Everything’s a BIG Joke to You, Isn’t It?

. . .Um. . . What?. . . That really sounds more like a statement than a question. . . doesn’t it? I am frequently confronted with that statement/question and am rarely certain how the person would like me to respond to/answer it. . . Has there ever been a time in your life, when you wish that you could be given a few extra minutes to come up with a witty retort or a snappy comeback? (this is very useful for those that don’t like to think for themselves) Was there ever a time, when someone so befuddled you, that you stood there staring “blankly” at them – wishing to God, that you didn’t look as utterly mindless and lacking of any wit-based thought as you did. . . at THAT very moment? Think for a minute or two. . . Have you ever been, say, at WORK or some other “Meaningless” Social-Type setting where your response-time to a devastating or potentially ego-deflating remark, was of the utmost importance? Only to find yourself driving home in your car from the humiliation – feeling beaten, dejected and in dire need of a “Do – Over”?
“Man if I would have just said, NO – I think it’s YOU that is a Doofus-Face and it is obvious to EVERYONE that you have a bladder control problem, bad skin and more than likely a stray patch of unsightly hair on your lower back, that you can’t reach with a razor OR a pair of tweezers!”
“. . . That’s what I SHOULD’VE said. . . “
If you’ve not had the privilege of meeting me to begin your thankless, cumbersome and long-suffering journey of figuring out what makes me “tick” (I enjoy eating meat. . . like ALOT) you could very easily find yourself “behind the eight ball”, when trying to have a conversation with me. I am not exactly “wired” the way most people are – OR want you to believe that they are. In the course of a regular day with moderate to heavy human interaction, I will find a large number of situations humorous and MORE than a handful of those individuals, that I come across. . . stupid. Please, don’t get me wrong. I am not so arrogant that I feel that I am “smarter” than other people. . .I’m just “better” than other people. NO. . . not ALL people. . . Just most. And that’s OK. . . In fact, it’s probably a really good indicator as to why I’ve been unable to really “get anywhere” in life. (Or so I’ve led myself to believe) Because, by and large, the majority of those IN CHARGE  of those areas in LIFE, that I wish to make great strides or achieve a healthy amount of success in. . . are idiots
 . The chain of events that put these people in a position of Power and Authority (and continue to KEEP them there) seems to have taken place long before I was EVER born. . . Some may say that I am just “kidding” myself. . . That is VERY true. If I left it up to others to do the “kidding”, well I wouldn’t be laughing much at all and I might just be left waiting an awfully LONG time. So. . .I guess the JOKE. . . is on ME. . . Pull up a chair neighbor. . . Jokes for everyone!
You see, unlike those of you unfortunates that I referred to at the top of this, I DO have a “Ready Reserve” of things I’d like to say to anyone that decides they would like to “Play”. (Meaning they have decided to DO or SAY something, that in my opinion, is dumb
 ) It’s all really just in the “Preparation”. You never know when someone is going to do something that insults your sensibilities. But, you will undoubtedly encounter a number of them on any given day. You’ve just got to keep your eyes open. If you feel that you have been “wronged” in some way. If you feel sometimes that life has given you the short end of the stick. I have two sure-fire ways to improve your outlook on your circumstances in any given situation:
Don’t Take Life So Seriously
Always Say The First Thing That Comes to Mind

Do I care about telling people the first thing that comes to my mind? I suppose. . . on SOME level. Probably on the level that is struggling to figure out how I am going to pay the bills. . . or pay for my kids’ educations. But, if you want to free yourself from the Bondage of Boneheads
 , you must be willing to Speak Your Mind. You can’t be afraid of “saying the wrong thing“. How many times has “second guessing” yourself led to less than desirable results? Think about it. But not too long. Go with your gut. People’s intuitions (unless you ARE the bonehead) are usually the best way to go. Here’s a quick example:
I was in the preliminary stages of early courtship with my current wife. She is also my only wife. (As in – I wasn’t previously married and haven’t married since) We were at a dining establishment. I ordered for the both of us, as is the tradition. (until you get married – then you decide what you will SPLIT) We received the food and exchanged pleasantries. During the course of the meal, it occurred to me that the food that we had been ingesting. . . was gross. Not wanting to upset my wife, I casually asked her how her food was. My wife, not one for public displays of vomiting told me it was, “Okay”. For her sake I choked down the remainder of the slop and smiled. . . and waited. . . As is the case in most of the finer eateries, a wait staff person approached us towards the end of the meal to inquire if the “food” had been to our liking. Knowing that this was one of the first times I had publicly dined with my soon-to-be wife, I thought this was the perfect time to “Set the Tone” for the evening and make a lasting impression. . .
