Friday, October 23, 2015

37 Years a Curmudgeon

I was once at an Eastern Star (what the old-timers call “lodge”…think The Masons) installation for my grandma and I heard someone at the microphone refer to my grandpa at a “curmudgeon”. My grandpa didn’t know what that was so it kind of pissed him off. I guess the guy at the mike knew what he was talking about (although, in general my grandpa was one of those guys who would go far out of his way to help just about anyone in any situation).
Well, now I’ve reached that age where 40 is on the horizon and my body doesn’t always do what I ask it to anymore. So you get to listen to me slap on my suspenders, yell at the kids to get off my lawn and complain about the government.
1. My Finger Hurts
There’s a scene in Happy Gilmore where a lady at the retirement home complains to Ben Stiller’s character as she is being forced to relentlessly sew. She says “my fingers hurt.” His response? “Now your back’s gonna hurt cuz you just pulled landscaping duty.”
Well, I’ll tell you something. My finger hurts. And my back doesn’t feel so great either. The middle finger on my right hand is sore at the first knuckle. I don’t remember doing anything to it, but every time I make anything more than a typing movement it really hurts. I’m 37 and my wife asked if I have arthritis…and she was serious…and I didn’t know the answer.
And just about every day I get up out of a chair at some point and say “oh, hello there back…thanks for reminding me you’re there.” It wasn’t too many years ago I didn’t even know I had a back unless it itched in a spot I couldn’t quite reach. Now I’m aware of it…ALL THE TIME.
2. Customer Service is Garbage
I called the eye doctor’s office a day before my followup appointment during my trial week of contact lenses. I said I needed another brand because these ones were uncomfortable. Andrew, the lazy dope of a receptionist who has no customer service skills, replied “oh…Abie just left for another office but I’ll try to get her a message.” The tone he used when he said “try” had two meanings: a) I was really burdening him and this was going to be a difficult task b) there was no way in Hell Andrew was going to call Abie. I showed up the next day for my appointment. Andrew had no idea who I was (my third time there in a week) and Abie had no idea I wanted another brand of contacts. Result? They gave me a new brand in the wrong prescription. So I have been wearing glasses all week instead of trialing the contacts because I can’t very well be blurry all day. It’s exhausting. Screw you, Andrew.
I also had a debacle trying to get an exchange on the baseball (Cubs) shop website. That’s a whole blog unto itself. I hate that place. Two hours of my life later I have nothing to show for my efforts. They literally ‘accidentally’ hung up on me AND put me on hold for 10 minutes because of an ‘emergency’.
And would it KILL any single fast food or fast casual employee to grab a moist towel and wipe down a few tables? Are employees allergic to terry cloth? Why do I have to ask every time I go somewhere for one of the 4 gossipy employees doing nothing to break away from their catty chat about Tracy and how she was flirting with Jimmy to wipe down one of the EVERY TABLE IN THE STORE for me to sit at because they are ALL covered in food? And why, after they have wiped down said table, is it STILL DIRTY??? For this we are asking THE LAW to pay them $15/hour?
3. Warranties
Remember when you would go to a store and buy something and then it would perform the function for which it was MADE and you didn’t have to worry about it? Remember when even if that item broke you could take it back and the store would replace it? What the hell happened to THAT? I guess you can still find it at Costco, so that’s good. Other than that every store basically asks you to gamble your money, one way or the other, on whether or not that piece-of-crap-Made-in-China thing is going to make it 12 months. “Sir, this is a $1,000 TV…are you sure you don’t want to lay down that side bet of $150 that it’s going to roll over and die like a diseased feral cat? Roll the dice, sir, it’s fun!” Screw you. Everybody knows that side bets are sucker bets. If this TV breaks I’m going to punch you in the face…which is really going to piss off my arthritic finger.
4. Lanes Merge
There are four working theories on how to merge in a “this lane ends” scenario:
a. Left-Wing Driver Guy:
Tra la la, I have a bunch of socialist bumpers stickers on my car so I’m far too intellectual to care about things like driving etiquette. I’m not really even certain which lane I’m in and the divinity of nature is far too important for me to do anything but weep about my carbon emissions while I’m driving, let alone pay attention to merging lanes.
b. Continuing Lane Only Guy:
This person finds the long line and stays in it no matter what. When you are this person you hate the guy in the right lane with a passion. You say things like “What? Is he so much more important than the rest of us? What an a-hole.”
c. Merging Lane Only Guy:
This is the a-hole. But the thing is, if we all played by either b) or c) theory then there wouldn’t be an issue here. But there are two competing theories in play. So this guy, who rides the ending lane all the way until he’s about to run into the barricade, pisses off the other people. And the other people want to punish him. Everybody thinks they’re in the right. There are a lot of slow motion near fender benders that really nobody is going to let happen, but everyone claims they will. There is also a lot of cussing behind closed windows. Also, many of this guy is driving a BMW.
d. Merge Before the Lane Ends Guy:
This guys screws up the whole system. He’s your typical timid driver. He wants the advantage of the fast lane, but he’s insecure about it. So he stops halfway up the waiting line and turns on his blinker until some a) lets him in because she’s so involved in her Ani Defranco music that she didn’t notice the line was moving…or that there was a line…or that there’s something called ‘shampoo’. Meanwhile the true b) people are irate because now d) has merged in before the lane ends and c) is zooming by to merge in up there too…all the while pushing the b) line back into oblivion.
The point is we all need to subscribe to one system. My suggestion is that all of us b) drivers literally smash into every c) driver out there. Also, the a) drivers need to have their licenses taken away and d) guy should be confined to the retirement home.
5. Gluten
Sure, some of you may be allergic to gluten. But you know what? Most of you aren’t. And I don’t care. I really don’t. Unless you’re in front of me at Chipotle the ONE TIME the line isn’t 20 miles long. AND YOU INSTRUCT THE EMPLOYEES TO STOP THE LINE AND WIPE OFF ALL FOOD SERVICE SURFACES FOR 5 MINUTES BEFORE PREPARING YOUR FOOD. Sure, you’re 23 and you and your life partner have bonded over this hypochondriatic sense of self-righteous gluten evasion. But you know what? The only damn thing on that line that has gluten in it is a stack of tortillas that is sealed in a plastic package. Every one that has gone down that line was on a sheet of foil. If you want the employees to change their gloves, be my guest. But you, ma’am…sir, you are a self-important tool. And I’m hungry. If I take a bite out of your arm in lieu of my carnitas bowl, will that make you change your actions next time? WILL IT?
6. Microsoft Windows
Windows 8? That was a joke, right? Oh, yes, I upgraded to 10 for free. IT’S THE SAME PROGRAM! Hate.
7. Your Dog
I know you don’t think you’re part of the problem. But you know who isn’t part of the problem? Me. Do you know why? Because I don’t have a dog. Your dog barks at 6:30 am and it barks at midnight. Sometimes the excuse is ‘there was a raccoon’ and sometimes it’s just ignorance: ‘I had no idea…’. Your dog craps in my yard and sometimes you even pick up that steaming hot pile of dog ass. But even when you do pick it up you’re leaving feces, excrement, sh*t smears in my grass and I’m going to step in it (or roll in it when I’m playing with my kids). Also your dog leaves snot on my arm. It glues my arm hairs together. It makes me go to the dry cleaners and pay $8 to have my pants cleaned. Your dog knocks over my kids and licks my sandwich when nobody is looking. But we live in a society where all of this considered cute because dogs are basically stupid people. So maybe I AM the problem. But still, just for good measure, screw you and your baby (dog). Keep it out of my grocery store you selfish prick.
8. Healthcare Costs
We always talk about how everyone needs to have health insurance. But you know what we really need? A healthcare system that doesn’t gouge the crap out of us every time we get a paper cut. Do you know what insurance does? Creates a GIANT bucket of money so hospitals can charge outrageous prices for just about everything.
When Taela and I were first married she cut her hand washing dishes. We went to the ER to get her stitches. The itemized bill came. Suture string? $65. Latex gloves? $30. Umm…what? Yes, I’m serious. And that was 15 years ago!
Ever notice that different clinics and different pharmacies charge different prices for the same care or drug? No, you didn’t. Do you know why? Because none of them ever talk about prices. It’s all hidden behind the copay on your insurance. Is there ANY OTHER SERVICE/ITEM IN THE WORLD that you buy that doesn’t show you the price before you pay?
We get mad at this guy:
 Martin Shkreli
Because he is openly holding sick people hostage. But the entire medical industry does this! They just don’t openly throw it in our face.
Get off my lawn!!!!!

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