Sunday, July 19, 2009

Signs of the Times

I have tried to stay away from making lists. It's a tired literary convention, but one that Los Angeles Times critic Robert Hilburn used ad nauseum throughout his career and he probably paid off a few mortgages with the artifice. So I dedicate this post to him. And the love of his life, Bruce Springsteen.

I wanted to do a list of some of the things that bug me. My friend Donald in Brooklyn called me a curmudgeon the other day and I didn't know that I could qualify in my relatively spry youth. But if I am going to wear the mantle I might as well bitch.

This list isn't necessarily apocalyptic in nature, I am not so hysterical to suggest that the items are a sign of the imminent destruction of mankind or anything so dire. I hope that you will see fit to ponder and send me a couple of your own.

* People that talk in the library. All ages, on the phone, to each other and the librarians won't tell them to shut up. And the new use of the library as a holding station for the mentally ill, homeless and the unwashed.

*Television screens everywhere. I hated them in the bank and in the gym. Now the gas station and the supermarket checkout line. Do we really need all of this constant bombardment? And isn't it true that they can see what you're doing in your home through the damn things?

*Those huge doorknob sized tubes the kids are now putting through the bottom of their earlobes. Not attractive, sorry. If you are a card carrying eskimo I will give you a pass. The bottom lip/chin jewelry girl at the coffee shop says that the nose stud and brow wear is officially de riguer. So 2008. But way cool to stick them in any other spot on your face, no matter how nonsensical.

*Speaking of which, the Blast, with it's sharp eyed ability to spot new fashion trends, was filling out a label at the post office counter the other day when he noticed that both gentlemen in front of him were similarly bedecked with large right calf tattoos. One was a large Batman and the other a giant grafitti blob with some ugly lettering. I turned to the guy next to me and said something smarmy like "who knew, I guess I never got the right calf memo." He gave me a weak half smile and I looked down and no shit, I kid you not, his right calf was covered with a giant squid. He said that there was no master plan and that it was totally arbitrary. Hmm.

*ADD and ADHD. Is it possible that every child in America has attention deficit disorder? Why the sudden onslaught? Is this a post cold war soviet trick? Are they putting something in the water? Are these the children we merely called lazy or shiftless in my day? Or are we merely drugging our youth because they get so much more compliant and we can cover up our poor parenting skills. It's like carpal tunnel or Epstein Barr, people were fine until they came up a word for it. In my family we called it the Merck Manual Syndrome. If my mother found a new disease, and she did so weekly, we knew there would be hell to pay.

*lbg &T - I love the l,b's and g's, whatever floats your boat. I have serious questions about the t's. It's called chromosomes. It's xx or xy. That is it. You can make all the cosmetic plumbing changes in the world, shave your adam's apple or embrace your inner man/woman, but you are simply fooling yourself. Gender occurs at a cellular level. Except for the occasional seahorse or kangaroo, pregnancy tends to be a pretty closed shop.

*People who pass on the right. Even when there is no lane. The mechanic was giving me a ride back to my car the other day (brake job - $720.00) and this idiot tried to shoot this nonexistent gap on our right. We looked at each other incredulously and the mechanic said something like "you can't fix stupid." I thought about hurling a few choice words at the offender but he had a Devil Dogs marine sticker, was heading back to the military base and was black. I was in no mood to bandy with a fellow who might kick my ass, have several bouts of post traumatic whatever and didn't want to appear like a bigot either.

*Twizzlers - I love licorice, black or red. I used to love the long, thin, red rope strings that you could tie up in knots. I can't find them anymore. But who in the hell came up with Twizzlers? The most god forsaken frankenfood ever invented. A horrible synthetic taste like someone made them with their amateur chemistry set. Like incredible edibles from the sixties. Twizzlers got to be the worst tasting candy ever.

*Anti semitic letters to the editor. I know, I know, I'm touchy. Hey if you want to go after Israel, feel free. But the North County Times for some reason allows people to refer to jews in the most inelegant of terms and it's apparently fair game. Last week it was about bowing down to the yarmulkes (skullcaps), today they want us to invade and take over the country from the evil jewish cabal. They would never print letters referring to blacks and watermelon and hispanics and beans but it's open season once again on the damn jews and the whitefish.

*Twitter. There's all these people following me and I am graciously appreciative and yet I don't tweet. Never have, as far as I know although I do make some strange noises. I hope they aren't holding their breath. This twit don't tweet.

I could probably go on. I could go off on women who dot their i's with big loopy hearts or wear excessively flowery perfume that gives me a headache or people that bring large strollers into my gallery and reach inside my cases without asking but they don't quite rise to the required level. What you got?


Anonymous said...

AND THATS THE WAY IT WAS, This July 19th......

Sanoguy said...

Robert... you can't quit writing this shit (Blog)!!! Where will I go for my daily dose of cynical humor???? Good stuff!!!

grumpy said...

i loved your top ten mass murderers list, that's really going back into the archives; my own gripe list is forthcoming.

grumpy said...

here are just a few of my pet peeves:

* "speed" guitar

* every guy you see wearing levis

* profanity in speech; also disguised profanity, ie the word "friggin'"

* baking shows on the Food Network; people who spend hours decorating cakes are weird and obsessed

* people not bothering to learn basic Spanish; face it folks, we're living in Mexico

* public television, which consists largely of British whodunits, Dr. Wayne Dyer and other new age nonsense

* Major Market's parking lot; it's tight and scary

* people tailgating you if you're going 5 mph under the speed limit; they also don't know that there's a 25 mph speed limit on Main St.; and who changed it to Main Ave, anyways?

* Fallbrook annual Avocado Festival; it probably started out as a good thing, but has grown into a monster; too many out of town vendors selling greasy food and cheap sunglasses

* football at all levels, especially pro and college

* pro basketball; it's become way too much of a contact sport, and they rarely call traveling anymore; you have to watch the WNBA to see pure basketball being played

* modern tennis rackets; they've ruined the game; with wood rackets, offense and defense were evenly balanced; now it's just a slugging contest; back to wood, i say

Anonymous said...

Erectile Dysfunction ads

Amusing dial tones on cell phones

Overdone cosmetic surgery--boobs and face

Perfume ads in magazines

Call waiting

Crackberry use when in a conversation.


Blue Heron said...
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Blue Heron said...

Excellent job, CR - As a serious crackberry offender who refuses to discuss his erectile dysfunction publicly, I really must take what you wrote to heart. As much as it hurts.

Blue Heron said...

That 10 favorite mass murderers list still gets more hits than anything I have written short of hot porn poodles wanting to be spanked. Not a good sign.

grumpy said...

my post on Vince, the swarmy Sham Wow infomercial pitchman, has received the most hits for me, which i don't get either.


wave_man said...

Late to the party as usual. By the way Robert, thank you for your support recently. It has helped me a little, and sometimes that's all it takes.

I love lists, some OCD or something, in general I enjoyed yours a lot. I think you are way off-base on transgender. If you have not seen a woman or a man that was so inapppropriately cast in that sex, and known it immediately, I think you are full of shit. But what the hell, I have always known you are.

My additions to the conversation:

- bad manners (including telling your brother he is full of shit on the web)

- skill-less profanity

- scary rednecks

- broken beer bottles in playgrounds, and the shitheads who do it

- bad grammar

I'm tapped. Excellent post

Blue Heron said...
This comment has been removed by the author.