Tag Archives: people

People, People, Everywhere People

13 Nov

from December 19, 2007

I want to live in a world without people. No people, nowhere. Oh, I don’t mean you, kind and gentle Readers, (and especially not you, you oh so special Reader you!) but I mean all the people who make life suck. The ones who don’t follow the rules.

Rule Number One: DON’T TELL A WRITER HOW TO WRITE!

OK, Bill is a friend, but I guess he is really a friend of a friend. In other words, if I ever stopped being friends with Ami I’d happily bury Bill out in the desert up to his neck and dump a sack of angry fire ants on his head.

I got a call from him last night. For whatever reason he has no computer but he needs me to send an email for him. A phone call won’t do, he said. I guess this situation didn’t call for the personal touch. Here is his side of the conversation, as best as I can stand to relate it.

“It is going to CraigA5@aol.com. That’s C, like um, car, no, like yeah, car. A, I, um Craig………”

 (skipping, skipping, skipping for sanity…………….)

“So I want you to say that, well, ‘Hi. I am writing for Bill.’ No, say that you were asked to write for Bill, yeah ‘Hi, Bill asked me to write’ um, …………”

(skipping, skipping, skipping for sanity…………….)

“Yeah, and I’ll say, um, maybe I should thank him, Ok good, write this ‘I am looking forward to hearing back…’ Back? What about if I said ‘Hope to receive your response? Or reply, which is better?…………”

Here is the message I sent:

Hi Craig.

Bill has no computer right now and asked me to write and inform you that he sent the payment to your Paypal account last week. He’ll email you himself as soon as he gets online.

Don’t ever tell a writer how to write. Ever. Even if you think I write like shit. (And judging from my last blog maybe you’re right. Sometimes writing them is about as much fun as having a root canal minus being felt up by the dentist after the Novocain hit.)

Imagine if somebody told God how to write.

“Look, God, this line here, ‘In the beginning,‘ I don’t get it. What if you said like ‘There was nothing until I came along.‘ Makes you look strong, you know God? You gotta be strong.”

Rule Number Two: IF WE ARE PRETENDING THAT WE DON’T KNOW EACH OTHER, DON’T WISH ME A MERRY CHRISTMAS AT RITE AID.

I used to work at Kids-R-Us. Toys-R-Us sells toys, you’d think we sold kids, right? But no, we sold kid’s clothes. Too bad, we could have been one-stop shopping for all your pedophile needs.

But years back, in the early 90’s there was a woman named Mary Ann who worked behind the service desk. She was a crossing guard by day and service desk person by night. Oh, she was also having an affair, but that was none of my business. Except when both the husband and boyfriend showed up at the same time to pick her up. Then it was fun!

But I hadn’t seen her in many years. I went into Rite Aid one day and I instantly recognized her. I have a great memory for faces. But a shit memory for names. I have students whose names I don’t know RIGHT NOW. All I knew was that I knew her from……somewhere.

I got on line and she rang me up. I looked at her. She looked at me. We both had the spark of recognition in our eyes. She smiled. I adjusted my headphones. She said “Hi!’ I mumbled “umm.” She said “$13.07.” I paid and left.

When I go in there now I always check to see if she is working. If she is I leave. Sometimes I don’t see her and then she comes off break and I’m in a dilemma: put down my stuff and leave or stay and be awkward? I generally choose awkward. She looks at me, I look at her, I pay and leave. OF COURSE SHE KNOWS WHO I AM. WE WORKED TOGETHER FOR YEARS.

But a couple of days ago I was in there and before I left she said “Merry Christmas Barry.” What did I say? Nothing. I pretended I didn’t hear her.

Damn, now I can’t go back until August.

Rule Number Three: TAKE YOUR CHRISTMAS GIFT IN THE SPIRIT IN WHICH IT WAS GIVEN.

I swear, giving out Christmas presents today was like giving out Kwanzaa candles at a Klan rally. I give presents because I want to, not because I want a gift in return. And please, don’t tell me “you really are a nice guy.” What, you thought I was a gorilla before?

Living in a world without people may not be the answer. But it would sure be relaxing. And I would not have to look at craggy-faced secretary Doreen with the pock marks that look like shrapnel scars and comes into my room to see if THE FUCKING BACKGROUND of her picture is alright. The background will look like a Picasso compared to the walking acne farm in the foreground.

Was that cruel of me?

No.

This reminds me of the time I was in the NYC Writer’s project. (Their motto- “If you are willing to stay at Lafayette until 7:00 we’ll pay you”) We were all asked to pick a book to read in a group and discuss. I wanted to read Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud. This was the first intellectual criticism of the art of writing comic books, and one that I’ve subsequently used in class.

Well, I usually sat next to a teacher from another school. She was young and cute and we had nothing between us at all because, lets face it, after 3:30 all I want to do at LHS is leave LHS.

This other guy from another school was really interested in her, but because she was usually sitting next to me he assumed that he had to go all Alpha Dog on me. On this particular day, I talked about my book, and when it was his turn, all he did was make bad jokes about my book and try to mack on the girl. What was his book? All I Need To Know I Learned in Kindergarten. And he had the never to make fun of my book? What did he learn, how to shit his pants?

The guy was really annoying and wouldn’t leave me alone. Finally I had to tell him off. You know me, it takes a lot for me to do that, but I took him out in the hall and told him, very nicely, that if he didn’t shut up I’d shove his kindergarten book up his ass. Thank god he shut up, because if push came to shove I would have definitely, 100%, not shoved the book up his ass.

P.S. The girl was impressed by the tool, showing that cute she may have been, but smart she was not.

Rules are important. They make the world livable. For me.

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