Could you please eradicate all the poverty and starvation in the world? I’m sick being guilted into donating to the food bank at the grocery store checkout. While you’re at it, would you mind protecting the rainforest, saving the endangered animals, and abolishing war? You see… I’m very busy with my own petty problems and can’t seem to find the time for such things. I have to manage school and a job, pay bills, take care of my living, and still find time for fun. Although, I guess if I stopped having fun I might be able to find time to help with one of these things. Unfortunately God, the bigger problem is that I’m very lazy. It’s not my fault. This is how you made me – it’s your fault!
I’m sorry God, sometimes my human gets to me. You understand.
Do I understand? God, if you helped the poor, starving people, who will make my clothes, and where will American corporations outsource labor to cut costs and save their CEOs more money? If you protect the forests, where would I build my house; and what about the houses of generations to come? You and I both know the human population is expanding, and we need tropical resorts to escape to from our meaningless jobs as general contractors, or whatever we do.
God, why did you make the earth so small; or us so big?
God, this is serious stuff! Are you listening? Are you even there?
On second thought… maybe I am God. I’m talking to myself again. Do I actually want these problems fixed, or am I just repeating the generic altruism of others around me? Now I’m confused. If I fixed these problems, wouldn’t it only create problems for myself and others in my rich, affluent society? I guess this is the price we would have to pay.
But I’m comfortable where I’m at in the world. Why don’t people just take care of their own problems instead of sitting on their asses all day collecting welfare checks? COMMUNISTS! Sucking at the government’s tits… raising my taxes… just for a free ride. After all it’s them with the problem, not me, God damn it!
I really shouldn’t blasphemy myself like that. After all, maybe I’m being too hard on the rest of the world. It’s not their fault. Whose fault is it? Mine? Is it anyone’s fault at all?
This is all quite unsettling. If I want to solve the world’s vexing problems, I must create some problems of my own. Or, I can bask in my comfort, and acknowledge that I don’t care enough about these injustices to do anything about them. So far I’m not satisfied with either option.
Here is a poem I wrote yesterday after getting home from work. If you work in customer service for a while you start to get a pretty good grasp of the human condition. It smells funny. And I am starting to see the stench of my own doings in the fumes of those around me. I am part of the Promentalshitbackwashpsychosisenemasquad. You know, the doodoo chasers. I dedicate this poem to George Clinton.
An Overexposed Self-Portrait
Through the Lens
Of Another’s Life
I toil at a drug store
A woman bought ex-lax
Went into the bathroom,
Sprayed a shit slaughter
All over wall and stall.
Smell swept down
The coat pegged hall
To the table,
Where I devoured delicacies
Prepared by Chef Mike
She was a poopetrator of Pollocklike proportions.
She can’t read,
Like the rest of us can;
Like “US NORMAL FOLK.”
“You help me? I need medicine, and I can’t read good.”
“Sure, what are you looking for?”
She’s on the cigarettes and beer diet / Basic Lights and Milwaukee’s Best.
Basically the best
For those looking to alleviate ailments of an aging anatomy.
She loathes most folks
They give her shit.
In a sense
She’s a bit
The past two months I had the pleasure of interning with American Greetings. During that time they let me take the writing test for the department that creates the humor cards. Basically the test asked me to come up with 12 humorous cards that could fit a specific occasion. What I came up with probably falls short of pants wetting and won’t make it to the shelves, but some of the card ideas might pull out a snicker or chortle here on the internet…
(outside) – Is there a limit to the number of ways I can wish you happy birthday in German?
(inside) – Nein
(outside) – A birthday is like a swirly…
(inside) – So get shit-faced!
- Older Birthday:
(outside) – You know you’re getting older when…
(inside) – People give you cards that start with “you know you’re getting older when…”
- Anniversary card from wife who would like to remind her sports-obsessed husband that she’s still glad she married him:
(outside) – For a man who lives his sporting life glued to the television set…
(inside) – You still got game!
- Boyfriend to girlfriend/girlfriend to boyfriend:
(outside) – A good friend is like good sex…
(inside) – But good sex with a good friend is always best!
- Romantic card for a person in a new relationship, who doesn’t want to use the “L” word:
(outside) – The time we’ve spent together has been so terrific…
(inside) – That I think I’m falling in like with you!
- Older birthday:
(outside) – Another year older, it could be worse…
(inside) – You could be two years older.
- Older birthday:
(outside) – You look terrific for your age!
(inside) – But at your age that doesn’t really say much.
Happy Birthday, you Rolex of dime-store watches!
- Birthday card for a wild, younger brother:
(outside) – Little bro, you were born to be wild…
(inside) – To a different family.
Happy Birthday! (We’ll talk about this all later)
- Thank you card to a boss or leader:
(inside) – For all the positive leadership.
- Smart birthday:
(outside) – A birthday is like a tautology…
(inside) – Because tautologies are so similar to birthdays!
- Political humor birthday:
(outside) – It’s your birthday –
So I’m throwing you a communist party!
(inside) – Yay, everyone gets gifts!
