Sunday, July 31, 2005

Frustration and Frozen Poultry Embryos

I recently located several files from my old website, which was tragically destroyed by a hopeless systems analyst at my internet service provider several months ago. While I won't republish everything, I will post some of my favorite stuff. The following ditty is one of those pieces. I wrote it last September, after attending part 1 of the trial of the girl who killed my grandmother in a car accident. While the newspapers were quick to report that my grandmother was at fault (because how often do 72 year old women drive correctly, right?), the facts of the case were that the lady who ran into my grandmother ran a red light while talking on hercell phone. She nevereven hit the breaks.

Originally, she plead not guilty. My entire family showed up for the trial and it turned out that she didn't have to be there. It was the first of many frustrating and harrowing moments that lasted until earlier this year. I thought this encapsulated my frsutration quite well. You might not understand it, but who cares? This is my website, right?

This entry is rated "DL: Don't Look!" for extreme language and strange situations.
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The Beginning: Frozen Chicken Embryos in the Halls of Justice

They have eggs! What in God’s name possesses them to stock eggs!

Think about it. It’s a courthouse for fuck sake. And it’s not like these are scrambled eggs or hard-boiled eggs or something useful like that. These are uncooked eggs, fresh from the chicken’s ass. They are the kind of eggs normally reserved for frying over-easy. Only now, in the courthouse, there are no easily accessible frying pans. The courthouse has no restaurant, so the eggs are useless for the average, law-abiding citizen. In fact, the only possible use for them is for throwing at people to further political statements.

Maybe the protestors! The protestors outside deserve to be pelted with dozens upon dozens of eggs! But no. There are too many policemen and policewomen and policepersonswithoutgender around to warrant a righteous barrage of frozen poultry embryos. The protestors are screaming about race. They believe that a sexual assault case charged by a white woman against her white boss somehow justifies cries of institutional racism simply because the man in question happens to be the Hamilton County prosecutor. Racism! Go figure.

Still, I can’t believe they have eggs. What is this world coming to?

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Interlude #1: Goodly would work just as well.

Sedat Balfour, a student worker at the University of Cincinnati Health Sciences Library, is attempting for the third time in a week to correct an essay for his English 103 class, which ended last Friday at five minutes past three o’clock in the afternoon. Despite being a native English speaker and despite his intentions to teach English at the high school level upon graduation, Mr. Balfour’s attempts have thus far been unfruitful, much to the chagrin of his friends, family, professors, and employers. His boss, Mr. Joseph Everett Shaw the first, has attempted to impart grammatical wisdom upon this young man, but his valiant efforts have thus far resulted in greater confusion for both. Neglecting the egregious errors in sentence structure, spelling, and word choice for the time being, Mr. Joseph Everett Shaw the first attempts to work on one subject at a time. Currently, that subject is the difference between the words “good” and “well.”

“Good is an adjective,” he says, ”and well is an adverb.”

“So,” Mr. Balfour responds. “Why does it matter?”

“Because you used it incorrectly. See? You should say that you played football WELL, and that the present you received from your father was a GOOD one. Not the other way around. That is why your professor gave you an ‘F.' That is why you failed the class and have to repeat it.”

“But I don’t say it like that,” he says after several silent moments of confusion. “I say I played the game good. Why can’t I say I played the game good?”

“Because you need to use an adverb to describe how you played the game, and good is not an adverb.”

“What’s an adverb? Is that like a verb that can do math?”

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Immediately afterwards: Offended People Offending Other People

They must not know what they’re doing, then. Maybe I’ll buy some eggs afterwards and throw them at the protestors as I’m leaving. That will teach them. I'll have to wait until I’m a good distance away, though, because they look young and in shape and I am older with a bum knee. I wouldn’t want to get my ass kicked for throwing eggs at people.

I’ve always said I would do that only once in my life, and that incident was reserved for my former calculus professor. The alcoholic German. There must be something with Germans. They couldn’t take over the world, so they fly into a rage over something as simple and harmless as a few hundred eggs tossed at their cars. The car in question, ironically enough, was built by Ford.

