There are two sides to every story. Yep, even in monster movies.

Have you ever stopped to wonder "Why?" Why does the Kraken destroy sea-faring ships? Why does Godzilla lay waste to city after city?

Why doesn't Medusa just get a haircut already?


Artist Teo Zirinis has wondered.

In a hilarious and poignant set of illustrations he calls "Monster Issues," he sets out to give us the answers and show us what it's like to put ourselves in someone else's shoes — no matter how slimy or smelly they might be.

"It all started with Cthulhu," he told me.

Cthulhu, the monstrous creation of H.P. Lovecraft, is said to be part octopus, part man, and part dragon.

"It's a name that's pretty hard to spell. I pictured him trying to write it down and failing miserably every time and thought it would be a fun idea to illustrate."

All images from Teo Zirinis/Hands Off My Dinosaur, used with permission

(No wonder Cthulhu is so grumpy; only a few paragraphs into writing this piece, my spellcheck burst into flames.)

More monsters soon followed.

Like Bigfoot, the hairy, lumbering oaf who just wants someone to believe in him:


Then there's the classic zombie.

Poor guy. We're all so worried about him ripping the flesh from our bodies that we never stop to think that being a zombie must kind of suck.

And Godzilla!

Turns out he's really just an architecture snob. "This skyscraper is so derivative," I imagine him saying as he topples one to the ground.


Finally, there's Nessie, aka the Loch Ness Monster.

She might be the most famous monster on the planet, yet there's not a single good photo of her to be found. How do you think that makes her feel?

"It turns out their lives are harder than they seem," Teo says.

Guess I'd never thought of it that way, but you know what? He's right.

And maybe that's what Teo is really getting at in these illustrations. Yeah, his subjects are monsters, but they could just as easily be the guy who just cut you off in traffic or an anonymous stranger on the sidewalk.

Everyone has a story. If we look closely enough, they might just surprise us.

Teo plans to continue the series — after all, there are so many more monsters to cover, including some of Teo's favorites like the Wolf Man and Frankenstein. (Spoiler alert: Wolf Man must be itchy like all the time.)

Keep up the great work, Teo, and thanks for showing us that things we don't understand aren't always as scary as we imagine.

That first car is a rite of passage into adulthood. Specifically, the hard-earned lesson of expectations versus reality. Though some of us are blessed with Teslas at 17, most teenagers receive a car that’s been … let’s say previously loved. And that’s probably a good thing, considering nearly half of first-year drivers end up in wrecks. Might as well get the dings on the lemon, right?

Of course, wrecks aside, buying a used car might end up costing more in the long run after needing repairs, breaking down and just a general slew of unexpected surprises. But hey, at least we can all look back and laugh.

My first car, for example, was a hand-me-down Toyota of some sort from my mother. I don’t recall the specific model, but I definitely remember getting into a fender bender within the first week of having it. She had forgotten to get the brakes fixed … isn’t that a fun story?

Jimmy Fallon recently asked his “Tonight Show” audience on Twitter to share their own worst car experiences. Some of them make my brake fiasco look like cakewalk (or cakedrive, in this case). Either way, these responses might make us all feel a little less alone. Or at the very least, give us a chuckle.

Here are 22 responses with the most horsepower:

Keep Reading Show less
Joy

Teacher goes viral for her wholesome 'Chinese Dumpling Song'

Katie Norregaard has found her calling—teaching big lessons in little songs.

As educational as it is adorable.

On her TikTok profile, Katie Norregaard (aka Miss Katie) describes her brand as “if Mr. Rogers and AOC had a kid.” And it’s 100% accurate. The teaching artist has been going viral lately for her kid-friendly tunes that encourage kids to learn about other cultures, speak up for their values and be the best humans they can be.


@misskatiesings Reply to @typebteacher the internet gave me this brand one year ago and I haven’t looked back 🎶 ❤️ #fyp #misterrogers #preschool #aoc #teachertok ♬ She Share Story (for Vlog) - 山口夕依


Let’s face it, some kid’s songs are a tad abrasive with their cutesiness, to put it politely. A certain ditty about a shark pup comes to mind. Norregaard manages to bypass any empty saccharine-ness while still remaining incredibly sweet. The effortless warmth of her voice certainly helps with that. Again, she’s got that Mister Rogers vibe down to a tee.

“Miss Katie” has a treasure trove full of fun creations, such as her jazz version of “The Itsy Bitsy Spider,” but it’s her “Chinese Dumpling Song" that’s completely taking over the internet.
Keep Reading Show less

TikTok about '80s childhood is a total Gen X flashback.

As a Gen X parent, it's weird to try to describe my childhood to my kids. We're the generation that didn't grow up with the internet or cell phones, yet are raising kids who have never known a world without them. That difference alone is enough to make our 1980s childhoods feel like a completely different planet, but there are other differences too that often get overlooked.

How do you explain the transition from the brown and orange aesthetic of the '70s to the dusty rose and forest green carpeting of the '80s if you didn't experience it? When I tell my kids there were smoking sections in restaurants and airplanes and ashtrays everywhere, they look horrified (and rightfully so—what were we thinking?!). The fact that we went places with our friends with no quick way to get ahold of our parents? Unbelievable.

One day I described the process of listening to the radio, waiting for my favorite song to come on so I could record it on my tape recorder, and how mad I would get when the deejay talked through the intro of the song until the lyrics started. My Spotify-spoiled kids didn't even understand half of the words I said.

And '80s hair? With the feathered bangs and the terrible perms and the crunchy hair spray? What, why and how?

Keep Reading Show less