A friend called and asked a favor. I’m not exactly the kind to give the shirt off my back so I was immediately wary and assumed a defensive stance. But it turned out all he wanted was to borrow our cat carrier. I said yes. I figured, what the hell.
What is it to actually be considerate of a person other than yourself? And why has this become such a lost art?
Recently it was the Fourth of July. As such, I had strongly considered keeping the cat carrier handy in case the asshole neighbor(s) shot fireworks at our house and set it ablaze. I wanted to be be disaster prepared and able to whisk my kitties away to safety at a moment’s notice.
Alas, I was afflicted by inertia and never got off my lazy ass to get the damn thing. I decided to roll the dice and play the odds. After all, my house wouldn’t burn down. Probably.
I slipped out of my home and blended into the urban landscape. Nothing to notice here. Just another lost soul looking miserable and drifting along with the tides of refuse dotted across the city. For good measure I even added a limp which wasn’t that much of a stretch since my ankle was still smarting from being smashed on a rock during our last whitewater rafting trip. (A story that has yet to be told.)
No fedora, tattoos, Nike footwear, North Face jacket or 1890’s neckbeards for me. I was projecting identity that screamed, “Leave me the fuck alone.” It helps a lot to be ugly and look as grim as possible.
And so it was I moved silently through the city. Which is rather odd for me since I seldom leave the house. We’re the quintessential Portland family. We have less automobiles than residents in our home. My wife was gone so that meant I had to make other arrangements.
Arriving at the bus stop I leaned against the sign. I must have just missed it since it took many spawns to arrive. I climbed aboard and asked the driver, “Is it okay if I don’t have exact change?” He said it was so I stuck in three one dollar bills for the $2.50 fare. My transfer printed and I couldn’t help but notice no change was offered. So that’s how that shit works. I paused for a reflective moment of gratitude that I hadn’t tried a one hundred dollar bill.
Here’s to good fiends
Tonight is kinda special
Where are we?
What the hell is going on?
Crop circles in the armpit
Spin me around again
And rub my eyes
This can’t be happening
Mm, what’d you say?
Mm, that you only meant well
Well of course you did
Mm, what’d you say?
Mm, that it’s all for the best
Of course it is
Mm, what’d you say?
Mm, that it’s just what we need
You decided this
Mm, what’d you say?
Mm, what did she say?
The beer we pour must say something more
Because from yelling my throat is sore
Your lips move and I can’t hear what you say
Leaving the small town for the big city did have one unfortunate side effect: We left all of our friends behind this presented a problem, especially since I stubbornly refuse to make new ones.
Thus, when old friends come to town, we’re excited to see them. “We should get together,” we say with genuine enthusiasm.
“Great. Meet us at the Chinese restaurant/karaoke bar, Saturday night, 9pm.”
Oh, shit. I want to die.
Continue reading →
Demo is in the house, yo!
Every morning the guru of negativity loads up his Facebook which pushily insists, “What’s on your mind?”
Oh no. I’m not about to fall for that one.
The people you’ve connected with on Facebook are called “friends.” Laws, yes. Friends. Good one!
Of the various types of content on Facebook, my favorite goes a little something like this:
- The opening: You want something. State what it is. Ex: “I’m curious how people feel about my sexual organs.”
- The insult: Get things rolling with a jab at your so-called “friends.” Ex: “I know only approx. 4-1/2 of you ever read my posts.”
- The hook: Describe the payoff in terms of pleasure centers of the brain that will glow upon compliance. “I’m going to give you a chance to prove your friendship.”
- The plea: This is the objective, the thing you hope to see accomplished. Ex: “Reply to this with a graphic description of your favorite sexual organ on my body. Sexual organs only, please!”
- The demanding social element: This is self-explanatory. Ex: “You must then copy this to your own timeline so my ego can grow. Please don’t comment and not copy to your own timeline.”
Out of respect, I’m not going to comment because I have absolutely no intention of following your rules. Thanks for trying to control me, though.
For the record:
- Yes, I actually read your shit. And I loathe myself for it.
- You can’t handle the truth. I won’t comment on our alleged “friendship.”
