Friday, October 7, 2016

My Psychologist Fired Me: Life as a Crossword Puzzle Missing Half of its Clues

My psychologist fired me. She believes all people are inherently good. She believes all people are deserving of unconditional positive regard. She believes all people deserve a safe place to share their inner-world without fear of judgment or reproach. I never once skipped a session or missed a payment. I never threatened to cause harm to myself or others. I did not engage in sexual impropriety. Even so, she abandoned me. For more than two years, I shared the most intimate details of my inner-world with her. I depended on her for support through two job terminations, two job searches, an unexpected third child, and an automobile accident on the Interstate that my wife was fortunate to survive. Without warning and within the context of a single session, she involuntarily terminated our therapeutic alliance.  

Weeks prior to the involuntary termination, she ended our session about twenty minutes early. She said that something was going on in her personal life and that it was “really bad.” She said that I could chalk it up to her being human. She said that because of what was going on in her personal life she could not be present enough for me. She apologized. She said that her conduct was borderline unethical. She cancelled the rest of her appointments for the day. I paid my full copay, and she billed the insurance company in the usual amount. If I were in her shoes, I probably would have opted to refund the copay and not submit the session to insurance. However, I understand being human and making mistakes. I did not want to make things more difficult for her. Also, the amount of money was nominal and seemed very trivial when compared to the gravity of whatever she was going through. So, I never brought it up.

In subsequent sessions, I kept seeing and hearing things. When a vase of flowers showed up in her office, I saw it. When comforting gifts showed up in her office, I saw them. I heard her when she said that she took a break from listening to her favorite musical because it reminded her of what had happened. When each scheduling of an appointment was followed by the words, “but I might have to cancel,” I heard her. When she unilaterally decided to reduce our number of sessions without discussing her reasoning with me, I noticed. I heard her when she told me that she was trying to reduce her caseload.

I told her what I had seen and heard during our sessions. I told her that it was distracting for me to know that she was suffering but to not know why. She told me that it would be more distracting if I did know why. I wanted to know that she was OK. I wanted to help if I could – I am human too. But I knew which side of the couch I sat on. I understood the relational construct of the therapeutic alliance. I tried to stop wondering and worrying. I tried to ignore the sense I had that she was trying to push me out of the office. But I failed. I told her that I wondered whether she had lost or was losing someone she loved. I told her I wondered whether she, like one of the leading characters in her favorite musical, had given up an opportunity for potential happiness out of a sense of duty or loyalty owed to another person or ideal. I told her that I wondered whether whatever had happened in her personal life inspired her to make changes to her work/life balance so she could spend time with the people she cared about most. I hinted at my belief that she had reduced our sessions for that very reason. 
At our final session, I paid my copay and sat down. She asked me how I was doing. I said, “as you might imagine, I am not doing well.” Next, I heard her say, “I think you knew that this was coming, but today will be our last session.” I had suspected that it might be a termination session, because she had terminated me once before. At our seventh session, she told me that, “Today will be our last session.” Leading up to the first termination session, I received a cold and detached email in which her usual warm and conversational tone was absent. The purpose of the email was to reschedule our session. By the end of the seventh session, she changed her mind and decided to keep working with me. We worked hard and developed a strong and trusting relationship after the rupture; we worked well together for many months. But the second termination eventually came, and I did not try to change her mind. She moved up the session two days by sending me a series of emails in which her usual warm and conversational tone was absent. In my reply to her emails, I told her that I would feel better if she could assure me that our next session together would not be a termination session. I also told her that I understood if she was unable to do so. She wrote me back saying nothing more than, “Okay, I'll see you 9 tomorrow.” That is it – just one grammatically incorrect sentence. No salutation. No valediction. Just, “Okay, I’ll see you 9 tomorrow.” Her email was superfluous. She had already written that tomorrow at 9:00 would work, and I had already written that tomorrow at 9:00 would work. It seemed as though the purpose of the email was to communicate her unwillingness to acknowledge my request for validation, giving me additional reason to worry about what was coming.

Her explanation for my second termination was short and to the point. She told me that she felt violated that I would use things she had said in session and things I had seen in session as clues to try to figure out what she was going through in her personal life. She said that it was something that she would never be able to get over. She gave me three referrals. Referral one was to a psychologist who she didn’t know much about. Referral two was to a counselor that she had never met but that she had heard some good things about. Referral three was not even to a specific practitioner but was just a convenience referral to a practice group located in the same building. She did not tell me a single reason why she thought any of the referrals would be a good fit for me. I spent about ten minutes thanking her for the many ways that she tried to help me over the course of our work together and recalling some of the interesting, entertaining, and funny things we had shared. We wished each other the best of luck before parting ways, knowing we would never see or speak to one another ever again. 

The day after termination, I began group process therapy. I also spent countless hours researching and emailing and calling therapists, trying to find someone who would be a good fit for me. Thankfully, after a week’s worth of work, I finally found a therapist who I trust and have faith in. Admittedly, my attempts to process what happened with my prior therapist have been a fucking disaster. I do not know how to make sense of it. When I walk into the building she works in to attend group process therapy, I hurt. When I hear a song that we talked about in therapy, I hurt. When I see a television show or movie that we talked about in therapy, I hurt. I don’t even want to do progressive muscle relaxation or mindfulness meditation or any other technique that I learned while in therapy because it reminds me of her, and I hurt. I have yet to talk to anyone in my life who seems to really understand what this brand of rejection feels like… how abandoned, alone, and helpless I felt, especially in the days immediately following termination.   

