Mary and Max (2009)

 

(DISCLAIMER: This blog is not for profit. All images and footage used below are property of their respective companies unless stated otherwise. I do not claim ownership of this material. New to the blog? Start at the start with Snow White.)

The Unshaved Mouse stared at the blank screen and tapped the keyboard lightly with one paw. His tiny brow furrowed and he twitched his whiskers anxiously. This, he knew, was going to be tough one. The movie he had to review was Mary and Max, a somewhat obscure but critically beloved Claymation film from Australia. And Mouse had not enjoyed it. Giving a bad review to a well-regarded film was always tricky, Mouse knew, as he would have to be doubly sure of every point he was making. And then there was the inconvenient fact that Mouse knew, deep down, that Mary and Max was not a bad film. So why did he dislike it?  Well, he knew that one of the things that rankled him about this film was its severe over-reliance on third person…
“Who said that?” Mouse exclaimed, looking around the room in a flurry of tiny mammalian panic. The narration continued smoothly, un-phased by the protagonist’s unprofessional behaviour.
“Okay, that is really, really intrusive and needs to stop right now” said Mouse indignantly “I do my reviews first person. Quit it.”
One might have reasonably wondered what Mouse intended to do about it, as the narration continued and Mouse realised that he would just have to learn to live with it.
“You’ll get yours, buddy.” Mouse squeaked, but in his heart of hearts he knew he had already lost. And then the thought dawned on him. Why not do the review in third person? It would be a way to shake things up, to inject some new energy into the blog and perhaps attract some news readers. The latter especially merited consideration, as Mouse was well aware that his viewing figures had cratered ever since he’d stopped reviewing Disney movies.
“That was uncalled for.” Mouse whispered, his spirit at last broken.
And perhaps there was another reason to do the review in such a manner? After all, how better to demonstrate his frustration with what he saw as the movie’s biggest failing? And maybe, just maybe, reviewing the film at such a…remove, would allow him to better confront just what it was about the film that made him so uncomfortable?
He resisted the idea at first.
“No.” he said aloud “I can’t. The joke will wear thin almost immediately. They’ll hate it. They’ll eat me alive!”
He couldn’t really do it, surely?
He couldn’t review the entire movie in third person?
Could he?

Sitting down to watch the movie again, the Mouse watched the opening credits unfold, complete with a claim by the filmmakers that it was “based on a true story”.
Sure. You can believe the Australian governments denial that theres a race of sentient clay people living in the outback. You know. If youre a sheep.

Sure. You can believe the Australian government’s denial that there’s a race of sentient clay people living in the outback. You know. If you’re a sheep.

The movie began in Australia (the nation where Britain had put convicts too dangerous for polite society and God had put animals too dangerous for the jungle), specifically in the small town of Mount Waverly which Mouse was both surprised and saddened to learn was a real place. The narrator introduced the main character, Mary Daisy Dinkle (Bethany Whitmore), an eight year old girl with a birthmark on her forehead and no friends. Her father worked, the narrator informed Mouse, in a tea-bag factory attaching the labels to the bags with string. This was exactly the kind of job a parent in a Roald Dahl novel might have, Mouse mused. Perhaps Noel Dinkle and Charlie Bucket’s father were in the same union? Also introduced was Vera, Mary’s Mother, a kleptomaniac alcoholic who spent her days shop-lifting, getting stonkered on sherry and listening to cricket commentary on the radio.
"“And he’s dashed the bounder over the heads of the ladies and gents, scooped the ashes and run away with the match! And everyone’s very jolly because they’ve won cricket today, don’tcherknow?”

“And he’s dashed the bounder over the heads of the ladies and gents, scooped the ashes and run away with the match! And everyone’s very jolly because they’ve won cricket today, don’tcherknow?”