“How was everything?”, asked the wait staff person, in a clear attempt to provoke me.
“This was disgusting”, I replied, pushing away from the table.
Quickly turning on me, the wait staff person growled, “What was wrong with it?”
“It was cold, it tastes horrible and I don’t even know what ‘this part’ is,” I said, flicking a piece of parsley to the side in bewilderment.
At this point, I hadn’t noticed that my wife must have dropped a fork and was rustling around under the table, trying to find it. . . or an “escape hatch”.
“Well, what would you like me to do?” the wait staff person asked, now obviously threatened by my brutish honesty.
“Bringing me the check would be good,” I replied. . . sensing I’d somehow personally offended her, but not caring in the slightest.
. . . And that was it. I didn’t ask for the waitress to “Comp” the meal. Even though I’m unsure that crap  could be classified as “food”. I DID have some manners. I was on a DATE for crying out loud. I had to make a good impression! I didn’t want my soon-to-be wife to think I was CHEAP (she would find that out after we got married) It was the PRINCIPLE of the thing. If you don’t say anything to people. . . If you don’t tell them the truth. . . Well then you have no one to blame but yourself, the next time someone tries to take a big old DOOKIE on your day. I’m fairly certain the wait staff person hadn’t personally prepared the meal and was a little dismayed by her expressed internalization of my critique. Whatever. I’m sure she’s gotten over it by now. Never mind, that my wife brings this “outing” up ’til THIS VERY DAY (some 7 years later) as a major source of personal embarrassment. I have been embarrassed scores of times in life and this doesn’t even make the Top 100. I don’t think she gets out much. But the point is, that she KNEW from that day forward, exactly WHO she was dealing with. . . I mean the wait staff person. I’m sure my wife will tell you it’s “anybody’s guess” with me.
Okay, so that was an example of “Telling it Like it Is”. This can also help you to avoid having to succumb to the latest in “Giving In to Life”. Most recently, I’ve noticed that people (meaning YOU or others like you) have adopted
“. . .Well, it IS what it IS”. . .
or a variation thereof“WHAT?”
Humor me here, but it didn’t have to be THAT way at all, if someone (other than me) would’ve DONE something about it.
All Seriousness Aside. . .
