September 9th, 2005

Welfare, mental disorders, and how to write living off of them

There's some weird factors involved in this question, but I'll try to be brief. :)

One original fiction project of mine is set in 1999 and into the earliest bits of the new millennium. There's a minor character who is a bit crazy (paranoia, delusions, utterly convinced his neighbors are brain-hunting alien spores or the world is going to end next Tuesday, that sort of thing--except that sometimes he's right), and I'm having some difficulty working out the logistics of how this guy lives from day to day. I've already got another character doing the eccentric homeless person thing, so that's not an option.

But this guy is also probably not going to be able to hold down a job, since he's likely to wake up one day with the firm belief that his co-workers are all cloned spies from the government or that his employer is in fact working for a nest of vampiric hellspawn. He might make a good tabloid newspaper writer, but even that'd be iffy. So I'm left with trying to work out just how much money a person in his situation would have gotten from welfare at the time. (He's doesn't act on his crazy often enough or in violent enough ways to run the risk of getting locked up outright, I wouldn't think; he mostly just lurks, glares suspiciously, and occasionally starts ranting on a street corner.) I don't want or need him to be living well, mind you. A tiny run-down apartment on the rougher side of town, with few possessions besides a typewriter, a couch, and maybe a crappy fridge, will suit my purposes nicely.

Possible?

Latin

I already posted this on the multi-lingual page, but have gotten no responce. I'm trying to come up with some not so magic words. I just want to translate: "To heal the soul, I give from mine to yours" to Latin. It's what the spell does, so why dress it up anymore than I have to? Thanks for the help!

How to stab a person accidental

Hello everyone,

I've got another question and I desperately need help.

Two guys have a fight, somewhere in the woods, 18th century.
A. has a knife.
B. has a sword.

A. has to kill B. with his knife by accident. And A. has to be able to regret it afterwards. I'm not able to find a believable way myself, so maybe one of you has an idea?

Sugar in the gas tank

Okay, I know it does bad things. But what exactly does it do? Would the car start up and stall almost immediately or would it run a few miles? And how much of a repair job would this entail?

The car in question is a 2003 VW Beetle; the owner has had it for less than a month and it was new when he got it.

And now that I think about it- if this would entail rebuilding the entire engine, I'll need a new form of sabotage. I'd need it to be something that wouldn't be immediately obvious and would leave him stranded after he'd driven about three miles.

Frat rushes/initiations.

So, what are some rush activities done by fraternities currently? (Or even good ones from "the good old days"?) Like, not bathing/having to address members of the frat in question as "sir" or "ma'am", and so on. The more creative, the better. My friends and I are trying to think of a few really good ones for our story that won't get the frat in question um, you know, in a crapload of trouble.

Also, anything about initiation ceremonies (which are supposedly secret?) would be really helpful, because due to the fact that they are secret, it's really hard to get any info on them. (Which is sort of the point, but still!) Any help is much loved, thank you all in advance! ♥