Having introduced one of the main characters and her supporting cast, the narration then continued. For the rest of the movie. Incessantly.
This, Mouse thought, was the big problem. The narration. Not that it was badly written (it was in fact often very witty) or badly performed either. The narrator was Australian actor Barry Humphries, best known for playing Dame Edna and (according to his Wikipedia profile) either “the most significant comedian to emerge since Charlie Chaplin” or someone with a fan who had Wikipedia edit permissions and zero objectivity. But Humphries certainly had a way with dry delivery, no argument there. The trouble was that the narration simply never stopped.  It was as if the filmmakers had no confidence in the ability of their images to tell the story. This was a film (a visual artwork, no less) that could be watched with one’s eyes closed and enjoyed as an audio book. Convenient for long-distance truckers, perhaps. And a boon for the blind, no doubt. But not exactly the sign of good movie-making.
Mary had become curious as to where babies came from, but as her mother was not coherent forthcoming on the topic she decided to take matters into her own hands. On a visit to the post office, Mary took a page from an American phonebook and and decided to write to one of the names at random.  She wrote a letter to “M. Horowitz” asking him where babies came from and including some Australian chocolate as a gift. She also asked him if liked condensed milk, as that was her favorite food. She sent off the letter and waited patiently for a reply. While the film had chosen to depict Mount Waverly in a palette seemingly inspired by the Bristol Stool Chart, New York now appeared like something from the works of Frank Miller.
Turn the right corner in Sin City, and you can find anything.

Turn the right corner in Sin City, and you can find anything.

The movie now introduced Max Horowitz (the late great Philip Seymour Hoffman), a morbidly obese man who lived alone in an apartment and suffered from extreme social anxiety. Max lived his life according to a very strict routine, and was extremely upset to received Mary’s letter without warning. However, after eighteen hours of staring out the window, he finally mustered up the courage to write back.

“Man, writer’s block. Been there.” thought Mouse glumly.
Max relates to Mary what he was taught about babies, namely that they hatch from eggs that are laid by rabbis (if you are Jewish), nuns (in the case of Catholics) and dirty lonely prostitutes (if one is atheist).
“Amazing” thought Mouse “I think of Frank Miller and within less than a minute someone’s insulted prostitutes. It’s like magic.”
Max then told Mary the sad story of his life; how his father had abandoned him and his mother on a kibbutz in Israel and how she then commited suicide when he was six years old. He told her about how New York disagreed with him, saying “I would rather live somewhere quieter. Like the moon.” He then noted that he had never tried condensed milk, but that he would that week. Max finished his letter to Mary by saying “I find humans interesting. But I have trouble understanding them. I think however, I will understand and trust you.”
The Mouse felt uneasy. He could not deny that, even with the over-use of narration, this was a very good film. The writing was excellent, the performances solid and the animation was technically very strong. But there was an ugliness to the movie. The world of the film was filthy and grimy, and the characters all grotesque and malformed. This was intentional, Mouse knew. But he didn’t have to like it, and he certainly didn’t enjoy it.
Back in  Australia, Vera read Max’s letter in horror and threw it in the bin. Mouse had to admit that he sort of understood where Vera was coming from. If his own daughter ever struck up an online correspondence with a forty four year old man in another country he would probably confiscate her phone and her computer and detonate an EMP to knock out all electronic communication in the neighbourhood just to be on the safe side.  Anyway, Mary found the letter and wrote back to Max, telling him to address all future letters to her elderly neighbour Len, a war veteran who had both his legs eaten off by pirahnas loyal to the Empire of Japan. Len never left his house, as he was agoraphobic. Although if he lived in Australia, Mouse thought, he’d never want to go outside either so perhaps Len was simply suffering from rationality.
Why would you want to leave "inside" where the Sydney Tunnel Web Spider isnt, and go "outisde", where it is?

The Sydney Tunnel Web Spider is outside. Fuck outside.

That would probably have to be his last Australia joke, Mouse thought. If he kept going, Paper Alchemist might send him a snake in the post.

Mary told Max that she had no friends and she was being teased in school because of her birthmark. One boy had even stolen her lunch and then pissed on it. She asked Max for advice, but unfortunately her letter triggered a flood of repressed memories for Max of his own experiences with bullies and he had a major panic attack. Finally, he composed himself enough to respond to her letter, advising that she tell the bully that her birthmark meant that she would be in charge of distributing chocolate in heaven when she died, and that he wouldn’t get any.
"Alternatively, simply inform Bill Watters that his copywright is being infringed."

“Alternatively, simply inform Bill Watters that his copyright is being infringed and let the lawyers do the rest.”

