Everyone single person you know (unless you play grab ass with pornstars on the reg) wishes they were someone different. Your mailman wishes he was Neo from "The Matrix." Your kid's teacher, the one who plays the flute, he wishes he was a woman. Your girlfriend wishes she was single because you won't stop coming home drunk and passing out naked on the bathroom floor even though her parents are coming the next day. Your barber wishes he was motherfucking LeBron James, son, because he has mad ups and can get rim if he gets a good running start. Hell, even I pretend that I'm not a white-collar slob, and envision myself thwarting a would-be terrorist on the 2 train with a swift uppercut to Ahkmed's half-beard, then graciously accepting lavish gifts from the mayor, and then maybe becoming the focal point of a Nike ad campaign, and then somehow landing a role in whatever war mini-series Tom Hanks has in the works, because they are fucking awesome and I would be perfect for the cool albeit slightly disturbed gunnery sergeant, and then...
You see what happened there? It's just so easy imagining yourself as a totally different person. Can you honestly watch "Good Will Hunting" and not think, Fuck, I wish I was super-smart. I would do the same shit as Matt Damon except I would NOT move to fucking California for man-jaw Minnie Driver. She sucks. But thankfully most people are smart enough to not act on impulse. Of course we all want to be universally renowned and travel to exotic places and give sick lectures on how your job/talent is amazing and worthy of envy and adoration. Of course we want bundles of expendable cash to light our cigars with and use to make cool decorations. Why yes, I did use shredded $1,000 bills as the hay for the Nativity Scene. Anyone who says they don't want these things is either a liar or an agoraphobic or a fucking lying agoraphobic. Everyone wants to be special in some way. But the sad reality is, most likely, you are mediocre, or a short step above the average. You will not leave a footprint on society. When you're gone, the only thing you'll leave behind is debt. Depressed yet? BECAUSE I SURE AM.
/clutches knees to chest
/sobs in a bathroom stall
But honestly, I respect people who go out into this cold, cruel world each day, do their job, and then come home to complain about dinner, take 47 Advil's for their back, spill beer on the couch and rub it in with their shirt, and then yell at the TV because A.J. Burnett is a poor excuse for a human-being and has his head up his ass and has yet again decided to take the night off. And I respect these people because this is called LIFE, and they deal with it accordingly. What I don't respect is people who painfully and depressingly try and be something they are obviously not. Like people riding ten-speed bicycles decked out in neon spandex with racing numbers and fake advertising on their shirts. Give me a fucking break. Who do you think you are, Lance Armstrong? Did you remove one of your testicles with a pen knife? Because if you're that dedicated than maybe I will show you a little respect. But most likely you're just another shithead who rides around with a little gang of other middle-aged nerd cyclists, wearing Oakley's and $700 helmets. And you especially suck at life because you ride around on back roads with blind turns, almost causing head-on collisions because you will not move over to the fucking shoulder. This act alone should be grounds for public stoning carried out by weak-armed diabetic children.
I can't stand people who ride their bike and pretend the street is their own little Yellow Brick Road. It's just another way to say, "Hey, rest-of-the-world, fuck you, what I'm doing is more important than what you're doing. LOOK AT MY EXPENSIVE WATCH AND SHINY BICYCLE." People who think every ride-around-the-block is the Tour de France should be mowed down by a flat-bed truck at least once, just to see if they really want to cross paths with a deranged motorist. Oh, you have a bell to notify me of your presence? Well, let's see how that bell of yours works when I lob this branch into the spokes of your tire, dickhead.
The fact that these people get angry when they feel threatened by traffic - real car traffic - is a bigger oxymoron than Perez Hilton giving tips on how to remove a tree stump from your garden with a pick-axe. You are on a bicycle, riding in rush hour traffic when everyone - if given a loaded pistol - would shoot every other motherfucker in the face for making a halfhearted attempt to cut them off . If you want to ride your little bicycle around, then you better be ready to deal with cars zooming past you at 670 mph, wheels manned by stressed-out lunatics looking for a reason to run someone over and spend the rest of their life in white collar prison not paying bills and eating grilled cheese without their wife telling them to, "slow down and chew."
And most of these cyclists must be going straight from their bike ride to a stall where they ingest vats of unstrained lard, because they are certainly not icons of physical fitness. I do not want to see the crack of your ass. I do not want to see your pale, hairy ass. I do not want to see the outline of your balls through your spandex. I do not want to see your fucking fat rolls jiggling as I move past you. Who let you leave the house like that? My wife makes me change my shirt if there is even a HINT of a stain on it, I couldn't imagine if I tried to leave looking like a fucking scuba diver on his way to a gay pride parade.
Enough already. Put on mesh shorts and a t-shirt. You do not need to be aerodynamic. You are fat, which cancels out the need to be aerodynamic, anyway. You look like an asshole. Your kids are ashamed of you and everyone hates you. Are you happy now? Are you happy that you fulfilled your fantasy of being a professional cyclist?
Oh you are?
Well...Then let me know how my car bumper tastes, because I imagine it tastes like STEEL.
I understand why people jog. I get the ideology behind jogging. But do I like to jog? No. Not one bit. I would rather eat a bowl of broken glass sprinkled with someone's dandruff than run a mile. My spine sucks, my sciatica sucks, and my knees are shot from balancing my cylindrical frame on knock-knees for the past three decades, so running for an extended period time is less fun than splashing my eyeballs with a mixture of Frank's Red Hot and RAID. Not fun. Not fun at all.
But I don't hate jogging because of the logic. Like I said, I get that people jog to stay in shape. No, I hate it for the oddities among the masses. The people who must make things difficult, who must find ways to make jogging interfere with my daily life and the sanctity of my mental state. The way I see it, jogging is a form of exercise, and should be done in an area appropriate for exercising. The park, a track, a footpath...you know, wherever one can go and get in a nice run before sitting down to polish off five pints of Stella and a New York Strip, medium rare.
But in Manhattan, this logic goes out the window. Some people insist on jogging anywhere and everywhere, because most likely said people are full of shit and deep-down believe that the general public are satellites, and they are the planet, and thus everything revolves around them accordingly. And seeing that this after all is the motherfucking U.S.A., home of F-150's and Bud Lite Lime and Botox - these people think have the right to do whatever they want, whenever they want, wherever the fuck they want.
So maybe we should all practice this mentality then. Maybe we should all do what we want, when we want, where we want. Need to take a piss? Piss on that building's wall while walking to lunch with a client. Feel the need to make a personal phone call? Do it during a meeting. Tired? Why not shatter the huge window, break into that beautiful brownstone and take a quick nap? Oh wait, these actions are not appropriate? Well then explain to me why that rubbery old man is running down 5th Ave. shirtless, his old-man-boobs bouncing up and down, huffing and puffing with aggravation at every person who gets in the way of his two-mile-per-hour pace. Explain to me why this disgustingly sweaty douchebag wearing Under Armour designed to highlight his erect nipples just elbowed me at a cross walk. Explain all of this to me, because I don't fucking get it.
I will never understand why people insist on running along busy sidewalks during peak hours of the day. In Manhattan, specifically. You can literally see the tree-tops of Central Park thirty feet away and there will be some asshole jogging down the sidewalk spraying disgusting sweat everywhere, weaving in and out of throngs of fat tourists and solicitors with sandwich-boards guaranteeing $10 haircuts given by failed barbers. It's insane. And I know he/she is only jogging there so he/she can be noticed. Whether it's by their stupid boss going to eat a $60 steak for lunch and pinch the waitresses ass, or their stupid ex who's on her way to return a piece of jewelry he bought for her, or their stupid friend who they are secretly competitive with because friend once called them a "flake," whatever the circumstance, they are doing it for attention.
In his/her head, their boss is saying:
Oh look there's Jim, well Jim sure does have the heart of a lion seeing that he's baring this sort of crowd and heat to make sure he stays healthy. Let's make him the VP of the company and buy him a Aston Martin.
But this never happens. In fact, if the boss has any sense, he will say:
What the fuck is Jim doing? He's fucking jogging, right here, on Madison Avenue? There's a huge park two blocks away. Look, he just bumped into that old lady. What a fucking asshole. You know what? Fuck him. When cuts come up, he's first to go. And now I'm forced to entertain the thought of banging his wife. What an douchebag.
