July 11th, 2006

iScream

Addictive Personality

So.. this is more of an opinion question at this point I think.  I looked up things on an addictive personality type and quite frankly, I don't want to buy an entire book on something because it's only for one character, and it's small.  Here's the thing, I read or heard at some point about addictive personality and/or addiction running in families.  It would be sort of like alcoholism running in a family, only not just with that, but with other things too, i.e. drugs or gambling, or eating habits.

Here's my question.  I've got a character who has a father and a brother that are gambling addicts.  The character himself is not addicted to gambling, he wasn't fond of his father and despises his brother.  In my head, because of that thing that I read somewhere however long ago it was, I have it worked out that instead of gambling, what he struggles with is smoking.  He quite nearly 7 or 8 years ago, he had started during a very stressful time in his life, and whenever stress like that comes back, he starts up for a few days, but can kind of functionally quit for a little while, but it comes back.  So it continues to go back and forth, and he does struggle with it.  

While I could pass it off as just normal reaction to the nicotine in cigarettes and the stress, does the addiction model/idea make sense and has anyone else heard that and can comment?  Should I go with that explaination, or scratch that and go with the second one that doesn't have to do the addictive personality?  What do you guys think?  There's a possibility it may not even be explained that way in-character, but it may just be a reference for me...either way, I'd still just like some ideas.  Thanks.
not mine, mat

Tribal African “staff”

Alas, Google and Wiki have failed me. I was wondering if the long stick many African tribal “priests” (for lack of other word) carry in movies and the like a) had a name other than staff and or b) was an actual tool of the tribal people (I’m sorry I don’t know which tribe specifically) or if it was a Hollywood invention. The best example of one I can think of unfortunately comes from a very bad example, that is the stick thing that Rafki(sp) carries in the movie Lion King.

< nervous moment>
P.S. Before someone leaps on me about grammar/ spelling. I did spell-check and grammar check, if something slipped by I do apologize, but I did check. < / nervous moment >
default

Circuses and their circulation

I googled the best I could, but I am not really sure how to look for this.

In my world there is a small circus that has traveled all over 1930's Europe (so far). It is not famous or prestigious, so it is not the kind of circus what would be invited somewhere. It stands to reason that circuses try to go places where they can find enough customers looking for entertainment and able to pay for it. And they want to avoid places where law enforcement regards them as potential criminals.

Question is how to define such a place? Would a small industrial town welcome some diversion? Would they have to stay in suburbs of larger cities? And would access to major roads make some places better or worse?
httyd--hiccup and toothless

diseases

I need a disease.

This disease needs to be non-life-threatening, non-progressive, but long-lasting or permanent. It needs to cause a lot of pain (enough to be prescribed a regular pain medication, preferably a pill, if that matters). I don't care what it involves, as long as it allows a teenaged girl (15 to 18, I haven't decided on her precise age) to function normally, even if it is painful. The disease needs to be either incurable, very difficult to cure, or something that allows the patient to go into remission.

If such a disease exists, I would like to know. If not, I can do some editing, but it needs to follow those main points. Primarily, I want it to cause a lot of pain, last a long time, and not be life-threatening.

Thanks!

Edit: Forgot to mention this, but the disease needs to be able to be talked about amonst good aquaintances. Thus, nothing concerning...er...reproductive organs/breasts/sexual activity/the like...

Edit 2: Well, folks, it looks like, after a lot of thought, it's going to be juvenile rheumatoid arthritis/rheumatoid arthritis. Thanks so much for your help!