I refer, of course, to the mouseover text at today’s xkcd:
I heard the general anesthesia drugs can cause amnesia, so when I woke up mid-extraction I started taking notes on my hand so I’d remember things later. I managed ‘AWAKE BUT EVERYTHING OK’ before the dental assistant managed to find and confiscate all my pens.
See, when I woke up mid-extraction, I spent my time desperately trying to get the oral surgeon to make me not be awake anymore¹. Further details of dental trauma are behind the cut so that the squeamish may avoid them, and I guess we can chalk one up in the Comics make shared experiences come alive! column.
- Another painful shared experience? Junior high school. Allow me to paraphrase Matt Groening’s description of junior high, as the brilliant cartoon wherein he expounded his theory (School Is Hell, Lesson 10: Junior High School, The Deepest Pit In Hell) doesn’t appear in the Big Book of Hell omnibus, which is close to hand):
Junior high is designed to help children through the formative “snotty” years. By isolating them from younger kids, they will be less likely to torture them, and keeping them from high school kids, means they will be less likely to receive the beatings they so richly deserve.
That’s as good as I can recall it. But the feelings of horror, not fitting in, inadequacy? For the past year and a half, Jason Dobbins has been voluntarily going to that well with Tales of the 8th Grade Nothing, dredging up his experiences for the laugh-chuckles of others; in sports, I believe this is what’s know as taking one for the team.
To spend even more time reliving those times, Dobbins has begun a print version of Tot8GN, with issue one (featuring Days One and Two of the first week of school) in pre-orders until 1 March. Dobbins was kind enough to send along a copy issue one (hey, any time I get an unexpected package on the porch and it’s not a flaming bag of poo, that’s a good day), along with a sketch edition.
Taking a page from the major comics publishers and their “con editions”, this is a comic with a big ol’ blank frame on the front cover, to be filled in with art; mine features his main two characters, Eve from Octopus Pie (because Dobbins figures — correctly — that I dig Octopus Pie) and moustachery. Lesson to be gained: if you’re going to send review copies, maxing out on the recipient’s interests makes it much more likely to get read and/or plugged.
- Speaking of guys that know effective techniques for getting their work plugged — Gene Ambaum and Bill Barnes have one of the most unique vectors for pulling in new readers I’ve ever seen in the Unshelved Book Club. So many creators dropping in to review books in their own style, then those creators mention it on their own sites. New readers come to see what the deal is, some fraction of them stay. Simple, elegant, and works to hook in the readers and Barnes and Ambaum want the most (book people). I’m wondering what part of their sustained run as webcomickers is due to the mechanism of the guest Book Club review, but whatever it might be, it’s working.
Did I mention that Unshelved hit nine years old today? I’m sure that neither Gene nor Bill thinks it feels like almost a decade since they started (possibly it feels much, much longer). That begs an interesting question: are there any other creative teams on comics that have lasted as long? Pretty much only Holkins & Krahulik and Foglio & Foglio come to mind. There aren’t many webcomics that have existed that long, and there aren’t many creative types that can work together for the long run, so I think it’s a pretty exclusive club at the moment — and they’re all from the Seattle area. Coincidence?
¹ It didn’t help that my mid-extraction wake-up consisted of being uncomfortably aware of a tugging sensation (that would be stitches going in for tooth #3) and then being more than fully aware that impacted wisdom teeth are removed by shattering them in the jaw with a hydraulic chisel and then picking the pieces out.
So yeah. On being informed that You don’t need another shot, Gary, I went for the tray of sharps and then for his eyes. They caught my wrists and brought out the soft restraints before I was able to draw blood or vitreous humor. I was informed after the procedure that I was not further anesthetized because said oral surgeon wasn’t sure if my insurance would pay for a second dose, and he didn’t want to possibly be on the hook for fifty bucks more than he didn’t want to perform a painful procedure on a conscious patient.
To this day, I regret only the stream of mute, obscene gestures that I made at Doctor Asshole were made in front of my mother (who drove me home) and that I didn’t spend the next ten years doing my best to get the New Jersey State Board of Dentistry to revoke that sumbitch’s license, not that I am bitter. THE END.