 As their correspondence went on, Mary told Max about Damien Popadoplous, the Greek boy next door who she had a crush on. She asked Max about sex, how it was done, and whether he had done it himself. This triggered YET ANOTHER panic attack, as Max was deeply uncomfortable with human intimacy in all its forms. This last one was simply too much and Max was finally forcibly removed from his apartment and committed.

Man. That is such a classic "NY Times" headline.

Man. That is such a classic “NY Times” headline.

Max was diagnosed with acute depression and obesity (that’s some grade-A diagnosin’, boys) and was marinated in a cocktail of mood-altering drugs and subjected to electroshock treatment. Like most movies, Mary and Max choose to depict electroshock treatment not as a painless and often very effective modern medical procedure, but as a diabolical frying of the brain with lightning while a mad scientist quite stood by the switch screaming “Live! LIIIIIIIIIIVE!” In fact, the portrayal of psychiatry in this film was so relentlessly negative that Mouse found himself wondering just who had funded its creation.

Ah.

Ah.

After some years, Max finally wrote to Mary again, explaining that he had been diagnosed with Asperger’s and listing the symptoms of the condition; literal-mindedness, bad hand writing, difficulty in reading facial cues, clumsiness, hyper-sensitivity and a knack for problem solving. Max told Mary that his psychiatrist had told him that a cure would soon be discovered, but that he did not wish to be cured, as he felt his condition was an essential part of who he was. The only thing he would change, he wrote to her, would be the ability to cry.
Mary, who had become inconsolable when Max had ceased writing, was delighted to hear from him again, and sent him a small jar of her own tears as a gift. They continued to write to each other and as the years passed, Mary began to grow in confidence and self-respect. She went to university to study mental disorders and even married Damien Popadopolous in a lavish Greek ceremony.
Opa
 “OPA!” yelled the Mouse, his Greek heritage briefly and violently asserting itself.
Mary wrote to Max, giddily describing her wedding day and their blissful honeymoon on the Greek island of Mykonos.
“Pah! Mykonos!” Mouse hissed “Those sons of goats!”. He then paused the movie to allow his hellenic genes to return to their dormant state, before resuming.
At college Mary excelled and dedicated her life to curing mental illness, devouring all the great texts on the subject.
One might argue that if youre talking to a homicidal maniac, youre pretty not-Ok.

One might argue that if you’re talking to a homicidal maniac, you’re pretty Not OK.

Mary eventually wrote her thesis on Asperger’s, using Max as a case study and even publishing a book on the subject. She sent Max the very first copy, promising him half the royalties and saying that she believed that with time his condition could be cured.

Yeah. She uses your private correspondence for professional gain and writes a book about you behind your back but YOURE the one who doesnt get social norms. You take those pills Max, you take all you need.

Yeah. She uses your private correspondence for professional gain and writes a book about you behind your back but YOU’RE the one who doesn’t get social norms. You take those pills Max, you take all you need.

 In response he wrote an extremely angry letter to Mary, but could not express himself adequetly and so communicated his outrage with perfect eloquence; by tearing out the “M” key from his keyboard and mailing it back to Mary. Mary, to her credit, realised what she had done and promptly had every copy of the book pulped. Her friendship with Max in flames and her career as shredded as her books, Mary slipped into a deep alcoholic depression. She mailed Max a can of condensed milk with the words “I’M SORRY” scrawled on it and waited for a response, but nothing came. Finally, even Damien could take no more and left Mary to be with his New Zealand penpal, Desmond.

OPA!

OPA!

Mouse rolled his eyes. That tired old trope again. He had very little patience for the old stereotype that all Greek men were secretly gay.

This picture was...uh...was supposed to be a map of...somewhere...

This picture was…uh…was supposed to be a map of…somewhere…

This being an animated movie suitable for twelve year olds, Mary of course became suicidal and decided to hang herself.

Bleak

 

Well, this was certainly bleak, Mouse thought. But, he wondered, was there perhaps any detail that the movie might be able to add just to ensure the despair of this scene was utterly soul-crushing?

Ah, theeeere we go.

Ah, theeeere we go.

 Mouse watched as Mary, unwittingly pregnant, held a handful of her mother’s old valium and prepared to hang herself from the ceiling and tried to remember when he had watched cartoons to feel better about the world. But all that remained in his memory now was endless, inky void. The scene unfolded to a heart-breakingly sad rendition of “Que sera, sera” as the valium hit and the room melted away, leaving only empty black and the faces of Mary’s lost loved ones floating before her eyes. But just before she could step off the table, a knock on the doory jolted her back to consciousness. Wearily answering the door, she found Len, who had finally conquered his agoraphobia to bring her a parcel that had arrived from Max. His duty done, Len then quickly returned back home as he knew that those Funnel Web Spiders do not fuck around. Inside the parcel Mary found a letter from Max saying that he forgave her because “You are not perfect. You are imperfect. And so am I. All humans are imperfect. You are my best friend. You are my only friend.”

A year later, Mary arrived in New York along with her three month old child. She paid the taxi driver, and began the long climb up the stairs to Max’s apartment. Knocking on the door, she found no answer and finally let herself in. And there, lying peacefully on the couch, she found Max’s body in the apartment where he had died alone…

Mouse shut off the movie.

For five, maybe ten minutes, he simply sat in silence.

At last he got up and went to look at himself in the mirror.

He then did something that he had not done in a very long time. He stared at his own reflection, and tried to guess what he was thinking.

The Mouse, to put it bluntly, was odd. And he had always been odd.
As a child he had always struggled with social situations and had very few friends. Eye contact had made him very uncomfortable. He was prone to obsessive behaviour, fidgeting with bits of chain and paper clips. Always compiling lists, and ranking things. He had always felt awkward and adrift, as if human interaction was at best a second language to him. As he had gotten older he had learned, slowly, and often painfully, to mask his oddness. He had gone to college and found friends who he could be himself with, and paradoxically, because he could be more odd with them, he felt more normal. And he had met the love of his life, someone with whom he could finally speak the language fluently, who he relied on day in day out to keep him…here. In the now. For he was still odd, even now.
He was forever unfocused and often struggled to hold in his mind dates and names and faces. How often had he had to be reminded by his wife how he knew someone? How often had he become lost on his way to a place he had been many times before? How many times had he had learn how to do some trivial task, and then re-learn, and then re-learn, and then re-learn?
And although he would never claim to suffer…no that was the wrong word. Although his oddness, whatever it was, had never approached the severity of Max’s, the Mouse could not help but recognise something of himself in the clay man. And maybe that was it. Perhaps the intense dislike he felt for this film had nothing to do with its qualities as a work of art. Perhaps it was the unsettling thought that, without the support, patience and love (yes, that most of all) of family, friends and wife, he might have ended up in a place not a million miles from Max’s dank, desolate apartment? No one likes to be reminded how lucky they are, and just how bad things might have gotten. Maybe it was time for him to simply acknowledge that this was a film he simply could not review objectively, and leave it at that.
No rating, no final score. The end.
The Mouse pushed “schedule” and turned the laptop off. He crept quietly upstairs and slipped under the covers and put his arm around his wife. In the darkness she stirred.
“How’d writing go?” she murmured, half asleep.
“Good.” he whispered “I’m happy with it.”
“Cool. You still have to publish an apology on the blog for implying that I read 50 Shades of Grey.”
“I know. I will.”
“You’d better. Or you’re dead. Good night.”
“Love you.”
“Love you too.”
And, with a contented sigh, the Mouse fell asleep.
***
NEXT UPDATE: 20 February 2015 is the second round of eliminations in the Charity Movie Deathmatch. Details on how to take part are HERE.
NEXT REVIEW: 05 March 2015. March is “Cats” month of Unshaved Mouse, and we’ll be taking a look at the beloved cult classic Cat’s Don’t Dance!
Blucatt
Neil Sharpson aka The Unshaved Mouse is a playwright, blogger and comic book writer living in Dublin. The blog updates with a new animated movie review every second Thursday. He’s also serialising his novel The Hangman’s Daughter with a new chapter every Saturday. This review was made semi-possible by the kind donation of Conor Kelly. Thanks Conor.

