Menace

Power is intoxicating. Everyone loves having the ability to make their decisions into reality — to think "this should be something that happens," and then actually be able to make that thing happen. 

It is also dangerous. 

And it is especially dangerous when applied to four-year-olds. 

Four-year-olds lack the experience to wield power responsibly. They have no idea what to do with it or how to control it.


But they like it.


The dinosaur costume was the greatest thing that had ever happened to me. The previous Halloween, which was the first Halloween I could actually remember, my parents had dressed me as a giant crayon, and the whole experience had been really uncomfortable for me.


But being a dinosaur felt natural.


And powerful. 


The feeling had been slowly intensifying ever since I put the costume on that morning, and, as I stood there in the middle of the classroom, staring off into the distance in an unresponsive power trance, it finally hit critical mass.

I had to find some way to use it. Any way. Immediately.


The other children screamed and fled. The teacher chased me, yelling at me to stop. But I couldn't stop.  I was a mindless juggernaut, a puppet for forces far greater than myself. I had completely lost control of my body. 


All I knew was that being a dinosaur felt very different from being a person, and I was doing things that I had never even dreamed of doing before.


Of course, I had always had the ability to do these things — even as a person — but I didn't know that. I'd just assumed that I was unable.  As a dinosaur, I didn't have any of those assumptions.  It felt like I could do whatever I wanted without fear of repercussions.


The repercussions were also exactly the same as they were before I became a dinosaur.


I just experienced them differently.


My parents had to come pick me up at noon that day.  The teacher explained that it must have been all the Halloween candy.  "Some kids really can't handle sugar," she said.  "It turns them into little monsters."


I suppose it was a reasonable enough conclusion, but it only served as a distraction from the real problem.


The thing about being an unstoppable force is that you can really only enjoy the experience of being one when you have something to bash yourself against. You need to have things trying to stop you so that you can get a better sense of how fast you are going as you smash through them. And whenever I was inside the dinosaur costume, that is the only thing I wanted to do.


The ban on sugar provided a convenient source of resistance. As long as I was not supposed to eat sugar, I could feel powerful by eating it anyway. 


I'm sure the correlation started to seem rather strong after a while. I'd find some way to get sugar into myself, and then — drunk on the power of doing something I wasn't supposed to —I would lapse into psychotic monster mode. To any reasonable observer, it would appear as though I was indeed having a reaction to the sugar.


My parents were so confused when the terror sprees continued even after the house had been stripped of sugar. They were sure they had gotten rid of all of it. . . did I have a stash somewhere? Was I eating bugs or something?

They still weren't suspicious of the costume.  


I lost weeks in a power-fueled haze. I often found myself inside the costume without even realizing I had put it on. One moment, I would be calmly drawing a picture, and the next I'd be robotically stumbling toward my closet where the dinosaur costume was and putting myself inside it.

It started to happen almost against my will.


Surely my parents made the connection subconsciously long before they became aware of what was really going on. After weeks of chaos, each instance punctuated by the presence of the costume, I have to imagine that the very sight of the thing would have triggered some sort of Pavlovian fear response.


They did figure it out eventually, though.


And the costume was finally taken away from me.


I was infuriated at the injustice of it all. I had become quite dependent on the costume, and it felt like part of my humanity was being forcibly and maliciously stripped away.  I cursed my piddling human powers and their uselessness in the situation. If only I could put on the costume . . .  just one more time.


But that was the costume's only weakness — it couldn't save itself. I had to watch helplessly as it disappeared inside a trash bag. 

There was nothing I could do.


And so my reign of power came to an end, and I slowly learned to live as a person again.





937 comments:

«Oldest   ‹Older   801 – 937 of 937
Anonymous said...

I love how you have squooshy stick figures mixed with perfect perspective, it's icing on the cake.

Anonymous said...

Was this before or after the Cake? Really brilliant stuff either way. I'm just nosy.

Anonymous said...

WE'VE MISSED YOU!!! :D

You are the best. Seriously. You are Queen of the Internet.

This is awesome. Thanks for being great!

Anonymous said...

You rock. We've missed you!
Take care of yourself <3

Tiffany said...

LOL. Wow, you updated! I've been re-reading all your past comics for quite some time. :D Awesome work like always. Hope you have a good Halloween Allie 8D 8D

Anonymous said...

>< I'm so happy you're back!! Glad you're feeling better!!

Unclever title said...

Power is a hell of a thing.

Anonymous said...

I was worried about you! I allow sugar:)

Anonymous said...

I liked the allegorical nature of this. It's not what I'm used to, and I liked it a lot.

