This Is Twittering: Meta-Commentary Digest, Episode 82

I say things on Twitter. Then I comment on those things here. This is Twittering.

STUPID:

There’s no such thing as a stupid tweet.

WISDOM:

Even you. Maybe especially you.

STUPID:

I like this because it doesn’t make sense.

STUPID:

The conversation every parent dreads: Who are you?

STUPID:

This is funny because it’s true.

WORDPLAY:

And by “learned sign language” I mean I flip people off a lot.

STUPID:

We’re all like heroin addicts in some ways. Especially if we’re addicted to heroin.

REACTION:

It was a simpler time.

WORDPLAY:

If you don’t know how to pronounce bon mot, you won’t understand these jokes.

WISDOM:

I don’t know why people are so dumb.

WORDPLAY:

This is one of my favorites. You should retweet it.

WORDPLAY:

This is another good one. I was on a roll (bike joke).

WISDOM:

Sometimes what you really need is someone to tell you to quit being such a stupid asshole.

WORDPLAY:

If you don’t know how to pronounce Djibouti, you won’t understand this joke. Actually, if you don’t know how to pronounce Djibouti, you won’t understand any of my jokes.

That concludes this episode of This Is Twittering: Meta-Commentary Digest.

The Cliff

I’m on the side of a mountain. It’s more of a cliff, I guess. Well, it’s between a mountainside and a cliff. It’s dirt, like a mountain, but steep, like a cliff. It’s, like, a 70-degree angle, if that’s a steep angle. I’m no good with geometry.

There’s no foliage or significant landmarks. It’s just dirt, pebbles and rocks of assorted sizes, and twigs and other pointy bits of nature.

By turning my feet outward and pressing them flat against the earth, I can sort of squeeze the surface with my thighs to hang on. It’s Thigh Master: Mountain Edition.

With arms outstretched, my fingers dig into the soft earth. Here or there, a stray boulder or root offers a place to hold on.

The earth is cool against my cheek.

I haven’t moved for what feels like hours. I can see an alcove above, where the steep mountainside levels off a bit. At least, I think that’s what I see. It’s maybe a hundred feet straight up the soft, sheer face of the mountain. With my muscles aching and the unpredictability of the terrain, the relative safety of that little landing seems impossibly far away.

I slowly crane my head downward, dragging it along the dirt. I can feel the clumps of soil collecting in the ridges of my ear, but I can’t lean back without risking losing my balance.

I look down. The wall stretches forever, as far as I can see, into blackness. I can’t see it, but I know what’s down there. Death.

I close my eyes.

After a moment, I open them. I inhale slowly. I cautiously slide my right foot higher and dig it into the earth. A fair amount of dirt and debris slide away, but I’m able to compact enough of it to make a relatively firm foothold.

I reach higher with my left hand. My fingers dig into the dirt above my head, as the earth crumbles in my hand. Eventually my curled-up claw latches on.

I lift my left foot.

The sweat has started up again. The dirt sticks to my forehead and drips into my eyes. I can’t risk losing my grip, so I let it be. I just narrow my eyes to slits and hope my eyelashes do their job.

I reach with my right hand.

It goes on like this.

Right foot. Left hand. Left foot. Right hand. Right foot. Left hand. Left foot. Right hand.

I lose count of how many cycles I’ve gone through, not that it matters. The landing appears just as far away as it did before. If I had to guess, I’d say I climbed 40 feet. But I’m no good at distances.

But I’m moving forward. I’m able to deal with the little things that come up along the way, and I keep moving forward.

As I reach up again with my left hand, the ground beneath my feet gives way. Maybe it’s an unexpected obstacle. Maybe I make a mistake. My face hits the wall and I begin sliding. Maybe someone says something mean. Maybe I say the wrong thing. I claw furiously at the earth, but the dirt just crumbles between my fingers. Sliding, skidding. My legs flail. I can’t get a hold. My heart is racing. I feel my face and arms get scraped and sliced by tiny rocks and prickly twigs. I sense the darkness, the emptiness below. Panicking now. With every bit of strength I can muster, I stab my fingers into the earth, deep, reaching, searching for anything to hold onto.

My fingers hook a buried root. I jolt to a stop and a dust cloud puffs out around me like in a cartoon. As soon as my brain registers the situation, I dig in my feet to create pseudo-footholds. It’s a good thing too, because as soon as I regain my footing the tree root I’m holding onto gives way. But I’m able to maintain my hold and toss the root down the slope.

