MATADOR, TX- After years of consumer enjoyment of pumpkin spice lattes, marshmallows, teas, SPAM, cookies, ice cream, cereals, yogourt pretzels, regular pretzels, protein powder, dog treats, cream cheese, Oreos and body spray, the magical flavour of the prized autumn squash has finally arrived in your beef!
“Now that we’ve removed GMOs and antibiotics, our cattle have more than enough room to be injected full of seasonal pumpkin spice goodness so that your steaks and briskets are full of flavour right from the get go!” said all-American cowboy Avery Wilson.
Red meat lovers won’t have to scour the internet for recipes now that their hamburgers are ready-made with everyone’s favourite fall treat! Just slap some pumpkin pie mix on top of your patty and stick it between some pumpkin buns and every post-Labour Day weekend is a barbecue weekend again! (Use pumpkin spice barbecue sauce to complete the experience.)
And because no part of the steer is left unused, this now means pumpkin spice leather jackets and belts! Take the zest of pumpkins with you to work, school, funerals or your pending second-degree murder trial! The spice is everywhere, resistance is denied and you will conform!
It is time that I address something that has been bothering me for quite some time that I never really figured out how to share, so I hope this post does not go off track too much. I have stated in the past that I struggle with social anxiety disorder (amongst other things) and that I have extremely poor self-esteem and a lot of body image issues. I am not sure exactly when this started, but if I were to guess, I would have to say around the time I was four and in preschool, which is just a rough estimate as I know that is when I started biting my nails out of anxiety. (I finally stopped nail-biting in 2007.)
When I was growing up, I was on a lot of asthma medication that caused my weight to fluctuate dramatically. For instance, when I began the 5th grade I was a tall and skinny kid that even towered over the girls, but after being hospitalized for an asthma attack that year, I had ballooned by 13 kg from prednisone regiments and other steroids used to treat my symptoms. Back then, controller medications were not widely available so the only way I could survive was with a nebulizer treatment in the morning, two puffs of an albuterol rescue inhaler at the nurse’s office before lunch, and another nebulizer treatment before bed. More if there was an emergency.
This put enormous stress on my body, especially on my heart (I have had a heart murmur since birth), and made me even more sickly than I normally was. As a result, I was overweight, greyish in colour and could not participate in many of the activates I was previously involved with at school: I had played the flute in concert band but my asthma forced me to stop. I played basketball but had no choice but to quit as I could not breathe well enough to be competitive. And in a school where you were either “a jock or you were not” as it was said, this made me incredibly isolated and likely contributed to my difficulty handling social situations later on.
I want to say that this got better over time, but the years of bullying and name-calling that I had been subjected to in middle school made everything much worse once I arrived at St. Nard’s for high school. Before classes began, I spent that entire summer obsessively exercising and refusing food so that I could enter a new school with a new look and, in my mind, having little to fear. By the time I was a sophomore, I had developed anorexia and was running on fumes every single day. At most I may have had a cracker and a piece of cheese during the week, and only allowed myself to have part of a meal on weekends.
I had such a hard time making friends in school that I always thought it had something to do with my weight, the way I styled my hair, the tenor pitch of my speaking voice, or more that I was nervously trying to fix all at once, and all at the cost of my health. Adding into this, the car wreck that I was involved in and the subsequent diagnosis of PTSD, my nerves were in ruins and my health was deteriorating rapidly. At the time my senior portrait was taken, I weighed only 62.5 kg while being 1.9 meters tall. I was completely emaciated: my eyes looked bigger than normal as my skull was being exposed and I had no strength left in my body so that I could no longer lift weights or even move the couch.
And this did not stop here. By university, I started eating again but in massive amounts: I would eat junk food all day long, eating ready to bake cookies nightly and had a near daily lunch of Burger King by the time I was in my final college semester. By this point, I had again ballooned up to 95 kg and was a sickly grey in the last jazz ensemble pictures that were taken of me. And adding to my own internal monologue that incessantly berated me for being too fat, or for not being good enough as a musician, an artist, or even as a person, I ended up becoming the butt of every joke by a group of people on YouTube (circa 2008).
I was new to the internet, I had dial-up until 2007-08 and I was not aware of the unmitigated evil that is the YouTube comments section. In several of my videos where I could be seen playing the piano or bass, or just making uploads that today would be classified as vlogs, I was getting trolled by one or two users who escalated their attacks in private messages that came every few minutes in the middle of the night. I was called “tits boy,” “the Rack,” and other names poking fun at my weight. I was told that my voice “sounded like Barney if he was [sic] a queer” and that a turtle with a tampon up its arse would sound better than anything I was performing. The messages included several comments that I should be struck dead.
I was a young 20-something and I was stupid. I had never heard of trolling before so I engaged with these users who destroyed what little was left of my confidence until I deleted my channel and removed all of my pictures from the internet. I have since grown thicker skin, and am happy to say that I could care less for comments directed at me, but unfortunately this has also meant that I seldom take good comments to heart and the dark thoughts of my internal monologue returned, screaming at me that I was not good enough to be a musician, or was not cut out to be an artist or a writer. And then the thoughts would turn darker and I would strongly consider acting on the vile suggestions that utter nobodies online had given me.
