Applications

After months of filling forms, your doctor’s appointment will begin to read like your latest college application.

Name: Mr. James Owen
Age: 18 years old
Sex: Male
Date of appointment: Freshman, undergraduate, 2019-20
Reason for visit: Ever since I was a young child, I have wanted to visit the doctor. This selfless man with the white coat and the stethoscope asking me to take a seat as a four-year old on Christmas morning with a Thomas the Tank Engine play-set stuck in my mouth, shoved in with Thomas and a few of his mates intact (or maybe not) in pure excitement of the sort only a four-year old high on Nesquick on Christmas morning could be, I was enraptured by this man and his love for his art, and the enigmatic pearls of wisdom he occasionally sprouted.
He spoke seldom, and when he did, it almost wasn’t ordinary human English.
“Aaaah”, he said, and while that should have made no sense at all, somehow, I understood the man. His command over his subjects was complete, his composure and dignified mannerisms subtle, yet screaming.
He nodded ever so slightly and passed me an ancient puzzle, a few scratches on a paper. Once again, while none of this made any sense to me, mum seemed to understand, he was universal; she nodded, although I felt her body relax for some reason, as in defeat.
I—

‘Oh shit, I think I’m close to the word limit, I gotta end this!’

*scratch, scratch*
“—That incident left a very deep impression on my younger self, and for the last fifteen years, I have only had one thought every night that I go to bed: I would like to study medicine at Harvard.”

‘There we are, now we just sit and await that call.’

Ten minutes later, a nurse walks out holding a clip pad and a wearing a concerned expression.

‘Mr. James Owen?’
‘Yup, that’ll be me. Tell me, did I make it?!’
‘Mr. Owen, it’s alright, I’d like you to come with me.’
‘Definitely!’

‘Nurse, where are we headed?’
‘We read your profile, James, and there may be a slight problem,’
‘Oh dear! Would you need an additional portfolio? Recommendations? My thesis from summer research?’
‘No Mr. James, you’re really sick, and just to make sure you’re not a hazard to yourself or anyone around you, we want a little check up.’
‘Nurse, you must have made a mistake, I’m perfectly fine! Take a look at my athletics! I played for Junior Varsity, I’m very fit indeed!’
‘Don’t worry kiddo. It’ll all be okay.’
‘No, no, what does that mean? I’m perfectly fine, I told you, I’m not crazy! Are you rejecting me?!’
Nurse smiles sweetly
‘We only wish the best to you now, and in all your future endeavours. Come with me.’
‘What?! Nooooooooo!!’

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Sometimes, you just have nothing to say. I’ve often had nothing to say, I’ve just hung around wondering how people talk so much.

Then they turn and hit you with the s-bomb. You’re so silent!

Yes, well, if all you can talk about is the last wedding you all were at and all the food you ate there, there is no way in a million lives I can contribute to that chatter.

I’ve realised of late that my way of coping with this, anticipating that dreaded blow, has been verbal diarrhoea: oh you wanna talk food? Allow me to divert and rant about how spicy this was, and then hijack the conversation and start talking about the history of spices and why all countries in the world wanted to set sail for India back in the set sail times (hint: thé answer is spices). Then I plan to dart and run away before you can throw any kind of bomb at me. I’m out.

Or you can be nice and give me the wifi password and we can avoid this whole mess. Keep me leashed, I guess, if you value your sanity.

And yeah, of course you’ll probably end up in one of my comics. That’s the sole reason why artists exist. We love annoying you.

Life of the Party

To be honest, I’m probably more of a panel number two. Who wants to deal with real people anyway, right?

Wait, you’re telling me they exist and I’m hurting their feelings? What?

Anyway, there are probably even more stereotypes, but I only get so many square inches of napkin.

You ever sit around wondering how on earth could anyone be enthusiastic about something as dull as a “reunion” with people you mostly don’t know? Or rather, people who ask you if you remember them but you could swear you’ve never met them in your life—but of course you remember them don’t you? You met when you were two years old!

Well, call me a silver-liner, but here’s what I just realised: reunions, or any gathering with a lot of people, are happy hunting grounds for material. So much material. And so here’s the outcome: new material!

What other stereotypes have you seen at gatherings? (Yes, you’ve been to one and had to stay for five hours, don’t hide it. And you observed too. You were too bored, so spill.) Did you run into my characters? And were you the life of the party, or me?

I Got Dragged Back Here. Thanks.

Alright guys, suit yourselves. Look who’s back here, especially when I said I wouldn’t do this here. I’m around kids quite a bit these days—kids of every kind, including a little pupper—so I’m kind of used to dealing with people putting their foot down here and around. The only way to win is to give them what they want, while getting what you want. Subtle. An art. A master move.

And so I’m back to posting these here.

