When YOU’RE the Jerkwad


In my last decade–the one in which I learned about who I am and what made me me–I, in my holier-than-thou manner, have concluded that most people in the U.S. never, or rarely, wonder about who they are, or how they act, or whether the things they do are right or wrong.

Selfish Lifeboat of Men Only

Like How the Lifeboat Cartoonist Never Thought to Include Women

They just assume everything they do is okay; e.g. When someone cuts them off in traffic, “What an a-hole!”, but when they do the same, that’s okay.

They don’t question how hard they try to do well at their jobs (or what “doing well” means),

or how they treat their employees or customers,

or how well they parent (or what type of parenting is needed in order for a child to become a thoughtful, happy, independent and socially-responsible adult),

any more than they question how they drive.

They just assume that how they do everything is pretty darn okay.

We writers are idealists who want to think our words can make a difference in this.

I suspect these people are so self-blind not because they’re inherently stupid or evil, but because they haven’t been parented to wholly grasp that other people’s feelings and motivations are exactly like their own,

and because “everyone’s doing it, and if I don’t, they will”,

and because commercial interests, implementing their policies via our corporate-run government and media, have heavily influenced such “me-first” attitudes.

Perhaps the Problem Lies in the Nightly Prayer Being Taught in Some Homes

There are some who self-monitor behavior only toward members of the groups they perceive as theirs: Their friends, immediate or extended family, co-workers, members of their religion, or their perceived race, ethnic group, or nationality.

These “Love My Gang” bangers either don’t worry about being polite to outsiders, or they feel free to abuse them verbally or in worse ways. So we find otherwise-polite people who are curt to or verbally abusive of maintenance-/wait-/hotel-staff,

Undertip for Special Cocktails

“Here you go: Eight specialty cocktails, painstakingly made with care and expertise over the past 285 seconds of my one life”
 
“Thanks!”

(What is problem?–Man thanked and tipped, yes?)

or people of one race or ethnic group who will not move over on the sidewalk for another, or even “inadvertently” crash shoulders with members of another…

…or just talk trash about all members of another group around the dinner table in front of their children.

So here I am, self-identifying as different than these selfish people (and so, I make myself a member of the superior group “Better Than They Are!”. Here I am, a smug self-monitor-er. [er.]

My self-examination has yielded a tremendous amount of insight into how events from my past have influenced my later behavior.

How proud am I that I wring my actions dry:
WHY did I do what I did when I did–
Was I right when I said what I said?

How proud am I that this self-improvement effort has resulted in a net yield of…

Nothing. After years of trying to modify my behavior based upon a ton’o’self-knowledge, I behave no better than my previous Popeye self:

Cartoon of a Yam

I Yam What I Yam.

Those who were supposedly poorly-parented, by my lights–You can pick them out by how they drive and park:

They park in handicapped spots,
or slantwise taking up two or three spaces,

Better-Than-Thou Parking

I Won’t Say I Saw This Person Park In This Cars-Always-Waiting Lot, or Had Any Chalk That Day

or they exit lots dead center in the drive, taking up both exit and entry lanes, making traffic wait for them.

Why leave room for others? THEY are the only driver who counts.

These are the same people who don’t give up their seats for elderly, pregnant, or physically-disabled people,

don’t do ANY volunteering (more often men, by the way–even if retired),

don’t tithe to charity even when they can afford to…the list goes on.

British Supposed Top Acts of Selfishness

For Supposed “Top” Selfish Acts, This British-Sounding List Is So Mild-Mannered, Don’t You Think?

But all of those awful, awful folks are not the ones who have been occasionally barking and snapping at strangers out of the blue for the past six months.

That has been ME.

All of those folks are not the person who jumped down the throat of an innocent commenter on one of my posts this past week.

Me again.

Or who tried, in the most childish, foolish way possible, to show off on not one site, but several, falling flat on her face each time, exposing her ignorance and proving only her own foolishness.

Me, me, me.

Dont Be an Unbearable Jerkwad Card

.

(Or wrote this self-indulgent post, looking for attention even for her failings. Me again.)

When I was a kid, in my oh-so-precious precociousness, and my not so precious oversized sense of smarts–both characteristics common with Asperger’s children–I freely, loudly, frequently overshared knowledge I thought I had gained from my extensive reading.

Whether or not those around me were interested.

And whether or not I was correct.

My sisters and brother called me The Professor. This was not a compliment.

I have had many decades to decide not to stoop to that level of childishness. To not pontificate upon some subject about which I know little or nothing. To not issue my personal edict or opinion as if it came from Mount Olympus, or Zion.

