Laugh or Cry?

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Like most of you I grew up as the weird one in any group. Which is weird, as this blog seems to attract a lot of those who never fit very well elsewhere.

Now, not fitting in is not necessarily wrong. I’m not one of those people who think that most human beings live lives of quiet desperation. I’ve grown up around a lot of “normal” people, and though they bitch as much as the rest of us (nosotros from the Spanish is such a useful word. Oh, you’re served notice, I don’t think I took my Adderal. I was talking to someone while taking pills, and I think I forgot it, but I don’t know (yes, marked pill box) so my thoughts tend to dig in like matryoshka dolls.) Nosotros would be a great name for a blog shared by the regulars here.) most people are pretty content with their lives. Because those who aren’t fight to build something different, and most people don’t.  I think what Thoreau meant by that was that most people didn’t experience the ecstatic joy of an infant on the mother’s breast, which is what I think he equated with happiness. That’s fine. Most of us — I think — don’t really want that, either.

However a substantial portion of us were rejected before we had the tools to analyze what was causing it. Hell, most of us still don’t know what caused it. Our first experience of a large group of kids, we just found out they didn’t want much to do with us.  I know that was the case with me, though eventually I used my imagination and extensive reading and basically invented LARPing, which made me very popular second through fourth grade in our tiny little school. Then I went to the larger school, and found out I was rejected and couldn’t convince them to spend their time off LARPing whatever I’d just read. Those two years, 5th and 6th grade were the hardest, mostly because I was totally isolated. I spent my days walking around the playground, trying to balance on a ledge, or reading books.  By the time I entered seventh grade, well…. people didn’t play, which is perhaps the phase at which we more resemble the monkey band. And I found a group of weirdos to talk to and was eventually (because the school had no clue what to do with us) shunted to a form made up of all the forms where people had been the best students in their form the year before. Which was great eighth and ninth grade. And then I chose liberal arts (long story. It wasn’t exactly chose/chose.) Most of my form went into sciences (most of them are now doctors, with a few biologists thrown in) and  there were only three of us in liberal arts, which means we couldn’t be a form as such, and so I was thrown in the middle of the normies again. And rejected again, as 10th and 11th grade was all about clothes and makeup. For various reasons (eh. I could tell you, but it’s a box I really don’t want to open) I didn’t dress the way it was expected, and didn’t really wear makeup except on weekends. And my dating was non-existent (Though I had a crush on this guy and wrote him 200 and some sonnets between 14 and 18. Stop me when this sounds familiar to many of you.  And no, we’d never have suited, and dear Lord, if I’d known how to gain his attention and had got it, we’d have made each other extravagantly miserable.)

And btw, I’m not implying not fitting in was a matter of being smarter than the rest. In a way, sideways, I probably was but I’m impaired in various ways that made showing that intelligence a struggle. One was ADHD and to until I got medicated recently, I had NO idea how much of a foot-in-a-cement bucket that was, doing anything from studying to writing.  Another is that I’m morally sure I had my younger son’s sensory impairment.  Not diagnosable, at the time, natch, but I had trouble writing on a line till almost eighteen, couldn’t color between the lines, and the slightest sound at the back of the class sounded as loud as the teacher’s. (I suspect in fact that that sensory impairment has affected almost everyone who became a carpenter or a mechanic in my family line because “they’re no good at school.”  It often correlates with what I call “the engineer brain” in the family.) And, more importantly I lived too much inside my own head, and read too much (yes, it was harder than for the normal kids whose eyes worked together, but I pushed, and therewere psychological reasons for that, never mind.)  So the smart might not even have come through.

And we know little kids reject other kids for all sorts of reasons: being outsize (which I was. Not fat. Till about 28 I had times of being too skinny more than times of being fat. But I was very tall. Enough that in the big school in the city, in the early grades, people assumed I’d been held back more than once because I stuck out too much)  dressing funny (mom liked making me clothes. They were lovely clothes just not… what you expected.) speaking funny, either in terms of voice or vocabulary (I talked like I’d swallowed a dictionary.)

As I said, kids and their playgroups are the closest we get to the ape band. By the time I was 7 or 8 I was aware that I was not only the pink dyed monkey, which might be excusable (since kids don’t kill those who don’t fit in, mostly because adults don’t let them) but I was the yellow monkey with big pink pokadots.

Yes, the “gifted” classes in two formative grades helped. I knew there were other weirdos out there, who didn’t fit in nowhere nohow.

BUT fundamentally? You see, the problem is that at the center of it, ape bands want everyone to fit in and nosotros (lit. We Others) get the sharp end of social and sometimes physical stick because we don’t. And we can’t, at some fundamental level. (I find it interesting most of my friends have WAY more Neanderthal than the average human being, btw.)

However, the most dangerous thing is that all of us want to have a band. We need a band. It’s part of being built on an ape frame. (I have an SUV built on a truck frame. It rides harder than those of the same size — and larger — built on a car frame.  My SUV is not a truck, but it has parts.  In the same way, we’re not quite apes. (Oh, we are philologically, but that’s not the point) but we have parts.)

This is a big existential thing, a brokenness inside our emotional selves, that can’t really be assuaged. It lasts our whole lives.

I’ve been lucky to find groups I fit into, these days a lot of them virtual, and to have married someone who is similarly broken, so “You’ll never walk alone” and to have found my profession (such as it is) among other people who ROUGHLY (if not precisely) match me.  Among a band of purple striped monkeys, the pink pokadots pass unnoticed, right?

And immigrating probably helped too, because though that’s not the cause, a lot of people assume the weirdness is because of that and discount it.

However, relating to others and belonging is a struggle most of us will have, all our lives, world without end. We both want it and tend to suffer when we try it.

Which brings us to when I was about 15 and had to face “laugh or cry?”  Though it is, more appropriately “love or hate” but …. not in a way that’s immediately obvious.

I had by then come to terms with my issue with groups, just not the why of it (as evidenced above, I still struggle with the why and “because that’s how humans are” is a great answer, but doesn’t help.)

I.e. I knew I’d never fit in with most groups and frankly I didn’t want to. What normal people thought and did was somewhere between infuriating and puzzling. I  didn’t want to be them. I just wanted to belong the necessary amount not to go insane and I had a small group of friends, so that was okay. But I still had to rub elbows with everyone else, physically and metaphorically to make my way through life.

Which is where the choice came in “laugh or cry?”  I honestly I think I made it subconsciously, because I tend to laugh at everything that annoys me. It’s a coping mechanism. But also because I could usually with thought figure out why people were acting the way they were and, look, humans are ridiculous.

But at the same time I saw a lot of nosotros (those I’d been in a form with) make different choices.  Some, the ones who could completely understand the “normal” people, learned to pass. I suspect most of them today don’t clearly remember not fitting in.  (My dad is to some extent like that.)

Those who didn’t, bifurcated.  None of us could take being immersed exclusively in a “normal” group. All of us still needed friends. Well, I had some. Usually no more than three.

But those groups, and the individuals can develop a self-defeating mechanic. We’ll call it the “cry” strategy. Though it’s really the “hate” strategy.  You hate all those “normal” people who fit in without struggle and never have to think about it. And you cry over your status as outsider.