This is the way it should go. But for whatever reason, Karma does not think the same way as me. No, instead Karma presents these dicks with a new Rolex while I get a stomach bug from Chipotle and spend the entire night wishing that, when I bring the trash outside later, a murderer will jump out of the shadows and chop off my head, ending my misery. So you know what? Fuck Karma. Karma is a bitch. A big bitch with a bad attitude and crooked front teeth that look all weird when she talks real fast making me lose focus on everything she's saying in order to concentrate on the creepiness of her teeth. DAMN YOU, KARMA!
/struck by lightning
And what about you people who run in place, knees to your chest, arms pumping away? Do you really need to do this at every crosswalk? Do you really need to exhale like a fucking horse with asthma and make a big deal about how much energy you're exerting? Ohhhh, you're so in-shape! Where am I going? I'm going to the bar, to be fat, and to eat bad food and be fucking awesome. Have fun with your spandex and heart-rate monitor, nerd alert.
Anyone who feels the need to draw attention to themselves or blatantly disregard common courtesy should be mauled by a rabid Irish Wolfhound in an abandoned junkyard. They are complete scum. No one wants to see your flabby arms rippling like disturbed lake water. No one wants to overhear your Cyndi Lauper/Michael Jackson mash-up coming from your iPod. No one wants to move out of your way because you are an asshole. So stop being one, and get the fuck off the street.
The easiest way to ruin a bar scene is to play a bunch of terrible songs on the jukebox. It's like when your drunken cousin throws a punch at his brother during a family BBQ, and then Aunt Aileen faints and then you have to call the motherfucking fire department because the smoke alarm is going off inside because mom burned the potatoes and nobody is paying attention and trying to turn the alarm off because they're all outside wrestling that asshole to the ground and getting grass stains on their khaki shorts. It's pretty much all over after this happens. If the bar is filled with 700 lb. mutants who all seem to have a penchant for murder, and old men wearing no pants and high dress socks, but the music is awesome, you will enjoy another light beer and pretend you like mingling with colossal, sociopaths who smell like Salt and Vinegar potato chips.
But there is always someone lurking in the shadows who will fuck it all up. Some miserable piece-of-shit who just got dumped by his slut girlfriend and now feels the need to wallow in his Becks Light at a bar and ruin your fucking night. You know how it goes - you are five beers deep, you are laughing, you are slapping your pals on the back, and at the same time getting some sort of vibe from that one bartender who doesn't look like she has had sex with every asshole wearing a fedora in Manhattan, when all of a sudden, off go the Stones, and on goes some awful shit that sounds like a whiny sixteen-year-old strumming a sitar and bitching about his tight jeans. It's like getting kicked in the balls and then hammer-punched in the side of the head. When you go over to investigate, to see when this nonsense will be over, you find out that sad little Mr. My Life Sucks So Should Yours has pumped in $40 worth of garbage, and you're left with only two options: 1) stick around and use a broken bottle to slit your wrists, or 2) bail out. But when you bail and relocate, you will never get back the same feeling you had when all things were clicking just moments before. The bad music becomes the hair in the salad, the fart during sex. It's all over. You might as well pack up and go back to someone's apartment and rip bong hits and drink Jack Daniels until you pass out and/or wipe the whole ordeal from your soggy memory.
But in order to understand these people, we must first find out whether or not these people actually know that their taste in music is atrocious. Do they go on first dates, get up to play music, then return to their table shi-bopping and snapping their fingers to John Mayer only to find their date gone and a note left behind suggesting they seek psychiatric help? Probably. I'll be the first to say that I'm not one to judge musical tastes - I haven't listened to the radio since 1997, back when my Bronco II didn't have a cassette or CD player, so I have no idea what the kid's think is "cool" - but if you like awful shit, you like awful shit, it's not rocket-science, and 95% of the bar will recognize your inability to read a crowd and complain to the bartender until she hits the magic Jesus button under the liquor rack and the song is skipped. Oh, you paid money to hear that, you say? Why did she skip it? BECAUSE YOU ARE FUCKING MAKING EVERYONE WANT TO FUCKING WALK INTO ONCOMING TRAFFIC, THAT'S WHY!
But, still, I'm in awe of these people. They come in, they order a fucking vodka cranberry, then cash in a wad of $20 and start pumping the bills into the machine like it's expelling puffs of heroin smoke with each monetary insert. They are not here to drink. Oh no, they are here to listen to music. Ohhh, the dedication! I bet he plays the acoustic guitar at parties even though he sucks at it. The scene is just fucked up - jukebox guy's group of friends is over there, enjoying each others company, and he is over there by himself, flipping through a jukebox for forty minutes. Why? WHO THE FUCK KNOWS? This dude looks like he eats Ramen Noodles three times day, and yet he's blowing $60 to play U2 B-sides. These people are one of humanity's greatest mysteries, right after the construction of pyramids, and aliens. Oh, and the big bang. So, big bang, then pyramids, then aliens, then fucking assholes who live to listen to music at bars.
There is a difference between what's appropriate to listen to on you iPod or in the confines of your own home, and what's appropriate to listen to at a bar. Go ahead and listen to someone screaming as loud as they can over a drum beat for all I care, just do it at home. I like theme music to movies, because theme music makes me feel like I have my own fucking them song, just like the movie. But I do not go to the bar and start playing the theme music from "The Hunt For Red October" because I know that I am fucking weird, and people don't want to watch me put on a Ushanka and sing the Soviet National Anthem while pretending to be Sam Neill.
Look, I get it, you want to push your tastes on other people. You want to prove that you're different and interesting. You want to mouth the words to an obscure songs so you can prove some sort of merit for knowing shit lyrics to a shit song that no one on Earth enjoys, including the assholes who wrote and sang it. And you are waiting for that pretty young lady to walk over to you and say, "Excuse me, are you the one who put on Evanescence? Oh my God, let's go into the bathroom and fuck."
But guess what?
IT'S NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN! Nobody gives a shit if you have an eclectic taste in music. NO ONE. You could be a fucking encyclopedia of musical knowledge, and still, nobody cares at the bar. You could know every song ever, and you would still not impress the girl with the fake boobies. Does she look like she cares about Nickel Back? No, she cares about cash and apartment square footage, so move the fuck along. These people are all here to get drunk or get laid or both. So stop being such a fucking prick and ruining everyone's night and refrain from playing Coldplay or anything else that does not mesh well with the smell of stale beer and raging hormones. Maybe if you started pounding whiskey and grew a set and punched someone in the fucking face, you wouldn't be such a nerd.
Next week, I'll be setting the HP posts to hit around 12pm instead of early in the morning, because I'm sick of reading my own mistakes and would like to not exploit pageviews by constantly revising and obsessing like I have punctuation-induced Asperger's. Also, I'll hopefully be posting 3-4 new rants Mon-Thursday.
Oh, and I hope your weekend sucks.
As you get older, your brain grows in size. I'm pretty sure this is a fact...
Okay, probably not. But I feel like my brain has grown since I was 21, because when I was 21, I was mildly retarded. Back then I thought eating cans of Chef Boyardee's Beefaroni (not kidding) was a sufficient way for me to get all of my vitamins. Again, I was mildly retarded. But regardless, I've learned, as I've grown and matured, that time is of the essence. You see, dear children, we don't get any more of it. Ohhhh, cryptic! But it's true. And when people take their sweet-fucking-time ordering a salad, I want to splash hot grease in their face, because they are taking minutes away from my life. We will call them line lingerers. And we will treat them like the one-legged lady at the dance - WITH EXTREME PREJUDICE.
Every day I go and get a salad at Hale & Hearty because I'm getting fat, and I actually have the brain power now, as a desk jockey pushing 30, to realize that if I don't stop shoving Lenny's Buffalo Chicken sandwiches into my fucking face, I am going to develop Diabetes. So I go get salads now. Only, I have to bring a book with me to keep me company*. Not a magazine, not a goddamn newspaper, a novel, because it takes so fucking long for people to order. These idiots stand there at the sneeze guard, in complete awe, looking like they've just discovered the Holy Grail in their kitchen cabinet. LOOK, RADISHES! I mean, you would think that these people have never seen a salad bar before. And judging by some of their shrunken faces and the girth of their sumo guts, maybe they haven't. But that's still no excuse for them to take twenty minutes to decide on a salad dressing. You are obese, you want Ranch, stop pretending you want the Low-Fat Ginger Carrot!
