|JULY 1997, OCEAN CITY MARYLAND. THE FIRST TIME ANDREW POINTED THE WAY, HE WAS DIRECTING ME TO THE ALL-IMPORTANT DIAPER BAG. NEXT YEAR, HE'LL BE TWENTY-ONE AND WILL BE POINTING HIS OWN WAY TO JUST ABOUT EVERYTHING.|
JERKS! I don't know how they do it but they always find me, (at school, work, at businesses, my neighbors, friends of friends and even family). But I'm not the only one, most of you can say that your surrounded by weasely annoyances too. When I was confronted by these morons when Andrew was young, I'd take a deep sigh of frustration and whine, "There’s never a shortage of knuckleheads, (back then I meant assholes but I now think he’s old enough to handle borderline profanity).
Andrew was around four when a six-year crossed our path at a park and called him stupid. Andrew cried. I comforted him by saying, "That kid doesn't even know you. He's probably unhappy and wants everyone else to be unhappy too."
Yes it’s unfortunate how many dark-souled individuals we come in contact with. They come in all shapes and sizes, are not gender specific, they come in all colors and are not restricted by age.
MLEM uses the phrase "Psychic Vampires" to describe people whose only mission in life is to suck-out all the positive karma from everyone they meet. Another friend MT, lumped these Negative Nellies into single phrase; Haters, skaters and masturbators.
It doesn't matter what they are called. What's important is, how you deal with them that separates the winners and losers.
In December 1980, (a couple of days after the king of assholes shot John Lennon, dead), my wife Sue and I were in Los Angeles. We got caught in traffic on the way to see, “EVITA.” Our troubles worsened when we couldn’t find the theater and we were further delayed by a long process to park.
|"EVITA" IS A LONG-RUNNING ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER MUSICAL BASED ON THE LIFE OF ARGENTINA'S POLITICAL LEADER, EVA PERON.|
We burst into the theater and were relieved to see the house lights were still on. At our row, the early arrivals graciously stood and allowed us to slither sideways through the narrow path to our seats. Suddenly, a huge muscleman with wavy blond hair stood up in the aisle in front of us, turned around and loudly stated, “Look at this bald bastard!” In a shit storm of foul language, he continued to berate my hairless head.
My mind was temporarily frozen by shock. Silently, I tried to rationalize my dilemma as a fraternity prank until I remembered we were in L.A. and figured I was on “CANDID CAMERA.”
While this big galoot hammered me, the gorgeous petite brunette with him tugged at his behemoth arm but he ignored her. Like a broken record, this nimrod angrily repeated similar statements. In a dumbfounded trance, I focused on the veins throbbing in his colossal neck until this bullying Neanderthal said, “C’mon outside so I can kick your ass!” Simultaneously, the house lights dimmed. This gentleman rattled off some more profane insults before sitting down…without ever readdressing me.
I'm glad I accidentally kept quiet and didn't add fuel to this fool's problem. The only explanation I could think of was...some sick pups are only happy when they are making others unhappy. Either that or the dirtbag desperately didn't want to see that show so he tried goading me outside to validate his leaving. In retrospect he might have been onto something because other than the main song, “DON’T CRY FOR ME ARGENTINA,” I thought the show sucked.
Another thorn in my side is my whack-a-doo neighbor, “Boob the Bowman.” In 2002 when we were still on talking terms, Boob harshly accused me (from three hundred feet away), of cursing him while mowing my lawn. I knew he was a weirdo but assured him that I had no reason to hurl obscenities at him. I added, "I was singing, 'I’M PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN,' (from Andrew’s second grade class's patriotic-themed show honoring the first anniversary of the Twin Towers going down)." Boob said, “I can read lips…and I know what you were saying about me.” I said, “You know you’re out of your mind. Have you ever considered professional help?” He said, “Yes I am seeing someone…” I cut him off, “Well, it isn’t working! You should demand a refund.” When he paused after yelling at me I said, “Our relationship is over. Don’t ever talk to me again!”
In 1990, Sue and I went to see, “LES MISERABLES,” on Broadway with the ZIMBO’s.
The seats were cramped, the theater was too warm, the show was too long…and it sucked. But early in the first act, the “gentleman” in front of me pleasantly asked me to stop kicking his seat. No problem. Later, in a threatening tone he twisted in his seat to face me and snarled, “Stop it!”
