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Friday, October 8, 2010



I feel I can tell you this since you are 12 of my closest friends (although one of you is the website operator and is paid to be one of my closest friends).

I had a little moment as I exited the train recently. There were some idiots standing in front of the opening door who were not de-training (this is a technical term that means “getting off the train”). They were just standing there clogging up the door, and the people in front of me who were actually trying to get off were not moving with what I perceived to be the appropriate urgency. I thought the guy in front of me was lolli-gagging (this is a technical term that means “choking on a lollipop), and I kind of pushed past him.

He took offense to that, and thought I was the idiot, which proves that HE was the idiot. He compared me to an animal, and not one very high on the food chain. This only made me hungrier. In retrospect, he handled it pretty well I guess, berating me in a very sarcastic manner- I actually had to admire it but I was still on the offensive for my offensive conduct.

There was no excuse for my behavior, although I said at the time that my dog ate it. I consider carrying a note with me that says, “Please excuse Rick, as he has a temperature,” which is technically correct.

Sometimes I am short with people, and I really can’t figure out why, although 9 times out of 10 it makes conversation less painful on my back. Other times I am cross with people, if not lengthwise. I can’t figure out why I am in such a hurry- my mother had the patience of a saint. I was always trying her patience, but I must not have liked it too much. It must come from my father’s side, the one I was a thorn in. My father seemed vaguely like Ralph Cramden, putting up with things for a short while and then bitch-slapping you into alacrity. I even rush to places where I have to sit and wait once I get there.

There are never enough hours in a day, even during leap years. So I walk very fast, eat very fast and work very fast. Even when I am fasting for religious reasons, I do it fast, and I’m done in an hour or so. I constantly multi-task. You would be surprised at the things I can do simultaneously: I do back exercises while I use the water pik. I floss as I read my book before bed. You would be amused and appalled at what I do while I brush my teeth.

I feel I must educate people on the proper decorum in everyday situations. If someone would only ask me to write a book I could transform the world into an orderly set of cogs and pulleys. For instance, if you are riding on the same subway car as me, don’t stand in front of the goddamn door until it’s your stop! I will blow past you with only the sorriest excuse for a “sorry.” And if you must use one of those ridiculous oversized golf umbrellas the size of a circus tent, it’s your responsibility to keep it from poking my eye out. Incidentally, why do some umbrellas have what looks like a little milk bottle on the top? I can’t tolerate those either, because of the lactose.

And if I come to your store and somebody calls on the phone, put them on hold until you have taken care of me! I went to all this trouble to come to your stupid store in PERSON, and then you just ignore me like that? Shame on you. Even though I was only here to find the right size so I could go buy it online for cheaper.

I would hate to become one of those people in a political ad, where the piano starts to play in a minor key, and the photographs of him depict a confused and contemptible individual, a slumlord who benefited by government bailouts and failed to provide ANY jobs. I would hate to be compared to someone who went to Washington and wanted to give people HEALTHCARE, something which we DID NOT WANT! We are SICK and TIRED of that kind of thing, although it might be symptoms of the flu- I won’t know until the new healthcare laws fully kick in.

I want to be thought of as the kind of person who is accompanied by music played in a major key, preferably something in G that I might sing along to, with lyrics like “This Land is Your Land.” Sometimes I sing this song to the neighbor when it’s time to rake the leaves.

Incidentally, The umbrella has been around for thousands of years- at least mine has. Essentially unchanged through the years, it’s one of those inventions that time seems to have forgotten, at least every time it rains. The word comes from the Latin root “umbra,” which means, “shade.” As early as 1611, English traveler Thomas Coryat wrote about “umbrellaces,” leather “canopies” with wooden hoops “for shelter against the scorching heat of the sun.” In 1852, another Englishman named Samuel Fox invented the modern version, using corset stays for the steel supports. That is why English women were much drier, but less shapely. It is bad luck to open an umbrella in the house, since that usually means that your roof is leaking.

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