 

39 comments

  1. Despite Phantom Nook enjoying the movie Mary and Max, he understood why Mouse wasn’t partial to it, as Nook himself thought it was more… he uses the word interesting. Yes, that’s it. Nook thought it was more interesting than enjoyable.

      1. Jen thought that the Unshaved Mouse was going to have a similar reaction to this film that he did to Coraline, cursing the person who made him see it despite it being good. However, she contended that this reaction was more interesting.

      2. The young man sitting on his couch, reading various blogs or newspapers, or gathering information and techniques on animation, pondered on how much effort he really should put in a video review of Mouse’s articles. The only background noise in the apartment, as his loud roommate is at a bar, was the click clack of the keyboard, the crunch of crisps from a basket next to me, and the telly replaying old episodes of Coronation Street…

        He comes across a particular review, one that was uploaded not too long ago, and gives it a quick run through… for about five seconds when he noticed the differences. Continuing to read through the review, he grew more and more intrigued, knowing about the film’s colours changing noticeably through each scene, and how everything looked like they had been thrown from my window onto the road, continuing until two thirds in…

        He treaded on, becoming less intrigued and more saddened and disturbed throughout the ongoing lines of text… he can’t focus, the telly’s too loud. He switched it off, sitting in a shroud of darkness only broken by the laptop, going through each word and and sentence… until the reveal of the mouse…

        He closed the laptop, tears forming in his eyes, never truly knowing how people could be like this… be so odd…… be like him. Knowing now, he never really knew how good things could truly be; getting dumped, parents divorced, living in a skid-row, close friends and pets dying, all things he remembered through his life… then after reading this, he knew that things could always be worse, and can always get better…

        He finished reading and gathered materials, light boxes, charcoal, pencils, and computer, and began working away, knowing it would be a sin not to put all of his effort into this. He worked all night until he couldn’t keep his mouth and eyes closed from exhaustion, and went to bed, knowing that this will be the thing he needs to put a lot of effort into, to keep working as hard as possible until it was finished…

        … fin

  2. Zombified by her midnight horror flight from Colombo, Paper Alchemist sat alone in the transit lounge of the Bangkok Airport hell tube. She was hungry, exhausted and broke.

    Her gloom was somewhat alleviated by the discovery that the wifi worked, although her data was probably being not so much mined as quarried. On checking her email, she was pleased to discover a new review from the Unshaved Mouse. Not only did she actually remember this movie, she knew the man who did most of Max’s animation (he lived 5km from her house). She had been a lazy reader of late, and an even worse commenter, but this, she HAD to see.

    It didn’t trouble her that Mouse didn’t like the film. It was not an easy film to like, although she did. The director had told his animators to make everything look like it had been dropped at least once, or something to that effect. His reason for not liking it, however, did trouble her a little; something she enjoyed had made somebody she liked uncomfortable. Which made her uncomfortable also.

    But the review was, as always, a fair and entertaining one. His Australia jokes made her want to send him a snake in the mail, but not a venomous one. Maybe an olive python, with a pretty rainbow sheen on its scales, just small enough to probably not eat his family, as a symbol of her gratitude for his presence in the world and her regret at having not really spoken to him in a while. She had always enjoyed their conversations, and couldn’t think why she had let them peter out.

    She also wished to inform him that after a number of revisions, she had finally got off her arse and contacted Phoenix Education about ‘Shift’, the play that Mouse had read for her eighteen months prior. They said yes.

    1. Mouse had missed his chats with Alchemist a great deal and was delighted to hear from her again. Few things were better than when a friendship that had Petered out Petered back in again. He whooped to hear that her play had been accepted and then whooped again because why not.

      1. She grinned at the computer like a loon in the crowded airport lounge. If her trip had shown her one thing that was not related to disabled sea turtles, it was the importance of spending and treasuring time with people.

    2. She also knew what it was to be odd, and to sometimes not be completely comfortable with that oddness, and to sometimes have that discomfort hurled in one’s face by a piece of fiction. She was pretty sure there were few questions more troubling than, ‘is that what I’m like?’

      Had she been able, she would have given the Mouse a cookie, even though she knew full well where that would lead.

