These are my five entries to the Off-Topic Marathon Themes for this year. I don't really like them very much, except for the first and last. The second is downright terrible. But here they are.
All Things Considered that was a Poorly Thought out Move from Ben Stiller’s Part.
“This is so cool, like Night at the Museum, but on steroids.” “That doesn’t sound right. I think you need to have muscles for steroids to even work. Using them in this situation seems rather pointless.” “That is…you…you’re being such a characteristically obtuse tool right now it’s a wonder people don’t use you to draw circles.” “That is a terrible joke and nobody is going to get it.” “That just makes it funnier.” “If you say so.” “And what do you mean ‘nobody?’ Are you doing that thing where you subtly imply awareness of our existence being confined to fiction? That is so stupid. This is real life” “Are you seriously doing that thing where you ironically state that this is ‘real life’ despite all evidence to the contrary? That is such a modern day cliché. Hanging that lampshade is so obsolete.” “You just hung a lampshade on my lampshade. If I wasn’t not a cool dude I would say something like ‘Lampshadeception’ right now.” “…if it makes you feel any better, I think you’re pretty cool.” “…” “…” “Anyway, as I was saying, NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM. But with dinosaurs!” “That movie already had dinosaurs.” “No, it had one dinosaur.” “We also only have one dinosaur.” “What! That is terrible.” “How can you not know we only have one dinosaur.” “I was kind of busy. You know, running for my life. You insensitive foolwad.” “..you said it was cool.” “Irrelevant.” “How are we even having this conversation while running from a skeleton dinosaur through a trailer park? That seems really implausible.” “That is odd. But why are you describing our situation is so much non-detail?” “It doesn’t look like this story is ever going to start using prose.” “What.” “Like. All of it so far has been our witty discourse on Night at the Museum.” “I wouldn’t call that witty. Or discourse.” “…does this conversation even have any literary purpose within the story? It seems really pointless right now.” “I don’t think so. Not unless Ben Stiller shows up later on and uses some special powers to stop the dinosaur, and let’s be honest here, that seems unlikely.” “Why are we still talking about that movie. It wasn’t even that good.” “Walking skeleton!” “I’m pretty sure that movie didn’t invent that concept. There’s probably like an entire genre of walking lizard bones.” “Yes, but do any of them have Ben Stiller?” “I don’t know. Maybe. Who cares?”“Evidently, you do not.” “Now you get it. But also, we are literally being chased by a reanimated dinosaur skeleton. We could be lunch. So we really have bigger things to think about.” “I don’t know about being lunch. I don’t think he has any digesting muscles.” “Hey, it’s not polite to assume. It might be a lady skeleton.” “You’re right. Sorry, skeleton.” “Don’t apologize to the skeleton. It has to say sorry first, for chasing us.” “That sounds really petty. Besides, why wouWhooooooaaa what the heck is that.” “That appears to be a reanimated human skeleton.” “Is that…is that Ben Stiller?” “I’m pretty sure that is not Ben Stiller. He’s kind of alive at the moment.” “And now he’s running next to us.”“Yep.” “I think you’re right, prose would really help this story.” “Yeah I’m not even sure if you’re you at this moment. Whatever that means.” “I’m going to talk to him to see if he is Ben Stiller.” “…” “He says he is Ben Stiller’s subconscious museum guard, possessing the body of a plastic skeleton.” “That is…just…the stupidest thing ever written. This isn’t even a brick joke. It’s just a big stupid brick.” “Personally, I think bricks are awesome.” “Whatever, is there anything special about him to help us?” “Well, he can talk, and run. That’s pretty special, if you think about his being only a skeleton.” “…so no?” “So no.” “Why is he even here?” “I think he wants us to let the dinosaur eat us.” “What makes you think that?” “Well, he just said that.” “…I’m not doing that.” “I don’t think he’s giving us a choice. He just tore off his own arms and now….now he is tripping us.” “…Stop describing everything that happens.”
“…this is stuuuuupiiiiiiid.” “Let’s be fair, that dinosaur wasn’t that well-kept. It’s not its fault it felt apart the second it tried to eat us.” “My whole life is a sham.” “Truth.”
Theme #4-Character Story (BLEEEEH DON'T READ)
Days of Strife
My name is Story.
It is a strange name. At least, that’s what my friends say. Or maybe what’s strange is that I have a name. That’s never been clear to me.