I know that my mind craves closure. But as cruel and ironic as it may seem, my mind does not generally subscribe to the notion that closure exists. As humans, we crave order in a world of chaos. We want there to be a reason for everything. We want to have a take-home lesson. Nothing is more unsatisfactory than acknowledging that we do not get to know the reason why certain life events occur. Even more unsettling is the possibility that certain life events occur for no reason at all.  

If I am being honest, I do not really think that I was booted from therapy for saying something offensive or for saying something that violated an established boundary. Sure, such an explanation looks tidy when viewed through the lens of my “Offend Someone and Get Rejected by Him or Her” script. Because I generally believe in this narrative, it gave my psychologist an easy way out. With my tendency toward guilt and shame, there could be little doubt that I would blame myself for the rupture. I was disappointed by my psychologist’s failure to utter a single sentence during the termination session indicating that she played any role whatsoever in the rupture of our therapeutic relationship. Nevertheless, I try to take comfort in this simple logic: But for my psychologist bringing her personal pain and suffering into session in such a conspicuous way, I could not have engaged in the very worrying and conjecture that, in her words, made her feel so violated that she could never come back from it. To openly bring her personal struggle into session and then accuse me of violating her boundaries by worrying and thinking about how that struggle may be affecting her and the quality of our interactions… it quite nearly feels like an abuse of the inherent power dynamic in the therapist/client relationship.

My gut feeling is that I was terminated primarily because of experiential avoidance… surprisingly I am not talking about my own experiential avoidance; I am talking about my psychologist’s experiential avoidance. I think that something about me likely brought up thoughts and feelings that she found unpleasant. Perhaps I simply served as a reminder of her accidental self-disclosure which made her doubt her professionalism and ability to help me heal. Maybe her accidental self-disclosure left her feeling vulnerable, as though she had lost the comfort provided by the emotional shield psychologists put on when working in their professional capacity. Another possibility is that something about me reminded her of whatever it was that she was struggling with in her personal life. She moved very quickly to terminate our therapeutic relationship, doing so two days prior to our originally scheduled session and leaving little time to process the termination or arrange for suitable aftercare. It felt like the termination was an emergency for her… that she needed out as quickly as possible… like she was gasping for air. The whole thing is super weird. But I acknowledge that I am weird. I sometimes bring up weird things for people. Who the fuck knows? Maybe I did simply offend her.

I really hate that I cannot tie this experience up with a pretty bow. I hate that I cannot superimpose some obvious life lesson onto this experience that sounds like a public service announcement or the last 45 seconds of an episode of Saved by the Bell. I hate that I still worry about my psychologist and whether she is OK. I hate that I worry about whether her personal struggles could affect her remaining clients in a negative way. I really hate that I am smart enough to know that as a client, and certainly as a former client, it is not my job to worry about any of this shit. But this obnoxious being human thing… the caring I have for others that is depressingly profound yet remarkably undetectable to them… it makes me care for others even when I don’t want to. Somehow I have to accept all of the uncertainty and unknowing and find a way to move forward in a pseudo-constructive way – all of this even though I don’t really understand why I was run over by a bus and whether there is some wisdom or knowledge mangled pedestrians are supposed to acquire. 

There is only one thing I know for sure: All differences, annoyances, and disagreements aside, my former psychologist and I are both human beings who are grieving. I am grieving the loss of my therapeutic relationship with her. And she is grieving the loss of... Sometimes closure can only come by acknowledging that closure does not exist. My challenge is learning to embrace life as a crossword puzzle that is missing half of its clues; I must learn to accept that there are some boxes, regardless of the intellectual rigor applied, that I will never be able to fill in. 

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Meet Scrotie and the Nads: 30 Offensive Sports Teams' Trademarks Must be Eradicated

When I was in college, I spent my summers working as an assistant manager at a dollar store. The experience was invaluable, because it taught me how to weather interactions with the feebleminded. As it turns out, dollar stores rarely attract employees or customers endowed with the greatest minds of their generation (myself excluded). Throughout the store, the inscription "Everything's a Dollar" was shamelessly ubiquitous. Even so, customers approached me on a daily basis to inquire as to the price of particular items. For the first few months, I greeted each of those customers by sporting a spurious smile and calmly stating, "It costs one dollar." 

But over time, the uniquely imbecilic persons prone to dollar store rummaging wore on me, convincing me that stupid questions do exist, and those who ask such questions should be punished. This hatred of all things moronic inspired me to engineer a new public relations strategy. On one particularly dreadful day, my response to the question "How much does it cost?" became "I don't know; I'm going to the back of the store to run a price check." The dollar store had no need to perform price checks, so no formal procedure appeared in the handbook. The lack of a formal procedure was of little concern, and I quickly contrived my own.  

My price-checking procedure began when I visited the back office that housed a computer dedicated to "managerial purposes." For me, managerial purposes included checking my e-mail, researching the latest anti-depressants, and catching up on my YouTube subscriptions. After 15 to 20 minutes of internet therapy, I returned to the sales floor and proudly proclaimed, "After performing a comprehensive price check which utilized the most technologically advanced price-checking procedures and paraphernalia the dollar store industry has to offer, I conclusively determined that the banana slicer in your hand costs only one dollar." In retrospect, patronizing a crazily stupid lady holding a banana slicer was arguably the most perilous decision of my youth. But by the grace of the Judeo-Christian God, my banana and I both escaped unscathed. Having survived that incident, I went on to repeat my price-checking procedure on various occasions. Amazingly, not one of the customers became angry or left the store prior to my return from internet therapy. In fact, each one of the affected customers thanked me not only for my impressive and dedicated price-checking efforts, but also for my overt and overwhelming people skills. 