Maybe the conspiracy theorists were right! Maybe Ford really was a Nazi in disguise! Maybe that’s why my car sucks!

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Interlude #2: At work - or - Jab yourself in the eye with a dull spoon.

“Where’s the printer?”

“It’s over there.”

“Where?”

“Over there underneath the sign that says ‘Printer.’”

“Where?”

“Underneath the big sign twenty feet to your right that says ‘Printer.””

“I don’t see it.”

“Do you see the row of chairs twenty feet to your right?”

“Yes.”

”Do you see the large green sign above those chairs?”

“Yes.”

“Can you read the sign? The one that says ‘P-R-I-N-T-E-R?’”

“Yes.”

“That is where the printer is.”

“Oh … … …”

“What is it? What’s wrong?”

“I still don’t see it.”

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Twenty minutes later: Down the Hall in Courtroom 121

These chairs are uncomfortable. The arms are too low to rest on, and the seat cushion is ripped so I’ll likely have little pieces of foam stuck to my ass when I get up. Only nobody will have the heart to tell me. They’ll follow closely behind, pointing and laughing. But when I look back to see what’s going on, they’ll find something in the distance to stare at until I turn around again.

This is called being polite.

And I’ll walk around all day with these little pieces of foam clinging to my ass like a barnacle for all to see. People will wonder why I am incapable of cleaning myself. They will look at me, coming out of the courthouse, as a common criminal, likely brought up on charges for petty theft or drunken disorderly conduct. Or is it drunk and disorderly conduct? I don’t know. It doesn’t matter. These seats are still uncomfortable. And why is the judge just sitting there? It’s ten past one and he’s just sitting there like he’s waiting for a movie to start. I didn’t want to come. I never wanted to come. I wish I were at home watching reruns of Scooby Doo and eating carrots. Instead, I’m sitting here in a downtown courtroom surrounded by a bunch of alcoholic wife beaters while this judge takes his dear, sweet time getting the ball rolling. As if the rest of us have nothing better to do but wait for his happy ass to finish reading the funnies. And I still have foam on my ass.

I should have bought the eggs.

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Interlude #3: The Brainless Plastic Man

Two people sit on the floor of a library, the brains of a plastic man strewn about between them. They try and try, but they cannot get the brains to go back in.

“Why did you do that?” she asks.

“ I don’t know,” he says. “It was there and I just felt like it.”

“Now look at what you have done!” She grabs the occipital lobe with her left hand and raises it to his face. "What if we can’t get it back in? What then?”

“I don’t know,” he says. “Do you think anyone will notice?”

“Of course they’ll notice,” she says. “A plastic man without a brain tends to stick out, even in this place.”

“Here, try this.” He grabs the brain stem, sets it next to the medulla oblongata, and hits it with his hand as hard as he can. Another piece flies out.

“Oh great!” she says. “Now you’ve broken it!”

“I didn’t break it. It was already broken. I just helped it achieve its already existent nature.” He sits back with his hands behind his head. A smile crosses his face.

She is mad. “Stop it, fuckhead. This is serious.”

“I know it’s serious,” he says. “A thing that isn’t in its nature is never truly at peace with the world.”

“I said stop it. I need help with this. What are people going to think if they come back here and see this plastic man’s brains all over the floor?”

“They aren’t going to think anything,” he says. “After all, it’s just a model. This is a computer lab. Nobody looks at the models anymore. That stuff is all online now. Real pictures of Real brains. This plastic man is obsolete.”

“So what do we do?” she says.

“Here.” He takes the remaining two pieces – both halves of the frontal lobe, the two pieces that won’t quite fit – and he stacks them on top of the plastic man’s head like a hat.

“There.”

“What is it?” she asks.

“It’s art! I call this piece ‘creative thinking.’”

They both laugh. They spend the rest of the evening with the plastic man’s brains strewn across the floor. They are laughing despite the situation. The brainless plastic man wears a serene smile on his molded face. His demeanor has not changed, but you can almost see laughter in his plastic eyes.

