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16 August 2005 @ 03:29 pm
Slashy Nominations 126: Finding Delight in Another's Misfortune  
I am having a series of crappy days. As in, like, prize-winningly crappy. I mean, I've been hugging my dogs and they haven't even been protesting, just bearing up nobly and accepting that when things go this wrong it is a dog's duty to be squeezed much too tightly. When dogs go stoic on you, you know things are bad. Or, okay, I guess if you had naturally stoic dogs, that wouldn't be true, but we have a dog who, it has been scientifically proven, limps when he is experiencing emotional stress - limps from an injury incurred more than four years ago and long since healed. So, no, we leave the stoicism to the fictional characters in this house.

Except, I'm not being stoic. I'm being in denial. Why did no one tell me that denial was a critical life skill? I mean, my teachers spent all that time going on and on about how useful communication skills would one day be - hah! - and yet never once mentioned that the ability to ignore bad things would be downright critical. It's a failure of the education system, people.

Anyway. I've been engaging in shameless self-indulgence, which is yet another coping skill no one mentioned back when they were trying to get me to be assertive and open. Which means, yes, whining in LJ. But also it means re-reading stories guaranteed to make me smile. And I noticed this, well, trend: things I re-read on bad days are about characters having amusingly bad days. Apparently I feel better if other people have it worse than me and are still smiling. (Or, well, kvetching, but in a way that makes me smile.) And since I was re-reading them anyway, I thought I'd rustle up four of my favorites and put them in recs set. (Yes, I have more. Many, many more. Some fandoms seem to assay out at approximately 40% funny-bad-day stories, and my god how I love those fandoms.) So here we go, and I dedicate this to anyone who is having a bad day, bad week, or bad year - basically, any unpleasant period of time. Because this is the set that proves that "Well, it could always be worse" actually can cheer you up, provided it comes in the right package.

Schadenfreude, here we come.

Best FF That Answers, Once and for All, the Age-Old Question, "Is That a Slice of Apple Orbiting the Sun?" Day Break, by giddygeek. Stargate: Atlantis, John Sheppard/Rodney McKay. See, now, this is exactly why I'm giving regular thanks for SGA these days. I mean, if I'm going to have the universe throw up on me daily - and, really, the last eight days have sucked more than that - I need stories like this. Because John Sheppard is having a seriously bad day in this story. You know how bad days just go on and on? This is worse than that. And, lord, I am familiar with the horrors of insomnia, but he's got, like, externally-induced sleep deprivation in this. By remote control. And also, Inventory Hell. This is the first I've seen of a story type I had been happily anticipating since my third minute in the SGA fandom, and, wow, it does not disappoint. (And neither, for the record, does the other SGA story I've seen like this, which I will also be recommending just as soon as the sequel is out, so someone poke the_moonmoth for me, okay?) This is just - there's funny in spadefuls. There's Punish the Idiots Day (which is every day in Pegasus, if you ask me, but Rodney brings a special verve to the occasion), and there's John Sheppard off balance, and then increasingly exhausted and desperate, and there's a wonderfully snarky Radek Zelenka, and there's the single best explanation for a person's presence in a meeting ever, and there's, like, note-passing through space and time, which is just - wow. Cool. I love this story. In every particular. Yes, stories like this turn the red and jiggly skies to blue, all right, which comment will make more sense after you read this story, so go do that right now, please.

Best FF That I Totally Pasted in the Entirely Wrong Set of Links for the First Time I Posted It. Did I Mention It Has Been That Kind of Day? Sorry, Jenn. And Madelyn. Frantic, by Jenn, aka seperis. Smallville, Lex Luthor/Clark Kent. So, Clark has gone home for a visit, and Lex is also in Smallville. Is it any wonder that sentient green goo would also choose to be in town that day? No, it is not. Not if you've been paying any attention to the canon or the fandom, here. And I think it's safe to say that Lex started out having the worst day in this story, but he gets the upper hand fairly quickly. (I know, try to contain your surprise.) Because Clark doesn't get pork chops, and then his truck gets destroyed, and then he gets trapped in a cave with Lex. Which, OK, standard day in Smallville, yes? But then come the environmental control problems, and then we all start asking ourselves just where it was that Lex took horseback riding lessons, and what else he learned there, because he adapts himself to new mounts with the greatest of ease. All of which means that Clark's day goes totally south. Um. In some definitions of the word. This story never fails to make me giggle, in any number of places. (Like when Clark evaluates the Justice League's collective sex life, which - well, that's not what I hear over in DCU FF circles, mind, but he could very well be right.) Also, there's a follow-up story by svmadelyn (conveniently available on the same page) that is just - wonderful. Best epilogue ever, in my personal opinion, including a truly hysterical last line. This story is so good and ends so well that after I finish it I inevitably just scroll back up and start reading it again. And, for the record, there is just no way to experience the depths of self-pity in the face of Lex and Clark having a truly shitty day. Together. Again.

