Last will and testament

Mental Health
Ralph was about to learn the hard way that even one hundred small birds held on strings wasn't enough to enable him to fly. This knowledge, however, would be of very short use to him, and no great source of comfort to his family.


Hidden in the syllabus

Mental Health
Edward's phone had reached a stage of advanced battery depletion, and it was frantically trying to tell him so. Every few seconds it would vibrate and flash lights, using up more and more power. Edward, who wasn't going to get any calls anyway, took its battery out until he could get to a charger.


Rudimentary statistics

Mental Health
Field Marshall Milton Crubbs was relieved of command shortly after instituting mandatory Pig Latin code talking among his troops, but for entirely different reasons and well before the higher-ups learned of his idiotic scheme.


Write him in

Editor's note: To remove ambiguity, yes, the line at the bottom is part of Lobsterman's speech.


Too many disclaimers

Mental Health

Let me preface this by saying that I believe that everyone has a different ideal body shape and mass, and that I don't really care about that. However, as a purely intellectual exercise, I have written a fat joke:

_________ is so fat, the DMV made him get turning signals and brake lights installed on his pants.

In fact, I originally came up with the idea when people around me all seemed to be confused about the basics of pedestrian traffic. I thought, everyone should have turn signals, and then I realized that such a requirement fit perfectly into the criteria laid out by the North American Fat Jokes Standards Regulating Body (NAFJSRB), and so why fight it? It had to be a fat joke.


Infinitesimal amounts

Mental Health
Although it succinctly summed up his priorities of "party in the front, business behind", Ted's reverse mullet seemed to confuse people more than anything. Ted would often scratch himself and spit on his porch, sitting in a dingy, greying plastic lawn chair, reflecting on how ignorant most folks were of the rich language of symbolism.



Mental Health
"Do you ever get tired of sarcasm?" the doctor asked offhandedly.
"Yes," the patient replied, with all the earnestness he could muster. "It's absolutely exhausting." 
The doctor looked up at the ceiling as though speaking to an unseen being. "That's enough," he said at length. "You can stop making meta-jokes now." 
The author, writing their story, cringed. He was powerless against his own characters, so he re-wrote the scene. 


Few regrets, if any

Mental Health
The plan had gone about in near-perfection; every nerve-wracking moment had been a delicate dance. At every turn, he had outwitted the enemy, and now Dr. Vandertramp was ready to finish the final stage. He held the remote, which would simultaneously activate the massive explosions as well as the decoy fireworks, rather tenderly in his hand and ran his left index finger gently around its large red button. 
He gazed wistfully out the window of his jet-black zeppelin, down at the earth below him. After this, he would need to find some new enemies. Pick some new fights. 
Also, he thought: Maybe I should have made the decoy fireworks a little more impressive


Just be yourself

Mental Health
On yet another first date, already shaping up to be a disaster, Captain Hook reflected bitterly on the advice his only friend and confidant, Smee, had given him: Just be yourself. Hook formed a new plan, which mostly involved him pretending very convincingly that he was someone else. Someone who was enjoying going to a petting zoo and then out for ice cream, if that's what it took.


Suspicions or the lack thereof

Mental Health
Gus was undeniably nervous as he checked the address he had written down for the hundredth time, though he had already memorized it. He had come to the place it indicated, but the setting didn't seem right.
An unassuming, low-built structure greeted him, the kind where dollar stores and military recruiters and short-lived business ventures blossomed, then withered and died. He had to come close to the building to even see the name on this particular storefront,  but it was indeed there: The Ministry of Mental Health.
Upon entering, he found his suspicions had been incorrect, but that the reality was worse: the typewriters which lined the main room were indeed manned by humans, but the corner offices and editorial teams were filled with apes in business suits and suspenders. He overheard a writer trying to explain something to one of the apes, who took the stack of papers next to the typewriter and threw it in the air, screeching.
This wouldn't be easy; of that Gus was sure. But a job was a job.

This seemed funnier when I drew it. If you aren't amused, congratulations: you are a good person.


Free punches in the face

Mental Health
It would be wrong to make fun of your pain, Stanley. I would never do that. But I am definitely sending a picture of the look on your face to all my friends right now, because that's hilarious. I think you'll appreciate it in time, after the rehabilitation and counseling.


Minor malfunctions

Mental Health
They spun in circles, laughing and shouting and occasionally falling dizzily to the ground. The sun was bright and the colors of trees, grass and sky were washed-out and brilliant. It looked so fun that they were soon joined by the mourners from a nearby funeral, who found their spirits lifted immeasurably by the game.


