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.