November 29, 2010 at 1:30 pm (Cussed Dumbers)

As the old saying goes, opinions are like assholes; everybody has one. Let the Grumpy Old Man Club come to order. (Bangs gavel.)

‘Tis the season, whence folks come downtown for holiday shopping and events. These bursts of business are coupled with long stretches of quiet during nights and weekends thanks to weather, holiday travel and the fear of having one’s ass blown to high heaven by a misguided youth. Fun times!

We spend lots of time forcibly socializing with the ‘regulars’, folks who have nowhere else to go. They come, they chat. They wander off and come back an hour later. Some folks have nothing better to do than go to the Kwik-E-Mart. We try to humor them, but it gets tiring. I feel like Lucy Van Pelt from Peanuts. Psychiatry: Five Cents.

After numerous encounters, Dr T and I started discussing behaviors that get on our nerves. And looks.The kids these days! The pants-on-the-ground, saggy drawers/full diaper look is *so* 1998. I don’t want to see your boxer shorts.

However, a double standard applies here. If you are a girl flashing hip cleavage, please come early and often. Wear your pants as low as you like.

Douchebag hats: AKA fedoras. Unless you are Tom Waits or Frank Sinatra, you must be over 40 or capable of growing gray hair before this look is acceptable. I realize you are channeling Freddy Krueger or mimicking Dusty Craterlake, but it makes you look like an eight-year-old playing Daddy.

Dr T thinks I’m being harsh on this. I probably am. The best way to keep me from calling it a douchebag hat? Don’t act like a douchebag.

Fake accents and foreign phrases: Using the term “Cheers!” three times in two sentences, especially when you hail from Molalla, is unacceptable. Makes me want to put my boot in your boot, stuff you in a boot and drive the car off a pier, then stand and suck on a fag while watching you sink into the bay. Does that sentence make sense to you? It would if you were from England. “Cheers!”

Speaking of fags, (cigarettes for the non-British) Dr T and I have similar views in the pet-peeve department of this category.

A few days ago, I laid in bed listening to it rain. A steady drizzle which I find soothing, but something wasn’t right. There was a steady ‘Drip drip drip’ that was louder than the rest of the rain, and it was annoying the fuck out of me. Why does that sound bother me so? It took a couple minutes, but it dawned on me: It’s the sound of someone packing their cigarettes. Smack smack smack.

I get the concept. They burn better when tamped down. BUT, (notice the caps, which means I’m yelling this to get you to pay attention) if you pack them all at once, the tobacco loosens, falls out into the bottom of the pack and you have ten percent less cigarette. Good for you? Maybe. But it defeats your intended purpose, which is to have a satisfying smoke. When I vented this to Dr T, he said, “I know what you mean. Flogging your camel won’t make it work any harder.”

“When I smoked,” sounding like the sage old man I am, “I’d tap the filter end of the cigarette against my thumbnail, or the lighter.”

“I get a kick out of watching a young tough guy beating the crap out of his Marlboros.”

“You mean his ‘Marbs’?”

Dr T lit up like Mike Tyson after you insulted his mama. “I fucking hate it when they call ’em that!”

“I feel your pain. I automatically card anyone who calls ’em Marbs. If you aren’t old enough to pronounce Marlboro, you shouldn’t be smoking. I give Asians a pass, because of all the Ls and Rs, but I don’t think I’ve ever had an Asian person refer to them as Marbs.”

“Bless their culture,” said Dr T.

And with that, it’s time to babysit the huddled masses on another hopefully mellow Monday night.

I can see my first customer: Twentysomething white dude in fedora and droopy drawers, wanting a pack of “Marb Smooves.” He will commence to beat the living shit out of the pack while waiting for his credit card to run, then “Cheers!” me twice on the way out.

The Grumpy Old Man Club is now in recess. Got to catch a bus.


  1. Andrew said,

    I have “served the Public” – i.e. – the unwashed masses and the Ignorent Man-a-Jeers for Years and Years. I Must compliment You Sir. You have taken the Angst and Violence encapsulated in My Being; surrounding the subject matters mentioned; and coalesced them into a tangible and well put Diatribe. You are Appreciated. My Thanks.

  2. Ralph Kramden said,

    The colored kids now call cigarettes “squares” like in “you got any squares?”

  3. Craig said,

    Your paragraph about foreign phrases is spot on.

  4. Stephen_Hawking_A_Loogie said,

    ***Rig up a couple dozen high intensity laser pointers arranged in a grid to one of those ‘Clapper’ contraptions ‘Clap On’ ‘Clap Off’—Point the grid of laser pointers in the general direction of the Smackers- ‘Pavlovian Style’! /***

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