Quantity and quality

Mental Health
All I ever asked of you was not to break my heart. In hindsight, I should have expanded that to not setting fire to my car. 


Then it goes all blurry

Mental Health
His sharp face refracted an expression of stringent distaste over the crowd, a look which, along with the astonishing mode of his imminent death, would soon make him famous.

Are you worried that I actually feel this way? Should you be?


Things I've been thinking about

Mental Health
I can't help but feel that my life is one long joke, and I don't think I'm going to survive the punchline.


In which versatility is a dubious virtue

Mental Health
Ma'am, our mandate is to protect and to serve. What you're proposing wouldn't be appropriate even I were off-duty...so stop coming into this station to try to get us to play "special rules Battleship". Just stop.

You think I owe you a title?

Mental Health
What really stresses me out today is less that the dead have emerged from their graves and are feeding on the living, and more that today, of all days, I decided not to bring my shovel. 


It's like that one song, right?

Mental Health
For my next death-defying feat, I will tell that woman how I really feel. This has never before been attempted, and we warn the audience to keep a safe distance away should things go badly.


Mental Health
What do you get when you cross a kid's birthday party with a furious grizzly bear?
Hard to say, but you probably don't need to worry about  planning a party for next year.


Knowing what words mean is frustrating business

Mental Health
It was nice of him. Sure. 
I mean, we never really spoke, never really understood each other. And there wasn't any advance notice for me to rush to his bedside across the country, to tearfully discover a closeness we never had. I am sad about that, but the overriding emotion right now is bewilderment. 
Why on earth would my father leave me, specifically in his last will and testament, a half-eaten can of mixed nuts and a manilla envelope full of unpaid parking tickets? 


A reasonable proposition

Mental Health
"If this is another joke about my mom, so help me--"
 "No, for real, I'm a real marine biologist..."
The marine biologist couldn't resist: "...and I'm here to take your mom back to Sea World." 


Believe what you want to

We regret the absence of mental health today. Please consult a licensed mental health professional if you need help during the outage.


Fair warning

Mental Health
In a crucial moment, mnemonic devices failed Norman completely. Red black and yellow, something something fellow. While he was trying to figure out the something something part, the snake bit him perfunctorily on the calf and slithered away, rather pleased with the prospect of its venom coursing through the veins of this idiot hiker.


Almost makes me want to hug them

Mental Health
Now the laundry list of misery, unloaded ineptly, fell upon Gretchen's unsuspecting ears. She attempted to figure out how she was supposed to react before realizing that she herself was about to burst with negative emotion and didn't want to push her glum friend over the edge when  the bursting came. She picked up a rock, threw it as far as she could, and said, "Sorry, I have to go get that." So she was saved by the old rock trick yet again.


A simple solution for everyone

Mental Health
Well now, I think if we just sat down and looked at things rationally, we'd be able to find some kind of upside to being stranded on an uncharted island full of enormous spiders. Optimism is always backed up by reality.

Once you know the trick, you see them everywhere

Mental Health
The actions of our lives are like ripples in a pond, the evil Dr. Vandertramp reflected, too deep in thought to really register what was about to happen in his impenetrable cavernous lair. Ripples in a pond, he supposed, or sometimes like the frantic thrashing of a nosy federal agent being lowered into the shark tank. He shared this insight with the federal agent they had caught nosing around the lair that morning, but the man obviously had other things on his mind, like the water below him and its hungry contents.


We have special awards for people like you

Mental Health
Faced with many mediocre options and no urgent deadlines whatsoever, and having no real opportunity to succeed impressively or fail dramatically, Rob found it hard not to spend most of the day sitting on his favorite wooden bench, twiddling his thumbs and watching clouds.


Why I should be a teacher

Mental Health
Don't get me wrong, dinner was great. Ok, but I have to ask: was it meant to be so stinky?


