Monday, August 15, 2005

Junk

My mother and father, God bless their souls, did a pretty good job, I think, teaching my sisters and I to not judge others unfairly, particularly the less fortunate. We might be riding in the car, when one of us would spot a transient or bag lady, maybe someone a bit crazy, hollering obscenities or religious jibber jabber on the street corner. At those times, Mom would pull out her trusty saying, “There but for the grace of God go I”. I am sure I was like 4 years old when I grasped the meaning of those words.

But at times, if someone in our circle, a neighbor, or say, a politician, or entertainment personality, had done something stupid, maybe even made the paper, she could rant on with the best of them, about how stupid it was for this or that person to do such a thing. So, along with my need to be fair, and to keep myself reminded that, someday, I may do something really stupid, (as if I haven't already) or, become one of the less fortunate myself, I come by the trait of blathering on about somebody being a dumb shit honestly.

I spent last weekend in Seattle with my youngest daughter, who is thoroughly pregnant, and due any day, to deliver our sixth grandchild, a girl. On Saturday night, we went to see the annual fireworks display at “The Festival at Mt. Si”, in North Bend, Washington, which is a stone’s throw from the home she shares with her family in Snoqualmie. We arrived early, and my smart and respectable son-in-law and I carried in the chairs and blankets. We found a nice spot right away, within earshot of the toy vendor. Before long, my grandaughter, and many others, were dripping with glowsticks, as we waited for the party to begin.

About 9pm, (the fireworks began at 9:45) a couple of guys, around 40 years old, and a woman, set up right in front of me, which was fine. I never did talk to them. After they got there, they basically looked forward, with their backs to us, for the duration. One of the men stood a lot, especially before the fireworks began. He had super long hair, which he would flick back, Nugent like, and the second they arrived, the chain smoking began. As he stood there, before me, I could tell, as the minutes went by, that he was on something. He was fidgety to the max, and would not shut up. The other two people were much more calm.

But when the fireworks began, the other guy began fidgeting, and talking non-stop, and I could tell that the meth had kicked in. As the first flashes of light filled the sky, and throughout the entire display, I got my own personal, shall we say, enthusiastic play by play of the fireworks.

SPEED FREAK ONE: WHOAAAAAAA!, DUDE, THAT WAS AWESOME! WAS THAT AWESOME? DID YOU FUCKING SEE THAT! IT WAS AWESOME!

SPEED FREAK TWO: MAN, THAT WAS THE AWESOMEST, THOSE LITTLE STRINGS FALLIN’ DOWN, TOTALLY FUCKING AWESOME, (another explosion) OOHHHHHHHHH, THAT WAS AWESOME TOO, FUCK’N’A, DUDE, DID YOU SEE THAT, TOTALLY FUCKING AWESOME!

SPEED FREAK ONE: I COULD WATCH THESE FUCKING FIREWORKS ALL FUCKING NIGHT MAN, NO SHIT, I COULD SIT HERE 24/7, OHHHHHH (LAUGHS) DUDE, DID YOU SEE THAT, OHHHHH, DUDE, DID YOU FEEL THE HEAT FROM THAT FUCKING THING?

SPEED FREEK TWO, DUDE, OHHHH, I FUCKING FELT IT ON MY FACE, IT WAS AWESOME, TOTALLY FUCKING AWESOME, IT WAS LIKE A FUCKING A-BOMB WENT OFF, OHHHHHHH, THERE GOES ANOTHER ONE, OOOWWWWWWWW! WHAT A FUCKING GREAT SHOW, DUDE, IS THIS FUCKIN’ AWESOME? FUCK’N’A MAN I JUST WISH THEY’D FALL RIGHT ON TOP OF US!

You get the drift. It was pitiful, all that ridiculous cussin’ and pontificatin’, from where I sat, midst a large and harmonious audience of Seattle families and their grade school aged offspring, but a bit funny too.

The next day, walking through Costco with my daughter, I made some comment like, “Man, I really like those Costco halibut fish ’n’ chips”, as we passed the freezer case, and then, I got this vision of somehow finding myself, there in Costco, walking behind those same speed freaks, and having to listen to them go on about Costco, ad nauseum, as in, “THOSE FUCKING FISH AND CHIPS, DUDE, HAVE YOU HAD THOSE?, DUDE, THEY ROCK, THEY ARE TOOOOO MUCH, TOTALLY AWESOME, I’M GETTIN’ SOME!”

My name is Ric Seaberg, and when I was much younger, I spent a few years myself, taking amphetamines, the pill kind, recreationally. I am ashamed to admit that I know the speed feeling. I am certain that I made the drive from Seattle to Portland a few times, talking non-stop, and going on over enthusiastically about any number of things, oh, billboards, whatever. So I don’t want to be too hard on those guys, but they were certainly old enough to know better, and they just sounded like complete idiots. What a coupla’ losers, those Meth Usin’ Lynnard Skynnard Lovin’ Dorks.

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