Monday, June 29, 2009

Kids these days!

This weekend Jess' friend Tanya and her family had their annual Huge Picnic BBQ Poolside Bash, so naturally we showed up to eat our fill and play a little Apples to Apples. We never ended up getting around to the game (though I did hold my own with a win in quoits), but the food was excellent and company as good as expected. One of the attendees was a former co-worker of mine from Martin's--and one of the cooler of them at that--who informed me that I basically never existed at the store, or so they'd like to think. The same goes for my friend Angie who was still working there when I was so unceremoniously booted. She apparently has been canned as well, prompting her boyfriend to go all psycho on the people in charge and end up being carted away by the cops. Good for him: he did exactly what I constantly promised to do and then finally chickened out about when it all came around.

I guess I should be happy that I'm not being blasted all over town about my supposed indiscretion. I'd rather never have existed than deal with that mar on my personal record for the rest of my life. I've got enough hatred already bubbling up inside of me and threatening to burst out at everyone around me--I don't need more running against my tarnished excuse for a soul.

Like these girls. Ugh, these girls. About halfway through the picnic, Jess and I had to leave to go into Lancaster and let out my brother's roommate's puppy, so it didn't pee all over his new apartment. So we got into my car and headed down the highway, where we suddenly came to a complete, cold stop of traffic. Sirens blared in the distance as ambulances raced up the grass and gravel shoulder, blasting past the stopped cars to a destination unknown up ahead. Fire police followed, two leaping out of their car just behind us to scream at some guys in a Lincoln Navigator that was trying to sneak up the shoulder and get around the jam. We couldn't hear what they were screaming, but we had a good laugh as the cars ahead of us began to crawly jerkily forward.

It wasn't the first time I was stuck in this kind of traffic, so I hoped for the best for whoever was obviously caught up in a major accident up ahead (even though secretly I hoped that it would at least look exciting when we finally got there). On the way to Disney World a few years ago, traffic on the Beltway was backed up for almost an hour because a man had tried to cross the highway on foot at dusk. When we finally creeped by, there was a white sheet over a motionless figure and a pool of blood, sticky red seeping into the cloth. It was a disturbing site. So I didn't know what to expect when we finally arrived at the scene. It was not... what I expected.

Three cars were on the side of the road, twisted and mangled, and outside of them stood a gaggle of high school girls in cheerleading t-shirts. The cops were checking one over, making sure her face wasn't cut up. The rest stood, talking to another cop. Taking in the scene, it wasn't hard to do the math. And I was suddenly angry. These girls, in their tricked-out Jetta and Mercedes-Benz SLK (the third car I couldn't recognize), had obviously been racing, fucking around with each other on the highway. The damage done to the cars made so much plain to see--the front driver's side of one smashed in, now virtually a part of the back passenger's side of the other, long scrapes down the doors of each. In an amazing display of fuck-wittery, these richy-bitch prom queen-types had managed to demolish a total of near $100,000 in beautiful German-machined automobile--and hold up my fucking day.

I don't wish death upon many people (other than that guy from the FreeCreditReport.com commercials at least), but a serious maiming wouldn't have been bad for these spoiled brats. With a lack of respect for themselves, for their idiot parents' investments, and ultimately, everyone else on the road, I was hoping for at least a concussion or two. Sure, it probably makes me a bad guy, but who didn't know that already? I mean, Johnny Nice-Guy ain't exactly gettin' fired from his job for sexy-style harassin', am I right?

I just don't get it. I hate to sound like a crotchety old man, because I really don't think I am one (yet), but damnit. Kids these days! They are terrible and they misbehave and worst of all, they're stupid. I was hardly a perfect kid (though I think my parents still owe me big time for never having to rescue me from the drunk tank like everyone else had to do), but I misbehaved in at least a semi-responsible manner. I certainly never tried to drag race down 222 and smash the SLK Kompressor I'd gotten two weeks earlier for my 16th birthday. Then again, maybe that's because my first car was a Chevy Astro Van.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

What's goin' on (Right on, baby! Right on!)

It's been awhile I guess, hasn't it? Since last I logged in and ranted a lot has happened in my life and in the world. Michael Jackson, Farrah Fawcett and Ed MacMahon all passed from this life. Conan took over for Jay Leno (finally). The House passed the Climate Change Bill. And of course, I got fired from my job for "sexual harassment."

If I haven't already told you the story, then I'm sorry. It's not really something I feel like rehashing for the seventieth time, especially here on the internet, but if you ask me in real life or on AIM, I'm sure I'll pony up an abriged version. Needless to say, there was no "sexual harassing" in the slightest and it was a mere argument and disagreement (and a couple of tears on the other party's behalf) that led to it all. Yes, I was a jerk and yes, I probably shouldn't have flown off the handle about it, but to get my ass canned for something I didn't even come close to doing--and for a pretty major offense, at that--I still believe was out of line. Of course, the HR guy at Martin's had been gunning for me for awhile, so it was just the last chapter in a hilarious job story to tell the grandkids some day. Before they finally gave me the boot, I was accused of being gay, of having affairs with various female co-workers (consistency was not their strong suit), of bragging incessantly about my raise, of never getting any work done as I wasted time away doing crossword puzzles, and of course, snorting cocaine off a toilet seat.

That last one I even was called down to the office to discuss. So you can take my claims as you will.

Point is, I've moved on. I'm supposed to be out looking for a "legitimate job" as my mother calls it, even though I've started working for a friend of mine, helping him get a hedging software LLC off the ground. His wife (who I have been friends with since I was knee-high to a grasshopper) is also in the process of starting a non-profit organization that I am helping to launch. Of course, this means I do most of my work in my underwear in front of my computer, or over at their place, getting HTML guidance. Most people call that "telecommuting." My mother calls it "Not A Real Job." Never mind that they pay me for something that I would do for free otherwise. Or that they're actually looking out for my best interests instead of just wringing work out of me for eight hours every day. Or that I'm going with them to Buenos Aires in August, where they live off and on.

If that's not a real job, then please never let me find gainful employment. My dad always talks about how I should find something I love so I never have to work under someone else's boot. My mom paints homemade crafts for fuck's sake. And she has the nerve to get on my back about not having a real enough job? Her own mother gets on her all the time about finding a Real Job and her retort is always that she already has exactly that--just one that she gets to schedule all on her own. So how is this different than what I'm doing? The correct answer is: Not at All. Except for my mom has hit that age, the Perfect Age, where every opinion you have is correct in the face of all opposing logic, and anyone younger or older than you doesn't know their head from their ass.

Perhaps you've been a victim of this--as a kid, your parents always know what's best and you always listen lest you get the third degree. But then shouldn't they always listen to their parents? No! Because once you pass out of the Perfect Age Window, then you again know nothing whatsoever. This is roughly the time you get dumped in a nursing home and forgotten about, referred to during sporadic Sunday mornings car rides to your Assisted Living Facility, as "Crazy Aunt Mary" who has no idea how to even put on a nice outfit to go out to the afternoon Pizza Hut buffet, let alone invest her money. Congratulations! You've slipped down the other side of the grand ol' bell curve. And it's quite a slope.

I, for one, am excited as all hell. Come 40 or so, I'll magically have all the right answers even though my opinions will still be as ignorantly skewed as they were at half my age because I've stopped developing new opinions and yearning to learn new things. But it won't matter what I think, because whatever insane fucking bullshit that comes out of my mouth will be golden gospel. And if you don't like it, I'll ground you. Or toss you in a death dungeon somewhere far enough away that we only have to visit on holidays. Same difference.