Like a consolation prize

Mental Health
Though the International Criminal Court very rapidly reached the conclusion that there was nothing funny about war crimes in general, nearly all of the judges and prosecuting counsel perked up their ears in interest when they heard that the war crimes in question had been perpetrated uniquely against clowns. A fierce debate ensued, in which most parties suspected that this would indeed be funny.


Stories for the grandchildren

Editor's note: it was a hill, but the story is otherwise true.

Mental Health
At first we thought that maybe we could beat the sun. We were pretty sure that reinforced concrete bunkers, three feet thick and windowless, would let us get some sleep. Somehow it didn't work. The scientists said that our bodies knew the light was there, even when our eyes couldn't see it.
Now we have two choices, they say. We can fight or run away, and as for me, I hope we fight. Blow it up. End its tyranny on sleep and pale people. 


Feelings are not enough

B-side! Most people don't know what a polymath is, and I guess that's not the end of the world.


Self-fulfilling prophecy

Mental Health
It's not uncommon for doctors to misdiagnose death, sir, but in your case it wasn't a diagnosis. It was a prescription.


Change of status

Mental Health
Who invented the ticking clock? Was that just an incidental sound made by the machinery, in more primitive days? Do we have the capacity, today, to make it stop?
Am I the only one who wants to smash them all? 


Do you like me?

This is sort of a throwback to an earlier age, when these drawings were haphazardly made in class with even less premeditation than I use now. Also, we really did have to learn how to say 'Do you like me?' and 'I don't like you' in Tamil class. This is how I felt while studying for the final. Go figure.


Pessimists are rarely disappointed

(This is a re-draw; I cleaned up the lines and stuff, because it's going on t-shirts. That's right, t-shirts. We've made two prototypes. If you want one with this design or have suggestions for others, contact me via the facebook page or smoke signals).

Mental Health
"Would you like soup with that meal?" the waitress asked.
"My best friend used to eat soup," I replied. "Now he's dead."
Luckily, she decided to give me some space. 


I don't think it will really work

Mental Health
Well I am aware of the illegality of lying to police officers and the court, your Honor, but what about joking? I was joking about the munitions dump and the factory. Where's your sense of humor?


I just don't understand

Please also note that men are far from immune to this phenomenon, but that it's harder to draw muscles on a stick figure, etc. 


Maybe I'll just give up

Mental Health
He had woken on the floor before, and knew the feeling of a carpet. What he felt as he groggily came into consciousness was not quite a carpet-- it was too shaggy, and lumpy. It also smelled; he couldn't say like what, but it smelled bad.
After he had figured it out, he was faced with a bigger problem: how to extricate himself from spooning a grizzly bear without waking it up.


Not really evidence

Mental Health

 More chapter eight (this is an ongoing story, and as usual the previous chapters can be accessed here).

Meanwhile, Principal Brink was returning to the edge of a nervous breakdown and looking down into the psychological gully below. He didn't want to go back to his paranoid, reclusive self, but there were circumstances beyond his control. Namely, that he hadn't seen the transfer papers cross his desk yet. The papers which were supposed to, as if by magic, send the one kid, the one he inexplicably hated, away to a different school and out of the poor principal's mind. And the deadline was the next day.
As he mentally craned his neck over to look down at just how mentally ill he was about to become, the principal bit his upper lip and willed his heart rate to slow. He would not think about what would happen to him if the kid stayed and if he lived in constant fear of seeing the kid in the hallway, of being unprofessional; even if no one found out, the shame of being a principal who hated a child. He could not afford to have a breakdown from thinking about the possible upcoming breakdown. A cold sweat broke out on his bald scalp.
But then the idea came, just as he was succumbing to his dread.
Principal Brink snapped back into his right mind, and then a bit further past it into a focused, collected state of steely self control. He calmly rummaged through a filing cabinet, where he found the kid's files. He went to another and took out the transfer forms, copying the kid's information over and doing what was actually a pretty near imitation of the kid's father's signature. He then wrote his own signature on the bottom line, and stamped the form with the date.
The kid was going no matter what.


