I'm a little slow today. I just switched to Sanka. So...have a heart?

Sunday, June 25, 2006

What the fuck is wrong with these people?!

In Miami, oftentimes, it's necessary to honk at someone who's about to do something stupid and cause an accident. Or, other times, it makes me feel better to honk at someone who has done something stupid, and I'm getting retribution at him/her for doing something stupid, and making me work to avoid causing an accident.

I'm not sure if people in other parts of the country do this... but when I'm honking at someone, say, who's ABOUT TO RUN A STOPLIGHT OR A STOP SIGN OR A YIELD SIGN, usually they have the balls to honk back at me.

What?! Why are you honking at me?! Fuck you. You're the one doing something wrong. Don't honk at me, motherfucker.

It has never occurred to me to get into a honking match with someone. If someone honks at me, I contritely pay attention to whatever it is that I was doing. I'm not going to lie, sometimes I'm a bad driver. Like today, I sort of was driving on the wrong side of the street...because I... well, I have no excuse. I wasn't paying attention. And if someone had honked at me, know what I'd do? Not honk back, and rectify my stupid behavior.

Along those same lines, get a load of this...

Friday night, as I was going on my first and last drink date with Boring Mc NoPersonality, I had to fill up the ole' gas guzzler.

I went to the BP at 5th and Pennsylvania on the Beach. And, invariably, a homeless guy came up to me and asked me for money.

And I can't say no...because I'm filling up my stupid car... and if I was like "I don't have any! Hee! Hee! Hee!" he'd see right through me, and God would smite me down.

So. In an abundance of charity, I gave the bum a five.

And I expected him to say the following, "Thank you sir. God bless you. Have a nice day."

What actually happened?

He went, "Ooooooooh! Gimmie another dollar! I wanna buy some weed!"

And my jaw hit the floor. Not because he wanted to buy weed -- I thought that was a noble use of my five dollars. I was stunned that this man had the AUDACITY to ask me for MORE MONEY.

"I just gave you FIVE DOLLARS!" I told the guy, "I'm not giving you any more money!"

Then, the bum started poking me and jibbering about something. Then, he started singing and dancing. True story. So I'm standing at a gas pump, pumping 3.26/gallong Premium gas into my car, as a certifiably out-of-his head bum softshoes and wails out a song, on the other side of the gas line.

He followed me to my door of my car begging for another dollar for weed... and I showed him my wallet that he had taken my LAST FIVE DOLLARS. He started asking for change... but... his pleas fell on deaf, and slightly more jaded ears.

The moral of the story? Bums are ungrateful. I gave that man an hour's worth of tax-free minimum wage!

All I wanted was a "God Bless You." And for want of gratitude, I will never give another bum money again. So all you bums out there, you thank Ungrateful McPokeySinger for me being tight-fisted and cheap. He ruined it for all of you!

Well, it's about fucking time.

When I was but a fresh-faced young intern in the summer of 1999, after my Freshman year of college, I had an internship at the Smithsonian. I worked in the National Portrait Gallery, in a walled-off section of the Museum, unseen by the public -- which was a damn shame. The National Portrait Gallery is in the D.C. Old Patent Office, built in the 1830s or 40s. Our section of the Musuem was a silent corridor, whose musty and history drenched quietude was broken with the click of the IBM Selectrics and Dell Dimensions.

But what a corridor. Essentially, my office was on a catwalk-like balcony in a vast Atrium, with mid-Victorian ironwork and plasterwork, a stained glass ceiling, and a beautifully tiled floor with vivid-150-year-old tilework.

Oh, look. Here's a picture of it - it's small, and you can't get a sense of much detail, but you can tell it was really grand:

This was the room where Abraham Lincoln's inaguration ball took place. And it was the room where I showed up for work every one of those hot, sticky days of the summer of '99, transferring transparencies onto the NPG's website, and running transparencies to the basement of the Museum of American History, and analyzing provenance of paintings through private collections in America. And after a while I took it for granted that I worked in such a grand space. After all, no one else could see it, as it was closed off from the rest of the museum. And as the summer wore on, the stained glass ceiling was removed and covered with opaque glass, and the North Wing of the corridor was closed off to begin restoration.

And in the Fall of 1999, the Museum closed for restoration.

And now, a mere SEVEN YEARS LATER, it's finally reopening. And, thankfully, it sounds like the Smithsonian knows what a good thing it had in the secret Great Hall, and hopefully it has now opened the same up to the Public in all of its 1850s Grandeur.

Only seven years later. About time.