Hello Mr Reddit and the REEEEEE army. I originally posted my story in EntitledPeople but I would love to share my story of 4 years of absolute hell (yes, this is permission to make a video of my story), and if anyone wants to read it there also, go ahead. I can guarantee there are a few details there that I forgot to include here, and vice versa. This is the story of a manipulative gaslighting ass (EX, currently 27 M) who saw a girl (me, currently 26) with stars in her eyes and saw an opportunity to crush them one by one. Maybe it can give someone else hope of escaping a bad situation. My story will be split into each year (each year starting with June 13 as that was our dating anniversary), and what happened when. I might not remember exact dates, as my divorce was finalized in 2017, but I will try my hardest to remember. Cast: Me, a hopeless romantic that has grown enough to recognize and not put up with BS...... and EX, the entitled ass whom this entire story is about (things I now recognize as RED FLAGS will be labeled), and others will be introduced when they come up.... TLDR: Gaslighting, narcissistic, manipulative EX preys on my naivete, and makes 4 years become 1950s subservient housewife slavery, forcing me into bedroom activities, and getting angry when I don't cater to every little thing that pops into his ego-inflated head Backstory: I have always lived with my parents. I have also always had a great relationship with them, and we were always close-knit. My siblings (21M, and 19F) never really had as close a relationship with our parents as I did. They always preferred to hang out with their friends rather than their family. I was always the "weirdo" in school and didn't really have friends because middle schoolers can be bitches. My parents had a one-in-a-million relationship, until my dad died this past April. It was pretty much a match made in heaven. They met in 1992 and just KNEW they would be married, and together forever. A week later they started dating. I came along in 1994, but due to some government mumbo-jumbo they couldn't get married or else they would lose their food stamps (they find a loophole a year later, and I pick their wedding date with chocolate pudding covered fingers). They had been married until my dad's death 25 years, and didn't argue EVER (amazing I know, I can hardly believe they were so lucky). I always hoped I would find a love like that. BEFORE DATING: We first met when I was a freshman (15) and he was a sophomore (16). We had gym class together, and would usually talk before the end-of-class bell with a mutual friend R who went to church with me (I no longer go to that church). He was gone a lot, but I didn't really know him back then, so I really didn't care whatsoever. YEAR 1: One day, about a month or so after I turned 19 (either late March or early April 2013), I was at Wal-Mart with my mom, my sister, and a female cousin (who was living with us at the time). We were looking at makeup, nail polish, hair products etc. At this Wal-Mart, the Beauty section was right next to the Pet section. I walked down to the pet section to look at the fish with my little sister, and a mutual friend J1 snuck up behind me and gave me a hug. I noticed EX was with him, along with J1's mom (who is literally batshit crazy), and someone else who I also went to school with, J2. We talked for a good half an hour before I had to find my mom, and they (J1, J2, EX) had to go. I thought nothing else of it. Another month or so later, I got a message on Facebook from EX's brother. He said that EX sent him a letter, and he wanted his brother to send it to me on Facebook. It was sweet, and he said he wanted us to start dating, and he would even ask my parents if he could. He did. In June, he showed up on my front porch (I would later learn that he had come to my house straight from jail, which sweet, simple, hopeless romantic me had no clue was a RED FLAG), I invited him in, and he asked my parents if he could have the honor of dating me. They said yes, and we were exclusive. He was very sweet at the beginning. Always buying me pop (soda, for all you non-Michiganders) and my favorite candy bars. Our first Halloween as a couple was spent with me sick on the couch, and him being allowed to spend the night to take care of me. Our first Christmas as a couple was spent with him in jail for unpaid fines (RED FLAG), and after he got out, we spent the entire next week together from the time I woke up, until I reluctantly crawled into bed. He would come over before I awoke, and he wouldn't leave until I was wrapped in my blanket and I could hear him telling my parents good-night. It was great. In May 2014. he had some problems with his grandma (she wasn't really his grandma. He was living at her house with his cousins (C, the "main" cousin, we add to the cast), and she was THEIR grandma, so EX just called her grandma), so my parents, EX and I had a discussion and my parents said he could move in. So, we move a spare bed into the basement (at this time the cousin we had living with us had moved out, and there were only 3 other people living with us), sharing with another couple (also cousins) living with us. So, after he moved in and being young and in love, we started THAT (this will come into play later). I soon found out that he had a "job" of sorts, helping his cousin's dad (CD) cutting down trees and splitting them for firewood (reliable side income for many in Michigan). Over the next 4 months, he would go to help them with firewood. Sometimes I went with him, just to get out of the house. YEAR 2 (starting 3 weeks or so after EX moved in): Within those 4 months mentioned in the previous "year", any time I went with him, CD would take his wife, C, and EX to "reward EX and C at the casino for hard work"....... And CD and wife would have me babysit their 4 brats while they were gone (putting it nicely, they were the definition of crotch goblins). So I didn't go much. One day in September we YEAH, and I went home the day after. He came home the day after I did. (NOTE: THIS IS WHERE THAT COMES INTO PLAY) About 3 weeks later, we went to his cousin's mom's (CM) place, because EX had agreed to help his cousin (C2, C's younger brother) clean his room. I was kind of chatting, small talk with CM. I had mentioned to her that we YEAH a few weeks ago. She asked me if I wanted to take a pregnancy test. I said "Sure, why not. Can't hurt. The worst is it could be negative" (ever since I was a little girl, I had always wanted to be a wife and mother). So I peed on it, and BIG REVEAL, IT'S POSITIVE! Very faint, but enough to tell it was there. I told EX because he was done helping C2, and he was just as happy as I was. But at the same time, he kept saying "Your dad's gonna kill me, isn't he?" So we went home. I pulled my parents out on the porch, and EX and I break the news "You're gonna be grandparents!" They were a little disappointed that we didn't wait until we were married (but they didn't either, so......). The next day I made an appointment to see my family doctor to confirm. He confirmed I was about 4 weeks along. He also said that since most of the OBs and midwives around that took medicaid did an ultrasound on the first visit, they would schedule my first visit about 7 or 8 weeks. I finally made an appointment for a midwife visit and starting WIC. I passed the next 3 weeks telling my friends and family. Everyone screamed with excitement, and offered congratulations. Finally my midwife appointment came! I excitedly relayed all the needed information, took in all the information she gave me, and then we headed down the hall to the ultrasound room. Imagine my surprise when I see on the screen TWINS!!!! EX was in the room with me first, and then I asked him to get my mom, but tell her it's a surprise. My mom came in the room and she was also very excited. But it was not all happy. Only one twin was alive. The other measured as though it had died within the previous few days. But still, I had a child inside me. I was growing a life. And I felt great. I had a relatively easy pregnancy. No morning sickness, no back pain, not really anything uncomfortable. But it was after my 2nd or 3rd midwife appointment that EX decided to go to CD's place more often (RED FLAG). His excuse was always "I don't want to stress you out" or "They need my help with XYZ". At the time I thought, ok, whatever. I guess he thinks it helps me. But no, I found out that every single time he went over there, they went to the casino, and he spent every last penny that he was "paid" for "helping" (RED FLAG). We finally ended up getting married a couple weeks after my 21st birthday (side note: I kept telling everybody "I can't drink, you do it for me!"). After we got married, I had a few labor scares. At the end of April, I had another labor scare (I was only at 34 weeks). Mom and EX took me to the hospital, and I was then sent to another hospital that had a NICU just in case my baby came early. EX got mad at ME for constantly having to drop everything and "take my ass to the hospital", and then said "I'm going to CD's house, I'm not talking to you, and when I get back this shit better be under control" (RED FLAG). Like, dude, I CANNOT CONTROL THIS!!!! Everything settled down, and at my next midwife appointment, they told me that I had mono, and that is what caused my labor scare. Little did I know that shortly after that I really would go into labor.... May: Labor started around 2AM. I woke EX, and he kept saying "Go back to bed". Uh, no, this is the real thing, no mistake this time. I wouldn't let it go, so we both got up. I was excited to finally meet my baby! We woke up his mom (EXM) (who had come for my baby shower 2 days prior, and we were letting her stay for 2 weeks). My dad was already awake, as he always had intuition about stuff like that. I remember when we walked out of our bedroom, my dad immediately said "You're in labor aren't you?" So I gave him a wide smile and a thumbs up. I called Maternity, to the midwife on call and explained what was going on. She said to come in, and that it sounded like it was go time. I told her that I would let my mom finish her shift at work, and we would be in shortly after. She said to call her before we leave, and she would let staff on the floor know that she would have a patient here in about 2 hours. After my mom pulled in the driveway, EX and I met her outside and I said "Don't bother turning the van off. It's time". From 2AM, 19 1/2 hours later my beautiful baby girl was born. My mom was the hero of the day, not EX. He went down to the main road every hour or so to smoke a cigarette. He slept through my worst pain because "he was tired" (no shit, you think I'm not????) (RED FLAG both). My mom was by my side the whole time. She held my hand through everything. Asshole EX couldn't be bothered with caring for his laboring wife..... Hell, my mom even cut my daughter's cord because "Damn that's gross!!!".... Through our next 48 hours (hospital policy), he was at the main road to smoke, or walking to Taco Bell more than he was in my room. It was like he didn't even care. When my mom came to pick all 3 of us up, she brought with her my grandma (my maternal grandmother), and EXM. Funny side note: while waiting for my release paperwork to be brought around, EXM told EX "I didn't know you could make something that cute" (XD). After I was released, EXM paid for all of us to get McDonalds. We got home and everyone was waiting to see my little princess (EX and I ACTUALLY AGREED that no one could post pictures, and that we wouldn't post pictures either, until after we returned home). My other grandma (paternal grandmother) and my aunt were helping my cousin (aunt's daughter, not the same cousin from the beginning of my story) (I also have stories about them, but they will be told some other time) at our house. My aunt and my cousin went to Wal-Mart the previous day to buy a bed (play yard/playpen with bassinet insert) for my baby, as my parents weren't able to buy it yet, so aunt and cousin basically saved them some money by buying my daughter's bed. Everyone oohed and aahed. We were happy. But after the excitement wore off a few days later and everyone went home, EX..... Well..... He was complaining about my siblings spending too much time on games, and tried using force to get them off the games (RED FLAG). A huge fight ensued after my sister basically called him a hypocrite (because in all honesty, he was being one. He was on his own games just as much, if not MORE than my siblings). Things got heated, he went to CD's house, and I went with him (though I now know I should have stayed home because the whole time we were at CD's house, he complained about the fight and tried to defend himself for being in the right.... No, no you were not EX) (RED FLAG). We stayed at CD's house and went back home the next day. Things were kind of tense at home. EX was gone a lot more than usual. After we took his mom back home, everything in our relationship took a turn for the worse. RED FLAGS everywhere. He would be gone all day with his friends, smoking weed and playing Magic the Gathering (a card game my family and I had long given up), or with C and CD. When he was with his friends, he would come home just shortly before or after sunrise. If I was awake he would badger me for YEAH. If I didn't relent, he would huff down to the basement to "relieve himself". That would also happen if I was asleep, or pretended to be. Many times he would fall asleep downstairs and I would have to wake him up to fix himself, to make sure my kid sister (or anyone else for that matter) didn't see him indecently. YEAR 3 (starts when my daughter is about 6 weeks old): RED FLAGS continuing from previous year: Whenever he was gone during the day, or staying with C and CD, he would demand I clean everything on an unwritten list, but who gives a damn if I have to take care of a newborn? I needed to clean first! Let her cry!!! I didn't clean what was on his damn list. I was taking care of my baby, doing my best to give her the best start in life. Oh, no, he didn't care. To him I was nothing more than a slave, put on this earth to cater to his every whim and satisfy his every need. "Take care of the baby on your own time! Worship the ground I walk on!"....... If I didn't have done what HE wanted done, he would yell, punch walls, pretty much everything short of shooting a gun (that if he did, he would be in violation of probation). He would always say "I'm going to CD's house. I don't know how long I'm staying there, but I'm turning my phone off. I'm not messaging you, I'm not calling you. I think I might have them take me to the courthouse so I can file for divorce!" See, every time His Majesty didn't get what he wanted, his number 1 tactic to "get me to change" was threaten divorce (this will be important later). This went on for quite a while. I was starting to realize I was happier when he was gone, but I thought it was because I didn't love him enough..... In mid to late December (maybe around the 20th?) we went to pick up EXM, so she wouldn't have to be alone for Christmas, and she would stay with us until after New Years. On the 23rd, EX got into a verbal fight with pretty much my entire family. With my parents over his constant use of the basement (which EX constantly called "his man cave"). With my uncle, B, over his poor treatment of me, EXM, and my daughter and how he's never home like a man should be. With my siblings, over what I can't remember now, but EVERYONE was pissed off at EX. So he did what he ALWAYS did, he called CD and begged to be picked up. EXM followed us into our bedroom so she could talk with EX. He turned to me (a few times while waiting for CD to get him) and said "Are you gonna be a good wife, and show them that you're on my side, and come with me?"