Thursday, October 30, 2008

Stupid Rant of the Week

Pretty much, with every one of my friends, there comes a point where the chief woman in his life (when I was a lad it was his mother, now that I'm semi-grown, it's his wife [which amounts to the same thing]) decides I am a bad influence on that friend. The women express this in different ways. For example:
1. Chris's wife expressed sad disappointment that he went to SAVING PRIVATE RYAN on opening night with me, or took me to THERE'S SOMETHING ABOUT MARY on my birthday.
2. Another friend's wife greeted me with a smile only to begin tsking the moment I was out of view.
3. I know of one friendship that simply dried up like an earthworm after a rainstorm fades because the new wife didn't want me around. Don't know where that guy even lives now.
4. As the months became years, Jeff's wife somehow overcame her revulsion of me and seemed to accept me as a sort of misshapen brother-in-law.
5. Merrill's wife intimated that I was unworthy to meet her sisters, and perhaps I should be kept from the children as well.
6. Matthew's live-in girlfriend shudders herself in her room when I come over, as if the mere sight of me might drive her to madness.
7. And Dennis's wife found me so threatening as to not speak to me, but tell her husband "to tell your friend" that it was time to go home, or people with jobs don't stay up late on a weeknight. She so hated me at one time that I fear she may have gone to her grave with that dislike not fully extinguished.

I could go on, but the dead horse has been soundly beaten.

In the last year, my cousin and I have become surprisingly close, finding that we both like comic books, "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," movies, action figures, "Star Trek," and certain types of music. Though we rarely spent any time together in childhood, we now get together every Tuesday, collecting toys, watching "Firefly," eating at Wendy's, shopping, playing video games, painting, and conversing. While his wife initially said nothing, his mother was the first to express disapproval that we seemed to have formed a friendship. My mother's sister goes as far as to interrupt our conversations, asking him to go talk to someone other than me, which I can only guess that he finds amusing, or is somehow able to ignore.*

Sadly, though, it seems that the day has come when my cousin's wife has discovered my ill influence on her boy. She's smart and long-suffering, cooks good food, often takes an interest in our conversations (or seems to), and strikes me as quite easy to get along with. But it is inevitable that she--like all other women I encounter--discover that I am the source of all that is dark, dirty, and ill-smelling in the universe. Twas I who convinced Eve to take a bite of that delicious-looking bit of fruit. Twas I who introduced the black plague into merry old England. Twas I who suggested to young Hitler that maybe the Jews were getting a little too big for their britches. Twas I who urged them terrorists to do something about the great Satan America. Twas I who allowed the Alliance to know the location of the shield generator.

Lately, she has mentioned the messy blackness I represent in her clean white universe. And really, there's not much I can do to change a woman's mind about me. I'm just a bad person, through and through. Heck, I took a seven year old to "Sweeney Todd," what more evidence do you need?

So, my cousin came over this past Tuesday, sharing in my plan to drive all over the valley looking for rare toys that I could sell and he could put on his shelves, a sort of miniature road trip. Because my cousin has been having money difficulties of late--and who hasn't?--I suggested that I drive my soon-to-pass-away car up north and back. But when I mentioned that we'd have to clear out the trunk and back seat of boxes**, my cousin decided to drive instead (I guess I owe him some cash for gas, but since he owes me stacks of currency, the crown jewels, and his firstborn male son at this point, it didn't occur to me to pay him up front).

We drove around, discussing his lack of funds, his favourite Green Lantern, the disciplining of children, and Brendan Fraser, and he spent a great deal more cash than he intended to do. In fact, he was not relishing having to explain to his wife why there'd be no more hot meals this calendar year when . . . the flashing lights behind us caught our attention.

My cousin had been doing eighty in a sixty mile an hour zone, and just as the policeman handed him the speeding ticket . . . his wife called to check on him. The poor boy had to sign the ticket, thank the policeman***, then get back on the phone to explain to his woman why there'd be no hot meals in the New Year, and more importantly, why I wasn't driving the car like they'd/we'd agreed.

I had to sit there and listen to him writhe. It was very sad and I hope I can make it up to him someday.

Preferably in a way that involves no expediture or effort on my part.

But let this be a lesson to you: if ever you are unfortunate enough to befriend me, don't introduce me to your better half.

Maybe it would be a good idea not to hang out with me at all.

Rish "We are quite safe from your friends here" Outfield

*Besides, he doesn't live under her roof anymore, so I guess she can only cajole with no real power behind it.

**If you recall, I'm a box scrounger.

***Why is it that we feel the need to thank policemen when they harass us or fine us? If anything, they should thank us for giving them money. But I think I've done it every time I've been pulled over or pressed up against a police car. Are we just afraid of the nightstick?

No comments: