I am finally coming to terms with the fact that I am not cut out to be a productive member of society.
I am finally coming to terms with the fact that I am not cut out to be a productive member of society.
I woke up yesterday morning and became vaguely aware that my right toe felt like - well, the best way to describe it would be "dying-death-kill-maim-destroy-ness."
Dear Oscillating Fan,
I woke up late yesterday. That meant that I had to do my 15-mile run during the hottest part of the day. Raw stupidity coupled with an unrelenting devotion to my olympic pipe-dream got me out the door.
If only I had known what a fickle stroke of luck this was.
I almost gave up... - Almost.
When I finally reached my apartment, I crawled up my steps, not unlike the scary child from The Ring, and oozed slowly through my front door.
"I'll tell you later," I moaned. "Just get me the number for poison control."
Remote, you have one function: controlling the TV from a distance so that I do not have to get off the couch. It kind of defeats the purpose when you insist on being held 7 inches away from the sensor before you’ll do your job.
I know the TV is big and intimidating, but you have to stand up to it. Tell it what to do. It understands that you are only taking orders from me.
Here are the things I expect you to be able to communicate to the TV:
“Wake up, it’s movie time.”
“Play the movie.”
“Stop the movie for a little bit.”
“Stop the movie forever.”
“Please use your inside voice.”
“Please display your menu.”
“Please select this particular item from your menu.”
“Stop what you are doing, it is no longer movie time.”
If you are uncomfortable saying any of these things to the TV, I may find it necessary to open up your position to a more assertive remote. I am sorry, but this is a job that requires the candidate to be able to manage effectively from a distance. If the TV doesn’t respect you, it will not listen to you, and if the TV does not listen to you, I actually have to use my muscles to walk over to it and tell it what to do myself.
Microwave, we need to get a few things straight here. First and foremost, five consecutive beeps is more than enough to alert me that you have finished cooking what I’ve asked you to cook. I swear to God, you beep louder than anything has ever beeped before. At 6:00 AM, this kind of behavior is alarming and unnecessary.
Another point of contention is that button of yours marked “time.” If I want you to cook something, I cannot just start pressing number buttons. No, that would be too simple. Instead, you force me to verify that I am indeed planning on using the number buttons as an indication of how long I expect you to nuke my food. Is this step really necessary? I cannot be expected to remember this requirement of yours at the aforementioned hour of 6 in the morning, and I just end up fumbling confusedly with your buttons until I remember “oh yeah, the microwave can’t understand even the simplest directions until I press ‘time,’” which makes me even more irritated and unable to handle your ludicrous beeping.
You also seem to misunderstand the meaning of “defrost.” When I ask you to defrost something, it means that I want you to make it unfrozen enough to cook on the stove (which, by the way, is way better at its job than you.) It does not mean that I want you to cook the shit out of a quarter-sized portion of my flank steak while leaving the rest completely frozen. Are you high? Why would I want you to do that?
Additionally, you seem to define a “day” differently than I do. Where I come from, a day is equal to exactly 24 hours, but you seem to be under the impression that 24 hours and 58 seconds is an acceptable approximation. I assure you, it is not. You have a clock in your stupid face for a reason: to help me tell time so that I may be punctual in my activities. When you get sloppy and lose track of a minute every day, it really adds up. This is especially troublesome because I was brought up to believe that clocks should not be doubted in their ability to track the passage of time. I trusted you, and you let me down. I know that being off by 17 minutes doesn’t seem like much to you because you are a microwave and your life doesn’t involve going places and doing things, but as a human, 17 minutes can mean the difference between getting an A on a lab report and not even being allowed to turn it in. To put that in perspective, do you remember that time I overcooked that piece of chicken? Remember how it made you stink for about 19 months? That piece of chicken was only overcooked for about 2 minutes. Are you beginning to grasp the seriousness of this problem?
If you are unwilling or unable to perform the basic functions for which you were designed, I may be forced to replace you. I feel bad about having to get rid of you, but I can’t exactly keep an annoying chunk of beeping plastic around just for sentimentality and I could really use the counter space.
So now the ball is in your court, Microwave. If you don’t want to end up being a chair for some dump-dwelling vagrant, I would suggest that you reevaluate your behavior.
I made the mistake of checking my bank account balance yesterday. Let's just say that if my account balance was a pile of rocks, I would not have a very big pile of rocks. In fact, if we lived in a society where rocks were used as a sort of primitive currency, I would not have enough rocks to pay rent. This realization prompted me to reevaluate my spending in an attempt to find things I could cut out of my budget. Here are my total superfluous expenses for the month of June:
1. Food that tastes good
2. "Fancy" tampons
3. Overdue movie rentals
4. One issue of Cosmopolitan magazine
I had no choice but to eliminate all but the most essential expenditures, so I resigned myself to a more spartan existence.
Day-One without my luxuries went surprisingly well, until about 9:00 PM. It is at about that time that I usually have dessert. When I realized that I was not going to get dessert - not even the next night or the night after that - I began to panic. For the first time in my life, I briefly considered prostitution. How hard could it be? Craigslist has turned the world into a virtual street corner. My mind started churning over the angles I could use to advertise myself:
I have not, as of yet, put up my ad on Craigslist, but it is almost lunchtime and I am already sick of rice.
You see, Insomniac-Musician-Neighbo
In between vomiting sessions, I found myself curled into the fetal position beneath my toilet, staring at a wadded up Kleenex because I was sure it was the only thing keeping me in this world. I then realized this was the kind of illness one should not try to conquer alone. I needed medical attention.
The problem, Insomniac-Musician-Neighbo
When I was finally near enough to death to justify knocking on your door at 2:30 in the afternoon, you emerged like a bat seeing light for the first time. Your entire mouth was stained neon blue from the 44-ounce Slushy you were still clutching in your hands. A TV show, possibly Battlestar Galactica, was playing in the background. You were wearing that wretched V-neck sweater. Nonetheless, when you heard me plaintively request to be driven to a medical establishment, you sprung to action. You sprinted to retrieve your keys with the kind of grace only achieved by adult man-children wearing combat boots and tight, black tapered jeans. I truly appreciated your haste.
I slumped into your Subaru with the automatic seat belts. I didn't even mind that I was sitting on a week's worth of Burger King wrappers. You told me that you wouldn't hold it against me if I puked in your car. Thank you, Insomniac-Musician-Neighbo
I could tell you were trying your best to not talk about your life and how much you don't like it. When you couldn't think of anything else to talk about, you simply turned on your Moby CD really loud (it was super loud, Insomniac-Musician-Neighbo
You were driving really fast. You understood the urgency of my intestinal plight, and responded. Thank you. I am sorry I smelled like bile. Was that why you had to have your window open in the middle of February?
Upon my admittance to said medical establishment, you even came back to check in on me. This was completely unnecessary and awkward, but I admired your chivalry. You stood over my bed until you were absolutely certain that your heroic moment was over. Over, but not forgotten, Insomniac-Musician-Neighbo
Because of your bravery and quick, instinctive action, I hereby grant you 400 full repetitions of the chorus to "Yellow Submarine" free from my judgement. You earned it, Insomniac-Musician-Neighbo
My couch is vibrating from the baseline of your horrible oompa loompa music.
From what I can hear, this “music” consists of two only slightly different notes played in rapid succession. Every so often, this insanity-provoking monotony will be broken by a string of different notes which are also repeated incessantly. It sounds like this:
Ding, dong, ding, dong, ding, dong, ding, dong, (slight, almost imperceptible change in pitch) bing, bang, bing, bang, (change the pitch back again because we couldn’t possibly have had enough of the ding donging) ding, dong, ding, dong, ding, dong, ding, dong, bing, bang, bing, bang, ding, dong, bing, bang, ding, dong, bing, bang, bloop, bloop, bloop, bloop, bloop, bloop, bloop (oh shit, now it is just one single repeating note!) bloop, bloop, bloop, bloop, bloop, bloop, bloop…
This is the kind of music that enters your ear and then proceeds to gnaw a hole in your brain until you can no longer feel feelings. But it doesn’t just go into my ears, does it? Your base is turned up so loud that your music infests my entire body . It is the musical equivalent of being molested. Please don’t do this to me, it makes me quite uncomfortable.
I have recently discovered that your stereo is not your only means of musically raping me.
I am talking about you, Insomniac Musician Neighbor. You stay up until the wee hours of the morning, making incomprehensible noise from what I assume is a guitar.
You also sing. And I am assuming that you are singing as loud as possible to hear yourself over your guitar. I also assume that you are failing at that last endeavor, because if you were able to hear yourself, you would not be singing. I am not saying this to be mean, but you seriously sound like a cross between a fog horn and a chainsaw. There is no pitch involved when you sing. In fact, it seems that your main goal is to simply be as loud as possible.
While I appreciate the enthusiasm and heart you have exhibited in your craft, it is not conducive to my life and my goals when you practice your art form at 2:00 AM with that kind of ferocity.
“Yellow Submarine” does not need to be remade. If you absolutely cannot suppress your desire to remake this song, please at least learn the rest of the words. I agree that the chorus of this song may be one of the greatest miracles LSD has ever produced, but it is much less awesome when you sing it - in a drunken stupor - 718 times in a row (this really is not that large of an exaggeration!)
Also, it was really creepy that time you knocked on my door and invited yourself in to sit awkwardly on my couch. It was 10:00 PM. I was in skimpy pajamas. You smelled like beer-sweat and failure. And I will have you know that you thwarted my best attempts at conversation. I really didn’t know what to do with you sitting in my living room like that, looking around like you were planning where you were going to stash me when you cut me into pieces. I tried to keep it light. We talked about pets and siblings and how many of each you and I had. I tried to stretch it out: “Does your brother have a middle name?” but your presence outlasted my every pleasantry. Despite my valiant efforts to keep the conversation breezy, you artfully steered it in the direction of your personal problems. Please, please, please for the love of God, don’t do this to people! I really don’t know what to say when you are telling me about how your girlfriend dumped you and you can’t find a job and you broke your foot so now you can only find salvation through your music. I DON’T EVEN KNOW YOU!!! All I know about you is that you like to “sing” a lot and “play the guitar” a lot and I guess now I know that you are depressed - which, by the way, is making me feel like a terrible person for beaming hatred at you when you choose to do either of the other two things I know about you at an inappropriate hour. I remember saying “I am sorry that happened to you” a lot. Apparently this was a mistake because…
…Now, whenever you see me passing by the front of the apartment complex we share, you stop me for therapy-time. This happens at the worst possible times. Like when my arms are full of embarrassing groceries or when I have to pee really bad, or (my favorite) the time you intercepted me after I’d walked 2 miles home from campus in the bitter cold and wind, thinking the whole time about how I was only 10 minutes from my warm house… now only 7… now only 2 and finally only 30 seconds - the warmth of my domicile was easily within reach when you leered out of the shadows with a breathy “how’s it goin’?”
Me: “Good,” (I lied, and with horrible grammar!)
You: “Nice walk?”
Me: “Yeah” (I lied again)
You: “I would go for a walk, but I busted up my foot again. It sucks.”
Me: “I am sorry to hear that.” (I can see the warm lights in my window and all I want to do is be in there, out of the frigid windy cold away from you. What are you DOING lurking out here anyway??)
You: “yeah, I’ve been kind of depressed about the whole thing.”
Me: “I’m sorry.”
You: “It’s okay. At least I have my music, right?”
Me: “Yeah, at least you have that.”
You: “I wrote a new song...”
You: …… (stands in awkward silence)
Me: “Whelp. I have to get inside before I catch my death out here.” (Why is it that I always rely on old-timer expressions to avoid awkward moments?)
You: “Good talkin’ with you.”
Me: “Yep, have a good night!”
(That was an abridged version of an actual conversation you and I had. Our conversations are usually tragically longer than this, but you can get a rough idea of what I go through when you ambush me like that.)
Once I am reasonably sure I have exited the conversation without being rude to you or trampling on your feelings, I escape as quickly as possible, which is not very quickly because usually my keys choose to get stuck or buried at the bottom of my purse and you are still standing there staring at me expectantly, which only makes me fumble with my keys more, because, frankly, I am starting to panic.
I FINALLY claw my way into my nice warm apartment, deadbolting the door behind me. And then the oompa loompa music starts…