...... No. No, I absolutely will not. We had plans for Christmas Eve, to visit family that we rarely got to see, and DAMMIT I AM NOT SHRUGGING OFF A VISIT WITH MY FAMILY SO YOU CAN THROW A PITY PARTY!!!!! So he left. We took EXM with us to visit my extended family, and everyone enjoyed themselves (I had a nice healthy cry of bottled up emotions over EX's outburst the previous day and him not being there with me). But I felt better afterward and joined my family once again. We all left in high spirits. EX came back early Christmas morning, and acted like everything was fine. It was not. He refused to apologize for anything. The tension was so thick you could cut it with a knife. The tension was there to stay. In a couple of months, for our anniversary, he went to CD's house again. This time it was only for a few hours. He came back with pop (soda), my favorite candy bar, and a small bouquet of flowers, trying to erase all his wrongdoings. It didn't work. Those "thoughtful" things were only a bandaid solution to the real problem... Things would only get worse. For the rest of this "year" he was gone more than he was home, "because he couldn't stand being married to a lazy useless wife who doesn't do her job right, or any job at all", but he asked for YEAH less, and for that I was happy. YEAR 4 (starts when my daughter is just over a year old) (Here comes the roller coaster, so buckle up for a long bumpy ride): He was gone 90% of the time. When he was home, he was starting fights with my family over stupid shit. He never apologized for anything. Hell, he STILL never apologizes for anything. But to be fair, I have him blocked on Facebook because of non-stop harassment..... Anyway, it was at this point I became almost apathetic in my marriage and relationship with him. I clung to my family and my daughter. They (and my dogs) were the only things that brought me joy. The final straw was Halloween (which we don't celebrate anymore, because reasons). Now, where I live, getting ready to trick or treat on Halloween is pretty much an all day thing. So I was getting my daughter and myself ready. EX headed toward the door and said "I want X Y and Z taken care of before I get back, or you can just take those damn costumes off right now." I didn't care, so I continued getting my daughter and I ready. He came back and said in a sickeningly sweet voice "You didn't get (tasks) done, but, because I love you sooooooooo much, you can still go. I'm probably gonna be at CD's before you get back, and I'll probably be gone for a couple days, because they need my help." So we went trick or treating. Then when we got back, I went to my bedroom to get my phone, as I had left it home to charge because I didn't have a vehicle charger. I went in my bedroom, and there, sitting on my charging phone, was his wedding ring. I was confused. I was hurt. I called EX, because I thought surely there must be some explanation. "Oh, yeah. It slipped off as I was putting on my jacket"..... Yeah, I called BULLSHIT!!!! That ring was so tight on his finger that it took some serious muscle to pull off. It COULD NOT just slip off. It was put there on purpose. I was stunned, and I ran to my parents for comfort. They dried my tears, and gave me courage. (Here is where the divorce threatening comes into play) They said "Well, if EX wants a divorce, give it to him. You know we're behind you and support you 100%." So I messaged him "I am done. I am leaving your things on the porch. You can get them and then leave." Within 20 minutes, he was in the driveway, trying to sweet talk his way back into my heart. My dad and uncle B were backing me up. I pushed EX away while handing him his things. EX got irate and started yelling, threatening to kick my dad's bad leg, accusing my parents of brainwashing me. No, EX. I haven't seen or thought more clearly in a long time. YOU have been brainwashing me..... The next weekday (I can't remember if it was Nov 1, or what date), I filed for divorce. Due to BS "squatter's rights" (because he lived at our house more than 6 months) my parents had to formally evict him. He had to be out within 30 days. Over the course of November, I spent most of the month at my paternal grandmother's, just down the road, because when I would stay at home, EX would wait until my dad and uncle were asleep, sneak into my bedroom, and sweet talk his way into YEAH. After he finished, he would go to his friend's house, and when my dad and uncle woke up again, they asked me what happened. We all agreed that shouldn't happen anymore. My dad told me that when EX was at home, milking that eviction notice for all it was worth, he would constantly play games on his phone. If he noticed anyone watching him, he would cry and mourn our marriage. Whenever EX left, my dad would call grandma's house and tell me it was safe to come back home. I would hand my daughter over to my mom, and get on the computer to check Facebook messages and whatnot. As soon as EX saw that I was available and online, he would rush back, and I would rush back to my grandma's. When there was about a week left before his final date, he walked down to my grandma's house. I answered the door, and EX was all smiles for my daughter. He was talking to her, but it was loud and directed at me "Daddy's got a lawyer, I'm getting a job soon, and my own apartment. Daddy's doing a good job to get you back!" I took my daughter back from him, and my grandma took her from me (note: fiery redhead with a temper to match) while she said to him "THE HELL YOU ARE! WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING HERE ON MY DAMN PORCH?!?!".... and a loud argument ensued. My cousin (aunt's daughter) and her kids were also staying for a little while (her husband has a job that he's only home on the weekends). I brought all 3 kids inside, mine and her two, while grandma, cousin, and aunt were giving EX the ass-chewing of a lifetime. As he walked away down the road, grandma yelled after him "YOU STEP FOOT ON THIS PROPERTY AGAIN, I'M CALLING THE COPS ON YOUR SORRY ASS!". A few days later, he came back. This time it was night. Cousin's two kids were sleeping, my daughter was sleeping on my shoulder. I took my daughter inside when I saw him because I knew there would be yelling. There was. A lot. The cops were called, and they agreed to take him back to my parent's house because "with each party of a domestic dispute at different addresses, there's nothing we can do, except to return the wrong party to the rightful location" (fucking cops in my area, dumb as a box of rocks.....) So, EX finished out his notice, and had a memo notarized saying he would give up all rights to the house and property at (our address). For many nights in a row, I sat awake in terror, because I could smell weed outside my window. One night, he knocked on the window at 3AM begging me to let him in. It was because of that night, that my daughter (only about 19 months old at this point) began to suffer from night terrors. Sometimes, she still does to this day.... I woke my dad, the cops were called, and EX was caught a few houses down the street from matching boot prints. Every time I smelled weed outside my window, I woke my dad, and we called the cops. It took 3 times doing that before he went to jail. When he got out again, he didn't sneak around outside my window anymore. He just rode his bike by my house all the time, camped in our bushes out in the backyard (but we never actually caught him doing that, as he wasn't there at daybreak). When it was close to my birthday, EX decided that he was going to start his visitation AN OVERNIGHT THE DAY BEFORE MY BIRTHDAY......... I was devastated. It shattered my heart. I knew he only wanted to do that BECAUSE it was going to be my birthday... I cried, but I got my daughter ready that morning. She screamed bloody murder when he took her out the door with a smug look on his damn face. Throughout the day, he called the house to brag. Every one of my family members were in tears. Then, gloriously, EX called and asked if someone could pick them up. My heart was mended and a million times lighter! My mom, dad, uncle B, grandma, and me piled into the vehicle because I'M BRINGING MY BABY HOME DAMMIT!!!!!! We get to where he stayed that night, and my daughter was overjoyed to see me. He tried to be sneaky and kiss me, but I nipped that in the bud. On the way back home, he said "When we get back, she's sleeping in the living room with me. It's still my visit." When we got home he changed his tune "Ok, she can sleep in the bedroom"... I slept very well that night. Throughout the next 2 months, he would take his visits, but call me shortly after his time started or before his time ended giving me some excuse why he couldn't finish. One overnight visit, I seriously wish he would have called me, because he messed up her mental health.... The day after that overnight visit when he brought her home, he bragged that he got her to eat hamburger..... by shoving it down her throat (which she now has PTSD from, and is afraid to try new foods). And he bragged he got her to sleep by herself...... by shutting her in a dark, strange bedroom where she screamed from 8PM-2AM until she exhausted herself (which is why she now will not sleep without her TV, and is currently terrified of her bedroom at night because the cord to the VCR broke). The next day visit after that, he decided he would take at our house. Everything was going as well as could be expected. I left my phone on the table as I took my daughter to the bedroom to change her diaper. When I had finished, EX glared at me from across the room........ Then I noticed my phone in his hand. "Who the hell gave you the right to look through my damn phone?!?!?!" At this, he started screaming like a banshee "Our divorce is not fucking final. You are still my wife. I have every right to look through your phone, and you are talking to another guy?!?!?! WE'RE STILL MARRIED! THIS MEANS YOU'RE CHEATING ON ME!!!" At this, my dad woke up and bellowed in his deepest voice "YOU WILL NOT DISRESPECT MY DAUGHTER OR MY GRANDDAUGHTER IN MY HOUSE! YOU DO NOT LIVE HERE ANYMORE! YOU CAN GET YOUR SHIT AND LEAVE THIS HOUSE RIGHT NOW!!!!!!" I comforted my daughter because obviously a booming voice terrifies a child. He missed his next two visits. His visit after that, he asked me if I would stay with him and my daughter at his friend's house. I agree, if only to protect my daughter. That was a BAD mistake. We went over there, and EX sat my daughter in front of his friend's daughter's toys, and led me to the couch. He tried to cuddle with me, my resolve melted, and I let it happen, which I didn't want. When I finally left, he asked me if I could come for the next visit too. I did, to protect my daughter. One day in April, he sweet talked me into reconciliation. I really wish I hadn't, but I digress. It was a month and a half of staying overnight at EX's friend's house at least twice a week. I hated it. The only part I liked was when EX's friend put him in his place...... The very last time I visited with him, was May 27, 2017. My brother graduated high school. So did EX's friend's sister (S). EX showed up at the school gym. I thought he was being thoughtful when he held my daughter through the ceremony. But it was not thoughtful at all. Afterward, when everyone was trying to leave, he said to my daughter "Tell mommy bye and you'll see her in a few days!" OH HELL NO! I tried grabbing her out of his arms but he tightened his grip. "Uh, uh, uh, you can get her if you come to my friend's house for the night"..... So I did. S was sitting at his table drinking a beer in celebration. As I picked up my daughter I thought to myself "Young lady, you are not old enough to drink. I should call the cops right now. I mean they're just across the street". Things were going fine. I tried keeping to myself. After everyone that needed to left, and everyone else settled down to sleep, I laid quietly for a few hours. At around 6:30 or so in the morning, I got outerwear and shoes on myself and my daughter, and we snuck home. Thank God my dad was awake and unlocked the door for me. The two of us took a long nap, and I awoke to a message from EX "Hey, you need to apologize to S." "Why? What did I do?" "She and a couple other people heard you saying that she's way too young to be drinking" "But I didn't say it. I may have thought it, but I didn't SAY it." (Were they all mind-readers?!?!) "I don't care if you said it or not. Get your ass over here and apologize" (Why? You never apologized to my family for shit we all heard you say) "Fine, I'll be over in a bit" I left my daughter with my mom at home so that there wouldn't be any incentive for EX to entice me to stay. So I went back there, and apologize "Hey S, I'm sorry. I don't believe I said that, but you heard me, so I offer my apologies." And then I left to walk back home again. Through the next month, I pretty much gave myself house arrest. I didn't step foot outside my house, unless it was going to Wal-Mart. FINAL YEAR PORTION (June - October): When I finally decided to venture out into town, my mom, daughter, and I were going to meet up with her best friend, my auntie (Sh) her husband (T) and her 4 kids at a local park. Everything's going well, until speak of the devil, EX shows up. I handed my daughter over to my mom. EX tried to kiss me (in hindsight, I should have slapped him, and I would have had witnesses it was self defense), and he had a fit because "I didn't trust him with his own daughter" (damn right I don't!). He didn't leave, despite multiple warnings T would call the cops. EX didn't leave, so T made good on his threat and called the cops. Cop arrived, we all explained we were enjoying a cookout until EX started harassing us. Then EX stated outright "If I get my hands on (daughter), I'm gonna kidnap her". Cop told him to go to the court if he wanted his daughter so bad. He also told us that since we didn't rent the pavilion, EX had every right to be there, same as we did. So EX sat down with a smug look on his face, mentally gloating "I won, you can never get rid of me." I finally had enough, so I went to my mom's van under the guise of changing my daughter's diaper and her clothes, but really, to hide and hope EX would go away. T asked my mom to borrow her keys, went to the van, and said "Let's go for a ride". So we did. When we returned to the park, my dad and uncle B were there with mom and Sh. Dad asked about what happened, and when I got to the part about EX trying to kiss me, he said "Report his ass for sexual harassment". Dad helped me call the non emergency line of the sheriff's department. They sent out a police officer to mom, me, Sh, and T to give us statements to fill out, and told us to take them to the sheriff's department when we were done. On July 7, a police officer stopped by to let us know that because our 4 statements lined up with each other, that EX was arrested that morning. It was then that we all banded together, without threat of EX, to protect my daughter and I. Sh took us to the courthouse the next day, and I stopped the reconciliation. A few days later, my dad took me to the courthouse and I got a PPO (personal protection order) and he was not allowed within 100 feet of me or my daughter. He was arrested a few times for PPO violation. He sent me message after message on Facebook, and that was also PPO violation. When he was arrested for that, we had a hearing at the courthouse (for what exactly I can't remember), but as he was hauled up the stairs, he yelled to me "HOPE YOU'RE HAPPY BITCH" (yes, yes I am). The friend of the court (bitch on a power trip who thinks all moms are petty bitches) yelled at me about "the stunt I just pulled, having EX arrested while he was waiting for the hearing as I should have been"..... To be completely honest, in my mind I was throwing rose petals and making petal angels. It was sweet revenge after years of mental torture. We all celebrated that one. It was the last time I saw him (the last time my daughter saw him was the day at the park). After that, and serving his sentence, from what I heard, one of my relatives (don't know exactly which one as I have dozens in that area alone) scared the daylights out of EX by telling him "You leave OP and that baby alone, because you don't want to know what will happen". So EX has not tried to contact me whatsover, in any capacity, in over 3 years. No fake Facebook accounts, no asking friends to message me, nothing. I am happy to say that I am currently in a long distance relationship with a man who is the COMPLETE OPPOSITE of EX. Thanks for reading my story. I know it was long, but I feel better getting it off my chest to complete strangers on the internet :)
Why Online Dating sucks (Hint: it's a feature, not a bug)
These days, the only thing more popular than tinder itself is complaining about tinder. Women complain that they can't find good guys on there, only fuckbois and deadbeats, and men sign up, get one match in 6 months and wonder "where are all da ho's at?!" It seems neither sex is happy with online dating. And yet, the Match Group (Tinder's parent), is on track to exceed $2 Billion in revenue this year. Clearly, they're doing something right. And men and women, despite all their bellyaching, are ponying up big cash to use the app. What gives? They key is to understand *why* OLD sucks: they suck at doing what they say they're going to do for you, and excel at doing what you really want them to do. Hence, you complain in public, while still swiping like an addicted monkey in private. Here is what OLD *says* they're going to do: they're going to help you meet The One: your soulmate, your spouse, your partner-in-crime, ride-or-die, yadda yadda yadda. Here's what they really do: they preserve and feed your fantasy of who that soulmate actually is, tantalize you with the possibility that that soulmate is just barely, almost, oh-so-close to being yours, and hide any sort of hard truths about relationships and people that gets in the way of your delusions. And then, you pay them for helping keep your delusions alive, while publicly complaining that they're not helping you make those delusions become reality. BTW, this is not a secret that only Tinder knows. It's called marketing 101. A beer commercial is ostensibly about selling you a nice tasting beverage that you enjoy drinking. Yet the commercials have bikini clad women surrounding the beer drinkers while they lounge around on a beach. A pickup truck is ostensibly a practical vehicle used by people who need to haul stuff around all day. Yet their commercials are all about exploring the great outdoors and tearing up trails in forests and mountains. And most of them are bought by people who'll never haul more than a "Just Married" sign and will never drive on anything more off-road than a highway with a few potholes on it. So how does this marketing delusion work in online dating? To explore that, we have to first analyze how people found relationships before online dating. At that time, you relied pretty exclusively on your social network, e.g. friends, family, co-workers, church, and other social networks you were in. Unlike Tinder, these social networks really *do* want to see you happy and in a stable relationship (generally speaking; and yes, they may be bad at it, but most of the time, their heart is in the right place). This is for several reasons:
They care about you and genuinely want to see you happy
Since you're a member of their social network, it actually helps everyone else if you're stable and happy, and not miserable and always needing support from the social network rather than contributing back
Conversely, if someone sets you up with a horrible person (or even a very mismatched person), they will face repercussions from you and everyone else when the relationship inevitably blows up. You can't sue Tinder for a date gone wrong. But you can certainly disown your friends if they set you up with a serial killer. IOW, the social network can bite back if you willfully mess things up.