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Ten More Minutes: Into the E’s Now

What is with these people? How many drunk drivers are out there? Why do so many people feel the need to drive on suspended licenses? And why do people who pass bad checks think that complaining to the judge about a lack of necessary funds is going to get them out of paying the fines?

People are stupid. People are very very stupid.

Look at that man up there. He has no teeth! How can he expect to get anywhere in this world with no teeth!
Why is it taking so long? Her last name is Bullington. Bullington starts with a ‘B.’ She should have been up there a long time ago. Why is this taking so long? Why can’t it be over already?

Look! Another man with no teeth!

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Interlude #4: At work again - or -Over there

“Where’s the Printer at?”
“Over there.”
… … …

“Where’s the Printer at?”
“Over there.”

… … …

“Where’s the Printer at?”
“Over there.”

… … …

“Where’s the Printer at?”
“Over there.”

… … …

“Can you tell me how to find the latest edition of the New England Journal of Medicine?
“Over there. … Wait, what?”

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Forty Minutes Past: She never showed up

So tell me again what the fucking problem is? I must have missed it. You mean to tell me that the lawyer dropped off her plea three hours in advance and I sat down here with a bunch of brainless morons for two and a half hours for nothing? Why wasn’t I told about this? Why didn’t somebody take the time to pick up a fucking phone and call me to let me know what was going on? Don’t you people have any decency? She's the one who did it! She's the one who ran over my grandmother with her car while talking on her cell phone. Stupid fuckwad ass-fucking fuckers! God damn it!

And where the hell does she get off pleading innocent anyway? She's guilty as hell. Everybody knows it. People aren’t just stupid. They are fucking morons.

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Interlude #5: Outside the Courthouse

“Mike Allen is a rapist!” one of them yells. He is using a bullhorn so people can hear him all the way down on Fifth and Walnut.

“This is another example of the city keeping the black man down!” another yells. This man is not using a bullhorn. He screams with a voice normally gifted to preachers and football coaches. He is not a preacher and neither is he a coach. He is a protestor. I guess he missed his calling. I guess he failed to find the natural root to his true existence and will thus never achieve peace with the world. Maybe somebody ripped out his brains and put them in backwards like a hat.

“This city will never get better until the white man does something about this racism!” the first one yells again.

“You, sir,” the second one yells at me. “What will you do about it?”

“I plan to go home and wait for them to call me, because I’m tired of people fucking around. I want them to get things done. I want it all to be over. Finally over. I can’t believe we all came down here for this. What a fucking waste!”

“That’s right, brother man!” he screams at me. He thinks I am talking about Mike Allen and his racist sexual exploits. I am not. “Way to go! Keep hope alive!”

This is my thought as I sit in a traffic jam next to the Cincinnati Public Library. Maybe he is right. Maybe I should just keep hope alive. But it’s hard to ponder the meaning of hope when there’s a large SUV blocking the intersection and nobody is doing anything about it. The cops certainly can’t. They are back at the courthouse glaring at the protestors. The cops are back there and I am up here. Everybody is mad and frustrated, and I am late for work.

“Eggs,” I think. “I can’t believe they stocked eggs in the courthouse. ”

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Epilogue: Stand Aside Please.

I come down the steps from the Deli with a large cup of Diet Pepsi. I am in the basement of the hospital. It is late and nobody is around. From around the corner I hear the swoop swoop, thud! sound of the broken elevator door.

“Stand aside, please,” a mechanical voice says.

I turn the corner next to the elevator doors, and I see an unmanned floor washer, one that is guided by mysterious microchips and lines of programming no human should ever have to see. It faces the elevator.

swoop swoop, thud! “Stand aside please.” swoop swoop, thud! “Stand aside please.”

The elevator and the mechanical floor washer are engaged in a never-ending battle of futility. One is a rock, the other an immovable object. They will go on forever, one opening and closing and the other politely asking for room to maneuver. They will never finish their jobs. They will always meet with frustration.

But what do they care, huh? They’re just a couple of fucking machines.

2 comments:

thecoolestblog said...

Cool blog and cool message

The Sasquatch said...

Hey! Thanks for the note, Lorrie. Who are you, by the way? Do I know you?