The Adventures of Mark Anthony [part IV]

Mark Anthony were the best of friends in many ways. For one thing…

      Cast:

MARK: Anthony’s best friend

ANTHONY: Mark’s best friend

***

Mark sat on a sofa, reading his favorite book. Anthony sat across from him, reading his second-favorite book. He couldn’t read his first-favorite because Mark had it. After a while he sighed, and put his book down.

“Mark?” he asked in a forlorn tone.

“Yes?” came a reply from behind the pages.

“I’ve been feeling sad lately.”

Mark put down his book to give Anthony his full concentration.

“You talk and I’ll listen,” he said.

“That is just what I wanted,” smiled Anthony, and began his sad tale. “I was walking home yesterday and it was really cold. And it made me feel sad. Really, really sad. It also made me feel cold. Plus, I am at that point in learning to juggle when I’m getting worse rather than better.”

Mark solemnly nodded his head to socially signal he understood, but did not interrupt Anthony.

“I have so many things that I need to remember that I make list after list until I can’t remember where I put the most recent one and start doing things that became irrelevant a month ago but I never crossed off. I fear that my excessive list-making will make my memory worse, but if I don’t make them, I forget things! If there is something I must remember and I think when I get home, I’ll put that on my list, when I get home that thought has flown the coop like a lone turtle. It has also become an obsession of mine to write down trivial tasks or things I have already done just so I can cross them off.”

That being said, he leaned forward, pulled a small piece of paper out of his bag, and crossed off Talk to Mark about List-making Problem.

“Anyway,” he said, “I can’t talk anymore. I have things to do.”

“I understand,” said Mark.

The Adventures of Mark Anthony [part III]

Mark Anthony were the best of friends in many ways. For one thing…

      Cast:

MARK: Anthony’s best friend

ANTHONY: Mark’s best friend

***

Mark Anthony were the best of friends. Literally. No one was better at being friends than them. They made sure of it, because they were very competitive. Actually, only Mark was competitive. Anthony wasn’t. But they thought that was good, because they balanced each other out.

One day, Anthony was writing a short story for his class Unicorns & Disasters, but he was having trouble thinking of something to write about, except maybe Noah’s Ark. But that is used up, he thought.

Mark sensed that Anthony was struggling, so he walked over. This took a while, as Mark had been at the the local Farmers Market, and it was four miles away from Anthony’s house. He arrived out of breath—but thankfully still with purpose—for Anthony hadn’t thought of a single inspired idea the entire time.

“Anthony old pal, how can I help?”

“Well,” said Anthony, “You can help me by helping me.”

“Okay,” said Mark, “What are you writing about?”

“I don’t know,” said Anthony, “That’s the issue.”

“Hear me out…” said Mark, “What if…it was NOT an issue?”

“Good plan,” said Anthony, and set to work straight away. He wrote about how Unicorns are almost certain to be a cause of Disaster because of those silly pokey-things sticking out of their heads.

If you see a Unicorn, Anthony concluded, do not run straight towards it.

Unwritten Rules, The

[Now in written form, for your convenience]

You learn new things everyday, and I will be updating my list as needed:

  • Don’t bring a cow to work
  • Don’t walk backwards
  • Don’t write down the unwritten rules

The Adventures of Mark Anthony [part I]

sidenote: this has no point. You don’t have to read it, either. You could just walk away now. We’ll both be happier. Just walk away…

***

      Cast:

MARK: Anthony’s best friend

ANTHONY: Mark’s best friend

I am going to tell you a story now. It is a short story of tragedy and of wonder. And of two men—-both very short, both very wondrous.

They would go on adventures together. One always before the other, for how can you go on two adventures at once?

We begin with Mark Anthony sitting at a table doing nothing.

“What wonders shall befall us today, dear friend?” asked Anthony.

“I don’t know Anthony,” said Mark.

And they sat and they wondered what wondrous things were surely about to happen to them. But nothing happened that entire day, and they were disappointed.

Mark Anthony walked in rain together, feeling sad. At the train station they parted ways, for Anthony lived 300,000 miles south-east from his friend, who lived in the Grunchan Town Harbor Village.

“I’ll see you tomorrow, old pal!” shouted Anthony as the train began to pick up speed.

“Come no later than five, dear friend!”

“I’ll be there!”

Mark turned away from the platform. He and Anthony had been friends for longer than he could remember.

So long, in fact, that when referring to the two of them, people no longer bothered placing an ‘and’ between their names. Why, he had been only 27 when Anthony had first knocked on his door, wondering where the Milk Festival was taking place that year.

At least, Anthony had told him that was when they’d met, but Mark could never be sure that it was true.

His first recollection of Anthony was when he was 37 and living in Denmark. But he’d suffered severe head trauma on his 37th birthday when he was hit by a train, and could remember nothing that had happened before that time.

Because of this, Mark could truthfully say that he had known Anthony for longer than he could remember. But ever since that faithful day Mark had nursed a rational fear of trains, which was why Anthony made the commute to visit every morning and evening, instead of switching off who traveled (as some people would have thought common sense).

A Sale on Commodities

There is a growing market today for what we can buy and sell, including: dignity, vanity, hot pockets, and sheep. Who can say where it’s going next? Stay off the bandwagon by reading these free comics:

 

On bananas, weird places to find:

 

Store O’ Stuff:

Job Interview

Job interviews are an always odd and usually unpleasant experience. Particularly if you’re not qualified to do anything except drink tea & complain.