I would like to share with you an occurrence that happened to me last week. Something mundane enough to probably happen in any given store, on any day, yet interesting enough to take note and question. The setting is a Giant Eagle grocery store. Let’s begin:
There’s about ten lines open and about five people in every line. Somehow, around 50 people decided to come to the grocery store, make their selections in amounts of time that could all be seemingly unrelated, but end up at the front registers all at the same moment. The lines were practically empty when we walked in, and now they’re all full. The workings of the universe never seem to favor an even distribution, as our statistical bell curves like to fantasize. Instead, the supreme forces like to take long pauses from their work – perhaps they’re napping or eating or something; I’m sure forces can afford to work at their own pace – then they compile all doings into a single instant, making it sometimes hard to navigate life around, or through, their dog-piling of occurrences.
Because it’s 6:30 on a Friday, everyone is just coming off work, stopping at the grocery store for a few of the weekend’s items, and then fleeing home to unwind. But now, in this small insignificant, unmemorable moment of their lives, they are impatiently locked into ten relatively even lines, afraid to move their place, yet constantly on the lookout for a row of persons that could be shorter. But there is no such row. I watch as new fish from the ocean of frozen food and toilet paper swim upstream into the creeks of their choosing. Most glide back and forth across the creeks until they realize that one isn’t any better than the next.
I place my more-than-full basket on the ground in front of me and kick it along with the edge of my foot as those ahead finish up and make their escape, while my girlfriend dips back into the ocean to grab “one more thing.” She gets back up by the time we’re the penultimate to ring out at the self-checkout. The consumer ahead of us is a fat, black woman, wearing a beige, coffee stained, one-piece dress that hangs slightly off the left shoulder. She idly lifts items from her cart and fumbles with scanning them onto the conveyor-belt.
“Is she gunna fucken take all day,” says, in an audibly loud voice, the restless, 20-something, fat white girl behind us, “Does she not fucken realize that there’s a line here?”
I looked back at the foul-mouthed fatty and then up at the woman ahead, seeing if she appeared to hear. If she would have looked back and showed any sign that she did hear, I was going to shrug my shoulders at her and audaciously exclaim, “Dumb white bitches,” with a sympathetic shake of my head. But she never did.
“You know she can probably hear you,” said my girlfriend, turning behind. Her method of retort was direct and aimed at the core. My method would not have been so forthright. “So. I don’t care. Maybe it’ll make her move faster,” said the gutter-jaw, standing next to what appeared to be her more mum mother. “Are you ladies in a hurry?” I butted in. “Yah, we actually are,” she said. “Oh, damn, well… we’re not. So get comfortable,” I said, with a cheerful smile. She made some sort of huffy noise, and her mom finally spoke up and told her to take it easy.
I spent a good minute or so mentally trashing the woman behind us. How could she be so inconsiderate? I realize that she might be in a hurry, but that doesn’t call for being disrespectful. Initially, I planned on making the girl wait a good long time, as I slowly punched in each barcode manually. But then, as if a higher ethical being grabbed hold of my words, I said something completely contrary to the arsenal of attacks I was previously stewing over.
“Would you ladies like to go ahead of us?” I asked, “You only have a few things.”
“No. We can wait,” said the girl.
By this time the woman ahead was getting ready to pay. My girlfriend, also moved by some act of divine morality, took the liberty of helping her bag her goods, in order to get the line moving quickly.
Why would we do this? Why would we give this brat the satisfaction of bullying her way through the line, when instead we could have made her sweat it out a little longer? The answer to this I’m not entirely sure, and frankly I don’t think it really matters. Although, what was most amazing was the girl’s response to my invitation of granted passage: “No. We can wait.” As if all the bickering about being in a hurry never even happened.
I’m not very well versed in either the behavioral or social sciences, but I would like to speculate that the girl was slightly embarrassed over her outcry. Personally, I don’t think that she was in a hurry at all, but rather, I think she frequently has inclinations to complain about situations in her life for no other reason but habit. It’s been said that at a certain age, people generally get stuck with the face they deserve, and this portly precious looked like a pig that spent its whole life dissatisfied with the quality of her mud. At least pigs have the satisfaction of enjoying orgasms for 30 minutes; I doubt this girl’s ability to enjoy anything for 30 minutes without blurting, “Is this gunna fucken take all day?”
Anyway, dear reader, and I probably say that in a singular sense, what are your thoughts? Why do people publicly display rudeness to others, only to bite their tongue as if they could care less when their demands are given in to? I don’t know, maybe I’m the asshole in this situation. After all, I’m the one with the long-winded cynicism.
I usually don’t have a complete lack of maturity, but today is not usual. Today I’m acting a fool… for the stool.
My Shitty Poem
Ode to the commode
That carries my poo
And keeps me from disease,
Parasites and the flu.
Ode to this seat
Where I do so much reading.
The brown bombs of bowel movements
Are the effects of my eating.
The commode, it gleams
With stinky sediment steam,
Yet I can’t do without it
It would very much seem.
I wish I could shit
In the yard like a dog;
No worry of overflow,
No worry of clog.
But the commode is now broken
And will not flush my pee,
So now this ode
Will be an elegy.