Thursday, June 11, 2009


As a Gen-Xer I have come to hate the term “closure”. I understand the importance of resolving things but to me the 90s was the “closure” decade. It’s like everybody my age wanted a cookie. I don’t know why. I blame post-goth, grunge wannabes like Ethan Hawke and Winona Ryder. So much vying for validation while acting like they were too cool to care. A bunch of whimpering pansies we were.

I suppose that’s what happens when your grandparents start browbeating you with tales of how great they were. Surviving the Great Depression, fighting back the scourge of NAZI Germany, and then getting called right back into the Cold War. They were the ultimate patriots and they never let you forget it. Then Tom Brokaw had to come along and jerk them off with his tome, The Greatest Generation. Thanks a lot Tom, I can’t speak for everybody else but my Grandparents wore that shit like a badge. Read this book, boy. Read it and understand. Understand that you owe us. You owe us everything. Now run to the store and get me a big box of Depends.

At least they died before they sucked every bit of the zest for life out of me. They did a hell of a job convincing me that the world was going to end in THE YEAR 2000, which is why I never really felt the need to excel in my studies or worry about holding down a good job, but they kicked the bucket before I blew my brains out like Cobain. That’s why he did it, you know. He was a GOD but when he told his grandmother she laughed in his face and told him he’d never be as good as Mel Torme. His parents were no better. Our generation wrote the book on Rock music, Curt. We don’t know why you’re wasting your time.

Our parents didn’t help matters much. They managed to turn dodging the draft and smoking dope into some sort of revolution. Basically they partied for 10 years but to hear them tell it, they were in the trenches making the world a better place for our undeserving asses. We weren’t worthy and we never would be. Our Grandparents agreed.

So Gen-X grew up feeling like crap and half-believing that we were all going to die in some horrific apocalyptic disaster in THE YEAR 2000. We were worthless and we’d never amount to anything.

As we got older we pierced our faces, shoplifted stuff on Rodeo Drive and started our quest for something called “closure”. By the late 90s it was a fucking buzz word. If Starbucks didn’t give you skim milk you called their customer service line for “closure”. We fought with our parents at our grandparents funerals in hopes of reaching “closure”. If your roomie borrowed your socks you were forced to pout until he gave you “closure”.

Now it’s 2009 and most of Generation X is staring down the barrel of the big FOUR OH. Some of us are already there. We’ve resigned ourselves to the fact that life is going to keep rolling whether we get “closure” or not, so most of us just plug along.

We don’t try to make the younger generations feel bad even though it’s painfully obvious they’re a bunch of spoiled little punks who don’t know what it was like to live in an era before you could watch HULU or listen to MP3s on your phone. Back in our day, you had to listen to music on a portable CD player that would skip every time you moved. One second you’re jamming to If I could turn back time and the next Will Smith was Gettin Jiggy Widit. Phones where as big as shoe boxes, weighed as much as a cinder block and they gave you cancer instantly. All you got in return was a shitty phone call that got dropped before you could get any “closure.”

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

What Would Jesus Do?

Friday is Refrigerator Day in my office. That’s when one or two of the members of a designated group have to go in and purge the refrigerator. Exceptions are made for condiments, coffee creamer and obviously sealed items such as soft drinks (in these parts we call it pop, but I don’t want to piss of you soda snobs who might stumble upon this), but around 4:00 on Friday afternoon anything else is bound for the trash.

We all know this. It is the law. So it is written, so it shall be done. Because I’m so much cooler than everybody else, I don’t even use the fridge. I pretend I do, so I can steal leftover pizza and the occasional can of Red Bull, but when Friday comes around you could blow the damned refrigerator up and I wouldn’t give rat’s ass. (Where does that expression come from? I use it, but it still bothers me. Did people actually use rat’s asses in trades back in the day?)

Of course that doesn’t stop the rest of the people in my office from making a major production out of the affair. Usually there’s an announcement over the intercom. That’s fine, but recently the announcement was way too fucking long. We’re several months into the whole cleaning thing and people know that Friday is Fridge Day. A simple “We’re emptying the Refigerator in 5 minutes” would suffice but was that good enough for *****? No. ***** had so much to say it took her two overhead pages to get it out. Our intercom has a time limit and lengthy pages get cut off.