By 2009, I had stopped regularly performing in public and in the few instances where I did take a gig, I vehemently refused to have any pictures or videos of me taken. I gradually lost the extra weight after graduation and arrived at my current size of 80.7 kg but I still felt heavy, and I still refused to be photographed by anyone outside of my immediate family. I was also uncontrollably nervous and the thought of playing before people, something that I did without issue for years before, was impossible for me.
I was having a nervous breakdown.
I had retired as a performer because the dark thoughts in the back of my mind had won. The seven and a half years of being the victim of stalking did nothing to help either. The only personal image I would use was an old headshot taken in late 2012, which is still on several of my stores at the time I am writing this, and I am not even smiling in it.
Looking at myself in the mirror, I saw only a shell that was coming apart at every conceivable seam. I refused to share or even take any personal images because I felt that I was too ugly, too fat, or too tweaked out from constant nervousness. I hated my body. I hated myself. I felt like Jack Nicholson in Batman (1989) after he becomes The Joker.
So, over the course of the summer I decided to start over. I got an entirely new professional and casual wardrobe filled with colours after wearing nothing but drab blues and browns for years. I sought professional help to guide me with my body image issues, and realized that I have body dysmorphia and I am working every day to build up my confidence in my own skin and to realize that I am perfectly comfortable being who I am.
I want to take this moment to announce my official return to the professional music and art worlds.
I am not sure how to end this post as it is late at night and I have had to relive so much in order to create this, but all I can say is thank you and I love you all. Be well, be safe, and I’ll see you soon.
D’ARCY, BC- The truth has at long last arrived! Earlier today, the mangled body of a Sasquatch was discovered along Duffey Lake Rd. some 225 km north of Vancouver. The legendary beast had apparently been struck by an 18-wheeler and was pummelled into the pavement as it attempted to cross the mountain road.
Though severely flattened, experts estimate that the Bigfoot would have stood at about 2.6 meters (over 8.5 feet) but weighed around a mere 226 kilograms (about 500 pounds) before the majority of its internal organs were flung into the trees and nearby river. This reduced bulk provides insight into how the creature was able to be so nimble as to avoid human contact and camera lenses for decades, and is dramatically lighter than most Bigfoot Experts had originally predicted.
“I don’t care about any of the science mumbo-jumbo,” said preeminent Bigfoot Researcher Russell “Dodo” McCloud. “The fact that I was right, that we were right, is all I need.” Mr. McCloud could not provide further comments as he was too busy shouting, drinking and jerking-off with joy to be bothered.
The science mumbo-jumbo has so far revealed that the body is, in fact, authentic and does not appear to be a misidentified bear or a dead guy in a gorilla suit. DNA testing will conclude the exact nature of this new species that has already been given the common name of North American Wood Ape.
WASHINGTON- Amidst a carnival-like atmosphere, ICE director Thomas Homan has recently announced that the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency would be officially joining forces with NAMBLA given the two groups' intensive interest in children, especially young boys.
“NAMBLA has agreed to assist us in the detention of immigrant boys, even going so far as to volunteer their time to guard, groom and prepare the children for deportation.” said Mr. Homan before a crowd of slimy looking men, strangely smiling from beneath their thin moustaches and thick-framed glasses, rubbing their hands together in anxious anticipation.
Several members of NAMBLA were immediately given official ICE agent status and rapidly deployed to the US-Mexico border to begin assisting with the detention and care of arrested migrant children as part of President Trump’s plan to terrorize minority populations and inter them indefinitely in concentration camps.
“This is a huge, throbbing step forward for America and for our great organization,” said NAMBLA member Jimmy A. Hooper, seemingly unable to contain himself. “With our newfound legitimacy, we can remove the age of consent and make America great again in the process!”
When asked if he knew what NAMBLA stood for, or what they represented, Thomas Homan shrugged and stated that so long as they were true patriots with Trump in their hearts, he could care less and that we would find ourselves in a labour camp if we continued to ask any more questions.
ZANESVILLE, OH- The school year may have just begun, but little five-year-old Thomas Whitney is already questioning the establishment and demanding realistic answers from the newfound adults in his life.
"I have to sit here for six hours a day or longer, and follow strict rules that serve nobody but those with the authority," said Thomas from beneath his dinosaur themed cap. "All this so I know my place in the adult world and never question the status quo. This is complete bullshit, why aren't we revolting?"
Dubbed "Little Lennon" by Mrs. Wallace, Thomas' new teacher, the boy has already made quite a name for himself as he talks about expanding free speech and more juice for the proletariat from atop the playground slide.
"His ideas are unbelievably well-crafted for such a youngster," says Mrs. Wallace. "I can certainly get behind a lot of what he's saying, although I think the children have missed the point, especially the one that only eats paste and bottle caps."
When asked if the boy wanted to be a politician when he grew up, Thomas responded that he already wanted to be a train conducting spaceman.