There are also times in your life when you come across people that are diametrically opposed to “Who you are” as a human being. They have a completely opposing view of the way things “are” and undoubtedly “should be”. In my life, these people have no way of knowing, when they wake up in the morning, that I will let them know (in no uncertain terms) that I do not take them OR their situation seriously. Now, I understand that, in adolescence, there are a number of larger kids out there – in schools throughout America – that like to torture those children that they perceive as somehow “weaker” than they. As an adult, I have also observed this to be the case. . . between adults. There are those adults that trudge through life, victimizing other adults – like they were bullies, walking the halls of junior highs taunting and threatening  pimple-faced or overweight kids for their lunch money. Being the victim of bullies (actually ONE bully – another bit, for another day) in my youth, I recognize this kind of behavior in my workplace. Ironically, I am still a part-time PUBLIC SCHOOL BUS DRIVER. However, I see this mindset in more of the adults I observe, than in all the miles I’ve logged toting around your snot-nosed kids. I mean. . . the most precious of cargo. . .Our Future. But, I also recognize this as a unique opportunity to right some wrongs and exact a certain measure of revenge. . . These folks don’t know what to do when they’ve been “INTELLECTUALLY PANTSED”
As a PUBLIC SCHOOL BUS DRIVER I am given the “opportunity” to interact and even “work” with a fairly large cross-section of humanity. During the course of any given day, any number of “events” can and DO occur. (though, rarely to me) Most recently, one particularly large “Cross-Section of Humanity” decided to “Get all up in my Kool-Aid”
We have currently been experiencing a series of “Rain Events” here in Central California. An oddity. YES, the rain. (we get very little per year) and YES, the “weather folks” in our area insisting on calling them “events”. (I buy my tickets through Ticketmaster) Needless to say (though, I am going to) people in this area aren’t exactly adept at driving in these kind of weather-enhanced conditions. As a result, a number of bus drivers, in my department, found that the onslaught of rain (almost an inch a day!) added in the just the “right” concentration to soil, produced. . . mud. As you can imagine, this produced  a malay of mass confusion to some of my colleagues, ill-equipped for such a dilemma. As I drove my route (ensuring I maintained a safe speed and more than adequate following distance) I heard ONE panicked plea for assistance, that caught my attention:
“Dispatch (nerves, audibly frayed – confidence. . .shaken) This is bus Alpha Zero Niner (fictional number, to protect the stupid) I can’t move my bus. . . It’s stuck”.
Dispatch, overwhelmed by the number of calls from my fallen comrades, attempted to talk him through it. However, more often than not, in a bus versus mud situation, a bus cannot become “unstuck” of its own volition and it is necessary to perform an extraction. (this involves a tow truck and several taxpayer dollars) I recognized the driver’s voice being that of a colleague that, since my first day on the job, took it upon himself to point out other drivers’ inadequacies. Letting all that would listen know, that HE and HE ALONE was the King of Bus Drivers. . . All Hail the KING! Adding himself to the “David Beckham List” of pompous, yet strangely-revered people I can’t stand. He likes to make those around him feel “less than stellar” about their own personal achievements, all the while shamelessly flaunting his mediocrity. He is also “one of THOSE. Who can’t take a joke. Last May, before we left for our Summer (Hope to God, I can Find a Job) Recess, I had been asked to turn in my fuel key. I joked with my supervisor, that I was unsure I would like to relinquish it – as I had planned on using it to fuel my family’s automobile on numerous recreational excursions, during the summer months. Unfortunately, my supervisor (who CAN take a joke) did not warn me that “King Beckham” (again, someone who CAN’T) was standing behind me. The driver decided to let it be known, right then and there, that many Bus Drivers had been employed there for a number of years, sweating and toiling tirelessly – all over the place, and didn’t appreciate my “Shenanigans”.  I understand that he speaks for no one but himself. But he tends to do so. . . LOUDLY. At that point, I did NOT say the first thing that came to mind: “Lighten Up, Pukeface”. . . There ARE exceptions to the rule. I just put that little comment in my mental Roladex and decided to wait. . .
So the day after the “Torrential Downpour Event (8 months and 6 days, after “Mr. Tightbutt” decided to “Lay the Smack Down”) I “accidentally” ran into him at work.
“Got stuck, Huh?” I asked sensitively.
“Yeah, I don’t know what happened,” he replied angrily, sure that I was not going softly into that good night. . .
“You drove into mud,” I shared, “I probably wouldn’t have done that,” – hoping it would provide him with some valuable insight and possibly assist him in not replicating his misfortune in the future.
Now, I think it should be pointed out here that I’ve known this driver for nearly 2 years and he is well aware that I have a very low threshold for “Stupid”. I also decide, from time to time, to sprinkle a certain amount of levity on a situation – when I deem it warranted. This was one of those times. . . This is also when it got WEIRD. . .
“Everything’s a BIG JOKE to you, isn’t it?” he snorted.
