I Hate You, Public iPod Singer

About 1/10,000 of the population in America has a tolerable voice. I'm not talking talented, I'm talking TOLERABLE - ie: "Okay, this guy can sing 'Sweet Child O' Mine' and not make me want to launch my face through a plate glass window, but I still wouldn't pay to listen to him."

The really talented people? They do not sing in a public place not designed to house them and show off their talents. They are too busy writing songs about taking peyote at the Joshua Tree and doing heroin in a studio apartment on the Lower East Side. They don't have time to underwhelmingly sing "Wonderwall" in Union Square and play it acoustically at full blast using seventeen amps and an electric guitar.

My voice, unfortunately, is not tolerable. I sound fucking terrible. I sound like a drunk Joe Cocker who's had his larynx removed and replaced with a hand-held fan. But I accept this, and keep my singing inside the car/shower/brain, or the confines of my house and hope that the wife doesn't get fed up and leave me for someone who isn't retarded.

Never the less, there are many, many people out there who are just as bad at singing as I am, but insist on doing it in public on a regular basis, much to the chagrin of society. Case in point: iPod singers. These people deserve a broken glass milkshake, especially when they decide to sing around me...in the morning...when it's 14 degrees out and raining. Who the fuck told you to that you had a pleasant voice? WHO??? GIVE ME HIS NAME RIGHT NOW SO I CAN BURN HIS HOUSE DOWN.

Seriously, if you're so self-absorbed and you decide that you have the ability (or the apathy for other people's ears) to sing on a subway train, then you deserve it when people call you asshole and tell you to shut the fuck up or throw battery acid into your eyes. I once sat next to a giant fat man singing "Brown Sugar" as loud as he could on a PACKED uptown 2 train. No joke. And he had a lisp. And his body odor smelled like the East River. If he had been sitting there minding his own business, reading a Manga comic or something, I probably would have pitied him and spent the rest of the day wondering why some people get dealt such shitty hands in life. But noooo, the fat man had to open his giant fucking mouth. So instead of feeling sorry for the guy I spent the rest of the ride wondering who would be willing to help hold him down so I could strangle him with my shoe laces.

For some people, singing is just not enough. They need MORE attention. So these people add to their singing nonsense by doing little restrained dances. They nod their head, snap their fingers, wiggle their hips, and strongly agree with whatever that gay-guy-lead-singer of Coldplay is saying to them through their head phones. The weird thing is, these people don't LOOK crazy. It's not like they're wearing a leotard and a Ushanka. They look normal enough. And yet, they are singing. LOUD. And they are sort of dancing. Who the fuck does this? You HAVE to be somewhat crazy to act like this in public. I bet in 1935 no on did this shit. Back in 1935 no one had a goddamn biscuit to eat, let alone a place to sing and dance. People back then ate dirt and garbage and thanked God for the garbage and dirt. Fuck 2010, I want to go back to the 1930's when everyone was poor AND NO ONE HAD AN iPOD!

Let's shift this to another facet of the whole singing in public experience: those people who take karaoke seriously need a reality check, by way of an open hand slap. You are one step removed from this guy. I love karaoke. Karaoke is great. It's designed for people like me to belt out stupid shit and drink too much and then sing even more annoying shit. That's the beauty of karaoke. But you people who think it's an audition "American Idol" need to fucking buck up. Nobody wants to hear you try and hit Falsetto notes. They want to listen to you sing a shitty Mötley Crüe song, spill beer on your slacks, and then unsuccessfully hit on that girl in the corner who would rather chew on hot coals than waste four seconds of her life speaking to you. There are ZERO talent agents lurking in the crowd. Talent agents are too busy doing cocaine and having sex with expensive call girls. They don't want to sign an overweight banker who reeks like stromboli.

But here's some free advice for all you people who do sing in public - JUST STOP ALREADY. Those eyes you feel staring at you, they are not from people that want to hang out with you and bake cookies and sleep over your house and learn different songs and eventually start a band and get a record deal and go on tour and become stars together. They want to punch your fucking face in and go home and eat dinner and ignore that AMEX bill for another night. They are hoping you fall down the subway stairs later and shatter your head like a Lenox vase. And your dance moves, they are interfering with my personal space. I don't want to see that fat ass under your hemp skirt wiggle anymore. I'm going to PUKE. And if I do, it's going to be on you. The subway, the street, the bus, the train, these places are not your personal forum. They are for miserable people like me to zone out and numb myself with tall boys and pretend I love where my career is headed and not wish Manhattan would be hit with a tidal wave simply so I wouldn't have to go to work anymore. I don't want to hear you sing Train. Just shut the fuck up and fall in line, asshole.

