Category Archives: Emotion

For The Birds

 
A family of robins moved into my yard. Two adults, two fat fledglings, one just a little fatter than the other.

The fledglings eat constantly, and it is a wonder how many worms the adults manage to find to feed them day after day after day.

I was thrilled at first. These delightful visitors, my guests, evidence of life happening!

And then the lawn furniture. The patio, the spot under the tree where I like to read.

Bombarded. Destroyed with the collective birdshit of two adults, two fledglings, one just a little fatter than the other.

That fat little bastard, who eats all the worms then perches over my spot, more than seems necessary.

Do you see me, little bird? Can you see me watching you? I know what you are doing. I see you.

Fat Bastard Bird

So it occurs to me that the robins have perhaps worn out their welcome. They have turned theory into practice and ruined it with consequence.

And of course, they haven’t done anything.

They are birds.

That is what I tell myself now, because I can.

Shit happens.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Filed under Animals, Birds, Emotion, Hobbies

Out Manned

 
The Man was already screaming at The Cashier by the time I turned off my iPod and caught on. I was buying bread and Drano®.[1] There was a line of people behind him, trying very hard to ignore what was happening or, like me, openly gawking at what was happening.

Cashiers have it hard. Sometimes they have it real bad.

There are certain inevitabilities to being a cashier and I think it has a lot to do with the obligations of the job and the expectations that surround it. Of being professionally servile and acting as if this were a feat of personality rather than a fact of cold hard survival.

Service with a smile.

This is true for a lot of places.

This may as well have happened: there was spittle flying from The Man’s bottom lip. He was, in any case, livid, screaming about The Cashier’s “stupid manners,” refusing to believe that the bouquet of flowers he wanted to purchase could be so “fucking expensive”. [2]

Taking abuse with poise and fortitude – keeping cool, absorbing it all until the incident passes or until management arrives to deal with the Difficult Situation – this is what separates committed employees from the unambitious dregs just out to get a paycheck.

The flowers were for The Man’s moth-er! Did the cashier not understand?

In this way, everyday abuses get disregarded, and managers don’t always come to help.

Hedging bets against the customer makes more sense than counting on them for anything.

The Man brandished that bouquet at the cashier. “Brandished” (vb. to wave or flourish [something, esp. a weapon] as a threat or in anger or excitement) is the word.  Had The Cashier been trained at all? How did she even get the fucking job since she obviously can’t even handle this obviously simple fucking transaction? No, he did not want a price check you stupid fucking girl.

I was a cashier for a while, and it was hard and sometimes real bad.  Working too few and too many shifts, standing for hours on end, earning next to nothing is hard; having to deal with other people’s total fucking bullshit is sometimes real bad.

Hell is.

The Cashier was poised and she had more fortitude than I imagined even possible in her difficult situation, but it was wearing heavy on her. It was very obvious by now that there was nothing she could say or do to appease The Man, even if she really wanted to.

Finally and thank god:

“Rachel,” the cashier next to The Cashier announced over our heads, “I’m calling The Manager.”

The Man scoffed, did not bother to turn around. “Go ahead and call the fucking manager! I’ll give her as good![3]

But The Manager did not come.  I don’t know why.  We waited forever until, finally, someone did come.

A man dressed in white.  A man whose motorhead mustache seemed to drip with the same blood that spattered his apron. A man whose solid, concrete frame and massive stature casually dwarfed those around him.

The Butcher.

The Butcher's Shop by Bartolomeo Passerotti c.1580

His arms knotted in work muscles – solid, but not quite defined – sleeves rolled up to reveal body hair as black as holy sin, he had come from the back of the store to tell The Cashier that The Manager was not there. He didn’t know why.

Service with a smile means survival of the fittest. You have to adapt.

“Hey! Over here, Bruce!” It was Rachel.

“What’s up?” asked The Butcher, looking at her curiously.  She directed his gaze with her gaze to The Man, standing there, agape.

Taking half a step, The Butcher turned to face The Man.

“What?” He may have barked it. He crossed his meaty butcher arms as he said it.