Occupational hazards

(re-run, yes, I know)

Mental Health
Well, your résumé is all in order. We're very impressed with your answers in the interviews. There's just one more question we have to ask before we extend an offer: do you always wear a boot on your head?



Mental Health
He walked through the village at the foot of the mountain, head bowed and speaking to no one. They knew where he was going, and allowed him his silent contemplation. He passed outside the gates and began the ascent. The only sounds for many hours were his footsteps and the wind rushing past him. As he climbed high and higher, the air grew thin and cold. 
He stumbled once, and caught himself. He found that he was breathing hard, but could not bear to stop for rest. There was one thing on his mind.
Finally, he reached it, and knew he had reached it. A great pagoda appeared through the mist as he reached the mountain top. So few had ever seen it, and fewer had ever worked up the courage to enter. But the man did enter, cleansing his mind of distraction and fear.
His footsteps echoed in the torch-lit hall, and reflections danced crazily off the water of contemplation pools. And there, at the end of the chamber, it sat: the Most Ancient Condescending Tortoise of All Wisdom. The man bowed, and though trembling, opened his mouth to form his question.
The tortoise cut him off. "I bet you came all the way up here to ask me the meaning of life. That's so original! How long did it take you to come up with that one?" 


Words to live by

Mental Health
I agree, we should always say nice things to each other. Let me take it a step further: we should set up a committee that decides what is nice, and then they can tell us what we're allowed to say. Is there some way to give them constant access to what everyone is saying, everywhere? That would be good, too. As my recent lapse in judgment shows, this is really the only way to make sure no one's precious feelings are hurt.


Breaking longstanding traditions

Mental Health 
The sign read: What is Gerontology? Clarence rested on his cane a moment, squinted at the sign, and shook his head. "I can't remember," he said to himself.


Let's not kid ourselves

Mental Health
The doctor forbade Herman, in very serious tones and employing very long, serious words, from eating any more butter, let alone entire sticks thereof. Herman grumbled as he waddled from the hospital to the grocery store, filling a cart with boxes of cream cheese. It just wouldn't be the same.


Read between the imaginary lines

Mental Health
Rufus gave sincere answers to insincere questions, which was commendable, and vice-versa, which no one was able to detect.


Bright sides

Mental Health

Anything can have a positive spin. For example-- and I was meaning to tell you this-- today, some benevolent stranger rear-ended me while I was running errands and totaled your car. So now we don't have to buy gas, or insurance, or clean out the cupholders anymore. Isn't that great?

Re-run! (Another very old one).


Van Gogh problems

Mental Health
I'm sorry, ma'am but in this state we do not consider the dollar sign to be a valid character for use in a legal name. And even without the dollar sign, are you sure you want to name your child "Hepatitus C"(sic)?
--Well, we'd like him to match his brothers, A and B. 


Making a name

Mental Health
Gretchen happened to love her first name, and couldn't see why anyone wouldn't. She was resolved to have her name join the pantheon of names that meant something, like Kodak, Ford, and Gatling. It seemed that "Gretchen" was well on its way to meaning "to punch people in the face", after she did just that to Mike Girardi right in the middle of the high school cafeteria.

B-Side: eh.



Mental Health
At the Metal Health Clinic, Steve and Jeff received some bad news: they were both suffering from some serious whiplash, probably due to excessive head movement while listening to and playing metal. The doctor recommended listening to, like, Simon and Garfunkel or something, just for the next six weeks, to discourage head-banging; if they didn't rest, there would be serious damage.


Two heads are better

Yes, I spelled it "theater". I'm a dang American. Deal with it.

Mental Health
Martin awoke, thinking he was a beached whale. Gaining more consciousness, he still felt like one, and a casual observer, squinting a little, would be hard-pressed to point out any significant differences between Martin and any given beached whale.


Not approved by the American Dental Association

Call it a re-run, or a classic, or whatever you want. I think the above drawing is from the summer of 2005.

Mental Health
"I am going to make it through this year if it kills me."
(The Mountain Goats, This Year)


Drowning in apathy

Mental Health
"So, how's drowning in apathy going for you?" She may have been speaking sarcastically; it didn't really matter.
Milton took a lazy pause to consider the question. "Could be worse," he finally answered. "Could be better." He sunk a little deeper into the couch.



Mental Health
I know the truth: That clock is actually a mind-jamming device. Obviously put there by the government to keep me from finishing my conspiracy theory. It's driving me crazy. But it looks exactly like my mom's clock, so if I smash it there will be trouble.


Uphill battles

Mental Health
If only waking up in jail had been the worst thing happening to him that morning, Jason thought to himself. What was he going to talk to his hung-over ex-mother-in-law about for the hours it would take her daughter to bail them both out?