I Hate Your Customer Service

I am incapable of rationally dealing with customer service. This inability is ingrained into my DNA. It is tattooed on my soul. When God was molding me from his big bin of Play-Doh, he tossed in a little too much 'impatience for the disembodied voice on the other end of the phone who's really trying to help me but I think is out to get me because I am fucking insane.' So I blame him, and not my impatience issues. I suggest you do the same with any shortcomings. Makes people really respect you at gatherings.

My impatience with customer service really makes life difficult, because I love to order shit from online. I am lazy, and clicking buttons solves the whole getting up off my ass and going to the store problem. I also hate dealing with sales people in stores. I have about 56 people come up to me at Barnes & Nobles, asking me if I need help. Then I feel like they keep bothering me because they think I'm stealing. Then I start to feel guilty even though I haven't done anything wrong. STOP STARING AT ME AND WHISPERING INTO YOUR HEADSET! I look like an asshole who isn't smooth enough to steal free matched, so why don't you worry about the guy lingering in the mystery section, carrying the jumbo-sized North Face backpack, stuffing it full of James Patterson books or some other horseshit.

Ultimately, when I shop online, there will be a problem with my order. And I will have to find the goddamn customer service phone number BURIED somewhere on the website. This pisses me off too. These websites boast supreme customer service, but then they try to make you solve your problem by scrolling through a series of troubleshooting "help" tabs. Well, fuck your tabs. My case is unique, don't you see? I need someone to delicately hold my hand and walk me through each step and explain everything to me, or just do it for me because I can't get past the goddamn log-in page GODDAMN MOTHERFUCKER!!!!!!!

Calling customer service is equally as bad. Hey automated voice, you think you're so smart, well how do you like it when I hit 0 fifty fucking times in a row? You're sorry, you don't understand, I'M FUCKING SORRY TOO, HOW ABOUT I KEEP HITTING 0, YOU PIECE OF SHIT???

This actually works on occasion, which is nice. I hit 0 until my finger cracks and bleeds or I scream "OPERATOR" into the receiver until the cyborg on the other end gives up and lets me through to a precious customer service agent. I should have a camera crew on me at all times when I call in to customer service. If a psychiatrist watched me, I'd be committed on the spot. I either scream "OPERATOR, OPERATOR, OPERATOR" or "MANAGER, MANAGER, MANAGER" until I'm redirected. Touch-tone options are for fucking peasants. I want the real thing.

And once I get a customer service rep on the phone with real arteries and lungs and eyeballs, I always try to be pleasant. Honestly, I do. Because I know that they want to be doing what they're doing about as much as I want to be speaking with them and trying to find out when I can expect my signed photograph of Johnny Hector to arrive. But occasionally they will get sassy with me. And then I have to return that sass, for fear of losing of street credit with the zero people that give a shit whether or not some dude from Mumbai served me. I never bring that shit to them first, but I do look forward to returning it when one of the agents gets a little coarse when responding to one of my simple questions. You want to fucking dance, Azim? You want to fucking dance with me? Well, you just say when. I'll fucking dance all night, sucka, it's not like I have anything better to do!

I had an agent hang up on me once. No joke, the dude got so angry and frustrated he just clicked the phone down. He was probably trotted into the streets of Delhi and caned because I was being a whiny bitch about something. But did I feel bad? Fuck no. Mess with the bull, you get the horns, my man.

And this is why everyone hates America. But still, you present me with no other options, large company. You force me to speak with either an automated voice or some guy nineteen hours in the future who doesn't think it's funny when I ask him to tell me the outcome of the baseball game I'm watching so I can win a little cash. You're ahead of me in time, get it? Get it? What, you don't find my hysterical jokes funny? THEN PUT ME ON THE PHONE WITH YOUR SUPERVISOR.