And line lingering is definitely not restricted to just the food service industry. How about movie theaters? Ever been stuck on a box office line three seconds before the movie you want to see begins because your brain is too warped from playing "Call of Duty" to accurately estimate the amount of time it takes to get to the theater, and you're waiting behind two fucking dummies who are asking the clerk WHICH MOVIE HE RECOMMENDS??? Who the fuck in their right mind goes to the movies and doesn't know what he/she wants to see? I find out movies are coming out five years from now and immediately plan a weekend around it.
Me: Sin City 3 is listed as "in production" - better clear Memorial Day weekend 2015, baby.
Wife: Uhh, No. Absolutely not. We actually have plans, anyway.
But no, not Mr. and Mrs. Fucking Oblivious, they like to play it by ear. Hey, honey, let's throw on our jean shorts and our Caldor hats and go over to the multiplex and ask one of the young men or women working there what kind of movies he/she enjoys watching, and then we'll decide that way, because everyone who works at the movie theater is super-helpful and seems to give a shit about enjoying movies and not spitting in our popcorn, and we don't have a brain of our own because we're too busy worrying about a stupid work email we need to craft and whether or not our son is gay because he sings along to Snow Patrol when he thinks no one is watching (hint: he is).
Also, escalators. Although I do realize I'm not waiting in a line for anything, I thought I would mention them here, because people that stand idle on escalators are lucky that they don't get a boot to the ass and/or spine. WALK. This is not Six Flags - YOU WALK ON THESE MOVING STAIRS. These stairs are moving because this is a high-traffic area and its purpose is to move you along, not for you to lounge like a fucking drunk at a strip-club. And you two, yes, the two of you Gussies, chatting and giggling the day away like you're on line for your meds at the home - GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY WAY. You can stand to the right if you want, but do not block both sides. Oh, I'm sorry, you are from Europe and do not understand that American's have high blood pressure and are always working and going full-speed until our eventual heart-attack and rediscovered zest for life even though it's too late? Well, then I'll just have to lower my shoulder and Lorenzo Neal your fucking skinny body out of my way. USA USA USA!
(wondering why everyone hates America)
I also can't stand waiting for a cashier at Best Buy because the idiot in front of me has decided to ask the clerk for tech support on their fucking time machine/hair dryer. Really? Really? Do you think this guy knows how to fucking rewire your blackberry so it plays "Alejandro" every time you alarm clock goes off? Let's be honest here, this guy looks like he has trouble remembering to put his shoes on after his pants, and you want him to explain how a iPad works?
Nowhere is line lingering and/or clogging more prevalent than at sporting events. People will get up to the front of the line and, after each item they order is delivered to them, they will order more. And more. And more. And then they will need a box to carry shit, and one of those trays for their 18 beers. Only the cashier doesn't have anymore boxes, and so the person gets pissed. Then they yell at these poor bastards making $3.50 a day, and berate them, all because they are gluttons and needed 7 sausage and pepper rolls. Who the fuck goes up solo to order all that shit? You deserve to be speared through the eye socket for overestimating your ability to carry shit, or for not thinking about it at all while everyone waiting on you misses a grand slam or some other cool shit that will make me hate you until the end of time. And guess what else is happening behind you? I die of thirst. Me, I'm dead. Good job, random asshole, I am now dead because you suck.
*Editor's Note: I actually do this - I actually bring a book with me. People probably think I'm going to take a two-hour dump, but I don't really care. So, the other day I got on the elevator with some dude who works on my floor but I don't know his name, and he says to me, "Must be a good book." I replied, "It's pretty good, but I carry it around because the line at H&H takes forever and I can't stand waiting and doing nothing." He responds, "I wish I had time to read. I'm unfortunately addicted to this thing." He proceeded to hold up his blackberry. It killed me. If I had a pair, I would have bashed him over the head with it and bought him a gift card to Barnes & Noble.
Working in a high security building, I know it can't be helped that people have to take the elevator one level up or down, because the stairs are locked in case Russian snipers with high-powered rifles decide to infiltrate the exterior stairways in order to pick-off fat, jolly tourists from Minnesota taking photos of potted plants and the Lacoste Store display window. But does this stop me from generating blistering ulcers inside my stomach by holding in the rage that arises every time it happens? Fuck no. I want to fucking scream when someone gets in on 3 and goes to 4. Literally, I am screaming in my head when people do this. I bet you're standing there wondering why it looks like I am pumping every drop of blood in body directly to my face, right? Well it's because I want to break a storm window over your stupid fucking head. I would rather be followed into my office and slaughtered with a carving knife by psychotic hot dog vendor than have to deal with thirty seven abrupt stops between my entrance into the elevator, and my exit. Drastic? No, no, no, I call it liberation from such a minor, albeit agonizingly awful inconvenience.
It is against the concept of time and space and Earth and the moon and gravity and air and science and karate for me to get on an elevator and not stop twenty-fucking-times before I reach my destination. By the time I'm at floor 6, I've stopped thirteen times. How, you ask? I don't know, maybe a little something called BLACK MAGIC? Sometimes I think people just ride the elevators all day long, 5 to 4, 4 to 5, 5 to 4, in order to shave hours off my bumbling life. I'm positive that these people were placed on the elevator by Christof to make my daily life more frustrating, thus making it more entertaining to the millions of people watching my show on cable - I SEE YOU FOLLOWING ME AROUND, ADMIT IT!
Even worse is when someone interrupts my ride and hits the wrong floor, and then has to hit their floor, and then acts all embarrassed even though they don't give a shit if, after they get out, the elevator free-falls and I perish all because they made me stay on for a few extra seconds because the elevator's cable support snapped. A law should be passed that when someone does this, I am allowed to throw fresh tomatoes at their fucking faces from less than five feet away. How dare you not know exactly where you want to go at all times. And I know you messed up because you were dicking around on your new Blackberry Storm, which makes you a double-fucking asshole...
Now tell me how this tomato feels when it explodes on your fucking eyeball!
But the kings of all fuckers are the people who ride the elevator one or two floors in an apartment building. Offices, as I said, murder-inducing, yet impossible to control. But apartments are different. This is a whole different animal. A whole different breed of shithead. My thought process is as follows:
Hey, I know you, you live on the second floor. You are dating the guy that wears the scarf when it's 75 degrees out, what a fucking dork. Wait, you're getting on the elevator? You better be going up to the roof so you can jump off and not taking this to your...holy fucking shit, did you just press 2? You just fucking pressed 2. Do you see how many people are on this elevator? You couldn't fit a fucking Bicycle playing card in between bodies, it's so fucking full, and you're going to ride this thing nine feet and crush us even more with your bag of organic celery from Whole Foods? You just walked nineteen blocks for organic celery and you can't walk motherfucking nine steps to your floor? I HATE YOU! I HATE YOU! I HATE YOU! I HATE YOU! I HATE YOU! I HATE YOU! I HATE YOU! I HATE YOU!
And this happens all the time. For some reason, the people who live on the 2nd floor of my building are the laziest pieces-of-shit in America. Someone should follow them around and beat them with a bamboo reed every time they try and do something so fucking ridiculous.
One time, there was a guy in the lobby of my building dressed in workout clothes. He wore an armband, which showed me he was serious about his fitness, and not a intolerable nerd who probably goes to the gym to pretend to workout so he can watch free ESPN because he doesn't have cable and spends all his money trying to fuck hoochies on West 27th Street by buying $500 bottles of Smirnoff and giving free drinks to any sixteen-year-old that passes by wearing a halter top. So while we were in the lobby, this hotshot was huffing and puffing because the elevators were taking a long time to arrive. He was being very dramatic, stretching out his hamstrings by leaning against the wall and grunting, running in place, stretching his back out, all the while making a fucking scene about how impatient he was. Let me also add he had pointy, vomit-inducing C-cups jiggling behind his veil of Under Armour. When the elevator finally arrived, he got in, and pressed 3. Floor 3, where the gym is located. Two fucking flights of motherfucking fucking stairs between his dramatic charade and the fucking gym. I almost shit in my pants. Literally, I had to stop myself from shitting in my pants, because it was the only reaction that could have even begun to suggest just how disgusted and shocked I was with this guy. I wanted to follow him into the gym, lock him in the bathroom, and release a fucking Black Mamba into it with him.