In addition to coping with dumb-ass customers, I had to endure the store manager's multitudinous malfunctions. On my very first day, he told me, "Keep your eyes on the Indians who come in here." He continued, "They stop in here after losing all of their money at the casinos, and then they steal the mouthwash to get drunk." Initially, his words of instruction shocked me. Theretofore, I had no knowledge that one could get trashed by throwing back dollar store mouthwash. My shock morphed into resentment, as images of $20 bills and empty bottles of vodka flooded my mind. When I calculated the amount of money I would have saved the previous semester by purchasing mouthwash instead, I felt nauseous. Even worse, as I continued to ruminate over the store manager's directive, it eventually occurred to me that the store manager was racist. After all, only the most ignorant of persons would subscribe to the stereotype that all Native Americans have minty fresh breath.  

Other than the dollar store mouthwash incident of 2005, the instances when I have been offended by racial epithets or stereotypes pertaining to Native Americans have been few and far between. Most of the occasions when I was so offended took place in the first grade. On the second day of school, Ms. Anderson made us sing "One Little, Two Little, Three little Indians." Naturally, I was appalled. To make matters worse, Erica (yes, the same Erica from the fourth grade who typed "5318008" on her calculator and showed it to me upside down) gave me an Indian burn. This enraged me, as I had kindly loaned Erica one of my Big Chief tablets the day before. In an effort to restore order to the world, I angrily and decisively repossessed the tablet. This was met by Erica's typical animosity and unbecoming decorum (I told her as much). Amidst her incessant ranting, Erica had the audacity to call me an "Indian giver."

But despite my worldly experiences at the dollar store and in the dark recesses of the first grade, I never once witnessed the usage of the word "Redskin" to refer to anything other than potatoes, sports teams, or STD symptoms. My life experience notwithstanding, some Native Americans have spent millions of dollars on television commercials urging the professional football team known as the Washington Redskins to change their name. Some would argue that Native Americans should be more concerned with overcoming stereotypes of alcoholism and gambling addiction or even trying to sneak one or two accurate facts about Native Americans into the history books used in American classrooms. I vehemently disagree. At the end of the day, none of those issues are as offensive or as disparaging as watching the Washington Redskins attempt to play professional football. 

The fight against the Washington Redskins' name gained substantial momentum following the recent decision by the United States Patent and Trademark Office ("USPTO") to cancel the Washington Redskins' trademark. Relying upon evidence that 30% of Native Americans polled are offended by the term "Redskins," the USPTO ruled that the term "Redskins" is disparaging to Native Americans. The evidence of offensiveness was persuasive and outcome determinative. By comparison, only 28.3% of Caucasians recently polled at a Cleveland Indians game said that they considered the term "Cracker Jack" offensive. It is this 1.7% distinction that causes me to firmly and unequivocally endorse the USPTO's decision. Further, it is indisputable that the role of determining what brands offend Americans belongs to the government and not to the free market. For these reasons, the USPTO was right to construct a bright line, dichotomizing offensive trade marks from socially tolerable ones.

In fact, my only criticism of the USPTO is that it has not done more to cancel other offensive and disparaging trademarks affiliated with sports teams on the professional and collegiate level. Certainly, the USPTO must follow up its cancellation of the Washington Redskins' trademark by cancelling all other trademarks in sports that disparage Native Americans.

More than that, the USPTO needs to cancel the trademarks of sports teams that disparage groups other than Native Americans; constitutional law demands it. One must look no further than the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution that was drafted by the Judeo-Christian God himself/herself (political correctness... just kidding, the Bible proves beyond all reasonable doubt that God is a Caucasian male). From the 14th Amendment springs the conceptualization of equal protection. In summary, equal protection is the misguided notion that the law should apply equally to protect the rights of all people (even Muslims). If the USPTO takes the equal protection clause seriously, then it must apply intellectual property law consistently with respect to all Americans. And the only way to do that is for the USPTO to routinely cancel each and every trademark which offends 30% or more of any particular group of people.   

With that premise firmly in place, my readers will agree that the USPTO should cancel the trademarks that offend 30% or more of the Judeo-Christian God's favorite people, Christians. Trademakrs which offend Christians include but are not limited to: the Orlando Magic, the Bismark State Mystics, the Washington Wizards, the New Jersey Devils, and the Philadelphia Seventy-Sixers. The offensiveness of most of these trademarks is self-evident. Everyone can agree that the first four trademarks on the list should be tied to rocks and thrown into a body of water somewhere in New England; if any of the trademarks float to the surface, then the USPTO shall gather large stones and press the buoyant trademarks to death. As for the Seventy-Sixers, more than 30% of Christians believe that "seventy-sixing" is some type of unnatural, perverted, and non-procreative sexual practice. Empirical evidence establishes that seventy-sixing crosses more boundaries than Central American orphans. As such, seventy-sixing is an Obamanation in the Caucasian eyes of our lord. While common convention would dictate the insertion of a paragraph break here, the Judeo-Christian God's second least favorite group does not deserve more than a single sentence: just know that the Los Angeles Angels and the New Orleans Saints offend more than 30% of atheists. 

