What did they ever do to game designers?

I found myself chanting “Die, frog, die!” for the fourth time playing this stupid game I have on my phone to stave off existential angst.

And this is very uncharacteristic of me, because I’m quite fond of frogs. Or rather, I have no particular quarrel with frogs. They have injured neither family or friend, and they have yet to create a site with pop up ads.

But in taking a mental inventory of my frog rage, I realized that they are the mortal enemy in several games I play or have played in the past 8 years. Gone are the golden days of Frogger, where one used to smack the side of the game cabinet if a truck squashed your precious Highway Crossing Frog.

There’s a game where a frog spits deadly balls at you. Another where he steals your vegetables. Another where she freezes your bubbles. And so on. Frogs are villains now.

We are at peak ranidaphobia, which is a fancy word for racism against frogs. Do not confuse it with gallophobia.

I then remember the plague of frogs that Moses wrought upon Egypt via the will of God. That’s kind of a weird thing to curse somebody with, at least to us modern folk. “Oh noes, frogs! What’re they gonna do, ribbit at me? Eat flies out of my house? Please, anything but that!”

But of course, too much of anything is awful, as the Australians found out in recent years when their prime minister urged citizens to beat them with golf clubs and cricket bats.

Probably while screaming “Die, frog, die!”

I wonder what would have happened if the Egyptians suffered a plague of puppies? So many tiny tails wagging, such joyous yipping! 

So much poooooop.

Yes, too much of anything is awful. God is wise.

The Ants Go Marching TO THEIR DEATHS hoorah

The enemy.


Day 2298 of the War With the Ants continues. I’ve discovered yet another point of ingress & shut it down. This one was a biggy; they won’t be using that crack in the baseboards for a while!

The daunting task of keeping the ants out sometimes seems like a losing battle for the Korean-Anglo alliance, but we fight on valiantly. There are so many more of them than us. The Korean contingent once destroyed several battalions of the bastards coming from above, if you can believe that. They had taken Cabinet Ridge & Refrigerator Valley, but the Korean managed to cut off their supply line & wipe the march off our land with a few Clorox wipes. The Korean is merciless, but effective.

The Anglo force concentrates on scouts. Diplomacy has utterly failed. The ants have been told time & time again that they are welcome to exist in peace, but they are not to enter the Korean Anglo domain. The patio is a demilitarized zone, but it is watched cautiously. The Anglo does not bother the ants on the patio, but she gives them a stern talking to. If she sees even one scout in the domain, she obliterates him. 

Do not pity the ants. They swarm mercilessly & without discernment between food stuffs, leisure furniture, & even sealed items. When there were cats, they even forced them to starve for maybe 30 minutes as they overran their food bowls. The cats protested heartily until the Anglo contingent was lead to the scene of the massacre. Then she performed a massacre of her own in swift retaliation.

This is Sparta.

Arthur

 

Arthur, probably.

 
Arthur told me he likes reading things I write about him & that I should write more about him, so here is a post entirely about Arthur.

Arthur (not his real name, but it’s close) is a guy who’s been going to our church for about a year. He seems innocuous at first, just a polite guy in a suit & tie, but soon you realize he is basically the personification of evil. 

Don’t let that alarm you, though. Arthur is pretty spectacular. He laughs at all my jokes. He also agrees with nearly everything I say. Already you can tell he is one of the best people ever, despite being the personification of evil.

He is the dark yin to my yang. He is Palpatine to my Yoda, Saruman to my Galadriel, YoSafBridge to my Inara. One time myself, Christopher, & Arthur were in the church kitchen eating ice cream Arthur made for us & I thought, “Here we are: Harry, Hermione, & Draco.”

Arthur is also my sham husband & as such, is very encouraging. He has yet to say a disparaging word to me, about me. He has said a number of disparaging words to me about nearly everything else ever. In that respect, he is maybe Edina to my Patsy?

I am fairly certain Arthur & my boyfriend are going to get along beautifully when they meet next week. They both hate the same stuff & revere the same concepts. The difference is that Arthur might use fascism to achieve his aims, where my boyfriend is more of an anarchist. 

We are going to open a religiously themed Snuggie business together. We also offer to plaster entertaining banter on your Facebook wall for a small fee. Our text conversations are legendary.

Arthur is a trained pastry chef and an accountant. I would not be surprised to learn he played the lute weekly at a retirement home. He works harder than any of us. Evil never sleeps.

I do, though, so I will have to write more on Arthur after Easter, maybe. Meanwhile, enjoy Arthur’s theme.

