You’ll Thank Me Later

Rated R for language and malaise

Having come to the sudden but inevitable realization that not everyone in the world shares my irritating obsession with sublime passion for cell phones and communication in general, I’ve decided to branch out. Extend my range. Broaden my curmudgeontude, if you will.

I struggled with this one. I carefully considered form and subtext and theme, finally settling on a subject that cuts through all the crap and skewers the writhing remains of my perennial discontent firmly onto life’s specimen board, where it can squirm and make pathetic sqeeing noises as people peer at it with a cautious mix of revulsion and curiosity. The truly daring might even poke at it a few times. I call it;

Shit I Hate

Session One — Driving

I used to enjoy driving. The simple act of Going Somewhere, the freedom of four wheels on pavement, a 2-liter bottle of Mountain Dew on the seat beside me and no particular timetable to be followed, with seemingly endless miles of road unrolling before me as a metaphor for the untapped potential of youth, blah blah blah, whatever. Yeah, hey, you know what? The untapped potential of youth can go fuck itself; gas is how much now? Seventeen bucks a gallon? If you’re not smuggling a Fabergé egg in your Jockeys to help finance that latest sojourn to the mall or the Grand Canyon, you might as well stay home and live vicariously through other people. It’s cheaper and odds are that the bathrooms smell better.

I can’t drive past a bank of gas pumps without the bastards reaching out and grabbing the car like a band of marauding Ents, then violating it roughly with a disconcertingly phallic-shaped nozzle before shaking me down to the tune of $38 for the whole experience. I don’t know whether to be grateful that we’ve still got such a high standard of living or to slink back to my hotel room and cry on the floor of the shower until Nicholas Cage drinks himself to death.

And once I get past the whole “we live in a fairly convincing facsimile of a market economy so let’s all bend over like the petroleum-dependent whores that we are and let them stick it to us a few more times” thing, there’s the persistent notion that no one seems to know how the hell to drive anymore. People who match speeds on a two-lane one-way highway make me want to punch a fuckin’ nun, and should be beaten with a 1995 back-issue of Computer Shopper until public transportation becomes their only alternative.

I was taught that when someone creeps up onto my ass in my rear-view, it’s time to move the hell over and let them pass, because it’s neither my right nor my responsibility to assume the role of Self-Appointed Speed Limit Enforcement Douche while the 15 pissed-off commuters behind me entertain fantasies of my flaming, bullet-riddled demise. You have no idea why someone behind you might be in a hurry, and unless there’s turret lights on your roof and a Mossberg on your dash, your authority to hold me up hovers somewhere between “zero” and “eat a shit sandwich.”

For those of you whose favorite pastime is pulling your 6000-pound Ford Exfoliator into traffic and proceeding to drive at a pace that would send the Dalai Lama into fuck-sputtering fits of incoherence, I humbly submit that you might not require a ¼ scale reproduction of the QM2’s Grand Atrium as your daily driver. If the social pressure to captain your own ocean liner proves too great to resist, at least jog down to the engine room and have Mr. Andrews show you where the gas pedal is. Let’s nudge that bastard up to fourteen knots before the next stoplight, whaddaya say?

And don’t try to park that motherfucker, ever. Just don’t. Let it idle in the street while you row little Beaumont and Austin out to t-ball practice in the dingy.

Ah, parking. Sweet, sweet parking, how do I love thee? Like a ruptured hemorrhoid, you pain-in-the-ass, you. I adore the half-witted cheesebag who parks his Saleen Mustang Shelby Cobra GTS Twin-Turbo Dickmobile diagonally across two spaces so as to demonstrate his sexual inadequacy to the entire packed-to-the-tits mall parking lot on December 23rd. I guess the extra space allows the door to open wider and more easily accommodate the mullet and the leather pants.

I love the sloppy line-straddler, that careless moron who doesn’t quite take up two spaces, but instead makes it impossible to park next to him because he’s strayed into your space with his passenger side tires, and unless you want to start a chain reaction of shitty parking you’re forced to move on, all because Numbnuts couldn’t be bothered to turn the wheel a little sharper. Judging from the look of things he was probably munching a cheeseburger at the time, if the six-hundred-odd fast food bags and empty milkshake containers adorning the interior of his primer-gray Nova offer any reliable indication.

Finally, the dickhead di tutti dickheads, the sharpest, most succinct argument in favor of spontaneous roadside castration. No, not the drunk driver; we’ve heard plenty about him for the last fifty fuckin’ years; I’m talking about the biggest load of ambulatory backwash ever to ooze behind the wheel.

The green-light honker.

Yeah, you know the one. You’re sitting at a red light, maybe making a left turn, maybe not. Doesn’t matter. Your eyes are studiously glued to the traffic signal, because you know. You know the way you know about a bad hot dog; it’s going to happen, and you might not be held responsible for your actions. The cross traffic slows, then stops. The light turns green, you move your foot off the brake, and in the nanosecond before you can touch the gas, THE FUCKER BEHIND YOU HONKS HIS HORN.

To me, this is the automotive equivalent of getting smacked in the nose with a frozen otter. Nothing sees me reevaluating my distaste for incarceration and appraising the market value of my virgin bum quicker than an impatient bag of buffalo spooge who can’t lay off the horn. It’s completely irrational, as the horn is merely a sound; no harm to it at all, when you think about it. It simply says, “hey, asshole, the light is green and just in case you’re such a blind, incompetent jerkoff that you failed to notice, I’ll issue this terse yet blindingly annoying reminder.”

So I conjure every last shred of control in my body, and I sit there. I don’t move an inch until long after I’m damned good and ready (in fact, I was damned good and ready before the light even changed), not until I think the shithead behind me has had enough. Usually I can get him to bounce up and down, redfaced and livid, while I pick my nose or wait for a good Tito Puente track on a classic jazz station.

My long-term goal is to get my ass kicked by just the right person, then launch a line of t-shirts with a single, simple legend;

“I got Nut-Stomped by the Dalai Lama.”

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