At least three sports teams have trademarks that are offensive to 30% or more of American males; the USPTO should cancel all three of them. These teams include but are not limited to: the Alabama Crimson Tide, the UMass Minutemen, and the Whitman College Missionaries. When men hear someone use the term "Crimson Tide," they are haunted with mental images that have little to do with a Redskinned elephant and much to do with a certain monthly visitor. Men are not fans of menstruation, and it offends the Judeo-Christian God as well (probably because, as discussed supra, he is a Caucasian male). While a man can always enjoy a woman's boobies (catch twenty-boobs excepted) (See Proverbs 5:19), certain activities require a seven day cooling off period; even then, you have to murder two pigeons or doves to make it OK. (See Leviticus 15: 19-30). (The text does not make it clear whether or not it is permissible to kill the two pigeons or doves with one stone.) If men do not follow this procedure, they are to be ostracized by all of civilization. (See Leviticus 20:18). God must really, really hate menstruation because these restrictions are more cumbersome than Obama's proposed gun control laws. As for the other two teams, the UMass Minutemen offend more than 30% of males lacking sexual stamina, and the Whitman College Missionaries are representative of the most banal sexual position practiced by vertebrates.

Then, we have our miscellaneous offenders. Since College, I have had a certain distaste for the University of Connecticut. The person who inspired me to adopt this hatred of UConn is now in a very powerful and public position within his or her community, so I will refrain from revealing any specific details. But it is universally known, understood, and accepted that the term "Huskies" is disparaging and offensive to 30% or more of fat Americans. In fact, I would go so far as to say that the term "Huskies" is patently offensive (see, it is funny because I am writing about intellectual property law). 

The trademark owned by the Community College of Spokane Sasquatch offends 30% or more of hairy Americans. The New York Jets' trademark is offensive to Americans afflicted with pteromerhanophobia (for the dollar store customers out there, pteromerhanophobia is a fear of flying). Many religious folks are offended by the Pittsburgh Steelers' trademark, believing that it glorifies the act of steeling which runs afoul God's seventh commandment. The New York Giants' trademark is offensive to short people. African Americans are offended by the Washington Wizards, because "Wizard" is a title given to leaders of the Ku Klux Klan. (I must say, though, the Washington Wizards' public relations department did an excellent job selecting a logo featuring a guy who looks nothing like a Klansman.) Vegans and Native Americans are both offended by the Green Bay Packers who are named after the Indian Packing Company. Despite the confusing name, the Indian Packing Company specialized in the canning of animals and not in the packing of Native Americans.  

This review of offensive sports teams' trademarks will conclude with the most offensive trademark of all. It is so offensive -- so morally repugnant -- my readers will probably Google it just to see whether or not I am making it up; I promise that I am not. There is an art college in New England known as the Rhode Island School of Design ("RISD"). Despite its emphasis on the arts, RISD fields two male sports teams: the RISD Nads (hockey) and the RISD balls (basketball). 

To the innuendo-ly challenged, the two hockey pucks and two basketballs are intended to represent something of the testicular variety. Bear with me for a minute, though, because it gets so much worse. The Nads' primary rival is the Narragansett Clams. Again, to the innuendo-ly challenged, clams can refer to a certain part of the female anatomy. The Narragansett Clams have a mascot named "Clammie," and the RISD Nads have a mascot known as "Scrotie." If you do not believe me, look at the college's official website (NSFW). Before the two teams play one another, disturbing posters are created, printed, and plastered throughout the teams' respective communities. During the most recent matchup, (in the most repulsive incident to occur in a skating rink since Nancy Kerrigan took a pipe to the knee) Clammie and Scrotie faced off on the ice to provide entertainment during an intermission. To the fans' horror, Scrotie tripped over his skates and slid right into Clammie. Worse, the graphic video was posted on Youtube (how it was not a violation of their terms of use policy is beyond me). The whole ordeal made the little underground newspaper I wrote while attending F.U., an enterprise that earned me a meeting with the University's President, look rather benign. 

Now, I'm not going to post any photographs of Scrotie here, as the photographs are quite obscene; however, the cartoon illustration above should give you a pretty good idea what the scandalous Scrotie looks like. As my readers know, this blog is intended to be quality, wholesome entertainment for the entire family. I intend to keep it that way. All I can write about this situation in New England is that it is a very sad statement about the current state of American society. The only silver lining to this trademark tragedy is that, in accordance with the Bible, RISD's mascot, Scrotie, has clearly been circumcised. The moral of the story is this: if the USPTO can cancel the Washington Redskins' trademark, then it can certainly castrate Scrotie.

The fourth of July afforded me the perfect opportunity to reflect upon the most fundamental right protected by the United States Constitution -- the right not to be offended. Sure, there are some simpletons in America who naively presume that freedom of speech is the most fundamental constitutional right. There is a specific term for this sort of lunatic -- a constitutional law professor. By way of example, Mr. Barack Obama claims to be a constitutional law professor; watch five minutes of Fox News (if our President has not taken it off the air via executive order yet), and let me know how that experiment is working out for America. As if that argument is not persuasive enough,  freedom of speech is promulgated by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution; it is so important that, out of all of the things our forefathers forgot to put into the original Constitution, it is the first thing they forgot. The preposterous notion that freedom of speech should somehow trump the right not to be offended is easily defeated. 

Like the dumb-ass dollar store customers, we must ask, "How much does it cost?" How much does it cost to allow Americans to be offended in the name of "freedom of speech"? Reasonable minds unanimously agree that the cost is too great. That is why it is a moral imperative for you to contact the USPTO today. When you do so, make sure to thank the USPTO for protecting Americans from the Washington Redskins and defending our right not to be offended. Then, kindly ask the USPTO to cancel the other 3o trademarks referenced hereinabove. 