Additionally, your social networks know a lot about you and (usually) a lot about the people they're matching you with. Which means they can often see through your own BS (in the way that good friends and close family usually can), and find good matches for you that you would never have considered yourself. This system has worked for thousands if not millions of years. And most notably, OLD has none of the advantages listed above. Yet OLD has been incredibly successful and pretty much completely replaced the IRL social networks of the past. We even pay them to do what our social networks used to do for free. Why is that? Because the mortal weakness of your IRL social networks is this: since they're not in the marketing business, they tell you hard truths you don't want to hear. I'll give you an example. When I was in my early thirties (pre-tinder), one of of my co-workers, also in her early thirties, was telling me about a date her friends had set her up with. Apparently it was a mid-forties man, balding, divorced, with a kid. She was in shock the next day. Not so much about the guy, who was nice enough. But that her friends thought that was her appropriate match. In her mind, she was still the mid-twenties hot young thing who would get cat-called in the bars. More than the guy himself, just the idea that now she was only fit for older, frumpy, divorced dads, and that furthermore *that was what her friends thought*, was too much for her to bear. But her social networks were doing the right thing. They didn't want to see her end up single and alone in 10 years. And regardless of whether that guy was the absolute best she could do, they saw her relationship value far more clearly than she did. They were a lot closer in their estimates of her value than she was. In contrast, Tinder will happily whisper lies in your ear all day as long as you pay it to do so. In fact, for them, it's a *failure* if you find your perfect partner and ride off into the sunset, because that means you'll soon delete their app. Let me repeat that: Tinder does not want you to get married. It doesn't even want you to find someone for a year. If all of their customers found a mate within a month of being on the app, and then not check the app again for a lifetime or even a year, they'd run out of customers and go out of business. And their profits are far more important to them than your happiness. So what are these lies? 1. (If you're a woman), your perfect match is a billionaire convict outlaw church-going surgeon who cries during weddings. Also has 6-pack abs and a footlong. (If you're a man), your perfect match is a Victoria's Secret Angel madonna in public, whore in bed, who does yoga 6 hours a day and gets wet just thinking about your mastery of obscure Star Wars trivia. Also has no problem blowing you in public. Yeah, neither of these people exist. Your friends will tell you that. But Tinder never will. Not only will it never tell you that, it actively encourages everyone to lie and puff themselves up into those fantasy matches. A guy who insists on talking about his "amazing trip to Machu Pichu" 5 years after he went is considered a blowhard in real life. On Tinder, that's the picture he uses to make his life seem more exciting than it really is. Every person on Tinder is trying to convince you that they are that billionaire convict, or that yoga-addicted underwear model. Your IRL social network would weed out the phonies real quick. Tinder prefers to bump them up in your queue. 2. That man / woman of your dreams is just a swipe away. Who knows? They could even be the very next swipe! So just... flick your finger... one more time... Even if the people above actually exist, very, very few people can even meet them in real life. That billionaire dude doesn't hang out at Applebee's. Just getting into the restaurants / hotels / vacation resorts he stays at in order to run into him requires knowledge, money, and enough time spent studying the subtle class markers of the ultra-rich that you can pass yourself off as one of them. Similarly, just meeting a Victoria's Secret model requires running in their social circles, which typically means you're either a rich person, in the fashion and entertainment industry, or at least live in NY / LA and are willing to blow huge amounts of money on bribing the bouncers and hosts to let you into the closed clubs they hang out in. If you're really, really lucky, you might score a date because you're neighbors with their grandmother back in Kansas and she somehow convinces her granddaughter to give the nice neighborhood boy a chance when she's back home for Christmas and bored out of her skull. And even that's not as easy as a quick swipe, is it? Everyone knows that to make a million dollars, you need to study hard, get into a good career, work your ass off, have a little luck, etc. Just like how your friends will tell you that to get a good girl, you need to work hard, lift, be sociable, and overall become a desirable guy. Tinder is the equivalent of the casino slot machine, which tempts you that that million dollar prize is just a dollar and a quick pull away. Similarly, Tinder tells you that dream guy/girl is just a quick swipe away. At least casinos are legally required to list the actual probability you have of winning that prize. Tinder doesn't even do that. 3. Even if your perfect match exists, and you end up meeting them, you will often find out, much to your disappointment, that they're not a great match for you. There's a great saying: "behind every beautiful woman, there's a guy tired of fucking her." That glossy exterior image is often radically different than the inside. Every guy who has dated at least a few incredibly hot women will tell you that many of them (though not all!) are not worth the hassle. It may not even be that the other person is a "bad" person. Even a good person from a radically different environment can be a bad match. For example, if you can't name at least 5 different forks and which foods to use them with, and you think being a foodie means using A1 steak sauce instead of ketchup, then you probably won't even enjoy that 3-star meal your billionaire boyfriend buys you in Paris, while he will look on in disgust at your local hometown's "world famous" hamburger you buy him. Birds of a feather flock together. Your social network is comprised of people who are similar to you in many aspects of your life, which makes it very difficult to find people radically different in life experience / values / outlooks than yourself. Which is actually a *good* thing because people from radically different walks of life tend not to be compatible enough to build a life together. Again, say somehow through Tinder you score a date with your movie actress celebrity crush. What would you actually talk about? Do you know anything about the movie business? Could you relate to her insecurities and what she deals with going on auditions every day where random strangers tell her she's too fat / too blonde / not blonde enough / too flat-chested / too busty to ever make it in this town? Heck, forget all that: do you even know what's a fun date thing to do in LA outside of the tourist traps that locals can't stand? Conversely, what's the chance she knows anything about your life? Is there any shared experience between you two that could form the basis for a real relationship? Again, IRL social networks know this, because they generally know both people well, and have a good sense of who's a good match for whom. There have been plenty of times when I asked my friends about a hot girl I saw at a party, and they warn me off, telling me "dude, stay away from her. She's smoking hot, but batshit crazy." Or conversely, seat me next to someone I might never have noticed, who ends up being a great person that I want to spend more time with. Tinder doesn't ever do this. If you swipe right on someone their algorithm tells them will only lead you to misery, does it ever flash a big warning sign "Caution: Do you really want to date this loser?". Of course not. It only wants to feed whatever notion of a "perfect match" you already have. And if you think a recently paroled ex-felon is your perfect match, then that's perfectly fine with them. Don't think for a second that Tinder doesn't know that 90% of a match is based on looking at the first few photographs. It doesn't care. There's a reason Tinder is more popular than eHarmony. People don't want to be told who their best match really is (often because who your match is usually reflects who *you* are...). People dream of their soul mate since they're kids. The last thing they want is someone who pours cold water all over that dream. And if your soul mate is someone from your neighborhood that went to your high school or plays softball with your friends, then you don't need Tinder to meet them. So unless Tinder can feed your fantasy that your best life partner is someone totally outside of all your social networks (a ludicrous proposition when you consider it on its merits), someone only Tinder can hook you up with, it won't be able to convince you to trust Tinder over your IRL social networks. 4. There's an old saying: if at first you don't succeed, redefine success. Tinder has redefined success in the relationship world to "getting a match from someone." In the real world, it never mattered how many "matches" you got. There wasn't even a concept of that. It only mattered if you eventually found someone to spend your life with. When your friends set you up and you two decide after a couple of dates that it's not going to work out, your friends usually consider that a failure, because their goal is to help you get into a relationship, not just to go on a single date. Tinder's standards for success are much lower. Of course, Tinder has been helped in this regard by the slut-pride movement that states the marker of a woman's success and worth is the number of dicks she's had inside her, rather than the quality of the man she actually ends up with. But Tinder's measure of success is even shallower. They consider it a success if you "match" even if that never even leads to a meeting in real life. More importantly, they've convinced *us* that the app was successful if it "matched" you with someone, regardless of whether that match went anywhere. It's instructive to see women write in their Tinder bios that they're "sick of fuckbois, not looking for hookups," etc. Yes, they're stupid because they're on a hookup app saying these things, but the amazing thing is, they don't blame the app itself, they blame the people on it. Because Tinder has redefined success in OLD as getting a match. Everything else is the responsibility of the person they matched you with, even if Tinder is the one that made the match on shoddy criteria that were destined to fail. In the early days of OLD, dating sites used to advertise the number of marriages that occurred from their site. You'll notice no one does that now. Because they realized marriages are bad for business, but to avoid the dearth of marriages being viewed as a product failure, they had to redefine success and make you accept the new definition as merely being "matched". Which we have. 5. Let's say you make it through all of this. Your dream mate actually exists. He / She actually happens to be on Tinder and both of you somehow decide to swipe on each other. Then you navigate the minefield of messages / texting / phone calls until you finally manage to get coffee together. And despite your dream match being a ski instructor from Switzerland who only speaks French, while you've never made it past your high school Spanish classes and haven't traveled outside of your state, you realize he shares your passion for watching Kim Kardashian on E!. The final question: why do you think he'd be interested in you? We laugh at the women featured on WAATGM who are all looking for some incredibly desirable guy while offering nothing of value themselves. But we all fall into that delusion, and Tinder feeds that. Once they've redefined success as getting a match, something that can even happen on accident (oops! I meant to swipe left! Crap!), then you feel like someone actually likes you if they match you. Again, we laugh at instagram ho's who define their life's worth by the number of likes their ass shots get. We wonder if they ever consider that 90% of those likes are from thirsty dudes in India and Saudi Arabia that they would never even touch with a 10-foot pole. And yet, if you get a "match" from some hot girl, even if she unmatches you right away, or after a couple of text messages, we take that as a sign that, "if a girl that hot matched with me, then surely one of them will actually go on a date with me soon!" And you keep swiping. We criticize women who think that just because some dude had a one night stand with her, that she's close to getting a relationship with him. And yet Tinder has convinced us that just because we occasionally get a match with a random hot guy/girl that if we keep swiping, eventually one of those matches will turn into a real date which will turn into a steady relationship, which will turn into...all your dreams coming true! But just like a fuckboi is only into fucking you, Tinder is only into getting you "matches". It has no interest in things proceeding further, and its algorithms are not designed to help their matches do so. Indeed, just like a fuckboi hopes you don't actually find a real relationship since then you might cut him off, Tinder hopes that match doesn't lead to anything beyond a one night stand, because otherwise, you might delete their app. Needless to say, IRL social networks are very aware of this. Which is why sometimes they tell you a hard truth like, "dude, don't bother. That girl is way out of your league. She only dates football players." Because the last thing they want to see is you getting shot down unnecessarily. ----------- So back to my co-worker, the 30 year old who got setup with a 45 year old divorced dad by her friends. Her friends knew she was finally looking for a serious relationship (she probably told them she was "tired of fuckbois" or whatever they were called back then :-), so they eliminated all the players and even the potentially good guys who weren't ready to settle down yet. Then they waded through whatever BS checklists she had and tried to figure out what was truly important and what wasn't, then eliminated guys who didn't at least have the important stuff. Then they eliminated people that had nothing in common with her, or who wouldn't be a good match for her personality. Lastly, there were probably a few amazing guys that checked all her boxes, but who her friends knew were way out of her league and were probably dating younger, hotter girls. And they eliminated them so that my co-worker wouldn't get her heart broken when (after sleeping with her) they decide she's not up to their standards for an LTR. Finally, after all that weeding out, they figured maybe this 45 year old divorced dad, who may not have all his hair or 6-pack abs but was still a good guy who was genuinely interested in settling down, and was still young enough to be willing to have kids with a new wife, and who was at the peak of his career and could provide a good life for her and any future family, is not such a bad match for her. But all she could see was that accepting him would mean she was no longer that hot girl at the club that all the guys would buy drinks for and she wasn't ready to do that yet. At that point, if Tinder existed, she probably would have gone on the app, started swiping left and right, get quick reassurance that indeed, she was still that hot girl thanks to all the matches she got from hot guys in random towns 50 miles away, none of whom she'd actually ever meet, reject her friends' advice and trust Tinder instead. Later that night, when she was lonely and wondering if she'd every find a guy to love her, she'd still reject calling that 45 year old guy, who would have taken her out to dinner and maybe even found a lot of common ground and shared experience despite their age difference. Instead, she'd swipe right on a random guy who Tinder selected for her mainly based on the fact that he was within her listed age range and was only 1 mile away (even if he was only a tourist visiting from Australia for 3 days), since that's the only real piece of data Tinder actually has on anyone. And she'd fuck him that night. He'd leave before she wakes up, to get to the airport and fly home halfway around the world. And in the morning, waking up to an empty bed, she'd blame a) the guy for skipping out, even though she knew he's from Australia; b) the 45 year old dude for not being younger / hotter / fashionable enough to give her the tingles; c) her friends for thinking he was in her league; d) the entire world for being cruel and leaving her single and unhappy despite being such a great catch. IOW, she'd blame every thing out there, except the one thing that actually was preventing her from doing the work and making the sorts of compromises and decisions necessary to find and keep a long-term, happy relationship. Nope. Far from blaming Tinder, she opens her phone, starts up the app again, and goes through the swiping drill again, hoping that this time, finally, she hits that jackpot the app keeps telling her is right around the corner... All of a sudden, Tinder making $2 billion doesn't seem so far fetched, does it?
