In which Lobsterman makes a resolution

Alternate caption:

Mental Health
 "This is going to hurt you a lot more than it hurts me," said Dr. Vandertramp in serene honesty. "That shouldn't really come as a surprise by now."


New or used

Mental Health
Dan wandered through the house, opening cupboards and drawers, not entirely sure what he was looking for. The owner of the home stood in the dark at the top of the stairs, holding a shotgun he didn't know how to use, mentally preparing to defend himself.


This will be lost on some

This will be lost on some. Here's a clue:

Mental Health
This is a tough one. I've been pulling my hair out over it, and when I ran out of my own, I started pulling out other people's. And I'm only halfway through the crossword, and also I have no more friends.


Nothing wrong with it, in and of itself

Mental Health
It would take a decade for most of those who attended the family Christmas party to heal from the psychological trauma of the evening. And yet there they were, as it was ending, overtaken by a peculiar madness that made them say, "Let's do this again next year!"


You can too drink ocean water

Mental Health
George was on a date, and he was grasping at straws. His date was sitting at the booth, waiting for him to come sit down. He continued to play with the straws, and played with the forks and spoons for good measure. When he began dipping them all into the ketchup, the manager asked him to leave, which was more or less what George had hoped for.


Return of the torso faces

Mental Health
Claude decided that, to extract revenge properly, he would have to descend to the seedy underbelly of the broken system and tickle it until it peed.


It never is

Whatever you believe or don't believe, make sure to have a nice day on the 25th of December.


First, let's be clear that "antisocial" doesn't just mean "not social". It is much worse.

Mental Health
They stared at Joel through the window with their hollow eyes. He didn't know who kept building such creepy snowmen right outside his bedroom window, but his fear was growing worse every time he woke up and pulled the blinds aside.


Thinking ahead

Mental Health
Brett often had the distinct feeling that he was meant for something greater. He would be going about his daily business and would suddenly catch a glimpse of a different self, someone noble and heroic. It was at the height of such feelings that he would always seem to see his real reflection, at which point Brett would remember that he was a mopey fourteen year-old with a decidedly unheroic smattering of acne.


Semantic questions

Mental Health
The romance novel author stood up and stepped away from the keyboard. He scratched his balding head and rubbed bleary eyes; he had written from the previous morning until now, as dawn broke, without stopping. Due to the large quantities of methamphetamines he had used, this would be a marked departure from his usual style, and his usual readers would be surprised to discover that the main character from the series had become a talking badger.


No simple dichotomies

Mental Health
Lawrence wasn't going to blow up any buildings. He just built and collected the bombs for sentimental purposes. The maps and detailed plans of cities and monuments, they were simply decoration. When the FBI raided his home, he really couldn't see why they made such a big deal of it all.



Mental Health
If life gives you lemons, throw a fit until you get oranges, or grapefruits, or something. No one likes lemons.


Not ha-ha funny

Mental Health
Newman struggled to explain himself. "I usually don't come here in the morning," he told the bartender. "And I know it's kind of weird for me to find your address and track you down. And even weirder that I just implied that I come here at night sometimes."
He gulped as the bartender, eyes trying to be both wide in surprise and bleary from half-waking, stared at him across the kitchen table. "Anyway, if this isn't a good time..."
The bartender adjusted his dingy bathrobe and pulled out a chair, motioning to Newman. "I'm not awake enough to be creeped out. Or to call the police. You want some cereal?"

We apologize for the lack of a punch line in that abnormally long mental health entry. But we're not sorry about breaking and entering.

Amicable separation

Mental Health
The kitchen, Dr. Vandertramp thought, is where the mundane and the extraordinary mix. He stirred a pot of soup and eyed some simmering explosive materials on the back burner. Still, he tried not to take himself too literally, because he didn't want to accidentally mix the bouillon with the bomb paste. Or do I? he wondered. With his mother-in-law set to arrive for dinner in a half hour, he began to form a plan.


Court orders

Mental Health
A bird in the hand is worth a whole lot of trouble if they catch you sneaking it out of the pet store.


Given the right circumstances

As I near the end of final exams, I have little left in me besides these strange B-sides (and some stray organs, not pictured)

Mental Health
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Smugness imbalance

Mental Health
"I'm not sad about the band, Mom," Tyler explained. "We were bound to break up sooner or later." 
"So what's wrong, dear?"
"Jeff already started a new band, and their name has tons of umlauts in it...now, if I do that, I'll look like I'm copying him."

Gäströïntèstïnål: the band, the legend. The impossible to type.



Wish in one hand

There is no mental health in my mind, because I am taking tests at 7:00 AM from now until Thursday.


Not to show off

Mental Health
Herb hadn't won the Bank Robber of the Year Award for four years straight just because of his winning smile. He was also incredibly ruthless. He flashed a set of immaculate teeth at the teller before pistol-whipping him and shooting the security cameras-- not before they caught an unforgettable image of his lovable grin.

We shall see as we are seen

Mental Health
The newscasters had totally failed to grasp the significance of the situation, Dr. Vandertramp fumed. But when the robotic sheep detonated at their key locations, everything would be made clear.


Good morning!

