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Let me actually tell you about this goddamn doctor’s office: I knew my insurance would be running out soon, so I knew I needed to squeeze in a checkup as soon as possible. I hadn’t gone for a checkup in literally years, and so I had a list of things to ask about.
First off, I’m waiting in this room with paper thin walls so I can hear all the nurses outside gabbing about how hot they think the Rock is. Okay, fair enough, but slightly nerve-racking since I know I’m about to have conversations with the doctor about like MY BODY and stuff, and so I’m more nervous than I should be, and that was BEFORE the doctor finally came in and straight-up left the door open and asked me what was up.
So, okay, I feel like you guys probably know I’m not so great in weird social situations, right? I’ve probably made this clear by now? I very. VERY nervously asked the doctor if the door should maybe be shut maybe for the physical? And, without looking, he tells me the door IS closed. It’s not. It’s, like, it’s not WIDE OPEN, you know. But it’s ajar. And I happen to KNOW how much sound travels from where I’m sitting to the nurses station even with the door closed completely. But he tells me it’s closed and… It’s this thing, I didn’t want to have to even ASK about it in the first place, that made me nervous and uncomfortable, so I SUPER DUPER do not wanna have a fucking argument about it. But I say, “No, it’s, it’s actually still open a little.” And the doctor super weirdly looks to the door, and turns back, “It’s fine, no one can hear you.”
Hi. My name is Mitch Clem, this is my life, constantly, ALL THE TIME. Is this how hard things are for everyone? Like, I know I’m kinda nuts, I get that, but am I imagining how goddamn weird these scenarios I’m thrown into are? Maybe I’m overreacting. Probably. Usually.
So anyhow, I proceed to go down the list I brought of things my body did that may or may not require medical attention. And I don’t want you to think I’m some hypochondriac or anything, I wasn’t asking him if I had cancer or anything over and over, but, you know, I’m at the doctor, I have questions, he should have answers. And yet every thing I brought up to him he kinda laughed and shrugged off like, “Yeah, things are weird, right?” No explanation, no investigation.
Three questions in we got to a weird pain that I’d been having in my lower back at the time (it’s gone now) that was, like… okay. So, I apologize for this part, but it HAPPENED and it’s RELEVANT and I WAS TALKING TO A DOCTOR. But this pain kinda went from my lower back to one of my testicles. Like, I could feel it in my right testicle, a very sharp pain whenever I stood for too long. Which, I know, probably nothing, but, you know, I’m not supposed to have to be embarassed to talk to a DOCTOR about things like this, right? I say the word “testicle”, though, and this guy’s face runs blank. I am not kidding, I could see him get uncomfortable and totally check out. Without even addressing what I just said, he stood up, pretended to look at my file and told me what room to go for my blood work.
This was a physical. Like, you know, a checkup. I was thirty at the time and hadn’t been to a doctor (well, besides one STD screening - WHICH YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO DO ANYWAY, PEOPLE - and that had all come back clean so I knew this issue wasn’t some STD thing) in years. They didn’t touch me, they didn’t look at anything, they didn’t make me turn my head and cough or anything, and when I brought up something that could EASILY be a very obvious symptom of either a hernia or, god forbid, testicular cancer (you know, that thing that kills everyone with a Y chromosome?) the dude got all fucking weird like I was coming on to him or something and practically ran out of the room.
This story isn’t even finished yet, you guys. Buckle in.
I did the blood work, whatever, we’re fine. I get a notice in the mail: YOUR BLOOD WORK IS ABNORMAL. CALL US IMMEDIATELY.
Oh shit. So I call, and the woman on the phone asks when I can come in. Now, look. I’m not a wealthy man, and every time you go into the doctor they charge you like thirty bucks for a copay, which IS NOT AN INSIGNIFICANT AMOUNT OF MONEY FOR ME. Like, that’s a week’s worth of food, you dig? So I told the lady exactly that and asked if they could just tell me what the results were over the phone, she says only the doctor can do that, okay fine so can I talk to the doctor, no just come in, blah blah whatever. They fucking got me, you guys. They sent a scary note just to bilk me out of thirty more bucks.
So I went back, and that’s when the above comic happened. My “abnormal” blood results were that a couple of my levels were so goddamn barely above normal that the doctor was hesitant to even tell me to change anything. “Eat a little better, you know, drink a little less, whatever.” Thirty bucks. Sixty, really, when you count the first half of the experience with Dr. Feelsweird. Ugh.
So yeah. Anyhow. What were we talking about?
That’s right! Your best friends Mitch Clem and Bryan Static are BACK with another barrage of big audio beats to sooth your summertime blues! Or maybe it’ll be autumn by the time this goes up, who the hell knows. What IS known is that this episode is quite indierock-heavy, for which Mitch should be ashamed, and is also heavy on old songs by bands with brand new albums, for which Bryan should be ashamed as resident Young Guy to whom the responsibility falls to keep Old Fart Mitch up on the times. So it’s shame all around today on the Razorcake Musical Punk Rock Family Podcast! Crank up the jams and let’s DO THIS!
Snuff, “Some-How” (Worker’s Playtime / Fat Wreck)
Swearin’, “Hundreds and Thousands” (Salinas)
Ted Leo/Pharmacists, “Bridges, Squares” (Lookout!)