One would think I would so choose. If not because the behavior is ego-driven, then because it can cause me to look as foolish as I am. The happy news is, for fifty years, I did so choose.

But, for this past week, I have demonstrated, on my own blog and the blogs of others, that this old foolishness lay in wait, at the ready. It was pulled out and aired for all to see.

Not Autistic Just A-hole

I’d LIKE to Still Blame the Asperger’s

I don’t know how YOU feel when you’ve acted like an ass, but I feel like an ass.

That I’m such a self-examination expert by now, and I know WHY the behavior slippage occurred helped not a whit. I saw, partly, even as each fail happened, but was unable to stop each train car from crashing into the one before.

Feel Better Show Off Less

Stupid Subconscious. Talk About Your Jerkwads.

The good news is that, although, for me thus far, self-awareness has not effected positive behavior modification, there are some upsides to ENLIGHTENED jerk-waddery:

(1) I’d rather be unconsciously egocentric, but consciously unselfish, and an occasional jackass, than to go through life acting selfishly most of the time because I just can’t be bothered to put any effort into being nice to “little people”.

(2) If my now-renounced Catholic upbringing was correct, all this regret-filled suffering has given me a golden ticket through the pearly gates.

(3) Each time I finish cussing out other jerkwads, I have reason to remember that they may be nice people, too, on their insides, where I can’t see beneath their dumb stupid-head faces.

Perhaps, someday, when I learn not to be a jerkwad so often, I’ll remember this first, and not cuss them so quickly, even though they really, really deserve it. Believe me. (“Stupidheads!” [If only my word was this nice.])

Perhaps this transformation will occur once my gray hairs outnumber the red ones.
(I admit I’ll miss the red, but by then will think the trade-off worth it.)

 
 

BAD-ENDUM

HOOOOOLD up:

After thinking about the “Don’t Hate Me Because I’m Beautiful” incidents related in my LAST “Feel Sorry For Poor Me” post, and similar incidents not mentioned, I have just concluded quite late in life that,

due to that remarkable red hair, and my other outstanding features (not the least outstanding among these, my outlying ( 😉 ) proboscis)–

–I must be so BREATHTAKINGLY good-looking (good GOSH almighty!!!)–

–that I can do no wrong:

My cuteness will overwhelm everyone around me. Offline, at least.

Jerkwad Puffin

Parking in L.A. Will Be SO Much Easier Now!

So: The conscience has been K.O.’d. The days of angst are over.

Let the Games Begin Raccoon

Selfishness, Here I Come.


.

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How I Found the Porcelain Thrones*, and They Redeemed Me*

*Eventually.

Long ago when I was young, when families dined out or had guests over, it was considered appropriate for younger girls and boys to drink non-alcoholic versions of adult drinks so that they could fit in.

These would be made in real cocktail glasses, with a maraschino cherry or a twist of lime or lemon–so that they would look real.

Older children–older preteens and young teens–were pressured to drink real cocktails. I remember feeling very embarrassed by the adults teasing me ungently about how I didn’t like the taste of alcohol. I was considered immature.

By age thirteen, high school, I had finally learned to sip at anything with Creme de Menthe, and at Tom and John Collinses.

When I was fourteen, my parents decided to farm us kids out to neighbors while they went to Guatemala for two weeks. The minute we heard, we gathered secretly together in a mutual spirit of cooperation rarely seen since we had long ago gathered to plan the murder of our mother.

“Okay, here’s how we’ll do it: We’ll each take turns getting the house. No big parties, no big messes.”

On the days I held possession, my friend Vicky and I sampled everything in the liquor cabinet. We thought if we did it evenly across all bottles, no one would notice.

Typical of me, I spilled Creme de Menthe on a nightgown on one of these days, and, also typical of me, carelessly tossed the gown in the clothes hamper.

Where my mother discovered it, still reeking of minty alcohol, upon returning from Guatemala. Oops!

I Dont Know What Makes You So Dumb
My first college year, my roommate Beryl and I would start out every Friday by jointly downing a half-gallon bottle of Rhine wine. Then we went looking for a party, where we’d suck back as many free mixed drinks as we could get the guys to push on us.

That’s what college weekends were supposed to be: FUN!!

(We were lucky nothing worse happened than aggressive jerkwads being aggressive jerkwads.)

My second semester, I transferred to another school where waterfalls cascaded down the stairwells every weekend night, caused by the massive drunken waterfights at the all-night parties.