I suppose most of you guys are more familiar with this blog, and I’m too lazy a bean to update you guys with links to every comic I post over there (FYI if you actually are suddenly in this weird position where you’re craving napkin comics, head over to Origin of the Pitchforks, in spite of the name, I promise you the site doesn’t bite. It’s actually quite a pretty blue colour. That came about after precisely four hours of a CSS colour code nightmare. It’s pretty) so the comics have come home.

Don’t you cheer in that corner, you’re promoting anti-lazy behaviour. Boo.

Anyway, speaking of lazy, here’s a lazy Sunday morning comic, because I don’t get to read the newspaper on most other days now.
What do you think of it? Would you have spent any time looking at that dashing Lolex model? I imagine he’d be a tad bit disappointed if you didn’t.

 

I’m Bad At Promises

First up, I gotta say I try.

But I’m also quite a heat of the moment sort of a person, especially when things happen after 11 PM. Which means, for all the stories I string about being up till 3, I’m there, but I’m really not.

My friend and I have a theory that after 11:30 PM, my alter ego takes over. And after some inspection, we’ve come to realise that my alter ego is in fact a monocle-wearing, Fedora-tipping, moustache-sporting, English journalist called James. 

Too bad half my best work seems to come after 12 AM. 

So I’d promised comics twice a week, and now I’ve put out more. Feast, dear readers! (Actually, I don’t really recommend eating while you’re reading comics. I’ve done that with my Spider-Man comics (with a hyphen, as the guy himself has said!). It doesn’t end well either for your food, or for the mag.)

Here’s one and here’s the second

To be fair, the last one isn’t really a comic, so you can cut me some slack. If you actually like the comics and would want to consider it one, then you’re rare, hurrah for more comics!

Eyes ‘Trained’ On The Prize

If you were an amateur high aiming, well intentioned yet pain-in-the-ass photographer-wannabe cinematographer trying to score a movie deal with an indie project to show, you might sit up at 3 in the morning and think it’s a good idea to recreate Trainspotting.

I wholeheartedly support you and encourage you to try. In fact, I have a little something for you.

I’ve just realized that if someone of your caliber came to my room and tried to zoom in on my desk with a grainy zoom, out of focus, my desk would very closely resemble the scenes from the movie.

You’d see messy piles of grainy white among other piles of mess and an absolute disregard for a decent human state of living. From your view at the other end of the screen, I’d be living in shambles. Dilapidation is me. You’d forget where you were and wonder where you’ve been transported to, how you landed yourself in this mess, and whether you should be seriously considering this project, accounting for your own mental wellness.

Until you take the lens away from your eye. Welcome home, my failed Academy receipient. Welcome to my room. Welcome to my desk.

It’d take you a minute to get your bearings back before you come to realise that no, there was no powder and the books weren’t keeping a tab on customers (although, I do believe my roommate is into the finer arts of accounting, if you’re altogether keen,) but were just repeatedly scratched out half-assed math solutions, and those squiggly lines and symbols were not spells and ancient incantations, but were, again, failed math problem attempts (don’t think the original movie covered those) and in fact, all you can see (as far as the eye can see, for that matter) is just. And. Only. Tissue papers. Piles of them, mountains of them, it doesn’t end. I haven’t robbed a bank and got me some crack, I’ve literally robbed the dining hall for not food, but freaking paper napkins for when my nose cracks out another one and I still find the need to get more.

This flu is probably more annoying than your camera work.

And then follows a sneeze of such volumes that you take a step back in alarm. Maybe, you feel, you should be getting out of here soon for your physical health.

Oh no, honey, some of my “powder” must’ve gone in my nose. The volumes of it coming in these days… the orders just don’t stop, you see!

On second thoughts, you’re asking yourself, how soon is now? [Allow me to break character for just a second and ask if there are any Smiths fans reading this who suddenly perked up at that last line?]

You haven’t seen my bin yet! I protest. The stores in there are tremendous!

Except you probably heard ‘trebenduz’ instead. You take a step back.

You pick up your camera. You’ve had enough. You suddenly remember that big budget project you had lined up where you tape 15 hours’ worth of some rich old guy’s pet pig. “It’s for Swina’s birthday, you know. Plus, it pays.”

I want to protest. You don’t know what you’re missing. The potential in this room. There’s a fortress of tissues, a mountain of used tissues, there’s struggle, drama, frustration, torn homework assignments, my unmade bed, the anticipation, a three week old half eaten, uncovered piece of funnel cake–

But you’re already out of the room before I can complete that last line. You really have other places to be right now. You run out in terror and slam the door shut behind you; perhaps the book was a better idea after all.

I’m still behind the shut door. I can only shake my head. Strange fellow you must be, to waste such potential…

Oh well. I’ve still got the original set right here with me. Which reminds me. It’s about time I actually got around to watching Trainspotting.

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