Tuesday, October 2, 2007


-Responsibility blows like a hurricane and sucks like a tornado. My usual M.O. at any job is to lay low, stay off the radar, and do just enough to get by without getting bitched out for being lazy and inefficient. I’m usually very good at this but, at my current job, I’ve somehow slipped into a bonafide work ethic (at the least, more of a work ethic than previously). As a result, I’m now seen as one of the more responsible people, and it’s seriously cramping my style.

I do the "goofy, laid-back, average worker" thing, not the "dependable guy who gets shit done and facilitates others in getting their shit done" thing; that’s an ill-fitting and itchy polyester leisure suit with a big collar and sequins, my friends.

-How about a semi-dramatic true-life story? My brother and I were watching a DVD at about midnight a few days back when we heard a loud "boom" from outside. Both of us immediately assumed that someone had been coming through the parking lot too fast and hit a parked car, so we dashed outside to have a look.

As it turned out, someone had hit the bridge in front of our place; the SUV sat smoking in the right lane on the bridge and, as of then, we saw no movement and heard no sounds from the vehicle. I ran inside to dial 911 thinking, as one would be wont to think in such a situation, that there’s a very good likelihood that someone got hurt. And, as my brother and I were aware, someone had died after hitting that bridge two years ago. I relayed the known information to the 911 operator (car hit a bridge, don’t know if anyone’s hurt, sounded bad) and went out to see if I could help in anyway before the emergency personnel arrived.

As I walked up to the bridge, I noticed my brother and another neighbor standing by. On the bridge a passing driver had stopped and was parked behind the crippled SUV which, considering how loud the crash sounded, didn’t look near as bad as I imagined it would. The front right quarterpanel and most of the hood were demolished, and the right front tire was almost crunched into the engine block. The air-bags were deployed and smoke was steadily wafting from the buckled hood.

The driver of the SUV, a teenage girl, was walking around, crying, and talking to someone on her cell; her boyfriend, from the sound of it. I had asked the guy who stopped, whom we will simply call "Guy," if the "Girl" was alright but went ahead and asked her anyway. She said "Yes" and, as she was walking around and didn’t seem to be in any pain, I just made sure she got out of the road. Seeing as how she was just walking around in the middle of the bridge, I feel that it was a smart move on my part. Unfortunately, the hysterical Girl kept repeating into the phone, "I’m going to jail, I’m going to jail." So, that disappointed me a bit.

On the side of the road, the Guy informed me, in hushed tones, that the Girl was obviously intoxicated. I sighed, "Yeah, no shit. At least she didn’t hit someone else."

The fire department was there in five minutes and, seeing that the girl was completely uninjured, called off the ambulance and got down to the business of setting flares, directing traffic, and trying to calm the Girl down.

The cops didn’t show up until over a half-hour later. By that time, I had retreated to a safe distance where I could watch the proceedings without being in the way. After quizzing the Guy and letting him go, they questioned the Girl and administered the sobriety test. She failed pretty handily so the cop threw the cuffs on and put her in the car.

It’s sad that the Girl had to be arrested because she was just a kid, probably still in high school, and she’s probably a good kid otherwise. But, still...

She fucked up. She’s lucky that she walked away and even luckier that no one else was involved. As it stands, her parents will probably bring down the Hammer of the Gods, but she’s damn lucky she doesn’t have to live with the knowledge that she paralyzed or killed someone.

And that was my fill of drama for the month.

-The greatest, most brutal heavy metal band on the planet, Dethklok, has released a new album, "Dethalbum." If you’re a fan of the show or the genre in general, you are required by the Infernal Black Laws of Metal to purchase this album and play it very loudly.

Of course, the master musician behind the show (and the excellent show "Home Movies"), Brendan Small, may have painted himself into a corner. With a popular show and an actual studio album, people are already clamoring for a tour. Time to find a live back-up band, Brendan. Just make sure Myrtle Beach is on the list.

-With the NFL season well under way and the NBA and NHL seasons on the horizon, I feel it’s time to address a religious practice that depresses the ever-living shit out of me.

Why do athletes (or anyone else for that matter) insist on giving God and Jesus all the credit when they do something good?

I mean, was God spotting you in the weight room all through high school and college? Was God helping you run corner routes? Was God helping you comb through game tape in preparation for a tough match-up? Was God sitting in the stands at every game (home or away) yelling, "That’s my boy!"

And isn’t attributing a win to God a little insensitive? While God was helping you reel in eight catches and two touchdowns, at an average of 19.3 yards a catch, was he turning a blind eye to say, the suffering of children in third world countries? Or is he just a multi-tasker with screwy priorities?

And what does that say about God? In his infinite, over-powering wisdom, which team does he follow? And who’s his favorite athlete? All of them? And more importantly, why would he give half a crap? You’d think the creator of the world would have better things to do on a Sunday afternoon. Like actually fucking helping people.

The religious should really have a bit more self-esteem and give themselves credit for jobs well done. You worked for it, you practiced, you wanted it bad enough to take it; stand up and say, flat out, "I earned this and I’m proud of myself."

If God wants any credit, let Him come forward and claim it His Goddamn Self.


Dikkii said...

I have this memory of someone taking the piss out of Michael Jackson's Grammy acceptance speech where he thanked, "God, my producer Quincy Jones, my sister Janet..." etc all the way down to his chimp, Bubbles.

It was funny as.

At least he acknowledged Jones. I suspect that Jackson wouldn't have had a solo career without him.

Rebecca Hartong said...

Your car accident story reminds me of something that happened to my spouse a couple of weeks ago.

Spouse works for the Federal Railroad Administration and he was out of town riding around on a train to observe the railroad testing some new equipment they'd put on board. It was a high-speed train. So, spouse is up in the locomotive and they're zipping along at ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY MILES AN HOUR when some complete zipperhead decides it would be a good idea to go around the crossing gate (which, of course, was down and covered with flashing lights). Well, she almost made it -- the train just clipped the rear corner of her car -- but when a locomotive going 120 mph hits your car even a little bit, it's a big deal. Her car spun around, flipped in the air, and she landed upside down in a ditch.

A little while later (it takes time to stop a train moving that fast), the train crew and my spouse got back to the car -- just about the same time the cops and ambulance reached her. She was unhurt, yakking on her cell phone to someone, and when the cops ticketed her for going around the crossing gate she was pissed off.

I don't know if she was just a complete idiot or if it hadn't yet occurred to her how close she came to being dead.

Truly, a fraction of a second's difference and she'd have been a messy smear on the inside of a big crushed can.

People just have no idea. It's amazing.

The Rev. Jenner J. Hull said...

Yes, Rebecca, it is amazing. And terrifying. Aptly enough, just like a car wreck.

I've observed enough bad driving behavior to write a fairly consummate "Road Etiquette" guide, and "Blowing a Rail Road Crossing" definitely ranks very high among the more brazenly arrogant and stupid things you could do.

The chapter on rail road crossings would read, "Trains are very large. They move fast. They will destroy you. Fear and respect them. But, above all, fear them."