Skip navigation

Tag Archives: letters

I apologize to those of you who have already seen this. I am revisiting these events (1) for my readers who are not social networkers and (2) so that I can pontificate ad nauseam about motivations, greater meanings, and the effect on the global/interstellar community. Also I’m sorry for the language, but it’s a necessary element of the story.

___________________________________________________________________________

It was late, 2 am or so. I had just returned from work. Whenever I return that late I have to perform what I call Homeward-Bound Ninja. I’ve been an apprentice ninja for most of my life, but haven’t found the time to make it a profession. Still, every once in a while it’s neat to use my ninja training. Homeward-Bound Ninja involves many steps, all of which are specifically designed not to wake the light-sleeping Alex O’Dell because she does real things during the daylight hours and she needs rest and she deserves respect.

The swift ninja does not wake a slumbering woman.

Homeward-Bound Ninja. Go. Remove shoes before entering apartment. (Ninja Rule #1: Rubber soles are a screeching crow; socks are a creeping puma.) Insert key into keyhole—to maintain quiet this shall take no less than ten seconds. Patience is paramount to Homeward-Bound Ninja. Turn lock, turn knob, open door, enter, close door—all squeaky, all require maximum concentration and conscious slowing of heart rate to under five beats per minute. Stand motionless in entryway for fifteen minutes, allow the energy to settle. Tiptoe to couch, place keys on cushion. Pet David Letterman vigorously about the neck and back. Strip down to sleeping attire (boxers) in living room. Brush teeth at a rate of one brush swipe per minute to keep volume at a minimum. Slip into bed. Done.

I did a hell of a job on this particular evening. Alex didn’t stir. And I lay my head down on my favorite pillow. Alex was stock-still, her back turned to me. The overhead fan created little wisps in her hair. My neck muscles whittled down and disappeared, relaxed. The weights tied to my eyelids drew down past my nose, it seemed. Waiting for the sleep to catch up, I watched the shapes morph on the backs of my eyelids. It was quiet.

But that’s when she spoke, a little bit of sleep lingering in her voice. Alex didn’t turn toward me or rustle the sheets. She simply said, Today some guy told me to fuck off.

Á la a Tom and Jerry cartoon my eyelids rolled up like a window shade. I immediately transitioned in to a maneuver called Skinny Unthreatening Theoretical Germanic-Barbarian Bounty Hunter in which I ask a whole bunch of questions with the intent of finding and dismantling this perp. Who was it? I don’t know. Is he one of our neighbors? Maybe. What did he look like? I’m not telling you. Will you tell me if we see him again? No. What kind of dog was it? A black one. Was it a pit bull? No. Could I take him? I could have beat him up. And what, pray tell, did you say to incite such a response? I just asked him to pick up after his dog.

Two hours later I fell asleep.

__________________________________________________________________________

Exhibits:

A) I love dogs. I love them. I love to pet them and let them lick my face and scratch their tummy wummies. I love it when they tilt their heads and perk their little doggy ears up. Dogs are awesome. I have no beef with dogs, per se.

B) The grassy area outside our apartment is overrun with dog crap. It always looks like they’ve just aerated. I can’t play bocce ball out there. I can’t practice my chipping. I can only play a little game called Tip-Toe: a game you can’t really win, you just hope to not lose and losing always involves washing your shoes.

If only...

C) Having a pet is a responsibility. It’s kind of like having a kid minus a few degrees of magnitude. When you have a kid or a pet it’s your responsibility to do everything in your power not to let that being become a giant hairy mole on what is otherwise this beautiful, milky complexion called Earth. Granted, you can’t control everything, but you’re not helpless either: clean up its crap and watch the Dog Whisperer.

C.2) I was tempted, here, to go further with the whole kid/dog comparison and say that no one   would allow their kid to go pooping on lawns without cleaning it up, but that’s just silly. Funny, though.

D) I’ve become more daring as I’ve grown older. Maybe this happens to everyone. I don’t know. I’m not as afraid as I used to be. I’ll tell people what I think. I haven’t turned into a jerk, but if someone—even a stranger—acts like a bona fide jackass I’ll come back with a smarmy, sometimes-snide, always-pertinent response.* It’s not meanness. It’s me trying to improve the world one butthole at a time. I like this.

E) Yes, I am a hypocrite. I am sometimes a jerk. I shouldn’t be. I know this. Granted, I don’t get raw like this guy did. But jerkiness happens. After the fact, I am trying to see my dog-guy response as a reminder that my own occasional jerkiness does nothing but diffuse grief to those with whom I come in contact. My bad day does not have to be someone else’s. Still, it’s often difficult to see beyond your own nose.

__________________________________________________________________________

The next morning went something like this: wake, snooze for a few minutes, wake, open eyes, feel pretty good, realize something is amiss, what is it?, go through the usual problems, hmmm, wake a little more, remember previous night’s conversation and the dream I had about the amazing jerk and his crapping dog, ruffle eyebrows, get up.

So I had to say something to this dude. The only evidence at my disposal was one black dog. Not much to go on. I considered a campaign called Angry Yelling Wacko in which I would confront every male I saw walking a black dog. But generalizations are bad. There was also Bad-Aim Insult Sniper where I stood camouflaged in the bushes and yelled through a bullhorn at whoever could hear.

I finally decided on Computer-Wielding Jungle Commando. I badly wanted to have a face-to-face with this guy. Since that wasn’t possible I did everything in my power to make sure he got the message. I wrote this response. Posted 25-30 copies in all. I put one on every building in our apartment complex. One on each mail station. One at the dumpsters. One at the dog park. One at each pool and each laundry room. Some were taken down after about five hours. Some lasted several days. One stayed up for over a week.

