A wise man once said, "The only appropriate response to an
outrageous situation is outrage." That wise man was my Dad. I’m pretty
sure he was quoting somebody, and while I know there’s a virtual
equivalent of "Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations" on the web somewhere and
I think I even bookmarked it once, using it right now seems like more
trouble than it’s worth. Actually, outrage itself is getting pretty hard
to muster up these days, because frankly, I’m exhausted just trying to
prioritize everything intolerable I experience in five minutes. I mean,
on the one hand there’s Ethnic cleansing, but on the other I just
stubbed my toe, really hard, and that makes twice today. Do you know
what I’m saying?
I mean, yes, sure, fine, all my clothes are made in third world sweatshops by malnourished preteens and if I don’t wear this crap I have
to go naked because my dead end job just barely covers my bloated,
grotesque mortgage. But check this out. This morning? A guy in a Ford
Explorer? Cut me off and he totally knew what he was doing, and I am not
in any way legally allowed to kill him. Does that seem fair? I had to be
content with pushing my head as far forward as it would go on my
neck, my eyes bulging out like I had the worst thyroid problem on the planet,
opening my mouth wide enough to swallow a five pound brisket and wittily
quipping that Mr. S.U.V. should ‘Hoover my Shank’. And yes, I can pray
he hasn’t gotten around to changing his tires, I can petition the God of
My Choice to make Mr. S.U.V. die painfully in a great twisted mass of
metal and flames, but here’s the thing. If God answered my prayers, in
all likelihood that S.U.V. would come crashing through the window of
‘Payless’ shoes at the precise moment I was ponying up my hard earned
dough for a pair of ‘Rugged Outback’ sneakers some God forsaken, Fau Lun
Gong, Chinese Prisoner of Conscience Bastard sewed in Reeducation camp.
My mortal remains would be so badly mixed with a wide variety of poorly
crafted Pumps you’d need dental records to even guess who I once was.
And you know what? Those dental records are woefully out of date because
while Delta Dental may cover fillings and the occasional cleaning, it
only pays half for the serious Hillbilly/English Aristocrat type dental
problems a guy of my advancing years suffers from, and the other half of
that bill is what economist like to call ‘way more than you’ve got’.
And you know what else? Now I have a headache, thanks to you.
And that’s my point, see? You know the phrase ‘Pick your battles’?
Well, I can’t be bothered. I just can’t choose anymore. I mean maybe I’m
oversensitive, but to me, life is like an incredibly long salad bar with
no sneezegaurd where each item is more unspeakably foul than the last,
and I’m in line behind dozens of morbidly obese, mouth breathing,
hirsute, republican party faithful hump-monkeys with drippy colds
shouting ‘America’s number ONE!’ as they sway forward, loading clumps of
pickled atrocity onto their already full plates while hacking up viscous
bits of lung all over everything. I’d like to focus on one salad bar
item at a time, but how is that even possible? I mean sure, right in
front of me is the Sally Jesse Raphael episode ‘We Send Terror Teens to
Boot Camp’, but how can I justify putting that on my plate when right
next to it is a fresh vat of Tax cuts for any Multi National that can
make crude oil from the heads of Harp seals and Sea Otters while merging
with a Global Communications franchise actively engaged in research on
the commercial potential of Snuff sitcoms? On which choice do I focus my
rage? And if I do so how mcu emotion will be left to spare on the fact
that at this time of year, my feet always get uncomfortably clammy?
There was a time when teachers frequently referred to my ‘potential’.
(Granted, this was usually preceded by the phrase ‘not living up to
his...’, but that’s hardly the point). A habitual raising of the hackles
has spent the energy that might otherwise have been spent on acts of
genius and one has to wonder, was this a fair trade off? My days as an
‘angry young man’ are past, as are my chances of being a ‘young gun’,
‘young and restless’, a ‘young whipper snapper’ and any other moniker
dependent on the use of the word ‘young’. I’m way past the off ramp for
‘enfant terrible’. If I’m very lucky I might make ‘Late Bloomer’ but I’d
settle for ‘Slow Learner’. Being pissed off has eaten the better part of
my life. I have one last chance to realize my life goal.
The way I figure it, I’ve got about five good years before I have to
start telling everyone I set eyes on they should have seen Letterman
back when he had his edge, Talking Heads were the last great band ever
and a Snickers used to cost a God Damn Dime. In this next half decade I
really need to calm down, rest up, or I’ll loose any chance at all of
seeing my most cherished dream come true. Without a breather I’ll never
be a spectacular bastard in middle age, the springboard to becoming that
hateful old guy in the Nursing home who shouts one hundred percent of
the time he’s awake, and not the good kind of shouting either. You know
the one I mean. The one who won’t die no matter how furiously the
exploited, illegal alien attendants refuse to turn him. If I maintain my
current fevered pitch of perpetual rage I’ll certainly blow out my
cortex long before I reach the ill tempered, senile crankiness I’ve
prepared for my whole life. So if you came here looking for one of those
trendy, hackneyed, internet 'rants' so popular now that every sack of
crap who can afford the payments on an iMac grinds out just as if they
didn’t flunk freshman comp four our of five times, well, you and the
horse you road in on, chum. Me, I’m gonna gather my rosebuds while I
may. If you want me, I’ll be lying on the sofa in my underwear eating
Yodels and watching TVland.
note: -RoG- would like to add that
he'd never write a "trendy internet rant". Well, at least not on
a piece of garbage like an iMac...