Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Fresh and clean, angry and mean

Life isn't just golf and all-star recording sessions, you know. The other night, I had to do my laundry, at a laundromat. As far as people watching goes, the laundromat is the Super Bowl: there's always a chance you'll see something incredible but more often than not, it's a huge letdown. Not always, though.
When I got there, there was a very angry fellow who had apparently been waiting for me to show up so he could tell me what he thought about child molesters. This wasn't a completely inappropriate topic of discussion (although, I think that's all he wanted because I don't think he was doing any laundry), as the news that day was dominated by the arrests of 38 people trolling for kids on the internet in nearby Polk County and the opening of the Jerry Sandusky trial. But it also wasn't an interaction I welcomed, certainly not from a stranger at the damn laundromat (who wasn't doing laundry) for cryin' out loud. Besides, it wasn't even an interaction; I was forced into the role of one-man audience for his rant. I mean, there were other people there but they must have pretended to not speak English or something (or maybe they really didn't) and were being spared. I tried to dismiss him with half-hearted agreement; "yep", "you're right", "yep, that sure is terrible". But he kept right on, talking about how disgusted and angry he was and that "they should be put on an island" and what a terrible thing it was for him and taxpayers like him. "For example, I'm a good guy. I work hard. I'm no lowlife child molester. But I got my license revoked because of some DUIs and now I have to ride a damn bike. These perverts will get a roof over their heads and three square meals a day, though. Ain't that some shit? But I'm a heterosexual man over 21 years old and I know how to conduct myself responsibly." I don't know why I did what I did next. I knew better but I did it anyway.
I laughed.
"Ha ha ha ha ha ha!"
"What's so funny?"
"Well, that just isn't true."
"What isn't true?"
"That you know how to conduct yourself properly. Clearly, that's not the case."
"Are you calling me a child molester?"
"No, I'm referring to the fact that you have to ride a bike. People who conduct themselves responsibly don't have privileges, like drivers licenses, taken away."
"But at least I'm not some lowlife who tries to have sex with kids."
"Maybe not..."
"I'm not!!"
"...but you're not a responsible person either, are you?"
"Yes I am! I'm more responsible than some pervert."
"How many DUIs have you had?"
" did something wrong, got caught and did it again two more times. How is that responsible?"
"I am not a pervert!!"

After that exchange, he stormed out and I thought it was all over. But he came back about a half hour later. And while he didn't engage with me personally, he stomped around the laundromat, ranting loudly, far more unhinged and incoherent than before. Here are some highlights (these were the declarations I could hear, interspersed with unintelligible mumbling):
  • "I had a judo sensai for 15 years but I outgrew him."
  • "I haven't dropped acid in over a week."
  • "God. Damn. Faggot. Perverts."
  • "The weather report is a lie. So is Obama."
  • "I am a statistical anomaly."
  • "I lived next door to an Air Force captain. I know things."
  • "Ha ha ha ha ha...wait a minute...oh! Ha ha ha ha!"
  • "The science of it is going to hit you like a brick in the face, man."
Okay then.
After that, I left. My pants weren't even dry.

1 comment:

ronnyelliott said...

I'm gonna have to get out more.