No Respect

Anybody who’s read my column knows by now I’m a firm believer in Murphy’s Law, the natural dictate that says anything that can go wrong, sooner or later probably will. Maybe it’s because I’m dark Irish. There’s a certain futility to life, that if you try to convey to people, they peg you as a negativist, a complainer.

I’m a realist.

The ancient Greeks (I believe I’m the reincarnated Ulysses) understood. They enjoyed life all they could and made hay while the sun shined. But what was it they were fond of saying? “It’s not worth it, the passions and lust of youth, the shocks and disappointments of middle age, the drooling and stumbling around of old age”—something like that.

You think you’re a hero until a tiny 80-pound lady with a big foot passes you on the freeway doing 100 mph. Technology makes us smaller.

I bought this dog from the pound for my kid because it’s what families do, like the ideal families you see portrayed on television, but can never really measure up to because you don’t have the money. This dog is a sweet dog, but it’s a bulldozer with a tail. The dog dug a crater in my front yard, and has destroyed the lawn to the point I’m saying to the dog out loud, “there’s one patch left (of grass) you little bastard. Before you’re done, you’ll have that too. You’ll have it all. The entire yard will be wasteland.”

Now, the dog is going to work on the wood fence I built, taking it apart piece by piece, a little at a time so as to torture me. I patch the fence with chicken wire, but it does no good. Soon, the fence will be entirely wire.

This dog actually grins when I talk to him.

My kid, for whom I bought the dog, doesn’t pay much attention to him.

You want a rotten dog? E-mail me.

Take the weekend. The weekend is a microcosm of life, if yours is like mine. I’m not ashamed to say that I’m a victim, an economic slave. That means that because of bills to maintain a reasonably bogus impression of a middle class lifestyle on the minimal side, car (old), house, barbecue, I’m forced to work at a job to pay the bills. It’s not that I hate my job; it’s just that if I had my choice, I’d rather do something else (like touring Norman castles in the Scottish Highlands).

I’m a slave, a prisoner of this job, that’s until Friday afternoon, when I experience a breath of freedom and happiness, soon to be taken away. Friday’s great, the whole world and all its possibilities seem laid out at your feet. Saturday’s good too, there’s still plenty of time. But it’s an allusion. Sunday comes, the day before I have to go back to work. Like a man with terminal cancer, there’s a strong hint Sunday afternoon that my world is about to end.

If I counted up just the weekend days I really come alive, I figure I’m currently eight years old.

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