Once I catch my breath, I survey the situation. My clothes are torn and bloody. The fingernail on my left ring finger has ripped halfway off. My self-esteem is rubbed raw. Above me I see the path of my slide. It’s a long way.

I’ve lost all the ground I spent the last few hours, days, years climbing. In fact, several yards above me I see where I had started my original ascent. I’ve fallen even farther. I’ve wasted my energy, I’ve wasted my time. All for nothing. Why did I even try in the first place?

The blood starts to coagulate. The feeling in my fingers, my feelings, go numb. What now?

I look up. The ledge is still impossibly far away.

I close my eyes, resting my forehead against the dirt. My heart feels tight in my chest. All my muscles ache with exhaustion.

After a minute—or a few minutes, I don’t really know—I open my eyes and lean over to look down.

The sheer mountain side still stretches down into blackness.

I close my eyes again. I shift the sides of my feet in the loose dirt to gain a little more traction. I dig my bloody fingers deeper into the dirt to hold on. I exhale and allow my body to relax, only slightly, just a little.

If I try to climb higher, I’m sure I’ll end up slipping again. I’ll slide lower, maybe lower than I am right now. Maybe I’ll slide so far that I fall all the way down. Into the blackness.

I can’t move anymore. What would be the point? I can either stay planted here, hoping for something, anything, some miracle to come along and rescue me. Or I can risk death. Probable death. Likely death. I’ll die.

I don’t move. I cling to the soft mountainside.

I wait.

It’s all I can do.


“Very interesting,” says Dr. Van Nostrand, nodding slowly. “Is that how you feel?”

“Yeah. It’s a metaphor,” I say.

“No duh,” he says. “It’s a little on the nose, don’t you think?”

“I guess so.”

I slouch down, pressing myself deeper into the arm chair, and stare at a trapezoid of sunlight on the carpet.

“It wasn’t meant to be subtle,” I say.

“Well, our time is up for today,” he says. “Before we meet tomorrow, I’d like you to think about what’s the top of the mountain. In reality, not metaphorically.”

“OK.”

As I walk down the hall back to my room, I pass another resident who’s curled up on the ground, softly singing the theme song to Happy Days.

This Is Twittering: Meta-Commentary Digest, Episode 81

Occasionally I tweet on Twitter. Occasionally I blog about those tweets. This is one of those occasions. This is Twittering.

WISDOM:

I like this because “I’m not dead yet” is actually a legitimately inspirational message of determination. Then the idea of accidentally burying a person alive is just funny.

STUPID:

“You’ll have to fire me,” said my butt.

REACTION:

I hate it when pseudo-news organizations do a Twitter search and then report the results as if they represent anything significant. Twitter, like humanity, is a cesspool of multifarious wonders. You can find literally anything you want if you look hard enough. If that shocks you, you haven’t been paying attention.

REACTION:

This is why grand conspiracy theories are so unlikely. To believe them, you have to simultaneously believe the conspirators are so all-powerful and all-knowing that they can orchestrate such a perfect illusion as to fool the majority of people, yet also so inept that they commit many obvious, telltale errors that can be easily recognized by some yokel on the internet.

STUPID:

My attention to detail is impeccoble.

WISDOM:

Good luck.

WISDOM:

I hope you get it.

WISDOM:

Will they or won’t they? Are they really meant to be? How many seasons can they draw this out? Will my self-hatred demand more money? Will it leave to pursue a movie career? Will it return for a heart-wrenching series finale?

REACTION:

Coffee is the beer of the morning.

STUPID:

Toilet humor.

REACTION:

This is funny because my friends are horrible for lots of reasons.

WORDPLAY:

This is funny because it causes respiratory problems.

WORDPLAY:

This is a pun. I don’t mean you should slaughter your family, as tempting as that may be.

STUPID:

The ol’ switcheroo.

WISDOM:

Technically, this is known as the “freeze” response. When it comes to learned helplessness, I was at the top of my class.

That concludes this episode of This Is Twittering: Meta-Commentary Digest.

This Is Twittering: Meta-Commentary Digest, Episode 80

I make jokes on Twitter. Then I blog about them. This is Twittering.

WORDPLAY:

Revenge is a stupid thing.

WORDPLAY:

“Floorward” is a fun thing to say.

REACTION:

I mean this unironically. The fact that she uses mnemonic devices to remember words, but doesn’t think to learn how to spell “mnemonic”? Genius.

