Nosey pickers, public scratchers

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Nose pickers are considerate people, especially if they do it in the bathroom. It’s nearly impossible to tell a nose picker from a considerate person, partly because sneaking into occupied bathrooms is hard, partly because considerate people are keen observers. Show me a public nose picker, and I’ll show you an inconsiderate person.


A Guide to the Survival Guide:

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Your #1 Guide to Being Exactly Like Me

Each day is a chance to name the rules of life: what to watch out for, who to cling to, how to do things better, or how to arbitrarily create a structure of reality that only you can see.

I spend at least one moment of every day thinking of maxims I can tell my hypothetical kids, so that they can navigate reality in the same twisted way I manage to.

Ex.”Trust everyone, especially liars. You can always trust a liar to keep lying”.

Ex.”Smart people talk to themselves”.

Ex.”Attractive celebrities are sociopaths”.

I create generalizations that have little or no connection to the rules I’ve created, but which flow from them in a way that makes total sense.

Ex.”The prettiest woman you know, has the weirdest vagina you’ve ever seen”.

Ex.”Men who have foot fetishes respect women”.

Great generalizations like these can keep me going through all the worst parts of living: dealing with bosses, losing love, being tricked… there should be a survival guide for people like me, people who need rules.

I’ve decided to share my maxims and baseless observations with the world through my blog. After all, what’s the point in imagining a survival guide if you can’t share it with imaginary readers?

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Gangsta rap

He likes to listen to classical music when he drives, because everyone thinks he he’s listening to rap. When he pulls up to a drive-thru and Bach is booming behind him, he smiles. Silently, he’s telling them “I’m black (but) I’m classy”.

Another friend of mine wears suits and listens to hardcore hip hop. He likes the idea that everyone thinks he’s listening to classical music, or country. In his head he’s saying “I’m white (but) I’m cool”.

They’re trying to defy stereotypes, break the mould, define themselves as they choose, so that’s cool. Maybe they’re culturally appropriating each other for the sake of status, mistakenly believing that the music will reflect what’s on the inside. Still, that’s not so bad. Hopefully they have other ways of playing to the joke idea of music belonging to any one race. They probably have lots of other ways to prove that they’re different, but in the end who cares? After all, music isn’t everything.

Tooth Dreams

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I was looking at my teeth in the bathroom mirror. The longer I looked, the worse they got. Instead of my front teeth starting at my gums and ending inside my mouth, they extended outward until they pointed straight out of my mouth at a 90 degree angle. My top palette was totally disfigured, but my bottom teeth were normal. It looked like someone reached in there and pulled out the roof of my mouth with two fingers, so that it didn’t line up with my jaw. It was a beak made out of teeth. I promised myself I would see a dentist tomorrow, and woke up.

While I rode the bus to work I remembered that I had to book a dentist appointment, but I couldn’t remember why.


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On the busiest street in town where all the expensive stores are, someone disturbed the flow. It’s where homeless people go to make a quick buck, asking for change from business people and shoppers; they don’t exactly fit in with the crowd, but there’s no place else they’d be. This guy definitely didn’t fit in. He had baggy pants, a short afro and a wide gait. Most of us try not to pay attention to people who stick out. But someone’s always there, at the corner asking for help or shouting in indignation or chatting with their ‘unsavoury’ friends.

This guy wasn’t homeless. He was black, with an accent that sounded like Africville descendants in the Square, walking down the street shouting as if he owned the place. The other people at the bus stop were disgusted. One said, “Oh God” in a tone identical to the “not another one” sigh. Most people were terribly offended. He was drawing attention to himself. He was strutting, yelling, walking back and forth, telling crowds to get out of his way. He wasn’t going anywhere, he was walking back and forth. He went to one end of the block and turned around to walk to the other end.

He sounded angry but he wasn’t really saying anything. He shouted “LOOK WHO IT IS” several times when he saw someone he knew. He boomed about the weather. He yelled benign statements about things he liked. His body language and volume didn’t match the words; the visual parts of him were saying, “I matter. I’m a boss, I can push people around and none of you would dare confront me” as if one of us had offended him. He was right that we wouldn’t dare.

We probably all assumed this is just the way he is. Had he been wearing a suit, or had a shopping bag in his hand we might have assumed he was having a breakdown. Most people – when they’re circling a busy street and shouting at strangers – are having a breakdown.

But he didn’t belong on that street, anyway. He wasn’t homeless and he wasn’t shopping. We struggled to ignore him and he was pushing back. I suppose that’s all he felt he could do. Nothing he did would move us beyond hating him, no matter how bizarre he acted. Even as he shouted in our faces we couldn’t look or speak to him. But we could hate him.