Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Zombie Tough Guy (a post-script)

So, I was doing my write-up after getting home, and this happened:

For the most part, everybody in the group of zombies was very cool and easy-going.  Sure, there was some complaining about the makeup and the heat (which, when combined with the smoke machines, was worst than any mugginess I've ever experienced in this country), but people seemed to understand that it was a rare opportunity, and even though we were not given any instruction beyond "You ever watch 'The Walking Dead?'  Yeah, you're like that," the performances were pretty-much Romero-quality.

Oh wait, I forgot.  There was one moment that bears mentioning.  The group sitting immediately next to me was a funny, frat-boy-type quartet, talking about drugs and objectifying all the women they saw, passing the time playing Poker or Spades or Hearts or Blackjack (they'd even thought to bring Poker chips).  They made each other do push-ups and make animal noises (sometimes simultaneously).  They mocked each other pretty relentlessly, calling each other "faggot" and "tree-monkey" and "pussy" and "mongoloid" and the like, the harmless fun males partake of when they've got too much testosterone and nowhere to go.

When one of the guys called the dude next to me "dickless," he took it in stride, saying "That's not what your mother found out last night," and it was the next guy's turn to take a swipe.  But he didn't.  He froze, his nostrils doing that thing the T-Rex in Jurassic Park did.  Apparently, a line had been crossed.  He said, "You don't know nothin' about my mama," in a tight whisper, staring daggers at my neighbor.  The offender shrugged and said, "Alright," then meant to go back to his game.  But the offendee's friend shook his head, and the look in this guy's eyes was nothing short of murderous.  "You say you're sorry," he muttered.  "What?"  "Say you're sorry about what you said."  The guy next to me said, "Let's just let it go."  And the friend stood up and went around the table.  "You say you're sorry right now."  Now, I know that boys will be boys and a bunch of stereotypes, but this was not cool.  Everybody within range picked up on what was going on, and any and all camaraderie and easy-goingness (if that's a word) had fled the room.

To the guy next to me's further credit, he said, "It was just a joke.  Forget it."  But dude if the defender of a full-grown man wasn't out for blood now...  "I'll give you one more chance to say you're sorry," he said, like something out of a really bad Godfather knock-off.  He looked like an enraged bull with two swords already in its back . . . unless that sounds racist.  In which case, he looked like an enraged convict with a shiv in a prison movie who wears a do-rag and sports a wide array of colorful gangland tattoos.*

I don't know if I mentioned that these guys were friends, had partied together the night before, and had all driven to the set together that morning.**  Finally, the guy next to me, who was half the size of the bull/convict, put his hands up and said, "Yeah, I'm sorry.  It was a bad joke."  The two who'd been upset (they were cousins), left the set because they needed a smoke, and didn't come back for a while.

There's a full moon out tonight.  Maybe he was bitten by an asshole in the woods years ago, and now, every time the moon is full and bright . . .


And here's the thing: as scary as that was, I don't know if I would've apologized either, if I'd been the guy next to me.  The reaction these two--sorry, I've gotta say it--douchebags had was so out of proportion with the wrong they'd been dealt, and the fact that, had there been some kind of extenuating detail we didn't know about (such as his mother being dead, or a crackwhore, or a saintly sweet woman who ne'er did nobody no wrong) that would have explained his macho posturing and near-homicidal demeanor, it would have been perfectly alright to explain it, instead of just demanding the apology because he was the Alpha Male.  It was so ugly, and so unwarranted, I too might have stood my ground, if only to say, "You may be stronger than me, but what you're doing right now is one of the weakest things I've seen."

Of course, those would've probably been my last words, and in the moment, I may well have caved, but considering the good-natured ribbing and over-the-line name-calling that had been going on all weekend long, it struck me as the complete opposite of being a tough, admirable example for males to follow.

Now, I had a cousin who was a bit like that growing up, and sometimes I think I'd like to hit him with a brick, just to see what color his blood is, but he never frightened me the way this psycho did.  If he had, well . . .

Let's change the subject.

Dang, talking about this has bummed me out.  I think I might delete all this, or at least put it in its own post, because it ruins the fun of playing a zombie in a movie. 

At least a little.

Rish Outfield

*And if I still sound racist, how 'bout if I suggest that I saw that same look in Kirk Cameron's eyes one time when an interviewer suggested the earth was more than six thousand years old?

**Afterward, the guy sitting next to me said that the only reason he backed down was because they were his ride home, and if he had driven them as he had the day before, he'd have just let them find their own transportation.  I gotta wonder what that drive home was like, though it's more than likely that both cousins never brought it up again and acted as though nothing ever happened.

1 comment:

Abigail Hilton said...

"There's a full moon out tonight. Maybe he was bitten by an asshole in the woods years ago, and now, every time the moon is full and bright . . ."

Hahahahahahaha...! Oh, man, I might have to quote that somewhere. Rish, why do none of the characters in your stories seem to have a bitingly snarky inner monologue? Are those the stories you don't let people see? Because I would pay dollars American to read stories with a character who thinks this stuff!