Last night while wandering around downtown Seattle so I could find something for dinner, a nice young lady outside of Pacific Place was gathering signatures in support of Planned Parenthood. With a smile on her face she would politely ask passing people if they supported Planned Parenthood so she could get them to sign. Most people were ignoring her.
Except the man walking ahead of me who decided to be a total dick and scream "NO!" at her so loudly that she was startled.
Naturally I decided to be a bigger dick and scream "YES!" at the back of his head, followed by "YEAH, PLANNED PARENTHOOD... YEAAAAAAHHHHH!!" And to totally drive my point home, I was fist-pumping and waving my arms while continuing to scream YEAAAAAAHHHHH!!"
Because, seriously, what is it with people?
Did he really have to be such a total asshole to scream at the girl? Couldn't he just have said a polite "no thanks" or even ignored her?
The polarizing politics of this country have created such overwhelming hatred in our daily lives that just walking down the street can be both horrifying and depressing. People aren't even pretending to be respectful, kind, and decent to each other anymore. Even the smallest disagreement seems to be grounds for all-out assault.
I try not to care, but I'm so damn tired of being caught in the crossfire.
I was having such a good day at work today. Until I made the mistake of driving back to my hotel at the end of the day.
Seattle is kind of a unique for a major city (so far as traffic goes) because it is surrounded by water on three sides. To alleviate traffic jams, most cities expand outward and build a ring road or something... but that's an option Seattle just doesn't have. For better or worse, the city is pretty much stuck with what they've got. Sure it presents some challenges and frustrations, but it is what it is, and locals pretty much deal with it the best they can...
Puget Sound (Elliott Bay) to the West. Lake Washington to the East. Lake Union to the North.
A key part of the Seattle transportation system is the Alaskan Way Viaduct. It runs along Elliott Bay (of Puget Sound) at the Western edge of the city. It's a double-decker affair with southbound traffic on the lower level, and northbound on the upper deck. You can see it on the map above... it's the yellow line to the left of where it says "Seattle."
Driving the viaduct can be tricky business because the lanes are quite narrow. This means drivers are always on high alert since you just never know when a truck is going to come barreling by and drift into your lane.
When you are heading north into the city you exit off a ramp that runs into Seneca Street...
At the end of the ramp you have the option of turning left onto 1st Avenue, which is exactly what I wanted to do because that's how I get to my hotel. Today when I exited there was a big Chevy Suburban SUV ahead of me. Because somebody was crossing the street, they had to wait in the intersection. Not wanting to block traffic if the light turned red, I hung back just a little bit so I could wait my turn...
So far so good.
But then some random asshole comes screaming up behind me and IMMEDIATELY starts laying on his horn...
WHAT THE FUCK?!?
It's not like he couldn't see the fucking huge-ass Suburban blocking me... he HAD to have seen it. With that in mind, what the hell was his reasoning to honk at us? Even if he didn't see the pedestrian in the sidewalk, he should have at least expected that we were waiting for SOMETHING! It's not like we were just sitting there for the fun of it. Besides, WHERE IN THE HELL AM I SUPPOSED TO GO? Am I just supposed to run over a Suburban AND a pedestrian to make this prick happy?
I can only guess that this particular asshole is one of those people who automatically lays on the horn the minute he runs across something blocking his path... whether it's deserved or not.
I fucking HATE these idiots.
In the interest in maintaining a civil society, it should be legal to pull out a gun and just unload on their rude, stupid asses. They have no place... NO PLACE... living amongst sane, rational, well-mannered people... let alone driving amongst us.
And now my day has been ruined.
To make myself feel better, I am going to go drink beer now.
Is there such a thing as "ass etiquette?"
If not, there really should be. Especially in this day and age of escalating passenger counts and increasingly limited personal space on planes. I am getting sick and tired of having people's asses in my face when I fly. It's as if people forget that they even have a stanky old ass in back, and are perfectly happy to ram it into people without a thought. Today was the absolute worst yet, as I ended up with more asses in my face than when I attended Madi Gras, and that's saying something.
From what I can tell, there are five problem areas...
• SEAT SCOOTERS!
These are the people who don't forget they have an ass... they just think that their ass is so small that they can move it through areas that they actually can't. Picture This: there I am sitting in my aisle seat when the woman next to me by the window gets up and says "let me scoot past you here!" and then proceeds to wedge her ass into my face as she makes a futile effort to work her way past my knees. Yes, I realize that it's an exit row... but I'm 6-foot-2, and it's just not going to happen. This results in my yelling "WAIT! I'LL MOVE! I'LL MOVE!!!" like a crazy person, as I scramble to unbuckle myself and get her denim-stained butt off of me. Not cool.
