This is a rant.
MP3 players used to piss me off: The pivotal ingredient to encouraging anti-social behaviour on a global scale, thought I of these mini devices of silent cacophony displayed by humans somewhere on the human anatomy much like a wanker warning to others visible from afar. Now that my own MP3 player, the one and the same that I acquired as a gift from a relative Last Christmas (I gave you my heart, but the very next day you gave it away [gave it away]), seems to have poo-pooed itself I'm left to lament what was, for all intents and purposes, a blissful period in my life. You see, I'm not one of these arseholes who throws his bum into a car and travels to work without picking up sixteen like minded clowns between points A and B. I'm one of those arseholes who uses public transport. There I said it! Yes, I'm one of those tools who, on the surface it would seem, is doing the right thing by the environment. Yet my level of environmental-mindedness to being this pseudo Green Warrior derives from an uber dedication to keep loose change in my pocket rather than venturing on a crusade to reinstate the horse and cart as the premier mode of transport or mashing my own faeces with spuds to avoid contracting a life threatening food based ailment from the multitude of chemical they're pumping into food these days.
Where the fuck was I?
So, as I was travelling into town on a bus this morning I was reminded of one of the main benefits to owning an MP3 player: the device keeps me ignorant of the utterly bland lives other people lead, especially those who choose public transport ahead of their agony aunt to air their grievances and general state of personal decay.
There I was, sitting behind two green-eared sixteen-or-whatever-year-old femmes when my my ears encountered a brick wall of social awkwardness; the orange highlighter glided (I think 'glud' would be worth its weight in appreciation) across relevant material for me to teach as the first wave of their 'He was like...And I was like...' two-way repartee brought on the shits. It was obvious to everyone, including yours truly, that they had A) No fucken idea; B) A severe deficiency in their daily intake of past participles; C) No fucken idea about anything.
This bullshit went on for thirty minutes: 'He was like...And I was like...' mixing naturally with concerned intonation in all the right places from the other gifted orator whenever a signpost was recognised: 'O-ma God...And what did you say?'
Teeth grinded (I'd champion 'grund' as an alternative here) and I'm pretty fucken sure my blood pressure was reaching the point at which kettles become audible. My highlighter and text book had nowhere left to go but back inside my backpack; it was too late for productivity at that point. I had to extract some sort of public statement to shut these two clams up once and for all.
I got off six stops before my regular stop and walked a few blocks more than normal - without the aid of an MP3 player to propel me.
When I arrived at work and chose my favourite hot-desking location (too many teachers, not enough computers) I thought everything would be as dandy as fruitcake on a Sunday morning. Fuck me sideways if I wasn't heading for disappointment.
'Oh, I see you've beaten me to it again, Kaufman,' says the bane of my existence (let's call her Flaps for the sheer fuck of it), who just so happens to be a co-worker of the annoyus extremis sect, in reference to the desk and computer I was using.
'I didn't realise there was a contest to be had,' counters I as I log in and check the intranet for personalised electronic mail to ignore and never again have to refer to. 'And, besides, you can access anything and everything you need from any computer in the room. This technology thing is freakin' amazing! Why don't you try that one' I say, pointing to the computer next to where I've set up shop 'or better yet that one over there?' The index finger points proudly to the part of the room which my eyes have never seen.
Meanwhile, time does what it does best. It's now 1:20pm. My schedule has been derailed by three students whose comprehension levels clash with their unparalleled urge to talk amongst themselves whenever I'm explaining the fundamentals to how the universe works. I'm left to pick up the pieces of their me-no-understand wreckage, and I'm more delighted than on the previous occasion when I couldn't think of three reasons why cannabis use at work shouldn't be compulsory. I realise my time in the gym has been compromised. I put enough pressure on my molars to flex the muscles near my jaw. I feel like Henry Rollins on a bad day. I excuse myself, citing a finite bladder and a craving to be left alone.
Returning to my desk, I find Flaps sitting in my chair, punching my keys on my keyboard.
'What's going on, Flaps?' I casually enquire. 'I could've sworn you admitted defeat this morning even before you said good morning. Did you even say good morning this morning before you began your flowery speech?'
'Oh, I just need to access some information that I can't access from any other computer,' says she.
The daft old cow was still impressed by the wheel, marvelling every now and again at its engaging charm and multi-functionality.
'I thought we had already established - the most recent time being this morning - that you can access any information from any computer in this room, no?'
She took a breath and countered, 'Well, I've been here for eighteen months.'
The red flag waving between her eighty-or-whatever-year-old hands was the last straw.
It was at this stage that I gave serious thought to my next move. I knew I was at liberty to behave like a gentleman, if behaving like a scholar was temporarily unavailable, and that others in the room would undoubtedly be privy to the hot wind escaping near warp speed 3 from my flared nostrils. My hooves were raking dirt by the proverbial ton. Where was Zac de la Rocha when I needed him?
'If I had a dollar for every time I had heard you say that, I'd be able to dip my first-born into bronze and erect her statue at the highest part of the new wing of my brand new mansion in the sky.'
It was a thought which never manifested into words. Instead, I said, 'Well, if that's the extent of your claim time and time again then how about we talk about the ten weeks you're not here out of every four-month period of the calendar. Does that make my case any stronger?'
Fearing the old biddy would lapse into a coronary or pop a fucken blood vessel in her super-sized head, I turned the only two cheeks I had and went to the gym.
Positive energy flowed through me as though I was a vessel of pure zen. It only took two hours of upper body strain while ignoring the commercial radio station in the background, but I was right as rain once more.
Bring on the weekend...Please!
Hi. My name's Andy Kaufman and I'm a compulsive MP3 user.