The Passing Parade: Cheap Shots from a Drive By Mind

"...difficile est saturam non scribere. Nam quis iniquae tam patiens urbis, tam ferreus, ut teneat se..." " is hard not to write Satire. For who is so tolerant of the unjust City, so steeled, that he can restrain himself... Juvenal, The Satires (1.30-32)

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Since we spoke last...

The trouble is that I don’t really feel like writing anything at the moment. Now, I’ll grant you that this moment has lasted for well over a month at this point, but what is a month in the larger scheme of things? In the long history of the universe from the Big Bang to the present moment, a month counts for less than a nanosecond, and why should we privilege a terrestrial month over a Jovian month, or a month, assuming they have months, of some hitherto unknown xenocivilization who were just wandering by minding their own business before we ambushed them and inflicted our Babylonian system of measuring time on them. We shouldn’t do this: this is both racist and xenophobic and whatever other –ist and –phobia we can throw at it—we can work out what the correct Greek prefix for aliens not from Mexico is at a later date. So let’s stop doing this right now before we give our planet a reputation for being the galaxy’s equivalent of Jim Crow Mississippi or apartheid South Africa. It’s just wrong.

I did go to Virginia for my vacation last month and I did have a great time, thank you very much for asking. I hung out with my cool photographer friends—it was a photography festival, obviously—and I watched them engage in behavior that I would never indulge in myself. I did, however, get a ride home with them when they were all both legally drunk and illegally stoned at the same time, and yes, I know better than to do that, but there were four people in the car, two music photographers (including one of Marilyn Manson’s tour photographers), a museum curator, and me, a harmless bureaucratic drudge unused to hanging out till four o’clock in the morning; and I really wanted to get some sleep. The car we went back to my hotel in was a BMW convertible, which is why I agreed to get in the car with them in the first place. I figured that if I had to shuffle off this mortal coil in a faux James Dean death and glory ride, I might as well shuffle off in style, and I liked the idea of everyone here in our happy little burg wondering at my funeral, we’ve known him all his life; he was a conservative Republican who never did anything interesting in all the time we knew him, so how did he know those other people in the car with him?  One of life’s great mysteries, I think. Thankfully, fate spared me from having to provide an answer to the question.

In other news, in October I will receive a Public Service Award from the local branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. The announcement came as something of a surprise to me, as I am not aware that I have done anything special to advance the cause of colored people here in our happy little burg (isn’t people of color the current euphemism for the descendants of African slaves in this country? Or is colored people kosher so long as it’s the NAACP saying colored people? I am not sure and I really do not want to cause offense by asking).  I strongly suspect that what is at work here is that everyone in town knows that I have working here at the egregious mold pit wherein I labor for my daily bread for twenty-nine years now and the NAACP is simply recognizing my extraordinary persistence in hanging onto my paycheck.  The noted American social philosopher and well-known putz Allan Konigsberg (N.B.: dude, you got to keep your hands off your wife’s adopted kids—I mean, do you really need to have someone explain that to you? Like, duh, as my niece feels the need to say whenever she is in the presence of the self-evident) once said that eighty percent of success is just showing up. Apparently, if you show up often enough, you get a prize. I have shown up often enough and therefore I am getting the prize. I didn’t expect, however, that I was going to get the prize from the NAACP. I’m not going to turn the award down; it was nice of them to think of me, and having the award and the small amount of recognition that comes with it will be nice to remember on June 9th of next year, when the full horror of having spent thirty years working in this place finally dawns on me and renders me completely suicidal, if not vaguely annoyed at myself.  Still, if I don’t count the dead guy in the bathroom or the dumbass who likes to defecate in his Dunkin Donuts cup and then leave the cup near where kids will find it, I suppose it hasn’t been all that bad, if you know what I mean. 

PS: For those of you going to Charlottesville, I can recommend the meat loaf sandwich at The Nook, and the hamburger and the chicken jambalaya at Miller's. Eat outside under the shade of the trees and if you're at Miller's, sit somewhere near that water fountain thing so Brianna will be your waitress. She is great and she is also way cooler that you will ever be. Just saying, people.

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