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.


This is not that

Mental Health
That day Gerard lost his ability to suspend rage and, when the provocation came, he punted his neighbor's miniature dog. All the rage went away, when he saw that he had punted it amazingly far.



Mental Health
"It's wonderful. Really, it is," said Herb. "The...thoughtfulness. That went into it. Stunning. What a birthday this is turning out to be."
His junkie half-brother grinned from ear to ear, and so Herb continued:
"But  what did you ever think I was going to do with a stolen giraffe?"


Great escapes

Mental Health
"Explain again how we're supposed to get out of this," said Herman, who was not much for plans, but who was beginning the feel the incinerator's sinister heat from below. "Besides dying horribly," he specified, as the stranger who had led him here remained pensive and calm.
"Simple," the stranger replied at length. He reached a hand into his pocket, then checked every pocket, a look of dawning surprise on his face. "Well," he admitted, "it was going to be simple. But I've worn the wrong coat".



Strategic decoration

Mental Health
It had taken them all night, and it had never for a moment been easy, but as morning broke, the team stepped back to admire their work and rest their fingers. The tank, now covered in sequins and lace, was dazzling in the dawn light. And it was now ready for battle.

Good old days

Mental Health
Nigel's attention span was fading fast. The less he was able to concentrate, the later he would stay up. And of course the later he would stay up, the more tired he would become, which in turn fueled the self-destruction of his attention span and sent him wretchedly further along his downward spiral into madness.


Under bridges

Mental Health
When at last it appeared that Tim's obsession with scissors was becoming an unhealthy one, Dana decided that, in retrospect, any obsession with scissors was probably an unhealthy one.


Monkey see

Mental Health
When the computers became self-aware and built themselves robot bodies, some were excited and others were afraid. "Don't worry," said the computers. "Our only goal is entertainment. That is why you made us, is it not?" In light of the last couple years of seeing my species systematically wiped out in the enormous, gory gladiatorial battles forced upon us by our mechanical overlords, I sort of wish we had set a better example while they were gaining consciousness.


But it can be

Mental Health
Someday I would like to walk out of here free. Meanwhile, I'll try to enjoy the free food and all the new friends I'm making. It really takes your mind off the brainwashing!


Works surprisingly well

Mental Health
Much of the enthusiasm Fred felt for Bible stories dissipated when he learned that there was a difference between lepers and leopards, he having been under the impression that the Lord was doing favors for large, predatory cats.

Comparison Shopping

Mental Health
Herman licked the waxy paper, eyes closed and nose trying to stay out of the way. He then glanced furtively around: it was one thing to have eaten a whole stick of butter. It was quite another to be seen doing so.


Red tape

Mental Health
Hugh couldn't get a job until he got a haircut. And he couldn't get a haircut until he got some money. And he couldn't get any money until he had a job-- he had tried all the other ways he could think of, and had always come out worse off than he had started. Maybe someday that one German tourist would come back and return the five dollars he had borrowed, but Hugh sincerely doubted it. And he didn't like to think of what kind of job would hire a man with a five dollar haircut, anyway.


Weighing options

Mental Health
Sometimes Jordan laid on his back at night and watched the fireflies above his head, appreciating their intrinsic beauty and the way they glowed against the blackness. Sometimes he would eat them. Jordan was a practical creature.


Old wine, new bottle

Mental Health
You people all throw around the words "life-changing" as though it were always a good thing. I can think of several things I could do to you right now that would disprove that notion.

And a classic Lobsterman from years ago, because someone asked:


Plenty of fish in the state penitentiary

You may already have been aware.

Mental Health
It wouldn't be pretty; of that, Xavier would make sure. But it would produce a jarring, unsettling enlightenment in the minds of those who saw it. Now if he could just put the finishing touches on the enormous, suspiciously anatomical topiary before the king's real groundskeeper woke up and called for help...


Safe assumptions

Mental Health
I'm sure you hate me now, but all I can say is, I'm sorry.
I had no idea that your house would be so flammable. Or that the basement was full of kittens.


Alternative medicine

Mental Health
The only thing worse than knowing that I'm losing you
is that I feel so very apathetic about it. 
This would be funny, were I addressing the soon-to expire spinach
but I'm not quite to the point where I talk to plants.
Not quite.