Best FF That Draws a Connection Between Charles Baudelaire and Beetles. Not That That Isn't a Perfectly Natural Connection to Make, Mind You. A Week of Wrong, by Anna S., aka eliade. Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Spike/Xander Harris. Xander is having a week of shitty days, poor guy. Because a week in which every single day features escalating unintentional sexual activity with Spike - that just sucks, you know? You have to pity him. No, I'm not kidding. You have to pity him. Also, you should probably pity Spike, who isn't having a good week, either. Good weeks feature fewer beetles. I know this for a fact. Oh, and in re the beetles - in case anyone doesn't recognize it, the poem Spike quotes is Sed Non Satiata, by Charles Baudelaire, which one sometimes-reliable party has translated as "Unslakable Lust." (Reading through this today fed my Baudelaire kink to such a degree that I actually went back and started making notes on my never-to-be-finished Angelus/Baudelaire story. Because, come on, he so totally did - just listen to the way he talks! In the one episode! With the, um, alien lust lady! Why aren't there many, many Angelus/Baudelaire epics? In which it is explained that Angelus is responsible for all of Baudelaire's poems? Including the one Spike is quoting? I've been whining about this since I started in this damn fandom. Seriously, ask fanofall if you don't believe me. Attention, Angel fandom: get with the poet/vampire stories, please.) And if Spike quoting smutty French poetry at Xander doesn't get you reading this - well, actually, then you are just way too hard to please. But there's more: he does it in the presence of Giles, who knows debauched poetry when he hears it. See what I mean about Xander having a whole succession of bad days? Ah, Xander in adversity. Good times for all.

Best FF That Demonstrates That Everyone Is As Allergic to Giant Teeth As I Am. Although, in Fact, I Wasn't Until Movie Stars Everywhere Started Having These Horrible Privacy Fences of Teeth, Like Their Tongues Needed Lots of Personal Space or Something. Damn You, Hollywood! Grown Men Don't Freak, by Annie D., aka dachinchilla, and Katryne, aka serabut. Stargate: SG-1, Jack O'Neill/Daniel Jackson. When I find myself quoting a story repeatedly, I know the time has come to recommend that puppy. And, well, what with the bad days and all - here we have Sam having a bad day (because of bouncing balls), Jack having a bad day (because of Daniel), and Daniel having a whole series of bad days (because of Sam, Jack, and himself - Daniel is always such an over-achiever). Teal'c, though - does Teal'c ever have a bad day? I'm not talking about the betraying-your-god-to-side-with-infidels kind, or the dead-loved-ones kind, because every single character the SG writers get their hands on has that kind of day, including many of the red shirts. I'm talking about the amusing kind. Does he ever, I don't know, wake up on the wrong side of the bed, have meditation candles that don't light, have an allergic reaction that makes his tattoo swell up, that sort of thing? Hmmm. You know, it's hard to imagine Teal'c in that kind of situation. That boy has got gravitas coming out his ears. Anyway. This is a story I love for the little things - or, no. Let me be honest. I love it for the Jack O'Neill contained therein. The Jack that listens to Daniel's barrage of speech and hears only the two words that matter, the Jack that is, for once, described exactly the way he actually looks to me, the Jack that is so obscenely in lust with a flying remote-controlled glider thing that you want to avert your eyes and order him to get a private control room - that Jack. Daniel's always fun (or, well, tragic, but we're not even going there today), especially when he's insanely self-conscious and just, well, insane, but this Jack is a special treat.
Jonathan Toews does not want a sandwich.svmadelyn on August 16th, 2005 03:31 pm (UTC)
*dies laughing* The story you're talking about for the second one is seperis' Frantic. But--*glows omg so much*--Thank you!
Jonathan Toews does not want a sandwich.svmadelyn on August 16th, 2005 03:32 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - svmadelyn on August 16th, 2005 03:38 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thefourthvine on August 16th, 2005 04:53 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thefourthvine on August 16th, 2005 04:50 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Moral Whiplashbkwyrm on August 16th, 2005 03:46 pm (UTC)
I am sorry for your series of crappy days. I have been having a string of annoying-but-not-necessarily-crappy days myself.
The recs make things better! Thank you!
tried to eat the safe banana: Fondue forks for everybodythefourthvine on August 16th, 2005 07:57 pm (UTC)
I am seriously pleased to have made your day better. I think that's my greatest accomplishment for the past week.

*celebrates mildly*
the upper echelons of mediocritythe_star_fish on August 16th, 2005 04:04 pm (UTC)
Is Mercury in retrograde or some shit? Everyone I know is having a Series of Unfortunate Events.

::hugs you::

Meanwhile, I have 4 5 stories to read and/or re-read, so I thank you sincerely.

tried to eat the safe banana: Moon in redthefourthvine on August 16th, 2005 08:30 pm (UTC)
Mercury on ice couldn't explain this weird confluence of bad-day-ish-ness. I strongly suspect supernatural, alien, or just plain evil influences. Quick! Call in a pair of closely-bonded, snarky, vaguely gay investigators! To look into this, yes, and also to be flirty and funny and stuff, because frankly we here in fandom could use some of that.