I continued my harmless practice of sucking back countless mixed drinks of all varieties with no ill effects. Hangovers? What were they? I had no idea. I’d awaken the same as if I’d had a full night’s sleep.

One night, I’d been inhaling screwdrivers. Someone asked me if I’d ever had a rum and coke. As soon as I tasted that delicious rum sweetness, I was hooked, and immediately switched allegiance. Down went a total of what I recall as four rum and cokes.

The next thing I knew, it was not-quite-morning and I was in my bed.

I was feeling the way a person would who had projectile-vomited all over her friend’s bathroom the night before and now realized she would have to clean it. After it had dried on.

My stomach gave another heave at the thought.

Attractive Cartoon Giraffe Puking Prettily

Delicately, I slid myself over the side of the bed. Gingerly, I raised my body from the horizontal.

I skied my sock-shod feet gently to my pal Buddy’s bathroom. When I had experimentally lifted foot from floor, I’d found that the rules of gravity were no longer in effect. My socks and the floor, however, were apparently magnetic.

Shading my eyes in self-preservation, I turned on the light.

Oh, I most sincerely hope that none of you ever have to behold the horror:

Twin toilets, twin sinks. Both soiled, sullied, and woefully besmirched by my most unprecious bodily fluids.

My eyes are actually tearing as I type this.

One and a half hours later, I stood up, the hellish job complete. I was proud I had managed not to vomit again.

However, by now, my first hangover ever was in full flower. I could no longer raise my head completely, nor entirely open my eyes.

I had to feel my way along the walls and furniture and count doorframes in order to find my way back to my own bed and to the sweet, sweet release of sleep.

***

“Babe! Babe! Wake up!” Somebody was shaking me violently.

“Whuh? Wha’ d’you wan’?”

“Babe! You’ve got to wake up!”

It was my good friend Buddy. He was the one who had gotten me into my bed the night before.

“You were sick in our bathroom last night, Babe!”

“Oh. That. I know. A’ready cleaned it.”

***

“Babe. I don’t know how to tell you this.
I don’t know whose bathroom you cleaned, but it wasn’t ours.”

Woman Feeling the Horror

ADDENDUM

Please. Let us pause for a moment of sympathy for the me back then who had to get out of bed again, now with full-blown hangover, and clean that second bathroom.

This time, trying not to ups while thinking of the someone else’s gacksplat she had spent an hour and a half touching without gloves earlier that night.

It did take one more pukefest and hangover (a story that would only be funny if video existed), plus my first and last alcoholic blackout (very scary–I may have had sex with someone I had zero attraction to) to get me to see the light.

From that point on, I stuck to a one drink maximum. It helped to know that having an alcoholic mother and brother combined with my special luck would make bucking the odds unlikely.

Today, my kidneys do their part in encouraging a half-glass maximum.

Kidneys Toasting Your Health

They’re only looking out for my best interests, the dears.

***

Oh, I am hopeless. Here’s the second hangover story:

I’m working in a bar as a short-order cook. After work, hanging out with some roofers I sorta’ know–great guys–who’ve been coming in for a while. They find out I’ve never tasted a White Russian. They order me one. I’ve never tasted a Tootsie Roll. … A Pink Lady… A total of six different mixed drinks. Bike home. Walk through the front door, say to my bud K.

“I had SUCH a great time after work today, hangin’ out with the NICEST guys!”

She tells me I then fell right on my face, straight-bodied, as does a tree in the forest.

I awaken at 3AM, panicked, tangled in a bedsheet, with something alien on my head. I reach up, and feel…rubber bands! Little rubber bands all over my head, everywhere!

I have long hair to mid-back at the time. Someone has taken separate strands of hair and tiny rubber bands and for some reason combined them into this… I look like the Flying Spaghetti Monster after a perm! What the feck?

Many hours later, when I was lucid and less hungover, and K. was awake, she explained that while I was barfing my guts out, and she was holding my head up out of the puke pail, she needed both hands for that. But my hair was falling into my barf. K. grabbed whatever was to hand to tie bits of my hair out of the way as well as she could manage while balancing my big barfing melon. (Thank you, K!)

Goose Puking Im Never Drinking Again


 

Babe + Ruth Forever (Repost of My Guest Post at That Bully Yemi’s Place)


My best friend from fifth grade on was Ruth. We were inseparable friends, and competitors. She was very smart. (Her parents gave her ten dollars for every A, so she was motivated, too. 🙂 )
 
In sixth grade, our friendship was almost ended by a teacher’s innocent remark.
 
To find out what it was, and what happened after THAT, you’re just going to have to visit my friend Yemi’s place, where the full piece is posted.
 