A lot of people go on from that to become collectivists and authoritarians. They want a “teacher”, a government who will make others play nice with them. And failing that, or those who realize they can’t have that, they hate humans and want them killed in batch lots.  This is where you get the Bernie bros extolling the beauties of the Gulag.

The problem with that strategy is that at the heart of it, deep inside, you come to hate yourself. Because some part of you knows your foibles and impulses are just as irrational if different from those monkeys out there.  And also the hurt because they rejected you and forced you to hate them remains. (You find a lot of these people making comments against hate in general while hating practically everyone. Because, you know, at the heart of it what they’re saying is “don’t hate me. Why do you hate me? What have I done to deserve this?) And then they hate themselves for being hateful, though they’d never admit it.

OR those individuals or groups (it’s harder but not impossible for groups) learn to laugh.  What, all your classmates in this rigorous, difficult language program are obsessed with dressing up and wearing makeup and maybe snagging some wealthy ambassador? Well, that’s funny, isn’t it? Using not inconsiderable intellectual power in the service of a Mrs. degree.  And then other things become funny: the makeup they like. Or how silly fashion is or the mean girls games they can’t help playing. (And you know, I went to an all girls’ school from 7th to 11th grade.)

You don’t laugh at them in a mean fashion, you laugh because you see the mechanisms and they’re so absurd.

And eventually you find you love these apes. Because it is human to love that which amuses you.

You still don’t want to be subjected to their authority or their political “bright” ideas, but if you choose to laugh you’re likely to be able to forgive them (and you) their strange (and your strange) foibles.

None of us are ideal. This is harder on the pink polka dot ( Polka will never die!) monkeys (Yes, I do know we’re achually apes, but monkeys is funnier), than on the rest of us, but even “normal” people aren’t as they’d wish to be, and they have their own struggles.

Laughing will get you through the hard times without hatred.  And might make you more likely to love Liberty.

Which is why as sons hit that age when all they did as complain about their “stupid” classmates, I taught them to laugh instead.

The good thing is that you can always make the choice. The bad thing is that you’ll sometimes relapse into the cry/hate mode. It happens to me, and I have to redirect.

But laugh is healthier than crying.

And what if those others who chose crying/hate put us all in the Gulags?

Well, I don’t think it’s that easy, or that simple. This is not a novel (one of the downsides of our people is that they for good and ill consume more “story” than anyone else, which means internally we expect things to work like in a novel or a movie.) and I think if we are yoten upon, the yeeting will get…. sportive.

But sure, it could happen. At least in certain places.

And then what you have to ask yourself is: Do you want to die laughing or crying?

Because laughing, and seeing humans as funny (even if the humor is very dark sometimes) might even have your survival. Because it gives you hope, rather than paint everyone and everything else in dark colors that mean they or you must die, and life isn’t worth living, anyway.

We do know those who survived horrible things throughout history and went on to live productive/happy lives had hope and retained a sense that life was worth it.

Laugh or cry, the choice is yours.  But which you choose might determine your end result.

 

 

184 thoughts on “Laugh or Cry?

  1. Yeah, nothing like being in a class of G&T kids and still not fitting in because you don’t quite get the social cues. (Because many of them are foolish, TBH.) Or because you laugh at deep irony that is above most kids your age’s maturity level.

    1. Or because you still find fart jokes funny. Especially because everyone keeps telling you. “That’s not funny.”

      Or so I’ve heard.

      1. The oldest known joke was translated out of Sumerian, about 4,000-odd years ago.

        “Something which has never occurred since time immemorial; a young woman did not fart on her husband’s lap.”

        It was probably funnier in the original…

      1. I usually enjoy meeting people smarter than myself, but a lot of gifted kids do not. And yeah, I was just so which smarter and more knowledgeable than everybody else, in pretty much every subject. So yeah, it did not make me popular. But I was busy reading, and the ostracism was not physical, so I didn’t really notice it in Honors classes.

        Extracurriculars, though… Hooboy.

        1. If you’re interested in the fate of geniuses in modern America, the Study of Mathematically Precocious Youth (web search:SMPY) makes fascinating reading. In the early 1970’s, they asked a bunch of 6th grade teachers who their “smart” kids were, and had them all take the SAT. The researchers then enrolled in their study all the kids who scored over 700 (out of 800, the old SAT) on either verbal or math before age 13. That score at that age corresponds to an IQ well north of 150. SMPY has tracked these kids (all who would participate) through their entire careers (they’re pushing 60 now), and published many papers on the results. Interestingly, while they are generally highly successful in their chosen fields, they are generally not Odd by the standards of this group. It seems that Odd is something distinct from genius, although obviously correlated. Fascinating reading, if you have the time.

          1. Nah. Our kid with the 180 IQ IS the oddest of us, BUT no one outside the family would know it. He’s the most “presents socially normal” even if sometimes comes across as “rude” because of his own peculiar obsessions and lack of understanding of other people’s. But if you saw him out, with a group of friends, you’d think he was the most normal of them.
            I suspect something like that is in effect.

          2. *heh* I don’t trust teachers’ judgement on accurately identifying smart kids unless the parents also managed to mostly socialize them.

            1. With my high school and some of the college teachers in the Philippines, I got lucky. To some extent I think the teachers in East Berlin recognized I had certain talents and wanted to encourage them by putting me in a gifted kid program for languages, but my parents refused because they’d already been resisting treating me like a gifted kid, avoiding such programs and ending up with me with the typical Gifted Kid Intelligence=Isolation problem.

              So I don’t really know if I am a gifted kid per se (IQ tests make no sense to me, for example) and I kind of ended up being fairly isolated because I didn’t fit in with my age group peers anyway. Had some friends, all of whom were nerdy/geeky in some way so it didn’t strike me as too bad, but I knew I didn’t fit in with the general populace.

              1. You are polite, of reasonable intelligence (in a teacher’s judgement, which might just means “agrees with me without making ME feel like I’m dumb”), willing to work and unlikely to attempt to maim a teacher.

                That’s pretty much the requirement for most of the “advanced” classes I’ve seen. More common when there’s a big problem with folks refusing to do the work at all, so you end up with a bunch of kids who are “advanced” because they learned something the first three times it was taught. Or their parents taught them to read….

      2. >> “Gin and Tonic kids– my kinda place!”

        Not sure I want to know what YOUR childhood was like.

        Also not sure your parents want you telling anyone. What’s the statute of limitations on corruption of minors? 😛

        1. I *did* actually grow up drinking tonic water– my grandma made lemonade with tonic water. It’s better for rehydrating than water. (Salt? Prevents cramps? Whatever.)

          Roughly equal parts lemon juice with sugar, then tonic water to taste.

    2. A daughter of some college friends of my parents went to the wrong college. She was known as the smart one. . . .

  2. ape bands want everyone to fit in

    Well, yes, and quite reasonably so. When you’re all crouching motionless waiting for that tiger to pass by nobody wants to deal with that one ape standing up, calling out questions about “What’s going on? Why’s everybody being so quiet? Can I come over and hide with you guys? Isn’t anybody going to answer me?”