“I…nothing,” muttered The Man, wholly uncurious, the exact opposite of anything approaching curious.  Keeping at least one eye on The Butcher, he dropped a few bills and coins on the counter, hesitated, and took some back.

Rachael took his money, rang him up and tossed him his change. Hard. As soon as she was done, she excused herself to the old lady standing behind The Man and hurried to somewhere in the back of the store, away from the cash register.

You can’t pay someone to care.  You can’t not pay them to care, either.

I wondered idly how much of her shift she had left.

The Man shoved the change into a worn pocket. He left the store, flowers in hand, less now like a scepter than a lot of dead weight he had to drag all the way home.

They were limp. Obviously, he squeezed too hard.

Obviously.


[1] Mutually exclusive purchases, I assure you.

[2] Actual quotes.

[3] ???

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Filed under Emotion, Employment, Jobs, Politics

Actually Getting to Ride That Pony After All

 
I was SO MAD I gave myself a rage headache and that made me very sleepy so I feel asleep but then I woke up SO MAD again.

What to do?

Ride the pony until it dies. Stay indoors. Hydrate!

Any beating this?

Any beating this?

Is there a rainbow at the end of the pony ride? A light at the end of the pony tunnel? A sliver lining to this clip-clopping cloud?

HA, HA, HA!

No.

Noooooooo!  
 

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Filed under Animals, Emotion, Mind and Body, Philosophy

I Don’t Care About Your Daughter

 
“Hey, sorry to interrupt but I have to get going…”

“Oh, no.  Yeah.  We ran overtime.  But we’re finishing up now, you can come right in.”

“Well…as long as we don’t take too long.  I have to go home to take my dog out.”

Yeah.  Yeah, I know.  It’s late, huh?  I’m going to miss my daughter’s bedtime…”

 

Oh.  My. God.

I don’t care about your daughter. 

Our meeting was scheduled for almost an hour ago and I was waiting for you while you sat here, legs crossed at the knee, not letting the other person get a word in edgewise, so congratulations you have a daughter, I guess, but I don’t care.

Because I hate you, David.  I already hate you.  And the fact that you supposedly have a daughter that you can’t be there for because of a job you’re evidently not doing well – the fact my concern for my very real dog is to be equated to or, actually, trumped by your highly theoretical daughter – makes me hate you more.

Now I’m the other person.  Congratulations all around today. 

You realize your daughter, who apparently can fall asleep without you anyway and is not, I assume, sitting in the dark by herself with crackers scattered on the floor in the meantime, is otherwise a total abstraction to me.  An incredible projection of an unbelievable man.  She may as well be made of dragon’s breath and unicorn tears, that’s how real she is to me.

Bigfoot’s ennui.  Pegasus’ grandma.

Is she real?  I see no pictures, but is that a Florence + The Machine poster there on the wall?

God. 

I.

Hate.

You.

 So.

How old is she supposed to be? 2, 4, 6, 18?  She may as well be 10, 000 BC, that’s how much I care.

Is your daughter a narwhal?  I have my suspicions about those too. 

Ogopogo’s chauvinism.  Pat Sajak.  Owlbear. 

I made this for Stephen for his birthday, and had to wait till he fell asleep so I could work on it. This pretty much answers the "GO TO SLEEP STEPHEN, GAWD!!!" mystery that lasted pretty much all of last month.  Thank you.

“A cross between a bear and an owl, which “hugs” like a bear and attacks with its beak” – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Owlbear.

“Hate”, I know, is a strong word.  But trust me.  I’m experienced, hating you for me.  I know what I’m doing.  Others should join me, I am absolutely so right about this.

Not that I speak for The People.  I can’t even vouch for your daughter.  The People can hate you. How. Ever. They. Want.  

 

“Do you have any more meetings after this?  I hope you get home soon.  Gee.”

 

I hope you find better ploys, or invest in more crackers.  

I mean…

Pixie dust and leprechaun farts!  A leprechaun farted = that’s your daughter.   

For all intents.  For all purposes. 

Forever.

 

THE END

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