STUPID:

The whole “wake up, sheeple” joke has gotten less funny in the age of fake news and conspiracy theorists at the highest levels of government. That said, now more than ever: WAKE UP, SHEEPLE!

WISDOM:

I could have said you’re an expert in being a worthless piece of garbage, but that would have been mean. Plus, this is just where I was emotionally when I wrote this tweet.

By the way, I’m pretty sure that rule is just made up.

WORDPLAY:

I write good raps.

REACTION:

This is just f#%king common sense.

WORDPLAY:

Read between the lines.

WISDOM:

The idea that everyone can just do what they love and make a living is pretty ridiculous. I think it’s possible for anyone to love what they do, finding meaning in the work they accomplish, but if everyone just followed their bliss wherever it led them, we’d be f#%ked as a society. There are plenty of necessary jobs that no one dreams of doing when they’re growing up. Things like vomit cleaners and pencil makers and baby seal clubbers. But we need these jobs done, and thank god someone is there to do them.

STUPID:

Confirmation bias is our well documented tendency to unconsciously seek out information that confirms our preexisting beliefs, while ignoring or discounting information that disconfirms them. I’ve mentioned it here on the blog several times, but it bears reexamining every so often because it’s so pernicious. This is a good joke, too.

WISDOM:

This is really a good tip for getting s#%t done. Try it.

WORDPLAY:

This is an obscure riff on the saying “good fences make good neighbors”. I’m pretty sure no one got it.

That concludes this episode of This Is Twittering: Meta-Commentary Digest.

This Is Twittering: Meta-Commentary Digest, Episode 79

I make jokes on Twitter. Then I blog about them. This is Twittering.

REACTION:

To be clear: you don’t only use 10% of your brain.

REACTION:

Just kidding. Don’t do what I do. Never do what I do.

WISDOM:

This is an interesting sentiment. It’s not that I (hypothetically) don’t want someone else to be happy; it’s that I don’t want someone else to be happy without me (hypothetically). I have no problem with other people being happy, as long as I’m happy too. The annoying part is when people are happy, but I’m not happy. And of course I mean this all hypothetically. It’s just a joke.

WORDPLAY:

How badass would that be?

WISDOM:

There’s no such thing as karma. Not good karma, anyway. Life isn’t fair. I try to be a good person, sure, because it’s the only way I know how to be. But I’m fooling myself by thinking I’ll get anything out of it.

WISDOM:

Trust me on this one.

WISDOM:

This is a very funny causation/correlation joke. Unfortunately, this tweet also causes autism.

WORDPLAY:

This was just a nice dumb little pun until I discovered that Dura is an actual real genus of moths! So it’s not only funny, but it’s also science!

STUPID:

I like this one because I like insulting people.

STUPID:

I like the idea of peeing to alleviate boredom.

REACTION:

This is just straight-up true.

STUPID:

I like this one.

STUPID:

This is a thing about broken clocks, but it’s also meant to recognize that assholes are right sometimes and nice people can be wrong. The truth is a mysterious thing with poor judgement as far as people go.

STUPID:

This is funny because there is no 88:88 o’clock, not even in military time.

WISDOM:

It really is for the best.

STUPID:

That’s a spicy meatball!

That concludes this episode of This Is Twittering: Meta-Commentary Digest.

This Is Twittering: Meta-Commentary Digest, Episode 78

It’s the return of This Is Twittering: Meta-Commentary Digest. To refresh your memory, this is where I “re-tweet” some of my tweets with additional commentary. Mostly it’s just an excuse to show you the hilarious jokes you might have missed on Twitter.

WISDOM:

Where’s everyone getting all these baskets? Where are all these chickens getting all these eggs?

WISDOM:

Ambition without talent is realty TV.

WISDOM:

Sometimes you will fake it until you die. Other times you’ll be elected President.

STUPID:

Don’t be mad just because a joke is too funny for you to get.

WISDOM:

Everybody needs a hobby.

REACTION:

Sick burn on mom and pops, yo.

REACTION:

I spend a lot of time thinking. And when you have to fill so much thinking time, it can get pretty weird in there. And by “in there”, I mean “in my brain”.

STUPID:

Sick burn on yous, yo.

WORDPLAY:

I’m not afraid to get controversial.

WISDOM:

I am afraid of saying something and then not living up to it. Because then I’ll look like an idiot. I hate looking like an idiot.

POPCORN:

No meta-commentary needed.

That concludes this episode of This Is Twittering: Meta-Commentary Digest.