Friday, June 27, 2008

RATSHIT!

“RAT-shit! BAT-shit!

Dirty Old Twat!

Sixty-Nine Assholes, tied in a KNOT!

Hurray!

Lizard-Shit!

FUCK!”




George Carlin, 1937 - 2008

I have a co-worker who keeps me up on the latest celebrity gossip; Lindsey, Britney, Brad, Angelina. You know, The Gang.

Now – I don’t actually seek out these little jewels of information; I just overhear as she muses about their latest antics with our other co-worker, both of them speaking in a casual tone which suggests they know these people personally.

Working for a news station, we occasionally get some minor, D-list celebrities who drop in: sports figures, that local comedian / veterinarian who had a reality show a few years back ("Kevin" something-or-other). A Wayans brother breezed through last year to promote whatever plague he was inflicting upon mankind in the name of “comedy”. Almost always, my co-worker could be relied upon to herald their presence with an exuberance that could only be more pronounced if it was preceded by the exclamation “WUXTRY! WUXTRY! Read all about it!”

ALMOST always.

Last year, on some random Friday, she nonchalantly mentioned “Oh, did you know that George Carlin was here today?”

Up, pricked my ears, tuning the conversation in from the dull buzz I usually keep it at. I turned frantically to the ruthless, mocking wall clock that watches over my hunched figure, day in and day out. Alas, our morning show had finished an hour earlier.
Ladies and Gentlemen… George Carlin had left the building.

“C____,” I said, in the contained, lifeless monotone I wear to work every day, over my actual personality, “if ever George Carlin ever happens to swing into the building again… lemme know, m’kay?”

Not to get all “Negative Nelly” or anything… but I’m pretty sure that’s not gonna happen.

****************************

Today is my other co-worker’s last day. She was the VERY FIRST PERSON hired at this station, 26 (that’s TWENTY-SIX) years ago. I remember when this station first came on the air: old “Marvel Superhero” cartoons in the morning, reruns of “Buck Rogers in the 25th Century” (featuring disco-action Gil Gerard and the transcendently-hot Erin Gray) in the afternoon. And, as an added bonus, on Sundays (when the FCC was at church, apparently) they showed almost entirely uncut “R” rated movies – a real boon for an early 80’s pre-teen without cable. Now THAT, my friends, is “Must See TV”.

All that said; even if we were still that station, with the inspired, low-cost syndicated programming and the trademark UHF-brand censors-be-damned attitude - I cannot, for the life of me, imagine working here for another 24 years and 7 months. (give or take a day)

I mean, don’t get me wrong; this is, without a doubt, the best job I’ve ever had – the mythological “day job” that pays my bills and gives me benefits, while still allowing me the sanity required for my creative pursuits while I’m off the clock. (And to think, it only took me 17 years of searching to find it. Time well spent!)

But the other day (in what is, in retrospect, a textbook example of Jungian-style synchronicity) I lost my “badge”; that ace-of-spades size piece of plastic that all the corporations use as a placeholder, until R&D perfects a way to install microchips under all their employee’s eyelids. Now, at this point, you’re probably imaging me as the sort of sad-sack who spends most of his life misplacing these sorts of things. And in fact, you’d be right – in my natural “uncarved block” state, I am PRECISELY that sort of person. But the thing is, I’ve spent the last 8 years of my life reverse-engineering my chronic ADHD, to the point that the mundane necessities of my life are generally handled with a level of precision worthy of a Zen Buddhist monk who’s trained extensively with the navy SEALs. So when I DO manage to lose one of those ridiculous little things -cell phone, work badge, appointment reminders- those little mcguffins that the world attaches so much value to (but that I myself would like to throw straight on out the window) - I risk becoming positively un-hinged.

COULD NOT find it at home. COULD NOT find it in my car...

********************
INT. KALADI BROS. COFFEE, DAY

A MAN, mid 30’s, walks up to an attractive, twenty-something female BARISTA standing at the counter.

MAN
Hey, uh, I know this is a long shot, but has
anyone found a work badge lyin’ around here
with my ugly mug on it?

BARISTA
(LAUGHS)
Oh, no! Did you lose your identity?

FIN


****************

Yech.


And you know what the real tragedy is? The real tragedy is that, in a world that’s become a parody of itself, we’re losing all our great satirists. George Carlin, Kurt Vonnegut, Howard the Duck’s Steve Gerber (don’t hate, he had nothing to do with that heinous 1986 movie). Somebody’s gotta step up to provide a little context to our daily perceptions of the world. Call out all the hucksters and charlatans and gurus... and that idiot who shows up to protest Pridefest every damn year with a video camera in tow (for - you know - research...) Someone to remind us that the way we think the world "is" says more about us than it does the world.

Alright, I admit it... I want to do it. I want to be that sooth-sayin' seer, the 21st century oracle.

How much does a job like that pay?

2 comments:

Big Daddy said...

Oooh, losing stuff drives me crazy with my OCD.

I have to check my keys visually and by touch at least three times before I can close my front door.

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