Thursday, April 21, 2011

No You Can’t: My 3 Step Process for Living a Negative Lifestyle

My friend Rob and I were having a discussion the other weekend about self help books, videos and seminars that teach the power of positive thinking and how to train your mind to live this way. I mentioned that I am a natural pessimist and it’s like a full time job for me to think positively. Then it occurred to me that there are dozens of these self help gurus making a lot of coin selling their ideas on living positively so why couldn’t I develop my own course on living the way I understand. Believe me it’s a helluva lot easier and why should I have to lift myself up to the level of others? They should come down to meet me. So here are my first 3 steps on living the perfect negative lifestyle.

1. Getting up in the morning—This is where it all begins people: The first second your eyes pop open in the morning. And there’s the first problem, don’t “pop” your eyes open. Make sure they are pasted shut with that gunk that develops overnight so you have to stumble to the bathroom for a pair of tweezers and an acetylene torch to pry them open. In your myopic state, crawl from under the covers, easing your feet to the floor and repeat after me, “Time to start another day as mayor of Craptown.” The second step is to start coughing. Hack until you bruise your ribs and a little chunk of lung squirts out from under your tongue. Now stand up slowly to get the full symphony of bones cracking. Third, don’t urinate right away. Let your bladder fill up like the neighbor’s pool on the first day of summer and invite a birthday clown over to twist it into the shape of a poodle while telling Vaudevillian jokes and releasing the laughter of a man who spends every minute of his life questioning his career choice. By now you should be hunched over and in tremendous pain. Good Morning!

2. Work—You hate your job, that’s a given. But how can you translate your pain to everyone around you effectively? It starts as soon as you walk in the door. You’re going to have cheerful morning people happily saying hello. Try one of these responses: “Piss off”, “Bite me” or “Tell it to my ass while I’m walkin’ away”. Congratulations, you’ve survived the gauntlet of little Mary Sunshines and made it to your desk. Next, answer all of your incoming emails with either “Too bad so sad”, “A dozen dead bodies under the floorboards of a shithouse don’t smell as bad as this idea”, or “Let me get this straight, you thought I was going to fill out those reports?” By now there should be a toxic cloud around your cubicle that will keep even the most industrious workmate away, leaving you to wallow in the swamp of your unrest. Sink down into the quagmire and feel the soothing, stress-free massage of pure negative energy. If someone does dare approach you, nod to the phone while holding up a finger to your lips, mouthing that you are on a conference call with Amsterdam. By the time they realize your puny company, specializing in novelty butt cheeks and exploding rubber sheep, doesn’t have a division overseas, you will have slipped into the bathroom and started a refreshing nap in stall #3.

3. Free Time—Go straight home from work. Don’t stop for that beer you desperately want. It will taste great thus giving you hope that maybe the universe doesn't hate you. Don’t interact with anyone on the off chance some random person smiles at you or God forbid says “thank you” when you don’t allow the door to shut in their face and your bloodstream suddenly believes happiness is possible. You must avoid the lies of serendipity. Think in “what ifs”: What if all four tires fall off the car and I ride the rims into a warehouse full of Molotov cocktails causing them to explode sending my ’89 Impala into orbit like a rocket so I dock with the International Space Station thinking I’m safe only to find the crew has turned to cannibalism after running out of freeze-dried victuals? Or, what if I walk into my home and trip over my toothpick statue of Happy Days’ Donny Most, hitting my head, and now concussed I stumble into my yard shouting “I’m a bad, bad monkey!” startling a passing bike rider who veers into a sink hole breaking his leg and then he sues me for $5000 and my Ricky Nelson guitar pick collection?

These are just 3 beginning steps to living life with a natural pessimism and negativity. Don’t get sucked into the cult of fake positivity. You can’t do it!

Monday, April 11, 2011

3 Things That Bugged Me This Week

There are two competing grocery store chains near my house and I noticed over the weekend that both are selling outdoor furniture. This strikes me as odd. I mean, it’s a grocery store. When you go in to pick up a bag of low-fat sea-salt potato chips and a bottle of dandruff shampoo are you really going to impulsively drop three bills on a patio set?

