In your cage at the human zoo,
They all stop to look at you.
–Styx, circa 1977
Someone mentioned Styx the other day. I apologize but I can’t stop the references now.
This post is brought to you by the letter “Z,” the omega of the alphabet experience. Just like the human race, all good things must come to an end, so must the A-Z Blogger Challenge.
My idea for this post was “zoo.” I didn’t even bother going to the Google to find some obscure reference that might make me look smarter than that. Not this time.
But I wanted my own special spin on it. Fortunately someone mentioned Styx lately and, well, it just came together. Humans in a cage at the zoo; a human zoo. Now that’s an idea I can work with!
As the author of Society of Assholes I have done some limited research in this area. Before we begin, there is one important distinction to be made. I now excerpt from the book:
You might correctly be asking by now, “What the fuck? What about murderers, rapists, child molesters and such? Why don’t you call them assholes, too?” That’s a good point. However, for the purposes of this book, such extreme (and obvious) examples are beyond the pale. Those people are indeed true “assholes” and destined for a special level of Hell (I wish), but the purpose of this book is a bit more subtle. It seeks to explore the asshole within each and every one of us. The asshole that expresses itself from the typical and average individual within the larger context of every day society. That is the asshole we will be seeking.
With that in mind, it’s time to begin our tour of the zoo. We’re all too fat and out of shape to walk these hills under our own steam, so climb aboard this tram and we’ll be on our way. Please remain seated at all times, keep your head, arms and legs within the tram, and no flash flash photography.
Genus – Addictus Parentus
In our first exhibit we see a typical modern family. A husband, a wife, and two children, a boy and a girl. As you can see, the parents are smoking away furiously on their cigarettes. This is an important mechanism for passing destructive behavior from one generation to the next. This parental genome lacks the ability to evaluate long-term risk and there is a very high probability the addiction will be picked up by the children, who typically ape what they know and see.
I actually had the good fortune to spot addictus parentus in their natural habit just the other day. We were at a restaurant enjoying some dinner. At a table nearby was a family of four. They fit the profile but I had not yet made the species identification. If you are patient, though, field research can often be rewarding. The adults, both at the same time, got up and left the restaurant.
This was a curious development and it got my attention. Leaving the children alone in a restaurant is somewhat rare these days. I crept up to the front window, making use of plastic plants for cover, and observed my quarry. Of course! They were outside smoking.
Luckily I was carrying my logbook and successfully documented the sighting.
The Masculinity Experience
Welcome to our newest exhibit, sponsored by Ford Trucks that are built Ram tough and solid as a rock from heartland America. (Free truck nuts with every purchase.) Yes, it’s The Masculinity Experience featuring our prize specimen, Mike Rowe.
You all know Rowe from shows like Dirty Jobs and Ford commercials. That’s why we have these little infopoints mounted on each exhibit. For example, did you know Rowe started as an opera singer and was known for his arias? And that he then moved on to being an on-air host for the shopping channel QVC?
Arias and shopping!!!
Even in light of those facts, amazing the masculinity of this specimen is above reproach. Testing has confirmed that his testosterone is taking steroids.
I had more planned for the tour but we’re out of time. Maybe we’ll continue the tour later. That’s all, folks!
This is my “Z” post for the A-Z Blogger Challenge.
Dodge trucks (particularly if “jacked up” with the extra-high axle? Dunno the official terminology) and and Neon made to look like a Delorian are signs of Huge Asshole inside.
I must admit: back when I smoked (age 9-24), I would hold a darling baby in my arms and make SURE to blow my smoke over its head, rather than in its face as my parents had done.
As a non-smoker of some years now and as a better-educated person, I may still be a huge asshole but I’m horrified–simply horrified at that. I’m not joking. I thought I was doing “okay” by blowing smoke over a baby’s head rather than in its face. How do humans survive?
I agree 100% on the jacked up thing.
A Neon made to look like a DeLorean? Sounds like a colossal waste of money to me. I’d have to see the finished product to decide if it’s cool or not.
I’d never call you an asshole. You evolved. The thing that really gets me is smoking in the car with all the windows rolled up. Just like my parents did. But I do wish parents wouldn’t smoke around their children, even outdoors. I believe it is harmful and that it also increases the odds the kids will smoke, too. In my family I’m the only one who never smoked. I defied the odds!
By the way, as a former smoker, you have my ultimate respect. This is an incredible achievement!
I’m amazed that they went outside to smoke away from the children….and then I remembered – probably a non-smoking establishment, no?
That’s correct. No smoking in restaurants in my home town. Please say it isn’t still allowed where you live?!?!?
First they outlawed it in restaurants and we were told the restaurant industry would be decimated. Yet people still went out to eat and we have just as many if not more restaurants than we did back then.
Then they outlawed it in bars and then we really heard some squealing. And yet, as far as I know, not a single bar in this town has closed. Weird.
I was amazed they both went out at the same time. I could almost understand if they rotated out so that a parent would always be with the children. Instead they apparently didn’t see it as odd to leave the kids in a room full of strangers with their crayons. I admit, it pissed me off.
P.S. I don’t want to be a member of a species that invented “truck nuts.” I’ll take my ticket off this planet now.