    1. Check.

      I almost think I’ve done that. Well, I did accidentally get a girl to leave my dorm hall by remarking that her pants reminded me of the curtains I used to have (both had pictures of boats). However, the Dwarf Stud (D&D nickname, more or less; I don’t remember his actual name) said, “Good! I’d been trying to get her to leave.” This was due to her being an undergraduate at her finishing school; i.e., she was a high school student.

  3. I have an USV built on a truck frame. It rides harder than those of the same size — and larger — built on a car frame. My SUV is not a truck, but it has parts.

    Thought you were making an “Urban Assault Vehicle” (variously also Mormon Assault Vehicle, Catholic Assault Vehicle, Soccer Assault Vehicle or whatever group is noted for having a lot of kids pile out of a very sturdy vehicle) joke. 😀

    Oh, and :
    PICKUPS AREN’T TRUCKS!@#!@!@

    (Sort of a family joke– had a very nasty afternoon when the hired hand showed up to pick up five horses and two riders….in the red pickup. Not the red truck. Yes, he did have his IQ test come back negative.)

    1. I was not that caffeinated. My thoughts went “Sarah has a vehicle I have never heard of. Can we get pictures? Does it have gun mounts? Does it have guns?!!!! It is probably really neat.”

    2. Yeah, full size SUV here (though not a Southern-Baptist-Assault-Vehicle Suburban) and I’m probably going to replace it with another (though about Ford but, gee, that new 2021 Tahoe/’burban/Yukon really looks cool, GM finally got rid of the rear solid axle and went multilink rear independent suspension, it’s got a way-reliable small block V8 vs. the ecoboost turbo V6 with which Ford owners have had some systematic problems, the new air suspension, plus all the other available tech stuff is spiking my tech-geek-lust-meter just a bit, but it’s not out until summer, and the rule is never buy the first year of anything new, hmmm…). I don’t need the third row seat but you can’t avoid that these days.

      My basic rule is, crumple zones and airbags are all nice, but mass matters, and 3 tons of steel (or Aluminum) has a definite value if any kinetic interaction were to occur.

      And all that enclosed space is nice to have. Plus it pisses off the watermelons.

      1. Our first van (also built on a pickup frame!) dear husband got giggled at by co-workers…until they had to help a guy move. And dear husband had as much space as the pickups, but it was much lower to the ground (smaller tires than a pickup) and was covered.

        1. I owned a half-ton pickup before the Tahoe, and I came to the conclusion that, for my use case, enclosed lockable space is more valuable than the larger space in the bed, and it was silly to get a pickup and add a shell vs. just buying a full size SUV.

          I understand the cases where a bed is more valuable – I don’t haul bales of hay here in silicon valley, but back when I had the pickup I did move stuff taller than the Tahoe would accommodate several times. It’s more of a pain to get things like lumber home in the Tahoe, but it way more often hauls groceries than lumber.

          1. When the ’03 Chevy was starting to act up, I reviewed our needs and figured that a Ranger would be ideal, but this was before the re-launch. Further consideration said 1) I need something to haul trash, so an open bed or high canopy (Oregonian for camper shell) was needed, 2) towing light trailers was a must, while 3) I really didn’t have to carry the 20′ lengths of stock that I used to.

            Selection is limited here. No GM or Nissan dealerships nearby (100 miles plus), while the Ram, Ford and Toyota dealers are owned by a group that made a killing in the ’08 meltdown due to tight political connections, so fuggem. That meant a) wait for a hypothetical Subaru pickup built on the Ascent (one of these years, maybe), or a Honda Ridgeline.

            We were holding off, saving money when the Chevy decided to so something grim. Something went toes up in the engine’s systems; mileage dropped to 5 mpg (from the 15 normal), and it had a hell of a miss. Time to pull the trigger, so it got towed and sold to our mechanic; it’s his parts chaser, and his worries now.

            It’s a good match for our current needs. I have a 5 x 8 trailer for most carrying stuff, and the tent trailer hit end of life (plastic roof failed–the curse of the Colemans), but the frame and lift system will make a lumber/pipe hauler that will handle 12′ or longer stock with some quality shop time(tm).

            A Subie Forester handles the day to day market stuff, but when I need pickup duty, it’s there.

            1. Yeah, when I build out the extinct-volcano-lair motorpool it will include a pickup, and an even bigger utility trailer, and probably a milsurp 2.5t truck (like this M1078 – 187 miles on the odometer! Only assigned to drive to services on Sundays!!) but given space constraints here in suburbia it’s all about best compromise.

        1. Massive vehicles are the best.

          BTW, my first book just went live at Amazon. Unfair Advantage lives!!!

          Would you like a link here in the comments? I put one at MGC but it came out -huge- so this time I thought I’d ask. ~:D

            1. Woot! I’m heading over to MGC now, but please share your pen name so we can find it on Amazon even w/o the linkage!I

              P.S. I also lost my quick link to your soap box! Would you mind sharing the name again?

          1. ! (Mutter, mutter, grumble… Motivation… If the Canuck can do it… Try for the fifth straight day of writing tomorrow…)

            I have to admit that I saw the cover, and wondered why I never met a George that looked like that. Suppose I’ll find out who that is.

            You should, though, try to get up an author page pretty soon. I’ve been procrastinating because nobody else (yet) uses Sybly Whyte as a pen name. Lot of Edward Thomas’s out there, though. (Sigh, and lots of “Unfair Advantage” books.)

      2. > third row seat

        I haven’t kept track for some years now, but a lot of trucks and vans came with the third row as a “standard option” because it put them in a different emissions or safety class, or both, since the classes were based on the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating. Some states also have different licensing categories depending on weight and/or number of passengers.

        Back in the ’80s some (mostly Buick) GM G-bodies *just barely* missed the lower, cheaper weight rating that existed then, some some percentage of them got aluminum hoods, core supports, bumper brackets, and brake drums, all of which are considered junkyard gold nowadays…

        Generally the engineers aren’t idiots; if there’s something stupid, it’d probably Marketing or the bean counters. If it’s really stupid, it’s the Fed…

          1. Process might need too much forward planning to be a good target for that kind of business.

            Suppose that many pairs of hands are necessary for the loading and unloading. If so, sending one pair with a rental van from U-Haul might not be too high of a risk.

          2. The closest thing I’ve seen are the pod-type movers. We looked into one, but the move was too short (they had a 450 mile minimum, no idea why). U-Haul does that in various markets.

            They’ll drop off a container (U-Haul has one size; others use the 20 or 40′ shipping containers), and you pack it. When you’re ready, they’ll pick it up, move it and deliver it, presumably on a schedule handy for you. Haven’t tried it, but our local U-haul franchise has the pods. (They have some other options that I don’t recall.)

            In younger years, we’d gather a crew of friends and pay in doughnuts, pizza and beer.

