Sunday, 15 November 2009

Not Clear On the Concept

Overheard last night at the monthly Texas Hold 'Em game at our place:
Noob (who is winning): I love cards. Euchre is my game.
B (patient and long-suffering): I like cribbage. I don't generally like playing for money, but Texas Hold 'Em is different.
Noob: We'll have to try Texas Hold 'Em sometime.
The Rest of the Table: *sigh*
The only sound louder than the collective sigh was the rolling of D.'s eyes.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Doctors and Douchebags

I don’t like people, it’s true. But the way I figure, it’s a lot like that old joke, “Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean you don’t have enemies.” In my case, it’s more like, “Just because you are filled with loathing and contempt for the human race doesn’t mean people aren’t really douchebags in a fundamental way.”

There’s nothing like spending a few hours in a medical clinic to bring on a fresh new wave of misanthropy. I admit, I was already pretty much in the mood to kick humankind in the jimmy bubbles after reading in the news online that the Calgary Flames and their families went to a private clinic to get the H1N1 shot, even though the public clinics have been closed to everyone—including first responders and persons considered high priority—since the weekend. My skull nearly shattered with outrage and I immediately commenced to writing angry letters.

My first letter I wrote directly to the Calgary Flames (, wherein I think I said something like, “Thank you for underscoring so poignantly the vast gulf in priority between a team of over-privileged, overpaid jocks with an enormous sense of entitlement and first responders like cops and firemen, and other people deemed high risk for H1N1. Wouldn’t want you to miss a game; lotta money riding on that. Have a shitty season, heroes.”

Then I wrote directly to the provincial government and in decidedly less vitriolic terms suggested that due to ongoing incompetence, the Premier should demand the resignation of his Health Minister and the Senior Health Consultant. Then I insisted that in view of the gross and appalling mismanagement of this province’s resources, the Premier himself should tender his resignation.

So it was in that kind of a mood that I set out to accompany J. to the mediclinic for what turned out to be dermatitis on her throat. We arrived at the clinic at 7:30. We didn’t get out until 10:40. And in that time, I was subjected to some of the kind of annoying behaviour I’ve come to expect from shitheaps and cretins trapped in a space together.

First of all, there’s nothing like a little pandemic to bring all the Drama Llamas out of the woodwork. If I saw one tool in a surgical mask last night, I saw three or four. And Health Canada advises people NOT to wear them because they are often worn incorrectly and, besides, we don’t even know if the virus is airborne. We don’t know how it is transmitted, but if there’s a chance to look like a douchebag in public, some jerkoff will jump at it.

One of these crisis monkeys was seated next to J. last night. He was simply unable to sit still, only you could tell it was excess energy, and not neuroses, that was putting the ants in his pants. I wanted to slip him a tranquilizer or something. But the thing that made me homicidal was that, behind his fucking mask, he was chewing gum WITH HIS MOUTH OPEN. I just frickin’ HATE that. Shut your friggin’ piehole, Zippy, I don’t wanna hear it! Learn some fucking manners.

Then there was the shitty little yard ape at the other end of the room who ran rampant all over the place. The supervision from his parents was theoretical at best. It was actually pretty fictional, as this little diaper pilot destroyed two boxes of tissues and used the hand sanitizer every fifteen minutes or so until his hands were foaming. And that’s on top of the usual screaming and whining and carrying on that can be expected from those individuals in society who still shit themselves, a qualification not necessarily restricted to children.

The most annoying of all, however, was the ditchpig with the cellphone. I’ve come to the conclusion that cellphones are, even more than communication devices, Asshole Indicators. If you have a cellphone and talk on it loudly in public or while you’re driving…CONGRATULATIONS! YOU’RE A FUCKING ASSHOLE!!! This woman was from one of those African countries that require their womenfolk to wear a hijab on their heads, which is handy for keeping that cellphone attached to your ear while your hands are free to do whatever you have to do with your wide-eyed, rude children who WON’T STOP STARING OPENLY AT ME WHILE I TRY TO EAT A BAG OF CHIPS, WHICH IS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY IF I AM TO AVOID TELLING YOU TO SHUT THE FUCK UP AND SHOVE THAT PHONE UP YOUR GIGANTIC ASS. Honest to Christ, that woman talked on the phone for close to three hours, even though she had a companion with her! People were giving her the hairy eyeball and making it as clear as a group of passive aggressive pinheads could that she should hang up now please, but she was far too engrossed.