What these people don't realize is, as Walter Sobchak so delicately put it: "Life does not start and stop at your convenience, you miserable piece of shit." We need to revolt against the one-floor-elevator riding-shitheads. So, as I said before, go grab some fucking vine ripe tomatoes, and start working on your aim.
Since most colleges are holding their graduations in these next few weeks, I got to thinking about all the young, ambitious, starry-eyed-grads with high-hopes and lofty dreams, ready to be released upon the real world, looking to take it by the horns, tame it, pet it, calm it, kiss its silky fur, name it "Big Blue," and then walk across this great country with Big Blue, conquering it city by city, state by state. But after about a week of graduation parties and a week of searching Monster.com, and a few weeks of your mom bitching at you for leaving cigarette butts on the driveway and wasting the day because you're sleeping until 1pm, you will soon realize you need a fucking job, and you will take the first thing that comes along, and it will be as a waiter at a chain restaurant, taking my food order and attending to my beverage needs. Because that's the way life works, so deal with it. You didn't go to Harvard, you went to fucking Ramapo College, what do you expect, $75K, a company car, plus motherfucking stock options? No, you get a stupid vest and a stupid notepad and a stupid hat, and you will like it!
I know the drill, I was a waiter at one point in my life. Not right after college, no, right after college I was too busy being drunk and depressed that college was actually over and pissed that everyone thought blacking-out on a Tuesday while watching a pre-season game between the Lions and the Chiefs wasn't fun anymore. I waited tables during my junior year of college, for about three months, before I realized waiting tables sucks and that bartending fucking ruled. But during that short time wearing an apron and carrying burning hot plates of Baked Ziti while trying not to drop it on anyone's head or eat it myself, I developed a serious respect for the job. What I also realized was, besides how hard waiting tables is and how little respect you get, I also realized that the more shitty I acted, the less cash I received as a tip. And that sucks. You feel like a fucking slave when you wait on some fat shit and his fat wife and his fat fucking kids for an hour and get nothing in return because you were staring at them like they were infected with the Bubonic Plague the whole time. And watching those dumplings waddle out of the restaurant, well, those were the times I wished assault with a deadly weapon were legal.
So, I'm here to tell you what you shouldn't do while waiting tables. Not should, shouldn't. I do give a fuck about what makes a good waiter. I only know about the shit that makes you suck and makes me hate you. And that's why I'm going to help you maximize your cash, because I know you need to scrape together as much as cash possible in order to move out of your cushy rent-free room at your parent's house and move into a 200 sq. ft. closet on the Lower East Side that is musty and smells like a corpse and is infested with cat-sized rats so you can bang that slut girlfriend of yours without having to shush her every time you here the floorboards above you creek. Just trying to live the dream, I know, I know, so listen closely, or continue to enjoy sneaking people in and out of your basement for the next five years of your twenties.
First, don't fucking forget to read me the menu specials. I need to know the specials when I sit down. If I'm forced to ask for them, but am then told that they are right there on the back of the menu, I will have to decide whether or not I jump up and sink my steak knife into your head or slink down in my chair and pout for being an idiot.
Second, don't forget to check on me at least once throughout my meal and see if I'm doing okay. Just once. Not ten times - once. Make sure I don't anything for my food, or check to see if I'm missing some sort of fancy sauce. If I get food that requires sauce, and it isn't there, I fucking freak. Don't promise and titillate me with the idea of Chipotle Honey Baked BBQ Sauce if you're just going to deny me of the tangy heaven. And also, I cannot concentrate on any other fucking thing happening around me if I run out of whatever I'm drinking. A man could set his fucking face on fire in protest of the restaurant's use of chemicals in their meat, but I'll be in a complete fucking panic - WATER, I NEED SOME FUCKING WATER TO DRINK! ARE THEY FUCKING BLIND? CAN'T THEY SEE I'M DEHYDRATED???
Also, I know you see me sitting here, my plate wiped clean like it just came out of the dishwasher, so stop stalling and bring me the check already. I'm going to puke, I need to go home. I don't want any coffee, it's ten o'clock at fucking night, just bring me the fucking check. I don't need to see it, I know you added in a calamari salad that I didn't order, but I don't care, just run my fucking debit card so I can get the fuck out of here before I walk over to that table of ten wearing business casual and start tossing glasses of wine in their brazenly loud, stupid faces. I stopped eating thirty minutes ago, why the fuck am I still sitting here being ashamed of how disgusting I am and being forced to listen to shithead over there tell the table about his golf handicap? What did I do to you to deserve this?
Oh yeah, and waiter, don't try to be my friend. I don't want to banter with you. I don't want to bullshit or trade hysterical remarks back and forth. Do you really give a fuck how my night was? Do you? Well since you insist, I'll tell you how it was - I strangled a drifter behind the Port Authority Bus Station and then rolled his body into the Hudson River. Why? Because HE WOULDN'T LEAVE ME THE FUCK ALONE! Now explain to me why do you feel the need to linger? No offense, but I don't want to become friends with you. Are we going to start hanging out, going to Yankees games together? That would be fucking weird.
Wife: Who are you going to the game with?
Wife: Who's Frank? Do I know a Frank?
Me: Yeah, Frank from Lucia's. The waiter, Frank, from Lucia's.
Wife: (packs suitcase and leaves)
And most importantly - possibly the most important thing for a waiter to remember actually - do not recommend an entree unless I ask you for your opinion. Appetizer suggestion? Fine. Tell me all about those fucking scallops. If they suck, I can recover with the main course. But never fuck with my head when I'm trying to order the shit that will no longer make me hungry. Seriously, if I have something in my head that I am set on ordering, and you go and say, "You should try the Filet, it's divine!" I will burn the fucking restaurant down. Because I will end up agonizing over the decision and ultimately get what you tell me, because I am a sheep and assume we share the same taste. And then if I don't like what you suggested, it will be all your fault, and my night will be fucking ruined. And I will probably be distracted on the drive home and accidentally run over a couple who just got engaged. Do you want that hanging over your head forever? Well I don't, so let me order the chicken and let me be already.
I used to love bars. Imagine how much you love Blair from "The Facts of Life," but multiply it by ten. Yeah, that much. If given the opportunity, I would have lived in one. Oh, wow, this bar has a tent! No, no, that's just my home, where I can be awesome, and rip it at my leisure. Does this make me an alcoholic? Meh, I think I was always more drawn to the scene. You see, I hate bright lights, old surly people, rich people, not sitting in booth seating all the time, and annoying kids crying and wiping their dirty hands on all the door handles. Now where can I find a place that accommodates all of this? That's right, a bar. Plus, there is a lot of whiskey.
Recently, I have slowly began to wane off my bar fixation. Maybe it's because I'm getting old and fucking cranky and 90% of the time would rather be home wearing stained Yankees t-shirts that are softer than the Shroud of Turin and watching HGTV, or because I'm married, or because I'm no longer one of the people who can afford to be a complete fucking dick every time I step from the sidewalk onto some stained-oak flooring. I don't know, but being leery of bar night makes me observe things that never would have bothered me before, probably because I was too busy vomiting on a car hood in the alley.
First off, who the fuck is actually friends with the guy who is so drunk he can't even string together a sentence? I don't mean, I know him from work, I mean, who fucking calls him on the phone and is like, Hey Jimmy, let's go have some drinks at O'Fuckyou's tonight. And please promise you wont pull your pants down and crap into the garbage can again, okay? I don't get this guy. I know that on certain nights I have drank a 500 beers and forty shots of Jameson (no), and I have still NEVER been as fucking bombed as this guy. This guy is not awesome. He is not funny. Spitting in stranger's faces as he tries to retell his life story in fucking Pig Latin is not awesome. It ruins everyone's buzz. Sweating and rubbing up against people trying to pound a couple of beers and mind their own fucking business is not awesome. This guy is a bigger liability than a homeless man walking through a unsupervised liquor/canned food store. At day-drinking festivals, at concerts, at Preakness, St. Patrick's Day, Halloween, etc, this guy is fine, because awful, unruly behavior is expected. If you are not blacked-out by 11am at one of these events, then you are a NARC. But, 9pm on a Wednesday at fucking Public House? Get this guy out of here so I can stop envisioning myself hitting him in the throat with a chair leg and accidentally killing him. Now I'm doing a 25-to-life bid upstate even though I'm a hero, and I'll have to become a skinhead and get Nazi tattoos and hope nobody attacks me while I'm naked in the shower. GODDAMMIT WHY ARE YOU STILL HERE, AWFUL DRUNK GUY???