Can we maybe not have a party?

Mental Health
(This is an ongoing story. You can catch up here, though they'll be chronologically backwards).

Chapter eight.

So the kid told his parents that he wanted to go to the new school, that night at dinner. He didn't catch the significant look they exchanged with each other, but wasn't really surprised when his dad said, "But you didn't actually go inside and see how it was there?" The man was practical.
"No, but I saw what I needed to see. The kids there are different. I think I'll fit in there." The kid did not add, I think most of them are like me, trying to keep to themselves. He didn't say it, but his parents knew this about him and tacitly approved.
The dad said, "I still think you should go one more time, when there isn't an all-day fire drill, and meet some of the teachers."
Everyone nodded agreement, but no plans were scheduled. Things got in the way, as is the way with things. When the deadline for application arrived the next week, they still had not returned to the new school, and so the kid's mom filled out the forms anyway and sent them along. The kid was satisfied.


I am a precocious geriatric

Mental Health
(chapter seven, continued)

What the kid liked most about his visit to the grounds of the school was that, though every single student of the school had been out on the field, he had drawn the attention of none. He was sure that a few had remarked his presence, but those who had seemed not to find it remarkable. For a kid who treasured life under the radar, that would be heaven. 
Even the teachers, he had observed, seemed pretty laid back: they had allowed the children to break ranks after a while, when the fire alarm malfunction showed no signs of being repaired or repairable. Even most of the firemen gave up, standing in circles with the teachers or answering the children's inane questions. Only their chief had kept plugging away at a control box on the outside of the school, but he only seemed to be able to change the sound of the alarm, not turn it off.
Anyway, the kid had a good feeling about this school. He was pretty sure he would like to go there.


Undesired effects

Mental Health
(Tangentially related to the continuing story)
Levi was ostracized, then glorified, then mostly ignored in the short space of a week when it was discovered that his name could be rearranged to spell 'evil'. He maintained a stoic outlook during the whole affair, but on the inside he did question whether his fate was sealed by the name- whether he was destined to become Evil Levi. He tried to compensate by being extra kind and generous, but wasn't sure it was working.


Go take a nap

Mental Health
(this is that continuing story. see the rest by clicking "chapter" among the tags at the bottom of the post) 
There were rows of fire trucks blocking the way in, so they parked on the road and walked hesitantly toward the school. They saw no smoke, and no apparent emergencies. The kid was the first to spot the assembled classes lined up on the field in front of the building, being counted. His mother asked if it was just a fire drill, but he had never seen a fire drill with actual fire trucks show up. 
They found the principal standing in a circle with a few teachers. He seemed a little bit agitated, with an exterior of calm. The school, he explained had just had what seemed to be a fire alarm malfunction. Would they like to just see the grounds today?


I smell a mastodon

Mental Health
(...coming soon, OK? When I feel a little bit less on the verge of death.)


Just different, is all

Mental Health (we interrupt the ongoing story to bring you breaking news)
The Field Marshal took inventory of his provisions and amenities, eying the toilet paper and wondering vaguely if he would outlast his supply. He almost hoped not.


Anything but

Mental Health
Chapter seven.

It was one of those almost painfully bright mornings, the kind which the kid's brain would later, in long-term memories, recall only as a washed-out, color-bled burst of brightness where people and trees were seen by the long, dark shadows they cast and the light which made him squint, which made even his memory squint and stare at the ground.

He was checked out of classes for the morning and was going with his mother to have a look at the charter school. Though the kid disliked the prospect of standing out at his own school (though his absence might reasonably go unnoticed) but was even more concerned about being labeled at this new one, where he might end up going very soon. He thought of ways of ditching his mother, if only in front of the other kids. And how would he find his way around with no adult? He might get rounded up into a class if he were caught in the hallway.
The kid made himself no promises. He would do what he had to do.


What day is it?

The evil Dr. Vandertramp was pouting, wondering why no one had been writing about his exploits, which had in no way diminished in diabolical dastardliness, of late.