I made a list of every crime committed in The Office and it only took seven months
Below I’ve listed every law that was broken in The Office (from destruction of property and battery to homicide and kidnapping) whether legal action was taken or not, as well as ideas that people had that were illegal; I’m not a legal expert, I just have a lot of much free time (I labeled the episodes the same way that Netflix does.) S1E3: Dwight claims that multiple people in the office forged medical forms for their health insurance plans S1E6: Michael claims that Dunder Mifflin employees in the 80’s constantly used cocaine S2E1: Pam, Kelly, and Phyllis reveal that there is something written on the women’s bathroom wall, later Pam reveals to Jim that she was the one who wrote it; people throw food at Michael (would fall under battery) S2E2: Packer reveals that he’s been convicted of a DUI S2E3: Dwight reveals that sometimes teenagers use his farm for sex (depending on their ages, this may be illegal as the Pennsylvania age of consent is sixteen) S2E6: Dwight punches Michael in the stomach twice with considerable force (Michael does bait him into doing it though) S2E8: Jim punctures a hole in Dwight’s “fitness orb” with a pair of scissors; it is implied that a former accountant killed himself; Dwight reveals that he made a copy of Michael’s key to the office S2E10: Meredith flashes Michael in his office S2E11: Michael tells everyone on the cruise that the ship is sinking when there’s no danger (creating a false panic is illegal in most cases) S2E12: Dwight crashes his car into a telephone pole outside of the office and leaves his bumper in the street S2E14: Michael says that Packer once held a man’s head into a toilet; it is also implied that Packer was the one who defecated in Michael’s office S2E15: Michael causes lots of damage in the warehouse by improperly using the lift (he also doesn’t have a license to operate it) S2E16: Michael jaywalks (technically illegal though typically not enforced); Michael comments that someone was pooping in a cardboard box in the subway S2E17: Dwight tackles Ryan, Creed, and Stanley to the ground S2E19: Michael finds out that he’s involved in a pyramid scheme S2E20: Dwight finds a joint in the parking lot (Pennsylvania didn’t make steps to decriminalize marijuana until 2014); Michael believes he unknowingly smoked marijuana at a concert; Dwight gives Michael some of his urine so that he can pass a drug test S2E21: Creed faces sideways after his company photo is taken, implying that he’s been arrested in the past S2E22: Creed steals casino chips and also admits to stealing things all of the time; Dwight kisses Angela and she hits him in response (though it seems like both parties were okay with the outcome) S3E1: Roy reveals that he was arrested for drunk driving S3E4: Creed reveals that the reason Ed Truck got decapitated was because he was driving drunk (though this was never confirmed and Creed tends to lie); the bird funeral is lit on fire (probably illegal as they did not have a permit and it was mainly paper and not wood) S3E5: Ryan and Dwight egg the front of Axelrod Ltd’s building S3E6: Jim rides his bike drunk (believe it or not, this is actually illegal) S3E7: Creed sells office equipment S3E8: Andy steals a computer from the Stamford office; after poking holes in everyone’s tires, Michael claims it was Vance Refrigeration workers that did it S3E9: It is revealed that Martin went to jail for insider trading; Kevin admits that insider trading sounds a lot like what he does as well S3E10: Creed removes a present from the charity box (removing uncollected items from charity drives is theft); Pam reveals that she has been sending fake letters from the CIA to Dwight, Jim later gets involved (illegal to pass yourself off as a CIA agent) S3E13: Andy punches a hole through the wall S3E16: Michael reveals that his eighth grade teacher hooked up with at least thirteen students; Dwight reveals that he hunted a werewolf as a child, but it’s more likely that he killed his neighbor’s dog; Dwight traps a bat in a bag over Meredith’s head S3E17: Creed reveals that he has a side business where he makes fake IDs for teens; Creed also reveals that he stole a laminating machine from the sheriff’s station; Dwight accidentally damages David’s roof while inspecting the chimney; Roy and his brother destroy multiple objects in a bar including a mirror, a chair, and multiple glasses (Roy’s brother later reveals that he paid off the bar owner to not call the cops on them) S3E18: Roy attempts to assault Jim in the office after finding out he kissed Pam; Dwight uses pepper spray on Roy when he attempts to assault Jim (this was done defense of Jim however); Jim reveals that Dwight has weapons such as nunchucks and throwing stars hidden in the office; Dwight uses pepper spray against Andy; Dwight is found to have more weapons hidden in his desk such as brass knuckles, a police baton, and a taser S3E19: Darryl reveals that Michael once kicked a ladder out from under him and caused him to break his ankle; Michael accidentally smashes a watermelon on the roof of someone’s car; Michael tries to convince the office that he’s going to commit suicide S3E20: A former Dunder Mifflin employee from the paper mill put a watermark of two cartoon animals having sex on about five-hundred boxes-worth of paper; Creed frames Debbie Brown from the paper mill for not catching the watermark on the paper, which results in her termination; it was revealed that Andy was unknowingly dating a high schooler (only illegal if they had sexual contact); Andy reveals that he and his high school girlfriend knocked over a mailbox with her friends S3E21: Phyllis claims that she was flashed by a man in the parking lot; when Jim calls the police to report the flasher, he says that the police have already gotten three calls; Creed implies that he has flashed people in the past; Jan offers Michael money in return for him driving to New York and having sex (it is illegal to accept or pay money for sex, even if the other person is not a prostitute); Meredith throws her trash out of her car window onto the street while also driving recklessly; while parking her car, Meredith scrapes another car; Creed reveals that he uses the women’s bathroom for bowel movements and has “paid dearly” for it in the past; Dwight and Andy put up barbed wire on the parking lot fence of the office (using barbed wire is typically illegal if the fence is adjacent to a public street) S3E22: Michael lights a bonfire on the beach (he likely did not have a fire permit) S3E23: Jim and Karen sneak into a theater to see the second half of Spamalot (would technically burglary, believe it or not, since they snuck in with the intent of stealing services); Jan claims that the reason she is being fired from Dunder Mifflin is because of her breast implants (though David says it is because of her work ethic) S4E1: Michael hits Meredith with his car and fractures her pelvis; Dwight attempts to mercy kill Angela’s cat by trapping it in her freezer S4E2: Michael claims that when he was a child, he had a foreign exchange student living with him that stole all of his blue jeans when he went back to his home country; Kelly tells Ryan that she is pregnant with his child in an attempt to get him to go on a date with her (this could fall under intentional infliction of emotional distress) S4E3: Michael and Dwight detain the pizza deliveryman in the office conference room; Dwight reveals that the pizza deliveryman steals hemp from his farm; Andy reveals that he stole the ice sculpture he brought to the party; Michael and Dwight steal a tray of sushi and some accessories from a restaurant S4E4: Dwight admits that the permits on the bed and breakfast side of Schrute Farms are still pending even though he is actively taking customers; Creed reveals that he has a second identity that he transfers his debt to; Michael and Jan are likely trespassing while they are sitting on the stationed train S4E6: Dwight attempts to create molotov cocktails to throw in the Utica office; Michael drives recklessly on the highway; while stealing the Utica branch’s industrial copier, Michael and Dwight break it; Dwight reveals more weapons that he has in the office, including a pack of knives, a pair of sai, a sword, and a blowdart (having these weapons in the open is not illegal, but concealing them is) S4E8: Michael purgers himself during Jan’s deposition S4E9: Jan throws a Dundie at Michael’s TV and breaks it S4E10: It is revealed that the model from Micahel’s chair catalog died in a car accident (Dwight says that she was stoned at the time and crashed into the side of an airplane hanger) S4E11: Ryan states that the Dunder Mifflin website was infiltrated by sexual predators (only illegal if they used it to transmit child pornography or arrange meetings with minors with the intent of sexual contact); it is heavily implied that Ryan and his friend Troy are under the influence of cocaine S4E12: Michael places his face in wet cement outside of the office (would be considered destruction of property) S4E13: Andy drives a golf cart recklessly and ends up destroying its roof (and potentially the cart as well) S4E14: Jim sets up Dwight’s cell and work phones to go to his Bluetooth and pretends to be him when clients call (could fall under criminal impersonation); Ryan commits fraud by having people re-record sales and is arrested for it; Dwight, Meredith, and Mose release a raccoon into Holly’s car (only illegal if it does damage to her car) S5E1: Phyllis blackmails Angela by threatening to reveal Angela and Dwight’s affair unless she lets Phyllis run the Party Planning Committee S5E3: Kelly reveals that she downloads pirated music onto her work computer, to which Michael responds, “who hasn’t”; Meredith reveals that she’s been sleeping with a supplier in exchange for discounts on supplies and Outback Steakhouse gift certificates (could fall under the scope of prostitution); Michael threatens to kill everyone if they don’t go to the conference room S5E4: Dwight tries to destroy Jan’s $1,200 stroller S5E5: The office is robbed after Michael and Holly forget to lock the office’s front door; Creed implies that he made the last person who stole from him disappear, and that he stole the identity Creed Bratton from them S5E7: Kelly falsifies customer surveys regarding Jim and Dwight S5E9: Michael attempts to purchase marijuana from two Vance Refrigeration workers, and they trick him into buying a salad in a bag rather than drugs (intent to purchase illegal drugs is illegal, and so is selling counterfeit drugs); Michael and Dwight attempt to frame Toby with drug trafficking and possession of marijuana; when the cops arrive, Creed becomes incredibly worried that he’ll be arrested, implying that he either has drugs in the office, or is a drug dealer S5E10: Dwight tricks Angela into marrying him (this would be considered fraudulently inducing someone into marriage) S5E11: Creed is seen smoking out of a pipe likely containing kif, which has cannabis in it; Creed says that he can get fire permits very quickly, implying that they are possibly fake; Michael forces Meredith into going to a rehab facility (technically falls under the definition of kidnapping) S5E12: Jim uncovers more weapons that Dwight has hidden throughout the office; Andy pins Dwight against a fence with his car, Dwight dents Andy’s car S5E13: Jim connects a red wire to Dwight’s computer which leads outside to the top of the power pole (would qualify as vandalism to the pole); Michael and Dwight attempt to learn information about a competitor under the guise of a potential customer and potential employee (could be considered corporate espionage, but I couldn’t find any specifics) S5E14: Dwight induces panic law by simulating a fire in the office, he additionally damages multiple doors and cuts the phone wires; during the fire drill, multiple office employees damage items in the office including ceiling tiles, the copier machine, and the vending machine; Dwight reveals that he is planning a bomb scare; Dwight is shown to have a hunting knife strapped to his ankle, and he uses this knife to cut apart the CPR dummy (though corporate payed for the damages to the dummy); Andy, Jim, and Pam watch a pirated film S5E15: Dwight buys cookies from Toby in exchange for him signing a form (quid pro quo on this is illegal); Dwight attempts to have his coworkers sign his form under the guise of it being a sign-in sheet; Michael throws full slices of bread on the ground to feed pigeons (it was winter and there were no birds, so this could be considered littering) S5E16: Jim cuts the cord that connects Michael’s phone to the office’s PA system; Dwight finds out that Kelly went to juvenile detention when she was younger; Creed gives Jim a $3 bill (counterfeit money is illegal) S5E17: Creed says he knows where to buy a kid for $7,000; it’s revealed that the reason Kelly was in juvenile detention was because she stole her boyfriend’s father’s boat; Michael cuts off a sleeve from Holly’s sweater; Michael also takes a file off of Holly’s computer (would be classified as unauthorized computer access) S5E18: Phyllis and Bob have sex in a restaurant bathroom (this is technically public sex which is a misdemeanor); Creed steals a bag of blood from the blood drive S5E19: Dwight slaps Michael; Jim slaps Dwight S5E20: Dwight pretends to have kidnapped David’s son S5E21: Michael sneaks back into the office after being asked to leave (technically trespassing as it is private property and he was escorted out of the building) S5E22: Michael breaks his condominium agreement by having the Michael Scott Paper Company located within his condo (though the owner only sent a warning that he needed to stop); Ryan steals three pairs of bowling shoes before he quits the bowling alley; Michael asks Billy to sell him a ‘secret office space’ off of the books within the Scranton Business Park S5E23: Dwight claims that a woman named Haddie McGonagle was murdered in the Dunder Mifflin office space in 1816 (though he probably made this up) S5E24: Dwight steals supplies and files from the Michael Scott Paper Company’s office S5E26: While fixing her dress, Meredith accidentally reveals one of her breasts, as well as her crotch and her backside (was accidental, but could be considered public indecency) S5E27: Dwight cuts open the back of Phyllis’ blouse so he can give her a massage; Creed reveals that he doesn’t have any mirrors in his car that let him see behind the car (in Pennsylvania, it is illegal to drive without at least one mirror that lets you see behind the car) S5E28: Dwight’s friend Rolph once inquired about shoes that increased speed and didn’t leave any tracks, implying that he was going to commit a crime S6E1: Stanley wrecks Michael’s car with a tire iron S6E2: Dwight and Toby accidentally crash into a few trash cans outside Darryl’s house; Dwight uncovers that the real cause of Darryl’s injury was from misuse of company equipment S6E4: Michael ties full beer cans to the back of his car which left debris all over the road; Dwight implies that Mose is going to be castrating horses (only legal if Mose has a veterinary license, which is unlikely); Dwight also claims that he has a device which can make hamburgers out of horse meat without killing the horse (likely animal cruelty) S6E5: The Niagara Falls hotel staff incinerated Kevin’s shoes (they claim they did it because it was a safety issue); Dwight gifts a turtle to Jim and Pam for their wedding and appears to not have made any holes in the box (likely animal cruelty); Dwight accidentally kicks Isabel in the face while dancing S6E6: While answering Jim’s phone, Kevin pretends to be Jim and accidentally cancels his credit cards S6E7: Dwight secretly records the conversations in Jim’s office (Pennsylvania has a two-party consent law which means that all parties in the conversations must consent to being recorded); Andy talks about a 60 Minutes segment that went into working conditions of a paper mill in Peru (the 60 Minutes segment likely went into illegal conditions within the mill) S6E8: Meredith reveals that she has had sex with a known terrorist; while writing down things that people don’t want to be made fun of for, Creed says that if he writes his down, he cannot be charged for it; a custodian reveals that when Michael fell into the koi pond, he accidentally killed one of the fish S6E9: Ryan shows Erin a topless photo of Kelly in the office (could be considered indecent exposure since it was in a public space within the office); Creed implies that a shipping order was never supposed to reach it’s location, possibly indicating that he stole a shipment S6E10: Creed flees the office when Michael tells him that there was a murder and that he was a suspect, implying that he may be involved in a murder S6E12: Dwight secretly records a phone call between Jim and David S6E13: As part of Secret Santa, Andy gives Erin the Twelve Days of Christmas, inadvertently resulting in physical injury to her and potentially her home and car; Creed implies that he’s done “evil” things; Michael says that he has often claimed to be David’s childrens’ pediatrician to get him on the phone S6E16: Andy accidentally gives Meredith a large paper cut on her throat; Ryan implies to Dwight that they should torture Jim S6E17: While escorting Jim and Pam to the hospital, Dwight puts a police light on the top of his car; Michael uses his phone to text and make a call while driving; when being pulled over, Dwight throws multiple large weapons out his window; Michael parks in an ambulance-only parking spot S6E18: Dwight breaks a window to enter Jim and Pam’s home; after breaking in, Dwight discovers mold in their home and destroys walls and cabinets with a crew of workers so he can refurbish their kitchen; Jim comments that he had five parking tickets on his windshield S6E20: Creed tries to act casual when Michael announces that the lost and found has gone missing, implying he may have stolen it; Andy aggressively tries to take a pen from Darryl (could be considered battery); Dwight strangles Kevin in an attempt to get information from him; Michael and Dwight, and then later Andy and Erin, walk around the Scranton dump (would be considered trespassing); Michael and Dwight throw large pieces of garbage at each other; Michael and Dwight take two chairs from the dump S6E21: Phyllis claims she