Sunday, April 3, 2011

If Only

Despite the fact that I author a blog devoted almost entirely to the cause of mocking people, I tend to suppress that sharp edge when trapped in the restricting confines of civil social interactions. In line at the store, walking through the hallways, serving customers at work… I force myself to stand idly by while idiocy occurs in spades all around me. A debilitating, ruthless remark, quip, or comment resides on the edge of my bitter tongue, but I take the high road and simply enjoy a well-deserved bout of smirking and skeptical/incredulous eyebrow movements (“Really?”). This isn’t exactly a conscious decision, but rather a decision made for me by my timidly passive nature, overwhelming fear of confrontation, and a desperate need to be liked by others. If I could only be so bold, I would relentlessly fling shame and embarrassment at those being foolish enough to deserve such; I would be a supervillain with the evilest of evilly evil powers: cutting sarcasm and a complete disregard for the self-esteem of others. However, the thought of being mean to a stranger (what if they’re going through a really rough time? What if their cat just died?) makes me feel a little dead inside, so this supervillain will remain safely, if reluctantly, contained.

Besides, I worry I even lack the capacity, the wit, the quick thinking to be a very effective supervillain. If anything, the comments I would come up with would be subpar at best, as I’ve never been much of an in-the-moment aficionado. I prefer to plan things well in advance, and any unexpected occurrence leaves me more shaken than a Polaroid picture (BOOOOM.) Any impromptu comment would most likely be nervously stammered as I blushed fervently and looked with great interest at the ground (which probably has better comedic timing than myself).
In light of the realization that this supervillain gig won’t quite work out, I’ve made a compromise. I’ve decided all I want is one Moment. One instance in which I can absolutely destroy someone with a single bazinga (Big Bang Theory, anyone?). It will have to be expertly crafted and flawlessly delivered, and I want it to be heard and widely appreciated by everyone in the vicinity.

When I imagine this taking place, it all invariably goes down, for some reason, in the checkout line at CVS. I will be casually checking my phone, perhaps reading the sacred text that is a tweet from Bo Burnham and pretending that he is texting me personally, when I hear it. When I hear what has got to be the stupidest effing thing I have ever heard in all my life. I will freeze for a 1.654 milliseconds- no more, no less- then I will slide my phone into my pocket, square my shoulders, and unleash hell. 

I look up, sporting the coolly disinterested expression finely honed over years of disdain for those around me, make eye contact with the soon-to-be victim, open my mouth and… GHSHAKHFHJSKSKS there it goes. The wittiest thing one could have possibly said in such a situation, and it emanating from the mouth of an awkward pale girl with unfortunately bushy hair. There is silence as all the air is sucked from the room, then released almost as instantaneously as it was taken in, as all who bore witness revel in the moment and laugh their posteriors off at the person who has now officially claimed the title of Dumbest Person at a CVS checkout. I will bask in the warmth of their guffaws, not even minding that the middle-aged man purchasing three six-packs of beer, a box of Honey Buns, and what looks like an industrial-size vat of kitty litter is laughing so messily that he is raining spittle down on the poor Pillow Pets. As the shame and humiliation peaks, contrasting with our jubilant condescension, I will hold a steely gaze, staring straight into the deflated soul of my victim. I raise an eyebrow slightly (the left one- my right eyebrow is codependent and won’t move by itself for love or for money), blink twice, and nonchalantly return my attention to the phone in my pocket. 

As I exit the store, I will graciously and modestly accept the praise of my now reverent fans, swearing I only said aloud what everyone else was thinking (but secretly doubting any of these commoners could be as brilliant as I). I breeze through the automatic doors, as even these portals to the world bow down at my feet, and make my way to my car. I slide into the driver’s seat, start up the engine, and begin to ironically bump some Aaron Carter jamz at full blast through my speakers. I slide sunniest of yellow hipster shades onto my face and stare defiantly at the sun, watching scramble for cover behind the clouds under the raw power of my stare. I back swiftly out of the parking spot, and as I face forward, I find myself face-to-face with my victim, still recovering from the trauma of it all. They are crossing the parking lot, and are now standing directly in the way of my front bumper. I turn my music up even more and watch as they nervously move out of the way, looking pathetic and awkward as they do. I laugh ruefully and, as I make my way out into traffic, I cement the greatest phrase I’ve ever uttered into the creases and corners of my mind.


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