The Book of Despair

  1. In the beginning there was the Uncaring Universe. And the Uncaring Universe did not give a shit about you or your problems
  2. And, behold, the Uncaring Universe did look upon the vastness of space and say “that’s a lot of room. I should put some shit there”. And the Uncaring Universe did shit upon the space.
  3. And when the Uncaring Universe had shat upon space, it gazed upon its shit and it did say “Meh. Good enough”
  4. The Uncaring Universe did gaze upon its shit and it saw that one of the pieces was a little less shitty than the rest.  And it said “I should do something about that.  I will create Man and place him upon the less shitty world that he may cause the world to be more shitty.
  5. And the Uncaring Universe did place man upon the face of the Earth that he may go forward, multiply, and cause The Earth to be shitty.
  6. And shit happened
  7. And one day Ian the Campbell was born.  And behold, that was bullshit, because that was not his real name
  8. And Ian, whose name was bullshit, did grow into a man
  9. And Ian, whose name was bullshit, did wax wise in the sophistry of men.
  10. And behold, Ian, whose name was bullshit, did inflict his sophistry upon willing readers
  11. And thus he spake unto his willing readers
  12. “Willing Readers, this I desirest thou to know:
  13. People Suck
  14. When someone you’re not related to welcomes you to “The Family”, turn and run like a son of a bitch
  15. Whenever a manager uses the word “proactive” in a sentence, you know something is about to suck
  16. If wishes were fishes we’d have some to fry
    1. (Corollary)  Actually, If wishes were fishes, they’d probably all get that disease where the fish literally puke their guts out and die and float to the top and all the other fish would devour the dead fish–or wish–in an orgy of cannibalism.
  17. If someone preemptively assures you that something isn’t going to happen, you can count on it happening
    1. (Corollary) If someone preemptively assures you of anything, then they are full of shit.
    2. (Corollary) If someone preemptively asserts that they are or are not something then they probably are, or are not exactly that thing
  18. The bigger the pickup, the bigger the asshole at the wheel
    1. (Corollary) The bigger the pickup, the smaller the penis on the asshole at the wheel
  19. Suicidal teenagers are fucking annoying
  20. Teenagers who think they are Vampires are fucking annoying
  21. Teenagers are fucking annoying
  22. They have mobile phone coverage on the Summit of Mt. Everest now.  Climbing Mt. Everest has jumped the shark.
    1. (Corollary) The phrase “jumped the shark” has, itself, jumped the shark
  23. The driver’s side windshield wiper will always wear out before the passenger-side
  24. The shitty-ness of the music is directly related to the loudness to which a teenager will feel compelled to turn up the volume
  25. The internet is full of shit
    1. (Corollary) People on the internet tend to be full of shit as well
    2. (Corollary) …and they don’t know when to sit down and shut up
  26. Everyone thinks that no-one loves music as much as they do
  27. When picking up a take-out order from a restaurant, the special order you have to double-check before leaving will be at the very bottom of the bag
  28. In the parking lot, that stupid person meandering aimlessly in front of you will be parked right next to you
    1. (Corollary) They will also drive the way they walk
  29. Whenever someone comes into your office, the most embarrassing song on your your iPod will come up in shuffle.  No matter how many un-embarrassing songs there are to choose from.
  30. Nothing profound has ever been said on Twitter
  31. Nothing profound will ever be said on Twitter
  32. The further away from New York you were on 9/11/2001, the more likely you are to wax rhapsodic with affected pathos about The World Trade center on any given 9/11.
  33. Everybody thinks that they are more like grumpy cat than anybody else
  34. Wikipedia:  A million nerds can’t be wrong
  35. Unless they’re talking about women, in which case a million nerds are always wrong
  36. All internet comments sections are headed to the same destination:  a huge dick-waving contest.
  37. You will hit every light green when you just need 10 more seconds to finish surreptitiously sending that text message from your car.
  38. Everybody thinks the drivers in their town are worse than everybody else’s town.  The truth is everybody is a bad driver everywhere.
  39. Jaywalkers will always run across the two lanes you’re not in, then walk across the lane you are in
  40. Any person who declares that they were educated at “the school of hard knocks” or “the school of life” on Facebook is 99% likely to not only be catastrophically ignorant, but also noisily proud of their own ignorance.

The Tumultuous Love Life of the Skyrim Hero

The Tumultuous Love Life of the Skyrim Hero

My wife in real life is to blame for Jordis’ death–or is at least an accessory. She got me involved in a video game for our Playstation. The game is called Skyrim, and in it you–the player–answer destiny’s call to save the realm from ancient long-dead dragons who are mysteriously coming back to life and laying waste to the simple, cheese-eating folk of Skyrim. The game is far more submersive than that tank game that came free with my last console. You know, the one where you’d fire a little dot at a bigger clump of dots and the little dot would go “boop……boop…boop. KKKRRRTTHHHHTTHH-SSSSSSS”. Unlike Tank, in Skyrim, you interact with computer-controlled people, some of whom are even the opposite sex. In fact, you’re allowed to marry one, if they agree that is.