What is clear is that my life is currently pretty terrible.
My father, Reality, has explained that this is natural—to me, at least—and that it will continue for as long as I live, which, he says, will be a very long time. Father has always been rather blunt.
My mother is Imagination, and she tells me that one day things will be different, that in time my life will change, become more interesting, more complex, different. She never says it will be easier.
But it’s hard, living as I am.
Every day I go through all these odd phases. I’ve never known why I go through them, but it’s been happening since my birth. Mother, always on the lookout for things new and novel, gives them names.
First the “introduction” occurs. Physically it’s the easiest to go through, but it is the slowest, least exciting of all. Mentally I start out too sluggish to carry on my own. Typically it doesn’t take very long, as I slowly gain more and more of my faculties.
After that I leave my home for some time and make new friends. Maybe they’re new friends each day or maybe I just forget them at the end, but every day has me met with strangers. My mother calls this the “rising action,” but I think she’s just teasing. I don’t enjoy it much at all. It’s always very tense for me, and I worry to make everything as perfect as possible.
The “climax” follows. Invariably, some of my friends will clash, with each other, sometimes even me, my family…
Physically this struggle manifests within me as well. My mother calls this “internal conflict,” because she’s just like that.
This climax is always resolved, but not always well. Sometimes one of us will be victorious, leaving some parties in defeat. Sometimes we will all, bitterly, leave each other at a stalemate. Rare is the day when we all walk away happy.
After the climax comes the resolution, when I regress to a state similar to the introduction. However, this time I have to reflect on what happened before, and it pains me greatly. I wake the next day with no memories of the past, save for the knowledge that it caused me great pain.
Every day, I wake in fear.
My name is Story, and my life is a wreck.
Theme #6-The Mask
It’s really quite simple.
More than anything else, people fear what they don’t understand.
Everyone hates not knowing. Everyone wants to feel like they’re in control, like they know why everything happens, what everyone else thinks, why everyone else thinks what they think.
What they don’t understand, they rationalize away in simple terms. Everything has an explanation. Everything is perfectly rational when you give it some thought, really.
So why do I do what I do? It’s perfectly simple, perfectly rational, when you give it some thought.
Surely I was traumatized as a child. Surely I witnessed some heinous act of violence, from which I could not recover. Surely I come from a terrible, abusive family situation. Surely I’ve suffered countless losses. Surely I am a victim in some way, and I only lash out because I’m lonely and lost.
Surely, beneath this mask of violence and joyful hatred, I am a perfectly nice person.
Just one of many, a victim of circumstance.
And it’s true. So long as it’s convenient, they are right. I only mask my inner, placid, peaceful self out of fear and desperation. My mask is not physical, but a fabricated feeling of loathing, a false, if overwhelming, desire to see every last thing in ruins and every last person in pieces.
But, it’s perfectly rational.
It’s perfectly simple, when you think about it.
It isn’t my fault. I don’t want it. I definitely do not enjoy it.
But here’s a question.
When you give it some thought.
Who is behind the biggest mask? Those that hide their fear and their lack of understanding behind half-hearted explanations and rationalizations, or I, who wear my feelings on my sleeve?
The answer is quite simple, once you give it some thought.
Just One Hit
“Well, because it breaks, obviously.”
“…Because I’m going to hit it.”
“I got that part. But why are you going to hit it? And why do you think you can break it?”
“Don’t be a moron. It’s just a glass eye. It’s just stupid glass. One hit and it’ll shatter. Crash.”
“Okay, stop saying crash, it’s annoying. And putting aside that that’s not what a glass eye is, tell me why you want to hurt Mike.”
“What do you mean why? He’s a freak. His eye is creepy, and so is he. You’ve seen the creepy looks that friendless creep gives.”
“You’re a moron, Adam. He hurt his eye. He can’t help that you think his stare is creepy.”
“Oh, shut up, Dick. That guy has no friends. Nobody cares what happens to him or his stupid glass eye.”
“That’s not true at all either. That girl Beth is always with him. She’s been for a while.”
“Yeah. I know.”
“Oh God, is that what this is about? Adam, why do you always do this?”
“What are you talking about?”
“You beat up Thomas in fourth grade because Liz gave him a hug after he sprained his ankle. Where did that leave you?”
“Shut up. That was different.”
