Halloween: Scary and Tragic
This is an acrimonious post. It’s not well written. It’s basically just a stream of consciousness. Pointless, really. I advise you to move along. –Ed.
Do you have happy memories of Halloween nights when you were a kid? Counting and sorting your loot? Secretly getting away with eating too much until you got sick?
If yes, then congratulations. You lived through the experience.
I know of at least four young people from Halloween 2014 that will never get the same chance.
All across this beautiful nation of ours people are getting stoned out of their gills. (Which, thanks to fantastic advances in high jinx pharmacological science they literally believe they have. Gills, I mean.) Some get so high, either by themselves or administered by their prostitutes) that they depart for a higher plane of existence.
Me? I’ll imbibe the occasional mint julep (in honor of Dr. Leonard McCoy) but that’s about as far as it goes. I don’t get high. I get even. And man, I am so even right now. But seriously, though, the best I ever accomplish is a temporary hit to my already questionable judgement. And a nap. Alcohol is always followed by a nap.
Beyond that, the only time I have need for drugs is when I’m in pain. P-A-I-N. Like when a tooth goes supernova. It’s the old arrow through the tooth routine. Ha ha.
But unlike every street rat and Silicon Valley exec, my choices are decidedly limited. I have abscess to anything as long as it literally does nothing (except, maybe, the side effects). What a deal!
So I call the dentist. It’s an “emergency,” I say. No problem! “How does Tuesday next week sound?” How does that sound? How about I feast on your soul with my last working tooth?
They always think I’m after the drugs. Yeah, people on the streets are scarfing pills like they’re Fruit Loops but I’m going to call you, my dentist, to get my fix on.
“Just take some over-the-counter stuff,” he says. As if the words uttered by a dentist actually makes them effective and gives them power. Acetaminophen. Ibuprofen. The words just roll off the tongue. Or they ought to for all the good they’ll do. Are you freaking kidding me? They just announced a study this week which revealed acetaminophen is no more effective for lower back pain than placebos. Which is unfortunate because acetaminophen is pretty much the #1 recommended analgesic for lower back pain. Oops. Our bad. (Which, by the way, you can’t spell analgesic without anal. Coincidence? Methinks not. Someone is too damn clever.)
How about you shove that OTC back in your analgesic, k?
I have a question. When you call the dentist why isn’t his response should be limited to one of two possibilities? 1) Come right in and I’ll work on you now and make it stop. 2) Come right in, I’ll take a quick look, and I’ll be happy to prescribe a serious pain reliever until I can see you sometime next week.
Why the hell don’t they do that?
My theory? It’s punishment. It’s the dental equivalent of dad grabbing the belt and taking me out behind the wood shed. Someone has gots to be learned a lesson. Maybe next time you won’t wait so long until you call? How many times do I have to drill this into you? This hurts you a whole lot more than it hurts me.
Today I saw the dentist and he readily agreed my mouth should be toured by the President in a helicopter after being declared eligible for disaster relief. “See? Aren’t you glad I made you wait?” Then I was finally handed a script for Tylenol-Codeine and admonished, “Be careful while taking these. Don’t try to drive or anything. This is powerful stuff.” Yeah, I didn’t just fall off the turnip truck, lady. I saw that episode of M*A*S*H, too. The one that went on to become a template for modern medical science. “Take these sugar pills and call us in the morning. Be careful! Powerful stuff!”
They say life is pain. But maybe that’s just because everyone except me gets abscess to the good stuff.
Yes, I replaced every instance of “access” with “abscess.” That’s my literary genius at work. I don’t even charge extra. -Ed.
Now You’re Cooking: An Airlock Prayer
Admittedly there is at least one major bummer about being an atheist. It’s a pretty big one, too. Quite simply: I’m deprived of a bunch of gods. Dammit. I guess that comes with the territory. So, in self defense, I learned to pray only to the Great Airlock.
“Oh, Great Airlock, please hear my humble plea.”
“I’m sorry, Tom. I’m afraid I can’t do that.”