Unless I'm reading too much into it.

Katie Ferran said...

I think I'm going to be you for Halloween.

Valarie Byers said...

I relate to this in a way that isn't as distanced from the topic as it might sound. It defines Roleplay to me.

LOLzzzz said...

This is fantastically awesome and amazing. Also, how do I subscribe you? 😊

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Anonymous said...

Love this post! I was such a girl, I had a fairy costume covered in sequins...I don't think I even knew what dinosaurs were:) My oldest son had a Peter Pan costume when he was about 5 and he wore it all the time, he had "Tink" with him everywhere we went and was constantly talking to her over his shoulder. It was a little embarrassing in public!

Anonymous said...

awesome!
Thank you for a laugh today.
I missed you.
No really I've been searching. and searching and searching.
Wait that sounds creepy and stalkerish doesn't it?
Muwahahahaha!
good!
:)

Corey said...

This is hilarious.

Anonymous said...

I wear my dinosaur costume on the inside. Then they can't take it away from me.

Anonymous said...

I teach for a living and feel that this is an accurate representation of what children can be like.
95% very well done!

Ahue said...

Needless to say, I am extremely happy you're back!!! So happy that this may be for me the first time ever to comment on a blog! I am practically a virgin commenter (commentator? see, I don't even know the word, dammit!). The picture with your parents discussing what to do with the costume is insane! Could you, please put it on your Zazzle store? I totally dig insane things to wear...

Ahue said...

I am definitely, totally, extremely happy you're back! So happy that I decided to write this comment, which is a first time for me. Yep, virgin commenter here(commentator? see, I don't even know the word!) Not entirely sure that you'd read this (probably) 820th comment, but the picture with your parents discussing what to do with the costume is completely insane! Could you put it, please, on your Zazzle store? I totally dig insane clothes to wear...

A. P. said...

Do you need more evidence that I have no idea what I'm doing here? I just posted 2 comments with almost (but not exactly) the same content, (because I thought the first one was lost) so now I cannot even blame it on some glitch in the software! How lame is that? Now that I think about it, the term virgin becomes freakishly accurate... No other post on this topic, I promise. No matter what happens with this one.

Anonymous said...

As a depression sufferer myself, I now desire one of these dinosaur costumes so I can ride the wind and smite evil-doers while laughing maniacally.

Does it come in "Triceratops?"

reedlee said...

You know they have invisible dinosaur costumes don't you?

Anonymous said...

This is wonderful; I wish they had given the dinosaur costume to Goodwill, because then maybe I could have found it and worn it ...

Anonymous said...

I only had a ninja costume. Not nearly as potent, but I remember the feeling.

Nearly fell out of my chair at the series of images where the dinosaur tail disappears around the corner in the background, btw. Perfect. 10/10

Rowen McCoy said...

Hoohoohoo :). This is great.

Jenna Cole said...

I WAS AS CRAYON FOR HALLOWEEN WHEN I WAS LITTLE! Except I think I actually liked it and thought I could color like a real one and would just throw myself at the ground and nothing would really happen.
www.meadowinferno.blogspot.com

Rhonda Settle said...

Comment attempt #592. Your blog hates me. I created a Gmail account just so I could leave comments and it still hasn't worked. Wah! Maybe this time? Menace made me laugh hysterically as do all your posts. I love your awesome warped sense of humor. I desperately need a dinosaur costume at work.

emilyrockstheroad.com said...

Waah! Why didn't this show up in my feed! So sorry to take over a week to find this gem. I loved it! And I am never giving my kid a dino costume.

Dairinn said...

Nice new sun in the cover pic. You're absolutely radiant even without the cute little rays. Still, I hope it doesn't mean you're feeling down.

mcmonkeys1 said...

Good!

Christine Chimero said...

Omg! This completely reminded me of a dark time in my parents lives, right after I had seen Jurassic Park, except I didn't have a costume only long nails which made attacking people more menacing! ^_^ My attacks were always punctuated by the shrill sreams of the a Velociraptor.

Anonymous said...

Sooooo happy you're back!!! :))))

Anonymous said...

Yay! You're alive and you posted something! :D

Anonymous said...

You are so wonderful. Immediately posted this to Facebook and got many likes plus some poor Mom posted a picture of her kid in a dino suit. He, too, wore it constantly.

superhybridbaby said...