Let Sunday Depression know in the comments if there are any offensive sports teams' trademarks in addition to those mentioned in today's post. 

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Catch-Twenty-Boob: How Women, Breasts, and Babies are Ruining America

Forgive me Blogger, for I have sinned. It has been 448 days since my last depression. But like Peaches and Herb, Depression and I reunited, and it feels so good! It happened in a Nebraska corn field beneath pouring rain and baseball sized hail. There, Depression and I met for the first time since medical professionals and a rigorous course of pharmaceuticals forced us to stop seeing one another. Our loving gaze intersected across the distance, and we sprinted toward one another with outstretched arms.  Depression and I collided into one another with velocity and intensity only rivaled by the Large Hadron Collider. The pouring rain soaked Depression’s white shirt just enough to keep things interesting while the frantic petting and cheap camera filter left enough to the imagination to keep the PG-13 rating. With panning camera close ups of unidentifiable fleshy tidbits, the audience can only assume that throes of passion ensued; and with that, so was born the most inspiring love story since Nicholas Sparks’ The Notebook.  True, the collision that Depression and I shared on that stormy Nebraska afternoon did not lead to the discovery of the “God Particle.” But I like to think that a more important particle was discovered that day – the “Love Particle.” 

I wish I could tell you that the romantic reunion of Depression and I was brought about through traditional channels. But unfortunately,,, and (the dating website where you can connect with singles who share your STD) all had absolutely nothing to do with it. Instead, my spiral into depression was launched when I fell victim to an insidious, lascivious, and odious practice which is destroying the moral fabric of this once God-fearing nation of ours. It is a growing epidemic and a scandal of which I must keep my readers abreast. The offending practice is not well known, and unlike other perverted trends such as twerking, smart car tipping, coning, and voting for Democrats, the practice is without a name. If governments and churches have taught us anything, it is the importance of naming the offending practice something catchy so that we can appropriately over-simplify the practice while properly demonizing and shunning its vile practitioners. With this in mind, I have named the offending practice a “catch- twenty-boob.” 

The term catch-twenty-boob is closely related to the term “catch-22.” Although the term catch-22 has an arguably interesting connection with American literature, I will spare you from that history; after all, I am already ashamed that you are reading this when you could be watching the boob tube. Suffice it to say that a “catch-22,” as defined by Noah Webster’s progeny, Willy Wikipedia, “is a paradoxical situation from which an individual cannot escape because of contradictory rules.” Similarly, a catch-twenty-boob occurs when a person must choose between: 1) grazing a female breast without the owner’s express or implied consent; or 2) killing a baby. The first option is prohibited by laws criminalizing sexual assault, and the second option is prohibited by Republicans. Because the world we live in is black and white (much to the chagrin of Don Sterling), there is no third option.

Choosing between becoming a boob grazer or becoming a baby murderer is more difficult than one might think. Even though some Americans are convinced that a "boob grazer" is someone on an Atkins diet who eats small portions of chicken breast throughout the day, the term "sex offender" is less forgiving. On the other hand, some Americans really look down on people who murder babies. To give you some idea of the stigma attached to baby murderers, some Americans beleive that murdering babies is even worse than allowing two gay people who love each other to get "married."

It was only after becoming a father that I realized how terrible women are at handling babies. Women are particularly unskilled when it comes to the baby handling exercise known as the "baby handoff." In fact, out of one person polled, Americans agree that six out of every ten baby handoffs involving a female handoffer are highly awkward. Conversely, most men are highly skilled when it comes to performing the role of baby handoffer. By way of illustration, Mitt Romney, as a God-fearing entrepreneur, businessman, and true American, knows how to hand himself off a baby.

Notice how Mitt holds the baby out away from his body. Baby handoff professionals have termed this technique the "Reaching Romney." Experts in this field of study universally agree that the Reaching Romney is the most vital technique for a baby handoffer to employ. If you disagree with this proposition, then you are, undoubtably and without exception, a Godless heathen. This is true because photographic evidence confirms that Jesus Christ (who I am pretty sure was perfect) properly prepared for baby handoffs by holding babies away from his body:

Admittedly, not all men are perfect at executing baby handoffs. Let's review some examples of what not to do:

This photograph of Clive Owen is highly disturbing. By holding the baby close to his body with one arm and wielding a pistol with the other, he has made it incredibly difficult for the baby handoffee to perform his or her role in the baby handoff. Even more troubling, he has opted to hold his pistol one-handed when, without the baby, he could use his non-shooting hand in a supporting role which would create isometric tension and make his pistol shooting much more accurate.


This example of what not to do is brought to us by the late Steve Irwin. Notice how, by holding the baby close to his body and angled away from the crocodile, he has mistakenly made it more difficult for the crocodile to voraciously consume his baby.

The late Michael Jackson serves as our final example of what not to do. Concealing a baby's face before hurling said baby from a fourth story balcony is a very poor way to effectuate a baby handoff, and just like Mr. Owen and Mr. Irwin, Mr. Jackson fails to utilize the Reaching Romney.

Empirical evidence concretely establishes that, save for Clive Owen, God has a solution when it comes to men who cannot properly handle babies. Unfortunately, God cannot apply that same strategy to women, because it would inevitably extinguish the human race. During the babyhood of my son, Jamal, many a woman obnoxiously and obtrusively insisted on holding him. With the new addition of my daughter, Tamika, this wave of female baby grabbers has intensified. It has been my experience that most women insist on holding babies using the cradle hold, and when a woman does this, the baby's head most often ends up pressed up against her left breast.