It’s easy to see how the Great Airlock could come in handy. Alas, it never quite works out that way. The Airlock is a cruel god. But you still gotta believe, right?
I’ve pontificated about The Great Airlock in the past. In theory, He represents immutable consequences to choice and action. The origin mythology is exceedingly simple: When the button is pushed the door opens. The door cares not what is on the Other Side. The door cares not if the occupant is ready. The door opens. The results are what they are. Nothing can change that. Nothing. Not even a god.
Continue reading →
Here’s to bad decisions, tonight is kinda special
An otherwise beautiful young person stood in court handcuffed and wearing an orange jump suit. Tearfully they addressed the court.
“I’m sorry for what I did,” they sobbed. “Fleeing the scene of the accident is the biggest mistake of my life.”
I do not doubt the sincerity. The young person was just sentenced to more than three years in prison. Also a mother, the woman was losing her son. I do, however, doubt the judgment. I doubt the assessment that the decision to run was the mistake. Sadly it was only the tip of a titanic-sized iceberg and wasn’t the first or last lapse of judgement on her part.
Where did things go awry? It was hours before the accident when a totally sober person made the decision to embark on an evening of drink with no thought process to address simple questions like, “How will I get myself home?”
The person who made that decision, although fully conscious, uncompromised and presumably rational, didn’t stop to consider the possibility of fateful events. Such planning didn’t rise to the level of being important. There was fun to be had.
Of course, we all know decision-making skills hit the toilet as soon as strong drink hits the gullet. That’s the way it works. No big surprise there. That’s why it’s prudent to make such important decisions and plans well before the alcohol begins to flow.
The record shows the young person didn’t exercise much care when it came to driving. Her driver’s license had been suspended at least four times since 2009. She had at least 12 convictions on traffic offenses (none DUII related) since 2007. Offenses included speeding, not wearing a seat belt, driving with a suspended license, and use of a cell phone while driving.
Without a plan and legally intoxicated, the decision was made. The young person would operate a motor vehicle while drunk. It would be a fateful night.
Meanwhile, not too far away, a bicyclist had a flat tire. In the dark and on the side of the road, he was then hit from behind by the drunk driver. He was sent to the hospital ICU unit. He suffered several broken bones, including both legs, a ruptured spleen and other minor injuries.
The driver did not stop. She did not render assistance to her victim. Her alcohol-addled brain deduced (rightfully so) that she’d get in trouble. It was her choice to flee. Apparently what she was unable to deduce was that her very best option at that moment was to do the right thing. And that was something her hobbled mind was unable to fathom.
It didn’t end there, though.
Later, once she was sober and presumably had her normal decision-making abilities restored, her next move was to take her car to a body shop in a calculated attempt to conceal what she had done. Luckily someone tipped off police and, finally, once she was left with no other recourse, she made a decision to take responsibility and turn herself in. It was a long time coming and had little meaning by then.
Once again, I conclude things like this come down to a lack of empathy and an inability to reason consequences for our own actions. Young people, it seems to me, are especially prone to this of late. The news reports are rife with hit-and-run cases. It almost feels like hit-and-run is now standard procedure rather than an aberration.
In this case, in addition to jail, the judge also suspended her driver’s license for five years. That feels woefully insignificant to me. Without significant consequences, behavior will not change. She should have lost her driving privileges for life. Not merely because she drove drunk but because of all the choices she made.
Prison isn’t exactly known as a system that churns out improved persons. So, apparently, our future has the possibility of this woman back behind the wheel. I do not like the thought of that.
Three blind gerbils
Not every gerbil path is exactly the same. For example, most drop out of high school but some actually hang tough and barely graduate. Either way, though, the paths taken can still have remarkable similarities.
Most live at home as long as possible. Most avoid jobs, effort and all forms of responsibility like the plague. Most get into things like drugs, smoking, energy drinks (Monster, Red Bull) and expensive coffee stand drinks as quickly and as deeply as possible. Most are extremely poor, becoming adept moochers, yet still maintaining the most expensive of tastes. Some rely solely on mooching skills, others may turn to petty theft and crimes to maintain their standards of living.