Clerk: Your total is $7.59
Customer: You know what? Throw that rattan love seat in the cart as well. I can’t help myself, I love wicker.
Clerk: The chair and table come with it, they’re a set.
Customer: Perfect. I have time this weekend, when I get home I’ll build a deck to put them on.
Clerk: Would you like to make any more impulse purchases from our Shelves O’ Randomness?
Customer: Actually, now that you mention it I don’t have a Cuisinart. Ring that up along with a pack of O rings for a ’97 Dodge and a can of Star Wars mustache wax.
Clerk: Your new total is $392.84
Customer: Do you accept third-party U.S protectorate aluminum-backed checks?
Of course.

I went through the drive through at the bank to cash a birthday check from my mom. I had already written my account number on the back so they would know they could give me the $30 with confidence, as I am a valued customer. My $27.13 checking account balance needs to count for something, right? Apparently the teller mistook the check for a signed letter of my intent to force a hostile takeover from the drive-through. She asked me my middle initial and sent a lackey out with a retinal scanner. After several more minutes I look in the window and see a second teller holding the check and gesturing wildly like she was trying to land a disabled 757 in the bank’s ATM lane. Then she saw me watching and quickly looked away, handing the check back to the original teller as if it were covered in fire ants. Several more minutes passed of the teller’s shifty eyes sneaking glances at me, a thin sheen of sweat covering her face. Her hands shook like an ancient gunslinger trying to draw for her life. Suddenly the woosh of the tube brought me my lucre. The teller threw a swift ‘thank you’ at me before collapsing and two men appeared from a back room to carry her away. I have no idea what was going on inside that bank but as I pulled away I was followed by a black sedan, a clown on a unicycle and Teri Garr in a cameo role.

There are now more people named Kardashian in the United States than people with jobs. And all of them have manifold TV shows. Why? This is your fault America. For the love of God STOP WATCHING THESE NITWITS! They’re already rich. The daughters were born that way and all you’re doing is making them RICHER! STOP IT! Go watch a re-run of Barnaby Jones or an old movie starring J-J-J-J-immy Stewart or Ken Burns’ new 27 part documentary on documentaries. Watch anything but rich people who can’t stand being away from a camera for longer than 8 seconds. Stop feeding their narcissism. It’s voracious and can never be satiated. If you’re not careful it will consume you like a serpent and you will end up inside Kim’s Brobdingnagian ass to eventually be passed in a fart during one of her monthly colonics that will be filmed by the unluckiest camera man on earth and played during a special segment of the Rachael Ray show, the daytime repository for all things useless and entertainment-free.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

My Kingdom for a Muse

I’ve been having trouble coming up with something to write about this week. It’s not really writer’s block, more like writer’s don’t-give-a-shit. I haven’t done anything intensely stupid in the last few days to detail to you with my insouciant absurdity (I can hear many of you vocally doubting this, but it’s the truth, cross my heart and hope to never see any more Will Smith progeny singing, dancing, acting, etc.). There’s plenty going on in the political world but frankly it’s depressing. I want to make fun of it. Some of my favorites are in the news again: Bachmann, the Beckster, John “Cry Me a River” Boehner, but their lunacy and open-mouthed drooling has left me cold this week. As for the entertainment world, I’m Lohaned out. How much more can be said about the banality and narcissism of entitled lumps of protoplasm?

I had the thought to write about having nothing to write about. The concept is completely unoriginal and has the added benefit of being the cheap way out. But then I thought, “Don’t I owe my 7 readers more than that?” and I answered myself, “Yes, but they’re probably only expecting the same animal dung you usually throw at the wall.”

Feeling empowered by the invigorating badinage with my id and ego, my superego began composing a vital treatise on nothing at all. Thirty seven words into it however, I again questioned whether I could actually write hundreds of words about having nothing to write hundreds of words about. I doubted my ability to bullshit my way through 5 paragraphs of internet babble. This crisis of confidence led me to this thought: “Maybe I should try harder to think of an actual subject to write about.”

The answer was a resounding “Meh.” The world at large just didn’t capture my attention this week. “Inspire me!” I cried. “Suck it!” the world riposted. “Give me a muse!” I begged. “I can’t hear you, la la la la la!” the world taunted me back. “I need original content!” I pleaded. “Just insert links to funny pictures the way other websites do!” the world advised.

And so I’m back to my original insidious plan to fake my way through an entire blog and still keep you reading to the end. I’m going to start on it later tonight and when I finish, it will be satirical gold.

credit: the painting is entitled "Thalia, Muse of Comedy (1739) by Jean-Marc Nattier