Saturday, February 27, 2016

One Punch Man Vs...

Part 1 here.
Part 2 here.

(The setting is in a field far from the Assassination school, where Saitama and Squirrel Girl are lazing around)

Saitama: There's no real reason for you being here.  Why'd you come?
Squirrel Girl: Are you kidding?  I'm interested in seeing what lousy excuse the teacher's gonna give for not exercising. (Throws peanuts in her mouth like they were popcorn)
Saitama: You never know.  He might've actually decided to try harder this time.
Squirrel Girl: Your unwavering optimism is admirable.
Saitama: I'm just glad you're not taking up resident in my apartment.  I've got too many freeloaders already.
(Looks in a general direction where a bright circle is unsuccessfully trying to camouflage itself)
Saitama: Get out behind that tree.  You're not fooling anyone.
(Koro-Sensei reluctantly moves closer to the field, looking more worried than usual)
Saitama: Well, you know the conditions.  Are you prepared?
Koro-Sensei: I think... I might've made a mistake in choosing your opponent.
Squirrel Girl: Hah!  I knew it!
Saitama: So, you skipped your homework again?  I can't say I'm not disappointed.
Koro-Sensei: I can't throw a punch to save my life!  And I really want to keep my life, you know.  I looked all over, trying to find someone else who'd be more of a match for you, but none came up.  Kenshiro... Jojo... Zaraki...Vegeta... Mr. Satan... they all declined for one reason or another...  Then I started looking further, and came across some hardcore supernatural fighters who might be in your weight class.

Koro-Sensei: So, you're the God of Fighting, huh?  And you're feeling kinda bored, looking for a good fight?
Beerus: That's right.
Koro-Sensei: Well, let me tell you...
Beerus: Nope.
Koro-Sensei: I haven't even started yet!
Beerus: You were going to offer me an opponent worthy of my attention.  Sorry, but I'm currently occupied in reigniting the popularity of a beloved franchise.  Besides, he's only the SECOND man I've dared glanced at that made me weak at the stomach and knees.
Koro-Sensei: The second??  Who was the first?
Beerus: I heavily advise against it.  You don't want to be anywhere near him.
Koro-Sensei: It's not for me, it's for... a friend!
Beerus: You must really hate your friend.
Koro-Sensei: Trust me, this guy's desperate for a fight that'll make him feel something.
Beerus: Well, if abject terror is what he's looking for, then he's right up your alley.  (Hands over card)  Here's his address, but I seriously recommend against it.  (Looks worried)  If he asks, don't use my name.

Koro-Sensei: After a short flight, it didn't take long to set up a meeting with the mystery man, and he certainly lived up to the hype.  I wore my trademark disguise and told him of a monster that'd been tearing up the populace, and he started convulsing with sadistic glee.  At this point, I was beginning to regret not taking Beerus' advice -
Saitama: Yeah, yeah.  That's nice and all, but I still don't see anybody here yet.  You talk too much.
Koro-Sensei: That's because in addition to being overwhelmingly powerful, he's somewhat of an eccentric.  He only agreed to come here if he could make a flashy appearance.  First, he had barbed wire wrapped all around his body... Then rubber tires were stacked, surrounding him... then rubber quick-drying cement was poured through the cracks... as he was encased in a 10-inch steel container.  Now, he's currently being dropped out of a high-flying airplane... without a parachute.  (Puts hand above eyes to protect glare) In fact, I think that's him coming down now.
(Upon plummet, said 10-inch steel container is twisting around, devouring itself from the inside)
Squirrel Girl: You got the Tasmanian Devil?
Koro-Sensei: I WISH.  If Bugs Bunny could handle him, ANYBODY could handle him.  However, I don't think anybody can handle this guy...
(Upon impact, the container bursts into pieces, and a silhouette shredding the barbed wire like toilet paper)
(An intimidating figure comes out of the wreckage, radiating an aura so intense it warps the background)

(Squirrel Girl reaches into her pocket to find a card that suddenly appeared in her inventory)

Deadpool's card guide to Super Villains: Yujiro Hanma - Father of "Grappler" Baki Hanma
  • If you're ever feeling tempted to fight this guy, don't.  (That means YOU, Squirrel Girl)
  • This is not an instance of reverse-psychology.  Only go up against him if you want to experience having your fighting pride emasculated and made fun of.
  • And this is coming from someone who teases The Hulk on a regular basis.
  • This is a man who devotes every second of every day totally focused on fighting.
  • He lives for nothing more than finding worthy opponents he can crush underneath his heel.
  • Black Belt Martial artists have broken their bones just from hitting him in the face.
  • TaskMaster tried to mimic Yujiro's punching power, and wound up fracturing his arm in three different places.
  • In addition, he's extremely egotistical, and refuses to be chauffeured around by anyone of lower status than the President of the United States.

Squirrel Girl:  You're in luck!  This guy looks pretty tough!  He inspired the character Akuma from Street Fighter.
Yujiro: Akuma??  Pfft.  They had to really nerf him down to make him remotely beatable.  Even Shin Cyber-Akuma is nowhere near my level.
Saitama: I've never been able to beat that guy.  I'm always amazed when seeing someone win against him.
Yujiro: So, I heard that there was a magnificent monster found lurching among this mountaintop.  (Leans and smiles right in front of Koro-Sensei's face)  Anybody seen it?!?
(Koro-Sensei's eyes are unfocused, darting everywhere, some tentacles pointing towards himself, some towards Squirrel Girl, some at Saitama, some at Yujiro)
Yujiro: The spokesman had a round head with a nose that kept falling off.  It couldn't possibly be this octopus-like creature could it?  Talk about slow.  I can't believe a whole country is held hostage by such a weakling who couldn't punch its way out of a paper bag!  (Takes a bite out of a broken-off Koro-Sensei tentacle)
Koro-Sensei: (Looks at his cleanly-broken-off stump)  When did you-?
Yujiro: Yuck!  You taste awful!!  Ptoo!!
Saitama: Yeah, you have to boil his limbs a long time to kill the taste.
Yujiro: (Ignoring Saitama)  So, what's this??  You're trying to teach children how to kill??  How cute.  This country's certainly gone to the dogs if they're reduced to using weapons instead of their bare hands.
Koro-Sensei: (Standing up for himself and his students) Hey, don't insult -
Yujiro: A REAL man settles all their accounts with their fists!  People who devised rocks as tools depended on them... then hammers... axes... spears... blades... bows and arrows... guns... cannons... bombs... the further they developed these extensions of themselves... the further they deviated away from their true power.  Tools are short-cuts that have allowed man to forget the inner strength they hold.

Saitama: And you have that kind of long-lost strength?
Yujiro: Precisely!  That's because I follow a strict regime that I never deviate from:

Yujiro: Of course, that's only appropriate for a macho prodigy like me.  If some random schlub attempted to do even one-tenth of what I've mastered over the years, they would be overwhelmed by the pain, because chances are, they'd be doing it wrong.  Anybody who'd stick to that schedule would be an idiot of monumental proportions.
(Saitama embarrassingly averts his gaze)
Yujiro: I couldn't even fathom what such an exercise would do to a human body.  In my case, I trained so hard, my hair turned blood red.
(Saitama looks even more embarrassed and despondent)
Squirrel Girl: Waitaminute. (does mental math) That's the distance of two-and-a-half marathons a day!  That's physically impossible.
Yujiro: For normal peons, sure.  But there's a trick to it.  Are you aware of how computer monitors are able to save energy?
Squirrel Girl: Uh?  Well, there's screensavers, and ever-advancing cheaper microchips, right?
Yujiro: Sure, but there's more to it.  Back when Steve Jobs was figuring out how to lower costs... for the Apple II... by eliminating noisy fans... Rod Holt found out energy could be saved... by having the screen flicker... multiple times... in a fraction of a second... faster than the human eye could conceive.  By that very same principle... just as computer monitors use rapid blinking to save on power... I exert my body... to move my legs constantly... in a fraction of a second... to the point where they're always moving... while seemingly standing perfectly still.
Squirrel Girl: That's a very weirdly specific way to reveal obscure trivia.  And I don't think exercise works that way.
Yujiro: Shows what you know.  While scouring the globe looking for ever-stronger opponents... and legendary creatures... I spend my free time by going all Rambo in war zones... barehanded... Breaking into heavily guarded panic rooms... Threatening the heads of state... Gatecrashing Underground Tournaments... and the Olympics... Breaking Guinness world records... In my spare time... I attempt Chuck Norris memes.  It's SO great being all-powerful.  I don't see how anybody could ever get bored.

Saitama: You still haven't found anybody worth sparring, right?
Yujiro: Is it that obvious?  Let me tell you - picking a fight with me is the equivalent of declaring war on a Nuclear Country.  For some reason, everybody's too scared to make the first move, so I have to keep provoking them until I get a reaction... which doesn't last long after my first hit.

Yujiro: What's with that cheap-ass costume you're wearing, anyways?  You look like you've wandered off from a crowd-pleasing carnival play.
Squirrel Girl: Not to disparage you, but he's a Super Hero, and so am I.
Yujiro: (Disappointed sigh)  A Superhero?  You're little more than glorified wrestlers with Soap Opera elements.  Sure, you may want to engage in national emergencies in the real world to feel relevant, but for the most part, you're more interested in beating up other people in costumes than anything else.  Admit it - if I dressed up in fancy garbs, you wouldn't think twice of going up against me.
Saitama: I'd still want to hit you, even if you weren't.
Yujiro: Now, if I were ever given a Hero title, it would be along the lines of Captain General Admiral Commander CurbStomp, given how easily I crush my foes.
Saitama: That's a little long-winded isn't it?
Yujiro: Something catchier then?  Okay, since I enjoy using my limbs so much, you could call me One-Kick Man.
Saitama: That sounds... almost, but not quite right for some reason I can't quite pin down.
Yujiro: You don't seem convinced of my physical superiority, so I'll prove it to you.  I want you to punch me as hard as you can.
Squirrel Girl: Uh... do you know who you're talking to???
Yujiro: Yeah.  Some average guy.
Saitama: (Shrugs)  Alright, if you insist...  (Winds up arm)
Yujiro: No, NO, NO!  Don't you even know how to throw a punch?!  Here, let me show you.


Yujiro: (Grabs Saitama's hand) Just bunch your fingers into a fist (thumb outside last), then tuck your arm backwards to gather up all your strength, so you can lurch your momentum forwards into one piercing blow that'll blow away your opponent with one shot!

Squirrel Girl: Um... I think he already knows more than enough about punching...
Yujiro: This won't do at all.  Your form's too amateurish.  We're going to have to amp up your game to get any decent damage.  (Points to Koro-Sensei)  YOU.  Come here.
(Koro-Sensei nervously obliges)
Yujiro: You can move pretty fast, can't you?  I want you to carry this man around the stratosphere several times.  When you return via re-entry, you should be burning enough centrifugal force to rend flesh and bone.  But that's not enough - you should also be spinning counter-clockwise for maximum damage.
(Yujiro digs a small circle in the grassy ground around his feet)
Yujiro: By the time you land from orbit back at this very spot, you'll have gained enough Mach speed to MAYBE present enough of a challenge against me.
Koro-Sensei: And what if I refuse to comply with your demand?
Yujiro: Then I'll hunt you down to the ends of the Earth.
(Koro-Sensei attempts to run away, but Yujiro keeps getting in front of him)
Yujiro: Forget it.  Even if you move to another continent, I'll just cut the Earth in half, and throw that half into the sun.  Then I'll move onto the next half, until there's no more halves to hide from.
Koro-Sensei: You - you're bluffing!
Yujiro: Am I?  I'd sooner destroy the Earth with my bare hands before you do it yourself.  You're talking to someone who stopped an Earthquake just by punching the ground.

Koro-Sensei: (Turns to Saitama)  I'm sorry, but it looks like we'll have to team up in order for him to fight you.
Saitama: I don't know what I was expecting, but it certainly wasn't this.
(The two of them zoom off into the atmosphere)
Yujiro: And now, we play the waiting game.
Squirrel Girl: (Tiptoes up behind Yujiro) You may act all aggressive, but I know your type.  You're a macho macho man.  You guys were very popular in the 90's, posturing around with your heavy guns and grimacing faces.
Yujiro: This isn't a grimace - this is a SMILE.  A welcoming smile to intimidate opponents and reassure small children.

Squirrel Girl: If that's a smile, I'd hate to see your frown.  While we're waiting for them to come back, how about you spar with me?
Yujiro: Sorry, I don't fight women.  They're too soft and fleshy, and not worth my time.

Squirrel Girl: Oh, NOW you're just asking for it!  (Thinks) "Sorry Deadpool, but I can't take that remark lying down."
(Squirrel Girl attempts several punches and kicks upon Yujiro's person, who barely notices)
Squirrel Girl: Okay, time to amp my game up!  (Chitters, summoning thousands of squirrels from all over)
Yujiro: (Notices the ground covered with furry little creatures) I usually fight animals more than twice my size.  Handling smaller creatures is beneath my notice.  But I'll play along.
(Inhales deeply) (Screams a high pitched yell that has all the nearby squirrels scrambling wildly) (Only a few dozen brave squirrels are still remaining)
Yujiro: That was the mating call of the dreaded cannibal squirrel-eater - a squirrel that eats other squirrels.
Squirrel Girl: (Visibly shaken, but still standing) No - no problem.  I can still manage with a handicap!
Yujiro: If you're still going against me, you'd better take these.  (Hands over a bunch of dangerous-looking weapons)
Squirrel Girl: What was all that tirade you went on about not depending on weapons for tools?  And where were you hiding all these?
Yujiro: (Looking away) That octopus teacher is more scared of me than I thought.  He's been throwing dozens of various objects my way at my blind spots in the vain hope that he might catch me off guard.  So far, all I'm getting is my hands loaded with dead weight.  Careful with that - that's an unexploded grenade.
(Squirrel Girl's eyes bulge out) (A squirrel hands over a piece of wire for Squirrel Girl to defuse the bomb)
(When Squirrel Girl looks up, she's surprised to see Yujiro carrying a cruise missile with the rocket engine still running)
Yujiro: Hmpf.  He's getting desperate.  (Scratches the words "STOP STALLING" on the missile's side and throws it heavenwards where it's intercepted by Koro-Sensei's flight path)

Saitama: (Reads the rocket message) Better do what he says.  I've been trying to tell you not to bother, and leave him to me.
Koro-Sensei: But that guy scares me more than you can possibly imagine!
Saitama: Rather than focus on him, you should've focused on fighting me.
Koro-Sensei: You mean after this, you still want to fight me???
Saitama: If you'd spent as much time avoiding your homework as you did on doing your homework...
Koro-Sensei: Don't lecture me about responsibility!

Yujiro: (Looks up) Hmmm!  He's doing better than I thought!  (Raises his arms and flexes until his shirt rips, exposing his bare chest)
(Squirrel Girl's Deadpool card beeps with new information)
  • When he contorts the face of the demon on his back, that's when he's getting serious!  RUN AWAY.

(Saitama is entering the atmosphere with incredible velocity, catching fire, while still retaining his composure, looking slightly bored)
(Koro-Sensei is looking utterly terrified)
(Yujiro is still smiling maniacally, standing still on the field)
(The impact creates a fountain of dirt and dust spreading everywhere)

Report account of events from Squirrel Girl later:

Squirrel Girl: How would I describe Yujiro Hanma?  Well... how do I put it?  He's a cheater.  There's really no other way to describe him, really.  No, I'm not going to stay silent!  Don't act so nervous!  You're going to hear what I have to say, whether you like it or not!
Interviewer:  (Resignedly) It's your funeral...
Squirrel Girl: When the octopus teacher with Saitama clashed with the Rictus Grin fighter, there was a massive burst, as if somebody set off a dozen charges of explosives underneath for dramatic effect.  On first sight, it looked like both parties disintegrated upon impact.  But the reality of what actually happened was stupider than you'd think.

(Squirrel Girl is carrying several squirrels who are fanning away the excessive dust with their tails)
Squirrel Girl: Okay, anybody still moving?  I know that explosion didn't hurt anybody.
(The dust clears to reveal Koro-Saitama with his fist buried in the Earth, while Yujiro stands several meters away)

Squirrel Girl: What are you doing all the way over there?  I thought you weren't going to move from that spot?
Yujiro: That's what I said. And I didn't - the Earth moved.
(Sees the patch of land Yujiro dug around with his foot)
Squirrel Girl: You kicked your spot away with your heel before Saitama landed?!  That's cheating!
Yujiro: Don't be such a sore loser.  And besides, you've read the situation wrong.  Before impact, I countered by striking a jab, while ALSO making a roundhouse blow.  But even countering that excessive force wasn't enough to keep the unsturdy patch of land firmly rooted to this spot.
Squirrel Girl: In other words, you hit them before they hit you.
Yujiro: Considering how fast they were going, it's a wonder I wasn't blown away further.

(Koro-Saitama pulls his arm out of the crater)
Yujiro: Well, now that we're all done getting warming up, let's move on to the main event.
(Yujiro rushes into Koro-Saitama's zone, executing and trading multiple blows that are easily parried and shrugged off)
Yujiro: Weak.  So weak.  It's amazing how unbelievably WEAK you are.
Squirrel Girl: (Looking puzzled)  I was evenly matched against Saitama while wearing the Koro-suit.  And Yujiro's keeping pace?  Something's not right here.
Yujiro: (turns to Squirrel Girl while still in the volley of trading punches, kicks and feints)  You seem to be misunderstanding something.  It's not that his punches have become stronger.  (Grabs hold of Koro-Sensi's head)  It's that this damned octopus is getting in the way!
Koro-Sensei: I am?
Yujiro: Rather than amplifying your techniques, you're actually Restraining Saitama's strength.  He's worried that if he tries any harder, he'll wind up unintentionally hurting you.
Koro-Sensei: Well, that's rather kind of -
Yujiro: As I said before, WEAK.  A REAL man wouldn't be concerned with surrounding himself with burdensome tools.  (Squeezes Koro-Sensei's head)  If you really want to help out, stand aside, and let this matter be settled between two men.
Koro-Sensei: Gladly!!  (Slips out of Yujiro's hand the instant he relaxes his grip)  Go ahead!  Fight to your heart's content!

Yujiro: (Smirks and raises his arms) Now that all annoying restraints have gotten out of the way, we can finally start fighting seriously!
Saitama: Sure, as soon as you start fighting seriously yourself.
Yujiro: Are you implying I've been holding myself back this whole time?
Saitama: I wouldn't be surprised, considering how mundane your previous opponents must've been.
Yujiro: (Snarling) Coming from anybody else, that'd be an insult.  Honestly, you're not as much fun as I'd hoped you'd be.  You're barely responsive!
Saitama: Yeah, I've been let down so many times from guys who claimed they were the strongest, and then turned out to be total crybabies.  You're not going to run away, are you?
Yujiro: I'm no battle junkie!  I can quit fighting anytime I want to!  I just don't want to.
(Yujiro launches an air-shattering punch which Saitama casually catches)
Saitama: You threw a punch.  That means -
(Yujiro follows up with a kick, using Saitama's clutch on his fist as leverage)
Saitama: (Looks unaffected) I wasn't finished -
Yujiro: (Continuing landing blows) The fight has now officially started!  No backing off now!
(Saitama throws a punch, which misses Yujiro, destroying the mountaintop in the process)
Yujiro: Not bad, but I could do better!  (Plunges his arm in a nearby stream, sending waves that ripple along the path, until they burst out throughout the mountaintop, showering the region in dirt)  Let's see you beat that!!
Saitama: Quit it.  The Earth isn't your opponent, I am.
Yujiro: (Pulls on the grass like it was a carpet, flipping Saitama upside down) Collateral Damage!
(Yujiro rushes in, attacking Saitama's backside, which is being blocked from behind)
Yujiro: For a self-taught fighter who's never been in a dirty fight, you're doing quite well!
Saitama: Thank you, that's quite the compliment.
Yujiro: (Spins upside down) But if it were me, I'd use every advantage at my disposal, like this!  (Kicks Saitama to the ground)
(Saitama recovers instantly, punching Yujiro's midair position... who just deftly lands on Saitama's fist)
Yujiro: Yeah, yeah, yeah.  You're STILL holding back!  (Kick's Saitama's face to no effect)  Don't insult me by taking it easy on me!
Saitama: And I'm saying I haven't started fighting yet!