I Hate Your Galas

For the most part, formal events are terrible. I think I can say that's a conservative description, an understatement perhaps. Because unless you're the center of attention and you have people catering to you and feeding you grapes right from the vine like you're Julius-fucking-Caesar, being stuck in a monkey suit and forced to surrender money and gifts and watch as some asshole gives a presentation is just awful.

The exception is weddings. Weddings - most weddings - get a pass because of the open bar and the advocacy of binge-drinking. An open bar could make an Iranian stoning fun to attend. Add in a band that has a kickass repertoire and a lead singer that looks like Rod Stewart on heroin, and you have yourself a fucking awesome night. The only downfall to a wedding is if there's a DJ, and the DJ thinks he's the MC of a 8th grade dance. And of course, the real killer: a cash bar. Couples who commission a cash bar at their wedding should be forced on a Spanish Donkey. I once went to a wedding that had a cash bar. It was so depressing. I left to go to the liquor store and bought a liter of Jameson and a bottle of ginger ale. I vomited on a car hood at 11pm.

Stupid, insignificant events, as formal events, are THE WORST. They make me want to dive into the back of a cement mixer. It's Billy's birthday today? And you're not having it at Burger King? Well, then you suck. Oh, you're disappointed with my attitude, are you? Well guess what? I'M FUCKING DISAPPOINTED WITH YOUR ATTITUDE. I'm disappointed that I missed CC Sabathia strikeout 10 and then swallow a lost child, whole, right on the pitcher's mound. And I'm disappointed that I missed Darrelle Revis return an interception 101 yards for the go-ahead touchdown because I was too busy attending Billy's 6th birthday at the Four-fucking-Seasons. He's six years old, for Christ's sake, he still believes in Santa Claus and he still occasionally shits his pants - do you really think a BBQ with a clown and some presents in your backyard would have been a letdown? Well, I don't. In fact, I bet he won't look back on his childhood and wonder why the fuck he never got to eat too many hamburgers and too much Carvel cake and spend the night puking in the toilet. I also bet your friends would be less likely to turn down an invitation to his next birthday if they knew they wouldn't be forced to wear a suit in 115° heat.

It only gets worse as you get older. A 5th wedding anniversary gala? Fuck you. 5 years of marriage isn't SHIT. My parents have been married for 40 years. Yes, FORTY YEARS. Now that's an accomplishment. When you get to 40 years of marriage call me and I'll put on a tuxedo and clap my hands and fake-laugh when one of your dope friends makes unfunny jokes at your expense. But 5 years? Send each other some eCards and shut the fuck up.

And what makes most of the events worse is the mixture of people that attend them. It's never intimate. Oh no, you have to invite EVERYONE you know. I spend half the time trying to avoid your fucking Uncle who thinks making off-color remarks about black people and young girls is as hysterical as his gingivitis death-breath. And I hate the too-drunk-person at an event that is not the forum for people to get drunk at. For some reason I am always near the guy at the Holy Communion when he falls over a cement macadam and splits his forehead open on the concrete and his wife begins screaming at him and then kids start crying and all other types of fun shit follows. The randomness factor of the attendees always adds a little too much anxiety. What if I get stuck at a table with the cousin who is 700 lbs? What then? Am I really expected to not stare in awe as she inhales her prime rib? You can't ask that of me, dammit! Look at her head, it's HUGE!

And formal work events are the apex of awful. There is a bottomless well of booze despite the strictest etiquette expectations. "Oh hi there, did you see our selection of 98 different kinds of beer and vodka and whiskey? Did I mention it's all FREE? Is that an erection I see?" Who doesn't look at the open work event bar and imagine drinking 79 drinks and then doing a shirtless tap-dance to the awe and wonder of all onlookers? But noooooooo, you have to behave yourself, after all, your boss is here. It's okay for him to get drunk and shit all over everyone, but you have to stand there and sip your Amstel Lite and wish yourself off to a land where Boris Yeltsin is your CEO and you get promoted based on the amount of times you pass out on a park bench and have to call in sick due to skull-crushing hangovers.