And now let me rant about the ladies for a moment. In college, I was a bartender...
(waits for applause)
I know who the good tippers are, and who the bad tippers are. And women, nay, girls, are fucking HORRIBLE tippers. Not all of them, but the vast majority. Oh, you want twelve Mai-Tai's, and nineteen buttery nipples shots? THIS IS NOT "SEX AND THE CITY," IT'S A COLLEGE BAR - WE HAVE POPOV VODKA AND EVAN WILLIAMS. But seriously, I would be forced to make elaborate drinks for a group of ten girls and then watch as they walked away without leaving a dollar because they were too busy screaming and dancing along with the newest awful piece-of-shit song playing on the tattered DJ speakers sung by whatever retard had OD'd last or dropped her kid on their fucking head. But I'd usually get them back later on in the night when they would stumble to the bar hammered, and I would overcharge them as they stared through me with glazed eyes, their teeth stained red and their hair all messed up from making out on the dance floor with the Mexican bar-back. I win.
Also, why do NYC bartenders insist on serving the dummy holding the American Express out like he's trying to feed crackers to the fucking Canadian Geese in Central Park?. Hey, serve me, the transaction will only take twenty minutes! Who cares about that doe-eyed drunk holding a wad of $20's over there. Look at him and his Hanes t-shirt, he looks POOR! And normally these douchebags who use cards like cash will then do the whole, do you mind if I run it now? Oh bro, thanks bro, you're the man, bro, I'm gonna hook you up FO SHO! Then they wait for the bartender to walk away so they can round up to the dollar and then run back to their stupid table of nerds in blazers and creased khakis, and then I'll watch with my handful of cash as they do it all over again in fifteen minutes. Nice clothes do not make nice tippers. I find it to be the opposite, actually. So: DIE.
One of the worst things about NYC are bar lingerers. The place is packed, there is not a square inch of free real estate for me to squeeze in and order a drink, because the actual bar is lined with old nerds trying to kick game to hot young girls who want NOTHING to do with them, aside from skimming off the top of their cash pile and getting drunk for free. The guy has half-a-bottle of Amstel Lite in front of him and the bartender is content to let him sit there and smirk and take up as much room as he likes so he can try and take the girl home who will immediately realize said guy is fat and old and resembles Wallace Shawn, and then he can her unravel even more, crying and eventually running home to her estranged, dead-beat, musician boyfriend. Where the fuck was I going with this...Ah, right: DON'T YOU SEE I WILL OVER-TIP YOU FOR JUST ONE FUCKING COORS LIGHT?? I AM UNREASONABLE WITH MONEY WHEN I'M DRUNK, SO SERVE ME!
There are obviously still things that I like about bars. Like the alcohol. And the TVs. I love being surrounded by TVs so when you start talking to me about your job, I can nod my head and look over your shoulder to watch the ticker and see whether or not Jason Heyward went yard again. I'll probably never lose the itch to post up at a nice, glossy, mahogany bar like a gentleman and order thirty two drinks and then go home with the spins and puke, but it's still disconcerting to realize that I'm now the shithead I used to mock when I wore a Wayne Chrebet jersey out at night because I thought the ladies would LOVE it. But I guess that's just the way it goes sometimes.
I don't love coffee, I need coffee. It's an integral part of keeping me from pulling a Tender Branson. I would probably cease functioning without it. Maybe this is the case because I mainline it directly into my temple and spine, but who really knows?. And since drinking whiskey at 10am isn't considered "appropriate" or "charming," and I desperately need a stimulant to get through the day without hurling myself off a tenth floor landing, I slug down thirty cups of coffee and then wonder why my heart palpitates and flutters like you when you come across a photo album with a pony and a rainbow painted on it. But it gets me through nine hours of monotony and emailing, and for that, I thank you, Juan Valdez.
Unfortunately, like everything in life, certain people found a way to ruin coffee. For example, coffee snobs; people who go out of their way to insult the kind of coffee I am drinking even though I don't give a shit if the brand is called "Diarrhea Bold," and at the same time, force me to fillet them with a butterfly knife...
Snob: What is that you're drinking there, friend?
Snob: Ah, coffee. From where?
Me: The deli down the street.
Snob: Really? Hmm...You see, I can't drink that pedestrian blend. It tastes like water to me. Have you tried the Roasted Gourmet Walnut Cafe Lala from The Espresso Blend House Extreme?
Snob: You mean to tell me that you've never heard of or tried Roasted Gourmet Walnut Cafe Lala? Pshhh, maybe that's why you're still drinking that toilet water.
Me: (jumps over table)
Me: (bites off snob's nose)
Why anyone would care what I am drinking is beyond my fucking comprehension. My brain cannot process why anyone would care what I eat, what I drink, or what I put into my syringes (hint: it's model glue). Unless I'm eating chicken noodle soup from a hollowed-out dog's skull, don't fucking bother me. If you sat down next to me, and you were sipping from a cup filled with blood, I wouldn't intervene. Enjoy your blood! Drink a gallon of it - I really don't care. If I see you dunking a straw in a urinal and taking some sips, while I may not make eye contact, I know that I definitely won't intervene. If I ever see you drinking milk straight from a cow's udder, I promise you, I will not interrupt, because I'm 100% serious when I say - I DON'T GIVE A FUCK!
As you know, I hate people that force their preferences on others. But forcing taste preferences is the absolute pinnacle of self-absorption. I shattered my nose three different times when I was a young, perennially drunken man. If you poured a pound of salt on a pepperoni stick, I would barely be able to taste anything. But should I have to explain this to you because you want me to drink a $3.99 cup of burned shit from a place that I would prefer to see firebombed? No, I shouldn't. Don't make me show you pictures from the morning after my nose was destroyed, because I'll whip them out while you're enjoying your Santa Fe Chicken Wrap, motherfucker.
I think coffee is one thing that's chic and timeless and douchey enough to keep people pretending they like shit even though they can barely swallow it. And these people will always insult what you drink, not only because they suck at life in general, but also because they are always trying to degrade their peers whenever given the chance. These people, deep-down, hate themselves and probably choke themselves with a belt sometimes. And I don't have pity for them. Personally, as I explained earlier, I drink coffee because there is a drug in it that makes my pupils glow and keeps me from sleeping in a bathroom stall during the day. Simple as that. I'm not super-fond of the taste or the after-taste that is similar to licking a bar ashtray. But honestly, I don't care if the coffee is from a gas station or from a freeze dried bag found in King Tut's fucking tomb, as long as there is caffeine in it and it gets me going, I'm a happy fucking guy. So, next time you feel the need to insult someone's choice of coffee, instead reflect on whether or not you think that they actually want to hear your stupid opinion, and then when you realize you are wrong, shut the fuck up and go find that belt.
And be forewarned - if you hand me decaf, I will use your face as a sink drain...HOW DARE YOU DEPRIVE ME OF MY DRUGS???
It's such a simple concept: stay dry. Mankind has been accomplishing this feat for thousands of years. And yet you, you fucking idiot, you manage to mess it up. The minute the sky goes gray and the rain begins to fall, the asshole parade arrives, and with them they bring a fucking armory of umbrellas the size of satellite dishes, and zero common sense.
Let me start off by admitting that I am an idiot. I rarely use an umbrella out of spite. Spite for who, you ask? THE SKY. But seriously, I don't have an answer, but I will admit that I'd rather show up soaking wet and smelling like a dead cat than have to deal with caring for a $4 piece of metal and fabric, and/or be one of these people that runs around like the fucking Penguin every time Weather.com calls for a sprinkle. This is my nature, and I accept it. But what I can't accept is your insistence on using your umbrella like it's a fucking battle shield. You are not a Knight. You are a fucking sales executive for a pharmaceutical company. And a shitty one at that. Now grow up and pay attention to where you're walking. And be prepared for my swim technique if you happen to lose your way and cross into my path. I will grab a handful of fabric and metal break that fucking thing without any hesitation, my friend, so steer fucking clear. Your pinstriped-suit is not intimidating. And nice hair plugs, you washed-up dork.