Yemi Bunnies Small

HERE’S THE LINK


 
This, after Yemi flattered, and batted her eyes, and mentioned all the orphaned bunnies she was supporting (I think that was what she said), and then, when I kept saying honestly that I was too busy, Yemi finally threatened me physically!
 
Truly, I now fear for my very life, and have gone underground to escape the wrath of this vengeful woman and her rabid rabbits.
😦
 
Please, please go read the post over at Yemi’s place, to placate her and allow me return home. There is very little gluten-free foraging to be had in the hills of drought-stricken Los Angeles, and I have had to resort to nipping untouched sushi from emaciated models’ plates along the pricier avenues of the city.
 
Yemi Bunnies Small

HERE’S THE LINK–AGAIN.


 

AW-TOO-BADDENDUM

YOU CHEATED ME! (some of you baseball fans are thinking)
 
You feel cheated?! Why did you assume? There are plenty of Babes that have nothing to do with the Sultan of Swat! Here’s one:
Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox Bright Illustration
Here’s another one:
 

“When asked if there was anything she didn’t play, she answered: ‘Yeah, dolls.'”–ESPN.com, “Didrickson Was a Woman Ahead of Her Time”


And another:
 
The Bourbon Babe

The Bourbon Babe, Margie Samuels (In The Bourbon Hall of Fame–Top THAT.)


 
See? And pure coincidence the names Babe and Ruth fell next to each other like that in the post’s title.
😉
 
(Have you visited Yemi’s place yet? Even if you don’t read my post, you really should stop by her About page. Unique. Really. With her theme, it’s a little hard to spot. See if you can find it.)
 
Yemi Bunnies Small

HERE’S THE POST LINK AGAIN. FANCY THAT.


 
Once again, I’ve fallen behind in checking in on everyone else’s posts and in thanking my latest followers–I will try my best to catch up tomorrow and Monday, you guys. Just please sit on your typing hands while I do–okay? Thanks.
🙂

 


 

Limericks by O. Babe


Quizzed the megalomaniacal Rod:
“Would the rest of you think me quite odd,
If I said that I feel,
It is I who am real,
And the firmament’s figment is God?”
 

Would The Magnificent Brain Really Do a Worse Job Than Our Current Leaders? (Gnarf!)


 

There once was a young man named Larry,
Who swore that he never would marry,
‘Til along came the one,
Who proved there was fun,
In devising new thrusts for each parry.

 

There once was a woman named Kendra,
Who wished that her girlfriend would sendra,
Card, or a letter,
Or something much better:
A friend of the opposite gendra.

 

A woman named Barbara Taylor,
Had a fling with a globe-trotting sailor,
But he nine months at sea,
And poor Barbara T.,
Found her gob-stopper proven a failor.

 

When only fourteen, young Ms. Rybak,
One Saturday morning did lie back,
And gave, for a sum,
To the men, who had come,
What she never could possibly buy back.

 

When reading a dirty limerick,
About someone whose first name is Rick,
One assumes that the rhyme,
Is what first comes to mind,
But not everyone’s mind is that sick.

 

The clean-living Prudence MacGregor,
Is the only MacGregor not pregger,
And she lives in the fear,
As each month-end draws near,
That her dress size may get any begger.

 

There once was a teacher from Malibu,
Whose morals were far from infallibu:
You had only to ask,
She assign you a task,
For a learning experience invalibu.

 

Tutoring Sessions Can Be Fun!


 

A woman named Judy Furnari,
Loves anyone with a Ferrari,
And, to their delight,
In the backseat, at night,
Is prone-ie to go-ie too far-ie.

 

The company prez, Mr. Gross,
Is the type of boss workers fear most;
“He is nice,” they all say,
But he works far away,
And no one has seen him up close.

 

That evil man Harrible Humphreys,
Had a terrible case of the grumpreys,
And he then took it out,
On the others about,
So that they were all down in the dumphreys.

 

A gentle black giant named Marks,
When approaching white women draws sparks,
They’ve been known to show fear,
As he drives his car near,
And to faint dead away when he parks.

 

A sex-crazed young man named Stan Seigel,
Has senses as sharp as an eagle,
When he sees co-eds near,
He drives up with a leer,
And makes passes as close as are legal.

 

There once was a woman named Beth,
Who decided to cause her own death.
Although some thought it dumb,
And her friends asked “How come?”
She breathed ‘til she’d breathed her last breath.

 

“How MANY Breaths Do You Think It Will Take?


 
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