likes getting men to flirt with her so that Bob will beat them up; Michael accidentally damages multiple objects while being reckless at the bar; Dwight breaks his contract with Angela (unsure as to whether a lawyer was involved with the first contract, but Angela served Dwight with a summons for breaking it, leading me to believe it was legitimate); Hide admits that he killed a Yakuza boss on purpose and then came to America illegally S6E22: Meredith steals and uses Pam’s breast pump S6E24: Michael hires Dwight to follow Donna around to see if she’s cheating on him (following someone isn’t illega, but it could be considered stalking or harassment); Creed implies that he’s committed crimes for low levels of reward; Michael says he’s going to kill the guy who’s kissing Donna in her Facebook photo (though he immediately takes it back) S6E25: Michael keeps throwing out radon kits that Toby put around the office; Michael once again claims that he would kill Toby; Dwight claims that his money is buried underneath someone (though we don’t know if this is a grave or a buried corpse); Dwight and Angela’s lawyer comments that their sex contract is dangerously close to prostitution and illegal S7E1: Dwight tears the head off of Phyllis’ teddy bear and pulls a knife on Jim; Meredith breaks into Michael’s nephew’s car; Michael spanks his nephew S7E2: Dwight attempts to open a daycare center that is absolutely not up to safety codes; Toby allows Michael to forge his counseling paperwork S7E4: Dwight is shown attempting to pick up what would appear to be illegal immigrants for day labour and then instead of paying them, has Mose pretend to be an INS agent, kidnaps the workers, and then drops them off in Harrisburg; Holly claims that multiple people died in a traffic accident (though it’s incredibly likely that she was kidding); Michael takes an incredibly quick turn without his turn signal on S7E5: Michael, Dwight, and Jim secretly watch Danny’s meeting with Meredith through hidden cameras (only illegal if they are recording the footage) S7E7: Angela steals all of the scones from Cece’s christening (though they were for public consumption so it probably wouldn’t constitute as theft) S7E8: The Scranton Strangler leads police on a high speed pursuit; Michael tells Pam that he has a loaded gun hidden in his desk at the office; Michael cuts the cable going to Gabe’s apartment S7E10: Erin floats the idea of hiring a new employee, killing them, and then cashing in on the life insurance policy; Dwight and Phyllis float the idea of bombing China; Pam accuses Dwight of breaking property code laws S7E11: Dwight and Jim keep throwing snowballs at each other with force, and some that contained pebbles (snowball fights themselves aren’t illegal, but it’s illegal in most places to throw objects which could be considered missiles, and Jim is also shown with what appears to be blood on his clothes afterwards); Dwight asks Toby is he’s on the jury for the middle school teacher who tried to turn a foreign exchange student into a sex slave; Meredith asks Toby if it’s the case with the postman who rubbed his genitals on deliveries; Michael throws out supplies and food meant for the Christmas party; Dwight is shown dragging the Christmas tree out of the office to throw it out; one of the snowballs that Jim lobs at Dwight breaks a window; Michael throws Holly’s Woody doll into the trash and pours coffee on it S7E12: Jim stabs a few snowmen with his umbrella hoping that Dwight is hiding in one of them S7E13: Michael claims that regardless if Holly gets engaged or not, he will probably either attack people in rage or burn the building down in happiness S7E15: Michael leaves without paying at the Chinese restaurant; Creed is also listed on the wall of diners who did not pay for their meal S7E17: Michael most likely did not have permits to film in some of the locations featured in Threat Level Midnight; multiple characters in Michael’s film are seen using guns (you do not need a permit to have a gun in your home or business place in Pennsylvania, but multiple characters concealed their weapons during the film, though the guns are likely fake); a mannequin of Toby is blown up during Michael’s film (depending on the type of explosive used, certification may be required); during the hockey scene of the film, Michael comments that it was filmed during an actual Scranton High hockey game (could be seen as defiant trespassing and/or disorderly conduct) S7E18: Packer humps Michael and Dwight while they’re underneath a desk; Dwight throws away Holly’s zen garden; Dwight offers Packer a hot chocolate laced with many laxatives (depending on the amount, it could be considered assault or even homicide since extreme dehydration could kill someone); Andy purposely does damage to his computer’s keyboard and hard drive; Andy and Pam slightly damage Andy’s new computer; Jim and Dwight pretend to be Sabre employees and tell Packer he can jump the gate at Jo’s house S7E19: Ryan uses Phyllis and Oscar’s faces on his mom’s pesto and salsa recipes (would fall under right of publicity laws); Ryan adds a Kosher certification onto his mom’s pesto recipe (against FDA regulations); Michael pours gasoline all over the parking lot; Michael wants to steal a corpse from a medical school to use in his proposal to Holly S7E20: Michael eggs Toby’s house; Kevin colors on a restaurant tablecloth with crayons; Ryan admits to have done drugs in the past S7E21: Gabe confronts Andy and threatens him to stay away from Erin (could be considered criminal threatening); Deangelo claims that he caught the person who stole one of Jo’s dogs S7E24: Dwight accidentally fires his gun through the floor; Meredith claims that during the shooting she lost her necklace, a ring, and a painting and will be reporting it to the insurance company; Ryan claims that Dwight’s accident felt like an act of terrorism; Pam claims that Dwight has hidden more weapons in the office S7E25: Creed parks his car in the middle of the parking lot S7E26: Dwight admits that he would have created a fake identity for his character of Jacques Souvenier if Jo had hired him as manager S8E1: Dwight uses a fire extinguisher to knock Meredith off of the top of a bathroom stall, drops a ream of paper on a warehouse employee’s head to get him off a table, and flips a table over to get Toby off of it; Dwight throws Jim’s phone against the wall with force and a shatter is heard; Dwight instigates a fight between nearly everyone in the office S8E2: Andy says he will streak across the parking lot if the office accrues enough points S8E3: Dwight pours his drink on the inside of someone’s car; Oscar smashes the car’s window and brake light with a crowbar; Dwight drives the baler through the warehouse wall; Erin and Kevin spread grease all over the warehouse floor; Dwight, Jim, Erin, and Kevin damage multiple boxes of paper S8E4: Dunder Mifflin billboards across town are shown to be vandalized; Mose crashes Toby’s car into a corn field; Mose very tightly lines up everyone’s cars so that he can run across the roofs (he likely made scratches and dents while planning and executing this plan) S8E5: Dwight is shown to have brought many weapons into the office in the past as part of Halloween costumes and threatened to kill Toby with them (though the weapons were never concealed and Toby usually confiscated them before he entered the office S8E6: Oscar stated in an email that he believes that Robert has strangled at least one stripper; Kelly states in an email that they should kill Robert; Dwight’s accountability booster is dangerously close to a form of blackmail; Gabe says that he is going to go to a cemetery and drink (it’s actually illegal to drink in most cemeteries); Pam stops Kevin from hitting Dwight over the head with a frying pan; Jim takes Robert’s phone and attempts to deletes an email (technically illegal to use someone’s phone without their permission) S8E7: Dwight repeatedly grabs Jim’s crotch S8E8: A Civil War informational video reveals that the soldiers from Schrute Farm were soldiers that went AWOL S8E9: When Dwight suggests that everyone in the office is in a suicide cult, Creed strongly denies it, implying that he probably is in one; Jim leaves his car running and unattended in the middle of the parking lot S8E10: Dwight punches Jim in the arm; Erin asks Andy for Jessica to die; Meredith threatens to drive drunk if Andy doesn’t drive her home; Meredith rides in the back of her van without a seatbelt on S8E11: Andy asks Oscar to add $800 to their quarterly sales, implying it could be seen as a rounding error; Kevin offers to make that rounding error for Andy S8E12: Jim drives over Robert’s lawn and breaks his mailbox S8E15: Jim creates a fake murder scene in his hotel room for Dwight which involved stained towels, knocked over and possibly broken furniture, a writing on the door; Dwight threatens to light Jim’s face on fire; Dwight leaves the hospital with his IV solution bag, which implies he likely didn’t pay for his visit before leaving S8E16: Gabe sprays an inhaler into Packer’s drink; Dwight damages his hotel room keycard; Dwight sprays a compound of chemicals in Jim’s hotel room creating what he claims is a biohazard S8E17: Multiple homeless people are sleeping on the sidewalk outside the Sabre store (it’s usually only illegal for homeless individuals to sleep on the sidewalk if a shelter is available); Dwight tells Packer that he should act like a sexual predator when talking to the female teenage customers; a group of children throw pinecones at Andy and Pam, and one of them punches Andy in the face resulting in a black eye; Creed strikes the back of Meredith’s head; Ryan calls his uncle to get a prescription for Ritalin; Kelly attacks Toby and then accidentally elbows Andy in the face S8E18: Dwight leaves a treasure chest in the office which fires a poisoned dart upwards at whomever opens it; Jim and Dwight tackle and punch each other; Kevin forcibly kisses Meredith S8E19: Darryl drags Dwight out of his office by his hair; Andy tosses a container of eggplant parmesan onto the street; Andy leaves his car unattended in the middle of an intersection S8E20: Dwight offers to hit Nellie with a candlestick; Jessica’s friends throw food at Andy’s car S8E21: Andy smashes the frame holding a picture of Nellie; Andy punches another hole into the wall S8E22: Andy loiters at the office parking lot S8E23: Dwight and Jim create a fake identity to work around the commission cap (Dwight even admits that it’s extremely similar to embezzlement or fraud); Harry threatens to choke out Toby; Dwight tells Jim he should dent the hood of Harry’s car or slash the tires; Dwight attempts to activate the elevator’s seismic failsafes to stop the elevator; Pam steals Nellie’s phone and deletes all of her voicemails (technically illegal to use someone’s phone without their permission); Andy tells Robert if he doesn’t hire him back, he will give Prestige Direct Mail Solutions’ business to a competitor (technically blackmail) S8E24: Kevin and Robert accidentally head butt each other; Andy mops the carpets, likely damaging them; Dwight steals Philip’s used diaper so he can have a paternity test done (this is called gene theft); Angela and Dwight both speed and drive recklessly; Angela hits Mose multiple times; Dwight and Mose both leave their cars unattended in the middle of the street; Robert forcibly kisses Andy; Dwight forces himself on Angela (though seconds later she is a willing participant) S9E1: Andy threatens to make up a reason to fire Nellie (since Toby is aware of this, if Nellie were to sue Andy, Toby would have to testify against him); Andy purposely pushes Nellie off of the slack-lining rope; Dwight deconstructs Dunder Mifflin equipment to create his trapeze set; Dwight gets stuck on the slack-line and the fire department has to come to get him down; Andy places all of the recycling bins near Nellie and has people throw their trash at her S9E2: While the building’s janitor is on vacation, the building becomes incredibly dirty to the point where rats can be seen (likely against multiple health codes); Nellie forces Dwight into a situation where he has to chop off her hand (though he doesn’t go through with it) S9E3: Nellie drives recklessly; Nellie uses her phone while driving S9E4: Dwight and Toby find EMF hotspots in the office which could imply that there’s poor wiring in the building (depending on how bad the wiring actually is, this could actually break laws); Stanley threatens to spank Clark; Dwight drives the work bus (depending on the type of bus it was, Dwight would need a certain license to drive it); Phyllis asks someone to just start driving the bus while Dwight is on the roof; Dwight drops himself through the rooftop emergency exit on the bus onto Jim; Dwight drives the bus recklessly S9E5: Creed comes into the office with blood stains all over his clothes (it likely was not his blood, so he may have harmed someone); Andy reveals he had sex with a snowman while at Cornell (would fall under public indecency); Dwight catches Meredith in a net and causes her to fall to the floor S9E6: Kevin leaves his car in the middle of the parking lot so he can run to the bathroom; Oscar forges documents to make it looks like Kevin has been taking money from Dunder Mifflin; Nellie, Jim, Pam, and Darryl create a situation where Dwight believes that police have surrounded David’s house; Pete’s friend Flipper once drunkenly flipped a table over at a bar S9E7: Dwight claims he used to have a barber who fought dogs and made dogs fight each other; Clark is used as leverage by Dwight to get Jan’s business (this trade would be dangerously close to prostitution) S9E8: Dwight reveals that Trevor has had numerous guns stolen from him; Angela hires Trevor to murder Oscar; Dwight claims he has left poop in a paper bag on people’s porches (would be classified as vandalism); Trevor claims that people have left poop in a bag on his porch multiple times; Angela asks Trevor to break Oscar’s kneecaps instead; Trevor brings a concealed weapon into the office; Phyllis taps a stranger on the back with the sharp end of a knife; Phyllis forcibly removes a decorative wine bottle from its base; Angela kicks Oscar in the shin S9E9: Dwight hits Oscar and Jim with a stick; Darryl collapses on a table and breaks it in half S9E10: Dwight throws his coffee cup up in the air, likely staining the carpet; Dwight sprays a disinfectant in Erin, Pam, Angela, and Meredith’s faces; Erin tackles Stanley; Meredith reveals that one of her exes keyed a bunch of people’s cars; Meredith also reveals that she pooped into an office shredder; Dwight accidentally sets off an insecticidal grenade (I don’t believe there is a real insecticidal grenade but I’m sure there’s some law against either setting one off or doing so with people nearby); Angela hits Oscar in the head with a coffee pot; Kevin misuses one of the warehouse machines and causes it to break; Dwight accidentally sets off another insecticidal grenade in his car (he most likely still drove his car after while experiencing hallucinogenic side effects) S9E11: Jim is seen driving a motorcycle (Jim likely did not have a motorcycle license); Dwight suggests that Jim should drive 240 miles per hour so he can get to the office faster; Creed steals Phyllis’ ring; Kevin forcibly lifts Angela up multiple times; Darryl misses a basketball hoop and accidentally breaks a wall lamp and electrocutes a fish tank (though Darryl agreed to pay for the damage); multiple people in the office tear up the carpet flooring S9E12: Dwight rips open a couch cushion with a knife; Dwight drives one of the delivery trucks (he likely does not have a license to drive the truck); Dwight throws a milkshake through the drive-thru window at an employee; a customer in the drive-thru throws a milkshake at Dwight S9E13: Dwight reveals that Rolf uses hand grenades to fish; Mose is seen running in the middle of the street (could be considered jaywalking); Dwight reveals that when he was a child, he went to a school that was run by a conman; one of Dwight’s friends reveals that the school used the students as labor; Melvina reveals that she’s been double parked for about two hours; Dwight gives the sales rep applicants Jim’s home address so they can toilet paper it; Rolf tells Dwight to be weary of any suspicious packages he may get, implying that he’ll be sending him potentially dangerous packages; Dwight attempts to suffocate Clarke S9E14: Frank vandalizes Pam’s warehouse mural; Angela hits Oscar; Dwight and Pam vandalize Frank’s truck; Frank rushes at Pam with the intent to hit her; Brian hits Frank in the face with his boom mic S9E15: Meredith suggests that everyone in the office should try cocaine S9E16: Dwight’s Aunt Shirley slaps Angela; Andy snoops through Erin’s phone; Andy kicks Toby; Angela accidentally sets off the hose on Dwight (the hose likely has the same pressure as a firehose, which is about 150 PSI, so this could be considered assault); Toby leaves the prison wearing a neck brace after visiting the Scranton Stranger, implying the Strangler attempted to strangled him; S9E17: Dwight throws dirt in the faces of Erin, Phyllis, Kevin, Oscar, Meredith, Angela, Stanley, Pam and Jim; Dwight’s brother Jeb drives his car into Aunt Shirley’s grave; Packer reveals he’s in Narcotics Anonymous, implying he used to use drugs; Dwight reveals that his family members have accidentally buried family members who were thought to be dead but were actually in deep sleep; Dwight unloads a shotgun into his aunt’s corpse; Jeb reveals that he owns a worm farm in California (medical marijuana was not legalized in California until 2018); Packer reveals that the cupcakes he gave out to everyone in the office, as well as to Jim and Darryl were laced with drugs, some legal and some not; Packer is seen having parked his car halfway between a handicapped spot and a do-not-park zone; Clarke reveals that while drugged, he defected in some bushes S9E18: Dwight dumps a bucket of water onto Phyllis, and is likely the same person who dumped a bucket of water onto Andy as well (technically would be classified as assault); Meredith exposes her breasts in the office; Angela slaps Oscar S9E19: Dwight shoots Stanley with three tranquilizers meant for a bull (horse tranquilizers can cause serious harm to humans, and a bull tranquilizer likely has a higher dosage); Meredith squirts some of the bull tranquilizer into her drink (probably not illegal since she put it into her own drink, but it would be classified as placing a foreign object into an edible, which is actually a felony); Dwight and Clarke accidentally slam Stanley’s unconscious body into two walls; while sliding down a flight of stairs, Stanley’s unconscious body makes a dent in the wall; Andy kicks over an empty trash can; a man at the talent agency claims that through his dog-cat-mouse act, he goes through a lot of mice (allowing your pet to eat live animals can be considered animal cruelty); Stanley tranquilizes himself so that he doesn’t have to climb the stairs S9E20: Creed smashes a melon on the warehouse floor; Pam accidentally hits Toby in the eye with a paper airplane; Erin reveals that when she was in the orphanage, she once ripped Susan’s pigtails off of her head; Erin crushes a box of packing peanuts; Clarke asks Pam and Jim to share the drugs he think they’re high on; Angela is seen taking rolls of toilet paper from the office S9E21: Lackawanna County takes away “two sacks” worth of Angela’s cats because she is violating her apartment complex’s pet rules; Dwight throws his briefcase and hits multiple items; Dwight nearly kicks and punches multiple in the office; Andy asks Toby to falsify files; Andy attempts to grope Toby; Andy dedicates on David’s car (this would be classified as vandalism and public indecency); S9E22: Dwight reveals that his grandmother was shot by Adolph Coors; Dwight throws the summoning bag against the back of Jim’s head; Casey Dean jumps on the back of the a cappella show host; Meredith spanks Darryl; Dwight is seen driving with his police light on his car; Dwight drives recklessly S9E23: Dwight reveals that Creed faked his own death; Dwight also reveals that the police are looking for Creed as he sold drugs, trafficked endangered animal meat, and stole weapons-grade LSD from the military; Oscar reveals that Kevin used to make up numbers to balance the books; Mose kidnaps Angela and locks her in his trunk for three hours; Creed changes his identity; Ryan reveals that his partner abandoned him and their child; Ryan purposely gives his son an allergic reaction; Kelly and Ryan abandon his son with Ravi; Nellie takes Ryan’s son as her own child (she didn’t legally adopt him so this would be considered child abduction); Pam attempts to sell their home without Jim’s knowledge (since Jim bought the house as a surprise, his name is likely on the deed as well and Pam wouldn’t be able to sell it without him); Kevin spills alcohol all over a cabinet while filling up glasses
