In case you missed the Blog Hop backstory, you can read about it HERE.
The goal was to demonstrate that an episode of either Anxiety or Depression can in fact have an application: awesome, and sometimes downright hilarious fiction. Why not laugh at the quirks? Sitting around and crying into a bowl of chicken noodle soup never did shit for me personally. Everybody on the tour has had some kind of experience with either, and I don’t think it’s a coincidence that we also know how to write some kick ass fiction. Screw the label. Screw the stigma. At the source of it all is an active imagination, and a fabulous fictional tale awaits.
There are twelve writers ahead of me today, with each of them featuring the next part of this highly outlandish tale, and each post is around 200 words. Here’s a double shot of humor to go along with your morning espresso.
*kicks door down Chuck Norris-style*
The Most Outlandish Tale About Anxiety and Depression Ever Told
So anyways, I was meandering around the mall the other day, bags in hand, when I accidentally ran into this little elderly lady with white hair. We literally ran into each other. Clumsy me. We were both very apologetic toward each other after the bump-in however, and immediately went our separate ways.
A short while later, I accidentally bumped into the same elderly woman while in a different outlet store, only this time I was in a hurry, so I ran into her pretty hard – like, she was on one leg at some point and almost kicked me in the face as she was tipping backwards. The woman was less apologetic this time as she adjusted her knee-highs, but managed to eek out a half-grin before we again parted company.
I was starting to grow a little bit paranoid at this point, hoping that I wouldn’t accidentally run into her again. I started thinking about all these crazy what-if scenarios, and my head turned into a washing machine of bad thoughts…
What if she had a contagious skin infection? Maybe I should find a bathroom and scrub my arm? What if we keep bumping into each other for a reason? What’s the reason? Maybe she’s my soulmate? WHAT IF SHE WORKS FOR THE MOB AND SHE’S GONNA FUCKING KILL ME IF I BUMP INTO HER AGAIN?!
I had to get out, and quickly.
My fragile existence was now at stake and…
…THAT LEG WAS PRETTY HAIRY TOO NOW THAT I THINK ABOUT IT!
I dashed out the mall entrance door and threw my bags in a nearby bush…
Have you ever had one of those moments where suddenly, out of nowhere, you felt really nervous for absolutely no reason? Maybe, like, you’re standing in line at the grocery store, staring at someone’s bananas on the conveyor belt…
…and then you begin creating this catastrophic what-if scenario in your head in which you all of the sudden FREAK OUT and hold up the register with a banana under your shirt, which leads to some kind of hostage situation, which leads to police helicopters and news reporters and swat teams, which leads to your mugshot being flashed on CNN headline news everywhere, which leads to getting hit in the head with one of those bean bag guns, which leads to you going to prison, which leads to having to share a cot with some guy named Dimples who likes to cuddle, which leads to a terrifying stroll down the death row corridor with a potato sack over your head, which leads to being strapped into the electric chair…
…and then the very polite girl at the register timidly says, “your total is $4.99”, sir, and you’re all like,
“PLEASE DON’T SEND ME TO PRISON IT’S JUST A BANANA LOOK!”
And then everybody looks at you with weird looks on their faces, and probably thinking to themselves that that’s exactly where you belong…
That’s called Anxiety. I do that sometimes. Well, sorta..
But it got me to thinking (irony) about how much anxiety (and depression) have helped me write stories. After all, that’s basically what anxiety is, right? I guess it’s all in how you look at it. Are you a “poor, helpless anxiety sufferer”? Or, do you have the gift of being a fucking great fiction writer? When you think about it, having a freak out episode, or an anxiety or panic attack, or a grey matter meltdown, or whatever you wanna call it, is nothing but a series of creatively fabricated events that never happen. It’s fiction. A lot of the time, it’s really good fiction.
So I thought it would be a cool idea to celebrate our varying degrees of mainstream neuroticism by kicking of a BLOG HOP starting HERE this Thursday. Anxiety deserves a laugh, and for that matter, Depression does too. Rather than sit around and cry about it, why not recognize these things as gifts? They are weird gifts, yes: “Gee, thanks for this, um, gift stuff…”
The point I’m trying to make is this: Apply it to Something. Many already do, and just don’t recognize it. Maybe you’ll learn to recognize it beginning today?