In terms of avoiding jobs, most gerbils go one step further and begin customizing their appearance. Things like tattoos, tongue piercings, lip piercings, ear piercings, ear lobe gauging, bizarre facial hair, nose rings, and long dirty unkempt hair are routine. Strange clothing completes the ensemble. Not wanting to be limited to the dimension of sight only, most smell bad as well.
The net result is a life form that it almost unemployable in every way shape or form.
I’ve covered most of this before, however. This is really nothing new.
Our GRIPE scientists recently made another startling breakthrough in measuring gerbil behavior. Within a single herd they successfully identified three males sharing a surprising characteristic: They have all applied and been approved to receive food stamps!
The GRIPE scientists wanted me to pass along a message regarding this finding: “We are not shitting you.”
Details are still sketchy, more field research is needed, but here’s what we know so far.
Three gerbils, including our own son and two of his herd, have applied for and received food stamps. Yes, they’ve had a rough life and need help from a system they’ve never fucking paid into. Dropping out of work, avoiding your GED, refusing to look for a job, and turning your physical being into a fashion accessory is hard work.
So these three lazy 21-year-old assholes who have underachieved, dropped out, and never really held down a job are all pulling in food stamps. The food stamp money can even be used to pay for their “take and bake” pizzas!
Oh … my … God. What does a motherfucker living at home still need food stamps for???
I think the pyramid produced by our GRIPE staff sums it up nicely. Pot, smoking and drugs all come first. Then non-nutritional edibles like candy, expensive coffee drinks and the primary nutritional source for gerbils: lots and lots of Monster and Red Bull energy drinks.
If you have no job, live at home, have a medical marijuana card and are on food stamps, nothing less than $4 coffee drinks will suffice. Obviously.
–Tom B. Taker
It’s obvious why their is a need for food stamps. They do actually use the food stamps to buy some groceries, thus they are able to divert the remainder of their cash money to the things they really want that are really useless. The other day the gerbil stopped by and tried to borrow money from us because, he said, he only had 43 cents to his name. Yet he is never without his expensive smokes. Funny how that works.
Really, I want to know. What, if anything, are we teaching the youth of this generation and how in any way, shape or form are they being prepared to deal with the real world? I fear for them.
Good morning, Beer!
At one time, a name under consideration for this blog was Wrong Planet. This is because I often walk around saying, “I must have been born on the wrong planet.” I tried to register that name but it was already taken by another blog. (Which has since gone offline.) It turns out that the phrase “wrong planet” has been adopted by the Asperger’s Syndrome community.
Why do I think I’m on the wrong planet? Because I feel so unlike the other humanoid creatures I encounter on a daily basis. The universe must have seriously fucked me over by sending me here. At the earliest opportunity I plan to leave. Maybe I could settle on a secluded planetoid in a restricted neighborhood in the asteroid belt around Jupiter. Perhaps I could do a little homesteading in outer space. Yeah, I could hang with that.
In the meantime, I’m forced to deal with the here and now.
I like to stop at the grocery store at 7:45am on the way to work for a fresh jalapeno and cheese bagel. This morning there was a fidgety looking guy of unkempt appearance loitering around the garbage can by the grocery’s Star Trek doors. As I walked up to the store he pointedly made eye contact and said, “Good morning.” Uh oh, here it comes, I thought. Here comes the pitch. But he didn’t ask for anything and I made it inside. He’ll probably get me on the way out, I figured.
On the way out, though, he again left me alone. I was in my car and getting ready to leave when I realized what was going down. Another guy came out of the store with a small bag of groceries and a case of beer. The beer was quickly transferred to Fidgety Guy who merrily strolled away with a peppy bounce in his step. Ah, the itch has been scratched for one more day. Tomorrow the dance will begin anew.