      1. It’s a well-known antidepressant for members of the Mus family.

        Of course, there’s always the risk that you’ll want a glass of milk to go with it…

  3. Famous Rob sat reading a review of this movie at 5 AM and decided that watching this movie is not something he wants to to now and would rather have a snowball fight, or read old copies of “Calvin and Hobbes” on the internets.

  4. RubberLotus found the review vaguely reminiscent… no, quite reminiscent of something that one might find in a Neil Gaiman tale, if a little less polished. He had no particular desire to see it (not until he had finished with his new James Bond marathon, anyhow), but he knew that he would probably rank the review among his Top Five.

    He also wondered if it was simply customary for Irishmen to regularly conflate the names of Frank Miller and Mark Millar. He wondered very much.

    1. Jen decided to thank RubberLotus for noticing that as well, as she was also going to correct the Unshaved Mouse. Mark Millar may have written some bad comics, but, to Jen at least, he still was not Frank Miller-awful, and did not deserve to have such a name association.

  5. Amazing review Mouse! It started really funny (“Australia: the nation where Britain had put convicts too dangerous for polite society and God had put animals too dangerous for the jungle” made me cry of laughter) and it ended really touching. I’d have to say that it is one of my favourites reviews. 🙂

      1. That’s awesome. I’m actually also Greek and Irish, though I’m a lot less Irish and more Greek (25% for each). The Greek part of my heritage is super prominent for me though, because my family is Greek Orthodox and my mom’s side of the family (which is the Greek side) all live near us while my Dad’s side doesn’t.

        Anyway, great review Mouse, I didn’t realize this movie was so dark. Been meaning to watch it for a while but I didn’t know much about it other than it was supposed to be very good.

  6. LadyPlague grinned evilly, as she correctly predicted the next month’s theme. She knew it’d only be a matter of time before her investment would pay off…

    Unfortunately, she’d never seen Mary and Max, and after learning about this film, as well as Max in question, she probably never would. “Reminds me too much of the discomfort I felt during Temple Grandin. Times one hundred.” She sighed.

    She still appreciated the Mouse’s attempt at reviewing it anyway.

    Now if only she had the funds for the deathmatch.

    1. “Great,” the Honkergoose hissed to the Bubonic Dame, “Now you’ve got me wondering how much Temple Grandin knows about relating to mice.”

  7. LadyAqua stared at the screen for a moment, trying not to cry. “It’s no wonder I’ve never heard of this film,” she thought, “it’s an obscure Australian film, meaning we don’t hear of it much in the States, and it’s REALLY depressing.” LadyAqua had fought with depression her whole life, though there were times when it could really drag her down. It was one reason she’d avoided such stories in book or movie form. Usually she chose funny, exciting, or optimistic stories to combat her life-long malady.

    She had only read this review because she checked in on Mouse after Thursdays to see what he’d written for the week. Curiosity was always taking her places she otherwise would not go, such as exploring strange claymations (like tonight), new fantasy/sci-fi books, the Game of Thrones universe, or playing an online game her brother HADN’T introduced to her. Other things were preoccupying her mind before this, but she couldn’t let them distract her until she’d said at least something.

    Lady felt parts of this story were very deep and strong, but others made her want to weep or wipe the claymation from her mind completely. She had an aversion towards creepy, angular, or just plain hideous cartoons. She was once again reminded as to why people from other countries liked British or American films better than their own. Why was a source of ethnic pride for the Creative Capital of the World, though some other countries would probably beg to differ. (Honesty and Personal Opinion would often conspire to get LadyAqua in trouble online or verbally with other people).

    What was especially touching was hearing how Mouse had overcome his own problems in life, and that life had been good to him, helping him find friends and family that could fill the void in his soul. “So few people in this world were that lucky,” she thought. With a final few taps of the keyboard, she thanked Mouse for braving this heart-wrenching cartoon, and went off to play “Black and White 2” and watch “Blazing Saddles” at the same time to clear her head.

  8. This sounds like a movie that one may objectively appreciate but not a movie that one enjoys.

    (That’s as close as I’m gonna get to third person limited pov.)