I did not read all 835 comments so this is perhaps redundant, but This American Life just did a story this weekend on alter-egos. Your comic reminded me of one of their "acts" about this girl who is rather timid normally but transforms entirely when she puts on the school mascot costume. It's great. Not as great as your comic though.
http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/506/secret-identity

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness I've been waiting and waiting for another post I started dancing in my chair at work and whapping my co-worker in excitedment. This, as always, is just beautiful :)

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness I've been waiting and waiting for another post I started dancing in my chair at work and whapping my co-worker in excitedment. This, as always, is just beautiful :)

Burton Williams said...

Wondering if I can pull off a dinosaur costume at work tomorrow or if I have to wait for halloween

blessedmama said...

Hmm, I would have just chalked it up to being four years old...because they are all craaaazy!

Kelsey said...

ALLIE! You are my role model and you never cease to amaze me. I love you so much and I love all of the chemical reactions that go on within your brain that result in your existence. Seriously, even old posts make my day every day.

Ahlam said...

Great post :) We missed you! Already pre-ordered your book on Amazon...super excited!

ROR said...

I had a hand towel safety pinned to my shirt as a cape. Now as an adult, I cosplay... some things (never should) change. Feel the power.

Rahel Sewell said...

I used to do this when I saw Lilo and Stitch! I turned into a rolling, scratching, biting ball of fury. Eventually, the movie was banned in our home.
Also, I AM SO HAPPY THAT YOU'RE BACK. We love you and we're delighted that you still post. =)

Anonymous said...

glad you're back, allie!
it's a testament to how lovely you are that when i saw one dickhole comment on this entire page i was pissed off, despite every other one full of enthusiasm and happiness at the fact that you're back.
also the other day, someone pointed out to me that the song "torn" gets immensely funnier when you replace every "torn" with "corn." corn strikes again!

Myrnas said...

Wow Such a Nice Cartoons

Emilie Øst Hansen said...

Dear Allie, I absolutely love your drawings and your stories. I have been cheering so much for your recovery while you have been away. You bring so much happiness to others and I hope you feel a little bit of it is coming back to you. We are many who think of you and wish you the best. I hope you have a little bit of dinosaur skin underneath your own, to keep you empovered ;-)

Anonymous said...

Must have first panel on a t-shirt and mug! Please and thank you.

Anonymous said...

Allie, you are my favorite person that I've never met. Glad to have you back. Hope you are doing well. Also my mother dressed me like a cupcake once, but nobody knew what it was, so I had toxic shame.

Anonymous said...

Worth every week waiting for this post

Anonymous said...

love you Allie omg :)

Anonymous said...

Hey Allie -

Sorry you've been having such a rough time...Hoping (though a useless emotion that won't actually affect anything - sort of a wax apple that looks like it has a purpose but really not so much...)that you find your way out of that wasteland.

Welcome back! We missed you :).

nomnom said...

:D waffles for you! :D

Richard Coyle said...

I was a pumpkin many Halloweens up to and including college. Can't say I ever went berserk pumpkin. Sugar and I were friends.

Jordan DePriest said...

Yay! You're back!

Danny said...

20 days and counting!

Anonymous said...

This was beautiful ;w;

Anonymous said...

The insight here is breathtaking

Anonymous said...

I just got my 3 yr old son a dinosaur costume for Halloween and everything he has been doing finally makes sense to me now. You. Are. Amazing. I can only hope that one day, like you, he will use his forces for good (in your case explaining the absurdity of our human existence through humor) and not evil...

Katy Jane said...

I was a crayon one year... I was also pumpkin like the one in the background in the class room!

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Slamity Jane said...

Thank you for helping me be brave. I am on a Roller Derby team, I'm not fresh meat (new) anymore, but when it comes to some things I am still slower than the new girls. It's embarrassing! Last night at practice we were supposed to walk across the track on our toe stops. EVERYBODY made it to the other side while I was still in the middle flailing about like a drunken giraffe. They were all staring and yelling for me to hurry up... Instead of faking an injury or crying I yelled "I can only do this as a dinosaur!" I then proceed on my toe stops while doing my best velosoraptor impression. I roared, and clawed my hands. You know what? I made it all the way across by harnessing my inner menace. My team loved it, and laughed so hard they were falling all over the place.
So Thank you for helping me be brave and thank you for making me feel like there is somebody out there who might understand me.

David said...

aaaiiiiii!

c trop cool que t revenue! chaque fois je pleure de rire. CHAQUE FOIS.

I hope to hear from you soon! Thank You!

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Corinoco said...

Power to ya.

Bryan said...

Ok the first image needs to be in the store I'd buy that on a black Tee Shirt... or a purple one.

Anna said...

YES! Amazing! Thank you. Your posts make me and a lot of friends and family extremely happy.

