The River

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Man, I have bad luck. Not the I-was-born-with-spinabifida-so-bad-I-can’t-tie-my-shoes kind of luck and not the my-father-was-an-abusive-alcoholic-and-I-saw-him-sodomizing-kittens-when-I-was-four-years-old kind of luck either, but bad luck nonetheless.

A month ago Kim asked me to go to a concert with her and her two friends, neither of which I have met. I agreed as I have encouraged her to go out with her friends and now that she was heeding my advice, I figured part of my obligation was to be willing to meet some of these new friends.

Sure, I’ll go to the concert. Who is playing?


Styxx, you mean the pretend rockers from the eighties that I couldn’t stand even when they were popular back then? The band whose idea of hard rock is Mr. Roboto?


Great. Can’t wait. Say honey, where’s the Drano. I’m feeling thirsty suddenly.

This isn’t so bad. I’d rather pluck my eyelashes out one by one with a dirty set of vise grips, but not too bad. I haven’t been out in a long time and just getting out for some drinks even with what will hopefully be a brief concert in between drinking sessions might just still be fun somehow. I have resigned myself to a good time. All is fine right?

Last night my buddy emails. He recently built a bar in his basement. He’s purchasing the UFC. Not A UFC. THE UFC with BJ Penn vs. Georges St. Pierre as the main event. This would be the grand opening to the public of this bar. Cigars, free beer, free fights, lots of cussing and shit-giving by a male only crowd excited with bloodlust. No bitches to worry about wrecking things.

“Ewww, is that a cigar? It stinks.”

So does your pussy, but you don’t hear me complaining.”

It would be one of those nights for the ages. I would wake up hungover with a sore belly from laughing and a sore throat from talking too loud all night. Alas, I gave my word. I am a man of my word. I shall go meet the wife’s friends who I’m sure are fine folks. I shall clap at the appropriate denouements between renditions of “Grand Illusion” and “Come Sail Away” that have simply not withstood the test of time. I will give an obligatory Wooooo! every so often to make it seem like I’m not pooping the party. And I will not think of my friends, at Jeff’s inaugural fight night, laughing, toasting, telling tall tales, and laughing some more. And I’m sure they won’t think of me either. If that last line sounded like I’m jealous. Yeah, well I am.

I have bad luck.


Got No Reason

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

In today’s newspaper I read about a support group being formed. A support group for short people. Now, as a guy who has been through counseling before, I don’t want to disparage support groups in general. I am a big fan of the therapy of listening and talking, but we’re not talking about the typical dwarf/midget/little person support group. Those people are tragically small and no matter if we call them disabled, disadvantaged, differently abled or whatever, they definitely had to begin their life marathon 100 yards further behind the starting line than the rest of us. The support group I’m talking about is for women 5’ 2” and under and men 5’ 7” and under.

I hope I’m not the only person in the world who asks this.

Really? I mean really?

A group for people that fall under average height? So they can share the trials and tribulations of being short? I’m sure I’ve heard more ridiculous things in my life, but not too many. Apparently this isn’t just a local phenomenon either. They are part of a national organization, NOSSA, which stands for National Organization of Short Statured Adults. Is it just me or does this sound like a MadTV skit?

Don’t people have enough real problems in their lives without being convinced that they have more things to be pissed at fate about? One woman is quoted as saying, “When I go to the grocery store, sometimes I have to ask somebody to get something off the shelf for me.”

WAAAAAAAA! You poor, poor put upon girl you! Not that! You need to go to a support group because sometimes you can’t quite reach the top shelf! Man, that certainly makes those kids starving in Africa, or the homeless freezing to death on the sidewalks look like a bunch of whiny pansies. I mean after all, there was that day you had to ask a clerk or passerby if they could hand you a box of Lipton Cup-a-Soup. How did you get by, lady? I probably would have just ended it all right then. Who can live with humiliation on such an atomic scale?

For the record, I’m short enough to qualify for this group. Right at 5’ 7” I’m tempted to join just because I know there won’t be anyone at the meetings taller than me and I can bully all the little people around. “Oops, my pen rolled under that table. Hey shortcake, mind walking under there and getting that for me? You, yeah you over there…the little one…no…no…the littler one….yeah you, did you know I’ve taken dumps bigger than you?”

I’ve never been a bully. Never had the mindset that making other people feel worse would ever make me feel better. These folks though, if they don’t deserve it then I don’t know who does. Everyone wants to be a victim. Everyone needs someone to feel sorry for them and if no one does…then we’ll make something up. This country is turning into such a nation of wussies, whiners, and attention whores that I just can’t stand it.

That’s it! I’ll form my own group. The Association Against Wussies, Whiners & Whores! The acronym will be AWWW and AWWW will also be our motto. It will be heard everywhere we go. We’ll meet once a month and give each other assignments on how to belittle folks who make up their own tragedies for attention. The first assignment will be to stand outside the short people meetings and mercilessly mock them in the same vein as the old fatherly adage of “What? You’re crying? I’ll give you something to cry about!”

We’ll swipe their keys and hold them up high over their heads and make them jump for them. AWWW, wassa matter….can’t get your keys? AWWW, c’mon…try a little harder.”

We’ll call them humiliatingly inappropriate names.
“Hey Stretch! How you doing Big Guy? Well look at Long Tall Sally over there. What’s up Stilts? AWWW, what…you mad a us fow making fun of ooooo?”

We’ll play Randy Newman’s “Short people” song and point at them and laugh. We’ll all have T-shirts on that say “You must be this tall in order to ride.”

We’ll make fun of them until we end up being scathed on Oprah. We’ll taunt them until they weep. Until their children are even shamed by them. We’ll run ads in the paper to make sure their friends know how inadequate they are because of their shortocity. We’ll basically just make their lives miserable until….well until they actually do have something to cry about.