Also, newsflash, RAIN CANNOT KILL YOU. Yes, that's right, unless your legs and arms are broken and your spine is snapped like a pretzel rod and you're stuck at the bottom of a ravine that is quickly filling up with rainwater, you will not die from the rain. It cannot kill you on contact. Oh, you know this already? How stupid of me to convey such an obvious thing? Well then, please explain WHY THE FUCK YOU FEEL THE NEED TO HOLD BACK EVERYONE ON THE SUBWAY STAIRS SO YOU CAN OPEN YOUR FUCKING UMBRELLA BEFORE A SINGLE DROP OF RAIN TOUCHES YOUR STUPID FUCKING BODY??? You're wearing a raincoat. A RAINCOAT. It's meant to get wet. You could dive into a puddle and anything covered by your raincoat will still come out dry as a fucking bone. But no, you must open your umbrella right now. You must smash it into that guy's face while doing so. You must pour errant water on the lady behind you and light that cigarette all nice and snug and dry. You must make sure the lock is clicked before you take one more step further up the stairs. The way I see it, if God had a sense of humor like mine, he'd blast you with lightning the second you emerged from the stairway. I can't wait until I win the lottery so I can stand at the top of the stairs during rainstorms, wait for people to pause to open their umbrella, and then kick them in the chest and watch with delight as they topple back down to where they came from. Waste of time and money? SURELY YOU JEST.
You know what else is fun? Rubbing your sopping-wet umbrella against me while we're in the elevator. Complete fucking bliss. Regardless of the fact that I'm already soaked, I'm so glad you rubbed your dirty fucking umbrella against my cheek, the same umbrellas that you were just dragging through piles of soggy garbage. I know, I know, you lack the fine motor-skills needed to close the fucking thing, it's a very complicated procedure. Now I can't wait to get to my desk and sterilize my face with a blowtorch.
You see, all courtesy goes out the window the minute it begins to rain in this fucking city. On the idiots' part, and on my part as a result. Manners disappear. And mentally, I will never get past how easy it is to use an umbrella without maiming someone, and yet, most people fail. So when I see Grandma coming down the block with her umbrella at the perfect height to scoop out my eyeball, I'm shoving that shit aside as quick as I can. When I see the 5'2'' guy barreling down the block with an umbrella the size of a deflated hot-air balloon, I change my trajectory and aim to shoulder-check him into that puddle filled with discarded hot dog water and vendor snot-loogies. Call me a dick, but you know what? It's time to learn how to un-complicate something that's so fucking simple. It will help you in becoming less of a douchebag.
Beautiful has been MIA since late Friday night. He was last seen with a gallon of Jack Daniels in one hand and snuffed out Parliament in the other. If you come across a big dude driving a 1998 Maxima, smoking a spliff the size of your mom's thunder-thigh, bobbing his head to Sean Price, please email the site. Much Appreciated.
Some people hate commuting. Some people complain about how awful it is. These same people who whine about how much they hate commuting also get to go home to their 2,500 square foot home and their garage and the grass in their yard. These same people can go down the street and grab the paper without having to smell the stench of hot garbage and stagnant malaria puddles. These same people wake up, walk outside, and don't have to watch as a homeless man craps into an empty SoBe crate. I have no pity for these people. Yes, you would think that I too would hate commuting. Well, surprise! I don't. For the most part, I enjoy it. Peace and quiet for forty minutes? Yes, oh God yes. A comfortable seat and some good old-fashioned reading? FUCK YES.
But nothing in life is perfect - besides Darrelle Revis - and obviously there are some aspects of commuting that need to change. Because I am the model commuter, and I DEMAND THAT EVERYONE FOLLOW SUIT!
1. Men Who Sit in the Middle Seat of a Three-Seater
The MTA should dedicate one person on their payroll to enforce the "No men in the middle seat of a three-seater" rule. You fucking wish I was kidding that I demand a corrupt organization waste more tax dollars on something ridiculous. Nope - I think they should pay someone full salary and benefits to make sure no man sits between two other people, unless his leg is missing or he's blind. Whenever I see a man plop down in the middle seat, I have to fight off the urge to toss boiling coffee in his face. Because this man, little did you know, steals social security checks from old ladies and gives children Skittles laced with Raid. He also burns down every Boys & Girls Club he comes across and throws rocks at immigrants from El Salvador. This man is Satan wearing a Van Heusen fitted shirt. He fucking sucks, and he needs to be stopped.
2. Cell Phone Abusers
Anyone talking on a cell phone at a high volume should be bludgeoned with it. Anyone talking in a foreign tongue at 30 decibels should have the phone shoved up their ass. Racist? FUCK YOU. I don't want to hear some French lady giggle and scream into her phone about the fucking Strokes concert she's going to in nine months. And for all of you Americans out there. NOBODY WANTS TO LISTEN TO YOU, EITHER. I don't care if you're 65 years old, that's no excuse. Why did you wait until you entered a crowded train to call your fucking three-year-old nephew, ensuring that you repeat every sentence thirty times, each time getting closer and closer to screaming level, BECAUSE HE'S FUCKING THREE YEARS OLD AND CAN BARELY UNDERSTAND HOW TO SHIT IN A TOILET, LET ALONE UNDERSTAND THE COMPLEXITY OF THE ENGLISH FUCKING LANGUAGE AND YOUR STUPID QUESTIONS!
I've seen people eat multiple tacos on the train. I've seen people eat Chinese food from different containers on the train, and they even used the little packets of soy sauce and hot mustard. I once saw a kid sit down - between two guys in a three-seater - and whip out a cold cut hero from Subway that literally smelled like feet and balsamic vinegar, and then start chowing down at 7am. This kid was obviously Hitler's grandson. There is no eating etiquette anymore. I'm not sure if these people who shove three-course-meals into their faces don't have homes or families or whatever, but can't you fucking wait to get off the train? Eat on the platform. Eat in the bathroom. Eat anywhere else, because you are smelling up the car and everyone is hoping you slip on your way home and bash your head apart on an iron fence.
4. Ticket Renegades
This happens more than you would think. People get on the train and when the ticket-taker comes, they pretend they lost their ticket. A confrontation ensues, which means I have to divert my attention from my book and watch as it unfolds. It doesn't help when the ticket-taker acts like a fucking dick, which is usually the case: YOU HAVE AN OFF-PEAK TICKET? WELL THEN I'M CALLING THE COPS, COMPADRE. What if the renegade pulls out a gun and shoots the ticket-taker in the face, then what? Do I run? Will he shoot at me? Should I try and hit him with my Blackberry so I can be in the Journal News? If he fucking shoots the guy, I'm out, I'll call a cab from Fordham, I don't give a fuck...
And what about the scumbags who get on the train and head right into the bathroom to avoid the ticket-taker? The minute they lock the door, I will have to piss. It's like clockwork. Click...TIME TO PISS. One day I'm going to bring a container of pesticides on the train and wait for one of these Macgyvers to pull that shit, and then, LET THE FUMIGATION BEGIN!
5. Newspaper Divers
This happens after my commute, but is equally annoying. Guys climb up the newspaper disposals and lean in to grab free papers. At first I thought it was funny, then sad, and then I realized that many of these guys were wearing suits, and were not vagabonds. Real suits, on their way to work, just like me. I was in shock. I wanted to push these fucking cheap fucks right into the bin and then throw water balloons at them, only the water balloons would be filled with vomit. Because they deserve public mockery. They deserve all the ridicule in the world for being too fucking cheap to shell out a couple of quarters for a newspaper. If I was a boss (never) and came across an employee doing this, I would fire them immediately, and then decide whether or not to take off my shoe and beat them with it. Because these people are the worst-of-the-worst, and should be eliminated.
6. People Who Put Their Bag on the Empty Seat of a Two-Seater
There are 9,000 people lobbying for a spot, do you honestly think that nobody realizes that there's an empty seat under your pile of shit? Well guess what? WE DO. Now move your fucking Grand Central Market bag and put your organic peaches and kumquats on the floor because I'm sitting down next to you right now, and we're going to touch legs for the next fucking thirty minutes, so you better get used to the awkwardness of it. Oh, you're making an annoyed face? Well how about I toss this Bud Light in your face, will that help the sour puss you've developed while moving your bags? EAT SHIT AND DEAL WITH IT.