SOLUTION: Just ask the person blocking you to move if you need to get out. If it's a choice between having to get up or having to get ass in the face, I'm happy to move.
• AISLE TALKERS!
These are the morons who discover somebody they know on the flight, and decide that they simply MUST have an annoyingly lengthy conversation with them or else they'll fucking DIE. Unfortunately, the person they want to talk to is nowhere near their seat, so they have to stand in the aisle to talk to them. Now, this is annoying, but I have music on my iPhone, so I can drown out their stupid shit. What I can't drown out is their ass in my face, because they turn 90-degrees in the aisle to talk. This time it was particularly egregious, because the idiot decided to do bending and flexing exercises, planting his ass square into the side of my head. SO not cool.
SOLUTION: If you simply must talk to somebody from the aisle, stand in front of them with your ass pointed at the cockpit, not in the poor bastard's face across the aisle.
• KIDDIE WRANGLERS!
It's bad enough when people have to take their hyperactive brats on a flight, but it's a hundred times worse when they decide to bend over and hold their hands as they walk them up and down the aisles to keep them occupied... thus bumping their asses into every person unfortunate enough to sit in an aisle seat. NO we don't think it's adorable... we just want you to sit the fuck down and stop rubbing your asses on us! Do not want.
SOLUTION: Drug your kid, give them a bottle of whiskey, or buy them a Nintendo to play with... don't use the cabin as a Romper Room because you don't have the imagination to keep your hellspawn occupied in their seat.
• LUGGAGE OVERLOADERS!
These are the fucking pieces of shit that ignore the 1+1 rule, and decide to drag everything they fucking own down the narrow aisle to get to their seat in the back of the plane. ONE ITEM plus ONE PERSONAL ITEM does NOT mean a one suitcase plus one laptop case plus one purse plus one makeup kit plus one shopping bag plus one luggage roller plus one Kindle carrier plus one neck pillow plus one bag of takeout from McDonalds. THAT'S NINE FUCKING THINGS YOU DUMBASS MORON!! And you know how that person manages to get all that shit down the aisle? By laboriously shuffling and dragging it down the walkway, swinging their crap and their lazy asses into every aisle seat on the way down. How can you possibly watch your ass when you're having to juggle NINE pieces of shit? Well, considering they can't even count to TWO, the odds are overwhelmingly against them. Not only uncool, but incredibly douchey.
SOLUTION: Learn to fucking count and only bring the ONE fucking carry-on-sized bag and ONE fucking personal item that you're told you can bring on! That way you can pay attention to where your shit and, more importantly, your ass is ending up.
• ASS STICKERS!
These are the worst of the worst... people who inexplicably STICK THEIR ASSES IN YOUR FACE ON PURPOSE! I know it seems unbelievable, but I assure you they exist. Because some people's asses end up on you when there is absolutely NO earthly reason for them to be there. They either get some kind of perverse sexual thrill from sticking their asses where they don't belong... or just feel like being assholes with their assholes. Whatever the reason, they simply can't seem to resist putting their ass in your face. Beyond not cool and entering the realm of the ninth circle of hell.
SOLUTION: Seek therapy and don't fly. Ever.
I'm sure there are others, but these are the ones that happened to me today.
Now I should probably try to get some sleep... if I can keep from having horrible nightmares of random strangers sticking their disease-ridden asses in my face. Blergh.
And so... James Cameron's Avatar is dropping in theaters this Friday, and I am near the point of desperation to go see it. The problem is that I positively loathe to go to the movies anymore. People have reached new heights of rudeness, and it's just not as fun as it used to be. I spend most of my time filled with rage because people are getting calls on their mobile phones, lighting up the entire theater by texting, talking in loud voices and making noise, kicking the seats in front of them, and being all-around assholes. Why should I pay $7.50 for a ticket and $6.00 for a Coke to be subjected to that?
Maybe I should publish a new addition to my growing family of "Dumbasses" books so I can pass them out whenever I go to the movies?
Though the odds of anybody too rude to already know theater etiquette actually taking time to read it are slim.
So maybe I do what I usually do, and wait for the Blu-Ray to be released.
But then I look at this poster popping up everywhere...
...and I really, really want to go.
Here's hoping that if I do go I won't end up killing anybody.