When it is time for me to take my baby back, six out of ten women, instead of performing the Reaching Romney, insist on executing the baby handoff by not moving at all. Somehow, these women expect me to unilaterally extract my baby from their cradle hold, or as I now refer to it, their "Coconut Cocoon." The major challenge in the extraction is getting my right hand beneath my baby's head to provide proper support. Nowadays, most maternity wards force parents to watch a film which explains, in full medical detail and with appropriate terminology, that if you fail to support your newborn's head, then your newborn will explode. But when my baby is in the Coconut Cocoon, any attempt to support my baby's head during the extraction results in a minimum of a backhanded boob graze, and in some cases, it is much worse. Just to give you some idea of the level of difficulty involved, it would take something more than freeing five terrorists to secure a non-boob-grazed release of my baby from the Coconut Cocoon. This is the catch-twenty-boob: Do I attempt to support my baby's head and risk committing sexual assault, or do I let my baby explode so as not to make boob contact? In all instances, I have chosen to attempt to support my baby's head. Consequently, in the last year and a half, my hands have grazed more teats than an ambidextrous dairy farmer. 

This might come as a shock to my perverted readership, but I have not enjoyed the victimization I have suffered as a result of the myriad of catch-twenty-boobs I have endured. In fact, I have not felt this awkward about the female form since that time in the 4th grade when Erica typed "5318008" on her calculator and showed it to me upside down. Even worse, every time I attempt to write, whether it is for work or for this blog, I am told that breast imagery always bounces into view. Personally, I cannot see it in my writing. Nevertheless, I still suspect that the catch-twenty-boob is haunting my subconscious. The worst thing of all is how meloncholy all of this has made me; it is a creeping sense of emptiness that can only be explained via simile.

I feel like I sat through the abomination that is the musical Cats but managed to take my one and only bathroom break during the song, Mamories. I feel like a captain in charge of his first voyage who encountered a storm and cupsized. I feel like a contractor who exclusively installs door related accoutrements, but my supplier ran out of knockers. I feel like a milkperson (political correctness) who started my route before realizing that I left my jugs at home. I feel like a mother owl after a storm who cannot find her baby hooters. I feel like a celebrity who attended an award show but did not receive any complimentary funbags. I feel like a frat boy who found a sale on beer but only had enough money to buy one pair of cans. I feel like I bought a used car and later discovered it did not have any high beams. I feel like I attended a clown convention where the tricycle merchants were all sold out of honkers. I feel like a man with fashion sense who bought a suit and noticed far too late it was double breasted. I feel like a speedboat owner who discovered a lovely channel between two mountainous regions, but thanks to some environmentalist, tree octopus-loving dude at the EPA, motor boating is prohibited.

It is now my personal mission to ensure that no one else has to experience the pain and suffering caused by the catch-twenty-boob. In order to halt the proliferation of the catch-twenty-boob, Americans must treat this threat like they are fighting a war from which there is no reteat. The fight will not be easy; fighting against the catch-twenty-boob will be like trying to tame a wild breast. It is my hope that, notwithstanding the trend of political polarization in this Country, we can stand together as Americans to put an end to the growing incidences of the catch-twenty-boob; united we stand and divided we sag. If the American citizenry allows the cleavage between the Republicans and the Democrats to grow larger and larger without any sign of reduction, it will only serve to augment the occurrences of the catch-twenty-boob. In such a climate, proponents of the catch-twenty-boob will infiltrate your communities, neighborhoods, and homes; these proponents will lie in wait for the perfect opportunity to catch you in their booby traps.

The Federal Government has taught us that Twitter is the appropriate forum to address critical matters like foreign relations and national security. With this in mind, please join Sunday Depression in its Twitter Campaign called "Teat Tweets." Show your support by tweeting "#JustSayNoToCatch-Twenty-Boobs."

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Christians Should Give the Bird to Angry Birds

As Christians, we benefit from the superior knowledge the true meaning of Easter has nothing to do with bunnies, eggs, baskets, and the godforsaken excuse for candy known as "Peeps." Peeps are to Easter what candy corn is to the Devil's holiday, Halloween. Naturally, we cannot help but feel sad for the heathens among us who forget Easter has everything to do with the resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. The Easter celebrations conducted by these heathens leave participants feeling as hopeless and empty as a small child biting into a chocolate bunny only to discover its interior is hollow. Even more deceptive than a hollowed out chocolate bunny is the ostensibly family friendly smart phone and tablet app/game popularly known as Angry Birds

As Christians, we must be weary of the devil who, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour; Satan desires to sift us as wheat. (See Peter 5:8; Luke 22:31). All this talk of devouring and wheat-sifting tells us that Satan is very hungry and he has no gluten allergy. Regardless, we must not be ignorant of Satan's devices. (See 2 Corinthians 2:11). Despite its incorporation of Easter and Christmas themed levels, Angry Birds is a device of Satan which has launched a subtle and insidious attack upon the Christian faith. In fact, there is a special place in hell reserved for those Christian parents who permit their children to play this so-called "game." This week's post is intended to expose the evil, morally repugnant message perpetuated by Angry Birds. To those readers who are Christian parents who, heretofore, have permitted their children to play Angry Birds, now is the time to repent and rededicate your life to Jesus Christ. While the evils of Angry Birds are far too multitudinous to document in their totality, this week's post is intended to provide a bird's eye view of the methods employed by Angry Birds in its promotion of Satanism.

