Everything Is Just Really, Really Awful
Okay, so I go out to get the morning paper, only there is no morning paper because I only get the paper delivered Thursday through Sunday. So that just sucks for two obvious reasons: I don't know what day it is and even if I did there would still be no paper. This is awful is what I thought as I stood outside, pretending to pick weeds because my neighbor across the street saw me and what was I going to do? Yell "I don't know what day it is?" So I picked weeds because it at least looked like I had something productive to do, and hardly anyone accuses people who pick weeds of not knowing what day it is. I say "hardly" because in truth this is just a guess. Maybe everyone (except me) looks at weed-pullers and thinks "poor sap probably doesn't even know what day it is."
Now, this last thought really, really bothered me. I almost went across the street to ask my neighbor to stop thinking I don't know what day it is just because I'm pretending to pick weeds. It's none of his goddamn business what I pretend to be doing in order to throw him off the track of discovering I don't know what day it is. The fucking nerve of some people is...is...nervy. These poignant thoughts were doing motorcross all over the folds of my brain when it struck me: everything is just really, really awful.
Now I don't even want to read the paper. As a matter of fact, they can take that paper and shove it up their armpits for all I care. Yep, things are bad. And if the paper people do as I suggest, things will be possibly worse and my paper will smell like some print jockey's armpit, which is awful. Really, really awful.
So, I go back in the house and think about walking to the corner gas station to buy a paper, which I don't really want to do. One of the reasons I don't want to do this is I have to say 'hi' to the really nice man who works there, even though he's going to give me one of those looks that suggests still haven't gone the full subscription route, eh? Well, it's none of his business if I don't want to go the full subscription route--they gave me an incredible deal to just try the paper out (the delivery of which I had recently cancelled) Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays for a really cheap rate and then about a month later they tossed in Thursdays at no extra charge. The whole freight was less than a pack of smokes for a month's worth of papers.
Okay, you got me, was what I told them. I am yours. Ah, but then they started calling me at all hours, like some nervous lover, saying "You know you like me four days a week, baby, why not like me all week long..." while really dragging out the "g" in long so it sounds like "longgggggg." That never works on me, that long "g" thing. It just doesn't.
But here's the thing: I need time off, you know? I need a little space between me and my printed news. See, I have this thing called a computer, and she follows me around the house, day and night, calling out "check your mail" and "Rush said something really fucking stupid today" and "Darlene wants your love" and you know how it is. So, I had Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays off from the paper, and I liked it. Only I cheated: I walked to the gas station and bought the paper on those days. I can't help it. I go out of the house, look to see if one of the neighbors is watching, and then I walk to go buy the paper, usually pretending that I'm on an important errand, like I'm going out to purchase anti-venom or a fire extinguisher.
But here's the thing: inside the station they add California sales tax, which comes out to four cents on top of the fifty cents for the paper. Now, I can walk across the world's widest street to the coin operated news box-thingie and only pay fifty cents for the paper, but that means an additional four minutes time (minimum) and risking of life and limb (value difficult to quantify objectively). And that's awful. It's like Sophie's Choice, only without the Nazis and Meryl Streep. Shit: really imagine Sophie's Choice without the Nazis and Meryl Streep and you get an idea of how thunderingly awful my life is, at least when it comes to the paper, and my goddamn neighbors.
Look, I often know what fucking day it is, asshole. I just don't know if I'm gonna spend fifty cents or fifty-four cents or stand here and pretend to pick weeds. Living on the edge, that's what it is. Riding the wave. Oh, shit, a car. I know what fucking day it is, okay, Miss Prissy Driver! Sweet Jesus Christ in a slot machine, I know the day!
Well, that's it. Just wanted to share.