The Vampire’s Lament

  The legend, at least according to some films & books, is that a vampire may not enter a home unless they are invited. And, seeing as how I live off the blood of virgins, I have this problem.

[Editorial note: predictive text would have you believe I live off the blood of Virginians, which is absurd.]

I don’t go anywhere unless I’m invited. “How come I see you tweet about Target, then? Huh?” you ask because you are such a clever dick. Target invites me to them every day with about 79 emails. CVS, too! They beg me to come in & offer me coupons, which is like an invitation with a demand to bring gifts (of cash or credit).

I literally had to be told to come to church by a fellow parishioner. I have not shown up to things only to receive plaintive texts asking me where I am, to which I reply “I wasn’t invited.” They seem to think I was, because they made some vague statement about everybody coming down to something.

But surely that doesn’t include me. Nobody has dropped by my domicile with a calling card, requesting my presence at Applebee’s or at whatever fresh hell “everybody” has congregated.

I just assume I am not included if I am not specifically told to be present.

I now realize this is less a vampire thing & might be an English thing. Americans seem to have no problem showing up to stuff for which there is no specific request for the pleasure of their company. In fact, if an American is asked to RSVP, there seems to be some confusion, like that maybe RSVP stands for “Right…So…Victorian protocol? Well, fuck that. We won a war!”

Simmer down, Some Americans. I know it’s not all of you.

The problem with my problem is that I sometimes inadvertently hurt feelings. “We all went to So&So’s house, but you just went home. Do you hate us?” Well, now, yes, because you have asked me this dumb question. But no, I didn’t hate you. You were looking at everyone else when you said it. I was petting a cat or whatever. Nobody made eye contact with me or said my name. 

Is that weird? I guess so. Also, nobody was offering the blood of virgins. Do you know how hard it is to find adult virgins these days? So I had to return to my lair, I guess. I don’t know.

I also assume people can only take me in small doses, because small talk is exceedingly difficult for me. I am also guaranteed to say something awful if I’m allowed to be around too long. It will never be intended to be awful, but I know it is awful because half the people burst into hearty guffaws, & the other half look as though they long for pearls to clutch.

I admit also that once I learn you are a blusher, it becomes my mission in life to turn you 8 shades of pink by midnight. The trouble is, I am also an irredeemable blusher.

So if you want me somewhere, you have to say. Text, FB invite, look into my eyes, say my name. Preferably pin a note to an adult virgin & send them round my place two weeks in advance. That’s a love.

Or just enjoy this song, where the strings are sadly arranged on synth, but oh well: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=bCukHL4L-5Q

Musings On An Incomplete Data Set

For the past 3 nights, including this one, my upstairs neighbours have been conveying, I must imagine in all Christian charity, a herd of endangered invisible metal rhinoceroses from the alley outside my bedroom window, up the stair adjacent to my bedroom, to the room directly above my bed.

They are invisible because when I look out the window to yell something appropriately Christian & charitable, informing them for their own sake (of course) that it is past the time that the noise ordinance has gone into effect, there is nothing there. The angle of my bedroom window is not broad, so the sound occurs (& keeps occurring, for hours, starting at 10:30PM each night) out of my sight, & by the time they have herded this great invisible steel African ungulate up the stairs, I see nothing. To their credit, I am a little disabled & I can’t get out of bed very fast. But surely I would have seen something by now.

So I have formulated a theory as to what’s happening & why, as I am a Christian & cannot imagine that my neighbours are being jerks on purpose:

1a. My neighbours are from a time zone 12 hours ahead (or behind) PST, & believe themselves to be within the parameters of the noise ordinance or

1b. The herding of invisible endangered metal rhinos must be done under cover of darkness because

  • They are a clandestine government asset
  • The mob, somehow
  • Endangered metal rhinos are sensitive to sunlight

2. This activity needs to take place over the course of days, because they can only fit 3 invisible metal rhinos into their invisible truck at a time. So far, they have unloaded 9 rhinos. If this is a herd of a hundred, I may die of lack of sleep. But the rhinos must survive!

3. Obviously my upstairs neighbour’s room contains a quantum singularity through which endangered invisible metal rhinos can be conveyed to their protected new refuge on the moon.

4. The gravity of this work is so taxing that my neighbours must laugh & shout upon the stairwell to keep up their spirits. To deny them this would be unChristian & plunge the world into darkness.

I imagine the rhinos look like this, if you can see them with your very special Science Apparatus:

 

Very Important Endangered Metal Rhinoceros. From the moon.