I understand some of my readers (a/k/a my parents) are far too old to be familiar with the Angry Birds' premise. To provide context to those readers, I will recapitulate the plot of Angry Birds. So, there are these birds, right? The birds are angry. They are angry because a gang of green pigs stole their eggs in violation of God's 8th Commandment. In retaliation, the Angry Birds opt to ignore the teachings of Jesus Christ and refuse to turn the other beak. Instead, the Angry Birds decide to seek revenge by launching themselves from a sling shot, like World War II Japanese Kamikaze pilots, forfeiting their lives to brutally murder the egg-purloining pigs in violation of Gods' 6th Commandment. In fear for their lives, the green pigs encapsulate themselves within various structures. Unfazed, the Angry Birds hurl themselves at the structures  in hope the green pigs will be impaled by a steel or wooden beam or mutilated by some other form of debris. 

Just like God has given each of us unique gifts and abilities, the Angry Birds are given unique gifts and abilities. The difference, of course, is that the gifts and abilities given to the Angry Birds hail from Satan. To prove my point, I will discuss three varieties of Angry Bird. Players of Angry Birds most likely refer to our first bird as the "blue bird." Once in flight, a tap on the screen turns a single blue bird into three blue birds. It is clear the blue bird promotes the evils of cloning, stem cell research, and fertility treatment. If God wants babies to be borned, then irrespective of scientific intervention, babies will be borned. And if God thought you were so cool there should be two of you, then you were born alongside a twin. Attempts to achieve a different result necessarily constitute playing God.  
Players of Angry Birds, along with Paul McCartney, might refer to our second bird as a blackbird; we at Sunday Depression call him an Al-Qaeda Bird. Upon impact, the Al-Qaeda bird becomes a suicide bomber, exploding himself on the off-chance he can take an infidel pig with him. This subtle endorsement of terrorism by Rovio Entertainment Ltd., the creator of Angry Birds, is reprehensible. As of late, the only thing that has blown up harder than an Al-Qaeda Bird is Justin Timberlake's Suit & Tie. "As long as [he's] got [his] suit and tie, [he's] gonna leave it on the floor tonight. You got fixed up to the nines; let [him] show you a few things. All pressed up in black and white, and you're dressed in that dress [he] like. Let [him] show you a few things about love while you're in the swing of love." Children should learn about the birds and bees from their Christian parents minutes before their wedding and not from Rovio Entertainment, Ltd. and Justin Timberlake.

More offensive than the fact Justin Timberlake's lascivious lyrics about sex swings are incessantly broadcast on public airwaves promoting violation of God's 7th Commandment, is the way in which Angry birds has ruined Doritios for me. Players of Angry Birds, along with Chris Martin, often refer to our third and final bird as the yellow one. To Sunday Depression, this bird is more properly known as the Hairy Doritos Bird; the name is derived from the fact that this particular bird looks like a Dorito which was selectively treated with Rogaine. While there is arguably nothing innately anti-Christian about the Hairy Doritos Bird, Sunday Depression takes the position that no God-fearing person would think it was cool to interfere with the perfection that is Cool Ranch Doritos. Thanks to my fear of consuming a patchily haired Dorito, whenever a bag of Doritios is placed in front of me, I eat like a bird.  

The names of the levels in Angry Birds demonstrate that this "game" is little more than bird-brained, atheist propaganda that is for the birds. Roxio Entertainment, Ltd. cunningly created Angry Bird levels entitled "Mighty Hoax," "Danger Above," and "The Big Setup." There is little question the titles of these levels dogmatically and vilely suggest that Christianity is a fraud. The Christmas themed levels in the Angry Birds Seasons spinoff are nothing more than an attempt by Roxio Entertainment, Ltd. to camouflage the pervasive anti-Christian sentiment which fowls Angry Birds. These so-called "Christmas themed" levels are entitled "Wreck the Halls," "Season's Greedings," and "Winter Wonderham." Talk about taking the "Christ" out of Christmas. Instead of proclaiming the true message of Christmas, these levels promote vandalism, greed, and the cold/enigmatic nature of ham.

Even assuming these "Christmas themed" levels somehow praised Jesus, such praise would be overshadowed by the love Roxio Entertainment, Ltd. gives to the devil's holiday and the repulsive lies of "Science." Angry Birds Seasons includes the levels "Trick or Treat," "Ham'o'ween," and "Haunted Hogs." Perhaps most offensive is the use of the word "trick" in a children's game, when we all know that a "trick" is something a prostitute does for money. Even more disturbing is the level in Angry Birds Space entitled "Pig Bang." Obviously, Roxio Entertainment, Ltd. believes God had nothing to do with the creation of the Universe or Man.

Then, there is the undeniable fact Angry Birds promotes murder. And anyone who is familiar with 1990's gangster rap or 1960's civil rights protests knows that the word "pig" is a pejorative, slang reference to a police officer. So, not only does Angry Birds promote murder but in making the game's objective to kill pigs, it endorses cop-killing. Worse, Angry Birds is teaching North Korean children of the potential of birds to serve as weapons of mass destruction. With the weaponization of Avian Bird Flu a legitimate possibility, the use of birds in warfare is nothing to sneeze at. The days where a bird was merely a big, yellow character on Sesame Street are over; that bird has flown.

The Bible teaches us that sling shots are to be used by a little boy to launch a stone between the eyes of an uncircumcised Philistine, pagan giant, before cutting off the giant's head and taking it to Jerusalem as a souvenir. (See 1 Samuel 17: 1-58). Oh, I forgot the part about the little boy promising to feed the carcasses of the giant and his people to the birds and wild animals. Back to the topic at hand, slingshots have no business launching birds at green pigs; the mere suggestion that they do trivializes the Bible tale of David and Goliath and constitutes blasphemy.