I was a little irritated. Part of it is because I don’t like *****. She’s one of those born again Christian-types who assumes that all white people like NASCAR, Jesus, country music and the KKK. Whenever she starts talking I get the urge to buy some underwear from WalMart and see if my sister’s available for a little phone sex. It’s really that bad.

I was also pretty busy and the pages distracted me. *BEEP* BlardyblahblardyblahRefrigeratorblahbladryblah…. *BEEP* Blah blardyblardyblahblardyclean-outblardyblahblahblah.
Then came the other pages. *BEEP* There’s a nice bowl in here and I’d hate to throw it away it’s… *BEEP* …it’s blue with a white floral pattern.

*BEEP* Ummm, they’re going to throw away a frech container of potato salad. You might want to get it.

*BEEP* There’s a nice cup in the sink, it’s blue with a white floral pattern.

*BEEP* Did somebody buy groceries earlier? There’s a bag of fresh food on the… *BEEP* …second shelf.

I was in my office going insane. Nobody else is in my office. I normally sit in the server room and do what tech guys do (troll the Casual Encounters section on Craigslist), but today I was busy and the incessant pages pissed me off. “God fucking dammit,” I said to myself. “Just throw the shit away and shut the fuck up.”

I’m not the most professional guy in the world but I’m not exactly the office potty mouth. I generally avoid swearing, cussing or cursing simply because I like to be more ornate when I speak. I also don’t like to draw too much attention to myself at work. I do what I need to do to get by and pretend that I’m much busier than I really am. It’s the secret to my success.

Sadly, one of the office Jesus Freaks overheard my private tantrum and she had to poke her head in to let me know that she didn’t like it. “You took the LORD’s name in vain,” she advised.

“No I didn’t,” I replied. “I said god-fucking-dammit. I never called him by name. I might have meant some other god.”

“There’s only one,” she said.

I laughed, “Then you tell that to Odin and Thor because I’m not going to mess with them.”

She didn’t like that at all. I think she thought that I was mocking her religion. That’s not that case. I was mocking her. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have much respect for her religion or any religion for that matter, but I don’t go out of my way to offend religious people. At least not any further out of my way than I do to offend everybody else. Like Hungarians, for example. Shut up, Laszlo.

The last time I checked I wear big boy pants. So does everybody in my office. People sometimes act like babies, but we are all adults and, I believe, that as adults we have a responsibility to accept certain things. I accept the fact that most people are stupid, perhaps you can accept the occasion f-bomb. It’s not like Seth Rogen is writing my dialogue.

You’re not going to burn in hell because you overheard me swearing, or cursing or blaspheming or whatever the fuck you want to call it. If your god has a beef with me he can take it up with me but I’ve read at least one version of the bible and got the general impression that Christianity is supposed to be a “mind your own business” enterprise. Jesus probably doesn’t care if I say “fuck” every once in a while and probably doesn’t want you to poke your head in my office to register your disdain. I know I don’t.

I told another coworker, who heard that I had been a bad boy, that I don’t go out of my way to offend people and that I’d expect others to reciprocate by not going out of their way to be offended. We have people at work who keep their ears perked up so they can catch an errant profanity and take umbrage. Then they go to a manager and spend 15 minutes throwing themselves a pity party.

What’s funny is that these so-called Christians are much more offensive than a few choice expletives. I’ve walked into the break room to hear conversations about Barack Obama being the Anti-Christ, disparaging remarks about Muslims, and horrible comments about gays. One of my other coworkers is openly gay! I wonder how it would go over if I had a conversation with somebody about the joys of atheism. I bet that would stir up a lively discussion.

I just don’t understand that brand of religion. You’re going to pitch a holy fit over “god-fucking-dammit” but yet you see nothing wrong with sitting in the office break room and carrying on a conversation about gays burning in hell. It doesn’t add up. I suppose you can interpret that one of the commandments addresses cursing, but I know that homosexuality isn’t on that list and besides that, the 10 commandments are rules for you to follow, not enforce. Religiots.