It is my sincere wish that the rhinos make it safely to the moon in time & it is at that point I will finally sleep. It is my patriotic duty to Earth to allow this activity to continue unremarked by me to the invisible transporters, all of whom look like Jason Statham, but invisible, except the one who sounds like a rather lively lady.  

Update: My neighbours are pushing furniture out their window or balcony on to the alley below. I can’t tell which floor, but it’s at least one story up. After a particularly earth shattering boom, I looked out the window to see a guy gathering up pieces of shattered cabinet door into a sheet.

They have been doing this since Sunday night. Every. Night. Since. Sunday. Including my cat’s last night where she spent the entire time wheezing, hyperventilating, & coughing before she died.

I am trying to love my neighbour but it is hard.

An Honest Answer

Dearest Normal Humans, whose rituals & customs confuse & bewilder me to this very day, please explain the following scenario to me:

You show up at an event where you don’t know many people, like a friend’s performance or a church coffee hour or a Tupperware party. You end up standing next to someone & you introduce yourself to each other. Then the person you just met asks “And what do you do?”

Not “How do you do?”

What do you do?”

This is very Los Angeles, bee tee dubs, & is always answered with aspirations & outright lies. “I’m an actor/writer/producer” which translates to “I was in a student film/I have a blog/one time I filmed a squirrel with my iPhone” because nobody wants to say they wait tables. 

But it’s also correct.

Because you don’t wait tables. That’s not what you do. You dream. You plot. You conspire. You walk the dog. You binge watch Justified on Netflix.



This is not limited to people with “day jobs”. Doctors, lawyers, therapists & the like also hate this question because the answer inevitably is followed by a request for free advice. Hey, when I come into your restaurant, I don’t ask for unlimited, free globs of goat cheese. So stop now.

The truth is, nobody likes the question “What do you do?” but you assholes ask it anyway, like what a person does matters if you’re not at that very moment purchasing a good or service from them. Yes, how you contribute to society is important, but it is only 1/3 of who you are. 

I don’t understand why the “go to” question for meeting new people is not “What brings you here?” Because that makes sense. “Oh, I’m with the DJ/I’m a huge Gotham fan/they have amazing latkes” are all way better conversation jumping points than how a person earns money.

From now on I’m going to answer “What do you do?” with such raw, brutal honesty that heads will spin & genitals will literally dry up & drop off. I will say the first thing that comes into my head. Here are some examples.

What do you do?

  • Listen to The Killers “When You Were Young” on repeat.
  • Imagine complex post apocalyptic scenarios in my head, not to write down, but simply to amuse myself.
  • Pray.
  • Hate small talk.
  • Think about what it must be like to be a cat.
  • Fantasize about avoiding men I find attractive.
  • Attempt to see the universe as it truly is by taking on the perspective of a quantum particle. Which is some rabbit hole shit, FYI.
  • Post random shit on Twitter.
  • Admire Albert the Great.
  • Survive.
  • Ponder how much Jesus must love our stupid arses.
  • Wonder if my friends love me as much as I love them.
  • Try to figure out what my style is.
  • Lie awake at night wondering why Daryl won’t shower.
  • Avoid editing a novel I wrote 3 months ago.
  • Become annoyed by a number of smells and sounds.
  • Wonder if rich people ever feel uncomfortable.
  • Use every fibre of my consciousness to not worry about germs.
  • Imagine dancing.
  • Try to figure out what I can eat.
  • Pray for death. And other people.
  • Hope my family are okay without being so obtrusive as to ask them, because that wouldn’t be very English.
  • Try to remember things I’ve forgotten.
  • Walk around the house talking to myself in different accents.
  • Wish my boyfriend lived here.
  • Keep secrets.

If you are a normal human, please explain the “What do you do?” thing in the comments below. If you are not a normal human, try my technique above & report back with results. Let us change the status quo!*

*”Change the status quo” is a totally legit response to “What do you do?”

Paths

There is an incredibly fine line between sociopathy & empathy. Some of you immediately grasp the truth of that sentence. The rest are aghast.

First, to the people who grasp it, I’m sorry. You either distrust anyone who is kind to you, imagining there is an angle, or you are a caregiver of some kind, & you know how you get when you’ve given too much. 

To everyone else, here’s a quick run down of the surface characteristics of a sociopath & an empathetic person.

Sociopaths:

  • Seek to soothe you by identifying with your issue & offering a solution.
  • Are charming & engaging.
  • Appear calm in a crisis, detached from chaos & pain to get things done.
  • Move from one issue to the next without taking energy from the last one with them (let things go).
  • Avoid conflict.