In view of the forgoing, I am confident my readers understand why Angry Birds is the most serious threat to Christianity since the Harry Potter series. While a lowly 450 million copies of Harry Potter have been sold, Angry Birds has been downloaded more than 1.7 billion times and is the most successful app of all time. This is my call to Christians everywhere to wake up to the devices of Satan and put an end to Angry Birds. If you have Angry Birds installed on your PC, tablet, or smartphone, delete it today as an Easter gift to Jesus. He gave his life for you; the least you can do is give up a silly video game. True, if we are successful, we will put more than 500 employees of Roxio Entertainment Ltd. in Espoo, Finland, Tampere, the United States, and Sweden out of work, and those workers will no longer be able to provide for their families. But that is what you get when you sow the seeds of Satan.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Sunday Depression Proudly Announces the Birth of Jamal

Six weeks ago, when Sunday Depression announced it was going to enjoy a period of six weeks without publishing a single blog post, it summoned 16 Facebook likes. Out of 17 blog posts published by Sunday Depression since its inception, this simple announcement, an announcement proclaiming a drought of Sunday Depression blog posts, received more likes than every Sunday Depression blog post of all time save for one. The extent to which our readership enjoys not reading our blog posts nearly inspired us to stop publishing blog posts altogether. 

Those of you who know me well understand this cessation of blog posting was prompted by a major life change. Nearly seven weeks ago, my wife and I switched from Nestle Pure Life bottled water to Dasani bottled water, a product of Coca-Cola. On a less significant note, our first child was born. A branch of the Sunday Depression readership naively conjectured the birth of my son would rain down so much happiness and glee the endeavor known as Sunday Depression would, via the oppressive sword of happiness, meet its ultimate demise.

Anyone who fails to perceive that having a child paves many new paths to depression is obviously looking for depressive opportunities with insufficient optimism. Having a child gives you a license to be depressed for two. No matter how much the baby boomers crush my generation, like Rosie O'Donnell sitting on a chair constructed from toothpicks, as they incur nostril loads of debt, rape and pillage social security, and set back my retirement age ten years subsequent to my life expectancy, my son's generation should be at least five times as screwed. And so long as I live in a world where the Kardashians are statistically likely to enjoy greater financial success than my son, I should harbor just enough Sunday Depression to keep this blog alive. So, in order to piss off the Sunday Depression readership and prove baby-making is no panacea for the paralyzing psychological trauma of Sunday Depression, this blog, like Justin Bieber's knack for selecting atrocious pants, will soldier on.

It is my sincere hope, over the course of the past six weeks, the Sunday Depression readership exhibited a modicum of the productivity achieved by Sunday Depression itself. During its sabbatical, Sunday Depression managed to convince the Pope playing the New Super Mario Bros. U is more fun than attending mass. More impressively, Sunday Depression levied tougher sanctions on North Korea while thwarting a North Korean Nuclear attack by employing Dennis Rodman as ambassador and casting the President of the United States as the Devil. Not all of Sunday Depression's endeavors met with success. Attempts to make Amanda Bynes more sane and Matthew McConaughey less stupid failed abysmally. Ms. Bynes recently tweeted she wants rap star Drake to murder her vagina. While I do not know exactly what Ms. Bynes meant by the tweet, I do know the connotation of such tweet is icky. Matthew McConaughey defended Lance Armstrong this past week by stating Mr. Armstrong told a lie but is not a liar, proving less shirt wearing does not equate with more brain thinking and demonstrating a shocking ignorance of the fact that the very definition of the word "liar" is "a person who tells lies."

Just because Sunday Depression might have taken a break the past six weeks does not mean I have forgone exercising my undeniable talent as a writer. To the contrary and in full conformity with the message articulated by the parable of the talents set forth in Chapter 25 of Matthew, I wrote a lullaby for my beautiful son. Calvin Harris collaborated with me and mixed up a bad ass beat. However, with this being the first drop of my son's lullaby, I told Mr. Harris the a cappella version is more authentic and should be released first. After all, traditionally a lullaby is a heartfelt song devoid of accompaniment which is sweetly sung by a parent into his or her infant's ear; the parent rhythmically rocks the delicate infant to and fro, admiring his or her gift from God, and praying his or her gift from God will shut the hell up and go to sleep.

Every great artist, at one time or another, has encountered the abhorrent creature of censorship -- whether such censorship is imposed by government, a populace enslaved by social mores, or in the worst of scenarios, a wife. If the reader were to critically examine all 17 blog posts published by Sunday Depression heretofore, said reader might realize, for purposes of this blog, my wife's name is "my wife." This designation is motivated by my wife's firm belief the Internet is no place to publish information and/or photographs concerning those we love. I have found the incorporation of the words "my wife" into my writing can be quite onerous at times, and I refuse to make a similar mistake with respect to my son.

So, in light of spousal mandated censorship -- censorship approaching a level which makes the FCC, Chinese government, and Mormon church appear lax by comparison -- I cautiously announce that unto us a child is born. Unto us a son is given. And Sunday Depression shall be upon his shoulders. And his name shall be called Jamal, an African American baby with parents responsible enough to make his photograph part of the public domain.

Please enjoy this beautiful, a cappella lullaby written especially for my son, Jamal.

And tune in next week to discover why Jamal will never be allowed to play Angry Birds.