Wednesday, July 1, 2009
Confrontations in Innumerable Locations
As seasoned readers may have noticed, I rarely resist action whenever I encounter a situation, person, product or service that proves deeply disappointing. And since I'm your basic non-violent citizen who's never thrown a punch (and since utter silence is the most physically and emotionally draining option imaginable), my conflict-resolution strategies are usually written or verbal. For instance, as a child, I once formulated the ultimate insult: Brokenpiggyskunkcowrotteneggydorkbraingrimyboogerfartfacecrustymoldybuttsucker. It breaks down like this: Broken. Piggy. Skunk. Cow. Rotten. Eggy. Dork. Brain. Grimy. Booger. Fart. Face. Crusty. Moldy. Butt. Sucker. My sister Claire and I used it most often on our younger brother Lee:
Claire: Oh my gosh, Lee, you're such a brokenpiggyskunkcowrotteneggydorkbraingrimyboogerfartfacecrustymoldybuttsucker.
Lee: Mom! She called me a brokenpiggyskunkcowrotteneggydorkbraingrimyboogerfartfacecrustymoldybuttsucker!
Mom: Okay guys. That's enough.
These days, I try to address conflict in more adult terms. Remember my open letter to the Farley's & Sathers candy company about their sickening new formula for Brach's malted milk balls? Well, soon after I posted the letter on this blog, I printed it out and packaged it in an envelope with the uneaten portion of malt balls. Then, my intern Courtney placed it in an outgoing mail bin. Two weeks later, the following reply arrived:
Please note that no chocolate items were included in the enclosed Brach's Sampler (Lemon Drops, Circus Peanuts, Candy Corn, etc.). That's because they know and I know that the chocolate sucks now.
So, that was the somewhat dissatisfying resolution to one recent conflict. Let's move on to the next, an e-mail communiqué I initiated between myself and a 31-year-old Match.com member whose toolbag tendencies I couldn't resist pointing out after reading this sentence on his profile page (a direct cut-and-paste): In all honesty, I prefer to date women who are younger than me. I've found that many single women in their 30's are a bit obsessed with Facebook and text messaging. I'm sorry but it's just not worth the hassle.
Me to Match a-hole: Hi there. Your generalization about women in their 30s being "obsessed with Facebook and texting" is ridiculous. Isn't it kind of the other way around? I mean, I'm 30, and yes, I'm on Facebook, but until recently I always considered it the stomping ground of a younger crowd. Meanwhile, my friends in their 30s are mostly concerned with careers and families. I'm surprised to see a guy who's 31 so easily writing off people your own age with a flip little line like that. -A
Match a-hole responds: Hello "A", There's good news and bad news. The bad news is I feel bad for you. Your're critiquing online dating profiles. What could be more pathetic? The good news is I will never meet or talk to you. Thanks for saving me the hassle. [LOVES the word "hassle."] FYI- Enjoying hayrides and champagne does not make a person versatile. Well, maybe it does in Kentucky?
Me (after arriving home from vodka tasting at midnight and becoming incensed upon reading derogatory reference to home state): I'm a professional writer, so the critiquing comes naturally. Takes no time at all. You could have answered in a less defensive manner, but clearly, "professional douchebag" comes just as naturally to you. Good luck with the ladies, bud. Your profile is just the kind of place where I find some of my best material. Readers really get a kick out of that shit. Adios.
Who won that round? Who knows. But I did have the last word, since I subsequently blocked him from further communication.
Me (to Jimmy John's cashier): I'll have the number two, no mayo, no cheese, add avocado and sprouts. And a bag of Skinny Chips.
JJ cashier: You want a drink with that?
Me: No, because you don't have any good low-cal options that aren't loaded with sugar.
JJ cashier: That's because Jimmy doesn't really care about that stuff.
Me: Well, you could at least offer un-sweet tea.
JJ cashier: Yeeeeah...here's your sandwich.
Me: Thanks. Do you have any low-fat mayonnaise packets?
JJ cashier: No, we just have regular.
Me (rolling eyes): Great.
Well, that's about all the discord I can handle for today. Stay tuned for a script from my sister's most recent "Claire vs. The Dry Cleaners" encounter, an epic battle which occurred after a silk top with leather straps was irrevocably destroyed.