I think there needs to be less objection to people declining to attend formal events. If I say no, I will not be coming to Steve's retirement party at the Ritz, but here is a token of appreciation on my behalf, NO ONE should get upset. Why do you care if I'm there? Do you really feel like staring at my puss all night? In fact, I bet you won't even notice. I bet you'll be too busy cheering Steve up about not having a purpose in life anymore and also planning your stupid kid's next birthday party at Cipriani's, you jerk.

I Hate Your Vacation Updates on Facebook

A good vacation trumps everything in life. Food, sex, beer, whiskey, heroin, you name it. And I'm talking real vacation, a relaxing vacation, not the kind of vacation that includes hiking up right-angle cliffs just to the peak down the throat of an active volcano, or rafting down level 5 rapids waiting to be spilled overboard so you can crack your head open like a coconut on one of the several thousand jutting rocks, or getting inoculated against malaria and Ebola while safariing through a war-torn African country that's been overthrown by cannibalistic militants with a penchant for beheading fat, white Americans. Fuck that shit. I'm talking my ass sitting in a beach chair, feet buried in the sand, beer in hand, shades resting firmly on the nose like motherfucking Magnum P.I. scoping out a never-ending parade of 1985 Miami tail. That's my kind of vacation. Can't get enough of that shit. That other shit can be left for my alternative life where I do all kinds of cool shit and travel to exotic locales. Alternate me is fucking busy, by the way. He juggles a very high-profile life with the adoration of his family, friends, and colleagues. He knows how to sail. He owns many, many pairs of expensive Paul & Shark shirts and sips Macallan after running the high stakes baccarat tables in Monte Carlo...

(awkward silence)


Do you know what isn't on my mind while I'm sitting at the beach, basking in the hot sun, preparing for my next nonathletic sprint into the crashing waves? Facebook. Couldn't be less interested in who changed their profile pic. Don't give a shit who's relationship just disintegrated into a million pieces of tears and public humiliation. I am only mildly interested in that shit while I'm at work, trying to forget how much I hate working. But not on vacation. I am at the beach. I am staring at one of Mother Nature's fucking masterpieces. I am eating seafood and plowing through a whole box of Flavor-Ice every night and showering outdoors*. I am drinking multiple beers at 12pm and not feeling like an alcoholic. Unless it's to check a box score or the MLB trade block, I don't want to see a fucking keyboard. And I especially do not want to log into to Facebook. I'd rather eat a hamburger covered in mercury.

But there are some people who insist on telling the world just how awesome their vacation is while they're still on it. They actually take time away from their temporary Utopia to make a status update. "Weather is amazing here, 78 and sunny. Just drank a Pina Colada while riding a Dolphin. On my way to eat a 5 lb lobster and then off to an all you can drink luau on a 973 foot yacht with LeBron James and Prince William." Well fuck you, sir, you can go fucking trip and fall into a bonfire. The weather is not beautiful here. It's 100 degrees. I am walking dehydration. You could melt a glacier against my face. I smell like a homeless person. Pulling my sweaty socks off at the end of the day is the equivalent of winning the lottery. And the closest thing to refreshment is holding a luke-warm bottle of water to my head, curling into a ball, and lying under my desk where no one can find me while I weep and fan myself with a manila folder.

But you, oh you NEED to remind me how amazing your vacation is. Oh, you even added a picture to show me how awesome the view is from your $1,500 a night room. Well, I hope you step on a fucking sea urchin and your foot swells up and you look like the fucking Elephant Man. I hope you catch a ride with a local cab driver and he skids off the road while trying to change his Bob Marley "Legend" tape and drives off a cliff. Who the fuck thinks of doing shit like this? "Wow, this place is beautiful, baby! Oh, you want to go to the beach? That sounds great, but first let me take a picture of this sunrise and post it on my Facebook wall. Everyone will fucking adore me after I do this, and not think I'm a self-absorbed cocksucker who can't help but rub good fortune in other people's fucking faces."

Don't get me wrong, I appreciate a good vacation album after the fact. If you return from vacation and want to show off where you went, I'm all for it. Ohh wow, look at Billy, he wore a fucking beret! What a fag...

But uploading shit as you tour the south of France? Fuck off.

When you add photos from your still-happening vacation, you remind me just how awful day-to-day life can be. I have meetings to go to. I have to wear this soul-sucking fabric invented to suffocate pores. I have to wade through a crowd of slow-walking, blackberry addicted dickbags. Stop. Do you want to to come over and throw a grenade through your fire escape window? No, of course you don't. SO STOP POSTING PICTURES OF YOUR PRIVATE FUCKING LAP POOL, FUCKFACE!

