Shuuuuut Uuuuuuup

I came home to a neighbor blasting a Kid Rock song (on repeat!) through the wall of our apartment the other day.  Now, normally I’m very meek when it comes to confronting neighbors, having toiled with some particularly nasty and violent neighbors in the past, but I made it less than ten minutes before I marched over and started banging on his door.

You’re gonna play Kid Rock into my HOME?  Where I eat and sleep and expect houseplants to flourish?!

It got me to thinking that I’ve never heard someone blasting music that I would consider decent. Not once.  Not once in my life.  Not through an apartment wall, not out of a car, not from a radio on a towel at the beach.

(For the record, it was that “Sweet Home Alabama” monstrosity that Kid Rock horked up and furballed onto the radio a few years back.  The one where he rhymes the word “things” with “things” for god’s sake.  Also, he is not from Alabama, and neither is Lynyrd Skynyrd.)

I’ve never sat next to a car at a stoplight that was blasting music and thought, “Oh wow!  This person next to me has got great taste in music!”  It’s always something just absolutely terrible.  It’s like there’s a law that if a musical note is heard loudly in public, it has to belong to a musician who is no more than six degrees of separation away from Limp Bizkit.

Same goes for someone prominently holding up a book that they’re reading.  They’re never holding up something fantastic like a David Sedaris book or a Jughead comic.  It’s always something like “How To Win Bitches” or “Chicken Soup for The Precious Moments Figurine Collector’s Soul” or some shit by Ted Nugent where he’s wearing the Constitution as a loincloth. I think if I ever heard a good song blasting out of a car or saw someone holding up a decent book, I would be so shocked that I would just drive right into an embankment.

Witnesses say the last words the victim uttered as they pulled her charred, limp body from the fiery wreckage were, “Finally! Someone blasting The Ramones! Please – someone save my Betty and Veronica Double Digest on the passenger seat. Save it for the future generations.”

I’ve come to realize that the same is true for loud conversations.  As a soft-spoken type, I’m appalled at how loudly people converse in public, and it’s always the conversation that you don’t want to hear.

We were sitting in a bar the other night (big surprise there), and someone nearby was having a two hour long, one-sided conversation with the person next to them, broadcasting it out of their mouth at approximately 5,000 decibels, blasting in my ear like in the opening scene of Back to The Future when Marty McFly plugs his guitar into that giant speaker and it blows him back like ten feet.

marty-mcfly-amp-gif-3 (1)
Actual footage from the bar

The subjects varied between a riveting tale about that time she ordered a bottle of wine at a Red Lobster in Daytona Beach in 1982, several mentions of how the Jello-shot the bartender had just given her looked like a urine specimen, her strong belief in guardian angels, and how Trump was going to earn her vote again if he levels Iran.

Basically the conversational equivalent of a Kid Rock song.

Never once in my life have I been sitting at a bar and heard someone shouting a conversation about the Abstract Expressionist movement in art, or about the best red lipstick for your skin tone, or about how every single kid on Mr. Belvedere was so ugly that sometimes it actually hurt to look at the television.  You know, stuff that I’d actually be interested in hearing about!  Never!

It’s always the person who wants to shout racial slurs and talk about the “handy” he got for half-price when he was stationed in Okinawa because she was missing two fingers.  Or the women at brunch who try to top each other’s birthing stories at full volume, making sure to really enunciate the words “…THE SIZE OF THE BLOOD CLOT THAT FLOPPED OUT OF ME…IT WAS LIKE TWO CALVES’ LIVERS, CAROL.”

Nobody’s ever like, “Let me yell my well-thought out opinion about Wendy’s versus Arby’s!”  That’s a conversation I could get into!

I mean, where are my people?  You’re probably off in the corner, like me, quietly debating the best Talking Heads song, not talking about Jello urine specimens or vag-shrapnel, and making plans to get nachos and watch Rocky IV for the fiftieth time later.

And Wendy’s is the superior option because they have baked potatoes that are actually baked in an oven, which are something that would take you like an hour to cook at home and would heat up your whole house.

And because Arby’s killed my entire family when I was a child.

Okay, maybe not.  But Arby’s doesn’t have baked potatoes.

I just looked it up and they actually do have baked potatoes.

See you in Hell.

The Call Was Coming From Inside the Cockroach

I wrote a fun little nonfiction piece about growing up in Florida among the dreaded Palmetto Bugs and X-R-A-Y Magazine was kind enough (and not squeamish at all) about publishing it on their site today!

You can check it out here: The Call Was Coming From Inside the Cockroach

If you are disturbed by vivid descriptions of bugs, then I shall direct you to this photograph of Steven Seagal holding a panda cub, which is only marginally less disturbing.  Who are we kidding?  It’s way, way more disturbing.

