure canine joy as they pose for the camera in yet another adorable, cutie-wootie, charming little outfit.

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Oh wait, what am I talking about? Dogs obviously hate being dressed in anything like clothing and endure it only because they think they are being punished and will do anything to get back into your good graces. These friends of humankind are long-suffering little heroes, designed to help people and be true pals. People, of course, are mostly undeserving of such unconditional love, and throughout history have beaten the dogs, and submitted them to every form of cruelty, interspersed with occasional treats, food, and shelter. OCCASIONALLY. You could say that dogs have had it a lot better lately (ignoring all of the cruelty they are still subjected to at the hands of modern-day monsters, as seen daily via viral videos designed to make us weep), but then… then we notice an increase of popularity of Costumes for Dogs.

 

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The thing about podcasts is that I’ve never really wanted to listen to people just discussing things. I don’t watch talk shows, I can’t stand listening to people read, and I can listen to people speak for about 50 – 100 words maximum, depending on the topic. So it was hard for me to believe that I’d ever want to get into podcasts as A Thing.

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I tried a few. When friends started podcasts, I would dutifully listen to one or two episodes to show my support and see if I’d want to keep going. I couldn’t! It never felt quite right. Sorry, friends. And really, it’s only so much that I can listen to anyone talk about anything, unless it’s Amandoll, about everything.

 

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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.

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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.

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As the reader may observe, many people have collections. Some folks collect animal figurines or dolls. Model trains are popular. Geeks galore (myself included) collect comic books. Even crazy things can be collected, like classic cars or human bones! I have begun to notice recently that I have a unique collection: introverts. Yes, you read that last sentence correctly. I am unintentionally a collector of introverted individuals. How is this possible? I don’t know! It is a mystery for the ages, or maybe just me at age 35.

portrait of the author

 

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 get ready

Your friend has hit a rough spot and, for whatever reason, you have stepped up to aid them in their time of need. When you invite a friend to stay in your home until their lives stabilize, until they stop weeping at night, until they get a job — ANY job — and find a place of their own to live, you may not realize exactly what you are about to do. You may think to yourself, “This man or woman has been my friend for X number of years, I feel fondness for them and would like to give them sanctuary from their troubles. After all, were I in their place, I would hope that I had a good person to help me out.” But you fail to acknowledge that this person will be using your furniture, your bathroom, your cooking utensils. They will be all over your living space. They will probably even look in your bedroom when everyone else is out working.

Basically you’ve gone above and beyond the call of friendship. You may think that because you are being so kind as to do all of this, what with the inconveniencing your life to an extent and shaking up your day-to-day, your friend would be more than happy to do the one or two things you ask of them. No sir.

You see, when you invite a friend to live with you, something happens to them. They change into a monster. Many of you have seen this happen with real room mates, but the complexities of the Room Mate is a topic for another article on another day. Friends who are staying with you as guests do not have to pay rent, or bills. They often feel like real guests, although they start out as overly grateful ones.

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