You’re in for a real treat Dear Reader! In an effort to enjoy a final summer four-day weekend, instead of running the usual political fare, I’m gonna grace you with a chapter from my in-progress book, ‘The Curmudgeon’s Guide to Life.”
And I’ll probably present another one on Monday. Could life possibly get any better?
It isn’t us; it’s you!
Somewhere out there there is a tree tirelessly producing oxygen so you can breathe. I think you owe it an apology. – House (from the similarly named TV show)
My favorite neighbor lives directly across the street from my backyard…
“Wait a minute, Jeff! You have a favorite neighbor? Doesn’t that automatically mean the swift revocation of your card-carrying curmudgeon credentials?”
Normally, it would, but hear me out, first!
The reason he’s my favorite neighbor is he keeps to himself to the point where he wears earbuds while mowing the lawn which makes it impossible for him to even hear a greeting. And I bet he’s not really listening to music, either!
We may have briefly spoken one time when his young daughter wanted to pet my dogs, but that’s about it!
I have no idea what his first or last name is. I don’t know what he does for a living. I couldn’t tell you his daughter’s name. I don’t know his wife’s name. I have no clue where he came from or what his hopes and dreams are. But I’m so in love with his indifference to his fellowman that, were I gay, I’d probably propose.
I’ve said hello to his wife a couple of times, but that’s only because I finally figured out that normal people get really horked off when you completely ignore their existence. Who knew? C’mon! Blatantly ignoring people is the curmudgeon’s version of complete Nirvana. (Not the rock group people!)
But now, not only do I fear my generally overbearing and extroverted fellow Fisher Farms subdivision dwellers will endeavor to “save” him from himself, but that he’ll face the same fate I had to endure upon moving into a brand-new subdivision – the biggest mistake of my bleepin’ life. Well…that and the hoverboard.
Who needs a tailbone? But I digress.
I call it the “Costanza Effect,” named for the Seinfeld character who couldn’t bear the thought of someone not liking him. Not only would George do everything in his power to convince the disliker he was likeable, but when that strategy inevitably backfired, he’d become so irate that he’d start plotting his revenge.
Essentially, that errant individual would become the most important person in George’s life simply for the “crime” of avoiding him. Seinfeld co-creator Larry David is clearly a curmudgeon of the highest order.
This is the part about the extrovert majority I just don’t get. Are your sensibilities and self-definition so fragile that they come crashing down at the mere thought that I might be indifferent to your existence, or, god forbid, not like you? Who the bleep cares what I think? I generally don’t give a crap about what I’m thinking, and I’m the one thinking it! So, why would anyone ever want to give me that kind of power and significance?
When someone dislikes me, a phenomenon that occurs with alarming frequency (Shocking! I know!), I thank that fictitious Christian god that there’s one less person to have to deal with and I immediately proceed to not waste another thought on them. There’s a reason I’ve blocked more than 300 people on Facebook.
My newest life goal is for my blocked list to be larger than my friends list.
And speaking of blocking Facebook detractors, by their reaction to my sphere of influence limiting choice, you’d think I just told them their children aren’t special. Though it tends to defeat the blocking purpose, other Facebook friends will insist upon passing along those ensuing diatribes that generally cite censorship, imperiousness, and the fact that I completely suck.
But if that’s really the case, and all you want to do is endlessly bitch about what a heinous cur I am, why would anyone care about being blocked? I’d tend to think you’d embrace your exceptional good fortune and enjoy a Jeff Ward free life.
My wife’s been trying to accomplish that for years!
But no! The Constanza Effect kicks in and you insist upon doing your damndest to insinuate yourselves back into our lives. Then I have to block you from the blog, too. What is wrong with you people? Don’t you see how pathetic this dynamic truly is?
Look! I know I’m fascinating and gorgeous but sometimes ya just gotta let it go!
Perhaps there’s something to that absurd extrovert notion of pretending to like people you loathe so you can talk smack about them behind their backs. I’m starting to think that kind of artificiality would require far less effort than having to deal with all that Costanza Effect fallout.
But I digress!
If it makes you feel any better, and I certainly hope it doesn’t, curmudgeons don’t like 99 percent of the regular rabble because they possess absolutely no redeeming qualities whatsoever. If someone put a gun to my head and forced to say something nice about you, even then, the only thing I’d be able to come up with is that you do a marvelous job of taking up space.
Alright! Alright! Some of you seem to have mastered the art of breathing, too. Who said I can’t be magnanimous when I want to be?
We curmudgeons think of extroverts like those perpetually-doomed red-shirted crewmen on the original Starship Enterprise – they’re expendable. And it’s only the government’s incomprehensible insistence on protecting you from yourselves that prevents natural selection from taking its course so we curmudgeons could finally take over.
Failing that, in the words of that great philosopher Bill Burr, “85 percent of you need to walk into the ocean and not come back.”
But until the next asteroid strike mercifully mitigates our curmudgeonly misery, I’m stuck with the eminently depressing notion that the rabble is here to stay, they will continue to reproduce unchecked, and they will take great umbrage whenever a curmudgeon accurately assesses their obvious lack of merit – or simply ignores them.
So, it isn’t us, it’s you. Where’s the goddamn tequila?