Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Things/People That Suck- Part 1

Hello, Gentle Reader
It's not quite the middle of February. It's's gray...the roads are slippery. Running outdoors is problematic, and the Red Sox don't start their season for another two months. Time to expunge some winter venom. This is the first in an on-again, off-again series of rants about certain things and types of people that, to use the vernacular, "suck". Call it venting. Call it "a more socially acceptable way to demonstrate displeasure than climbing up into a bell-tower with a high-powered rifle and start blazing away".

Do you know one kind of person that really sucks? The kind of person who feels Hell-bent on giving you some bad news (or a doom and gloom prediction) right after you make a positive observation.

For instance, there used to be this guy in my orbit, let's call him Al. That works nicely, since that is in fact his name. You could never make an observation to Al about things going well, because he would invariably reply with some dire prediction that would begin with the words "Yeah, but, I hear that..." and would end with me silently wishing he'd get smacked in the face by a low-flying seagull.

Conversations with him would go something like this:

Me: Hi Al! Man, it's a great day out there, isn't it?
Al: Yeah, but I hear that tomorrow there's gonna be thunderstorms and hail.
Me: Shut the Hell up, you cretin. Why must you continually make attempts to bum me out?

OK, ok, so I didn't say that last least, not out loud. But oh wow, thank God for not being cryogenically frozen for several decades and therefore my Inner Monologue does in fact work.

Problem is, that sort of attitude is common. It's almost like some people we encounter are pathologically incapable of just letting a pleasant thought sit on its own, perhaps even share in the good vibes; no, they have to chime in with something negative, usually an announcement that the good condition is coming to an end very soon.

Seriously, what possible deranged sociopathic brain actually comes up with the idea that such a rejoinder is actually warranted, let alone welcome? I mean, where does it end?

Me: Hey, I got my lab work back, and I'm in perfect health!
Cretin: Yeah, but inevitably you'll get cancer and die. Your privates will fall off, and an army of couples in separate tubs with disconnected plumbing will not be able to help you!

Me: My kid just got accepted to Dartmouth! Wooo!
Cretin: Yeah, but I'm sure that, on the way there for orientation, he'll get hit by a runaway truck. But if, against all odds, he makes it, he will invariably fall in with the wrong crowd, and get busted for heroin possession.

Me: I love my wife! We're so good together!
Cretin: Yeah, but it's only a matter of time before she gets bored with you and runs away with a Wiccan lesbian aardvark terrorist.

And sadly, social networks make it easy for such people to post their doom and gloom, and attempt to rain/snow/vomit on everyone else's parade.

Upbeat Person: Hey, the big blizzard missed us!
Cretin: Yeah, but we're gonna get hit by the next one, in 5.2 days.

You know what, Cretin? Shut the Hell up. Really. Just shut up. Can't you just sit back and let us feel good about something, even for a little while? Why must you unclog your nostrils of negativity all over our tiramisu of happiness?

And that reminds me of a subset of this blog entry's "people who suck": the snow alarmists. They're at work. They're in the stores and restaurants that you frequent. They're on television, disguised as local newscasters. They're online.

Now, I'm not taking to task the people who say "Aw crap, it's snowing!" or something like that. Bitching about the weather (which includes bitching about the clean-up) is the God-given right of anyone who lives in a region where they have weather extremes, hot summers, cold winters, snow, sleet, hail, locusts. In fact, it's even written into the Constitution, if I recall correctly.

So no, I'm not targeting those people. Hell, I'm one of those people! There's a subtle distinction here. I'm talking about the people who are practically soiling their pants because a meteorological condition that they've been familiar with since they were born, is occurring again, like it was magic or something. How long have you been living in the Northeast, genius? Ten years? Twenty? Thirty? FIFTY? And yet here you are, running around in circles, shrieking and waving your arms like some deranged Chicken Little on crystal meth, freaking out because a quantity of frozen water is falling? Something you've experienced every winter now since time immemorial? Something which, somehow, you've managed to live through, time and time again, year in and year out, with no apparent ill effects? It's snow, dumbass, not nuclear fallout!

Still, I suppose some of these people can't help it. They watch their local news, which will exaggerate anything and everything in an effort to rope in viewers. "We're tracking a snowflake over the Yukon. How will that affect your morning commute? Tune into FoxNews at 11 and find out!" And let's face it, it's hard not to panic when the news media starts relentlessly beating the drums of panic, warning us about the next threat to life as we know it, like global warming, Nor'Easters, terrorism, the next Depression, or Sarah Palin.

Now I know some of you may be saying "Aw geez, we better not talk about the weather around JT, or he'll come to our houses, kill us in our sleep, and plant false evidence implicating us as members of Al-Qaida!"

Nah, don't worry about it. I really can't recall any time that my friends or friendly acquaintances have transgressed in this area (that's friends, as in, people I'm friends with...not friends as in "People who've asked me to Confirm them on Facebook but I don't know them first-hand from Adam, but somebody I sort of know, knows them so I better Confirm!").

Next time: Khaki pants, the male analogue of "clothes that are annoying and inconvenient but you're expected to wear them in public, especially at work".