Thursday, April 26, 2007

Me and Mommy...

...discuss the state of the world.

“Oh, stop. People don’t do that.”

“Yeah, they do, Mom. They do it all the time.”

“Why?” she asked. “Why would anyone want to do that? I can’t believe anyone would do that in this day and age.”

“Are you serious? It’s this ‘day and age’ that’s causing all the goddamned problems in the world.”

“People seriously call each other racial slurs in fights at that place?”

“Happens all the time,” I replied. “Every time something happens, it always turns racial. You know that guy Stan I’m always talking about? The guy who used to play for the Jets?”


“Someone calls that guy a n----r at least three times a night. Sometimes more.”

“Oh that’s so low class.”

“Who the hell do you think I’m dealing with every goddamned night?” I asked. “Low class? You wanna talk about low class? Believe me, you have absolutely no idea what goes on in these places. None.”

“Who’s doing this? The Guidos?”

“Pretty much. And you know what? Everybody thinks the whole thing’s so damned funny with the spiky hair and the eyebrows and all that crap, but it’s like a cancer with these kids, it really is. With a lot of them, it goes a whole hell of a lot further than just what they’re wearing or what they do to their faces and hair. A lot of these kids are just straight-up pieces of garbage.”

“I can’t wait until you get out of that job,” she said.

“Why? You think it’s only about that stupid club? These people are everywhere. They’re on the roads driving around. They’re growing up to be adults, some of them, and they’re taking these goddamned attitudes of theirs with them.”

“I don’t think any of this should be going on.”

“Any of what?” I asked.

“These nightclubs. I think it’s disgusting, the things you tell me about.”

“I don’t really mind the high-end clubs. If people have money, and they want to go out in the city and spend it and have a good time, I have no problem with that. It’s these places like mine that I can’t stand, because of the damned lack of civility around here. It’s absolutely insane how narcissistic these people are.”


“And the problem,” I interrupted, “is that they don’t just disappear when I walk out of the club at night. These kids are everywhere, and they don’t have a goddamned clue about life. Not a goddamned clue, and that’s why everything sucks, because too many people around here are just absolute pieces of crap who treat everyone else like shit, excuse my French.”

“How much longer until you can quit?”

“Are you even listening? This has nothing to do with my job! There’s just this attitude that too many people have in New York where if they don’t know you, you’re automatically an enemy. They can’t coexist with anyone else. It’s not like they can just go about their lives and leave people alone. Everybody has to be openly hostile to everyone else. On the road, in the store, in the club, on the phone, on the train…everywhere.”

“They way people drive in this…”

“Driving? Driving? Don’t even get me started on driving. People drive like they know what they’re doing, and they don’t. They tailgate and weave through traffic, and they’re not good enough drivers to do it. They don’t have the skills. I wanna go up to every idiot who cuts me off and say, ‘You’re not a good enough driver to be going around not signaling turns,’ because they’re not. Trust me on that. I was a professional driver for years. I could do shit in my car that would make your heart stop, but I don’t. If these people really wanna race, I’d kill them, but you can’t do that because you supposedly have to have some respect for the other people on the road, although you wouldn’t know it around here.”

“I went to the defensive driving course,” she said, “and…”

“It’s a cancer. These people don’t have a damned clue. It’s like the lady who walked by with the stroller when I was mowing your lawn last summer. You’d figure she’d be smart about it and wait until I was looking so I could take the mower to the other side and let her go by, or maybe she should have gone to the other side of the street, but no. Just abject stupidity. I turn around and she’s standing right next to a running lawn mower with a baby in a stroller. I mean, how goddamned stupid do you have to be? These people have no idea, because nothing bad ever happened to them before, and they don’t pay attention to any of the bad shit that happens to anyone else because they’re too wrapped up in themselves and their own ignorance.”

“Now that was ridiculous. These young mothers don’t understand…”

“No,” I said. “They don’t. When I was a kid, we knew how to cross the street. You wait until it’s clear and then you run across. Then I grew up and got a driver’s license and I couldn’t understand why people kept wandering out into the middle of the road thinking I’m supposed to stop for them. Then when someone gets hit, they run straight to their Congressman and demand a traffic light or a stop sign, which nobody’s gonna stop at anyway because nobody gives a crap about obeying the law in the first place.”

“I think you really need a vacation.”

“I don’t need a vacation. I need to go to sleep, and when I wake up, I need for the collective IQ of the greater New York area to be higher than sixty-five. That’s what I need. Half the people I meet these days are so goddamned stupid they should be wearing helmets.”