And that makes her--and the kid and the parents and the chewer--douchebags.

Monday, 2 November 2009

On Driving With Douchebags

In a word, it sucks big brass donkey balls.

I've driven the highway between Edmonton and Calgary a lot. There was a time several years ago, when I would do it twice weekly. My partner at the time worked there, and didn't like taking the bus, so I would drive down to get her and then drive all the way back. It was, I confess, kinda stupid, not to mention expensive (given that I did the trip in a 1976 Pontiac Firebird Esprit, which could pass everything except a gas station), boring and occasionally even dangerous. Winter storms on the QEII can be brutal: just last year, I had a show to do in Wetaskiwin, which is only 45 mins to an hour up the road. White-out conditions, however, meant that I did that trip in three hours, slightly longer than it would have taken me to drive to Calgary. It was white knuckle all the way, but the weather is far less frightening than the other drivers out there.

As a consequence of all those hours logged on the QEII, I've see some appalling examples of driving. I've seen jerk-offs on the phone (a personal and perennial pet peeve), not driving to conditions, tailgating...I've even seen one total dickhead reading the paper spread out on his steering wheel while he blasted down the highway at 130 kms/hr. Gives me chills, I tell ya. Seriously.

On Friday, J. and I went down to MooMooLand because I had a tarot gig in the evening. Long gone are my days of testosterone-fuelled mad dashes to Cowtown behind the wheel of a beautifully-sculptured, aerodynamic and mind-blowingly sexy classic muscle car with a crushed velvet interior and a 350 throbbing under the hood. No, now I buckle the dogs up in the back seat, set the cruise control for 120 kms/hr and set off in my little red Ford Focus. Anyone who drives slower than I do is an asshole, and anyone driving faster is a maniac.

South of Red Deer, but north of Airdrie, we caught up to a small white car with Quebec license plates who was driving like a fucking jerk-off. He was speeding, zipping in and out of traffic without signalling, cutting people off and just generally acting like a motorized dillhole. At one point, he (in the baseball cap, which is the telltale sign of a prick) and his three similarly-attired asshole buddies found themselves behind me as I was passing a large truck.

I did not increase my speed to do this. I left the cruise control on because I was already travelling faster than the truck and the procedure would only take a few seconds. But Monsieur Depechez-Vous behind me took this as some kind of personal affront, as I was delaying his arrival in Calgary by a good thirty seconds!!! Quel horreur!

So he got right up on my ass and tailgated me, so close that I could not see his headlight in my rearview mirror. I tapped my brakes. He did not back off. I tapped them again. He remained obdurately glued to my ass end. I was deeply resentful, but continued at the same speed. Before I could pull over in front of the truck, Jacques DipMerde zipped out in front of him and then--no doubt you can see this coming--he cut me off and tapped the brakes twice.

Well, because I was doing 120 (which is still 10 kms faster than the posted limit) and he was doing more, he soon pulled away from me. But then he came up alongside another 18-wheeler and slowed way down, so that I could not get past him. Very juvenile. I refused to engage him in this stupid game and just stayed well back, about three car lengths, never changing my speed. After all, with him in front and the truck next to me, there wasn't anywhere else I could go.

Unfortunately, that was also true for the traffic piling up behind me. And Dickhead did this twice, blocking me in behind a truck. The second time, I confess, I lost my temper, and actually passed him on the shoulder. As I did, he rolled down his window and whooped like the frat boy he was, giving me the index finger-pinkie finger and thumb raised gesture you see the losers punching in the air at heavy metal concerts.

Naturally, he got in front of me again, but then he sped off, thinking maybe he shouldn't mess around anymore with the traffic behind us. Sure enough, just a few seconds later, I saw a guy in a black truck cut him off and slam on the brakes, causing Shit-For-Brains to brake hard.

It would have been better to see him in the ditch, but I can only hope that karma caught up with him--or will catch up to him--sonner or later.