Click through and check out some of the other pieces on their site – they’re a really fantastic publication and I’m honored to be added to their contributor’s list.  Some of my favorite writers are on there!

Thanks for hanging out with me every week!  And let’s not forget why we’re all really here:

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Mz. Mannerz: The Fauxpology Prodigy

It’s time for another exciting installment of Mz. Mannerz!  Go put on a codpiece and brace yourself.  Like you weren’t already wearing one anyway.

The fake apology, or as it is often called, the fauxpology.  One of the more entertaining things a person can receive.  You could write it out as “Faux pas-logy” but that’s just confusing, so just go along with me here.

As you know, I had many years of experience dating scumbag musicians because for some reason or another I used to think I was worthless, so I’ve probably received more fauxpologies than most people, including such golden hits as…

“Hey, you know what?  I’m sorry you had to pay to get the electric turned back on again, but do you even care that I finally beat Grand Theft Auto Vice City while you were at work today?”

“Sorry you’re all ‘boo-hoo sad’ with your trust issues because I haven’t told my parents about us.  I’m doing you a favor.  If my mother knew I was living at your house for the past two years she would think you were a tramp and weren’t good enough for me.”

“Well, sorry if you have to get up early for work, but I’m having a good time and I’m not ready to go home yet.  Go sleep in the car if you’re tired.”

And yes, I walked out to a bar parking lot alone at 1am to sleep in my car.  My car that I had driven him to the bar in, because he had no car and no job, yet he felt he was the person in charge of when we would be leaving the bar.  Feel free to mentally transport yourself to the past and punch him in the dick.

…so I consider myself to be somewhat of a connoisseur of the fauxpology.

Now that I’m away from that horrific horseshittery, I find these fauxpologies almost endearing in hindsight.  They really are the gift that pretends to keep on giving.

There’s really only one correct way to say that you’re sorry:

  • By clearly stating that you are sorry for doing the shitty thing.

That’s the formula, in case you’re taking notes.

My god, please tell me you’re taking notes.  This website could self-destruct at any moment and then where would you be?  How would you know that the preferred Sheen/Estevez is actually Judd Nelson?

Here’s what an apology is not:

“Sorry if there were hurt feelings.”

This is what I like to call a “non-ownership” fauxpology.  For one thing, you couldn’t even be sincere enough to add the “I’m” before the word “sorry”?  That’s red flag number one that you’re not even remotely sorry.

The usage of the word “if” is another good indicator.  When you’re apologizing to someone, that means that they DO have hurt feelings.  There’s no question as to “if” they have hurt feelings.

And who’s hurt feelings are we even talking about here?  Because you didn’t mention anything about them being mine!  What you’ve done is just semi-apologized to the air, on behalf of the air.  You somehow managed to remove both of us from the entire equation, and questioned the notion that there were any hurt feelings to begin with.  Try again, shitass.

“I’m sorry you got your feelings hurt.”

I said try again.  That means try something different.  Not try the same damn bullshit again.

“I’m sorry that you’re so sensitive!”

Here’s the thing.  Do you want to have friends?  Would you like for people to be genuinely happy to see you?  Then when you do something shitty to them and they say, “Hey, that was shitty,” whether you intended to be shitty or not, you freaking apologize to them.  This is not cause for a debate over whether or not you feel they had a right to be upset about something you said or did – something that has clearly upset them either way.  Just apologize.  It goes something like this:  “I’m sorry I hurt your feelings.”  <—— Don’t cost nothin’!  AND DON’T SNEAK AN “IF” IN THERE.

“I’m sorry you took it that way.”

This is most often said when someone has said or done something so egregious that it’s undeniable, and now they’re basically trolling you.  This is how someone fauxpologizes after you get upset when they tell you, “Wow, you’ve really packed on weight since the last time I saw you!” or “Unlike you, I actually clean my house.”  There’s only one “way” to take those statements.  They were meant to be insulting.

“I SAID I WAS SORRY, OKAY?!”

See, now you’re yelling.  You’re yelling at someone who you’ve already wronged once.

Sometimes you can do something so super shitty that no amount of apologizing is going to make it better.  Sometimes it’s a sting that will take time to fade.  Sometimes it’s something unforgivable.  If someone is still upset after you apologize, that is not your cue to yell at the person.  That is your cue to figure out what you can possibly do to make it right, if anything, or just leave them alone and respect their space.

And people don’t have to actually accept your apology.  It’s not just a given in the apology transaction.  When you apologize, you are asking someone for forgiveness.  You don’t get to demand it from them.

So!  To summarize:

Stop being a dick and just say you’re sorry.

“Well, when I was on the debate team in high school…”

I SAID STOP BEING A DICK.