I've read Gravity's Rainbow four times and thought I understood it pretty well. However, reading Beckett's Molloy/Malone Dies/The Unnameable trilogy and the Beckett biography Damned to Fame, and a lot of Jung, and going through some difficult times made me realise how much within me that I had previously repressed. The slow process of integrating everything I was in denial about has allowed me to find peace that I never thought I would attain, having been clinically depressed and suicidal for around ten years. I started reading GR again with this new understanding of myself and realised that I actually hadn't understood it properly at all. I thought I'd share a few things I realised in case they might be of interest to any of you. I will discuss the book from a psychoanalytical perspective and a political perspective here, but I do not wish to reduce what is such a brilliant novel in its own right to these elements alone; I feel like the literary perspective has been discussed far more than these aspects though, and strongly doubt I would be able to add anything new to that excellent body of existing work. Even though I have realised that the political and psychoanalytical aspects are examined and explored very overtly in GR, I think they are often underexamined because the readers themselves haven't come to terms with their own inner conflicts, and are therefore in denial about certain things in themselves, such as their own possible complicity (through inaction or otherwise) with the System - much like Pokler. Therefore I am only going to be discussing the book within the very narrow frameworks of psychoanalysis and politics, while acknowledging that this comprises only a fraction of what it really is. The sheer density of GR can make it hard to tell what the hell is going on even just in terms of things like the plot. But maybe this isn't such a surprise, Pynchon's intelligence and education, how long he spent writing it, and and how much research he had to do in the process. It's only after doing a lot of the background reading that he refers to that things started to come together for me. With subjects such as Pavlov's theories of conditioning, statistics, physics, engineering, Pynchon reproduces key concepts within the text. For example:
Pavlov was fascinated with “ideas of the opposite.” Call it a cluster of cells, somewhere on the cortex of the brain. Helping to distinguish pleasure from pain, light from dark, dominance from submission... . But when, somehow—starve them, traumatize, shock, castrate them, send them over into one of the transmarginal phases, past borders of their waking selves, past “equivalent” and “paradoxical” phases —you weaken this idea of the opposite, and here all at once is the paranoid patient who would be master, yet now feels himself a slave... who would be loved, but suffers his world’s indifference, and, “I think,” Pavlov writing to Janet, “it is precisely the ultraparadoxical phase which is the base of the weakening of the idea of the opposite in our patients.” Our madmen, our paranoid, maniac, schizoid, morally imbecile—
However, for much of the history, particular that regarding intelligence agencies (whether that is WWII activity such as the O.S.S. or the S.O.E., or CIA activity in the 60s and 70s around the time that Pynchon was writing GR in a Californian beach house, very near where groups such as the Black Panthers were operating, targets of programs such as COINTELPRO and Operation CHAOS), the books had not even been written yet. I think the first few pages, with the carriage full of evacuees, can be interpreted as moving into the darkest parts of lost or repressed history, e.g.:
and it is poorer the deeper they go... ruinous secret cities of poor, places whose names he has never heard..
These names he has never heard could range from the Herero tribe whose genocide he discovered while writing V. ten years before, to Novi Pazar (with the Adenoid passage), to the all other hidden history in the book. I have also read people remarking on how in The Crying of Lot 49 it seems like Pynchon was somehow aware of MK-Ultra (which Dr Hilarius was involved with) before well the documents were leaked and the program confirmed. However, fortunately, many these history books have since been written. If anyone is interested, a great place to start is The Devil's Chessboard: Allen Dulles, the CIA, and the Rise of America's Secret Government, published in 2016, which follows Dulles from his time at the Wall Street law firm Sullivan and Cromwell to his time in the O.S.S. in Switzerland, working with Nazis in Operation Paperclip, to his directorship of the CIA through the 50s and 60s. Reading about this Cold War history, and also the writing of Huey Newton (who I strongly believe Enzian is in part based on), made a lot of GR far clearer. It is important to recognise that these histories of intelligence agencies contain irrefutable documented facts that the public at large is collectively in denial about - because they are too dark for them to acknowledge and face. For them to acknowledge these facts requires integrating that darkness into their conscious minds, before anything can be done about it on the political level. I think that, through the incorporation of all the world's darkness, from politics to history to sexual and paedophilic fantasies to etc..., this is the Secret Integration that Pynchon is trying to accomplish, and which concept he wrote a story about, published in Slow Learner. Reading this book causes the beginnings of this process, as all of the darkness is brought into one's mind by reading it. Another crucial area for me was understanding a bit about Freud and Jung. Particularly Freud's tendency to project his own incredibly powerful repression onto his patients, because of his own compulsion to analyse and differentiate everything, much in the Western tradition, seen in, for example, his five stages of psychosexual development, oral, anal, phallic, latent and genital stages. Some people don't need to delve into the darkest aspects of their unconscious to find peace, but since Freud did, he felt the need to inflict this also on his patients - seen in the many cases where he would tell victims of childhood sexual abuse that it was due to their own subconscious desires to be raped, which could, obviously, do enormous damage to his patients. His compulsion to do this might have stemmed from, alongside his overanalytical compulsions, the truth that anything we are in denial of or repress causes inner conflicts that manifest in our daily lives, and the only way to get rid of them is to integrate them into the conscious mind. Jung's equivalent of this is his statement that “until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.” Jung's thinking on the unconscious, and particularly the notion of the collective unconscious - this idea that all the darkness in humanity is also within ourselves, and vice versa, much as in Daoism, another critical source for GR - is very useful to help understand the book. An interesting thing to consider is that the old psychoanalytic approach, more directive/authoritarian (going back to Mesmer powerfully dominating his hypnotic subjects), where the analyst would attempt to integrate these repressions into the conscious mind of the patient by force, has fallen out of favour - it is now seen that the permissive style, in which the therapist tries to help the patient realise things themselves without use of force, is a much healthier approach for the average person (though there are still some cases where the directive style can be more effective). The former's effects can be seen in GR when, after many sessions with Freud, Greta's darkest parts of her unconscious mind rise up and she begins murdering children. Pynchon links Freud's repressions to trauma carried down by Jews from life under the Romans, and elsewhere, slavery under the Ancient Egyptians, which is fundamental to their religious texts (linked itself with attitudes and trauma in the black population about the more recent black slavery).
The trouble with Sigmund was the place he happened to be living in, a drafty, crenelated deformity overlooking a cold little lake in the Bavarian Alps. Parts of it must have dated back to the fall of Rome. That was where Sigmund brought her. She had got the idea somewhere that she was part Jewish. Things in Germany by then, as everyone knows, were very bad. Margherita was terrified of being “found out.” She heard Gestapo in every puff of air that slipped in, among any of a thousand windways of dilapidation. Sigmund spent whole nights trying to talk it away. He was no better at it than Rollo. It was around this time that her symptoms began. However psychogenic these pains, tics, hives and nauseas, her suffering was real. Acupuncturists came down by Zeppelin from Berlin, showing up in the middle of the night with little velvet cases full of gold needles. Viennese analysts, Indian holy men, Baptists from America trooped in and out of Sigmund’s castle, stage-hypnotists and Colombian curanderos slept on the rug in front of the fireplace. Nothing worked. Sigmund grew alarmed, and before long as ready as Margherita to hallucinate. Probably it was she who suggested Bad Karma. It had a reputation that summer for its mud, hot and greasy mud with traces of radium, jet black, softly bubbling. Ah. Anyone who’s been sick in that way can imagine her hope. That mud would cure anything. Where was anybody that summer before the War? Dreaming. The spas that summer, the summer Ensign Morituri came to Bad Karma, were crowded with sleepwalkers. Nothing for him to do at the Embassy. They suggested a holiday till September. He should have known something was up, but he only went on holiday to Bad Karma—spent the days drinking Pilsener Urquelle in the cafe by the lake in the Pavilion Park. He was a stranger, half the time drunk, silly beer-drunk, and he hardly spoke their language. But what he saw must have been going on all over Germany. A premeditated frenzy.
This is a similar process to what Slothrop goes through in the Abreaction Ward, when under sodium amytal ("truth serum") and the supervision of psychoanalysts, Slothrop explores the parts of his unconscious that he has repressed, including his feelings towards race and homosexuality.
PISCES: We want to talk some more about Boston today, Slothrop. You recall that we were talking last time about the Negroes, in Roxbury. Now we know it’s not all that comfortable for you, but do try, won’t you. Now—where are you, Slothrop? Can you see anything? Slothrop: Well no, not see exactly...
By the presence of Red (Malcolm X) in the scene where Slothrop flees the black men at the jazz club trying to rape him down the toilet (which leads through a trip not only through Slothrop's own unconscious racism but also through the repressed histories, all the Preterite lost and forgotten.
Either he lets the harp go, his silver chances of song, or he has to follow. Follow? Red, the Negro shoeshine boy, waits by his dusty leather seat. The Negroes all over wasted Roxbury wait. Follow? “Cherokee” comes wailing up from the dance floor below, over the hi-hat, the string bass, the thousand sets of feet where moving rose lights suggest not pale Harvard boys and their dates, but a lotta dolled-up redskins. The song playing is one more lie about white crimes. But more musicians have floundered in the channel to “Cherokee” than have got through from end to end.
Here, among other things, if we consider Slothrop's mouth harp a (Rilke-referencing) metaphor, in part, for Pynchon's own tools of artistry, I feel like these floundering musicians can be seen as other writers who have not come to terms with the darkest parts of history, and thus their own unconscious. And the decision to delve into these things as an artist necessitates exposing one's own unconscious repressions, which causes you to be in a vulnerable position - particularly since They like to use these aspects of people to control them, as with Prentice and the drawing of the Scorpia Mossmoon lookalike he is given to activate the Kryptosam. In Pynchon's case, this means exposing his own racism and homophobia:
If Slothrop follows that harp down the toilet it’ll have to be headfirst, which is not so good, cause it leaves his ass up in the air helpless, and with Negroes around that’s just what a fella doesn’t want, his face down in some fetid unknown darkness and brown fingers, strong and sure, all at once undoing his belt, unbuttoning his fly, strong hands holding his legs apart—and he feels the cold Lysol air on his thighs as down come the boxer shorts too, now, with the colorful bass lures and trout flies on them. He struggles to work himself farther into the toilet hole as dimly, up through the smelly water, comes the sound of a whole dark gang of awful Negroes come yelling happily into the white men’s room, converging on poor wriggling Slothrop, jiving around the way they do singing, “Slip the talcum to me, Malcolm!” [*] And the voice that replies is who but that Red, the shoeshine boy who’s slicked up Slothrop’s black patents a dozen times down on his knees jes poppin’ dat rag to beat the band... now Red the very tall, skinny, extravagantly conked redhead Negro shoeshine boy who’s just been “Red” to all the Harvard fellas—“Say Red, any of those Sheiks in the drawer?” “How ’bout another luck-changin’ phone number there, Red?”—this Negro whose true name now halfway down the toilet comes at last to Slothrop’s hearing—as a thick finger with a gob of very slippery jelly or cream comes sliding down the crack now toward his asshole, chevroning the hairs along like topo lines up a river valley—the true name is Malcolm, and all the black cocks know him, Malcolm, have known him all along—Red Malcolm the Unthinkable Nihilist sez, “Good golly he sure is all asshole ain’t he?” Jeepers Slothrop, what a position for you to be in! Even though he has succeeded in getting far enough down now so that only his legs protrude and his buttocks heave and wallow just under the level of the water like pallid domes of ice. Water splashes, cold as the rain outside, up the walls of the white bowl. “Grab him ’fo’ he gits away!” “Yowzah!” Distant hands clutch after his calves and ankles, snap his garters and tug at the argyle sox Mom knitted for him to go to Harvard in, but these insulate so well, or he has progressed so far down the toilet by now, that he can hardly feel the hands at all...
GR can be seen even as a process of abreaction that Pynchon underwent. If the rumours that he used drugs through writing it are true, then that would mean exposing things in him unconscious even to himself while writing it. Worth at this point also to note Jung's criticisms of Freud's use of abreaction, and thus the possible dangers of doing this.
Though traumata of clearly aetiological significance were occasionally present, the majority of them appeared very improbable. Many traumata were so unimportant, even so normal, that they could be regarded at most as a pretext for the neurosis. But what especially aroused my criticism was the fact that not a few traumata were simply inventions of fantasy and had never happened at all.
However, as Daoism asserts, light and darkness is in everything. For the Pavlovian Pointsman, who views things in binary, this is impossible to accept - the idea that for between every extreme - like black and white - lies a spectrum, a continuous rainbow. As Western humans understand things through this differentiation and analysis, this continuity causes an inherent conflict. Pointsman, the pure cause-and-effect man, the "Antimexico" (since Mexico, the statistician who thinks all can be explained through independent variables and probability distributions, takes the opposite position), says this on Daoist thinking early on.
