Trained Thoughts

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Dylan Ashcroft
- 2/22/2017 10:05pm

I've been training my thoughts for six months, and I think they're just about ready to perform in public. Nine thoughts. Not ALL my thoughts. That would be ridiculous.

When I was in grade school I remember seeing a street performer at the 4th of July parade. She had a team of six thoughts, and they did a tumbling routine on a little blue carpet. I was mesmerized. Who knew thoughts could be so well defined, so limber, so articulate? A small crowd cheered when they ended their routine with a triple tumble flush and held their position in the air for 30 seconds. The crowd kept cheering and cheering. It was at that moment I knew it was something I wanted to do.

I saved up enough money to buy a starter pack, and worked those thoughts till they were worn out. I went through a number of different store-bought sets till I was finally able to catch my own in the wild. They're a lot tougher, but I continued to practice after school and on weekends, and sometimes during classes too till I got caught one too many times.

But my most recent thoughts are really coming along nicely. You may see me out in front of the library pretty soon!

- 2/23/2017 10:45pm

Hey I saw @Dylan Ashcroft do their thing, with their thoughts, out on the sidewalk by the library. Actually it was more on the parking lot - those thoughts were running all over the place! People didn't know whether to laugh or be completely embarrassed - until one got hit by a car.

Dylan Ashcroft
- 2/26/2017 5:48pm

The first public performance of my trained thoughts didn't go so well. Ok it was a disaster. Even though it was a little cold out that wasn't the problem, because I had warmed my thoughts up fully before we started our routine.

It started up fine, and a small crowd gathered pretty quickly and I could tell they were getting into it, ooooing and ahhhhing and giving little claps as my thoughts pirouetted around the little carpet I had spread on the sidewalk.

But then that old man Mr. Fiddlesticks showed up.

You know that creepy old guy who hangs around on campus? What is he even doing here? Anyway he got right up in the front row and started staring down my thoughts with his beady eyes and gigantic eyebrows and it freaked them out and that's when it all went to crap. And yes one did get hit by a car and likely won't perform again.

Mr. Fiddlesticks is a nuisance and I've complained about him formally to the administration. In my opinion he is a danger. Obviously.

Pernish McTavish
- 3/3/2017 6:43pm

My thoughts misbehave all the time!!! Like just today I was at the park and one started humping an old lady's leg. SO EMBARASSING! Sad.

How can I train my thoughts, @Dylan Ashcroft, so they will act appropriately in public, and someday be able to perform and perhaps enter a nationally televised talent programme?

Dylan Ashcroft
- 3/9/2017 8:12pm

Keeping your thoughts from misbehaving in public is a very admirable goal, and it's a shame how few people take the time to do so. Even just proper grooming--keeping their nails short, ear hairs trimmed--all of these practices will help set you on your way, @Pernish McTavish.

But bringing your thoughts up to a level where they can perform in public is a whole different kettle of fish. Hours and hours of concentrated practice for months and months on end are required--which makes psychic hecklers like Mr. Fiddlesticks all the more disgusting.

I've seen him around town since he ruined my act. At the bookstore, the coffee shop, in the back of the bus... he's wearing a hat now, with a big black brim, his beady eyes and gigantic eyebrows poking out. When he's around my thoughts are completely afraid to come out. And they wet themselves. It's really messing up rehearsal schedule, because my thoughts really need to be "on" all the time.

Pernish McTavish
- 3/13/2017 5:20pm

Ooooooo I can't stand that Mr. Fiddlesticks either! Did you know he used to be a teacher? I was looking through old editions of the alumni magazine (they are piled up in the staff lounge if you ever sneak in there to use the potty) and this is what I found in the January/March 1985 edition:

Adventure Ahoy!

{photo of a handsome young man bundled up in a parka, standing on a dock in front of a ship}

Dr. Odin Fiddlesticks, our dashing new archeology professor from Argentina, pictured here in Ushuaia before setting out on the Antarctic scientific research and exploration vessel Rosaria. Psyhigh students on this Spring study program no doubt have some fantastic and memorable times ahead. Bon voyage!

That can't really be him, can it?

