Wacky Neighbor

ME: (Tries to work)

MY BRAIN: You know, if Elsa’s parents weren’t such dickweeds, Frozen would have been a much shorter movie.

ME: Mmm-hmm.

MY BRAIN: Here’s an idea: how about leaving her with the trolls so she can learn to control her powers, instead of having the head troll scare the crap out of her and then hand her back to Mr. and Mrs. La-La-La-I-Can’t-Hear-You of 1841.

ME: You’re right.

MY BRAIN: But then there would have been no movie.

ME: It’s sad, isn’t it. (Tries to work)

MY BRAIN: So! Are we in a movie? Is that why bad things happen? Are we entertainment?

ME: ?

MY BRAIN: (I take that back. This is probably a TV show. Looking at you, and this desk, I can’t imagine there’s any budget to speak of.)

ME: What have I told you about getting metaphysical when I’m doing spreadsheets?

MY BRAIN: No, this is important. Because if this is a TV show, then we are stock characters, and you’re the wacky neighbor.

ME: I am not the wacky neighbor. I wave very politely when I see our neighbors. I don’t do the can-can or anything.

MY BRAIN: No, you’re the wacky neighbor of everybody’s life. You amble around being foolish and getting laughs, and nothing really great
happens because it would disrupt your humor patina –

ME: (“Humor patina?”)

MY BRAIN: And you’re never going to be a star, or get fan mail.

ME: There is such a thing as overextending a metaphor.

MY BRAIN: And you’ll never get a spinoff, or if you do it’ll be cancelled. All the stock characters you could have been and you had to choose
wacky neighbor.

ME: Oh, it could be worse.

MY BRAIN: It could not possibly be worse.

ME: Yes it could. I could be the wacky neighbor who goes and checks herself in somewhere because her brain won’t put a sock in it when she’s trying to get her work done.


ME: (Tries to work)

MY BRAIN: … I am totally calling you Rhoda from now on.

ME: That’s fine.

MY BRAIN: Don’t wear that scarf thing, though.

ME: Wouldn’t dream of it.

Slytherin and Cargo Shorts

ME: (Tries to work)

MY BRAIN: You’ve joined Slytherin, I see.

ME: ?

MY BRAIN: The colors. Green polo, and stupid-looking black cargo shorts.

ME: Shut up about my cargo shorts. I only wear them around the house.

MY BRAIN: They’re ridiculous. So how did you get sorted, now that they don’t use the Hat anymore?

ME: … as much as I’m going to regret getting involved in this conversation, I’m going to point out that they did not get rid of the Sorting Hat.

MY BRAIN: Obviously you did not read book 8.

ME: Book 8.


ME: For the love of –

MY BRAIN: Who wants to put on that nasty hat? I’m surprised one of the books wasn’t called HARRY POTTER AND THE UNSTOPPABLE LICE EPIDEMIC. Anyway, I like that you have options now. The Sorting Spat, that’s probably my favorite.

ME: And the regrets keep building…

MY BRAIN: Choose a portrait and pick a fight with it until gets so irritated it sorts you into a house just to get rid of you. If you’re more into familiars, there’s The Sorting Rat, where Scabbers’ zombified corpse runs across a wooden board with the school colors on it. Where it drops its undead rat shit, that’s your house.

ME: (Undead rat shit?)

MY BRAIN: That one’s kind of a threefer because it’s also the Sorting Scat and the Sorting Splat.

ME: You really terrify me sometimes.

MY BRAIN: Wait, you know what? I think my favorite one is The Sorting Twat. You are approached by a random presidential candidate —



ME: (Tries to work)

MY BRAIN: Tell you what. I’ll be in Ravenclaw and you can be in Hufflepuff. Huffleclaw. Ravenpuff.

ME: That would make my colors sky blue and yellow. I’ll look like a Teletubby on acid.

MY BRAIN: Beats those cargo shorts.

Raised White

ME: (Tries to work)

MY BRAIN: What does that even mean, “raised white”?

ME: Oh no.

MY BRAIN: I’m imagining Barack Obama, abandoned on an old Lawrence Welk Show set.

ME: Please don’t.

MY BRAIN: Feral Campbell’s Soup children bring him crusts of Wonder Bread and the occasional Spam sandwich. Audio tracks from old 1950s short films on how to behave properly
float eerily through the air.

ME: Do you realize how much work I have to do?

MY BRAIN: He learns to read by finding old copies of Reader’s Digest. Calculating the nutritional values found on the back of mayonnaise jars teaches him math.

ME: Stop now.

MY BRAIN: His first word? “Velveeta”.

ME: …

Conversationed in February after Ben Carson said that Barack Obama was “raised white”.