In Memorium

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Lost in Translation

The following is a set of “instructioins” my co-worker received with a replacement laptop battery, verbatim [my comments in brackets]. I was completely unaware that there is a circle of life for charging batteries. Maybe this is why they tend to catch fire in pressurized cabins. Apparently it is a very smart battery, and credit worthy, but beware. It carries a small amount of pocket change with it. If this battery loses this it will charge you into the poor house… Continue reading

Too Kool to Snuff the Red Man

I begin my battle with nicotine when my lungs are still pink, my teeth still white, and my fingers stained only with peanut butter and dirt. It is a battle to fit in, to be cool, and nicotine is fated to be my partner. For life.

I am about ten when my parents send me and my brother to summer camp for the first time. I am a quiet and withdrawn kid, so not so many friends. I tend to sit and watch, keeping my mouth shut and my eyes open. This does not earn me friends any faster, but I’m not a nose picker. I’m not a “retard”—a non-pc term we use back then to describe the kids who are nose pickers—and despite my less than fashionable dress, kids eventually gravitate toward me as someone who is a fairly safe bet. It is safe for me too. I never have to face rejection head on. If I am rejected, I don’t know it. I can ignore it. If someone does take a chance on me, I make sure not to let them down, either by actually picking my nose or doing something retarded like crying for my mother when I step in shit. It is a good system. It works for me anyway. It also means that I tend to be accepted by the socially rejected dregs of society. I can tell. I recognize my own kind when I see them. Continue reading

Thursday, 10/27/2011

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Doing Dumb with David

I almost killed my brother. I would very much like to postscript that statement by saying “once,” but that would be a lie.

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I have three brothers, all younger than me. My brother, David, is two years younger than me, my brother Ben, six, and my brother Ethan, nine. Ben was never harmed or ever in any danger—at least from me. Ethan I almost killed several times with malice aforethought, but he was a fast runner and that’s another story for another day. David, on the other hand, never gave me any reasons to kill him, yet I almost did several times for no other reason than that he liked to hang around with his older brother and see what adventures his twisted, creative mind would take the two of us on today. Continue reading

A Dream not Actually Remembered

I entered a contest recently, well, a race actually, where the winner received a check for $250,000. Actually, after taxes, the check was a bit less, but still a respectable chunk of change. I don’t actually remember exactly how much it was because I lost the check. Actually, I don’t know what happened to it, but it was right around $107,241.33. Close enough. Continue reading

Thursday, 10/6/2011

Empathy is not a Ladder

Erica  recounts (under duress) a spat she’d had with one of her friends today, and the topic of people not being nice but having a good heart makes its way into conversation.

“She’s nice though,” says Mom.

“Ah, I bet she’s like so-and-so with the fighting,” says Maddie, referring to one of her not-friends.

“She… she’s got a good heart though,” says Mom, referring to Erica’s friend.

“I think so-and-so has a good heart too,” says Maddie. “She’s just not a nice girl.”

“You can’t have a good heart and not be nice,” I say to Maddie.

“Yes you can.”

“No.”

“You’re not nice.”

“I’m very nice. Very empathetic.”

“You…”

Mom laughs. “You are?”

“That doesn’t mean you’re nice,” says Maddie.

“I hate when you do that stupid laugh,” says Erica to Mom.

“You’re not generally nice to people.”

“Whatever.”

“Wouldn’t you say? You have kind of a standoffish attitude.”

I grunt, ignore her, and thereby make her point for her. Continue reading