Tuesday, April 26, 2011

It's the Knuckle Head's Fault

Hey! I have new followers. I don't know who some of you are, but welcome aboard.

I've been reading a LOT of Hyperbole and a Half (which I highly encourage you to look up because I still don't know how to link things so that you can click on its name and become magically transported to the delight of Hyperbole) and I find that I've been inspired, not only by Allie's wacky humor and superb illustrations, but by how often she posts. She went through a phase about a year ago or so where she posted every day. There was great fulfillment in this for me and the rest of us who love reading it, but apparently not so much for her because she stopped doing that.

So here's where the inspiration comes in...hmm, maybe it's not inspiration. I don't know the exact word for it, but that's not the point. The point is that in this post
http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/2010/04/apparently-i-am-failure-at-success.html
which I can not highlight and magically transport you there, and is also called "Apparently I am a Failure at Success," she doubts herself. This brilliantly funny person actually doubts whether or not her magic space bears are funny. How can they NOT be? And she has a zillion followers! I'm excited just to have 16!

And so I reflected upon my own self doubts. And so now I'm blogging.

What am I blogging about today? Magic space bears!...Oh wait, it's been done. Damn! Oh! I know, I know! I will tell you about a conversation I had with a coworker this morning, which is one that we have most mornings, and that conversation is called, "Things were better in the 1960's and your generation sucks." Well, it's not really a conversation as it is just me listening to a sixty-something year old man talk about how things used to be cheaper and safer, and how now we just live in an over-priced apocalyptic nightmare.

Usually I listen to this stream of reflection and complaints without much argument.
"Man oh man!" he'll say. "Music was music back then. You had guys gettin' together, it didn't matter what bands they were in they would all just play together. And to see 'em was maybe five bucks. What can you do with five bucks now?"
I shrug.
"Exactly!" he says. "It ain't shit! Back then you could fill your tank, catch a show, and eat dinner. You can't even buy a Coke at McDonald's for that now! Unfreakinbelievable!"
When I first started working here and he would rant I would attempt a friendly debate.
"Well," I would say. "That's true, but there were also less rights for minorities back then. Including women. Which is why I can have a job now and am not looked at like a freak. Wasn't that what all that change was about?"

He would cringe. I've since then learned that the word "change" will spark an Obama rant.
That time that he criticized modern music by saying that musicians don't intermingle and perform together anymore, I brought up the New Orleans music scene in which one musician usually plays several different instruments and performs in as many bands as he or she can handle. But he just pressed on as if I hadn't said anything and cried, "Unfreakinbelievable!" So I stopped.

But today, goddamn it, I couldn't help myself. It started off, innocently enough, about the price of gas. Not bad. Everybody complains about the price of gas. If you don't complain about the price of gas then you probably just can't speak (struck dumb as you are by the price of gas) and you write it down on slips of paper to show people how disgusted you are.

So Man of the Past says, "And gas these days!"
There is a groan of agreement among our crowd.
"Unfreakinbelievable! When I first started driving I could fill my tank for less than a buck. Now? You can't even get gas fumes for that much!"
"Yeah!" Somebody Else Who Enjoys the Past says.
"And what the hell is it with all these people dyin' in car wreckss? Back when we were kids nobody died in freakin' car wrecks!"
I said, "What?"
"No!" he waves his hands at me. "We didn't have all of that."
I leveled my eyes with his. "You're saying there were no fatal car accidents 45 years ago?"
"No, no, people knew how to drive back then!"
"You're telling me that no one died in a car. Not a single person."
"No one that I knew!"
I pointed at him accusingly. "James Dean!"
Man of the Past retorted by blowing a raspberry. I wasn't sure if this was directed at me, James Dean, or the very idea that he died that way when of course NO ONE died that way back then. But in any case, the gloves were off. And, crazily enough, all of the other people who loved the past took his side.
"That was in California!" one of them said. "Those crazies!"
"I didn't know a single person who died that way!" another told me.
"Forget about it!" Past Man who started it all said.
"GUYS!" I exclaimed. "That's not possible! I'll agree that gas was cheaper, but I know people died in car wrecks! How could they NOT die in car wrecks! That's the whole reason seat belts became mandatory by law. Somebody had to have died for that to happen!"
"It's all James Dean's fault," one of them said.
"Knuckle head," said Man of the Past, shaking his head.
"I can not believe we are having this conversation," I told them, and they all shook their heads at me.

To them, I am the young one in the office which my kids think is funny. Me, who can not link a word on my blog that, when clicked on, will magically transport you to a website.
Maybe, just for my coworkers, I'll figure out a way to click on a word that will magically transport them to The Past. They can bring ten dollars with them, and that should feed and cloth them for about a year.

6 comments:

Libby said...

Yay, a new post!!!!!
Every generation is sure theirs is better than the next. If he were really looking at things critically I hope he would see that there were both positive and negitave aspects to his generation just as there are now.

Mattieu said...

Lol, isn't that the fun/joy/bliss of nostalgia? It's like photoshopping the past so you're only left with the images and scenery that you wish to reflect on so as to make yourself feel better. If you start mixing reality with nostalgia, a baby fairy somewhere dies and we can't have that.
If a baby fairy died, well, then the price of gas would go up.

Marimac said...

wow i love this blog

Tom said...

Ah, the days of the past, when no one died in car wrecks. Ah, the days of the present, when events of the past only really happened if you experienced them personally.

Genevieve said...

You guys are too funny. And hello Marimac! Thanks for the love.

steve rheams said...

I AM A MAN OF THE PAST!!! Otherwise known as Dad. Good blog Gen. I hate those guys living in the past. I was there and it wasn't that pretty at all!