Blowing horns... and minds.

If Alex ever points this guy out I won’t go MMA on his ass. That is not my style. Instead I will don a Shakespearean-era outfit. I will hire horn players and a dancer. As this man’s dog is dropping a fresh turd by our entryway the horns will begin playing. They will blare a majestic, spirited tune. A red, plush carpet will roll out. The dancer and I will enter. I will unravel an aged scroll and begin reading. And the dancer will perform a heartfelt interpretive dance as I narrate the story of a foul-mouthed man too lazy to carry a plastic bag.

Either this or I will hand deliver a copy of my response.

-MC JLight

 

*This is sometimes dependant on said jackass’ height/weight/weaponry. But not always.

Advertisements

Me and rejection sailing together. That's me on the left.

Ahoy. Let me first say that I’m not looking for any pity here. Read this with a hint of derision in your mind’s voice. This is me trying to do something I’m very bad at, incidentally something that should have been included in the Parade of Stupidity (see previous blog): turning negative experiences into positives. Blah, blah. Oh boy.

This is going to be contemptuous and silly and dopey, but it makes me happy. Plus, I don’t have anything better to do. And, yes, perhaps I should keep these things to myself. But what’s the good of having a blog if you can’t subject people to your every self-pitying whimsy. Let the voyage begin.

Raise the mainsail and waggle the jib. Tie the halyard with a double mummy Oprah knot and take two shimmies on the rudder. Make sure the stanchion is bubbling and turn the wheel to a heading of east-northsouth at a speed of 8 million knots. Very soon I’ll make the jump to hyper speed. Set your sextants to stun.

I’m sailing a majestic boat. I’m wearing a pair of Top-siders without socks. I’m sporting sunglasses with Croakies and on this trip I’ll develop the most bodacious tan on this side of the Tropic of Capricorn–which is saying a lot because I usually go straight from whitey white to daddy-please-don’t-hit-me-with-the-belt-again red. This voyage will almost certainly be awesome. I’ll keep a journal, a memoir of my journey because that’s what you do. Should my mechanical pencil run out of lead I will slay a mighty squid and use its ink. I will not, however, write in my own blood because I get queasy around needles.

A double mummy Oprah knot. Just in case you were wondering.

Day 3: Navigated successfully through the Straight of WeRegretToInformYou. It looked a lot friendlier than it actually was. Once between its canine-shaped rocks I experienced a what I’d thought, until that moment, to be a fictional feature of the S.W.R.I.Y.: pockets of halitosis gas bubbling from the sea floor.

Day 25: Running out of freshwater faster than I anticipated. Could have something to do with the long shower I took after being pooped on by an entire flock of ThankButNoThanks Birds. They came out of nowhere while I was eating cheese and crackers on the deck. Ruined the rest of the day. After my long shower I sat in a dark corner chewing on a toothpick.

Day 49: Been doing repairs after I threw my knife at a small WeLikedItBut Nymph last night. Some people say they don’t exist, but I saw it clear as could be. Doesn’t matter that after I tried to attack it the darn thing disappeared and my knife gashed the jib. All I have is a needle and thread to repair the hole. Hoping it will hold.

Day 72: So thirsty. Thought I saw fresh water on the deck, but it only turned out to be a puddle of WeGaveYourStoryaSecondReadingHowever. Didn’t realize it until I was getting splinters in my tongue.

Day 99: Get it? I’m sailing in a sea of rejection. I’m tired of this metaphor.

I’m getting rejected a lot lately. It’s kind of a daily thing. Job opportunities, writing submissions… it doesn’t matter. I know rejection is part of the deal considering my interests and career (?) path, but it’s still not that fun. So I’m looking for ideas. I’m not quite sure what to do with all of them. Unfortunately almost all of them have been delivered via e-mail. If they were printed I could use them to make some lovely wallpaper. As it is, though, I just catalogue them in my psyche.

What else to do? I could always write the infamous writer-writing-trying-to-overcome-rejections story, but that’s just a big cliche. Besides, I’ve already written a silly blog about it. Maybe there’s some sort of business opportunity to be had. Maybe I could be a rejection consultant. Start some kind of service where I counsel people on how to compose more humane rejections. Businesses could use it: Thank you for applying, but we’ve decided to go in a different direction. It may not be the right direction, just a different one. Heck, it may just be the wrong direction. We don’t even have a map! Not hiring you may be the biggest mistake we’ve ever made! You don’t want to work here anyway. There’s asbestos in the walls and all our male employees have mustaches.

Fed-up girlfriends could use it too: Dear Kenny. Don’t think of this as a break-up. It’s an opportunity. I’m giving you the time necessary to become the professional Xbox player that you so long to be. I’m only holding you back from realizing your dreams. I don’t deserve someone with your digital dexterity. You’re welcome. I will love you always and watch you from afar. Yours, Mona.

Realize the dream, Kenny.

Insurance companies: Dear Mrs. Huffington. Unfortunately we must deny your claim for medical services rendered on January 15, 2010. But please take solace in the fact that we didn’t even review your claim. It’s nothing personal. Furthermore, your money will be a vital part of helping one of our lucky executives to realize his dream of owning his very own sail boat. Ahoy.

Ahoy.

That’s good stuff. Rejection still sucks.

-MC JLight

P.S. I’ve gone to the dark side. Follow me on Twitter @THEoriginalJLO.