“Pierre Janet —sometimes the man talked like an Oriental mystic. He had no real grasp of the opposites. ‘The act of injuring and the act of being injured are joined in the behavior of the whole injury.’ Speaker and spoken-of, master and slave, virgin and seducer, each pair most conveniently coupled and inseparable—The last refuge of the incorrigibly lazy, Mexico, is just this sort of yang-yin rubbish.
But by the end of Beyond the Zero, he's having a breakdown, as his unconscious is trying to tell him the truth of the Daoist wisdom he was so quick to reject in his scientific arrogance.
“Talking to myself, here. Little—sort of—eccentricity, heh, heh.” “Yang and Yin,” whispers the Voice, “Yang and Yin... .”
With all that out of the way, the plot of what GR is actually about can perhaps begin to be discussed. I'm going to make a lot of assumptions here that many of the male characters are based on Pynchon himself. You may disagree with this approach, which is very understandable, given my total lack of evidence. My justification for it is the following passages from Slothrop's trip down the toilet:
Here now is Crutchfield or Crouchfield, the westwardman. Not “archetypical” westwardman, but the only. Understand, there was only one. There was only one Indian who ever fought him. Only one fight, one victory, one loss. And only one president, and one assassin, and one election. True. One of each of everything. You had thought of solipsism, and imagined the structure to be populated—on your level—by only, terribly, one. No count on any other levels. But it proves to be not quite that lonely. Sparse, yes, but a good deal better than solitary. One of each of everything’s not so bad. Half an Ark’s better than none.
Then slightly later on:
Isn’t there supposed to be only one of each? A. Yes. Q. Then one Indian girl... A. One pure Indian. One mestiza. One criolla. [*] Then: one Yaqui. One Navaho. One Apache— Q. Wait a minute, there was only one Indian to begin with. The one that Crutchfield killed. A. Yes. Look on it as an optimization problem. The country can best support only one of each. Q. Then what about all the others? Boston. London. The ones who live in cities. Are those people real, or what? A. Some are real, and some aren’t. Q. Well are the real ones necessary? or unnecessary? A. It depends what you have in mind. Q. Shit, I don’t have anything in mind. A. We do.
However, given the extent to which Pynchon has managed to keep his life quiet, I'm aware that this assumption could be projection from me. I think might be by design of the book though:
“Pre cise-ly why,” leaps Rozsavolgyi, “we are now proposing, to give, Slothrop a com plete- ly dif-ferent sort, of test. We are now de sign- ing for him, a so called, ‘projec-tive’ test. The most famil-iar exam- ple of the type, is the Rorschach ink-blot. The ba- sic theory, is that when given an un struc-tured stimulus, some shape-less blob of exper-ience, the subject, will seek to impose, struc- ture on it. How, he goes a -bout struc-turing this blob, will reflect his needs, his hopes—will pro vide, us with clues, to his dreams, fan- tasies , the deepest re-gions of his mind.”
With those disclaimers out the way, here's what I think. I think Mexico is the "cheap nihilist" of Pynchon as a younger man, before he's delved into his own darkness, and still very much without belief in any sort of spiritualism:
“It makes no sense unless we also consider those who’ve passed over to the other side. We do transact with them, don’t we? Through specialists like Eventyr and their controls over there. But all together we form a single subculture, a psychical community, if you will.” “I won’t,” Mexico says dryly, “but yes I suppose someone ought to be looking into it.”
Pointsman is his analytical side, obsessed with cause-and-effect, which eventually, he comes to realise, necessitates delving in the darkest regions of Slothrop's mind, but still obsessed with control, never losing control:
Sign and symptoms. Was Spectro right? Could Outside and Inside be part of the same field? If only in fairness... in fairness... Pointsman ought to be seeking the answer at the interface... oughtn’t he... on the cortex of Lieutenant Slothrop. The man will suffer—perhaps, in some clinical way, be destroyed—but how many others tonight are suffering in his name? For pity’s sake, every day in Whitehall they’re weighing and taking risks that make his, in this, seem almost trivial. Almost. There’s something here, too transparent and swift to get a hold on—Psi Section might speak of ectoplasms—but he knows that the time has never been better, and that the exact experimental subject is in his hands. He must seize now, or be doomed to the same stone hallways, whose termination he knows. But he must remain open—even to the possibility that the Psi people are right. “We may all be right,” he puts in his journal tonight, “so may be all we have speculated, and more. Whatever we may find, there can be no doubt that he is, physiologically, historically, a monster. We must never lose control. The thought of him lost in the world of men, after the war, fills me with a deep dread I cannot extinguish...”
Prentice, the employee, the seasoned intelligence veteran, strikes me as a maturation from Pynchon's earlier Mexico phase, into a more realistic and experienced person and, by the time he gets into the Counterforce, "activist". This could be projection but given that the book was written from around the mid-60s until 1973, and how much changed in that time, I feel like this could be based on his own experiences with political activism in California around that time. Might be totally wrong about that, but I just got that impression from reading the weird "interview" towards the end of the book with the Wall Street Journal between the interviewer and the "spokesman for the Counterforce". Who knows, read it again and see what you think. And Slothrop, the experimental subject, is a model of Pynchon himself, rather than a differentiated portion of his own psyche which he turned into a character. So, what I think is going on: PISCES is using Slothrop (conditioned by Jamf) to exploit the racism of the Germans in psychological warfare with the whole Schwarzkommando thing. Pointsman is following his own pathological drive to analyse every facet of Slothrop's psyche. This includes Bloat taking photographs of Slothrop's map of girls linked to rockets, which we find out later might partly be falsified, which I interpret perhaps as Pynchon's recognition of his own attempt to impose his sexual interpretation system onto the world at large - interestingly something touched on early on in Bleeding Edge, though I can't find the passage right now, he quietly references the sexual hysterias of youth or something like that. Prentice is an employee of the Firm, a greater They than either PISCES or Pointsman, using his ability to have other people's fantasies, notionally for Pointsman, but really for some even grander scheme. This is reflected in the discussion of the message which Prentice picks up from the rocket which he and Slothrop see at the beginning of the book. From the Kryptosam message with the Scorpia lookalike:
Slowly then, a revelation through the nacreous film of his seed, in Negro-brown, comes his message: put in a simple Nihilist transposition whose keywords he can almost guess. Most of it he does in his head. There is a time given, a place, a request for help. He burns the message, fallen on him from higher than Earth’s atmosphere, salvaged from Earth’s prime meridian, keeps the picture, hmm, and washes his hands. His prostate is aching. There is more to this than he can see. He has no recourse, no appeal: he has to go over there and bring the operative out again. The message is tantamount to an order from the highest levels.
This "highest orders" thing can be compared with Slothrop seeing the hand of God pointing down at him.
There is in his history, and likely, God help him, in his dossier, a peculiar sensitivity to what is revealed in the sky. (But a hardon?) On the old schist of a tombstone in the Congregational churchyard back home in Mingeborough, Massachusetts, [*] the hand of God emerges from a cloud, the edges of the figure here and there eroded by 200 years of seasons’ fire and ice chisels at work, and the inscription reading: In Memory of Constant Slothrop, who died March ye 4th 1766, in ye 29th year of his age. Death is a debt to nature due, Which I have paid, and so must you.
6:43:16 BDST—in the sky right now here is the same unfolding, just about to break through, his face deepening with its light, everything about to rush away and he to lose himself, just as his countryside has ever proclaimed... slender church steeples poised up and down all these autumn hillsides, white rockets about to fire, only seconds of countdown away, rose windows taking in Sunday light, elevating and washing the faces above the pulpits defining grace, swearing this is how it does happen—yes the great bright hand reaching out of the cloud...
I think Pynchon recognised that with his unique abilities, perception, intelligence, and even privilege, it was his duty to delve into these hidden histories and play his role in bringing about this integration of the darkest levels of the unconscious. But Beyond the Zero is all about systems, and as Pynchon is well aware all systems are inherently limited because there are irrational elements in the world. So after this we have the briefer section in the Casino Hermann Goering, where the role of chance - or fate, depending on your interpretation - is recognised, and systems are examined, particularly language systems, like the drinking game Prince. So after that, with the third part, In the Zone, I think he may have been using drugs and various other techniques to bring out unconscious things in himself, to get past these conscious systems. And then completed with the Tarot reading performed at the end, where it says "here are the cards, exactly as they came up" - I think it's very possible that he did an actual Tarot reading at this point. Maybe I'm wrong about this though, I don't want to make too many assumptions given the lack of information we really have on him. If that thing with the drugs is true, it would explain that infamous quote Jules Seigal attributed to him, "I was so fucked up while I was writing it... that now I go back over some of those sequences and I can't figure out what I could have meant." But it's unclear whether that quote is real or not. How does this play into politics? I've written far too much already, but I'll just leave things with a couple more quotes and the observation that the final part, the Counterforce, contains some very valid criticisms of the countercultural movement as it manifested in the 60s through 70s. There's this critical passage when Enzian is motorbiking around the Zone, high on Pervitins, and realises that everything has come together for this. There's definitely a sense that Pynchon is acknowledging here the importance of his work, the fact it has done things that no other book had before. But in it too there's also, in it, the mocking of the temptation to view everything as an ordered conspiracy, and not acknowledge the non-rational and non-causal forces also at work, and mocking of his own self-seriousness.
There doesn’t exactly dawn, no but there breaks, as that light you’re afraid will break some night at too deep an hour to explain away—there floods on Enzian what seems to him an extraordinary understanding. This serpentine slagheap he is just about to ride into now, this ex-refinery, Jamf Ölfabriken Werke AG, is not a ruin at all. It is in perfect working order. Only waiting for the right connections to be set up, to be switched on... modified, precisely, deliberately by bombing that was never hostile, but part of a plan both sides—”sides?” —had always agreed on... yes and now what if we—all right, say we are supposed to be the Kabbalists out here, say that’s our real Destiny, to be the scholar-magicians of the Zone, with somewhere in it a Text, to be picked to pieces, annotated, explicated, and masturbated till it’s all squeezed limp of its last drop... well we assumed—natürlich!—that this holy Text had to be the Rocket, orururumo orunene the high, rising, dead, the blazing, the great one (“orunene” is already being modified by the Zone-Herero children to “omunene,” the eldest brother)... our Torah. What else? Its symmetries, its latencies, the cuteness of it enchanted and seduced us while the real Text persisted, somewhere else, in its darkness, our darkness... even this far from Südwest we are not to be spared the ancient tragedy of lost messages, a curse that will never leave us... . But, if I’m riding through it, the Real Text, right now, if this is it... or if I passed it today somewhere in the devastation of Hamburg, breathing the ashdust, missing it completely... if what the IG built on this site were not at all the final shape of it, but only an arrangement of fetishes, come-ons to call down special tools in the form of 8th AF bombers yes the “Allied” planes all would have been, ultimately, IG-built, by way of Director Krupp, through his English interlocks—the bombing was the exact industrial process of conversion, each release of energy placed exactly in space and time, each shock-wave plotted in advance to bring precisely tonight’s wreck into being thus decoding the Text, thus coding, recoding, redecoding the holy Text... If it is in working order, what is it meant to do? The engineers who built it as a refinery never knew there were any further steps to be taken. Their design was “finalized,” and they could forget it. It means this War was never political at all, the politics was all theatre, all just to keep the people distracted... secretly, it was being dictated instead by the needs of technology... by a conspiracy between human beings and techniques, by something that needed the energy-burst of war, crying, “Money be damned, the very life of [insert name of Nation] is at stake,” but meaning, most likely, dawn is nearly here, I need my night’s blood, my funding, funding, ahh more, more... . The real crises were crises of allocation and priority, not among firms—it was only staged to look that way—but among the different Technologies, Plastics, Electronics, Aircraft, and their needs which are understood only by the ruling elite... Yes but Technology only responds (how often this argument has been iterated, dogged and humorless as a Gaussian reduction, among the younger Schwarzkommando especially), “All very well to talk about having a monster by the tail, but do you think we’d’ve had the Rocket if someone, some specific somebody with a name and a penis hadn’t wanted to chuck a ton of Amatol 300 miles and blow up a block full of civilians? Go ahead, capitalize the T on technology, deify it if it’ll make you feel less responsible—but it puts you in with the neutered, brother, in with the eunuchs keeping the harem of our stolen Earth for the numb and joyless hardens of human sultans, human elite with no right at all to be where they are—” We have to look for power sources here, and distribution networks we were never taught, routes of power our teachers never imagined, or were encouraged to avoid... we have to find meters whose scales are unknown in the world, draw our own schematics, getting feedback, making connections, reducing the error, trying to learn the real function... zeroing in on what incalculable plot? Up here, on the surface, coaltars, hydrogenation, synthesis were always phony, dummy functions to hide the real, the planetary mission yes perhaps centuries in the unrolling... this ruinous plant, waiting for its Kabbalists and new alchemists to discover the Key, teach the mysteries to others... And if it isn’t exactly Jamf Ölfabriken Werke? what if it’s the Krupp works in Essen, what if it’s Blohm & Voss right here in Hamburg or another make-believe “ruin,” in another city? Another country? YAAAGGGGHHHHH! Well, this is stimulant talk here, yes Enzian’s been stuffing down Nazi surplus Pervitins these days like popcorn at the movies, and by now the bulk of the refinery—named, incidentally, for the famous discoverer of Oneirine—is behind them, and Enzian is on into some other paranoid terror, talking, talking, though each man’s wind and motor cuts him off from conversation.
Some words of wisdom from the seasoned veteran Prentice:
“You’re a novice paranoid, Roger,” first time Prentice has ever used his Christian name and it touches Roger enough to check his tirade. “Of course a well-developed They-system is necessary—but it’s only half the story. For every They there ought to be a We. In our case there is. Creative paranoia means developing at least as thorough a We-system as a They-system—” “Wait, wait, first where’s the Haig and Haig, be a gracious host, second what is a ‘They-system,’ I don’t pull Chebychev’s Theorem on you, do I?” “I mean what They and Their hired psychiatrists call ‘delusional systems.’ Needless to say, ‘delusions’ are always officially defined. We don’t have to worry about questions of real or unreal. They only talk out of expediency. It’s the system that matters. How the data arrange themselves inside it. Some are consistent, others fall apart. Your idea that Pointsman sent Gloaming takes a wrong fork. Without any contrary set of delusions—delusions about ourselves, which I’m calling a We-system—the Gloaming idea might have been all right—” “Delusions about ourselves?” “Not real ones.” “But officially defined.” “Out of expediency, yes.” “Well, you’re playing Their game, then.” “Don’t let it bother you. You’ll find you can operate quite well. Seeing as we haven’t won yet, it isn’t really much of a problem.” Roger is totally confused.
