Several pitiful vignettes came my way in recent weeks (temporal references to Wow Much Travels have been left as is, because the spirit was willing to chronicle this shit but the flesh was weak). They’re all of a piece, unfortunately:
1) A casual friend is said to have been supporting herself and her steady boyfriend on her salary of roughly $40k, even though the boyfriend is an incorrigibly lazy deadbeat with a serious drinking problem who failed the NCLEX-RN exam twice because he drank his way through nursing school. Some of the details I’ve been given are dubious: the boyfriend was in an extremely rigorous one-year accelerated BSN program when I met him, for which he told me he was working eighty hours a week, so I doubt he’s a total wanker, and what I was told separately about his having screwed himself out of a career in nursing with two exam failures is at odds with the very liberal retake policy of the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (no more than every 45 days; that’s almost like police departments allowing applicants to remediate the easy shit every two weeks before crucifying them during the background investigation process). He may well have just thrown in the towel for a while because the test was a hassle. This dude seemed pleasant enough, too, which is worth something, unless I got a misleading first impression.
The sad thing about this vignette is that the girlfriend is apparently sticking with him because his father is a successful physician with a shore house in Sea Isle City (or maybe Avalon; for some reason, I can’t keep those two straight). She finds it demoralizing to deal with this fellow’s lack of direction and work ethic, but he can rely on the old man’s money, and they both can rely on the old man’s shore house. Again, boyfriend completed an accelerated BSN program, and I assume that he was doing something right not to fail out of it entirely, but the consensus is that he’s pretty underwhelming in his own right. Counterpoint: Muh Sea Isle City.
2) A casual acquaintance from the same circle, who is definitely somewhere between kind of crazy and legit stalker ex-girlfriend crazy, had to pass on a recent invitation to eat, drink, and be merry for free in Atlantic City because she was pet-sitting for her boss, a rather balls-to-the-wall sales office principal. I was told that she was not paid for this gig. Far be it from me to actually insist on being paid modestly for this sort of work, but her boss should have paid her.
Why did she do this? You guessed it: boss man has a shore house, and she wants to keep her invitation in good standing for the summer.
3) A national bigshot loosely associated with the same sales office but based in hella White South County went down to Huntington Beach for a night of drinking, where one of his coed associates for the evening got blitzed like Coventry and puked all over the floor of someone’s fine-ass automobile. I didn’t catch the precise model because, to be frank, I’m too busy wondering what retard did the interior design on the bilevel cars that Amtrak California operates out of Oakland to give a damn about your C-Class. Greyhound, to my pleasant surprise, has come to offer, dare I say, luxurious styles of ride that your Escalade will never match. I’m reminded of an anecdote, in the best Russian sense, about the man who went to Reno in a $50,000 Mercedes and came back in a $300,000 bus.
The problem with homegirl barfing all over someone else’s car, as I was told this story, was that it was a fancy new car. Getting shitfaced all over my Civic, it seems, would have been less objectionable. Well fuck me. How wrongheaded can we get? Any way you look at it, getting drunk enough to barf in someone else’s car on the way home just ain’t right. For a grown-ass woman, that just is not the done thing. Except where and when it is. Do you have the social proof to be that chav? I drive a 2001 Civic with paint and body damage, so I know I don’t.
Look, cracker: If you can afford a ride that I could trade in for a house in Klamath Falls, you can afford to have Precious Wheels cleansed of some drunkard’s vomit. That’s all there is to it. It’s far from ideal to have to do that, but that’s the flea problem you get for lying down with crazy bitches. As a bachelor with a God-awful collection of old magazines and 7-Eleven trash cluttering every passenger seat and footwell, I do not have this problem. Nor do I have a Joe Dirtbag trying to bum another ride off me problem. It sucks, but it sucks redeemingly. Some drunken skank befouled your cherished Veblen good? Sorry to hear it; I slept in my Civic at a rest area in Dunnigan last night. How did you sleep, in your house?