            1. We’ve moved 4 times now. Third time forced transfer so company paid to professionally move us. All other times it has been family or just us. First time (essentially from college), it was essentially 3 1/2 pickups, barely packed (1/2 was our new Refrigerator so we wouldn’t have to pay WA sales tax, & one was our unused wedding gifts & my graduation gift, all of which had been stored at my parents). Second time, I think we added 1 1/2 pickup loads (good sofa set, washer/dryer, dishwasher), just us. Third time, a lot more. Fourth time back to family. OTOH third and 4th times, we also had to move 6 chords, or more, of firewood … younger cousins got stuck with that the last time. That is all the three did for 3 days, load, unload, & stack the firewood. Then we sent the last 1/2 chord, all their dad’s small pickup would carry, home with them & their parents (we were not particularly popular with them for awhile).

              Why do you think, even though we have “the most perfect house plans” (ish), we’ve never made the move to build and actually, you know … move. We’ve been here now for 31 years. If we move again, someone else is packing & unpacking, & not a stick of firewood is moving anywhere. Even then the thought is, um, no, maybe not.

            2. Post graduation, I started with friends who had trucks, then graduated to U-hauls. I did a house-house move in two trips with a U-haul and a bunch of co-workers and another friend, costing me food and beer. We had to move $SPOUSE from her apartment when the (now notorious) bad moving company blew us off, and we got a last minute U-haul.

              The last move in ’03 needed rental trucks to get stuff to storage units. We had 2 weeks from offer acceptance to closing. OTOH, we gave the sellers 3 weeks… That was a scramble; didn’t have people we could tap, so we rented one truck for an extended time and did multiple trips. Shop stuff went in other trucks into a third(!) storage unit. The initial move to Oregon entailed a car, pickup and tent trailer, loaded with essential stuff.

              We went with pros to move the household stuff. I moved one piece of machinery while they were doing that move, then took the train down to get a box truck for the shop stuff. A final trip let me pay off the storage people (we had those units under 60 days, so the teaser rate was a godsend) and to move the metal working lathe.

              We’ve been here 17 years. We’re looking for another place, but the real estate market is flooded by California ex-pats, so we’re going to wait. Maybe go from 13 acres and multiple outbuildings to two or three and a smaller shop. Looking at raw land, that’s a no. The attractive parcels have the “EFU exclusive farm use” zoning, and a medium-detailed read of the implications doesn’t look attractive. ‘Sides, building a new house? A whole lot of work; both paper and likely physical. I’d rather remodel than deal with new construction again.

        1. If it’s really stupid, it’s the Fed…

          It goes from stupido through stupidisimo to tenor* when you get multiple countries (and California) cooperating on making us “safer”.

          The early Aughts left GM dealing with lead-free solder in the electronics. When my instrument cluster took a dump, I found that there are several companies that deal with unscrewing the problems. (Mostly-tin solder has a terrible tendency to create dendrites–they’ll short points that aren’t supposed to be shorted, or they can fail open.) Took a couple of weeks and a couple hundred dollars to get my instrument cluster fixed; mercifully not a vehicle I needed often.

          This problem (think of all the children getting lead poisoning from eating circuit boards) has been an issue elsewhere, including General Electric’s appliances, according to somebody who had to deal with it at GE. I’m sure most industries got screwed by that.

          The horribleness (really a word, uh huh) of lead-free brass plumbing fittings is a related issue…

          (*) Joke from some opera commentary I ran across years ago. No baritones were harmed in this scene.

          1. I probably have three or four pounds of tin/lead solder around here – stocked up back when. Only use it on non-potable lines, though. The (very slow) re-plumbing of the other lines I run with silver/tin; haven’t had any problems show up yet. OTOH, I think the oldest work is maybe six years old at most.

            1. *If* we need to redo the plumbing in our (manufactured) house, we’d go with PEX. The 300′ feed from our well to the house water line was done with PEX, and it’s wonderful stuff. IIRC, there’s one splice in the entire trench beyond fittings at the ends and a standpipe.

              I’m thinking of plumbing the shop for air, and have been terrified wary of the issues with PVC and its tendency to shatter when hit under pressure. PEX would do the job, and would be pretty affordable with 1/2″ tubing. I did a previous remodel with copper and leadfree solder; mostly OK, though one joint leaked and left a mess. Soldering pipes was a lot easier with lead in the solder… I have a few pounds for electronics.

      3. SUV on a truck frame means Ford, of course, and will outlive everything else in its class. 😛

        Me, I drive a ’91 F350 (dually, king cab, long box, 6000 pounds on the nose), and if I run over your puny little SUV, I may not even *notice*. 😀

      4. My rule of thumb generally is to wait for the model to be out for two or three years so they can find most of the bugs.

      5. What you want is an F-250 crew cab long box with a cap. Solid front and rear axles with locking diffs and locking front hubs.

        Alternatively, the 2000 to 2003 Ford Excursion with the 7.3L diesel in it. Still commonly available in the Southwest, it is a close to a tank as SUVs can get.

      1. Mostly was an excuse to share the Urban Assault Vehicle funny.

        ********

        ….the baby is smacking me in the face with the Christmas light controller, then talking into it like a phone, and then trying to type. So stinking cute.

        1. our last car (which I still drive because life got funny in terms of money layout) was bought when I was 35. So it sits six. Because we were still hoping for two more kids AT LEAST. Eh, it didn’t happen.

        2. >> “….the baby is smacking me in the face with the Christmas light controller”

          Shame it wasn’t a toy car. It would have played perfectly into the assault vehicle joke.

        1. You think it’s funny, but when I am really really tired, as opposed to drowsy and probably having the sniffles (I hope NOT the kung flu) I can write words completely backwards. I can’t do it while awake and THINKING, but have my brain turned off and my fingers just do it.

        2. Or the Russian who announced, “I don’t give ass rat’s!”

          Not quite right, but gets the meaning across.

      2. >> “SUV The dyslexia is strong today.”

        Why did it take until just NOW for the irony of you being a dyslexic writer and super-reader to sink in?

    3. Foxfier: “group noted for having a lot of kids pile out of a very sturdy vehicle” Not 2 dozen clowns out of a Morris Mini?

      Yes, a pickup truck is not a truck when it comes to having to pull over to the weigh scales on the freeway. BTW, I drive a technical, err, Toyota Tacoma.

      1. I drive an expedition. The vehicle I drove before that, the one I LEARNED TO DRIVE ON was a 78 Suburban with the left front banged in (we bought it when someone sold it, due to an accident. Hey, it was $1500 and it went. Actually we bought it while waiting for insurance payout on a car totaled while parked in front of our house. We thought it would last three months. I drove it for almost 10 years?) and no front bumper.
        For those who read deep pink, yes, that’s what the Disgrace is based on.
        I loved that car and until it developed steering problems we were inseparable friends. You could carry anything in it. I could do whatever speed I wanted, because no cop seeing that thing would think to accost its maniac driver, AND when I was new to drive and made inadvisable turns/whatever, people did what they had to do to get out of my way. Particularly in winter because I wore a massive leather jacket, which made me look like the hulk (I had worn it while pregnant) and these huge sun glasses (I have VERY light sensitive eyes.)
        So….

          1. The guy who wrote Index has another series, something like The Zashiki Warashi of Intellectual Village. The translation I saw of it mentioned a car called either the Tuxedo Hitman or the Tuxedo Assassin. Comes to mind that the Expeditionary Force is most likely the SUV of that Brand.