*Showering outdoors is the best thing ever invented. I could spend 37 hours straight showering in an outdoor shower. I want to install one in my driveway. That cool breeze kissing your feet? The hot water mixing with the salt air? The smell of cedar and soap? I call that Heaven, my friend.

I Hate Pickup Trucks

There is nothing cool about owning a pickup truck without purpose. Farmer - fine. Professional dirt bike racer - fine. Mexican - fine. Own a barn - fine. But if you're a suburban dad who works at a law firm and you own a F-150 with 30 inch tires, I hope you burn your house down while grilling hamburgers for your fat, stupid kids. You are a shithead. Just because your hair is thinning and because you can't get it up anymore does not give you permission to buy a truck that your wife needs a stepladder to get in to.

I fucking hate pickup trucks. If there was an official emblem for fucking douchebags, there would be a hick pickup owner and a hipster mini-cooper owner fucking each other on it. Unless you are one of the aforementioned people from the beginning of this post, there is no purpose to owning a pickup, besides tailgating at NASCAR events and filling the truck-bed with Milwaukee's Best and yelling at women with cankles and getting a terrible sunburn and then going home and hitting your wife and getting arrested with no shirt on. Pickups were created for a reason - to move shit that normal cars could not, from point A to point B, not for you to drive in circles in a mud patch and listen to mashups of Kid Rock and Garth Brooks.

Whenever I'm on the highway and a pickup truck goes speeding past me at the fucking speed of light, I silently pray it fishtails and then skids into a deep ravine, shattering into a million pieces, then explodes into a fiery hell to burn away any DNA remnants of the asshole who was driving the truck. Maybe I just need to understand why, why you insist on driving 90 mph on a back road and kick rocks at my fucking windshield? Where are you going? Do you have to shit real bad? If that's the case, then fine, drive like a madman, but if you are just so inbred that you NEED to drive like Ray-fucking-Charles, than you deserve nothing less than a telephone pole sandwich.

And nothing gets me more than pickup truck decor. Oh, you have Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes pissing on Osama Bin Laden's face on your mudflaps? Wow, what a patriot you are! Go fuck yourself in a sauna, have a heart attack, and die. And what about that confederate flag painted on your back window? I bet you feel real cool dropping racial slurs with your friends Bubba and Jim Lee and Hank and Stinky, but why don't you go carouse a neighborhood that isn't more interested in Bobby Labonte's favorite snack food than the social progression of the 21st century, you fucking hillbilly. Oh look at that, you have a sticker that says OBX on the back window? Now that's telling, considering all the fucking rough and tumble tough guys who go brawl outside their 12 bedroom beach houses in Nags Head.

This weekend was like the gumball rally of asshole pickup truck drivers. Every motherfucker with a flat bed took to the roads, tail gating and menacing 89-year-old retirees on their way to see their grandchildren, weaving through traffic nearly clipping every car out of sight range, determined to not miss another minute of fucking fun in Myrtle Beach, Ocean City, or Wildwood. And why not? This is America, goddammit. Go ahead and drink that six pack of Bud Heavy you have in the console and go ahead and put camping lights on your truck even though you couldn't start a fucking fire with a canister of gasoline and a flamethrower. Go ahead and whistle at girls who would rather ingest cyanide tablets than spend three seconds smelling your Skoal breath. Go ahead and beat up those Guatemalan immigrants and throw your empty Mountain Dew bottles out the window and go ahead and trim your Fu-Man-Chu 'stache. You fucking earned it, you paid your taxes, right? You're a goddamn pickup truck owner!

Real men don't need pickups to feel like a bad-ass. Like Lee Marvin. Lee Marvin probably drove a Chevy Impala. And he probably pulled more ass driving a stock Impala than you ever will in your souped-up Dodge. I bet he fucking slapped guys like you and then drank a bottle of Jack Daniels and smoked two packs of unfiltered Lucky Strikes. You know why? Because he was a fucking man, not some half-wit in jean shorts rocking Hanes high socks and all black Adidas from 1998.