Monday, June 09, 2008

"Not cool at all when dealing with the insane.


My picture file is "corrupt".--that's what is says in the little talk balloon.

I am corrupt.

He, she, it-- is corrupt.

My government is corrupt. Afghanistan on the brain.

Egad, since I lost some teeth, I feel not only currupt, but also depraved.

Certainly looking like that with my gap-toothed smile.

Now, with my Damon Runyon appearance, I seem to be attracting every psychopath and loser on the block. People who look like me get taken a lot.

I am wating for a bus, snaggle- toothed and wing-weary, acase of beer empties in hand. A natural mark.

"Hah," the corner psychopath must have said to himself. "A loser. I wonder how I can exploit him."

So he come to me and says he will sell me a bus ticket for $2.50, where the regular fare is $3.00.

"Well, yeah. OK," I say as we board the bus.I give hime three dollars and expect change. "I'll get your change in a minute, he says.

He does not give me the ticket, but deposits the ticket he said he would sell me-- in in the farebox and immediately goes to take a seat at the back.

"How about the fifty cents you owe me?"

"Toldja up front. I'll see if it can find the change."

But he empties his pockets, turns them inside out. There is only the three dollars that I had given him.
"Told ya I'd just see if there was any change in my pockets.

Looks like he had been making this an issue with a lot of people. Now we have an argument, and it's all my fault.

He is convinced he is intelligent.

"What's the problem, Bud? You would have paid three dollars cash anyway. See, it goes like this..."

"I know how it goes," I say. "Now give me my fifty cents."

He now goes off on litany." See, you had intended to pay three dollars cash fare anyway. So we are both on our way and nobody loses. You did not understand that I told you I would look for your change, not necessarily find it."

&*&^%^-ing high level metaphysics.

He explains it to me again.

"But you conned me out of fity cents."

I swear I am back in Quebec, hearing another litany.

Je vous change. Tabernac. Je concur.

There are stupid bastards on both sides of the border.

All this mental energy, all the metaphysics, over fifty cents! He is convinced, like any con man, that he is smarter than me. But two sentences from him would convince anybody he is deranged --and does not know it.

Ah, but I have been to the school of repartee. There is almost a drumroll as I am about to speak. I have been to the school of repartee!

And now the utterance.

"F*ck off, asshole"

(Took years of university for this.)

Now the guy is a six-footer and has the build of an athlete. I don't care.
Kill!
Cut off stupidity at the pass. Always.

So this is how wars start!

And now his elegant reply. "You fuck off. I told you I would look for the change; didn't say I had it.

Made me think of a poem about a sadist and the springtime robin.

"I smiled sweetly at his song
And as there passed a lull
I gently closed the window
And crushed his F*cking skull.

How did this asshole walk into the middle of my good mood?

Was all this worth fifty cents?

Crikey, next would come the cuture derby and the short hair count.

All right. Woof her out. We'll see who has the biggest one.

But he slunk off at the next stop and got off.

Upbraid not a fool and he will think himself wise.

Upbraid a fool, and you will make him vain in being noticed.


It was all very Dostoevkian. The left-going zax and the right-going zax.

I am convinced tht Dr. Seuss was not writing for children.


Simplicity always overcomes complexity.

But which one of us was complex?

I do not like green eggs and ham.

18 comments:

Lana Gramlich said...

Keep this in mind always; People suck. Then, when someone does suck, you expected it & if they turn out to be decent, you get a nice surprise!

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

QED, Lana.

Donnetta Lee said...

"He is convinced he is intelligent." Oh, I like that! How many of his relatives have I met! Convinced they are intelligent. Go out of their way to convince you,too. But won't give you the 50 cents they owe. Sigh.
Donnetta

Sienna said...

I gotta stop laughing, lip'll never heal.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Donnetta,

Yep. Certainly my relatives --till I turned them upside down a shook them.

ivan@cretovewrotomg.ca said...

Pam,

Oh yeah You had that fall.

Thympathy.

As you say, you could now put in a stud; the hole is already there in your poor tongue.

Charles Gramlich said...

I had a run in with an asshole the other day myself. They're everywhere. And yes, what Lana says.

the walking man said...

This is why I stay home a lot, the only ass hole I run into is me.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Charles,

There are times we are filled with remorse and self-castigation when it seems that all that happened was us coming across a whole series of them.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Mark,

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

Monique said...

Well, at least you are still alive. Over here one would never, ever, do such a stupid thing or you will end up with a knife in you. It's that bad, even in the countryside where I live.

benjibopper said...

wow, this reminded me so vividly of life in Ghana. constant haggling, fighting off scam artists, most of them going for 5 cent cons at best, wondering if i was insane for battling over 5 cents (or was it really the lofty principle?), *&#^! Happens on both side of the border, as you wrote. Thank you for the fine memories.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Monique,

Yeah, I realized afterwards that it could have happened,but once that adrenalin flash hits, it seems you just don't care.

Come to think of it, I used to take judo, but when I'd leap at a girl judoka, issuing my most intimidating Hai Shi, she would just put her hand to her mouth and giggle.
Threatening guy. :)

ivan@creaetivewriting.ca said...

Beni,

Tricky when you stand on principle sometimes.

I think all the hobos have found our yuppie York Region a real Gold Coast...

...I mean, I used to be a hobo, but I'd try not to bother people

JR's Thumbprints said...

I believe the correct terminology is "Fiddy-Cent" (like the rapper) and not "Fifty Cent (like change). You, Sir, where bamboozled by a bamboozler. Let it go, Ivan, let it go.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Yep.
That's well beyond Psych. l01

the walking man said...

Damnnnn! Monique it isn't even that bad in Detroit. If one scam fails they want to preserve you for the next one that might take...stabbing folks is a waste of resources.

http://www.creativewriting.ca said...

Geez, Mark.

I guess it's a good thing that I went to the school of repartee. :)