            1. Well, Ford has the whole Raptor thing going, so an Excursion Raptor with something along the lines of 600 horsepower would be a real kick.

              If they still were in production they could do a one-off Excursion Raptor for SEMA and blow the minds of all the “little SUVs are all you need” car magazine writers.

              I also note with interest that GM is brining back the “Hummer” brand for their first all-electric truck. I think an all-electric Hummer is one of the official signs of the apocalypse, so Huns should be watchful.

        1. When we lived in New England, we discovered that a Suburban with a rusted-out muffler made an excellent vehicle for driving in Boston. For instance, when merging at a roundabout, just goose the throttle for a moment and the beast will go “Hrumph!”. The opposing traffic thinks “Shit! Semi!” and yields without even looking! That was handy. Admittedly, not so handy when trying to get into a parking garage designed in the 1930s. We had to pull the outside mirrors flat against the sides so we could fit in the ramp.

    4. “and to have married someone who is similarly broken”

      I get it. You’re weird, I like you, I’ll watch (and scratch or massage) your back if you watch mine. Wanna get married?

      – – –

      You would think that someone like Bernie would have been better exposed and educated to the dangers of Marxism, having had Alexander Solzhenitsyn living in Vermont for over a decade. Some people really are too stupid and selfish to learn.

        1. I really think this is it. I think the Progressive Left grew out of different groups of people who were no good at Industrial Society, but still (for some reason) thought they should be running things. In history, I see some strains of European Aristocracy going that way in the origins of the ‘The Industrial Revolution Was Just Awful’ narrative (and for a lot of people it WAS Just Awful; it gave SOOOOOO many of those damn peasants the wealth and political power to tell their betters to F*ck Off). I see a lot of frustrated ‘Intellectuals’ who got into the Intellectual racket because they thought that being smart would give them social position and power, rather than because they actually valued intelligent discourse and scholarship. And, damnit, those stupid peasants actually have the NERVE to ignore the Intellectuals and make decisions based on their own judgement. Don’t they know they much kowtow to their BETTERS!

          A whole concatenation of meritless drones who want to be on top of the heap, and must spin some fantastical fantasy to make it appear that it should be so. They WANT power so desperately, because they know drop down that there is no good reason that they should have any.

      1. The hilarious thing about the Rogan endorsement: All those Dems condemning him for hosting ‘Neo-Nazis’, when Bernie is a self described National Socialist, inspired to go into politics by Hitler’s example, and a man in his seventies of Ukrainian Jewish heritage.

        Tip: Rogan, sometimes being consistent is not a good thing.

          1. Well, the actual context of the citation is more ‘after the Holocaust, it is stupid for a Jew to be disinterested in politics’. I don’t have a citation on hand. Different words from that, but you can see why it wouldn’t be damaging unless you examine it critically in light of other things. Like, for example, Tlaib’s latest thing, and her being one of his campaign proxies.

      1. *laughs* Good luck! I’m terrible at judging seat size.

        On the other side, I’ve had folks both go “wow, these benches are huge!” and inform me that the seats are way too narrow…for the same seat.

        1. Rhys and I are thinking of keeping the nice, comfy seats from our current Mom Van (which has served us well and the family who owned it previously too) and unfortunately it’s starting to get worn down, and having it installed in whatever new ‘Urban Assault Vehicle’ we get me.

  4. the most dangerous thing is that all of us want to have a band.

    Well duh. Do you realize how few performance pieces for solo Sousaphone exist?

    More important, there’s safety in numbers, “bare is the back with no brother to protect it,” and there are places you simply must have somebody else to pick lice from or squeeze out ingrown hairs.

    The problem is while we’re all aware of the invalidity of “Social Approval” we still want it. We’re charter members of The Society Of Folks Who Don’t Want To Belong To Any Club That Would Have Them As Members, or Grouchos, for people bad at acronyms.

    1. “performance pieces for solo Sousaphone”

      Well, I played an arrangement of “Come, Sweet Death” for my high school tuba solo recital. That’s an exciting song for sure.

    2. Yea, though I fly through the Valley of Death alone, I shall fear no evil.

      For I am at 80,000 feet and accelerating through Mach 3.1. 🙂

        1. Not personally, but that was the slogan. It’s similar to some of the tactics discussed for the F-22…go in solo at M1.4ish. At which speed rear quarter missile engagement envelopes are considerably reduced. Keep the speed up, shoot everything you detect in the face.

      1. Yea, though I fly through the Valley of Death alone, I shall fear no evil.


        For I have just dropped a 2,000 pound JDAM smart bomb on evil. 5…4…3…

        For I have evil lined up in the sights of a GAU-8 Avenger 30mm cannon.
        ———————————
        “Gentlemen! You can’t fight in here — this is the War Room!”

    3. there are places you simply must have somebody else to pick lice from or squeeze out ingrown hairs.

      I’m reminded of an exchange in “I, Claudius” between Tiberius and his brother (Germanicus?) discussing how every man needs a brother to scrape his back. “What if he has no brother?” “Then a friend.” “What if he has no friend?” “A slave, then.” “What if he doesn’t even have a slave?” “Then he should go and hang himself for being useless.”

      1. Delightful though that was, it was not solo Sousaphone.

        But this seems an opportune moment to salute the passing of Barry Tuckwell, master of the French horn.

        I do not normally call attention to a musician playing with himself, but this (presumably) instance of dual recording constitutes an exception.

  5. Good grief, that bit about being somewhat popular up through fourth grade because of the LARP games you made up…Holy schnikes, it’s me…

    I did avoid crushing on anyone in high school–though sadly, I think that was more to do with the somewhat terrifying stalker I picked up in 8th grade (which left me with…issues…).

    But sheesh. No wonder I like all of you so well (even if I’ve never met you in person). Truly, we are the tribe of Odds!!

    And I am so very, very grateful for the internet. I’d be a lot lonelier without it.

    1. The internet saves me the trouble of having to actually talk to people in the flesh. More time reading, less time driving, catering, cleaning up after, and DD’ing friends back to their places. No more coming home smelling of ashes and vomit. No more nodding and smiling through another exposition of tv show/celebrity relationship I’ve no knowledge of or desire to know.

      Just books and a shiny box that has other people on the other end that aren’t too horrible. Actually, they’re pretty smart most days. That’s much better odds (and Odds) than meatspace these days.

  6. you can laugh with the sinners or cry with the saints. The sinners are much more fun…

    I have found laughter a potent weapon against the haters, particularly those of the collectivist type with gulag tendencies. They really hate being laughed at, and not being taken seriously. Almost as fun is when they laugh along without realizing that their ideas are what are being lampooned. It also, as pointed out, helps keep me in better spirits and helps keep the inner demons boxed up.

    I have been told by some that not taking those types seriously is dangerous and must be opposed in a serious manner. They don’t seem to get that while I find those types philosophies and world view laughable, I take their intentions and desired end game seriously enough to keep an insufficient* but growing supply of ammo on had.