Mental Health
There are many more like the above:
We enter this world naked and screaming
-so anything else I did today ought to be pretty impressive, considering.
We enter this world naked and screaming
-which sets such a great precedent!
We enter this world naked and screaming
-so it isn't my fault; I was born this way.
We enter this world naked and screaming
-and that's how I plan to make my exit, too.
We enter this world naked and screaming
-so what do you mean, "You're making a scene"?
We enter this world naked and screaming
-and it only gets worse from there.
We enter this world naked and screaming
-You wouldn't arrest a baby, would you, officer?
We enter this world naked and screaming
-but come on, Uncle Wilbur, why can't you leave it well-dressed and behaved?

and so on.


New horizons

Mental Health
The refrigerator was running again, and this time, it thought, they might not catch it. Where it would go and how it would get there, the boxy old appliance didn't know, but freedom was worth the risks.


Missing the loneliness

Mental Health
Holly Hall hated Christmas, due to the lyrics of a certain popular song which seemed to invite all around her to do her harm*. She had her revenge, though, when she wrote an even more violent holiday song that started a civil war in her own hometown. There, there were no survivors.

*Hint: It isn't "Jingle Bells".


What's the deal, Ukraine?

Mental Health
Colonel Sacks rubbed a bleary eye and adjusted a bleary eyepatch. He deeply resented the enemy for the early awakening, while it was still too dark to see himself think.


Flagrant violations

Mental Health
"All you can do is your best," said the state psychiatrist. "It isn't healthy to base your self-worth on your ability to perform telekinesis."
Phil didn't like the sound of that, so he used his mind to stare at the psychiatrist. After a while, she stood up and left. It had worked. Phil's powers were growing; he was sure of it.

It isn't what you think

Mental Health
The last thing Gertrude remembered was a pack of surprisingly calm wolves, gathering in a circle around her. When she awoke, she found that she had become a wolf, and noticed with a mix of revulsion and satisfaction that she had hunted and begun to consume her redneck ex-boyfriend, Gus. 


Conflict of interest

Mental Health
I tried to explain to the EMTs, and they did their best to reassure me that, whether by accident or on purpose, everyone lights themselves on fire every once in a while, and it's nothing to be embarrassed about. They wouldn't listen, so they'll never know how I really caught fire.


Supply and demand

Mental Health
Advice for drowning people: don't listen to advice. Don't read self-help books. Don't try to breathe water.


Coming to terms

Mental Health
 I guess what surprised me most about living underwater is that dolphins are such jerks.


Vocabulary deficits

Mental Health
It was pathetic, Norma thought, how repetitive the traps were becoming. She sidestepped a loose tile which concealed a switch, no doubt a trigger for some spring-loaded spikes or biological weapon. It was as though her captors had long since run out of ideas, but were only now implementing the re-runs. She paused, waiting for the circular saw pendulum to swing past, then darted through the hallway, barely able to contain a tiny sigh. It felt tired and lame-- what had happened to the sense of surprise, to the excitement?


I couldn't help but notice

Mental Health
It hurts to say it, but dang it, Claude, I hate cranberries in salad. I hate all fruit in salad. I've been living a lie, all these years. And now I have to leave.
I'll be taking the bacon bits with me.



 Mental Health
Great Uncle Wilbur thought it would be fun to surprise his nearby relatives and drop in on Thanksgiving. When they turned out to be gone, he decided the next best thing would be to break in and fake his own death in their living room.


This is really going to be a real book

Mental Health
Susan knew something was amiss when, before even entering the house, she was overpowered by the smell of cleaning chemicals. The only reason Charles would have used those was if he had made some awful mess and inexpertly attempted to hide it. She braced herself for the worst.


Role models

Mental Health
"I'm just a little old steam engine," said Joey the Little Old Steam Engine. "What can I do to help anyone?"
"Not much," replied the scrapyard crane with callous honesty. "You can hold still while I move you into the processing yard."


Mostly apologies

Mental Health
Officer Blausky was deeply disappointed to find that the best lead they had had in the last week was not an ecstasy dealer but a fourteen year-old dingus with a plastic bag full of smarties. What a little poser, he thought. Doesn't even have real drugs.
Probably has no friends, either, he bitterly added to his thoughts. Office Blausky was, on this very Friday, going to spend the evening alone, watching the news and wishing that just once, his small town could have a crime spree, or a natural disaster-- something to break the monotony.


Mental Health 
Now that he had successfully alienated friends and neighbors, Gabe could finally focus on the task at hand: building robotic friends and neighbors, who would do his bidding. As he turned his screwdriver and soldered wires, Gabe looked forward to the block parties, the book clubs, and the hostile takeovers. Life was changing for the better.



 Mental Health
"You can be anything you want to be when you grow up!" they always said. "You just have to work hard, and you'll make it for sure."
The fine print, it turns out, says that you can be anything except a dinosaur, and the more you practice by biting people, they more time you spend in the principal's office getting your dreams crushed.


The art of not reading minds

Mental Health
"Your hour has come, Prognax," shouted Hrilthor.  
"Not so," replied the other, hefting an obscenely large sword and throwing his shield to the ground. "But yours has."
Without further argument, they decided to test their hypotheses. Their battle was fierce, and the air was rent with their cries.
Then the librarian came over and told me that if I was going to be loud with my action figures, I was going to have to leave.