 

I think this comic says it all.

On jobs, strange requirements for:

On Asking for a Raise

Quality Thought of the Day:

When asking for a raise, try to avoid certain word combinations, like:

“deep resentment”

and

“death of the soul”

 

How do I know this?

 

No reason.

The Unwritten Rules

[now in Written form, for your convenience]

This is a list which is long overdue. It will be added to approximately whenever I think of a new thing. Also feel free to send in a comment if you have a rule to add to the list!

 

Unwritten Rules, The:

  • ALWAYS notice AND comment on someone’s haircut
    • even if their hair looks exactly the same as it always does, and you never look at other people anyway
  • When someone asks “How are you?” it is acceptable to respond with one of the following:
    • good
    • fine
    • ok
    • not bad
    • hey! how are you?
  • It is NOT acceptable to respond with
    • terrible
    • who the hell are you?
    • can’t you tell, dumbo?
    • I am currently experiencing an emotional crisis
    • ogga-booga-booga

note: thankfully, this norm is breaking the in Pacific Northwest. I now consistently tell people that I’m doing terribly, and have been met with some very positive responses.

  • Do NOT tell someone you’ve never met that they are damaging their child for life, even if they are damaging their child for life
  • Do not play the guitar after 10:15pm, the Saxophone after 11:30pm, or the drums after 1:30am
  • If you are in a boring meeting, it is unacceptable to throw paper clips into the air as a distraction and escape out the window.
    • It is appropriate, however, to fall asleep at the table, but ONLY IF you bring your own blanket and pillow.
  • Do not roll around on the sidewalk in front of your house or eat grass to see what it tastes like
    • And why not, exactly?? There’s no good reason.

a HANDY tip

If you’re self-conscious about how unusually tiny your hands are, try carrying a kitten with you everywhere. Your hands will look large by comparison, and also you will have a kitten.

Strategies for the Introvert

New:

  • If it’s sunny out, hold your hand up to shade your eyes. An amazing way to avoid looking at someone, even if you are mere FEET FROM THEM!!!
    • note: this one is severely unhelpful if the sun is behind you. There is nothing I can do about that.

***

Ways to Avoid Passing People on the Street:

  • Walk a dog [if you do not have one of your own, steal one] Then, when you spot someone coming towards you, look worried, shake your head, and cross the street whilst keeping the dog close on the leash.
    • note: this tactic works best if the other person has a dog with them, but can be used in almost any situation if done properly
  • When you first notice someone approaching…
    • If your phone is easily accessible, either “answer a call” or “look at a text”, whichever best suits your personality. Begin under-the-breath mumbling and head shaking as needed, glance around as if you are lost, look back at your phone, look around once more, and cross the street as if you now know where you’re going.
    • If you do not have your phone, you can either
      • Act like you forgot something
      • Act like you accidentally passed your destination and suddenly realized it is on the other side of the street
      • Act like you see the person you’re meeting up with (ha! as if!)

 

Please use caution when applying these methods. A minuscule amount of acting ability is required, or at least the ability to convince yourself the person you’re avoiding doesn’t see EXACTLY WHAT YOU’RE UP TO.

You must also develop the skill of quick-situation-judgment-preparedness, and timing. For example, if you’re going to pretend you saw someone you know, make sure there actually is a person there. Personally, I would never use this method unless there were several people and they were far enough away that I had ambiguity on my side.

If acting like you’ve only NOW discovered where you’re going, head towards a place which is CLOSE ENOUGH TO SEE yet FAR ENOUGH AWAY that the person you are avoiding will have passed (and then some) by the time you reach it. Entering a strange building will almost certainly lead to more PEOPLE, and this is the opposite of what we want.

If crossing to avoid someone, make sure you are not crossing to your doom (i.e. ANOTHER PERSON) on the other side. Especially not a mother with a stroller, as they are notoriously hard to pass.

Pro tips:

[also included: common pitfalls and how to avoid them]

  • Gage how friendly your passer is from a distance. If they are clearly avoiding looking at you, and/or on their phone for the count of at least “three-mississippi” without looking up, chances are they will NOT smile at you or say hello, and it is safe to pass.
  • Dogs are difficult: sometimes if someone with a dog is heading towards you, THEY will cross the street or turn to avoid you. This is excellent.
    • But be warned: their dog may be friendly or THEY may be friendly, and use the dog as a means to start a friendly conversation. This is to be avoided at all costs.
  • Learn to look FAR AHEAD. If you see someone on your side of the street as you are rounding the corner, you can manage to cross AT the corner and make it look as if you were planning to go that way all along.
  • Use your immediate environment: if there is a lake across the street, go and gaze at it, if there are blackberries, go and pick some, if there is a street band playing, WALK AWAY IMMEDIATELY, as there will almost certainly be a crowd gathered, bobbing their heads gently in time to the rhythm.
  • Looking sad and/or pretending to cry will also give you a handy excuse to change direction or cross the street.
    • CAUTION: If not executed properly, this can lead to the worst question in existence: R  U  O  K?
    • If this happens, gasp dramatically (as if you are too sad to talk), shake your head, and walk away quickly

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