Koro-Sensei: (Yelling) You guys are both nuts!!
(The two of them pause briefly to look at Koro-Sensei)
Koro-Sensei: It's so easy for you to destroy something.  Creating something of worth is much harder.  Anybody can take a sledgehammer to their ideals.  The real masters are those who chisel their way into submission.  Sure, it'd take much longer to create a masterpiece in the process, but at least you'd have the sense of accomplishing something that'd test the strands of time.
Saitama: Well, that's that.  You win.
Koro-Sensei: What?   Really??? Just like that???
Saitama: I'd never be able to say something that poignant today.
Koro-Sensei: If I'd known I could've stopped you with simple philosophy, I would've talked long ago.
Saitama: Wouldn't matter.  You still talk too much.  So, are you still going to destroy the Earth?
Koro-Sensei: That depends on whether Yujiro'll do that first.
Saitama: Don't worry.  He's not gonna hunt down somebody he just admitted was too weak for his taste.
Koro-Sensei: What about you?
Saitama: He's strong, but I have no real reason to fight him.
(The two of them walk off, leaving Yujiro standing all alone, looking perplexed)

Yujiro: Is he kidding?  Does he think destroying the human body with your bare hands is EASY??  Do you have any idea how long it took me to be able to effortlessly curb-stomp anyone into submission? (Turns to Squirrel Girl) I'm gonna relieve my stress by taking it out on you!
Squirrel Girl: Sorry, but I don't like the idea of being sloppy seconds.  You can tell everybody that you fought against the Unbeatable Squirrel Girl to a draw.  Nobody would ever have to know the truth.
Yujiro: But *I* would know that!!!
Squirrel Girl: Tough nuts.
Yujiro: Well, who's going to suffer my wrath then?!
Squirrel Girl: (Looks at her watch) Just wait five more seconds.
Yujiro: Five...?
(An explosion of dirt erupts nearby, sending dirt and trees flying everywhere)
(Within the debris arises a bulky pale creature with tightly stitched seams all over its body, atop a crimson curved head)
Muscularly Bulky Creature: For too long, my brethren have been mercilessly pounded upon without remorse!  I am Punching Bag Man!  But now, I'll exact righteous vengeance upon the foolish creatures that've relentlessly pounded upon my people!  And it's all thanks to this foolish squirrel who chewed away the seals surrounding my prison!
Yujiro: (Stares with bloodlust in his eyes) YOU'LL DO.
(Squirrel Girl casually watches the ensuing carnage while eating peanuts like popcorn)

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Putting my Knee Down

I almost didn't contribute a Weird Romance this year.  I'd been otherwise preoccupied with other things that'd been distracting me; the least of which was that I noticed that I was having trouble walking.  Lately, I would attempt to go up stairs, or crawl around, and feel a lingering pain beneath the waist.

Then I noticed that my knee was bloated and swelling on one side.

It didn't take too long to figure out the cause of this symptom.  Normally, when I switch positions while sitting on the computer, I'll opt to sitting on my knees for extra pressure, since I enjoy the feel of heavy G's on my person.  Unpredictable light touches make me nervous, but direct heavy force calms me.  I've always carried a heavy backpack since my school days, since I feel comfortable knowing that I've got everything I need in there.  (It also makes it easier to lean my arms against a thick spine of books while riding the bus)

However, one thing that religiously devout people don't mention about being on your knees all the time is that it builds up callouses, just like any other part of your body.  I was utterly surprised to find out that other people didn't normally develop white crusty blisters on their elbows and knees.  I thought it was a naturally occurring symptom.
Not mine, but a medical representation.
Mine also had two smaller calluses below the knee where I rested my legs.
I've been so used to being on my knees while on the computer that I didn't even notice that my knees were developing pus-filled burst blood vessels until it became too painful to ignore.  I tried to relieve it with some leftover cream, but it'd apparently passed its expiration date some years ago, since it wasn't working.  Obviously, this condition wouldn't be easily cured overnight, which meant a visit to the walk-in clinic, but I'd have to wait the next day, after making an overnight appointment beforehand.
My general philosophy of "Maybe if I ignore it, it'll go away"
wasn't proving to work out after the second day.
The worst part was having to tell the clinic people that I'm Deaf and have Aspergers, to the receptionist, then to the nurse (who I always mistake for the doctor) and again for the doctor himself, since it's been ages since I last went, and they'd forgotten they had my file on record.  Also not an easy concept to manage for someone with social anxiety.  Fortunately, having somebody else to fill in the details of how to speak to me helped.
I can't understand how anybody can get used to asking the same questions
multiple times a day.
When the doctor showed up, the Nurse gave him the heads-up on my condition, but failed to pass on the necessary information on how to properly talk to me, so upon finding out I was Deaf, he talked to me in a shouting haltingly manner, which I told him wasn't necessary.  (Normal speech in a clear concise manner is enough)  His previous contact with Deaf clients were mainly elderly people who refused to acknowledge or admit that their hearing was going, so he didn't have much experience under his belt.  I was the first Deaf person below retirement age he'd ever seen.

