Archive for October, 2013
OK, OK, I know this title suggests a grumpy old yogi sitting in a lotus position on a porch and shouting barely acceptable epithets at passersby. I am no yogi, but, sometimes a guy just has to remember why he started his blog in the first place: to talk about people who piss him off.
The highlighted folks in today’s post are just rude. They don’t care that other people exist in the world with them. And as I see it, they have some karmic punishment coming to them. This post briefly touches on these social vermin and suggests appropriate karmic retribution.
Before you ask, my karmic balance has come in the form of the people who walk past my balcony playing Bjork and performing skateboarding tricks. Also, I have a cat who seems to know exactly where my bladder is.
Anyway, here are some people who don’t care that others exist and the universal balls of shit coming their way.
Halloween is everywhere I look. My Facebook page is a running list of friends, cataloging costumes and brightly colored cocktails. There are ghouls, zombies, and Ghostbusters. There are slutty ghouls, slutty zombies, and slutty Ghostbusters.
There is arguably no better time to be a kid than at Halloween. The whole concept is mind-blowing – one night a year your job is to dress up as whatever you want, walk around with your friends and get candy. What a racket!
Furthermore, we also did lots of neat things in school around Halloween, like bobbing for apples and building ghetto costumes and decorations out of construction paper. There was probably also a haunted house and your forced enrollment in some school Halloween show that your parents unfortunately videotaped, but thankfully became obsolete with the death of Betamax.
Perhaps nothing was better than watching Halloween specials on TV. All of your favorite cartoon and television characters involved in mildly spooky Halloween fun. There was that rush of excitement as the word SPECIAL came rolling out of the screen towards you. When you saw this as a kid, the message was clear: It. Was. On.
I watched this cool flick the other night. It was about zombies, so I was pretty happy. Anytime the undead feast on human flesh I will buy a ticket to watch it…or download it. It was a good film. There was lots of action, good acting, zombies eating people, Israel, everything you’d want in a film. But as I watched Brad Pitt run around the globe trying to solve a zombie crisis, I found myself saying:
I thought this was called World War Z.
If you’ve seen the movie and read the book, then you have surely noticed the major differences between them. ‘Major differences’ being a euphemism for ‘didn’t have shit in common.’ Rambo is a more closely related interpretation of Webster’s Dictionary than the film World War Z is to its literary namesake.
If you have only seen the movie, then I’m betting you have heard all the hoopla concerning the differences and shrugged off the controversy. Since the film has been out a while, the rest of you have probably heard this all before, and are thinking ‘Wow, he really does come late to the show.’ And if you are, I’d like to remind you that at my (deeply disturbed) blog, the motto is: come for the stale pop culture references, stay for the Hobbit jokes.
I am talking to my dad; it’s the Sunday call. As usual, we talk books and he talks movies. I have little to add since I’ve spent my weekend watching reruns of Goosebumps episodes. So the most I could tell him is “viewer beware, you’re in for a scare,” which I decide against.
My dad’s taste in films includes films with subtitles, romantic comedies, and films that were made before 1940. And anything about, dealing with, or involving Italy or Italians in any way. The one thing they have in common is that they can all be viewed at home. My dad has furnished the home of the dude who owns Netflix and bought him a unicorn.
So I am confused when he says, “We went to the movies…”
“Dad, you went to the movies?”
“In a movie theater?”
“Near other people?”
“What are you getting at?”
I have always considered The Czech Republic a primarily atheist country. The Pope – the last one – called the Czechs “too worldly,” meaning they drink beer, fuck each other, and don’t seem to care much about what lies ahead.
So when I saw that in a countrywide census over 1,000,000 Czechs consider themselves Roman Catholics, and over 700,000 say they believe in God, I was a little surprised.
Oh yeah, and 15,000 of them are Jedi.
Yes, that kind of Jedi.
At first, I am surprised at the knowledge that I live among so many monastic knights. But then, after some rumination, it all begins to make sense. Here’s why.
At this moment, I am the living embodiment of a man who is 39, drinks like he’s 29, and recovers like he’s 49. There’s a thing existing in my head called pain. I am doing that morning after shuffle around my flat. I am in pajamas because putting on pants would hurt my head too much. I squint at things and grumble and moan.
I have thought ahead. In anticipation of this exact situation, I bought a frozen pizza. My plan was to suffer, watch mindless TV, and eat pizza. Aka: A perfect hangover day. Enter Mr. Murphy and his shitty ironic laws that are the instruction manual to my life.
My oven is broken.
I turn 39 tomorrow, a fact which elicited this reaction during my morning run: “Argh!” After I stop shouting and smiled at the other runners to convince them of my sanity, I settled into my head and asked myself, “Well, what do you think about this?”
Turning 39. Sounds like a zombie transition. He was bitten and turned overnight. To be honest, I don’t seem to sweat my age the way others I know do. I have friends who groan at the mere numbering of their years and others who spend half their salary on products that they hope will make them appear younger. I am in no way judging them – we all have our things – but I have always wondered if I was missing something.
Despite that, 39 has surely stirred up some thoughts, some of them positive, some of them not. And here are the ones I came up with while running and kept in my addling mind.
The conversation subject was so innocuous that I can’t even remember it. But I was out to lunch with my parents, so it led to a spat. All parents have the superability to send their grown children into childish fits of anger. My only memory of the argument was my dad’s request.
“Just don’t put me in your blog, please.”
I laughed it off. During my summer visit home my posts had been primarily focused on my quirky family and the aggravations they sometimes elicit.
Then my mom shared a post on Facebook, commenting that she was once again the foil and that she should be more careful in our conversations. Still, as I am wont to react Homer Simpson slowly to things, the realization was not immediate.
That realization came in a departmental meeting with the boss a week ago. She looked across the table during a particularly tense moment and said, “Dame, this doesn’t go in the blog, right?”
It dawned on me. People are afraid of the blog.
We are standing in front of a Czech bureaucratic building, which is like a square hemorrhoid in the Prague 10. Like most hemorrhoids, it is surrounded by misery. The people are miserable, the architecture drab, the plant life stunted and gnarled. The sun doesn’t seem to shine in this part of the city.
“Smile,” I say.
B, my partner in crime, linguistic safety net, and vibe masseuse, spreads a big smile across her face. “Like this?”
“Yes.” We are grinning like jack-o’-lanterns. “Today, this—” I point at my maniacal smile, “is our armor.”
Those around us surely think we are suffering in some manner. “I’ll be right back. I need to confirm my appointment.” I step towards the hemorrhoid. The Ukrainians, Russians, and Vietnamese step away and glare at my broad smile as though it’s a tarantula they have found in their morning cereal.
On days that I am forced to visit a Czech bureaucratic office smiling is a nearly impossible action. And that is because these visits are as enjoyable as setting your genitals on fire and then feeding them to a wolverine. The building is a shrine to Murphy’s Law and the experience is always riddled with frustration and outbursts of explosive and creative epithets.
But not today.