Not what I thought would happen

Mental Health
It was nice to meet the Dalai Lama, who seemed to be a tremendously peaceful person and who smiled quite a lot. Still, Antoine couldn't help but be a little disappointed: he had thought he was going to meet with a South American camelid animal in the style of a twentieth-century Spanish surrealist-- a DalĂ­ llama. He had imagined it melting or wearing an enormous human ear for a hat, things which the Tibetan now before him was not ever likely to do.


Give and take

Mental Health
It wasn't until days later that they realized they had left the dog at the park. The parents told the children stories about how the creature was happier now, in the wild, chasing birds and being happy and free. The dog, however, was in the process of transforming into an embittered, canine monster.


That awkward moment

...when you can't think of an excuse to get out of camping with a creepy old centaur.

This is a B-side. You're welcome. Have a realistic Monday.


A neutral feeling about this

Mental Health
I wish I had a well-behaved elephant, just so I could take it around with me and hitch it up outside. People would wonder, what kind of guy came here on an elephant? Just me.
Also, I'd try to take it into a bar, just so everyone would think they were in a joke. 



Mental Health
It shouldn't have surprised him as much as it did every morning, when he looked in the mirror and saw his entire body covered in leeches. It was just one price to pay for living in a swamp and being a legendary swamp monster.



"That's all you see when you look at me?"

Mental Health
The evil Dr. Vandertramp heaved a heavy sigh. He could continue to throw money at the Lunar Base Death Ray Complex as long as he needed to; there was always more money. The problem was all the bleeding heart lobbyists in Washington who were about to get him embroiled in an unnecessary war with the United States government, if he wasn't a little subtler about the whole thing.


Being helpful

Mental Health
I suppose that one could say that I am doing battle with mediocrity, in the same way that one could say that a man asleep on the tracks is going to do battle with the train.


Feel-good high school sports movie of the year

Mental Health
No matter how fervently he said it, or how much he wrangled the muscles of his face into a pitiful imitation of a smile, the new father was disappointed that his child did not appear to be a mutant. He supposed that some powers would reveal themselves over time, but the best ones, he reflected bitterly, would be apparent even now. He braced himself for a lifetime of being a boring parent to a boring child.


That sums it up

I don't necessarily mean "go out" in a romantic sense. More like a "leaving the house ever" sense.


I would too, if I were you

Mental Health
"Ewww, you have a time bomb inside of your torso?! If that thing goes off, it's going to be super gross."
Bertrand was running out of time, and this emergency room worker appeared to be a dangerous moron. He stood up and decided to see if there was even a real nurse in this place, or preferably a doctor. 


Mean things to say to friends and acquaintances

Mental Health
 Of course it wasn't, strictly speaking, a great thing to be going back to prison, not the best thing he could be doing right now, Jack wasn't too broken up about it. He had friends in there, and the food was better than at home. It probably wouldn't be too long before his adolescent son ended up there, too, and he thought that maybe they could share a cell.


Don't worry about me

Mental Health
It wouldn't be easy, but Belinda was pretty sure she could time the whole thing just right. The corrupt commissioner would be baffled to find a large squid draped across his desk the next morning, but the message wasn't for him. 


Learning restraint

Mental Health
The creature sitting at the table behind George was wearing a human form, but George was not fooled. The whatever-it-was managed to sniffle in perfect time, but with a slightly different timbre and pitch to each sniffle, as though it were a slow, mucous-filled symphony he were composing. At the same time, he was clacking madly at a keyboard, giving a maddening soundtrack to George's desperate attempts to study. This was not just some guy, some dude; this was a machine. He could not be stopped, only avoided or fled. 


Forgot to buy valentine's cards? Don't panic.

If you're like me, and live in a dark, subterranean place far from light and human beings, you may have forgotten that it was going to be Valentine's Day today. Don't panic: I've got your back. These are valentines I drew eight years ago in class, the originals of which were confiscated by a poor Latin teacher from Romania who was probably pretty scarred.

Feel free to print these out, color them in, and give them to the ones you love.



Mental Health
The settler walked slowly along the river, having done the exact same thing for weeks and months. Every spot of land he saw here looked promising enough, but he was tormented by the thought of settling down, building a cabin, and making a life on a spot of land that would later prove to be inferior. In short, the settler was having a hard time settling.


Forgetting cursive, etc.

Mental Health
When the test proctor spoke, it was the crackling voice of doom itself, the spitting grease fire combustion of Hell rattling around in his late middle-aged throat. As he introduced the mundane steps of the examination to come, each routine matter of permitted pencil lead and time allotted per section became a deeply sinister harbinger of horrible failure. 


Tryouts are next week

Mental Health
She looked as though she had, for some undetermined but prolonged period, been exposed to an intensely offensive odor, and now her face was pinched into a permanent outraged snarl of distaste.


Open mouth, say ah

Mental Health
Actually, just a dream I had.
I went to the French grammar lab that I teach, but the room had transformed itself into a huge lecture hall. It was full of people, which surprised me, but seemed reasonable because the students have/had a test coming up. When I asked if they were all there for French, though, half of them said no, they were there for Econ or something. I had to threaten some of them to get them to leave. (People are always trying to steal that room in real life, but they usually feel embarrassed and leave when they realize it's taken). The kids who were there for French wouldn't quiet down, and one girl went to the board while I was trying to calm them down, and started to conjugate verbs in a language that wasn't quite Portuguese and was only a little bit like Romanian. By then we were five minutes late and, as usually happens in these sorts of dreams, I felt somewhere near enough frustration and stress for the dream to end, so it did.


Know what you want and know what you can get

"And take me to dinner," she adds.

Mental Health
Two guys walk into a bar.
It's a hollow steel rod, and they walk in, feeling relieved that it's short enough for the light to be shining through from the other end. No spiders. They kick a few ants scuttling past them, the size of small dogs. Maybe here, they begin to think, we can be safe for a minute and gather our wits.
"We have to get back to the lab, I guess." The one leaned against the wall, feeling even smaller than his current centimeter-or-so of height. "We'll explain what happened, and--" 
"We don't know for sure if he even has an un-shrink ray," the taller one pointed out. "Or if he would use it for us."


Digging oneself deeper

Mental Health
The Sasquatch sat on an armchair-shaped rock in the cave, by a roaring fire. When Dr. James Verlane, crackpot cryptozoologist, entered, it seemed that the creature was waiting for him, legs crossed and looking slightly bored.
"Well, you've found me. Now what do you want?"
At this point, James realized that he had never once imagined the creature could talk, and so had never prepared a list of questions. He gave a baffled grunt and scratched his balding head. The Sasquatch began to appear slightly annoyed.


Using time wisely

Do you want to know what happened next?
I drew this. I turned on the computer, put the drawing on the scanner, and fifteen minutes later found myself cooking eggs. I'm not really sure how I got there. But as it happens, I was really hungry. 


No affiliation

Mental Health
The sky was a sour blue, looking on the verge of turning rotten. The air was heavy and restless. Lots of other stuff was going on, too, but Dwayne was losing patience with these ominous settings where nothing ever seemed to happen.


No pressure

Mental Health
This is hardly a time for sentimentality, old friend. There will be time enough for that if we outrun these wolves.