My wife Jordis, now presumed dead.

I proposed to Jordis, my “House Carl”—that is a sort of court-appointed body guard. Because, as the “Thane of Solitude”, I was important. And, being important, I had a bodyguard who apparently liked what she saw. It all started out a bit awkward, because I was dipping my feather quill in the company ink, after all. But I wasn’t about to let such trifles stop me. After she said “yes”, and she did say “yes”, I had to drag my ass all the way to the other end of Skyrim, to the Temple of Mara to schedule our nuptials.

The priest said “Great, meet us here tomorrow at dawn for the ceremony”.

Do you remember in Casablanca, when Jan Brandel tells Captain Renault he’ll be at his office at 6 AM, and Renault smiles and says “Fantastic, I’ll be there at 10”? My wedding day kind of worked out like that. I have no idea when dawn is in real life, let alone in Skyrim. So I guesstimated that 8 AM would do.

I’m not 100% sure I didn’t accidentally kill Jordis as we walked through the temple doors.

Eight AM arrived and I showed up at the Temple, but there was no sign of Jordis, and the priests were all being kind of bitchy in a passive-aggressive way. I thought “weird. She never showed up. Maybe there’s a bug in the software.” After a while, I gave up waiting for her, and carried on with one of my missions to save the simple mead-swilling, cheese-eating people of Skyrim. But, every adventurer needs a pit-stop from time to time. At some point, after defeating a hoard of vampires on an island somewhere, I returned to my house, dragging in tow, a cute Vampiress, who constantly complains about the weather. Well, I bumped into Jordis, swilling mead at a table in what I think is my living room.

She audibly sniffed at me and said “You have some nerve speaking to me, after what you did.”
I was aghast! Agog! To my empty living room out loud in real life, I said “You never showed up!”

She didn’t hear me because, you know, she’s a computer program. But in the game, I had the option to apologize profusely, assume full responsibility, and reschedule the wedding, which I chose. So, I schlepped to the Temple again, arranged for another wedding day, and endured a harangue from the priest about how I had disrespected Mara by standing Jordis up at the alter. Again they laid the “show up at dawn tomorrow” thing on me.  But this time, I showed up at 5 AM and waited for her.  Sure enough, Jordis arrived, and Serena the Vampiress showed up as well. And then I thought, “Well this is awkward.”

Then, when we entered the temple, and in the audience sat Lydia, my House Carl who I married in a previous play-through. “Huh”, I thought, “Well, this is even more awkward.” I was getting nervous. Would Lydia say something? When they say “speak now or forever hold you peace”, would Serena stand up and proclaim her undying, undead love for me? I mean those priests had been really mean to me.

In spite of my worries, nothing like that happened. Serena and Lydia were cool. But what happened next is a bit of a mystery. I’m not 100% sure I didn’t accidentally kill Jordis as we walked through the Temple Doors.

As she and I were going through the doors, I realized I needed to visit the bathroom in real life, so I set my controller down, and as I stood, the controller slid off the ottoman onto the floor pressing the button that casts the spell I use to kill dragons. Oh, and it also steals your opponent’s’ souls and puts them in a special rock I carry around in my pocket. Lydia definitely died, Serena survived because she’s immortal, but there was no sign of Jordis. I looked around outside the temple for her body or a pile of ashes–which sometimes happens. I could find no trace of her.

She never showed up back at my house in Solitude either, and now I have no bodyguard.
All in all, my foray into matrimony in Skyrim was not what I’d call a success. But you know, it occurs to me, I might be carrying her soul around in a rock in my pocket, which you have to admit, is a little romantic.

“Office Violence” image ©sergeypeterman/

“Jordis” image was created for use on Unofficial Elder Scrolls Pages (UESP) using components taken from the Elder Scrolls series of video games or from websites created and owned by Bethesda Softworks. The copyright for the components is held by Bethesda Softworks while the copyright for this particular composition is held by UESP. It is available for use under the Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5 License

About the Author

About the Author: Ian is a 3rd generation native of Southern Nevada, where he lives today in a quiet suburban neighborhood with his wife of twenty years and their two sons. Ian has earned his bread in a variety of occupations including stocking a beer freezer, mixing and pouring concrete, being a roadie for a synth punk band in San Francisco in the early 90's, being a not-very-well-known hard rock DJ, scenic carpentry, theatrical lighting design, theatrical sound design, playing Ku Klux Klan Member #5 in a professional production of "Grover", and writing for an virtually unknown, subversive, underground blog called Radio Free Las Vegas. .

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