1. On a cold, lonely evening as you’re suffering from insomnia, you realize that your personality is merely an amalgamation of borrowed character traits you’ve picked up from books, television shows, and movies, and that your entire life is a storyline you routinely tell yourself—and constantly revise to make you look better—in order to give this short, purposeless existence some modicum of meaning, however slight. Upon this realization, you have nothing left to motivate you to leave the studio apartment—that you hate and pay too much for—in order to spend another hour attempting to endure the shit antics of other, equally inconsequential human beings.
2. You made toast only to discover your roommate used the last of the margarine and didn’t bother to tell you or replace it.
3. Your cat teaches herself to talk in order to inform you there’s no such thing as true love and even casual adoration is fleeting since there’s nothing one can do to overcome either entrenched personal differences, a sense of apathy and malaise that grows and festers the longer the relationship lasts, or death. Then, as she ostentatiously uses the litter box, she reminds you that she’s already ten and soon you will have to deal with her timely passing.
4. The barista said, “Have a good one” to you in the exact same tone as she did to the guy before you, which seriously calls into question the authenticity of her have-a-good-ones.
5. While entertaining the notion that your soul will die with your body, you begin to wonder if you are not actually the “old soul” you claim to be, and that maybe you’re no better than any of the other jerks that are clogging up traffic (and not USING THEIR FUCKING TURN SIGNALS) while you’re just trying to get home after working a double shift at a job you don’t hate, but don’t really enjoy either.
6. You smoked all your pot, and you’re too stoned to drive, but not as stoned as you’d like to be, and that’s a problem because you’re far too lazy to walk the fourteen blocks to the pot shop.
7. Speaking of the job you don’t hate but don’t really enjoy, your upcoming birthday is a stark reminder that perhaps you won’t become a famous or even financially sustainable musician, artist, actor, writer, street performer, mime, movie director, or podcaster. Hence, in the interest of paying all your creditors on time, you swallow your dreams—to be digested and excreted by your own body—and start applying effort at your job just so you can continue to work there until you’re 65 (unless republicans raise the retirement age, if you do get to retire) or drop dead. The only solace you can take is that you get to eat ice cream that you’ve been saving in the freezer when you get home—the proverbial carrot on a stick that keeps you motivated throughout all nine punishing hours of your workday.
8. In your extreme drunkenness over the weekend, you ate the rest of the ice cream that you were saving for an end-of-a-weekday treat. You have no recollection of this, and won’t discover its absence until you get home tonight.
The Reason Not to Panic:
1. It will all be over soon.
Common Rhetorical Questions with Very Unsatisfying Answers:
Q: Is the pope Catholic?
Q: Are you kidding me?
A: No, I am quite serious.
Q: Who cares?
A: I, for one, care.
Q: What am I, chopped liver?
A: No, you are a human being capable of asking ridiculous questions, apparently.
Q: How would I know?
A: To learn more about the subject pertinent to the conversation, you could use any number of educational means available to you, including the internet, books, or a brief visit to the library where you could consult a librarian, who will be able to direct you to any number of websites, reference materials, and/or databases.
Q: How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?
A: This is not a serious question. Please come back when you can act more appropriately.
Q: How many roads must a man walk down before you can call him a man?
A: More than you are prepared to hear. Also, cul-de-sacs don’t count towards the total.
Q: How many times do I have to tell you?
A: It depends on how angry you seem compounded with how likely you are to provide any sort of consequence upon telling me the same thing once again.
Q: What’s love got to do with it?
A: Paradoxically it has both a great deal to do with it, and not much at all to do with it. Weird, huh?
Shitty Things to Give Someone for His/Her Birthday:
1. A Yugoslavian flag.
2. Shit. (If we’re being literal, shit is probably THE shittiest thing you could give someone.)
3. Oliver Stone’s JFK on VHS. (Or a dubbed cassette tape of Guns and Roses’ Chinese Democracy.)
4. Aids. (As in hearing or learning. To signify how old the person is. Not the other kind. Geez, that’s dark.)
5. A ticket to ride for her. (Apparently she don’t care if she’s got one of these.)
6. A half bottle of jagermeister (which is actually half better than a full bottle).