This Joker Who Wants to Kiss Your Mother

Hey sassafrases!  The folks over at jmww journal were kind enough to give a home to a little nonfiction humor piece I wrote about the first guy who showed up to take my mom on a date when I was a kid.

You can read it on the jmww site here: This Joker Who Wants to Kiss Your Mother

About The Journal:  “jmww is a weekly journal of writing publishing the best in fiction, poetry, flash, essays, interviews, and reviews (or a close approximation).”

Fancy!!!

A Reminder About Me:  I have no idea how a dirtbag like me got accepted there, I’m just honored as hell that they shook me out of the pile, dusted me off, and gave me a shot.

Special thanks to the illustrious Alle C. Hall, Senior Nonfiction Editor at jmww and a stunningly good writer, for her excellent guidance, ideas, and expert honing in editing this piece.  You can check out her blog here: About Childhood

As always, thanks to all of you for being so awesome.  You’re all so supportive and kind and funny and I can’t thank you enough for hanging out with me here every week!  More published work coming next week!

And here’s the obligatory Nicolas Cage photo.  Because.

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Disney Movies: Experts at Scarring Children for Life

Someone asked me if I was excited about the new Dumbo movie.  I had to restrain myself from responding with one or more of the following:

“I would rather replace every strip of bacon I eat with a similarly sized strip of duct tape that was used to pick hairs up from a crime scene that occurred on a bus station bathroom floor.”

“I would rather be locked in a room with Adam Levine (who I prefer to refer to as “Gonorrhea Jesse Pinkman”) and forced to listen to him wax philosophical about his ab routine for three days straight.”

“I would rather go back in time and replace every Love Boat cast member with a Kardashian/Jenner.  Kylie is the new Gopher!”

But, oh no!  You can’t be honest in those situations!  People get all, “Geez!  Sorry I asked!”

You know, people claim to want honesty above all else, but I can tell you from experience, the last thing most people want from you is honesty.  What people really want is for you to agree with them.

And you know what I don’t agree with?

Subjecting myself to Dumbo for a second time in my life.

Yeah, I saw it when I was five years old, and that was frankly more than enough to emotionally scar me for life.  The only way you could make me watch the re-make is if you were to put me in a straitjacket and hold my eyes open a la A Clockwork Orange.  Even then, I would just try to use The Force to choke myself unconscious.

Don’t act like I’m the only adult who still tries to use The Force.  I attempt it at least a few times a week when presented with “unpleasant situations” in public.  It hasn’t worked yet, but I swear last week a guy in front of me in the Walgreens line started to loosen his top collar button to get some air when he asked for a raincheck on a sale item during rush hour.  Had he turned around at that moment, he would have seen me doing this:

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He continued breathing air despite my righteous efforts of justice, happy as a raincheck-clam to torture all of the people he was holding up in line.  I could deal with it if it were some poor little old lady in a muu-muu and knee-highs, but this guy walked outside in his fancy golf outfit and suede driving moccasins and climbed into his S-Class Mercedes, raincheck in-hand for two canisters of almonds.

I pictured him sitting at a table later that night at Long John Silver’s, complaining that the seafood “just simply wasn’t up to snuff”.  THEN GO TO A REAL SEAFOOD RESTAURANT, JOHN “BUDDY” REGINALD RUTHERFORD-WINCHESTER III.  You clearly have the money and are just playing mind games with the rest of us!  You can pay full price for almonds, you rich prick!

In case you’re wondering, The Force also doesn’t work on making the tires of an S-Class Mercedes explode and rain down from the sky in hot tar ashes onto the tops of someone’s suede driving moccasins.  I place equal blame for that one on: (a) my rejection letter from Jedi school, and (b) quality German engineering.

Back to the Dumbo thing.

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, then first of all, sorry, and second, you know I was an anxious worry-wort of a child.  A nervous wreck.  A real Sensitive Sally.  I didn’t really require supplemental things to worry about.

So imagine my surprise, sitting in front of a television screen, kindergarten-dangly-legs-happy to see “the cute elephant movie”, when Dumbo appears on the screen, gets mercilessly tormented by all the other circus animals, his mother defends him, and then she gets taken away from him and locked up in a cage, leaving Dumbo to fend for himself in a harsh, cruel world.

Hey you know what I shouldn’t have had to worry about when I was a kid?  My mother being taken away from me and locked up, leaving me alone to traverse a cruel world.  I don’t care if it works out in the end – little kids shouldn’t have to worry about those things.  Yes, sometimes it happens, mothers get locked up, kids get taken away, but worrying about it in advance will do absolutely nothing beneficial for you as a kid.

Same with Bambi.  Kids shouldn’t have to worry about their mothers getting shot by hunters.  How about we just let them cross that bridge when it happens and address it at that time, because odds are pretty damn good that it’s not going to happen in the first place?  In the meantime you’re just terrifying children for no good reason.