At intermission, the fire doors of the theater opened and a flood of patrons invaded the nearby bars and eateries. JZIMBO and I bought cokes from a dirty water hot dog vendor and stood out in the street chatting. Suddenly, the head-case seated in front of me stuck his souvenir program in my face and started yammering. The gist of his rant was that I was responsible for damaging the $12.00 booklet he left under his seat. When he showed me the one small bent corner I said, "Maybe YOU accidently crunched it yourself on the leg of your chair." It was comical how, in a nerdy way, he went off on me. I smiled and told him the punch line of an old joke, “You didn’t come here to see the show, did you?”
|(above) THE TALKING GRIZZLY BEAR AND THE HUNTER FROM THE JOKE I RUINED, (BY GIVING AWAY THE PUNCH-LINE FIRST). IF YOU'RE STILL CURIOUS, FIND THE *ASTERISK AND THE ITALICIZED JOKE, IN ITS ENTIRETY, BENEATH THIS BLOG.|
The other day, Andrew lost his summertime bimmie job after six shifts. I think it’s safe to say he was victimized by a psychic vampire, or a hater, skater-masturbator etc.
We were forewarned months earlier by our friend LEFTYDEE. She said, "NEVER eat there because the waitress creeped her and her husband out and scared me every time I asked for anything. In the end, I got my own coffee refill because I didn't want to risk pissing-off the bitch.”
To my untrained eye, this waitress is psychologically damaged. People like that should never be put in a position of authority especially in a hospitality business, (the fact that this crack-pot relies on tips with her awful attitude is mind-bending).
Well as bad luck would have it, this woman was not only Andrew’s coworker but his manager too. Far worse, her daughter (who inherited the nasty trait from her mother) was a server there too. And apparently, the younger mean-spirited girl wanted one of her friends to have Andrew’s job.
My boy was exposed to one, and sometimes both every time he worked. Like a demonic, mother-daughter tag-team tandem, rather than support his inexperience, they pressured him and criticized him every chance they had. To finish him off, they used office politics to do a hatchet job on him by exaggerating his lack of improvement to the owner.
Nobody likes having their income purposely sabotaged. But Andrew displayed one of his best traits by not lashing out at the ignorant owner or pointing fingers. He understood that the job fit perfectly in his schedule but the extra money wasn't worth beig exposed to an extremely hostile work environment.
Andrew is practical. He knows he likes his stuff and is motivated enough to earn what he can to subsidize his lifestyle. So I'm confident that he'll weigh his options and find a way to land on his feet.
Yes, there’s never a shortage of assholes. Overwhelmingly, it’s best to ignore them and hope they go away. On rare occasions through diplomacy, we might be able to help them by suggesting constructive criticism. And of course when the badgering gets so bad…sarcasm can be the most valuable tool.
I’d like to think that my son will never be too cool to seek out my wisdom. I hope he will still depend on me for emotional support, protect him from evil and allow me to act as a guide through life's never-ending mind field of assholes. But now that my scion is on the threshhold of adulthood, the reality is...with each passing day, he's going to be more independant and will eventually be fending off the mean-spirited crazies, unmedicated depressed people and those who really need to be institutionalized, on his own.
In honor of all parents on this FATHER'S DAY, I salute you Andrew and wish you, as safe a voyage through life as possible.
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*Oh yeah, you wanted to hear the joke I referred to during the intermission of Les Miserable…well I shouldn’t because of all the vulgarities but Andrew is almost adult:
Deep in the Yukon's wilderness, a hunter spots a seven-foot grizzly bear. He aims his rifle carefully and fires. The bullet safely whizzes past the gargantuan beast’s ear. The bear chases the man down, breaks the gun in two, tears off the man's trousers and sodomizes him. The bear says, “Don’t you ever, ever try doing that again. Now, get out of my forest!” The disheveled hunter gathers himself as the bear storms off. The man grabs his bow and arrow. He shoots and narrowly misses his target. The grisly grizzly charges forward, smashed the weapon to bits on a boulder, grabs the man by the hair and forces him to orally gratify him. The bear says, “I told you, don’t you ever, ever do that again! Didn’t I? Now get out of my woods.” The man is shivering as the bear heads back up the trail. Newvertheless, the hunter finds his bowie knife and throws it at the bear. The knife harmlessly lands a few feet past the infuriated animal. The frightened man is approached by the bear. This time, the grizzly is smiling as he puts his arm around the hunter’s shoulder and says, “You didn’t come here to hunt, did you?”
HAPPY FATHER'S DAY !