    Besides, the collectivists want to be taken seriously, thus laughing at them deprives them of some of their psychic armor.

    *There are only 2 situations where you can have too much ammo, when you are swimming or you are on fire.

      1. Is a dirigible* a sort of boat or separate category for purposes of load-bearing discussions?

        When I field my fleet of world-conquering balloons this seems like a good thing to have learned beforehand.

        *Yes, yes, zeppelins too. Sheesh.

      1. “The trouble with you, Spode, is that just because you have succeeded in inducing a handful of half-wits to disfigure the London scene by going about in black shorts, you think you’re someone. You hear them shouting “Heil, Spode!” and you imagine it is the Voice of the People. That is where you make your bloomer. What the Voice of the People is saying is: “Look at that frightful ass Spode swanking about in footer bags! Did you ever in your puff see such a perfect perisher?”

        And Mark Steyn’s related quote:

        “It’s the jokes that explain the difference between Britain and the Continent: unlike their European counterparts, the English elite could never take Fascism seriously enough to fall for it.”

        1. The Brits were winners, the Italians & Germans were losers.
          Losers tend to gravitate towards the powerful and unscrupulous. It’s one of the reasons that gamma male soybois gravitate towards Stalinism or Alt-Right Neofascism.

    1. It fries them to be ignored, as well. Which I discovered by change, over the summer between eighth and ninth grade, at a summer camp, which I had been looking forward to for AN ENTIRE YEAR and damned if I was going to let a mean girl at the same session ruin camp for me. So I ignored her, had a wonderful time at camp … and took that lesson and put it to use for the rest of high school.
      It was wonderful – to talk around in a set of invisible bulletproof armor. Nothing the mean girls and boys could do or say had any effect whatsoever. They just didn’t exist for me. After the sheer hell of seventh and eighth grade, it was liberating.

    2. I like it when you find one that can laugh at themselves and trade barbs with you. Mainly because if someone still has a sense of humor, they can’t be all bad.

      Unfortunately, that’s a rare quality among the opposition these days. I think they’re being purged.

  7. There is a third path. Not hate, not laugh…leave.

    I was one of the Unwelcome. Armed with an IQ around 150, and not afraid to use it. This made me unliked…but also gave me abilities and potential far beyond those of most people. And I have a thirst for glory, a desire to cut my name into the rock of history. Even if the print is very fine.

    That Glory Road is rocky. It’s also lonely, at least at first. But if you stick to it, you find others who walk it. Friends, allies, rivals. And, of course, there is the chance to do deeds of renown. Which is a heady wine.

      1. Oscar’s problem was that he didn’t realize that the Glory Road has no end. The Road goes ever onward.”

  8. I quit caring about fitting in about…fourth grade, or fifth. Don’t remember. I had one or two friends, and learned how to handle the bullies (by setting the athletes on them). Got along well enough with almost everyone, acted as an unofficial counselor to many, and found my tribe in college.

  9. Vimes and Vetinari, paraphrased (because I don’t remember the actual quote, just the meaning behind it):

    Vetinari: “All that low grade, petty evil out there”
    Vimes: “They’re just people, sir. They’re just doing what people do”
    Vetinari: “Exactly”

    If you don’t fit what those around you expect “normal” to be, you’re Not One Of Us and potentially dangerous, so you set off all those nasty protective group instincts that tell us that we’ve got to pull that outlier into line for our own safety, and if we can’t we have to expel them.

    What happens after that can get… unpleasant. Speaking as another one of those polka-dotted monkeys who’s managed to mostly look at the normals with amusement rather than disdain or hatred. (Mostly. The amusement can get pretty dark and of the “can’t live with them, but we kind of need them” variety)

  10. Off Topic, but: WINNING! Nope, still ain’t tired of laughing at their frustration.

    Supreme Court Allows Trump Admin to Implement ‘Public Charge’ Test for Immigrants
    The Supreme Court ruled on Monday to approve the Trump administration’s “public charge” rule for new immigrants.

    The justices approved the rule by a vote of 5-4 along ideological lines.

    The Trump administration had sought to implement a policy limiting the number of new immigrants who would require government benefits such as food stamps or Medicaid. Such immigrants are referred to as a “public charge.”

    Lower courts have repeatedly blocked the new policy from going into effect.

    1. A guarantee that new immigrants could show they won’t be a public charge” has been bog-standard for simply EVER and in pretty much all countries. Go to places as different as Japan or Sweden and you have to show that you have a balance in the bank that is determined by law and you have to maintain it.

      1. It is actually also part of the actual legislation that Congress enacted regarding immigration. All Trump did was demand that the law be enforced as written.

    2. Also, Justice Gorsuch wrote a concurring opinion that laid into district courts that impose nation-wide injunctions.

  11. That part about Neanderthal heritage – it just stopped me dead to realize it. I am in the ‘around 4%’ category, and your description of the heritability of the issues brought a new perspective to the ‘not fitting in’ thingy.
    It MAY be something that is subconscious and not easily dealt with – whether that is smell, the distinctive ‘look’ of us, other some other cues that the regular types are picking up. Because so much of human society is tribally-based, this may be one of those things that is out of our control.
    It would be interesting to see a study of Neanderthal gene markers, and autistic expression. My offhand guess is that they might be highly correlated. Not necessarily causing it, but perhaps predictive.

    1. The Enlightenment and the Industrial Revolution both correlate highly toward areas with populations of high Neanderthal genome percentage.

      The no-detectable-Neanderthal “pure” Sapiens have… not been very successful.

    2. Nature/nurture and the brain is messy stuff. I doubt we are going to get good crunchy data without AI, or at the very least, much better basic understanding of how it works. Some folks with markers for high functioning autism are a *lot* more normal than others, and some genetic normies are outliers, too.

      Since hard tinkering about with human brains has laudible restraints (ethics, donchaknow), I’m good with a slower pace. There’s still interesting stuff to learn out there.

    3. Human form tribes. Neanderthal did not. Why?
      The near extinction of 70k years ago made some important changes. Tribes? We are young for a very long time.
      Our subconscious has a mind of its own, (why you drive to the donut shop when not fully awake). We have at least 5 brains in one brain case.
      What would a tribe of autistics look like? If it was even possible to get 300 together on an island.
      I am sure Neanderthal were autistic.

      I just see what is not, as if it is. It drives the bean counters crazy when asked to count what is not, as if it is.

      Just marry your opposite. The hoarder to one who throws everyting out. Just make sure one of you can cook.

      1. *blink*

        Just not opposite in absolutely everything, please. You have to be able to understand each other. Also, not murder each other in your sleep. That last one is rather important.

      2. I’m not sure you are correct on that. Most of the things we were told about Neanderthals are actually wrong, and a lot of the camps we thought were homo sap were actually Neanderthal.
        For instance, the ones where all the innovations and creations were made.
        So…. I think they lived in tribes. Their tribes were probably a lot like the readership of this blog, though, and they had for some reason a low birth rate. Older son says the low birth rate was probably due to “Sure, we’ll make a baby, but first let me figure out this new type of spear.”
        I think he’s going on the number of times his parents (or one or other parent) worked all night after staying “Sure, I’ll come to bed as soon as–“

  12. When you choose laugh and not hate the poor fools you also can end up being a caretaker of sorts: As a manager I ended up spending more effort to herd the damn sheep in my group (more like herding rabbits actually). The rockstars took some special care and feeding attention, but were not nearly as much of a time sink as chasing after strays from the fat part of the bell curve.