If you want to teach kids about things like life and death, forego the Disney films and get them a hamster, and then never, ever, ever, ever, ever let them actually hold the hamster, because having to watch a child hold a hamster is the most nerve-wracking thing I’ve ever experienced.

You know what?  No hamsters.  Get them a fish with a locking lid on the tank, put barbed wire around the outside of the tank, and keep the tank in a locked room that the kid can never get into.

Children around small pets is just too much for me.  I can’t take it.

“Look how cute Bryson/Greyson/Flotsam is holding the baby chick!”

GET THAT CHICK AWAY FROM THAT KID RIGHT THIS SECOND. I KNOW HE’S SQUEEZING IT.

So, no.  I’m not seeing the new Dumbo movie.

Mz. Mannerz: I Am Fine If We Pretend We Don’t See Each Other

I’ve decided to start a regular-ish thing called “Mz. Mannerz.”  It will feature exciting content about how we can all be less of a jerkass in our daily lives.  Dissenting opinions will be printed out, put through a shredder, and used to line the cage of an angry rabbit that I have not yet acquired named “Dr. Stabbers”.  This is a dictatorship and will be governed accordingly.

Here’s the first installment!  Try to control yourself.

So there’s this person I don’t like.  He is my current Nemesis (I keep a rotating cast of enemies a la Nixon).  What he did to gain that ranking isn’t important, just know that he totally sucks and is completely outer limits rude and disrespectful, and if you had the misfortune of ever meeting him in person, I have zero doubt that you would agree that he is a universal double turdburger with cheese.

The thing that drives me the most insane about Nemesis, is that even though we do not get along AT ALL, he feels the need to barge up to me any time he sees me at a restaurant, a concert, even just walking down the street, to wave frantically and say hello to me.

And touch me.

Did I mention the touching?

I have watched in slow-motion horror as he’s sprinted across a city block to flag me down and touch me.

Ohh well, you see, even though I have instructed Nemesis on no less than five occasions, in no uncertain terms and with a look of death on my very married face, that he is NOT to touch me, there he is.  Touching me.  You would think that my glaring at his hand and through gritted teeth saying, “Do NOT touch me.” would do it, but nope!  Apparently, Nemesis feels completely entitled to touch me even though I could not be more clear that it is not okay to touch me.  WHO DOES THAT?

Also?  I am not “ha-ha don’t touch me” laughing when I say this to Nemesis.  There are no mixed signals here.  I am openly hostile to him.  When he approaches me, I take this particular stance.  NOT THAT HE CARES.

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Self-portrait, 2019.

This is to say, Nemesis is very aware that I don’t like him.  The feeling is mutual – I can assure you he doesn’t like me, either.  Yet there I am, trying to run twenty rows back at the movie theater, hoping that he won’t see me when I realize he’s sitting in the fifth row.

Oh, he’ll see me.  He ALWAYS sees me.

Sometimes he yells out my name from across the street and I pretend I don’t hear him.  That’s when he starts sprinting towards me.

Can’t we just pretend that we don’t see each other??

So here’s the thing.  Nemesis is certainly not the first person who has done this to me, and I’m sure you’ve probably had plenty of people do it to you, too.  The person you can’t stand – who knows you can’t stand them – who can’t ever see you out in public and just LET IT GO.

It’s like every ex who feels the need to come up to you and say hello every.single.time they see you in public, even though your relationship was a flaming napalm toilet of shame that ended with you smashing the original tapes of his early recordings with a hammer on your back porch after you found out he never stopped cheating on you from the first day you started dating until the last, routinely stole money from your purse, and went to Ireland for a month and came back with a permanent Irish accent and started calling french fries “chips” even though he was from Colorado.

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Fairy godmother.

Oh man, did that guy have it coming.  Trust me.  This was the same guy who gave me a secondhand rock for Christmas.

“Well, I saw you from the other side of the club…”

Then stay on that side of the club!

Now you’ve just made it awkward for both of us!  Yes, I saw you when I came in, and I am totally okay with neither of us acknowledging each other’s existence.  I am so, so 100% willing to pretend I didn’t see you.  I am so, so 100% okay with you pretending you didn’t see me.  Let’s pretend to not see each other together!

“I figured we could act like adults and at least say hello when we see each other.”

No thanks!  I’d really, really, mega prefer that we behave like pissy teenagers who pretend the other person no longer exists!  I’m fine with that.  Please, by all means, let’s not act like adults!  Acting like adults is highly overrated!

So!  To summarize:

  • Don’t ever, ever touch anyone who has told you that it’s not okay to touch them.
  • If you’re not actually friends with someone, feel free to just leave them alone when you see them enjoying a nice dinner out.
  • Just because you dated someone ten years ago doesn’t mean you have to chase them down to say hello, especially if the reason your relationship ended was because you were a nuclear asshole.  Let it go and let that other person live their goddamned life.

Sincerely,

Mz. Mannerz