Iron Chic, “Less Rest For the Restless” (Yo-Yo / Drunken Sailor)
Rumspringer, “It’s Literally Tearing Me Apart” (Traffic Street)
Big Eyes, “Why Can’t I” (Don Giovanni)
Shang-A-Lang, “Friends Grow Up” (Dirt Cult / Silver Sprocket)
Lemuria, “Fingers” (Asian Man)
Jawbreaker, “Lawn” (Shredder)
Armalite, “New Years” (No Idea)
New Sweet Breath, “Hand Me Downs” (Big Top)
Tuesday, “It’s a Bright Light” (Asian Man)
Teenage Bottlerocket, “Pacemaker” (Red Scare)
Good Luck, “Impossible” (No Idea)
Alright, kids! It's me, your best friend, Mitch Clem, at your service! Bryan and I are back with another hour of slam-bang punk rock jams that'll have you asking "Uh... why?" ALL NIGHT LONG! Don't worry, True Believers, I sprinkled in just enough indie rock to keep all my punk cred in serious check. Come with us on a fantastic voyage of sight and sound, minus sight! Special guest Nation of Amanda pops in halfway through and brings everyone cheeseburgers! HOORAY!
Dillinger Four, "An American Banned" (Mutant Pop)
Audacity, "Punk Confusion" (Recess/Burger)
Mclusky, "No New Wave No Fun" (Too Pure)
Treasure Fleet, "Vice" (Recess)
White Lung, "Take the Mirror" (Deranged)
Basement, "Crickets Throw Their Voice" (Run For Cover)
RVIVR, "Cut the Cord" (Rumbletowne)
Big Eyes, "Back from the Moon" (Grave Mistake)
Ferd Mert, "Just How Far We Were" (self-released)
Lemuria, "Brilliant Dancer" (Bridge Nine)
NONA, "Jack Chan" (Mandible)
Sickoids, "King of the Dirt Mound" (Residue)
The Gain, "My Own Advice" (Mighty Recording)
Rocket From the Crypt, "Chariots on Fire (demo)" (Swami)
I finally did another Razorcake podcast after five zillion years. Punk rock jams sandwiching my inane babbling. CH-CHECK IT OUT!
ACTION PATROL - “Tube” [Whirled]
CHARLIE BROWN GETS A VALENTINE - “Caffeine At Night” [Whoa Oh]
RVIVR - “Talle
st Tree” [Rumbletowne]
TILTWHEEL - “Al Quint is an Emo Pussy” [Cool Guy / ADD]
GLOCCA MORRA - “Irrevocable, Motherfucker” [Kind of Like]
EARTHMEN AND STRANGERS - “Bartender” [FDH]
GUNMOLL - “Couples Skate” [No Idea]
COPYRIGHTS - “Well-Fed and Warm” [It’s Alive / Red Scare]
RIVERBOAT GAMBLERS - “The Song We Used to Call ‘Wasting Time’” [No Idea]
P.S. ELIOT - “Cry Uncle” [Freedom School]
DELIGHTFUL LITTLE NOTHINGS - “Blah Blah” [Kill Rock Stars / Lookout!]
CRUSADES - “Becky” [Scared to Death / Razorcake / etc]
PAIN - “Derision” [Springman]
BOMB THE MUSIC INDUSTRY! - “The Shit That You Hate” [Quote Unquote]
People ask when I'll bring My Stupid Life back. As far as in its original online format of joke-a-day strips, I don't know. I don't know that I will, frankly. It's not really anywhere on my to-do list. But I do still make autobiographical comics regularly under the My Stupid Life moniker, and they run in every issue of Razorcake magazine. Now, granted, Razorcake only comes out once every other month, meaning my autobio comic output isn't nearly as prolific as it was in MSL's meyday, but, ya know, what can ya do. Take what you can get, right?
I don't post these online until after the next issue of Razorcake comes out, rendering the previous issue's comic old hat, and so I feel like then it's safe to share them. HOWEVER. It appears I have been neglecting my duties, as I've forgotten to post like the entire past year's worth of comics up here. Oh my god, no wonder people kept asking.
So yeah, a year of my life summed up in six pages. These comics fail entirely to capture me gaining like fifty pounds over the course of the entire year, though they do effectively capture my descent into utter despair.
(Click on a panel to go to the full comic)
CLICK FOR THE FULL COMIC
When the Fest happens in Gainesville, Razorcake fanzine, one of their sponsors (and the current home of My Stupid Life), gives out free copies to try and spread the word, get people into the zine. I made this comic to be used as a promotional insert, like a smaller sheet of cardstock stapled inside somewhere, giving people a heads up. It turned out exceptionally weird and I have no idea if it sold even a single subscription, but it’s a year old now so I decided I should put it online for posterity. Wheee!
Hey kids! Didn't think I'd forgotten you over here, did ya? Well, I didn't, okay? So shut yer yap. I've just been so busy over at Nothing Nice to Say that pretty much all flyers and albums covers and such have stopped, at least by and large for right now. But I still draw comics! And I still draw comics for Razorcake punk rock punk rock! Now that the new issue's available (complete with just the most beautiful cover art imagineable, by the way), here's my comic from the last one:
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Alright! Until next time, kiddos!