  13. I learned to adapt, although that came only after escaping high school. I decided to fly my flag so high that either people saluted or they considered themselves warned and left. It mostly worked. As others have said, it can get lonely at times, and I’ve been called intimidating, and had well-meaning older ladies point out that I’ll never marry because I don’t hide my mind. *shrug* Yes, it stings, but by now? I found a tribe, I know who and what I am, and I’m probably about as stable as is possible for me this side of the grave.

    I’m Odd. I can mute it, but I’m Odd. Here’s to music and other places where Odd is almost a prerequisite!

    1. I didn’t marry until well into my 30s and didn’t expect to marry until I met The Husband online. We fell hard for each other. He visited Oz for a month and we were engaged when he left. A year later, I was in the US and we were married.

      Until we met, both of us expected to be single forever. I was going to be the crazy cat lady – I’m a few cats shy of that – and disreputable aunt of my siblings kids (I’ve managed that part rather well although only two of the five of us have spawned).

      Odd runs in the family, interestingly enough. Dad and his sister – both Odds. Mum, borderline or hides it really well. Her parents – definite Odds. Dad’s father – Odd. At least two of Mum’s aunts/uncles are/were Odds, as were some of the cousins I met. Of my siblings, my brother and one of my sisters are definites. One maybe, and one who’s chosen to be as not-Odd as she can.

      And yes, here’s to finding our own tribes.

      1. Sounds like both of my parents– they were “of course never going to marry.”

        Met, less than 6 months later, married.

        Mom use to joke that I was born the month after they married, just to annoy her parents.
        (Technically true. On the calendar. It was over a year later.)

        1. I used to tell people that I was born two days after my parents were married.

          Of course, it was two days and two years after they married. 😆

    2. What Kate said. I was pretty sure I wouldn’t marry, because I was also found too intimidating (or ‘opinionated’) and I was outright told that ‘boys don’t like girls who are too smart’ (to which I retorted “Good thing I’m looking for a man.“) so I’m always rather surprised at where I am now. But when I think about it, I would also be very happy to have found this tribe of Odds, and likely, content, as long as I kept myself busy.

      To our tribe of mutually odd cats!

      (The last sentence in your comment almost rhymes and has a certain rhythm to it… ^^)

  14. Laugh, cry, or rage, for my childhood. I did a lot of crying, which turned to rage when I got frustrated enough; I was told to develop a thick skin. So I learned to choose not to care. At least I don’t cry or rage anymore, but it’s hard to excel when your brain only wants to kick in for stuff you genuinely care about.

    One reason I want to raise children of my own blood is that I want to see if I can do better with someone who takes after me than how I turned out.

    -Albert

  15. Other than mom making clothes and LARPing, you are describing my life at those same grade levels. Somehow I survived. It took until college to actually start finding my tribe. Fortunately, my husband and my children fit into the tribe well so at least my kids aren’t growing up without anyone who understands them.

  16. > apes

    Also note most of the apes are either in “greatly reduced circumstances” or approaching extinction, and the monkeys, while vastly more numerous, are found only in a narrow equatorial band. Primates in general, once the lords of the mammalian class, aren’t doing so hot any more.

    Except for the sapiens, who are *everywhere*, including Antarctica and that spam can in orbit.

    1. Homo $_ (and possibly some lines of chimps) being the only Tailless Apes that didn’t go down the easy but constricting vegetarian path, which is (judging by other species groups) an evolutionary dead end, that after a certain point becomes unable to adapt when conditions change.

      1. The chimps are the most numerous of the other apes, but they’re shrinking in numbers too.

        The main problem is that they’re not only territorial, their territories are small, and when their piece of forest or whatever has problems, they won’t go somewhere else, not as a group, anyway.

        When the sapiens moved out from the forests to the plains their lower hands became specialized for walking instead of brachiating, and our legs became ridiculously oversized while our arms shrank. But a sapiens is an extremely *efficient* walker; one in good health can run down a deer, or even a horse, given time.

        Of course, for most sapiens, that isn’t nearly enough. Why walk when you can RIDE?!

        As P.J. O’Rourke put it:

        “Think of the hopes, the dreams, the effort, the brilliance, the pure force of will that, over the eons, has gone into the creation of the Cadillac Coupe de Ville.”

        A few months ago Elon Musk’s Tesla Roadster completed its first orbit around the Sun, having crossed the orbit of Mars on the way out. Because why not?

        Voyager 1 is now 42 years, 4 months, and 14 days from launch, 148 A.U. out, and it’s still sending data and responding to commands.

        On Mars, after serving 15 years in what was supposed to be a 90 day mission, the Opportunity Rover waits. Eventually some sapiens is going to arrive, install some new batteries, and ride it off shouting “Wahooo!” after doing some donuts…

        1. I saw something on *shudder* Tumblr that nonetheless cracked me up, to the effect of:

          Universe: Humans, you have evolved into an excellent pursuit predator, suited for weeklong chases that drive your prey into exhaustion. So, here’s a herd of antelope, get to trudging.
          Humans: Wanna go fast! *tames dogs to go fast on humanity’s behalf*
          Universe: …all right, I suppose that’s an adaptation. So the dogs run down food and THEN you catch up and…
          Humans: go faaaaaast! *tames horses to go fast on demand*
          Universe: FINE, you can go fast. Happy now?
          Humans: Go FAST! *invents internal combusion engine*
          Universe: *throws up hands, goes home*
          Humans: FAAAAAAST… *starts studying launch velocities and orbital mechanics*

            1. Nah, it doesn’t work.

              Does remind me of one of the Anne McCaffery “lol wut?” series where she did a great job of working in that everybody was a vegetarian…and then you find out that the big scary bad guys (who are also humans) are EATING MEAT!!!!

              So I’m sitting here as a reader going “um…yep…that is a down side on making veganism a required good when it’s not a biological one, folks who go “Screw this, gimme a steak” are gonna have an advantage.”

              1. Yeah, gimme a steak. Mmm, meat. Biological advantage of omnivores: we will not starve.

                I’m starting to wonder if the whole vegan movement isn’t hand in hand with the Voluntary Human Extinction movement, given that most of the lefties who ALSO push veganism and ‘green alternatives’ and unrealistic environmentalism* are also against (specifically Western cultured) people having children ‘for the environment.’ They’re also hugely against industry and business, and are apparently okay with people not having jobs (and corollary to that, starving to death…) – just, you know, not THEMSELVES.

                Weirdly WP assigned this comment to a different one that I made, and not the vegan-mentioning one.

                *versus environmentalism that actually works and takes effort, like cleaning up or reducing forest burn fuels, or working on removing invasive plant species.

                1. I think it’s a desire to suffer to show that you’re serious– same impulse as fasting, but without the rational side of “I am aware this does not objectively improve anything besides me, I’m doing it as a love-offering.”