“Not ALL of it,” I replied, unsure where this was going and whether or not I could “Take” him (I can’t) – and ALSO making note of a dark stain on the “lap” portion of his trousers.
By now, a few coworkers (nearly 3000 strong) smelled a little blood in the water and had decided to “go ringside” for a “free show”. I have to admit. The “chum-lover” in me, felt itself stirring. . . I Love me some chum. . .
“You’re a smart ass!” he sniped, most assuredly trying frantically to put me in my place and gain the upper hand.
Before I continue, I probably need to preface my “follow-up” with a reminder. My intention in initiating this conversation, was to lighten the mood of a cohort who recently had experienced a “trying day”. Someone, who obviously no longer dresses himself. In my defense, my response was meant to merely point out one obvious (to me) thing. . .
“Well it’s better than being a Dumbass. . .” (Meaning, if I had a choice between the two – Smart Ass would have to trump Dumbass”)
Unfortunately, this is how that response was heard:
YOU. . . are a DUMBASS“. . . Things came to a screeching halt at this point. In my coworkers mind, I had just called him out in front of everyone as incompetent. NO. . . worse than that, I guess (we ARE bus drivers) After the “Ooo’s and Ahh’s”, snickers and “Oh no he DIN’T ‘s (yes, din’t ‘s)” subsided. He took a step towards me. Sensing he had taken my statement a little too “close to heart”, I braced myself. Visions of the world’s largest wedgie coming my way. (He outweighs me by about 300 pounds and could easily squish me . . . or eat me – without complaining about the food)
“I don’t Play like that,” he said. . . then he extended his hand. . .(in a gesture of friendship?). . .  NO, upward. . . in the universally recognized “Talk to the Hand” sign. . .
I was unsure what to do (besides laugh hysterically). . . I began by half-heartedly trying to explain that in the whole “Smart versus Dumb” thing the alternative to Dumb was more appealing to me. . .
But, he simply turned around and walked away. . . A small part of me. . .sad. . .(everything being relative, any part of me next to him. . . is small)
I was beside myself, as were those watching what had just occurred. I knew in my heart of hearts I had done irreparable harm. . . I had taken away “his” fun. This guy, who had witnessed me joking around numerous times at the expense of myself and countless others. . . had “Nothing” to say. . . As he walked away, I said the only thing I could think of to try to salvage the “acquaintanceship”. . .
“Oh, C’mon. . . Don’t be a Stuck in the Mud!
But he was gone. . . and you know something? I couldn’t be happier! Neither could anyone else. Teams of coworkers have since come out of the woodwork offering encouraging words, “Good job man!” or “I wish someone would have set him straight sooner”.

I’ve heard it said (Usually in the context of a World Wrestling Entertainment Pay-per-View, but it fits here too) that sometimes it becomes necessary to “Know your Role”
 . I think I’ve got a pretty good grasp of what mine is in life and I’m fairly comfortable with it. However, I don’t think there is any way I could adequately prepare for a question/statement that seems to follow me wherever I go:
“Everything’s a BIG JOKE to you, Isn’t it?”
I suppose I could dust off the indefensible, “Well, I think that goes without saying, doesn’t it?”. . . then simply leave my new-found antagonizer to scratch their head. . . or butt – whatever triggers their thought process, to wonder, “What just happened?” But that doesn’t seem very satisfying to me. No, I’d much rather find what others do extremely fun to dissect, reconstruct for them in an easy-to-follow way, then point out why I thought it was either a horribly funny mistake or quite possibly – the single dumbest thing I’ve ever witnessed in the “History of Dumb Stuff”
 . . . Let the chips fall where they may, I say. Besides. . . it makes me feel a whole lot better about the stupid crap that I do. . . Talk about a “mess”. . . Don’t get all “bunched up” about stupid things. . . ‘cuz I’m watching. . . Don’t WISH you would’ve said it. . . After all. . . It IS what it IS. . .

‘Til Then. . . Go Figg’r!  
Peace Out – Later


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