Monday, October 31, 2011

Angry Nerd Theories, 1st Edition

1. The people who make the most fuss in demand of something (love, respect, communication, etc.) are almost invariably people who are incapable of / unwilling to give that thing to anyone else.

2. One's ability, enjoyment, or desire to talk a lot is in no way related to that person's ability to communicate. The volume and frequency of verbiage exiting one's mouth is not indicative of  any particular  skill in communication.

3. Some of the most mean-spirited, petty, close-minded, hateful, underhanded, cliquish, snobby people on the face of the planet sit on church pews every Sunday
Corollary 1: There will be church folk fitting this theory, who upon reading it, will immediately start thinking of a bunch of other folk they think it applies to.
Corollary 2: There are plenty of non-believers/non-church goers who will happily back this theory, yet who aren't any damned better people themselves.

4. The strongest forces of human nature are self-interest, love, bigotry, and hypocrisy.

5. My not-quite 2 year old grandson's idea of going to sleep is to torment Pop Pop until suddenly passing out as if hit by sniper fire.
Corollary: This period of torment will always begin at the precise moment something is coming on TV that Pop Pop really wants to watch.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Some people

    I'm as much a gentleman as anyone. I still believe in chivalry. My mother trained very well to have some manners (and knocked me upside the head when I forgot, LOL). But sometimes...
I was riding on my way home from downtown after a hard day at work. The bus, as always, was crowded, but I managed to find a seat near the back of the bus, and there was an open seat beside me. A few stops later, a woman boarded the bus and made her way towards the rear. The only remaining open seat was the one next to me, and as the woman got closer, I saw she had some size to her, so I scrunched myself up a little in anticpation of being squeezed a bit when she sat down next to me...
Only she didn't sit down. Instead, she stopped directly in front of me and stared - and not in a friendly manner, either. While I was trying to figure out what the woman's problem was, she muttered under her breath (but loud enough for me to hear), "Hmmmph, I guess there ain't no more gentlemen today..."
"Excuse me?" I thought, but I let it slide.
A few minutes later, she repeated the comment, but much louder.
"Ma'am, there's an empty seat right next to me."
"I don't want to be all squished up next to you."
"So you saying I should get up and let you have both seats?"
"If you was any kind of man you would. You see I ain't no small chick, but you just going to sit there. A real man would've got up already, instead of thinking I was supposed to be trying to squeeze next to you." took all I had to keep from going off on this heffalump, but instead, I calmly looked her up and down, said, "You know, you're right, that is a seat and a half-sized ass, here you go", as I got up and walked away...
And you know, she still had the nerve to be pissed just can't please some people...

Conversations I've Overheard, 1st Edition

So I'm on the subway, when two 20-something Black women who are apparently old firends ran into each other. During the course of hugs and laughter and reminiscing, I overheard the following exchange:

"So how about you little sister, Shaniqua? How's she doing?"
"Girl, you should see her, you wouldn't believe how grown up she is!"
"Oh yeah? I guess it really has been a long time."
"Yeah, girl, she all grown up now; she just had her first abortion."
"Oh, okay, I guess she grown for real!"

Now, I'm for women having the right to choose, but just...damn...

Smart Ass

Those of you who know me, know that I am capable of being a smart-ass (I know, I know, not exactly a major revelation, right?). My babymama told me once or twice (or maybe seventy times seven times; I lost count) that being a sarcastic smart ass was my greatest talent (now, mind you, she was being a sarcastic smart ass whenever she would say it, but according to her, this was my fault, due to the apparent Svengalian hold I had over her that made her become a smart ass against her will), a "compliment" which I accepted with great humility and honor...
Those of you who know me also probably are aware of my tendency to (over)analyze things. What can I say, I just a need to break things down, pick them apart and try to garner some explanation (even when none is necessary) or meaning (even when none exists, except on the most trivial scale).
And now that I have reminded you of two of my more prominent proclivities, allow me to indulge myself for a moment and put said proclivities to work for a moment by introducing my terminology of what it means to be a smartass:

Smartassedness The condition of being a smart ass. Smartassedness is something that comes naturally to us smartasses. It is not forced or done for effect, and it is not done with any intent to hurt anyone (though occasionally another can be hurt by it). Being a smartass for the purpose of intentionally hurting someone isn't smartassedness, it's mean-spiritedness (or if you prefer, jackassedness or maybe assholishness). Trying to come up with smartassed comments for effect or to create a persona for oneself isn't smartassedness, either; it's fakeassedness...

Smartassery A smart-assed comment or action. The best smartassery is something that is created in the mind of a smartass without much effort or any contrivance. It either rolls off the tongue (or the fingers) reflexively, or comes to mind while waiting to speak one's turn. It does not require any planning on how or when to strike; it just happens.
Smartassery doesn't have to be just words either. The late comedian George Carlin, in one of his standup routines, told the story of how he was sitting on a park bench, and there was a section of newspaper sitting on the bench underneath him. Another man came and sat next to him and asked if Carlin was reading the paper. Now Carlin could have been a jerk and called the guy all kinds of stupid for asking whether he was reading a newspaper he was sitting on. Instead, he simply said, "Why yes, I am", stood up, turned a page on the newspaper, and sat back down on it. Classic smartassery.
See, smartassery is often a more tactful way of addressing or responding to someone who has asked, said or done something you consider objectionable or silly, without hammering them with the psychological blunt force trauma of a direct, angry, tactless, mean-spirited comment. A good piece of smartassery will hopefully cause amusement or thought, rather than anger or hurt feelings (although if you're dealing with someone who is overly sensitive or in a bad mood, or who just doesn't like you to begin with, then all bets are off). But let's be clear, we smartasses aren't saints; when dealing with someone he/she doesn't like, it is certainly not out of the question for a smartass to impulsively unleash a bit of smartassery that serves no purpose except to stick it to the recipient.
One final word about smartassery: like most things in life, it is best enjoyed and most effective in moderation. As much as I enjoy a good piece of smartassery (even when i am on the receiving end of it) someone who overdoes it will have me and everyone else wishing he/she would just STFU. Thus there will be times when a smartass will need to let an opportunity to use some smartassery go by the wayside; after all there is a time and place (and smartassery target) for everything, so you gotta know when to hold 'em and know when to fold 'em. Besides, unused smartassery tends to get stored in the recesses of a smartass' mind, to reappear later when needed. Good smartassery never truly goes to waste.

Smartassitude A state of mind where one's smartassedness is heightened, and in which a smartass will be especially prone to unleash smartassery on others. When in a smartassitude, the smartass must be especially carerful not to go overboard with his/her smartassery, as the impulse will be strong to overdo it, both in frequency and intensity. What brings on a smartassitude will vary from smartass to smartass; perhaps the smartass is going through some hard times, or maybe someone pissed him/her off, or maybe it's just a matter of being in the presence of someone the smartass can't stand. Whatever the case may be, the smartass has to keep the smartassery in check, lest he or she veer out of control and work him/herself into a state bordering mean-spiritedness.

So there you have it, my guide to being a smartass. Hopefully, you have a little better understanding of smartassedness, and can accept our smartasseries for what they are: just good, clean, (hopefully) thought-provoking and smile-inducing fun. Don't take us smartasses too seriously, or our smartasseries too personally. And if you happen to catch me in a smartassitude and I go a little over the top with my resulting smartassery, I give you my sincerest apology. And if none of that is good enough for you, well I don't know what else to tell ya...a smartass has gotta be a smartass...