The doctor gave a prescription, and a warning to stop sitting on my knees for the time being.  While it sounds obvious, it's not very easy for someone so ingrained with certain habits to break them, despite all evidence to the contrary that these actions are hazardous to your health.

I thought I'd have to reorganize my current writing space, so that I could work standing up by leaning up against a long flat surface (somewhat like against the back edge of a filing cabinet), since it'd save the effort of having to buy a new piece of space-wasting furniture, and it'd be easier than having to use one of the newfangled "standing stations" that revolutionize office work.  But then it was decided I needed a chair that didn't restrain my legs from spreading wide enough.  (Preferably one with elevated armrests)
I take a weirdly morbid sense of pride in my calluses.
Currently, the swelling's gone down, and the pain's been relieved, but there's still a worrying red spot that hasn't gone away.  And chances are it won't take long for me to fall back onto my old patterns, despite repeat proclamations of the risk and dangers I'm putting my body under.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Weird Romance Sequel

A quick follow-up to last year's post between Linus and Lydia.

Since then, there's been several more Fantagraphics Peanuts collections, and they're currently catching up to the less-than-stellar declining years.  Lydia doesn't show up at all in 1989, but makes a brief comeback in 1990.

My personal colour copy, just for completeness.

I've only got scans from the library copies up to 1994, so there's not much past that date, since they're constantly taken out when I come, and I haven't bothered to reserve them.

The only (and best part) continuing storyline is where Lydia drops unsubtle hints on wanting a music box for a present.

Obviously, Lydia is quite a material girl, seeking status through possessions.

I may not have any extra Peanuts books, but by sheer chance, I happened upon a rare Lydia strip while browsing my collection of international newspaper comics in Ontario, and came across this beauty.

There's just no pleasing some people.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

The Hamsters in the Walls

It was another normal night at the Newman household, when a seemingly benign proposal was made.

After much pleading and convincing, the Newman children eventually received an advance on their inheritance.

The kids were thrilled to have a new pet to play with, until they were suddenly faced with the harsh truth of reality.

Concessions were made, and the siblings enjoyed their adequate replacements, but couldn't help but immediately fall into barbed rivalry.

No sooner were their acquisitions acquired did the children lose their property again, and then deflected all blame onto the absent party. 
 Search parties looking for the missing pets were met with unfavorable results.
Further examination of the bodies revealed that they were decoys designed to throw the trackers off track, and were unhelpfully deployed by so-called benefactors wanting to be useful.

Empty mass graves were erected to placate the emotions of the grieving party, and to commemorate those who had died for so little.
With so much unwelcome failures, the head of the Newman household authoritatively decided to put a stop to the unproductive results of supply and demand.
With no more troublesome pets running around, the heads of the Newman household figured their troubles were over, but their days of terror had just begun.
The restless hamsters in the walls were implacable, and would not cease to rest until the dawn of the new morn.
Outside parties loathed the long-standing household for bringing back painful memories regarding flesh-searing pain.
Hours and minutes, days and nights began to blur together with no variation or indication of how much time had progressed between periods of awareness.
Restless nights without relief inevitably brought increasing methods of desperation, driving the home owner to previously unknown levels of insanity.
Knowing that there were hamsters in the walls was unbearable, but not knowing how long they would remain there was worse.
Attempts and traps were made to lure the animals out of hiding, only to have the elusive rodents relocate to another floor.
The horror was only multiplied when it was slowly revealed that the hamsters in the walls were reproducing as well, and the household owners were held responsible.
Unending days of burrowing sounds were temporarily relieved when the ceaseless noises abruptly... stopped.
With much reluctance, it was decided the internal conflict could be avoided no longer, and an abrupt hasty excavation was deemed necessary to relieve the unbearable tension.
After much exploration within the unusually vast caverns, eventually, an opening was found which reluctantly revealed the source of the maddening scratching.
The lasting impressions and traumatic experiences of the sole survivor hunched over countless bodies relayed a story that would be considered unbelievable.
EDIT - if you thought this was the end of this little escapade, there's still a brief epilogue of things yet to come...