Archive for March, 2011

My Day

Posted: March 29, 2011 by S. Trevor Swenson in Me & Mine
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Today I woke up early, so I could get a jump start on going back to bed and wasting most of my day.  I re-awakened (Is that even a word? It sounds so . . . George Bush-esque) around 4 p.m., and went to do my weekly grocery shopping.  I moved along the aisles with my rickety granny cart filling it up with my food for the week. Then I luckily found a check-out line with only one person in front of me.  I paid for my groceries and for some reason decided to examine my receipt as I am fast becoming an annoying old lady, and found two items that I was overcharged for.  I sheepishly returned to the check-out girl and pointed out the mistake, and she referred me to the nice lady at Customer Service.  After pointing out the mistake she gave me my $2 back.  I felt $2 richer and much, much lamer.  I remember my grandmother looking over receipts in the supermarket with the intensity of an IRS auditor with OCD.  I used to cringe whenever I was in line behind an old person and they started to look over the receipt.  It usually meant an extra 25 cents for them and an extra half an hour in line for me.

Walking back home with my groceries, I had an epiphany . . . I think that old people delight in annoying younger folks with their antics.  I think it’s all premeditated.  I think when they’re done annoying everyone under 40 that they have come in contact with for that day, they retire to bingo games and nursing homes and laugh at all of us.

I can JUST picture it. “I kept a whole line of people waiting 45 minutes at the check-out line arguing over the price of cottage cheese!”  “Oh, that’s nothing. I drove in the right lane with my left turn signal on for over an hour, you should have heard them honking.”

I got home and gave my moms a ring where she tormented me with Christmas plans in October.  My grandmother; her mother would start making the entire family’s life a yuletide hell in August.  My moms is not quite at the level yet, but god bless her, she’s trying.  My mother best friend; Leslie will be joining us for the holidays this year and my moms felt it was important to ask me not to make any retard or cripple jokes around Leslie as she is a physical therapist and wouldn’t appreciate my unique brand of humor.  I patiently explained to my moms, that I don’t make retard jokes, I merely write about my experiences with the special ones, and people read them and seem to find humor in it.  Then being the dutiful son I am, I promised not to make retard jokes around Leslie.  I had to call back a few minutes later and ask what Leslie’s position was on the blind, deaf and of course the midgets.  Mommy just repeated her ever patient request not to make retard jokes during Christmas and I promised again.

By then it was din-din time so I cooked up a yummy meal making certain that all four food groups were represented.  I left the dishes in the sink hoping my roommate would come home feeling industrious. Then I got ready to meet my friend Steve in Times Square for a film at 9:50.
I arrived early and bought our tickets and then walked around Times Square amusing myself.

First I found a couple having a heated and emotional break up, so I decided to sit next to them and pretend to read a book and amuse myself with their misery.  The girl was crying and kept choking out the same sentence over and over. “I’m (sob) just trying (sob) to be the best (sob) person I can be.”  The guy was looking frustrated with his highly public attempt at a breakup and just kept saying ” I know, I know”.  After they didn’t say anything new 10 minutes later, I mumbled “Bor-ring” at them and walked off to find something more fun.

Times Square is teaming with scores of annoying tourists holding up traffic by taking photos of their friends and family posing in front of mundane stores, NY Cops and what not.  Rather than getting frustrated about this I found that purposefully ruining their photos was much more fun.  I spent half an hour walking into unsuspecting tourists photos while scratching my ass, picking my nose or adjusting my crotch.  Now I will live forever in scads of family albums as “That guy who ruined our picture.”

There were 3 black girls in front of the movies when Steve had arrived.  It seemed they were planning to ruin an entire theater full of people’s cinematic experience with loud urban commentary.  I was thrilled to see they had bought tickets to some movie about a Chihuahua, and not “W” which was what Steve and I were going to.

The movie wasn’t half bad, nor was my day.