      1. “He was prone to obsessive behaviour, fidgeting with bits of chain and paper clips.”
        For me the noticeable ones are licking patterns onto my nails and counting syllables, trying to make them divide by four (so each syllable fits into either cheek, upper lip, and lower lip) or five (so each syllable sits on a fingertip).

        “Always compiling lists, and ranking things.”
        Do you relist the same things over and over? I do…repetition is not even so much a comfort as it is actively enjoyable.

        “He had always felt awkward and adrift, as if human interaction was at best a second language to him.”
        I’ve never seen it phrased this way but thinking on it, that’s a really apt description. Curious…and of course you don’t have to answer, or even respond to this comment at all…do you do things in public or at work or wherever that would be deemed “inappropriate”, not because they’re sexual or offensive but because it’s not what other people do? Like, for me I will sing along to the radio at work without stopping until I hit a song I don’t know the words to, and I’ll do it to the exclusion of joining into conversations (and if I have to speak, I’ll time it around line breaks); the only reason I’ve stopped is because enough people complained about it, and I honestly don’t know why anyone could possibly be bothered by it because I have excellent pitch and was certainly not off-key, harrumph. For me it’s like…it doesn’t occur to me why some behavior or other could or should ever be considered odd or bothersome.

      2. Honestly, I’ve gotten a good enough handle on it that most people don’t notice. I still keep a chain with me at all times, but just in my hand. I can seem a little awkward or thoughtless at times but that’s about as bad as it gets. Although, sometimes when I’m composing dialogue in my head my lips move without realising it.

      3. “Although, sometimes when I’m composing dialogue in my head my lips move without realising it.”
        Me too! Hell, I’ll speak conversations between characters out loud sometimes. (I’ll do this when I mentally rewrite conversations I’ve had in real life, too; though usually I’m just rewording what I said into something I wish I’d said rather than speaking for the other conversationalist.) Usually not around anyone else, or if I am, I keep the volume low. Though I’m sure someone’s heard me muttering to myself by now…

        I’m really glad to hear you have a handle on things, if it’s making your life easier to navigate ❤

  9. I’ve never actually pictured the Unshaved Mouse watching a movie, but now I’m getting a mental image of tiny little mousy paws hitting a remote button and it is very much amusing me. Also, not getting base ball is one thing, but I’m surprised someone from the British Isles doesn’t know cricket. Maybe more surprised than I should be, I don’t know a thing about hockey or any other locally played sport.

    I wonder if Mini Mouse will ever get a WordPress account when she’s my age. If she does, please warn me to not reply to anything she posts here because then you’d have to cut off contact to the web and stop making updates, and I would very much miss getting to read your very uplifting, witty blog posts. As for the funnel web, apparently you can’t escape it from being indoors, so I doubt agoraphobia will save you. I advise you to stay away from Australia, particularly because as an invasive species, you will very likely badly effect the local ecosystem.

    …Wait, was the peeing Calvin picture that shows up on bumper stickers and whatnot even Watterson’s work? He definitely didn’t give anyone permission to make merchandise of his cartoon, and I seem to recall that drawing not actually being his, but I’m not sure. Also, it’s a wonder Hercules never triggered your Greek genes back when you were reviewing it. In any case, I wonder how much extra traffic you’ll get with that map of… is that where Nit has his summer home? Maybe renting it out’s expensive, he seems to not be getting off of me much.

  10. …Wow, no score at all, huh? I wonder how your partner in crime who helped you review Enchanted would rate this one. I actually remember liking this quite a bit when I saw it, I was surprised how desolate it came off in your words.

    “And besides,” the goose sighed, looking deeply into the screen, “after reading your description of your young life, which was all but like looking into a mirror for me,” – briefly, he wondered if he might be part mouse – “and remembering that being unwed, having never been in a relationship, having barely any connections besides family,” Sr. continued, his parping voice gaining a melancholy not unlike that of the Mock Turtle, “I very well could be at risk of Max’s fate, this new perspective on this story has left me rather… downtrodden.”

    The Honkergoose appeared deflated now, and he suspected it may be for reasons besides the collapsed bulb he suffered from the incident of suppressing a pun in the previous reviews.

    “I do hope you’ll never find reason to destroy your local network,” he said to the Mouse, “A rare source of smiles such as yours might be needed in my future.”

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