For some time now, my body has decided to act like a giant fucking sideshow. My back goes out at the slightest tweak, to the point where I sometimes have to manually drag my leg up the subway stairs like I'm Keyser-fucking-Söze. My nose bleeds randomly - just opens like a faucet. It happened during a client lunch recently, and got all over my shirt. I'm sure they didn't think that I was sneaking off to the bathroom to blow rails off the toilet seat, no, no - everyone's nose bleeds for no reason. And they must have loved staring at my blood-stained shirt as they ate their Hill Country brisket. Also, I wake up at 7am on the weekends, my eyes unwilling to shut again, even though I have absolutely NOTHING to do. But during the week, I wake up thirty-seven times throughout the night and then finally fall back into the deepest sleep possible three minutes before I have to be up for good. It fucking sucks. It makes my mornings unbearable. So when I see someone I know during my morning commute, and they want to chat, it's takes all my energy to not impale my throat with an umbrella-spoke to avoid an extended conversation.
I'm not sure why this bothers me so much. Maybe because they're acquaintances and have nothing important to say, but are so fucking full of themselves and/or shit that they would rather gnaw-off my ear talking about some fucking club they got fucking drunk at on Saturday than listen to their music and pretend they are the King of Hawaii, like I do. Oh, you didn't know that Hawaii has a king, WELL GET WITH THE FUCKING PROGRAM ASSHOLE, BECAUSE IT DOES*.
I would listen if you had something to say, but you don't. Your stories are boring. Blah blah blah, she was so hot...blah blah blah, I threw up in my pants...blah blah blah, I suck...I DON'T CARE! Talk to me when you have a story that involves you fighting off a giant Russian spy with a shovel on a ghost-driven Greyhound Bus. I promise that you will have my full attention when this happens.
I literally collapse in on myself like a dying star when I'm on the subway and I meet eyes with someone that I know. It's more disheartening than watching your dog get mowed down by a drunk driver. I have to physically restrain myself from diving head first through the subway window. I know I can do it. I saw "Money Train."
When the inevitable conversation starts, I have to feign interest. Oh let me pull out one of my earphones for you, dear friend, because I care about how much tequila you drank on Friday, and the hottness of the NYU girl you banged in the alley next to Dos Caminos. I'm nodding my head and smiling, because I am interested, not because I'm thinking about who around me would try and restrain me if I suddenly leaped upon you and began biting your throat like a fucking werewolf. Yes, yes, I too love Calico Jacks, yes, yes, it's my favorite bar in the city! What a coincidence, we have so much in common! I'm so fucking glad you interrupted my coma to talk to me about your new fucking Sony Trinitron.
There's really no way to avoid the inevitable and potentially awkward exchange, if the person approaching you is intent on talking. One time, I locked eyes with a guy I worked with. But I was fucking cranky as shit, so I lowered my head and blew past him. I turned back to see if he had noticed. The look on his face was complete shock. It was like I just dropped my pants in front of his mom and began playing the air guitar and singing "Paradise City." I didn't see what the big deal was. So what, so I don't want to talk to you - why the fuck do I have to? Why? Why can't I just be LEFT THE FUCK ALONE BEFORE 9AM???
There was one time I found myself face-to-face with a coworker. It was -39° Celsius, snowing, the sun hadn't been out in three weeks, and the refuge, believe it or not, was the subway. He looked up, saw me, nodded his head, and went back to his book. It was like winning the lottery. Sweet, sweet serenity. Then the mariachi assholes got on and starting singing, but I was too satisfied to care. They got a pass on that day.
I'm not a huge fan of people touching me...Eh, let me clarify that statement - I'm not a huge fan of people I barely know touching me. Skin-to-skin contact between me and someone I've known for like a week freaks me the fuck out. Maybe I'm autistic, I don't know. But what I do know is that I don't like it. I don't like hugs. I don't like a friendly arm around my shoulder. I can't stand it when the mailman insists on giving me a back rub. But my biggest gripe of all is cheek-kissing. I fucking hate to kiss people on the cheek. I hate being kissed on the cheek. It's cyclical hate. Personally, I'd rather sip expired apple cider out of a handicapped Chili's toilet.
There is a clause to this hate though - I don't mind kissing family members and close friends. That's fine. Aunts, uncles, cousins, friends from a long time ago: all fine. But a random friend-of-a-friend? NO. Stop leaning in for a cheek-kiss. When did we reach this level of friendship? Did I come over to your house for a family BBQ? Did we celebrate Memorial Day together at your cousin's lake house? No. I can barely remember your fucking name. And to be honest, I sometimes confuse you with that other girl, the slutty one who blew the bouncer from McFadden's for a free bar tab back in 2005.
And how about the pull-in hug after the cheek kiss? FUCK. THAT. We have to hug now? Yeah, let's make it even MORE fucking awkward. Let's come up with a serious of intimate gestures to perform so the greeting last three hours! How about I pick you up and twirl you around while we hug? Oh, you think that's weird? WELL I THINK IT'S WEIRD THAT YOU WANT ME TO HUG YOU! That awkward moment where I hesitate and someone places their head on my shoulder is more painful than removing a layer of skin from my face with a vegetable peeler. I actually would prefer the latter if it meant never being put in that situation again. I'm not even kidding.
The cheek kissing parameters are expanding, too. People now do it at WORK. I go to client meetings and watch people kiss on the cheek who, behind closed doors, would rather fight to the death with flaming Katana swords. It's insane. Why can't we just shake hands? What's wrong with shaking hands? I feel like a man when I shake hands, like I just got finished mowing down a bunch of Rebel soldiers with a Gatling Gun and now it's time to celebrate with some good old fashioned binge drinking. But kissing a client on the cheek? Fuck that shit - I'd rather have a custom that forced me to get into a crab-crouch and smack my bare feet with another human-being than kiss them on their stupid cheek.
I think about this a lot. I think about how, since I hate cheek-kissing so much, I will eventually have to endure it for a serious amount of time. And I am crazy enough to imagine that, if there is a purgatory/hell, mine will include 1) locked in bumper-to-bumper traffic on the New Jersey Turnpike during the middle of a heat wave in August with no air-conditioning while stuck in a car with Gilbert Godfrey as he reads the extended screenplay to "Steel Magniolias"; 2) being forced to inhale the smell of Manhattan street garbage through a snorkel tube for all of eternity, 3) being forced to watch Susan Sarandon clip her toenails, naked; and 4) walking down a never-ending receiving-line of people I don't really know and being forced to kiss every single fucking person on the cheek until my lips chap, scab, and eventually fall off...and then I'm forced to do it all over again.
I play Mega Millions every Tuesday and Friday. Being the imaginative young man that I am, I always believe that I am going to win. When a pot goes unclaimed and swells, I naturally assume that the man with the beard who lives in the clouds and makes rainbows and puppies and Adriana Lima is making the pot fatter so I can have more money to spend on beach houses with deck-anchored water cannons and silk overalls and shoes made of gold. This is just the way my brain works. I also think that when more money is added, it's so I will have enough cash to settle with the people who I smash in the face with lemon meringue pies as I ride around my office on a motorcycle, naked. Again, this kid's brain works in mysterious and disturbing ways...
But these are some of the many reasons why I hate the Lottery. It's tricky. It's slimy. It's like that guy at the San Gennaro festival who tells you can win a Playstation 3 and then hustles you out of $50 as you try and toss a washer around a milk bottle. It continually brainwashes me into thinking I can actually win, that the 38,000,000 to 1 odds don't matter. When I hand the Pakistani dude at the deli a $5 and he says "good luck," I say to myself, "no need, my mustached friend, I got this locked up," as if it's a done deal. I see cars pass on the street and I scoff, "Pshhh, you only have the 500 series? Ever hear of the 700 series? Well that's the one I have - in MY BRAIN..."
Sometimes I start imagining what my resignation email will say. I decide who I will express sincere gratitude to, and who I will burn the shit out of...Hey Sheri, I just thought that you should know that YOU ARE A FUCKING DICK AND EVERYONE HATES YOU, INCLUDING YOUR BOYFRIEND, WHO'S CHEATING ON YOU WITH AN INTERN. AND YOUR BREATH SMELLS LIKE ROTTEN ASS. SO FUCK YOU, I'M OUT.
