Saturday, March 07, 2009

Meeting The Suburban Playboy

Trying To Get Out More, Part 1. The first in an occasional series in which I leave the house, only to end up annoyed by a fellow human being.

The other morning I’d finished up in the gym, but a man perhaps ten years younger than me was blocking access to my locker because he was taking his stuff out of the closet above. No problem, I can wait. Except that he wasn’t really accessing his locker, he was just standing there checking his mobile device for new e-mails. Obviously an important bloke - he’d been in the gym an hour, and someone could have sent him a crucial communication in that time. Except you’re not that important that work doesn’t miss you when you skip out to the gym mid-morning, eh? Irritation factor: 5%.

I notice a tattoo near his ankle of the Playboy bunny. Blocking me from getting to my locker’s one thing, doing it while sporting a crass symbol of overt vanity quite another. If you’re such a playboy, why’s it not tattooed on your forehead, super-dick? Let’s show some conviction here. Or do women look at your face, snigger at your feckless expression, look down in embarrassment and then think, “Oh wait, he has a playboy bunny tattoo, he must be a stud-butt after all.” Irritation factor: a steep climb to 60%.

Once I finally get to my locker and pack up and leave, bunny boy follows me out to the car park. You know how it is - you’re trying to just get away from someone, for good, for ever, and they keep hanging in there, as though they’ve been specially commissioned to irritate the crap out of you for the whole day. Finally, he goes the wrong way round the car park’s one-way system in his SU fucking V and tries to cut me off at the exit. But I step on it and get in there first and leave him behind at the next light. Irritation factor: a climb to a cuss-gorging 90% before levelling and descending in the rear-view mirror to zero.

How can I judge this man without having heard him speak a single word? Perhaps he was checking his messages because a family member had been in a car accident and he was awaiting a health status update. Perhaps he had a Playboy symbol tattooed on his leg as the result of a cruel hazing ritual at college where he’d been tied down and branded, and now he was having it slowly removed through long and painful laser surgery. What if I’d run over a little toddler as I accelerated to stop him cutting me off at the car park exit, and he’d then testified that it was all his fault for acting like an arrogant, SUV-driving, Blackberry-checking, Playboy tattoo-toting twat?

Somewhere, maybe, there’s a blog entry at about a single man’s annoyance at the sneering, impatient, middle-aged, Passat-driving lowlife that cut him off aggressively at the gym’s car park exit. All bitter just because he lost the race, ha!

Monday, March 02, 2009

Chilli Times Ahead

Here’s a picture of our guard dog, who sits on the front lawn warning mutts not to squat and void upon our grass, a gift from my family after the trials described in Great Suburban Traditions No. 3 - Dog Crap. Today our passive pet was messed on by the heavens, but at least it’s not as toxic as the excrement from his living, breathing and copiously shitting counterparts who are allowed to drop their plop on our property by their sociopathic, death-courting owners.

Although he’s been pretty effective since we got him a year ago, a couple of months back someone did allow their dog to evacuate right next to ‘No!’, perhaps misinterpreting the sign as encouragement. More likely it was a cussed cur-walker refusing to be told where he could or could not let his or her hound pitch a dog-log in a free America. I have a sneaking admiration for this attitude, in the same way I quite enjoy it when I let young drivers into the traffic flow, and they respond by accelerating with a grin, then showing me the finger. In recognition, I’ve let the rebel turd ossify over the winter months, although that’s mainly because I can’t be arsed to clean it up, and it’s been frozen and thus odour-free for most of that time anyway.

Come drier weather, though, I’ll be less forgiving, and plan to buy an industrial-sized jar of cheap but potent chilli powder from the Costco megamarket to spread around ‘No!’ so that he can enjoy the sight of spiced snouts on yelping yapdogs being frantically pulled into retreat by their suddenly contrite handlers. I should reiterate that I genuinely love most dogs. It’s just a shame for them that they don’t get to choose their guardians, many of whom would themselves benefit from restraint by leash and a strong-willed, whip-swishing enforcer to help them get accustomed to basic social norms. I am told such businesses do already exist, though probably not in this section of the suburbs. Here discipline is still in the hands of personally convenient gods; bulbous, braying mums; and the Neighbourhood Watch Zentralkomitee. None of whom, unfortunately, seem to want to take responsibility for illegally crapping dogs.