Empaths:

  • Seek to soothe you by identifying with your issue.
  • Engage you.
  • Approach crisis and chaotic energy by matching it and appear to detach when things are done (let things go).
  • Move from one issue to the next with no fluctuation in engagement.
  • Avoid conflict.

These lists seem similar, & they are, but the subtle differences betray the motivation of the sociopathic and the empathetic. The main difference is that the sociopath is self centered, but the empathetic person is other centered.

The sociopath wants something from you. They have studied how normal people like to be received, & they have become masters at gaining your confidence. They’ve learned to be people persons exactly how we learned our times tables: by rote.

The empathetic person wants something for you. They have no idea how normal people work, either, because they feel best when the people around them are content. They can’t ignore pain, & they want it to end. 

Frequently the sociopath is more attractive. They know there is a formula to making others feel important. They make themselves look like someone you want to know, & say things designed to make you feel special.

Empaths are usually unconcerned with appearance & have no idea how to be fake. They sometimes say very awkward things or delve into serious issues without the buffer of small talk. This is incredibly off putting to most humans, who devise a carefully constructed identity for the outer world. There’s nothing wrong with that; it is a survival technique. It’s also a technique the empathetic don’t often learn.

Why isn’t she being funny? you whinge in your head. Ok fine. Let me introduce you to two people.

Tom sees a young attractive woman typing furiously into her phone. He straightens his suit jacket collar & approaches her. “Wow, somebody fucked up.”

She looks up, huffy, then softens slightly at his well coiffed appearance & brushes an errant hair behind her ears. Still, how dare this weirdo interrupt her? “I’m sorry? Did you need something?”

He smiles, embarrassed. “Oh, no, I’m sorry. I noticed you from over there & you just looked so annoyed. I thought What kind of ignorant asshat would piss off this beautiful creature? And I admit I had to find out.”

She blinks up at him for a second and half smiles. “That’s an awful line.”

He rubs the back of his head and looks down, still smiling bashfully. “And you’re smarter than me, too.”

See?! Already half the women reading this are like OMG he sounds dreamy get me one & the men are like “That works?!” & my answer is “If you look like Tom Brady, yes. If you don’t, you will have to work slightly harder. But the technique is the same.”

This is still not funny, KJ. Where is the wackiness I pay good money to see here?

You pay nothing, so screw you. But I will give it to you anyway.

Terry (combonamed after his mother, Teresa, & his dad, Ryan, so his life already started out ridiculous) sees a young attractive woman typing furiously into her phone. He comes over and stands about three feet in front of her. “Hi.”

She looks up huffily, flits her eyes warily over his jacket and t-shirt, then goes back to her phone before saying “Hi.”

He continues to look at her. “Are you ok?”

She looks up again, confused and annoyed. “What?”

“Are you ok? You seem really upset.”

She glares at him & goes back to her phone. “My mother.”

“Ohhh. Is everything ok?”

She looks up. “Who are you?”

“I’m Terry. Your mother loves you. You guys just have a lot of baggage when you communicate. Ok, sorry to bother you. Bye.”

Terry is now either perceived as an intrusive creep (valid, as many Terrys would just secretly pray for this young woman’s happiness & go on with their lives), or as some sort of mystic angel, which he might be. A slovenly mystic angel at a bar, for some reason. But Tom is less likely to be perceived as a creep, because Tom plays the human game.

The human game has rules everybody knows, so they are more comfortable with it. Everybody plays a role & advances according to the dice rolled. People who are good at the human game tend to go pretty far. The unscrupulous ones know how to game the system to their benefit.

The angelic approach (there’s no game) is confusing and weird because it’s like the Spanish Inquisition: nobody expects it. Some people actually react hostilely to someone acting completely outside the rules of the Human Game, even when they are totally benevolent.

Here is your wacky analogy, jerk. You’re playing Clue with Tom & Terry. Tom shows you his cards with a reluctant, play-acted mortification. How dare you be figuring out what I have, his devious winky eyes say. Terry meanwhile is showing you extra cards and skipping his turn so you can go again. 

Immediately register your reaction to Terry’s game play before scrolling down…






This is exactly how you are looking at Terry.

Terry isn’t being fun! You ask Terry “Bro, what the fuck are you doing?” and Terry says “I know it would make you so happy to win!” And you say “Bro, not this way. Not this way.”

And yet, he genuinely wants you to win. And it makes no sense.

And?

Jesus.* 

Thank you for indulging me.

Fin.

*Your angry comments will be mocked. In a loving way.

*Also this is why you hate empaths.