- It’s news to me that you have sexual organs so I’m unable to comment further.
- I will decide what pieces of evil hate go on my timeline. Not you. Nice effort, though.
- A real friend wouldn’t have done this. Thanks for reinforcing my theories.
Has Facebook invented a squelch feature yet or must I continue to be subjected to this crap with a little help from my friends?
At my old job I used to refer to myself as a “whore.” The loose translation of the word, in my opinion, was: “Someone who does something they hate in exchange for money.” Perhaps not the best definition of the word ever, but it worked for me in that circumstance.
Just recently, though, I realized that I’m another kind of whore. I’m a breakfast whore.
It turns out that I’m still kinda sorta friends with my boss from two jobs ago. In my 10-year ecommerce career he’s the guy with company #1. (There have been two others. My previous job AKA The Shithole and my latest gig.)
My sorta-friend is a pretty decent guy. He tries to be nice. And he doesn’t know jack shit about computers. That’s where I come in. We’ve maintained a relationship all these years. I help him and his wife with their computers on weekends and they pay me embarrassing little scrilla under the table. I don’t get much out it but they are so pathetic and needy I just can’t say no. I’m too nice to cut them loose.
Somewhere along the way it worked out that we’d meet for breakfast on Saturday mornings before heading to his office to knock out his task list. It was mostly business but he’d occasionally chat about his wife. He clearly needed time away from her. When the job was done, somehow I felt a little dirty, like I had not only been used for my technical expertise, but also, in some strange way, for companionship.
Their tale is a bit of a sad one. They had a nest egg and were getting older. They decided to buy a business, run it for a few years, then retire. Long story short, they bought the company where I used to work and got totally ripped off. (That in itself is quite an interesting story.) They didn’t know anyone in this town but moved here to take over the company. They thought it would be “passive income.” They were wrong. It turned out to be full-time jobs for the both of them just for the company to show a profit. They were in it up to their eyeballs.
Fast forward about six years: Their business is dwindling and the company is worth a fraction of what they paid. Their nest egg is gone. So yeah, I take pity on them, and still give them my services dirt cheap because I’m too damn nice. Dammit.
So the Saturday breakfast become routine. And then, today, it all shifted again somehow. Today he invited me to breakfast and offered to pay, even though he had no work for me.
The thought wasn’t a fun one. “I’m some damn kind of companionship whore!” Wow. Is there any aspect of whoredom that I’m not willing to plumb?
It’s not a homosexual thing, so the chub nomenclature doesn’t really apply, even though he kinda looks like an older version of the guy pictured above. He just needs someone to hang with and chit chat about life stuff and get away from his wife in a town where he doesn’t really know anyone. It’s kind of sad, really.
Luckily the universe was kind enough to provide me to fit his needs.
I was looking for a quote from the movie The Breakfast Club to go with my cute little subject line. I didn’t find one that I liked, but I did find this tasty bit of negativity. I enjoyed it so much I had to share.
Richard Vernon: That’s the last time, Bender. That the last time you ever make me look bad in front of those kids, you hear me? I make $31,000 a year and I have a home and I’m not about to throw it all away on some punk like you. But someday when you’re outta here and you’ve forgotten all about this place and they’ve forgotten all about you, and you’re wrapped up in your own pathetic life, I’m gonna be there. That’s right. And I’m gonna kick the living shit out of you. I’m gonna knock your dick in the dirt.
Bender: You threatening me?
Richard Vernon: What are you gonna do about it? You think anyone’s gonna believe you? You think anyone is gonna take your word over mine? I’m a man of respect around here. They love me around here. I’m a swell guy. You’re a lying sack of shit and everybody knows it. Oh, you’re a tough guy. Hey c’mon. Get on your feet pal. Let’s find out how tough you are. I wanna know right now how tough you are.
[offers Bender his chin]
Richard Vernon: Just take the first shot. I’m begging you, take a shot. Just one hit. Come on, that’s all I need, just one swing…
[Bender pauses, staring]
Richard Vernon: That’s what I thought. You’re a gutless turd.
Bingo! This post just qualified for the “poop” tag. And that’s how we wrap up another quality post here in the Abyss.