JustGrant2009 said...

Such an artist! I loved the use of depth of field with a good old Gaussian blur! :P You crack me up! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

thank god youre back! i have missed your hilarious posts! totally missed you and your awesome drawings :)

Kristen Brockmeyer said...

WOOOOOOOO! HI. :)

thatgraciev said...

Your illustrations are seriously perfect.

Anonymous said...

You're ALIIIIVE! I am not joking, I actually looked up online to check if you died. Don't leave us!!

Mona (Moxie-Dude) said...

Hey welcome back!!! Love this story! PS. You still have the power to rock! No dinosaur costume required.

Cal Steinbeck said...

This was perfect! Great post!

Audri said...

YAY! I check and I check and I check and FINALLY, you've posted again! YAY!

(no pressure)
YAY!

Anonymous said...

This was amazing Allie! I am so glad you are back! I hope you are doing better! Can't wait for the next post!
=)

-Some-Random-Person-You-Don't-Know

Rachelle J said...

This really puts the Spaceman Spiff stuff from Calvin and Hobbes into a new light. I don't think I ever had such a feeling of power for being in a costume but it really makes sense.

Kristie said...

Made my day to see a new post from you in my RSS feed! You gave me a mini vacation from all the junk / stress at work. THANK YOU!

HUGO said...

THIS IS RELEVANT TO MY LIFE AND ALSO HILARIOUS.

Matthew said...

So glad you are back! This was great. It totally made my day.

Anonymous said...

I so very much love how you express truth and story and humor and sadness...heck, the whole kit and kaboodle of our humanoid-ness. I just realized with these gov't shutdown characters that we need to find out where they are hiding their dinosaur costumes!
-WendyB

Anonymous said...

hahaha I love it!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Allie, I love you...but please fix the grammar on your book promotion page. I know you would hate to have people talking about it...um...alot.

"use of fear and shame as motivational tools, a story about the time my mother tried to take my sister and I on an adventure and ended up getting us all lost in the woods," (It's "my sister and me" - take out the words "my sister" and that's how it works. Love you!

Rachel Germeroth said...

Just had to tell you, besides that it's awesome you updated.. I flew Delta yesterday and who should I see in their magazine but YOU! I was terribly excited, and also can't wait for your book that the article said was coming out this month!

Ashley Funderburg said...

<3! You rock, that is all!

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to let you know that you are amazing. :)

And this story makes me think of my high school choir class on halloween. We started playing some improve acting game and this very small guy wearing a dragon costume somehow ended up being a kindergarten teacher.

The end of this kind of makes me think of life in general.

Or just that dinosaur costumes are awesome. :D

Tracy Gaydos said...

I think you should: 1) Find some faux lizard/dinosaur skin-like fabric 2)Fashion a kickass garter (with secret pockets for M&ms and mace
3) Take over the world

Tracy Gaydos said...

I think you would feel better where it's warmer and cheaper. Come to Mobile, honey. We're not all Republican crazys. Honest!!

Ky said...

AH-MAH-ZING!!! Mmmooaarr

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Beckah said...

Dear Allie Brosh,

Last night I had a dream in which I was half-asleep, wandering around this weird indoor neighborhood, when this dog came up to me. And I was like, "I recognize this dog," and then I realized it was the simple dog, and I was all excited because I thought "OH! Allie must live near here!"

But I never saw you because the dream changed and all I remember is that I wanted to dive into the water but everyone was getting in my way and then the water disappeared and I had to go downstairs and look at a bunch of stupid dollhouses.

But I've always loved your blog, and I'm glad I almost got to see you in my dreams.

Anonymous said...

Wow! That was hilarious!
I am sure I would have gone this mad too with so much power on my hand!

I am hppy that you're back <

Anonymous said...

This is going to sound super creepy, so I should probably preface this with the fact that I am not a pedophile. My favorite illustration is of you in the undies BECAUSE it reminds me of a picture of my sister like that. She's infuriated because my mom just took her church dress away and she's got her fists clenched and her teeth bared. The very picture of child rage. That picture always made me laugh my fool head off. It looks just as adorable in Paint :)

A Pleasant House said...

My question is, why did it take your parents so long to figure this out? Costumes of their own to deal with?

Melanie W said...

I think the whole Bruce thing makes a lot more sense now...

Anonymous said...

You're not the dinosaur the Rockies region needs... you're the dinosaur the Rockies region DESERVES

Anonymous said...

You're incredible-thanks!

Unknown said...

That was hilarious!

