As Happy As Possible: Pinch Kid #2
By Kit A., September 2012
22 pg. at half-letter size
$2 from Fight Boredom Distro
It’s possible that there are people who are happy without trying, and that’s awesome for them or whatever, but the rest of us have to work damn fucking hard at it. I was glad to learn, what felt like pretty late in the game, that happiness wasn’t just a feeling that happens to you, but is something that you can work at: things I can work at make a lot more sense to me than things I have to rely on the vagaries of fate for.
This zine was sponsored by Dave Cave, who offered a $150 grant to an unemployed zinester to write about getting “As Hot As Possible” (by their own standards). Dave wrote online that his favourite types of zines are “the motivational, get-shit-done zines”, and wanted to encourage more of them to be written. As it happens, that is one of my favourite genres of zine as well, so I fully support this initiative!
Kit writes about hard stuff and fun stuff, without drawing a hard and fast line between the two. I really like this approach, because it seems really honest about how hard times engender surprises and teachable moments and useful vulnerabilities, and how glad times are never just an anodyne montage of heartwarming moments, but still involve working through your shit and figuring out how to make stuff work.
Some of the things Kit writes about in this zine include growing up Mennonite, coming out as trans, polyamory, “XTREME vulnerability”, and being a rat dad. They describe a dreamy summer with friends (“BBQs… stick and pokes… Divine’s grave… rat playdates”), and also include some questions readers can think on with an eye to themselves becoming As Happy As Possible.
(This summer, in an intriguing twist, Dave decided that the H would stand for “healthy”, and made it into a bowel health zine residency.)
I bought this zine from Amber of Fight Boredom Distro on her sojourn to Ottawa for the Ottawa Zine-Off, but it doesn’t seem to be available on the distro’s website anymore. Dang! If you come across a copy of this zine, please get one. It really did help school me in happiness.
- Lily Pepper