*hugs back*
Moony McMoonsome: Steve Malevolentthe_moonmoth on August 16th, 2005 04:20 pm (UTC)
Dude! Just... ARGH! *hissy fit*

We do not talk about the sequel, 'kay?

(I'm assuming you're talking about Ramus here?)

*sigh* seriously, I don't know what happened. One minute I had all these ideas about where the story was going, and then I seemed to run out of words. But, things might be looking up... scenes are being outlined in a notepad file... I might, possibly, maybe start putting it into prose tonight. But I have said that before.
tried to eat the safe banana: SGA infinitythefourthvine on August 16th, 2005 08:35 pm (UTC)
*does not talk about the sequel*

*thinks intense sequel-encouraging thoughts, though*

Because, yes, I am indeed talking about Ramus; it's fabulous, and it's also one of the more interesting uses of this concept I've seen.

Are we allowed to express vague happy-ending hopes for the story as a whole?

*returns to thinking supportively at you*
¿es eso un libro de besos?: hugdarthfox on August 16th, 2005 04:26 pm (UTC)
you might, when you're feeling a little better, enjoy the word Schadenfreudenschuldenschmerzenstod, coined by datlowen and myself. it means -- or would mean, if it really existed -- 'death by heartburn (or really any pain) caused by guilt from joy at the misfortune of others'.

neologisms in other languages are fun.

[hugs for you]. hope things look up soon.
tried to eat the safe banana: Drawthefourthvine on August 16th, 2005 08:40 pm (UTC)
Whoa. You just gave me weird flashbacks to my first German class, which led to the stunning realization that my first German teacher was the Germanic edition of Radek Zelenka. No, really. Exact duplicate, aside from a minor accent variation.

*boggles at the interconnectedness of all things*

Also, I am in love with that word (which I am not typing owing to length). One of my favorite things about German was that you could just - squash words together, and they were a whole new word, just like magic. So it never mattered if you forgot a noun; you could always roll your own.

And thank you. *hugs back*
Vera: cuddlecopracat on August 16th, 2005 05:01 pm (UTC)

*memorises this post, like, 4evah*
The Black Kitten: Nobility - Sacrifice - Chocolatelaylah on August 16th, 2005 05:17 pm (UTC)
Yay for schadenfreude fic!
One you might want to add to your list, if you haven't seen it already: Whistling in the Dark, by elynross. Highlander, but all you need to know about the canon is there are these guys who are Immortal, right? And the ones in the story? They need to get it on. And they have needed to get it on for quite a while. The story's clever and funny, and it's about one of those days where every little thing goes wrong (and one big thing goes right).
z_rayne on August 16th, 2005 06:12 pm (UTC)
I'm really not reading outside SGA fandom right now, but because it's been that kind of fucking year for me (and forget about days like that, my life is like Daniel--an overachiever in that regard), I'm going to sit down tonight and read every one of these puppies. Including the SGA one, which I've already read and love to death.

Thank you. *g*
ficbyzee on August 16th, 2005 06:27 pm (UTC)
Oh my god, a bad day post. You are a fucking *mind-reader,* I swear. Thaaaaank you.
Iphiginia Saberhagen: Save a horse ride a cowboyfanofall on August 16th, 2005 09:12 pm (UTC)
Along with everyone else EVER, I thank you for posting bad-day fic. Because ARGH. AND FNARR.

And, yes, I owe you e-mail. I know. I'll ... well, I will respond sometime, hopefully soon, before THE END OF TIME. *sigh*
exceptinsectsexceptinsects on August 16th, 2005 11:49 pm (UTC)
Angel/Baudelaire! Seriously, you are so right, why isn't this a HUGE fandom cliche already?
Please somebody write some.
her soul like a prism: puppy squee!chopchica on August 17th, 2005 12:28 am (UTC)
seperis and svmadelyn wrote those for me when I was in the middle of having one of the worst weeks of my life, and god, I just love it so much. I'm so glad you recced it, because everybody in the universe should read Frantic and the epilogue, and get to know nibbles and The Lex.
Stac-edivine_evil on August 17th, 2005 05:21 am (UTC)
I had a bad day, too, but good recs make such things better, so now I'm sending you Good Day vibes as thanks. (Because really, when you rec fics with amusing anecdotes/summaries, it doesn't even matter if I barely know the fandom. Is this a good time for me to blame you for getting me into at least three new fandoms in the last year...although I say 'blame you' in the neicest possible way, of course?)

I learnt denial in school, but I think that may have been inadvertant. There can be a downside to using pop culture to teach English. It's very sad and I can no longer watch The Simpsons. But let's not go there.

/random babble.
Raven: Kissy Choraveninthewind on August 17th, 2005 08:32 am (UTC)
Those recs are the perfect antidote to a shitty day, or a week of shitty days.


*gives you lots of hugs*
Raven: cute Stitchraveninthewind on August 17th, 2005 04:08 pm (UTC)
Here's an SGA story that is at least a runnerup for Worst Week award: