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Friday, 06 February
The Elderly Go Out On The Town

This evening, in a rare instance of non-hermitage (hermitude? hermitization? hermitesse?), the wife and I ventured out to attend a birthday celebration for our friend E. E. turned 29 today.

29. That horrible little bastard. I resent the young. Which is why I offered to buy him a drink. "Jack and coke!" he said, happily accepting the offer. So I bought him poison. Yep. The bartender said, "What can I get you?" I replied, "Poison. What do you have in the way of excruciating poison?" He stared at me for a moment, and then said, "Someone's still under 30, huh?" "Yeah." I started to cry. "Hey, hey," said the bartender, suddenly solicitous. "Don't be like that. You want poison? I understand. You want me to pour him a shot of Jaegermeister?" I thought about it, but in the end, I couldn't do it. It was just too cruel. "No," I snuffled, "just give me a damn Jack and coke." The bartender smiled sympathetically. "You got it." I waited while he made the drink, and then finally said, "Listen. Would you mind spitting in it?"

The place E. had chosen was a genial enough dive up on Phinney Ridge (neighborhood motto: Come For the Torturous Hills, Stay For the Blandness!) called The Tin Hat. Yeah, I don't know either, but I of course immediately mentally renamed it The Tinfoil Hat, and hoped that the patrons inside would be complaining about the influence of the Orbital Mind Control Lasers. No such luck; instead--even better--they had pinball, and seats with duct tape on them, and dubious whore-lighting, and a DJ who spun (according to the posters) "classic country" on Thursdays. Which was only slightly mystifying for those of us who didn't happen to know that the Beastie Boys' "Intergalactic" was classic country. I'm glad to see that our nations's staunchest rednecks are finding their roots again with Jewish white-boy hip-hop, where it all began.

It was a nice evening. I played a few games of pinball, and was horribly reamed by both the vicious magnets inside the board as well as my simply hopeless play; I remember once being pretty good at pinball, but now, at the advanced age of 34, my moaning nervous system is no longer as agile as it once was, so I could only fitfully pound the flippers, erratically beating them in 7/8 time. No longer a good pinball player, I comforted myself with the thought that I could still be a drummer for Primus.

Later, after giving up the pinball debacle, I had a nice discussion with friends L. and P., and we discussed non-actorish people and the silly things they say. I maintained that the worst possible conversational gambit that we normally encounter is: "Hey, you're an actor? That's cool! You know, I did some acting in high school!" Then said person might horribly go on to describe the vertiginous joys of flogging the hell out of their nonspeaking role in The Star Spangled Girl.

Wow! That's fucking great! You know, I did some algebra in high school. It was really rewarding; in fact . . . don't tell anyone, but I can still recite the quadratic equation! Tell me, do architects have to suffer people who say things like, "Architecture? RAD! Man, I once threw rocks at a beaver dam when I was a freshman. You know?"

Maybe they do. I hope so, anyway. Me, I just throw rocks at 29-year-olds and serve them bespittled drinks. It's not much, but I'm content.


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Comments

I am a psychotherapist. So when I tell people what I do for a living, the usual response is, "So you're analyzing me right now, aren't you?" Yeah, asswad. I don't have anything better to do. Argh.

Comment number: 004288   Posted by: Stacey on February 6, 2004 10:13 AM from IP: 129.106.21.180

I see, Stacy. And why did you feel the need to say that twice? Are you upset? Did you feel that we would not understand if you only said it once? How does that make you feel?

(Sorry, I couldn't resist--I'm sure you're a wonderful psychotherapist)

Great Post Skot!

Comment number: 004289   Posted by: Jason on February 6, 2004 10:34 AM from IP: 206.16.5.38

Ok, the repeat comment is gone now...my already sorry excuse for a joke is now even sorrier.

Comment number: 004290   Posted by: Jason on February 6, 2004 10:36 AM from IP: 206.16.5.38

Heh. I deleted the double comment, Jason. BUT YOUR SORRY EXCUSE FOR A JOKE WILL LIVE FOREVER!

I'm a little punchy.

Comment number: 004291   Posted by: Skot on February 6, 2004 11:02 AM from IP: 140.107.120.123

I used to study philosophy.
Whenever I told anyone that, they just walked away.
Now I make web sites.
When I tell people, they still walk away, but at least they're laughing this time.
Brilliant writing Skot - yet again - amazing. Like Dostoevsky on helium.

Comment number: 004292   Posted by: Frank on February 6, 2004 01:49 PM from IP: 80.97.132.119

Man, what a bunch of fancy-pants too-sexy-for-your-attempts-to-find-common-ground people. I'll have to remember next time I ask any actors, psychotherapists, or students of astrophysics what they do, and they tell me, that my response is more along the lines of, "Ooooh, aaaah. You are a fantastic individual!"

(More likely I'll do what I always do, which is not talk to anyone, because for some odd reason when I open my mouth everyone hates me. Just can't imagine why.)

Comment number: 004293   Posted by: i on February 6, 2004 04:31 PM from IP: 138.88.41.246

Doesn't everyone do that--the whole 'I did acting in high school' thing? Funnily my philosopher friend used to tell people he was a mathematician to shut people up.

Comment number: 004294   Posted by: Miel on February 6, 2004 07:39 PM from IP: 151.203.68.21

Tin Hat = old-skool logger name for hard hat. I have my grand-dad's, somewhere, and it's shiny alumnium.

Comment number: 004295   Posted by: mike whybark on February 7, 2004 12:47 PM from IP: 216.173.212.234

Yeesh. Guilty as charged. I was talking with a long-lost-relative last week who recently ran a marathon. I congratulated her and stupidly added, "I ran cross country in high school." I COULDN'T HELP IT. It just sort of burbled out of my mouth and I was left smiling vapidly at her, feeling like quite an ass.

Comment number: 004296   Posted by: S on February 9, 2004 12:57 AM from IP: 205.240.228.30

On my way to work, I usually walk through a crowd of hookers, and mostly I just ignore them, but a few days ago one of them said hello, so I told her how I had sex for money a few times back in high school. She might have been offended, but she was pretty nice about it. She asked me what I did for a living, and when I told her that I was a tax CPA, she told me how sometimes her friends get audited, and she represents them. Apparently, she's passed the Enrolled Agent exam, but she usually gets her friends off the hook by giving the revenue agent a blowjob because it's more effective and faster. Then she showed me her financial statements for the past few years, and I got really depressed. But at least I'm still pretty good at algebra.

Comment number: 004297   Posted by: pesty on February 9, 2004 07:34 AM from IP: 66.160.108.162

Geez... you think that's bad? People ask me what I'm studying in college (at the ripe old age of 31), so I tell them, "Anthropology."

"Anthropology, huh? So, what are you going to do with that?"

"Be an Anthropologist."

"Oh."

Or worse, they tell me how much they hated their lone Anthropology class in college. Just underscores why I hate people and try to stay indoors as much as possible.

Comment number: 004298   Posted by: Tracy on February 9, 2004 12:37 PM from IP: 152.15.164.138

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