- 3/14/2017 6:20pm

I am very much interested in training my thoughts, however I am relatively new to the practice. One of my thoughts has covered my entire studyroom with brown, flowing hair. I cannot control this thought, and I keep encountering it, so I have nicknamed it "Obsession." Obsession is a nasty rascal, one of the meanest creatures I have been unfortunate enough to own (next to Sammy the Squirrel.) Does anyone know of Thought training schools nearby?
Thank you,

Pernish McTavish
- 3/20/2017 9:16pm

Do you know what microfiche is? I didn't either but it's the only way to read the journals of Dr. Odin Fiddlesticks on his ill-fated school trip to Antarctica in 1985! They were published intermittently in the Journal of Applied Apophenia, and it is on microfilm that you have to ask a librarian for and then it takes an hour for them to climb somewhere and they come back covered with grime and cuts. But there's some really great stuff in there. The writing is super tiny but I got a magnifying glass and here is some of it:


March 20, 1985
The students are fully decamped in our huts at St. Dymphna base. It's the first day of Spring and the weather is fantastic - the high teens! I made a joke about coming out to play soccer with the "high teens" and no one got it. They were all too busy running around and taking scientific measurements and who knows what else. I've let them know I'm teaching this course on a pass/fail basis, and the only way you can fail is if you die! They didn't think that was funny either, and it's noses back to the books. I kicked the ball around till it got dark.

March 25, 1985
I gassed up the snowcat and got it running. "Hey kids let's go exploring!" I say. Nothing but blank stares when they look up from their measurements and equipment and go back to work. Part of the liberal arts oriented curriculum at Psyhigh means learning to APPRECIATE things, like the Antarctic sunset! And watching the frozen ice particles ripple in the wind! Things you CAN'T get from staring at a Cosmic Ectoplasm Interferometer all day. Maybe I SHOULD fail these kids just to teach them a lesson. It's going to be another awkward dinner around the Cup Noodles, I'm afraid.

March 25, 1985
I am so bored I spent all morning on the Rubik's cube. I don't think it's solvable.

March 29, 1985
I told the students that there was a mandatory field trip in the snowcat today and nobody showed up. I revved the engine and did donuts outside the hut and the smarmy one (I forget what her name is) came out and told me not to disturb the equipment because it was "very sensitive" and then she went back in. Hmmmph. No way I'm eating ramen with those kids tonight. I'm heading to the interior in this warm and perfectly running snowcat!

March 30, 1985
Uh, students? I know you can hear me, because I checked this radio out completely before setting out, AND I CAN HEAR YOU WHISPERING ON THE OTHER END! It's time to quit playing games and pick up the receiver. Now.

March 30, 1985
Students? This is Dr. Fiddlesticks. This may be my last transmission... there are creatures, horrible fangs and white fur and claws, attempting to break their way into the snowcat. I don't have much time. I... GOTCHA!!!! HA HA HA HA! I really had you going that time, didn't I? I'm FINE! Just a little problem with the motor. How are all of you doing?

March 30, 1985
Uh, kids? Seriously. Could you pick up the radio?


Dylan Ashcroft
- 3/28/2017 3:50pm

I found a private practice space, and I don't want to say where it is because the whole point is to avoid Mr. Fiddlesticks and I can't let him discover it. My thoughts had terrific stage fright after he started creeping around, but they're getting back into shape now that we found a private place to train. I made a tiny weight set out of bottle caps and plaster of paris, and today they used them on the tightrope, hanging one off of each arm as they practiced pirouettes while holding the little cocktail parasols.

One thought--let's call it X139--has been doing phenomenally well. It's a natural, and it anticipates exactly what I'm after. Sometimes it seems to know what to do even before I do. It's also a natural leader, and I feel the whole team is benefiting from it. Maybe the fear that Mr. Fiddlesticks instilled is giving them focus? It's such a relief. I was worried this whole batch of thoughts might have been ruined, after the accident.

But a lot of this mental training is on me. What do I do if Mr. Fiddlesticks shows up at my next performance? I can't just call it off and walk off stage again. And my reports to the administration about a psychic restraining order have gone unanswered except that they're "looking into it." Apparently "funny looks" and "bad vibes" aren't enough to get somebody 86'd even at Psyhigh.

Empress Jingles
- 3/28/2017 8:58pm

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Whether you're looking to become a professional trained thought performer, or just want to get those little buggers to STAND UP STRAIGHT AND BEHAVE A LITTLE MORE, Empress Jingles has a course that's right for you.

Come see her today!


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