I think about this post everytime I see these ads now.

http://youtu.be/5NbiBEwAlkY

Tessa said...

We were really poor one year and so we got costumes from a family friend. My choices were a bumblebee or super man. Now , I am a girly girl fairy princess wannabe but I was afraid of bees, so superman it was. And thus began my reign of super powered terror. I had to return it a few days later, though, so it was short lived.

jazzbanjo said...

It's wonderful to have you back with us, Allie :D

Bam-Bam said...

Beautiful!!!

Tamara David said...

"FSSSSSSS"...hose in the house? Awesome in so many ways!

Anonymous said...

I happened to read the dental surgery/PARP! comic right before reading this one. Together they form a fantastic narrative.

Anonymous said...

The level of expression and movement you achieve with your drawings is frankly incredible.

Maggie May said...

The things kids can do when certain things arise. I used to do similar things. One minute I'd be watching my mom and the next I
m being chased down the hallway by my dad with an indescribable hunger for potato chips.

Stacy said...

We missed you. Don't ever be afraid to resurface, we will always welcome you with joy. (hugs)

Anonymous said...

YOU'RE BACK!! THIS MADE MY DAY!

This was hilarious (your poor parents! XD) and your pictures are always just perfect!

Izzeh said...

This is... Cute? Aw

Neil Kandalgaonkar said...

Lovely story. Do you listen to This American Life? They recently broadcast a story about a kid who gets dancing and tumbling superpowers when she wears a tiger costume. Maybe there's a positive side to all this. http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/506/secret-identity

Have you tried wearing a dinosaur costume now?

Sarah said...

MORE MORE MORE.
No pressure.
But MORE.
Please.

Anonymous said...

If I could get a guarantee that I would have a daughter like you, I would want children after all!

I hope the fact that you posted something means the corn is helping. Your depression posts were incredibly therapeutic for me. Thank you.

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Hurricane Heide said...

Missed you! Welcome back. :)

squeak said...

well i know what *i* am going to go buy this afternoon.

Prudence said...

*doing happy dance* So glad to see you're back! Dinosaurs are very powerful!!! I made a very similar costume for my nephew years ago... he practically lived in it. Now I know why!

Anonymous said...

you're awesome!!My favorite blog ever :) Thanks for making my day so much better

Tariray said...

"Piddling" <3

Anonymous said...

You git your dino costume on...I got my shark costume on........NOTHING CAN STOP US....

"every little thing is gonna be alright......."

Jennifer said...

Yayyy! You're posting again! :D There is now a reason to go onto the internet!! Soooo glad you're back :)

Rolley said...

This is me, all of the time. Except I'm 25, and don't even have a dinosaur costume. what would happen if I did have a dinosaur costume?

Anonymous said...

OHMYGODOHMYGODOHMYGOD, It's a new one!

Do I read it right now, even though I'm tired, or do I save it for the morning, over a fresh cup of coffee?

Ha! I read it now, of course.

Management Software said...

This is so beautiful! thanks for sharing.

Rish said...

Halloween is coming up... I just had a moment where I was about to say that I would get a dinosaur costume, because that sounds just super wonderful, but it occurs to me that they might be a little warm for any halloween activities I might participate in that don't involve being outside.

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Anonymous said...

You learned to live as a human?? That's just too wonderful and amazing! So could you please post instructions on same for those of us still crashing around in the darkness? Many thanks in advance (and how the hell do I like your page on FB?).

Anonymous said...

I can not believe I didn't see this when you posted it. Thank you, you are awesome!

Amy

lorlie6 said...

Can I subscribe to your site now? I did a couple of years ago and never got an email...ever.
Maybe you hate me or something, I don't know.
That's your problem, though, because I know where to find you and you don't have any idea what planet I reside upon.
So there.
Laurel

Jonathan Lin said...

I still have my costume and it wears me..... ROAR!

Jade said...

YAY!!!!!!! Made my week! SO happy you're back!

Love from Melbourne Australia!

Glorya said...

reading this(any of your posts,really)gives meaning to my existence.in a totally non-creepy way.:)

Laura! said...

I understand completely. I, too, received super human kid powers when I wore my Wonder Woman styled pillow case cape. I became my hero and helped rid the world of awful things like fried liver, forced copying of letters on those try-lined sheets of paper with a fat pencil (although I still love those pencils for chewing. Very satisfying.), and bedtimes when the sun was still shining.

All it got me was banned from watching Wonder Woman and the Little Rascals. The punishment still burns.

Anonymous said...

Omg ur back!!! I missed ur blogs ao much. Ur too awesome Allie

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