Our resident Angrphile gives unsolicited advice to baffling Reddit rants.
Conundrum One — via Reddit
Okay, how the fuck do I even start?
Well, I’m 15. I’m a girl. And I have a boyfriend who played a mean prank on me just now.
He sent me a fake breakup message, and he and his other friends laughed at me for thinking it was true. I completely freaked out.
I went upstairs, locking myself in the bathroom. I went to my counter…and I picked up a razor. It wasn’t like anything you would think; it was only a mild cutting session. First, I just held the blade for a while, thinking about what to do. As I turned it in my hands, I felt a sharp pain in my thumb. Blood covered my fingertip, and there weren’t any tissues close by to me.
I drew my hand to my mouth and then licked off the blood.
It was satisfying. It was sweet. It was warm. The more blood came from the cut, the more I licked it up. The more I licked it up, the more I wanted.
After that I cut my ring finger and my knee, and drank my own blood to my heart’s content, until I began to feel sick. I had tasted many different types of candy in my life, from chewing gum to ribbon candy to ethnic sweets, but this was my favorite. I kept wanting more, until I finally admitted to myself that I was nauseous and stopped.
I came out of the bathroom once the cuts I made had clotted, and I was still in a bad mood. I didn’t want to talk to my parents or anything. I didn’t even really feel like spending time with my cat, who I loved to death.
I checked my messages on my phone, and there was all this bullshit saying it was just a joke and ‘they didn’t think I would take it seriously’.
Anyway, I just wanted to get this off my chest. I still feel so mad about it though.
When I was 17, I got drunk for the first time. I drank so many Jell-O shots I blacked out and vomited in my friends back yard. I remember watching my vomit spill into the grass. I had eaten shrimp the day before, and every time I saw half-digested shrimp in my puke, I’d boot up another round. This went on for like 10 to 15 minutes. I’d puke, see a shrimp, puke some more. I remember yelling “HOW MANY SHRIMPS ARE IN THERE?” to no one, on my hands and knees in the grass under the porch.
When I read your message, I thought of that night. I thought of how experiencing that feeling for the first time was unlike anything I had ever experienced, before or since. How hearing about it would strike someone as disgusting and weird, and possibly scary. How only I can possibly understand how good it felt. Like you, I didn’t feel better afterward. I didn’t feel better about anything. BUT, I had found what struck me as the most effective temporary pain reliever up to that point in my life and I’d be damned if I wasn’t gonna take advantage of it. Fast forward to six years later: I was blacked out again, this time running full speed toward the edge of my roof in Brooklyn, NY ready to kill myself in a drunken stupor.
Our temporary pain relievers work — for a while, anyway. The problem is that when they stop working, sometimes it’s too late. I hope that you will find someone to talk to about this before you get to a similar point in your life as I did in mine. I hope your parents will help you.
Conundrum Two — via Reddit
Ok, so my buddy, or so I thought, has a wing recipe. It takes him forever to do, but they are by far the best wings I have ever had. I asked him about it one day, and he told me he found it in a cookbook one day at Books-A-Million. So, I ask for the recipe so I can make them myself. He says no, because he changed one thing (the alcohol that is used to cook them). So he thinks it is now his recipe, and won’t give it to anyone so he can open a restaurant and sell them. WTF!!!
Stay with me on this, since I can already tell patience isn’t your number one virtue:
When I started comedy two years ago, I read every book I could find on how to write a joke. It was incredibly frustrating to know that there was a formula that could be described to me, but that I was going to have to figure it out for myself, and no one could tell me how long it would take. I watched as many of my favorite standup comedians as I could, and I tried to see what it was about them that made them so special. I watched their entire acts, I wrote out their jokes and dissected them in front of my television, pressing the pause button every five seconds, cutting each joke into three parts and labeling each part “Premise,” “Setup,” and “Punchline.” Many of these guys and gals were so good that when I watched them live I forgot that their jokes had been written.
Robert Kelly and Jessica Kirson are two comics who have both been doing comedy for 20-plus years — they’ve both mastered the art of standup in a way that simultaneously inspires me and makes me want to give up. I could try to copy them, but if I did try to copy them, that’s what I would produce: A horrible imitation of a brilliant act that took 20 years to create. More importantly, I would be robbing myself of the hard-won and brilliant discovery of my own comic voice. Finding the structure of a joke was only the first hill I had to climb. Once I realized the structure of a joke, I came to the shocking discovery that I was going to have to fit my own ideas into that structure. I was going to have to get creative; to come up with my own ideas; to be original; to find what made me funny. I’m still figuring that part out. It can take decades. I have to be willing to be patient.
The most important thing you said in this letter was in your first line, in regard to your buddy’s recipe: “It takes him forever to do, but they are by far the best wings I’ve ever had.” Well, that’s because they took him forever. Maybe he got the recipe out of a cookbook, and maybe he did only change one thing. But he was the one who figured it out. It was his own brilliant discovery. He was kind enough to share with you the best wings you’ve ever had.
The next time someone lets you into the kingdom of their own brilliant discovery, don’t be a dick by demanding the keys. You don’t have a right to them. Let your buddy’s discovery inspire you to make your own. The world is full of lazy hacks. Don’t be one of them. Have patience.
Conundrum Three — via Reddit
How can most small sized dogs be so unbelievably retarded? I understand holding your ground but why pick fights with a 100 POUND GERMAN SHEPHERD??
I’m speaking metaphorically here, but there will always be Small Dogs trying to bite the ankles of bigger dogs who threaten their confidence. There will always be Big Dogs-Who-Are-Small- On-The-Inside and can’t take it when someone a fifth of their size talks shit. Then there are the True- Big-Dogs; and True-Big-Dogs have a bigger purpose. They are there to protect all the other dogs from themselves. They do this by carrying on, by being an example, by knowing their purpose.
They do this by knowing what “holding your ground” actually looks like, and by knowing it has nothing to do with engaging in a fight.
Be the True-Big-Dog.