        2. >> “On Mars, after serving 15 years in what was supposed to be a 90 day mission, the Opportunity Rover waits. Eventually some sapiens is going to arrive, install some new batteries, and ride it off shouting “Wahooo!” after doing some donuts…”

          We can only HOPE that’s how it goes. There are darker possibilities:

          https://xkcd.com/1504/

      2. Homo $_ (and possibly some lines of chimps) being the only Tailless Apes that didn’t go down the easy but constricting vegetarian path, which is (judging by other species groups) an evolutionary dead end, that after a certain point becomes unable to adapt when conditions change.

        The vegans and push towards greater vegetarianism in mainstream eating might change that though. For humans that is. Given that the preferred foods for these diets aren’t very sustainable despite the delusions, perhaps human extinction is the end goal for these folks in the greater attempt to see meat eating and omnivorous diets as ‘morally wrong.’

  17. If the blog was renamed nostros…
    Wouldn’t that make the visitors from the Vile “nose trolls”?
    Would that make giving them the finger, better or worse?
    One thing for sure though; we can still chase the little boogers around.

  18. Google amusingly (but perhaps more correctly) translates “Nosotros” as “U.S.” 😀

    [Yes, I knew what it means, but got a wild hair and wanted to see… damn, Google is smart for a change.]

  19. Other people are handy to have about. It’s difficult to do everything oneself. I was reading a book the other day where the bad guys were trying to super-smallpox the world, possibly killing billions. All I could think was “Why? You’re going to die, too!” If one teleported a random four billion people away, civilization would collapse. Four billion dead bodies?!?!

    While other humans are annoying, they are also useful to have around. Someone needs to write books for me to read.

  20. The big point to remember is that the Normals have a place, too. They’re the guys in the phalanx, stabbing Persian invaders. Our jobs are scouting and working the siege engines. Mutual respect is appropriate.

    1. True enough, in principle. But, Odds being odd, it wouldn’t surprise me to find one or two in the modern shield wall, down in the mud and dust and ashes. We find ourselves in the strangest of places, betimes.

      1. I’m not saying Larry Correia is Odd, but I wouldn’t be the one to tell him there’s no space for him in my shield wall.

  21. “…most people are pretty content with their lives. Because those who aren’t fight to build something different, and most people don’t.”
    Or as George Bernard Shaw said, “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man”

  22. As to not fitting in, I doubt I’m autistic in any biological way, but I am “off” in many social ways. I say that’s because saying I was raised by wolves is an insult to the parenting skills of wolves. Wife has smoothed off some of the rough edges, like teaching me to respond to, “How are you?” with an equally polite query, rather than launching into business. Even so I was always able to act as a translator for geniuses to connect them with norms.

    I’m always surprised when I’m treated with great respect at work. Compliments still feel good, if somewhat baffling, and I still get a little glow from a “liked” message, and I’m glad to have a community where I can occasionally share my opinions. Just makes me a silly human like the rest of us.

      1. I was a member of the non-clique clique in high school. Our real commonality was that we didn’t belong to any other group. Well, we were all intelligent, but that was a given with the school’s stratified-by-capability classes.

  23. It seems like I am in the minority as I had no problems “fitting in” and pretty much got along with all of the different cliques.

      1. Eh. By dint of bloody-minded obsession (or obstinancy. Could be that one), an Odd can learn, by trial and (lots. Lots and lots of) error a few simple conversational gambits to deploy as rote responses to common queries and greetings. Works especially well if the social occasions are brief and repetitive.

        This, I believe may lead the Odd to have a bit more aptitude in languages sometimes. We learn to translate normal first because our home tongue is so very, very not.

    1. It took me a while to lean basic common courtesy, rather, for my parent’s teaching on the subject to sink into my thick skull.
      Things like how to do polite interest interest in subject that don’t interest me, how to recognize the when someone is expressing polite interest in subjects that don’t interest them, how to put down my book and properly greet visitors- basic stuff like that.
      The scary thing is that I have a nephew who’s basically me, and I’m surprised I survived as long as I did.

      1. The scary thing is that I have a nephew who’s basically me, and I’m surprised I survived as long as I did.

        I might resemble that too. I watched my sister with her oldest. You know the curse? May you have one just like you? Well she ended up with one just like me … oops. She also ended up with one just like herself. (Double cursed?)

  24. I’ve mentioned that my parents took us out of public school after 7th grade (for me). I had the same problems as most of you– had my skirt pulled down, etc. Three of my sisters are younger than I am and are normal in their interests as in boys, make-up, and fashion. I was interested in books. I’ve never been so alone than when we lived 60 miles from the nearest town. I had no friends. To make a phone call out of our valley, my dad would drive the truck to the ridge and call from the truck phone. When his boss called, the truck horn would honk. My nature to introversion became quite extreme. When we finally came back to civilization, I had a hard time making friends. I think I chose cry for several years until I left home. Then I started to see the ridiculousness of people. I choose to laugh.

  25. I once got asked to participate in a study on PTSD. The study was being conducted by a doctoral candidate at a local university. It was an interesting interview. Towards the end, though…

    DOCTORAL CANDIDATE: So, how are you fitting in socially lately?
    ME: As well as I ever did before. For varying values of “fitting in.”
    DOCTORAL CANDIDATE: What do you mean?
    ME: I have an IQ of 136, a screaming case of ADD, and I was raised in the backwoods a mile from our nearest neighbor with no running water or electricity. I’ve NEVER really fit in anywhere.
    DOCTORAL CANDIDATE: [CHUCKLING] OK…

  26. I laugh, because I cry too much. Because at times, it hurts too much and laughter sometimes is better for relieving the pain.

    The human suit doesn’t fit well, the model seems to be so far out of production that the manual is on microfilm in Enochian, you don’t want to ask about the parts situation, and I feel the sort of embarrassed that can only be described as “driving the only Honda into the GM factory parking lot.”

    That, and the people that tend to be criers…tend to vent their pain in other ways and directions.

  27. people keep saying “if i was doing uber I’d have something smaller and more fuel efficient to make better money”

    and then i point out that their (toyota corolla, often) wouldn’t have cargo space for luggage, or be able to carry five adult passengers and small amounts of luggage, or a family and their groceries…

    1. IF I had to do Uber we’d need a better looking car. Mine is showing its age.
      If the indie thing works this year, I want to get a Honda Pilot. I’ll keep big blue. Dan’s primary car is a mustang convertible, aka “useless in winter.” so if we need to be different places, one of us can take big blue, and also when I suddenly find a desk system at a garage sale for $15 that just needs a little sanding or whatever, I can get it.
      BUT the pilot is easier to park in the city. So…. that’s the plan. Still a five to six (more if third city) person car, but more “portable.”
      I don’t want to drive a sedan in Colorado. I want to see over the idiots ahead of me.

          1. Uber’s limit is 15 years, Lyft’s is 16. hence why i spent the holidays running around like an idiot to afford a newer car.

  28. I laugh; it’s my defense mechanism. And I’ve never yet managed to cry without getting a headache afterward.

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