So, as discussed in my previous post, my “high blood pressure” has been making me think about death a lot recently. Death itself, I can handle. Hopefully, I’ll have a few minutes warning: there are a lot of people I hope to curse with my dying breath. I’ve planned my funeral, as you will see in the next post. My worry is what will happen after I die. Reincarnation, fine. I could use the rest three lives as a Chinese peasant would give. I’m not worried about damnation because I’m nice to animals and I always say “please” and “thank you.” Purgatory, however, worries me, because I’m not nice to people and I never say “I’m sorry” or “You’re right.” Here are a few of the things I’m worried will be used to purge me of my many and various sins:
DVD intro menus: Old DVDs play a brief message about copyrights, then go to a plain title menu. Recent DVDs do not. Recent DVDs, especially those from big studios, have introductions rivaled in complexity and length by the Thirty Years’ War. First, there’s a dramatic opening for the parent company, where a DVD rises in the east like a sun and illumines the world. Then a secondary corporate intro for the secondary subsidiary company, where a surfer surfs onto a pristine Hawaiian beach on a DVD. Then an FBI warning comes on. Then an Interpol warning. Then an Iranian Revolutionary Guard warning. Then all three are repeated in French, Spanish, Dutch, Swahili, Klingon, and Esperanto. Then a filmstrip about not pirating DVDs. Then a spot for a third company, in which a guillotine with a DVD for the blade chops off Marie Antoinette’s head to the cheers of the Paris mob. Then sixteen previews, including two for children’s movies about mice and one for Mo’Nique’s one-woman show where she plays an overweight Sojourner Truth looking for love. Then a minute-long clip from the movie plays, and a themed menu that reacts in “fun” ways to the cursor finally appears. There has never been a single movie made that is worth wading through this horseshit for, and that includes the little-known Gone with the Wind, but with a Lot More Sex.
Foreigners: I would love to read a newspaper without being confronted with any of these phrases: “exploded in a marketplace,” “bleeding from every orifice,” “caused an explosion in the marketplace despite bleeding from every orifice,” or “France.”
Karaoke: If aliens land and force me, at ray-gun-point, to explain the difference between America and East Asia in one word, I will say “karaoke.” In Korea (and by Korea, I mean the Korean neighborhood by my old apartment) small groups of friends rent an enclosed room at a karaoke bar, bring some drinks, and sing in small groups for one another. In the United States, bars set up massive sound systems, and then reeling drunks cycle through “Pour Some Sugar on Me” and “Livin’ on a Prayer” as loudly as possible and in four or five simultaneous keys. Karaoke rolls across pleasant conversation like the Union army across Georgia, with Madonna as a furious, atonal General Sherman.
Fertility: One adult can manage one child. One point zero two children, if the adult is extremely experienced and the child mildly sedated. Why, then, do married couples insist on having children as frequently as is humanly possible? If I didn’t know better, I’d think they started gestating one while its elder sibling was still in the womb. “He’s negative one month old. He can help look after his sister in there.” The logic behind this garden-sprinkler fecundity is that “the older ones help take care of the younger ones.” This logic only makes sense if you have them eleven years apart and are incredibly selfish. If you have a child, you or the foster system takes care of it, not your elder child. Quantity-over-quality parenting is a disaster and a sin, as well as an inconvenience at the airport. “Madyson. MADYSON. Get off of that. Madyson. Go help your sister. Lansyng. LANSYNG. That suitcase does not belong to you. Go help Daddy. LANSYNG. I’m counting to three. One. Two. Two and a half. LANSYNG. MADYSON. Get off of that. Spryngfield? Spryngfield! Stop talking to that child molester. Spryngfield. GO HELP MADYSON. Lansyng! Poop goes in the toilet!”
Bodily functions on the TV: Listen, buddy. I’ve vomited. I have vomited on three continents. I have vomited from eating too much fried chicken on two separate occasions. (You can take the boy out of the South…) I’m vomiting right now. I know from vomit. I don’t need to see it on TV for the same reason I don’t need pornography nailed to the sides of buses. This is a free country, and I should be free to choose if and when I see fluids come out of orifices.
Cutesy-poo drink sizes: Tall, grande, and venti? In a sane world, I would not have to explain why that’s terrible, but in a sane world Barbara Bush would have been burned as a witch decades ago, so here goes. The smallest size is called “tall.” Of course. Why should words mean anything? “Simple” became “moron” became “dullard” became “retard” became “developmentally disabled” became “slow” became an awkward pause. We’re well on our way to have a language composed only of the words “you know…” repeated with varying tones and inflections, so why the hell shouldn’t tall mean small? Why divide languages at all? Use the Spanish word for “large” to mean “medium,” and use the Italian word for “twenty” to mean “twenty ounces.” I’m surprised they don’t use the Maori word for “feces” to mean “soy latte.” God succeeded magnificently at Babel; today, the bricks would wear away unused while the builders argued over whether the tower was a “height initiative” or a “tallness project.”
“In life”: A little-known provision of the Patriot Act requires that every MySpace profile include the phrase “looking for a little excitement in life.” If not in life, where?
Sidewalk charity ambush girls: If I’ve left the house, it’s for one of three reasons: to eat, to get drunk, or to go to school. I am not postponing any of these to talk about anything, least of all the environment. These girls – they’re usually girls, technically pretty but idealistically sexless – react to polite refusals like a shark to a bloody seal. I had this conversation with a Greenpeacette:
Her: “You look environmentally friendly!”
Me: “I am. I’m also cold. Please excuse me.”
Her: “Can I talk to you about Greenpeace?”
Me: “Listen. We live here. We get hounded by charities every day. I’m sure you understand.”
Her: “But there won’t be a planet if...”
Me: “Good. Then I can be left alone.”
Simply recycling is not enough. They want you to pay them to stand outside and harass you. The next time one of them approaches me, I’m going to tell them that for every second of my time they waste, I’ll burn a square meter of rainforest.
Fag hags: Let’s review. “Gay” means:
- Prostitute, in old-fashioned English
- Happy, in slightly less old-fashioned English
- That I want to talk to a strange woman about purses
If you answered d), shoot yourself. It’s acceptable for women to say, “I want a gay friend to go shopping with and watch Sex and the City with.” This is the only permissible sentence of its kind. If I said, “I want some black friends so I can have rap lyrics translated for me and find out where the best fried chicken places are,” people would be shocked. If I said, “I want some Muslim friends so I can learn how to make portable, effective explosives,” people would be appalled. If I said, “I want some horrifically obese friends so I can hide gold in the flaps,” people would laugh, and then pretend to be offended, but it’s okay to assume that because I like dick, I care who Diane von Furstenburg is.
I think I can look forward to two or three years of the aforementioned after death to torture the pride and spite right out of me. It could be worse. Not much worse, but it could be worse.