I think I imagine stuff like this because my brain refuses to concede the mediocrity of my career thus far, and wants to make the jump from young, go-getter to comfortable retiree before I hit 30 years old. I know this is ridiculous and lazy-thinking, but c'mon, who wouldn't want to spend their days sipping on some vintage McCallum, hanging out on your sick deck staring at the ocean while you laugh and laugh at all the schmucks who have to go to work each morning. "Oh hey, Jim. What's that? You're at work finishing quarterly reports? Oh, I'm sorry, I can't hear you, the MOTHERFUCKING ATLANTIC OCEAN IS SO LOUD TODAY..."
And yes, I realize I am a dick.
Again, I know that this is pipe-dreaming at its worst. But I still go out and play the game, giving my money to the Lotto man in hopes of a lump-sum cash payout, thus allowing me to make a bonfire of pleated Banana Republic khakis and Van Heusen shirts and Aldo shoes, and to also be able to BCC you all on the scolding email blast I send to Sheri. Because seriously, she sucks.
Growing up, I was TERRIFIED to act out in public. Having a father who is a homicide detective will do this to you. For example...
It's 1985...I'm 4 years old...I'm at the beach with the family...I'm being an asshole and throwing sand around, hitting people...my father tells me to stop...I do not...
Now, being the large-headed weirdo kid with a deep voice that I was, I thought I was the fucking man, so I kept doing what I was doing. Long story short, I spent some quality time sitting inside my old man's Chevette, staring at the beach as my brother frolicked around and got a Bubbalo Bill or some other awesome shit from the ice cream truck. Needless to say, I learned my lesson that day. But looking back, I'm glad that I had strict rules growing up, because it now gives me the opportunity to berate your kids for being little fucking shitheads. And make no mistake about it, many of them are, without a doubt, little motherfucking shitheads.
Before I begin, let me first say that not all kids are terrible. I see kids that are well behaved and I want to give them money. But that would be creepy. I guess marveling at them from afar is creepy enough, so handing them a dollar might make things weird. Either way, I felt it necessary to say that not all kids are awful. Just 97% are.
Now, for those of you who cannot teach discipline...
Your kids are not cute. That molar-rattling scream that sounds like Adam Lambert coming across a clearance sign in the window of American Apparel? NOT FUCKING CUTE. Letting your one-year-old wobble down the subway stairs as you delicately guide them while 7,000 people are bottle-necked behind you, forced to watch as the subway doors close and you clap like an idiot because you basically dragged the kid down the stairs - NOT FUCKING CUTE. I don't care that your fucking kid can walk. I DON'T CARE. Stop pretending the world revolves around your kid, pick him/her up, and carry them down the fucking stairs before they get trampled. I NEED TO GET ON THE NEXT TRAIN SO I CAN GET TO MY CART GUY BEFORE SOMEONE BUYS THE LAST SESAME BAGEL AND I'M FORCED TO EAT PLAIN!
I work in a high traffic area. There are literally thousands upon thousands of tourists wandering around my building. What I don't understand is, how do these roving families of high-socked, fanny-pack-equipped dummies let their kids roam free? It's not like this is Canada. This is New York City. People get stabbed in the face with jigsaws for no reason. And I know that I personally almost plow over about thirty wandering kids a day, and I'm barely walking a block. What about kidnappers? As a kid I always assumed that I would be kidnapped if I wandered away from my parents. I clung to them like B.O. on a fat electrician. But not these kids; they're hanging from the building molding, rolling on car hoods, playing in the revolving doors, tap-dancing in traffic - it's insane. Now, how do we solve this minor inconvenience? Well, I once saw a mom with her kid on a leash. And it wasn't one of those stupid wrist-to-wrist phone-cord leashes, nope, it was a fucking waist leash. This should be city code. I would love to see some schmuck from Idaho strolling down the street with his nine kids on a leash like he's a fucking chariot driver in ancient Rome. I would probably buy him a hot dog for being such an innovative parent.
Kids on the subway are awful, too. They have absolutely no sense of space. They spin around on the poles, bump into people's legs, step on feet, lay down on the benches...and what do their parents do? They stare off into space and pretend they aren't dbags while an old lady stares longingly at the five seats their kid is taking up and struggles to not keel over. I would pay exactly $100 to see someone just plop down on top of the kid. The scream alone would be worth the cash.
I also cringe when I go out to eat and see a family of fourteen sit down at the booth next to me. I hate eating at restaurants to begin with, but when I see those little fuckers coming, weaving in and out of tables, giggling and screeching as their parents play the ignorance card and stare into space like De Niro in "Awakenings", I contemplate taking my steak knife and committing Seppuku so I don't end up spending the remainder of my night wishing an asteroid would come crashing through the ceiling and obliterate their table just so I can enjoy some motherfucking Chicken Scarpariello.
I think it all stems back to parents bending over backwards to please their spoiled fucking kids. Why punish them when you can give in, feed them sugar, and then get annoyed when they grow up, develop a recreational coke habit, flunk out of college, and start dating a ex-stripper named Big Sexy who has three kids and a mortgage she can't pay?
So yeah, let your kids do whatever you want. At least you know you'll have Big Sexy to look forward to - that should make for an interesting Thanksgiving.
It's no secret that everyone in this country is getting lazier by the day. And I am no exception - I've gotten to the point where I wish there was a urinal under my desk because I dread having to walk the twenty steps to the bathroom. In my head it's the Bataan Death March. Fuuuucccckkkk, I have to walk by Derek, he is so fucking annoying, I don't care about your fucking kid's little league team...
I've also voiced my desire to have a water bottle attached to the wall by my bed at home. Like a hamster. God forbid I get out of bed and fetch myself a glass, no, I need a little tube so I can roll over on my soft belly and have a few sips in the middle of the night and make sure my feet don't get cold. And yes, I am aware that just two generations ago, Americans slaughtered Nazi's with cast-iron frying pans and survived without a 52'' HD Samsung TV and had no problem working 90 hours a week for $4.50 a day, so I don't need to hear it again.
Anyway, I blame all of these problems on science. So fuck you, science.
Unfortunately, this penchant for laziness bleeds into every aspect of our lives. For me, it's most notable at my place of work - as you have probably already surmised - where it's spreading like that rash on your inner-thigh (editor's note: GO SEE A FUCKING DOCTOR ALREADY).
I know I briefly touched on this subject last week, but I think it needs more touching on, because nothing makes me want to guillotine myself with a elevator door more than when people refuse to spell out shit that I need to do in an email. It's like deciphering the fucking Zodiac Killer's code.
"Hey A-, can you grab the DB's from C and bring them over to the AVFO bldg? Thx."
Wait, what? Was that English?
And it's only getting worse. If there isn't an acronym or a shortened version of the word already, some dickhead will create one.
ARE YOU KIDDING ME? You couldn't spare less than one second of your stupid life to add in two more letters? Are you so preoccupied with backstabbing Johnny from sales that you couldn't just write "thanks." You deserve a errant brick to the head.
Here are a few more contractions/acronyms that make me want to murder...
Too be honest, I'd rather listen to those retards on "The Real Housewives of New York" debate Canada's foreign policy than hear your "humble opinion." I know it's your opinion. You don't have to caveat everything you say just because you're a fucking little bitch. Here's my opinion: fall into a landfill filled with asbestos.
Nope. Not talking to you later. Why? Because you're going to be DEAD!
People who use this term can go get fucked. Just tell me you want it by the end of the day. Do you actually say "close of business" when you're talking to your coworkers? No, because you're not a Sudanese refugee, and you speak like every other moron in this country, so stop trying to sound smarter than you are. I already saw that James Patterson book on your desk, so give it up.
This falls in line with writing "thx." Just as douchey, just as blood-curdling. Now PLZ go get mounted by Lady GaGa, because you are terrible, and I hope your spouse is cheating on you.
I've seen emails where a person uses this to sign off. TY. T-FUCKING-Y. That's it. This is the equivalent of a morbidly obese person getting cholesterol injected directly into their heart, because they've pretty much given up, and so have you.
For Your Information, I hate you. I also put laxatives in your coffee and licked your turkey sandwich while you were washing your hands. Enjoy!
One day, when I'm the boss (never), I'm just going to send out blank-fucking-emails, and follow up with the people that I send them to to make sure they understand it. And when they buck, I'm going to fire them on the spot, because that's the fuck how I do. "Oh what, you can write emails in Morse Code, but you can't decipher the meaning of my email? Well guess what? You're fucking FIRED."