I have been a socializing fool at party-attending school for the last three weeks. During this 21-day children's telethon-worthy marathon of thrills and spills, I have reverted back to the college version of Dr. Mystery, known as Robot X. Robot X went out every night. Dr. Mystery prefers a biweekly night or two on the town, but is predominantly a homebody. Fortunately, Sweet Lady Austin had other plans. (Do I sound like a complete douchebag yet?) Every night (barring today, yesterday, and the day before that) I have either attended film screenings, barbecues/BBQs/Bar-B-Cues, birthday parties, booze-'em-ups, super secret screenwriting/PBR-drinking meetings, social gatherings, and live rock and roll exhibitions. Additionally, I had a chance to drink with long-time listener, first-time caller Milk and Cake, fresh off the plane from Sweet Lady Ft. Collins. I ate a lot of grilled meat. I saw about six Hitchcock films on the glorious big screen. I drank with the best of them. I went to a convenience store where all females are referred to as "sir," alcohol is sold to minors (and probably to miners as well), and Pro Wrestling Illustrated is displayed at the front counter. If it wasn't for that abscess known as my dayjob, this would truly be one crazy summer. However, this is merely a setup for what I wish to discuss at present, a McGuffin if you will. (I'll try to stop being a douchebag now.) During my near-month of frenzied activity, a mild but unfortunate problem reared its ugly head a handful of times. I was put in a position where I momentarily lost my temper due to another person's careless disregard of the people near him/her, but I was the one who ended up looking like a prick. This is not right.
Situation #1: My wife and I were seeing "The Puffy Chair" at the Alamo Drafthouse Downtown. This theater serves beer and food, and there is a thin wooden table-like eating surface in front of the seats, with gaps every eight feet or so for people to take their seats without causing already-seated people to squish up against their own seat to let them through. (Sorry about that poorly worded sentence. I said "seat" so much.) Ten minutes into the movie, someone comes in late and squishes up against us on the inside of our seats. A few minutes later, someone else does this. A few minutes after that, a couple does the same goddamn thing. Four people in five minutes not understanding that they could take the outside path to their seats without making us stand up or get squished, all of them at least ten minutes late to the fucking movie (I'm irrational and neurotic about this, but if you are late to a movie, don't fucking go. If I owned a theater, the front doors would lock up tight one minute before the movie starts. Maybe I am a douchebag, but I don't want to hear, see, or feel you in front of me or the screen once the movie begins. I'm in the movie zone, cocksucker. You are fucking with my zone.) The last couple, though bearing only 50 percent of the irritation-causation, felt the brunt of 100 percent of Dr. Mystery and Spacebeer anger. The normally mild-mannered Spacebeer was moved to exclaim, "Jesus Christ! Don't knock over our beer!" (The guy almost knocked over our beer.) Then I said, loudly, "The fourth goddamn time in five minutes. You can get into your seats from here!" (pointing angrily at gap between table-thingies). Then I watched the rest of the movie feeling like a jerk because I'd yelled at this couple who had probably never been to the theater before and didn't know better. It was dark, after all. Though if they had been on time, it wouldn't have been a problem. So fuck 'em.
Situation #2: The Twilight Singers/Mark Lanegan show last Friday night. Good show, but marred by many douchebags in the crowd, specifically a Tawny Kitaen lookalike who spent the majority of the show making out with her boyfriend and doing stripper dances while looking into his eyes. This would have been easy to ignore, but her fucking purse kept bouncing into my back or my elbow for two straight hours. I kept shooting them dirty looks, but she was too busy giving boyfriend the sexy eyes to notice that her purse was invading my personal space. Finally, after being bumped hard in the neck, which I assumed was deliberate, since I was taller than either of them, I turned around and yelled "What the fuck is your problem?" Apparently, it wasn't deliberate, judging by the look on the woman's face. She experienced shock, then fear, then complete and utter deflation. She and boyfriend were unaware of the irritation they had been causing me all night. To make matters worse, she had the most vacant eyes I've ever seen on a live human being. This was a dumb, dumb person. It made me feel like I had been yelling at a squirrel. A squirrel with big hair and a fake tan, but a squirrel all the same. I kept waiting for her boyfriend to punch me in the back of the head for the remainder of the show, but they went back to the bar. Then they waited at the bar for quite a while after the show ended, presumably so boyfriend could kick my ass, but we ended up talking to our friends for so long that they left. He obviously preferred sex to a fistfight, so maybe he wasn't so bad after all. But shit. That purse. Fuck. All night long. That stupid purse bouncing off my elbow.
Situation #3: I'm driving to work today. There is a work parking lot, and also many spaces on the opposite side of the building along the street. I prefer the latter when I park my car. There are usually plenty of spots. Today, for whatever reason, a bunch of people who don't even work there parked their cars in my favorite spots. I was running late already, and this set me back a couple extra minutes. I became furious, mad as I've been in weeks. It culminated in me flipping off a bunch of empty parked cars. This might be the nadir of Angry Dr. Mystery's 2006. I flipped off empty cars. I bet those empty cars sure got my message. Loud and clear. What an idiot.
Situation #4: The wife and I are taking our evening constitutional through the neighborhood when a car driving at least twenty miles over the speed limit veers dangerously close to us. "Jesus Christ!" I yell at the car. An older woman on the grass next to me looks at me disapprovingly. She thinks I'm the bad guy. I look closer at her and realize she is standing on the lawn of a Protestant church. I've just loudly taken her Lord's name in vain. I get embarrassed.
In all four situations, I was right to be angry. So why do I feel like an ass? Then again, Protestants don't care that much about Jesus. It's all lip service, isn't it? It's more of a club than a religion, right? Why so disapproving, lady? You're not a Catholic. You just kind of like Jesus.