“And in sixth grade? Seventh? You have been suspended far too much for you to pretend that you don’t have a problem.”
“And now you’re going after Mike? What in the world is your problem?”
“Shut it! I don’t care what you think. I’m breaking that kid’s glass eye.”
“Yes, you do. Say what you will about Mike, but you aren’t surrounded with friends yourself. Who else but me is there? Trevor never forgave you for what you did to his car. Or his sister. Or his cat.”
“That guy…was a complete loser.”
“And breaking Mike’s eye? It’s not made of real glass, stupid. Even if it were, how in the world does anyone ever think that breaking something inside a guy’s skull would be a good idea?”
“It’s just some glass…”
“Don’t be a moron. Don’t do anything to Mike. Heck, don’t do anything to anybody. You’re going to end up in real trouble.”
“It was just some glass…”
“What the blazes did you do.”
“It was only glass...”
“What did you do.”
“I told you not to do anything. And now you’re arrested. What were you thinking?”
Theme #10-Art to Fiction
What is this piece of junk supposed to be? It’s an abstract spaceship
Doesn’t look like a spaceship well that’s ‘cause it’s abstract, you see
What’s the blue stuff? It’s aliens, he keeps asking aliens? I say aliens.
Why aliens? Well they ride spaceships
Most of this canvas is blue, is everything aliens?
This is garbage nobody is going to buy it he says
I was worried he’d say that
‘S Only the truth
I’ll try again I guess.
Don’t limit yourself to spaceships, try a pony or something that seems to be popular
I’ll…give that some thought?
I’ll be leaving. You work on something else
This painting is terrible. I should go burn it outside. Maybe after I drink my coffee…
Man that was not a good idea. The neighbor got all up in my case again about burning paintings and what’s that smell and why are you even using arsenic paint and just
That guy needs to calm down. I didn’t even step on his Chihuahua this time, or drop searing hot coffee on it either. Also I’m only burning one painting, not that he wasn’t exaggerating on last month’s bonfire but seriously just
So I guess I have to do something else now but god I am tired.
I need another coffee.
I shouldn’t have burned that painting, such a moron. Should’ve tried to sell it anyways or painted over it
Guess I need to do something else. Another spaceship? I guess I could try but doesn’t sound that fun
He mentioned something about ponies I should look that up on the internet
God I hate going outside. Is too bad I dropped my coffee on the modem, not that I can afford the internet right now but you know convenience.
Internet café what a freaking joke who even goes to these things anymore
Other than me I guess but I got an excuse
What are these hacks doing here
Guess I’m going to buy some time now and also some coffee
Okay so ponies look up ponies and
Oh god oh god oh god
What the #### is this I’m just
What is wrong with people
Oh? No I wasn’t looking at that stuff.
No you definitely didn’t see me sir you must have been mistaken I was just looking up…salad!
What do you mean I’m banned from coming here again I wasn’t even doing anything this is just such communism
At least let me keep the coffee I paid for it with money
Back at home, just so tired.
I need more coffee.
Agh this isn’t working.
I’m going to bed.
Oh great I forgot I also dropped coffee on the bed I drop coffee on everything so clumsy
(Maybe I should start drawing with coffee?)
Dreaming like a baby dreaming like a baby, there’s a race track in my brain and there’s no stoppin’ me
Don’t I drink too much coffee?
Haha so silly you can’t drink too much coffee
Is a medicine or something
Where am I
Where is the coffee
Why is everything dark
Is this a nightmare
Are the ponies gonna show up
Please don’t be ponies
Oh okay the lights are coming back up
This is some creepy aura I’m getting from this place what are these
And okay then there comes a spaceship
That’s a nice shade of purplredrange.
What a weirdly abstract scene of lightning trees and a purplredrange spaceship.
I should plagiarize this.
He’s asking if I plagiarized this spaceship I say of course I did don’t be a cool dude
He’s like why did you call me a cool dude I’m just saying
What are you even saying
Where did I get it it’s just from my sexy subconscious, you tool
Hey don’t get feisty now (I don’t even know what that word means)
Anyways he says I can sell this
It came from my subconscious that stuff is downright sexy.
There they are, my ugly misshapen written babies. I only really like the last one. The idea of someone getting kicked out of an internet cafe for pony-related internet mishaps will never not be funny. But that's just me. If you disagree, you're wrong, and also, please prove me wrong on you being wrong.