The Douchebag Option

Posted: March 17, 2011 by S. Trevor Swenson in Me & Mine
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Yesterday while speaking to my dear friend and editor, I had an epiphany.  I love having epiphanies and I also love the word ‘epiphany’ and try to insert into conversation wherever and whenever possible, even and especially when I am using it incorrectly. 
“So, Mr Swenson, what makes you think you’d be a good member of the McDonald’s team?”
“Well, I have a lot of experience and my epiphanies in regards to fast food are truly second to none.”
Anyhoo, yesterday’s epiphany was a disturbing bit of self discovery that acting in a well adjusted, pleasant and adult manner is almost never my first impulse.  In fact, it is seldom my second impulse.  My first impulse in any given situation is literally always, what I now call “The Douchbag Option.”
The friend I was sharing this bit of insight with understood immediately, and came up with a great little pop culture analogy as to how my sick little brain functions.
“It’s like that bit in The Terminator.  She said.  “Where they show all of the possible replies that the terminator could use as a response, and his computer chip immediately settles on ‘Fuck You, Asshole’.   She had totally hit the nail on the head there.  I am, in fact, The Douche-inator.
Here is a good everyday example of my thought process and the douchebag option(s).  Let’s say for example that I have just left the subway and I am walking down or up the stairs to leave the station.  Inevitably in front of me will be a glacier slow little old lady keeping me from reaching the exit in a timely manner. In my little douche-inator brain here are the options, in the order in which I come up with them.  Remember that this happens in a split second and is happening all day, every day.  My life is a series of 16-18 hour segments of me trying to refrain from being a complete and utter asshole. Couple this with my poor impulse control and you have a disagreeable, albeit colorful type of person.
Option A: Kick the little old lady down the stairs, then act like it was an accident.
Option B: Yell “Move it you old bag!” at the little old lady.
Option C: Roll my eye’s. Heave a loud and obnoxious sigh in hopes that the old lady hears it, turns and apologizes and get’s out of my way so that I can get out of the subway station 3 seconds earlier only to become angry and irrational with who ever is up there.
Option D: (The adult and well adjusted option)Step aside and wait for 5 seconds for the elderly woman to move along, or even ask if she needs some help in getting up the stairs.
Anyone who knows me would know that I would generally choose option C, which is still well within the douchebag hemisphere.  I am certain that this is a good epiphany as I am very pro self awareness,  but it’s also more than a little bit depressing.  Having an epiphany that “Hey dude, generally, you’re kind of an impatient, childish asshole.  In fact after contemplation, you still chose the douchebag option”
Now, I don’t kick old ladies down stairs, and if I were to see an old lady kicked down stairs I would help her out and administer a beat down to the person who did the kicking. I don’t even use the term “old bag” directly to elderly women who aren’t close family members. The very fact that it even enters my mind, and enters my mind first and foremost is what upsets me.
Maybe I’m not alone.  Maybe the whole world thinks about kicking slow old ladies, or telling the homeless “No, I don’t have any change, and you smell like an anchovy’s asshole”.  I’m honestly uncertain and I don’t think many people would admit to having such a horrid response mechanism.
Perhaps the pharmacological community should get involved.  There are all kinds of medications now for depression, OCD, levels of attention or lack of. and other conditions of the mind that keep life interesting.  Maybe we should find the neurotransmitter that is responsible for restraint.  I can just hear the commercial now.  “I used to get drunk at T G I Friday’s and go home with a different reptile two or three times a week. But after my doctor suggested Restrinal,  I now pause and ask my co-workers opinions before sharing a ‘Shuffle off to Buffalo Wings’ platter with a hairy backed missing link prior to going down on them in the parking lot.”
Maybe it’s a good thing that I am aware of the ever present douchebag option and that I seldom act upon it.  I also need to think of the difference between restraint and self awareness.  Surely people restrain themselves all day, everyday.  Or at least some of us do.

If Only . . .

Posted: March 6, 2011 by S. Trevor Swenson in Life
Tags: , ,

I wake up after resetting my alarm clock 4 times and going back to bed. What sadist invented the alarm clock, a device that rouses us from a peaceful and contented place?  I actually have to get up because today I have class. I plod down to Dunkin Donuts for my go juice and my daily inevitable ordering ordeal. The “shift supervisor” on the morning shift has a lazy eye and faces me and looks to my left and then her coffee order dyslexia kicks into high gear.

” May I have a small coffee, with a little milk and two Splenda?” She grabs the little microphone and manages to get every single aspect of the order wrong . . . size, dairy addition and sweetener. “Large coffee with cream and three sugars.” she says into the microphone. I usually just correct her and eventually I get what I ordered. However today I try a new approach. I grab the microphone with my left hand and her head with my right. I press her head to the speaker and announce in a clear loud voice . . . “SMALL coffee, with a LITTLE milk and TWO SPLENDA, you know . . . the same thing I have been ordering for the past SEVEN YEARS!!!!” I get my coffee and take a quick bow as I receive a round of applause from the other Dunkin Donuts morning crowd.

Up the stairs to grab my train. I swipe my metrocard and the turnstile reads “Please swipe again” which I do. “Please swipe again” it repeats. I swipe again and now it reads “Insufficient Fare.” Once again the MTA sticks it to me. I walk over to the station agent’s booth and after waking them up I explain the situation. She slides me a form to fill out and mail into the MTA. I take the form, smiling and stick it down my pants and wipe my sweaty ass with it and then stick it to the outside window of the booth. I wave to the station agent, blow her a kiss and hop the turnstile.

At Queensborough Plaza I change to the number 7 train which is on the upstairs platform. There is a 7 pulling into the station and I would catch it except for the Mexican woman with the 9 kids spread out across the entire staircase walking with the speed of a corpse on valium. I say “Excuse me” and “Permiso” because I have the courtesy to learn a few key phrases in other people’s languages, unlike this woman. I get to the top of the stairs as the 7 train slams its doors in my face. Then I walk over to the woman who made me miss my train. I reach into my backpack and pull out several condoms and shove them in her hand, hoping she will get the hint. I also pull out a Spanish-English dictionary and hit her savagely across the head with it. I close with giving her oldest child (a boy about 13 years old) an atomic wedgie. Then I board a new 7 train and it’s off to school.

Arriving at 33rd St which is the elevated train station closest to my school I am again obstructed by a fellow student walking down the middle of the stairwell and text messaging. I reach over and snatch the cell phone from her hand. I type “She’ll get back to you” to whoever she’d been texting, and then I punt the cell phone across the street where it smashes gloriously. Then I offer the girl a stick of gum, which she doesn’t accept.

I have to go to the financial aid office before class and I always get the same horrible woman with the turd like braids in here hair. Lo and behold she calls my name again and I try . . .oh I try to make this pleasant and painless, but she wont let me. I explain patiently and clearly the purpose of my visit; which is “when will my Pell grant be coming?” She taps a few keys on her computer and says blandly “No”. I stop, count to 10 and then say ” I never asked you a yes or no” question.” She then tells me to “calm down.” So, I calmly reach over her desk and taking her stapler, I staple her shitlocks to her desk and tell her “I’ll be back tomorrow, thanks.”

Off to the math lab where I make 3 tutors cry and urinate on two computers. That’s enough for today. I’m going to go back home and watch The King Of Queens.

Aaahhh . . . If Only