Modern Life

Here is how it rolls when I take a vacation break: my beau springs for tickets to the local Shakespeare company, I don’t mean DC but local-local, Arlington’s own “Avant Bard” (they of the nude Macbeth and other creations), and we arrive only to find that half the audience is one entire grade of a nearby Montessori school.

In the words of some Tumblr blogger that I poached a while back: “Why is it that little kids feel the need to scream constantly as if they’re being brutally murdered” (the blogger neglected the question mark, either from illiteracy or quaintness). The twenty minutes before the lights went down were sheer hell; it was hot, someone in the row in front of me had doused herself in Eau De Jungle Rape, and having brought my ashplant — my left leg is going to be slow unfolding after a long sit for many moons to come — I could feel my hands and arms rehearsing the moves of laying about me and breaking as many skulls as possible before anyone could restrain me. Perhaps it’s the upper register harmonics or something. Children should have their mouths taped shut until they reach puberty and their vocal qualities cease to resemble being stabbed in the head with a rake.

They shut up when the show started. Maybe something they teach them at Montessori. For the record, the production was terrific.

I go to the gym the next morning — a bit later than usual, since I don’t have a schedule to meet. Preceding me in the door is a woman trailing a mental defective — the kind that used to be called “imbecile” before everyone got all PC about it, grinning vacantly and making incoherent noises. No one said a thing as she signed in. Jesus Fuck. Time was gyms didn’t let people in without some assurance they knew what they were doing in there. This thing obviously couldn’t be trusted alone with a paper clip, and I had no way of knowing when I was going to turn around and find it underfoot (only once, thankfully, as it turned out, but that was one time too many). I guess this is the inevitable result of all the dumbing-down and disappearing equipment.

So I come home after the quickest lick and promise I can tolerate, pick up a shovel to continue digging out a new herb bed, and a guy in a suit walks up out of nowhere and starts trying to sell me financial services.

I was holding a shovel with fangs. He doesn’t know how lucky he was.

I’m trying to cultivate a sense of philosophical irony. This must be going on all the time while I am working. I guess I should just never take time off.

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6 thoughts on “Modern Life

  1. Oh myyy. What a bleedin nightmare for you! At least the weans were actually paying attention to the production, quietly. Not something even most adults are capable of these days in a movie theatre, it seems.

    I looked at that shovel. Now, I’m pretty sure you are intimidating enough on your own – but armed with that beast? That poor man must have lost his sense entirely via the soul-sucking hell that is door to door sales to even consider approaching you. He has balls, and should count himself lucky that he still does.

    • Thank you for making me laugh!!! I needed that right now.

      I have always wondered about people who get my back up when I’m holding agricultural implements. It’s happened before and I just think “Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite” and grit my teeth remembering the penalties for aggravated assault.

  2. Montessori goes up unto high school and in fact they’re experimenting with high school out here now. They’re great kids in that they’re not force-fed crap but encouraged to become themselves yet be polite when it’s called for, hence the cacophony followed by actually paying attention. Avante Bard? Awesome. One naturally thinks of Alexandria as a soulless suburb of the most soulless city on Earth but clearly there is something fertile in the soil, perhaps springing from gardens where door to door salesmen weren’t so lucky.

    • I actually live in Arlington but this was right on the Alexandria line. And it’s less soulless than you might imagine, once you factor out the people in yellow power ties that stuff themselves onto the subway every morning. This is a place where the local cross-dressing club has a booth at the County Fair (yes, we really have one, with rides and everything — the fair has rides I mean not the cross dressing club).

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