The blog-hopping story – similar to the one told at the intro to this post – will mozy on down a long trail of other crazy people – all with the ability to produce great anxiety-inspired fiction. If it works (it’s already working), you’ll get a chance to read a really funny, highly outlandish story, collectively told in very small parts by a lot of really talented writers. You’ll get to visit all off your buds, click the like button, fart, and move on to the next blog in no time flat.
Sound like fun? It will be!
Want to join? You should!
Sign on the dotted line in the comment section!
Oh, and Psst! Ericka Clay is playing along at some point along the story path, so you know it’s gonna be 2 legit to quit. Nothing like a good old fashioned name drop.
I’m sad to announce that The Official Sleep Deprivation Challenge is now officially over. Put down your Pom-poms and exit the bleachers in a single file line. [Insert distraught emoticon face.]
At approximately the 120 hour mark of the competition, I face planted into a bowl of macaroni salad and woke up six days later to a beard, dozens of misc. stains on the upholstery, a roof full of mortar shell debris, a bathtub full of jelly beans (?), and a fucking cat that apparently lives here now (cat story coming soon).
My brain shut down after Day 2 of the challenge, making it difficult to write anything down other than “dur…” But, by the power of Zues, I somehow managed to keep a daily log.
Here are a few entries from the remainder of the challenge: Continue reading
**Part One and Two can be found here: Chowderhead’s Official Sleep Deprivation Olympic Challenge. and here: Sleep Deprivation Olympic Challenge: Day 1 Results
Day 2 Recap: Fear and Loathing at the Local Laundromat
I spent the first few early morning hours at some dirty laundromat around the corner, glazed over, watching a pack of wild goobers meticulously folding their yellowed whites.
At one point, the Chowderhead at the front counter started to get lippy with me after I expressed my concerns over the excessive lint piles that, in my opinion, should be periodically swept from the folding tables.
I made a very dry remark about her missing front tooth after she refused to acknowledge my request, and the next thing I recall was a sort of white flash – like a computer rebooting – and myself on all fours, on the floor, staring at the tooth that had been forcefully removed from my head.
Luckily, for the sake of this experiment, I didn’t completely blackout. Continue reading
**In case you missed the introduction to this whole mess that I’m subjecting myself to, be sure to read here first: Chowderhead’s Official Sleep Deprivation Olympic Challenge.**
Well, Day 1 of the challenge began and ended with only a few minor burps, but all in all, things are going pretty smoothly.
It’s important to note:
I haven’t officially been awake for twenty four hours because I accidentally fell asleep during the first hour while watching an episode of The Real Housewives of some posh, tropical county. Shortly after that I slipped on a bar of soap in the shower and hit my head on the soap tray.
I still don’t really know exactly how long I was out for..
However, as the early hours of this study peel off the clock, I’m starting to feel like sleep is just an overrated, productivity-killing waste of time. I mean, how the hell are we supposed to advance as a society when everybody’s larding around for eight hours everyday?
I intend to take full advantage of those additional eight hours each night by catching up on a few chores that I’ve been meaning to get to for awhile.
Summary of Events, Accomplishments, and Other Stuff from Day 1: Continue reading
…so I’m sitting in this cafe, slumped over a piss-warm cup of dark roast coffee, casually tossing ashes into the tray at the end of the table. The lighting is inadequate where I’m seated, making it difficult to study the entrees on the menu.
I pick up on a one-sided conversation coming from the booth adjacent to me, involving a pig-headed suit and tie, yammering into a phone about a stock deal gone sour. The woman seated in front of the man appears emotionally detached, which is indicated by her body language. She ignores the man and blankly stares off at a young female clearing the surrounding tables.
I’m overcome with remorse for the woman and her situation, finding myself privately analyzing the dysfunctional correlation between the two. Clearly, she’s numb inside; another wandering soul, financially bound to some corporate meat head.
The murmur throughout the diner adds to the endless chatter taking place in my head, but the humming is abruptly halted when, without warning, an explosive discharge of profanities and pent-up rage erupts out of the woman. Continue reading