I assumed I had just witnessed a food stamp transaction. Food stamps can’t be used on cigarettes and beer, so an accomplice (with cash money) is needed. The accomplice is enticed with a 50/50 split of the proceeds for the services rendered, namely purchase of beer using the cash money. The accomplice gets $40 worth of food stamps for groceries and only spends half that on the beer. It’s like a 50 percent discount coupon. A true win-win for everyone.
The junkie (for lack of a better term) is more than willing to bleed half the value of his food stamps in exchange for his fix. Why do I get the feeling that Mr. Fidgety was poppin’ the top on a cold one before he even made it home? Beer on the Wheaties. Truly the breakfast of champions!
I feel for the guy, but I can’t help but wonder: What if marijuana is legalized? Between cigarettes, alcohol, caffeine, prescriptions, sugar, fast food and much much more, we are one addictive society. We have an overwhelming desire to intoxicate ourselves. Why do I get the feeling that making another option even more accessible is not going to be a good thing?
Let’s weed ’em out
Coming soon to a state ballot near you: marijuana AKA cannabis.
Seems like all I hear these days is pro-legalization news. Pot was criminalized on a lie. Pot isn’t all that bad. Look what you can do with hemp. Driving while stoned isn’t as bad as being drunk. Yada yada yada.
Well, BAH FUCKING HUMBUG!
I often find myself on the wrong side of the popular vote. I guess that makes me a Lone Wolf. A renegade. A man outside the law. Meh.
How many laws are on the books that you don’t agree with? Well shit. What’s that got to do with it? Most laws in our country existed before I was even born. There was no “acceptance period” when I reached a certain age where I was ever asked which laws I agreed with and which ones I didn’t. That’s just tough noogies for me. I have to live with it. That’s life in a democracy like ours I guess.
When marijuana comes up for legalization in my neck of the woods – which is an inevitability – I will personally vote “hail no.” I find that shit utterly disgusting. I don’t like the way it smells, I don’t like the “culture” built around it, and I don’t understand the overwhelming desire to intoxicate oneself. For the record, however, I understand that some folks may have a legitimate need to ease pain and suffering in their lives. In that narrow definition I can support use. Of course, “medical marijuana” is one of the most abused concepts of all time. That makes it ever-so-tempting to shut the door on all use. The rest of this post has nothing to do with those who have a legitimate need.
I get it. Life sucks. Life is hard. Life is pain. But you can choose how you respond. You have choice. You have free will. You can decide to take on life and grapple with it. Or you can check out and go to La La Land and float on a cloud. In my ever so humble opinion the time spent on that cloud is time wasted. (Pun intended.)
I’ve been reading and hearing about the “whaaaaa!” situation in Humbolt County, California. The county is economically depressed. If it wasn’t for marijuana, proponents claim, the county would be even worse off economically than it is now. They say that marijuana is the county’s #1 cash crop. I saw a video of a self-styled Humbolt County “businessman” in a fucking suit extolling the virtues of the plant. Is it just me or did he take the easy way out by basing his livelihood on an illegal business, one that is highly profitable, and one that he now wants to legitimize and have a head start on corning the market? I could give a shit less about him. Me? I’m just a humble law-abiding citizen who’s salary is a pitiful fraction of his. Why the fuck should someone choosing to obey the law matter? Why should the criminal be rewarded?
According the Wikipedia’s cannabis page, marijuana is the #4 cash crop in the United States. Imagine the market that exists to support that? Wow. And in states like California, New York and Florida it is the #1 or #2 cash crop.
You know what that tells me? That too many damn people are spending too much damn money to intoxicate themselves and live on a cloud rather than deal with real life.
When you factor in what we spend on pot, alcohol, other illegal drugs, and abused pharmaceutical narcotics I can only imagine what a whopping number that must be. For completeness we should probably include cigarettes (perhaps the most addictive force known to humankind). Hell, throw in caffeine (Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Red Bull, etc.), too. It’s all drugs, right?
Stop and think about what we do as a society. The need to check out of reality is incredible. What if all the resources, time, money and energy spent on all that shit could be used for good? Can you imagine how different this world could be???