And finally, amid all this darkness, in a superlatively dark book, some hope at last, to hold onto, that makes life worth living, and why I think that despite what many say, GR is not a nihilistic work at all (Tchitcherine, the born nihilist, is almost a parody of this position). It starts with Slothrop's awakening to nature:
Trees, now—Slothrop’s intensely alert to trees, finally. When he comes in among trees he will spend time touching them, studying them, sitting very quietly near them and understanding that each tree is a creature, carrying on its individual life, aware of what’s happening around it, not just some hunk of wood to be cut down. Slothrop’s family actually made its money killing trees, amputating them from their roots, chopping them up, grinding them to pulp, bleaching that to paper and getting paid for this with more paper. “That’s really insane.” He shakes his head. “There’s insanity in my family.” He looks up. The trees are still. They know he’s there. They probably also know what he’s thinking. “I’m sorry,” he tells them. “I can’t do anything about those people, they’re all out of my reach. What can I do?” A medium-size pine nearby nods its top and suggests, “Next time you come across a logging operation out here, find one of their tractors that isn’t being guarded, and take its oil filter with you. That’s what you can do.”
And then, after Slothrop's harp makes its trip down the toilet, and through all of the darkness of the book until that point, where does it next show up? After he draws a rocket mandala, scrawls Rocketman was here on a wall, after the sequence with the Magician using black magic and a mandrake to multiply money, and a delegate from the Committee on Idiopathic Archetypes shows up to visit:
Crosses, swastikas, Zone-mandalas, how can they not speak to Slothrop? He’s sat in Säure Bummer’s kitchen, the air streaming with kif moires, reading soup recipes and finding in every bone and cabbage leaf paraphrases of himself... news flashes, names of wheelhorses that will pay him off enough for a certain getaway... . He used to pick and shovel at the spring roads of Berkshire, April afternoons he’s lost, “Chapter 81 work,” they called it, following the scraper that clears the winter’s crystal attack-from-within, its white necropolizing... picking up rusted beer cans, rubbers yellow with preterite seed, Kleenex wadded to brain shapes hiding preterite snot, preterite tears, newspapers, broken glass, pieces of automobile, days when in superstition and fright he could make it all fit, seeing clearly in each an entry in a record, a history: his own, his winter’s, his country’s... instructing him, dunce and drifter, in ways deeper than he can explain, have been faces of children out the train windows, two bars of dance music somewhere, in some other street at night, needles and branches of a pine tree shaken clear and luminous against night clouds, one circuit diagram out of hundreds in a smudged yellowing sheaf, laughter out of a cornfield in the early morning as he was walking to school, the idling of a motorcycle at one duskheavy hour of the summer... and now, in the Zone, later in the day he became a crossroad, after a heavy rain he doesn’t recall, Slothrop sees a very thick rainbow here, a stout rainbow cock driven down out of pubic clouds into Earth, green wet valleyed Earth, and his chest fills and he stands crying, not a thing in his head, just feeling natural...
Slothrop moseys down the trail to a mountain stream where he’s left his harp to soak all night, wedged between a couple of rocks in a quiet pool. ... Through the flowing water, the holes of the old Hohner Slothrop found are warped one by one, squares being bent like notes, a visual blues being played by the clear stream. There are harpmen and dulcimer players in all the rivers, wherever water moves. Like that Rilke prophesied, And though Earthliness forget you, To the stilled Earth say: I flow. To the rushing water speak: I am. It is still possible, even this far out of it, to find and make audible the spirits of lost harpmen. Whacking the water out of his harmonica, reeds singing against his leg, picking up the single blues at bar 1 of this morning’s segment, Slothrop, just suckin’ on his harp, is closer to being a spiritual medium than he’s been yet, and he doesn’t even know it.
There's hope after all, and I think it's reflected in how much more positive all his later works have been. Thanks so much for reading, I hope it was at least vaguely interesting, not too much of an unstructured ramble. Also, this is such a great subreddit, really I love the community here. My very best to you all!
My only other run close to this duration was the Canal Corridor 100 Miler, so most of my race report is written in comparison to that. Enjoy! This course was a 2.5 mile loop around Cornerstone Park in Vegas. The shape of the course is more like a 'C'. So the far end of the loop (1.25 miles in) was actually very close to the start line. From there it turned around the far side of the lake. Very different then the past 100 miler I did, which was basically out and back 50 miles. There were other events on the same loop. A 48 hour race started the day before. A marathon, 50 miler, 100 miler, 6 hour, and 12 hour event were all starting out at the same time as us. The 100 mile event was also the USATF championship race, so we knew there would be a lot of fast people on the course. I didn't know if such a fast, crowded, course would be motivational or irritating. A good friend of mine, A signed up for the race too. He's a marathon runner, but hadn't done anything longer than that. What a great chance for a first ultra! I was a bit nervous that he wasn't entirely sure what he got himself into, but he had an enduring, positive attitude and definitely wanted to give it his all.
Run every day! Seriously, race day was day 1,884 and ended on 1,885. Mostly just a few 20 mile runs. Longest training run was 30 miles, felt really good. Cold weather impeded training, but that's just an excuse.
My crew consisted of two of my sisters (C and M), and my girlfriend, J.
I'm used to doing my long runs out-and-back with a camelbak. However, a few days before the race, I was reading some tips for short-loop-ultras that said definitely do NOT wear a hydration pack. It'll only weigh you down and slow you down more. There should be more than enough hydration at the aid station. (Here's a tip: Don't read strategy changing tips right before a race!) So I changed my plan to run with nothing, and bring my camelbak and water belt just in case. (I'm VERY glad I decided to bring them!) The new plan was drink water every lap, with soda/gatorade added in after 20 miles.
Gu every other lap (5 miles) Salt tab every 4 laps (10 miles) Solid food every 4 laps (10 miles). We went grocery shopping the day before and got all sorts of great food. Sour patch kids, pretzels, potato chips, and fruit were some of my favorites.
Here's my packing list And everything getting ready Change clothes every 40 miles. I never made it to the 120 mark for the 3rd change of clothes. Hat and bandana in the sunshine, brought cooler clothes for the evening "just in case". That choice also turned out to be a life saver. Advil as needed, body glide as needed. No phone/music the first 40 miles.
A and I wanted to stick together as much as reasonably possible. Figured we'd start out at around 9 minutes/mile and slow down from there.
Got to Vegas a few days ahead of time to get acclimated. Lost too much money at the casinos. Weather looked perfect, mid 70s, not much breeze. Lower in the night, and the wind was supposed to hold off until Sunday afternoon, so that wouldn't affect our race (ending Sunday morning 8AM). Picked up our bibs the day beforehand and saw some crazy 48 hour runners. I made a cool spreadsheet to track myself through the race, and it gave estimates on certain goal distances. Here's a screenshot of what it looked like at the end. Spreadsheet My crew was great at updating it almost every lap, which gave me a good checkpoint on how hard I needed to keep going. This was extremely helpful! We showed up early to the race to set up our aid station and cheer on the 48 hour runners that had already been going for 24 hours. Elvis and some showgirls showed up at the start line to kick us off! A and I with Elvis's showgirls!
Here we go!
Miles  (Race time 00:00) to  (06:22)
The race started with the Elvis impersonator belting out 'Viva Las Vegas'. A and I started off strong, doing about 8:30/mile. Way too fast to be sustainable, but the cool weather was nice. Also a bit of shade on the course at the start. As the sun came out, I needed to slow down a bit. Put on a camelbak after about 6 laps and then A started getting ahead of me. Learned the course pretty quickly, and which parts I was going to love and which parts I was going to hate. Most of the lap was crushed gravel, with a little bit of grass, and a rough, rocky (in comparison) trail section at the end. There was also a tight hairpin turn just after the start over the race, which you also went around on the way back. This became irritating, as every time you had to worry about how you were going to take the turn, and who was coming the other way. The shade disappeared quickly as the sun moved into the sky. I was sweating a lot and probably not drinking enough water. The first time I used the restroom around lap 10, it was way too yellow for comfort. Needed to drink more. Started putting ice in my hat, which was painful but cooling. Occasionally took the camelbak off in favor of a smaller hydration belt with 4 water bottles. This was a nice break from lugging around the heavy pack. I switched back and forth a lot throughout the race, as the camelbak with ice allowed the water to stay much cooler. I was a little put off because my watch was reading each lap as ~2.54 miles instead of the course certified 2.5 miles. I should've been more prepared for that. It only made it a little more difficult to track each lap, but I got over it eventually. I was growing frustrated as I felt like I couldn't really find a rhythm. In comparison to the other 100 miler, where I could zone out for 10 miles between aid stations. My crew was amazing at getting our aid station ready for every lap. They would meet me slightly before the lap marker, then run ahead to get whatever I needed. A few laps we got the Gu/Salt combo wrong, but I think on average I stuck to a Gu every other lap and a salt tab every 4 laps. I grew to loathe the sun, as there was literally no shade on the course in the daytime. I continued to slow down, and A even lapped me! M made lots of great signs that my crew got to wave around each lap. My favorite was a chart with 50 laps on it, and they would cross one off each time A and I passed. Very motivating!
Miles  (06:22) to  (14:37)
The first change was refreshing, but we noticed some blood on my foot. One of my toenails was slicing a toe, so I knew I'd have to work with my crew to clip it off. But not yet. During this segment, I carried my phone in my camelbak and started listening to music. It popped out of the pocket and fell a few times. Whoops. When I wasn't wearing the pack, I held it in my hand. I'm used to that on my training runs, but lugging around a phone for 20+ miles is still a workout. The music was definitely motivating, but I honestly enjoyed chatting with my crew and other runners. Heard a lot of the same stories out there. "Just keep going, as far as I can!", "We can do this!", "You'll never know your limits until you try to go beyond them!" As the sun went down, I started to use my crew as pacers. With my girlfriend, I was able to walk an entire lap at a time, which helped keep me positive. The biggest emotional wall for me was the clock. As I hit a big milestone like 12 hours or so, my thoughts were simultaneously "Yes, halfway there!" and "Holy crap, I have to do this for 12 more hours?!?!?". I tried to avoid thinking of that and focus on one lap at a time instead, but it was always there. I like crunching numbers, so it was fun to work out the times for every mile. 2.5 mile course, so a 12 minute mile would be 30 minutes a lap. 16 minute mile would be 40 minutes a lap, or 1.5 laps an hour, etc. This mental math helped keep my mind busy. I'm VERY glad I brought a headlamp (the race director said it was recommended but not required, as 90% of the trail was well lit). The rough, rocky section was not lit at all and I would've been a mess if I couldn't see. Eventually it was time to cut the toenail. I yelled some nonsense about amputation, and "Cut me, coach!". Saw A at the crew station too, still a lap ahead of me, and he had some bad blisters on his foot. Our crew helped pop some blisters and keep him going. What a team!
Miles  (14:37) to [117.5] (24:00)
Second change was also refreshing, and less blody than the first change. Wrapped my left foot up with a bandage, felt a blister coming on. Very dark at this point. The Vegas skyline was pretty in the distance, and the night sky was beautiful. The trail at my feet was miserable. I am so glad that I brought my hat, gloves, and a long sleeve pull over. It got way colder in the night than I thought it would. I used all of them throughout the night. J should become my social media manager. She was posting updates on Facebook, so my phone was lighting up with notifications and messages of motivation from friends and family back home. I switched my watch to show me only the current mile pace. This helped to keep me focused on one mile at a time. This led to a fun game where if I was walking during the beginning of a mile, I would jog to bring the average down to something more reasonable. Rince and repeat. I thought seeing the 48 hour runners shuffling along might make me miserable, but I found the perseverence to be inspirational, if anything. The spreadsheet was becoming a bit more clear that 130 miles was unattainable, so I started to set my sights on 120 or 115 miles. "I can do 20 minute miles and hit 100 miles. That's easy! But there's 6 hours left??? Kill me now" as an example of my thoughts. Able to find a little bit of a better rhythym. I knew which parts of the course I wanted to run on, and where I wanted to walk (all the hills, and the imaginary ones too). I was less concerned with the mile times, but tried to keep them under 13 or 14 per mile. Pretty much every lap at this point was with a pacer. C is the other avid runner in the family, I think she did a total of 35 miles with me. Crazy! Sometimes I needed that, and other times I preferred run/walking with M or J. I made sure to run one full mile past midnight to make sure I got my Sunday 'run' in. That mile was ~9:48, easily my best mile in that half of the race. The rest was sticking to the rhythm of walking the hills. Passed A, so we were finally on the same lap again. He was in a lot of pain and I felt bad for getting him in to this! 100 was a nice milestone, but I knew I couldn't stop there. Slipped into the lead at some point. A bit emotional since I'd never really won a race before and I wasn't sure if I could hold the lead. My sisters were doing a great job on analyzing the results each lap, telling me who was catching up and who was slowing down. Most of the competitors near me made it to 100 and stopped. A stopped at 100 to take a nap and decide if he would go on or not. Listened to "The Circle of Life" at sunrise, which was an amazing feeling. We were so close! There was one person about 4 laps behind me and he looked good. I hate to say it, but the motivation of staying in first definitely helped keep me going. The last 2 laps were mostly victory laps as my lead felt pretty solid. Started joy-walking to positive music. We're almost home! Crossed my final lap marker for a grand total of 117.5 miles, and first place to boot.
I thought I would break down and cry at the finish, but I just sat down at the lap marker with about 7 minutes left on the clock. I probably could've made it to the .5 mile mark, but I was satisfied with the distance, and it was great to finish surrounded by my team. Couldn't have been happier. Smoke a victory black and mild. Here I am curled up in a sleeping bag by the finish line. I realized then that I didn't use any sunscreen, and was pretty burnt. I was alternating between chills and sweating. We waited around a (long) bit for the award ceremony, where I collected my first ever first place trophy, then headed back to the hotel for some much needed rest. A flew home that night (insane!) and my sisters departed the next day. J and I relaxed in Vegas and (she) won and (I) lost money together. I ate like a human dumpster the next few days. Pizza, chicken wings, burgers, and everything good.
What's next, and race reflections
I had a great time, but I don't know if I would to this course again. I might be interested in a smaller (mile?) loop. Looking back, it was neat to have so many people and events on one course. There were some legends out there! The winner of the 48 hour event did 205 miles. Amazing! I don't know if I could handle that. Only one way to find out... I didn't even mind being passed by the 100 milers (the winner did that in <14 hours!), since I was more focused on my own feet. Overall I don't think I ate nearly enough during the race. Part of this was due to the nature of the course. In my 100 miler, I knew there were only a set amount of aid stations, so I had to eat a lot since I wouldn't see any food for 10+ miles at a time. In this race, it was always "Oh I'll be back in 2.5 miles, gotta keep moving", which led to some nausea and hunger pains around mile 70. I ate a bit more after that (hot dogs! hamburgers! pizza) which helped, but I should have stuck to the plan originally better. I want to stress that I absolutely couldn't have done this without the help of my crew. C, M, and J, thank you very much! And amazing recognition to A, who hit 100 miles in his first ever ultra. He went through an emotional rollercoaster and totally rocked it. Thanks for reading this! I felt pretty lucid throughout the race, but trying to write through specific details was pretty difficult. I may have gotten some items out of order. If this story of endurance has inspired you, consider making a donation to Back on My Feet, a charity that supports those experiencing homeless through the power of running and community support, providing essential employment services and housing opportunities. Back on My Feet Philadelphia
Garmin Data My favorite highlight is 15,000+ calories burned.
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