If you don't like it, you can do your own appendectomy

Mental Health
It wasn't the first time the surgeon had been confronted with strange cannibalistic urges in the operating room. But it was the hungriest he could ever remember being in the middle of a surgery.


Hope this doesn't hold up in court

This guy probably always deserves a disclaimer. Unfortunately, there's not much to say for his case...he's not even allowed to make personals ads. Not even on Crustacean Singles.

Mental Health
Tell you what, buddy. I'll move my car, which you claim is parked on your friend. But you gotta do something for me, alright? I need you to judge a prison fashion show for me...the old judge left on account of being verbally abused all the time by yours truly.


Exercises in disingenuity

Mental Health
As the noise continued, Earl's ability to tolerate it decreased very rapidly. He had latched onto it with his mind, which was now consumed with the sound, echoing it endlessly back and forth.
"Why?" he whimpered, staring out the window at the sleepless, cloudy night.
Crick crick crick crick crick crick crick, went the crickets outside, as helpfully as they could. 


Good deed done

Mental Health
This may come as a surprise, but no one at this funeral wants to hear about your pulled groin.

Honesty is certainly one policy

Mental Health
In all the decisive battles of his life, timing had been the key. Poor timing, not always his fault, had spelled defeat for him time and time again, but right now the young commander tried not to think of the battle field and instead to concentrate on how, when he saw his beautiful neighbor going down the stairs in the courtyard to pick up the paper, he might do the same. What had the manual said? Engage in small arms fire (or conversation, the commander supposed glumly) and retreat quickly if the battle was not in his favor.


The following is brought to you by colons

Mental Health
The least you can do if I can't forgive/ pick up a stone, help me forget
then do the same for every other fish/ twisting and straining at the net



Mental Health
If you want the truth, Doc, here's the truth. My neighbor, he used apostrophes in all the wrong places. I showed him the difference, he just laughed. I didn't lose my mind, Doc, what I did next was all deliberate. But I can't plead guilty, not when he's the one who was wrong.


Non-fatally, of course

Mental Health
"I want you for who you are," Derek insisted with the full force of the earnestness he felt. "Not just...superficially. I love you for what you are inside." He paused, embarrassed after speaking his feelings so bluntly. The Choco Taco* in his hands, however, appeared to gaze blankly up at him, unmoved by his confession.
  *TM Good Humor-Breyers, a division of Unilever. Any resemblance to real Choco Tacos and people named Derek is entirely purposeful and furthermore is done in spite.



Mental Health
If and when I get out of this waiting room, I am going to smash every TV that has ever shown a midmorning talk show and I am going to track down everyone who publishes waiting room magazines and give them a piece of my mind and I am going to probably take a break, then, before I set the rest of the world straight.


Corporate jargon

Mental Health
It was odd, thought Claire, that the stars should be glowing so orange-red and be accompanied by the smell of smoke. Then she woke fully, and realized that she was inside, and the ceiling and walls were on fire.

Definitely a B-Side:


I don't rightly know

Mental Health
When it became clear that the man at the help desk was a lunatic, Clark had great difficulty in changing his strategy. The representative had clearly been broken by the soullessness of his job, but in an unusual way: he attempted to mumble small talk while staring at the computer screen in front of him. The inane and the slightly too personal mixed, and Clark could tell he would have liked to be asked the same questions, but even out politeness it was too uncomfortable a thing to consider. Clark made a hasty retreat with a faked coughing fit, and hid in the bathroom wondering what to do.


Burning questions

 Mental Health
I'm tired of crying myself to sleep, thought the bitter orphan. Someday, when I grow up, I'm going to make someone else cry me to sleep. A whole chorus of imprisoned people, and they'll sob all night as I blissfully drift off.

The following is definitely a B-side, and I'm not even sure it makes that much sense. I'm a lot of things, but I'm no demographer.


Ideal critics

Mental Health
One of the following two statements is false:
A) The preceding statement is false.
B) There is no cause for alarm.