I wander through that world from time to time, but I am not of it. In fact, I have absolutely no sympathy for people who clean and safeguard their cars like great-grandmother’s heirloom china and blow their tops over minor dents or upholstery messes that could be professionally cleaned for fifteen dollars. Why should I? I keep the hood to my car closed with several strips of duct tape because the latch is loose. Anyone defending his late-model luxury car with purity-based morality deserves to have it burglarized by a Tenderloin gutter drunk and baptized within by a vomit of Olde English and corn nuts. If I had to suffer assholes fressing on corn nuts for the first half hour out of Vegas the other night, no bitch who values the bodily integrity of her Lexus over the privilege of the indigent to fish deposit bottles that she isn’t saving out of a trash can in front of McCormick and Schmick deserves to be spared. These people never care about the purity of any poorie who can be swept out of sight and mind, after all. I’ve made a few extra bucks by taking taking other people’s rest area trash to BottleDrop, so this is my native class dissing me and my colleagues. If some fucked up rich kid feels like taking a dump on their hoods, that’s justice, too. Look, it happens, so it might as well happen to someone deserving.
Some of these Veblen goods genuinely mystify me. If I had a few thousand spare dollars, I might repair the accrued damage to SuperCivic and buy a second serviceable clunker. If I had tens of thousands of dollars to spare, I might possibly buy a used Prius, not for the status-whoring points of owning a Pious or a Hindsight, but because the Prius really is a top-notch workhorse for anyone who doesn’t need off-road or hauling capability. Having a fancy car for the sake of having a fancy car I just don’t get, and I’m probably best off not seeking out the company of women who do get it, since they’re the kind who ruin men with their debts and divorce-time extortion.
The nicer Shore points mystify me even more. I’ve been on the ground in every county in California as an adult. Again and again, I go looking for cheap lodging or a rest area for the night and find myself in pants-shittingly gorgeous country. Meanwhile, I know all these people back east who, if these stories are true, debase themselves and engage in corrupt-looking quid pro quo in order to snag beach house rights on the edge of some patch of humid coastal swamp that’s flatter than West Kansas but relatively free of guidos and hoodrats. Why?
There’s a sexual marketing angle to it, and some of these fools figure, correctly or incorrectly, that they know how to win that game. For most men, it makes more sense to go to Eastwick and pork a thicky trick (limitations on acceptable thickness may apply). At least that way they know they’ll get laid, not turned into beta clowns and played like fiddles by all around them. To be fair, the Jersey Shore has some quality whores, too, but mostly away from the beaches. The immediate beachfronts are overrun by women who coyly dress like whores, only more so, but would take violent offense at being taken for working girls. It’s a far cry from the #IHeartWhiteBoys crowd in Overbrook. Then again, as I’ve belabored in these pages before, Tacoma also has excellent whoring, and it has cool waterfront shit. Contrary to popular belief back east, it also has very pleasant weather during its summer dry season, maybe even too pleasant, and it has topographic relief. Mount her from the rear beneath Mount Rainier. Sound and Pound, y’all.
That isn’t crass; it’s merely vulgar. Crass is trading quid pro quo favors for beach house slots. Isn’t America supposed to be more principled, highminded, and fair than that? It’s a nice idea, anyhow. Maybe I’m just old-fashioned. Common prostitution certainly is. A whore ought to charge a transparent price, like any other businesswoman. It’s basic business ethics, a thing cherished by decent, normal Americans, despised by the marketeering shysters who have colonized and degraded this great land.
Maybe these dipshits down the Shore should be more marriage-minded. They aren’t, though. They’re there to get laid, and the only way men can get laid in that scene is to look like Abercrombie models. That’s my experience, anyway. I’m too festively plump for that crowd, but I’m not too thick for a thicky trick. Giggity. There are hookers who are raising children while players and dupes spend the summer on the beach fighting over crazy amateur girls who really aren’t worth the effort. For narcissistic women who want the upside of leveraging their own sexuality, and the upside alone, this is terrific.
4) Two of the guys at the most recent Atlantic City thing were both angling to date/fuck/cuddle/whatever the same chick, who allegedly requited the interest of the better-smelling, less obnoxious, non-beer-dribbler of the two. The unfortunate thing was that this chick was not a catch: she’s cute but not especially so, is rail-thin with hardly any curves, and is a fucking dingbat. One of the other guys noticed this and bemoaned the possibility that any man would date such a vapid bimbo. He didn’t articulate a specific reason for his objections to this woman’s marriageability (which was probably his ultimate objective, even if he wouldn’t put it so bluntly), but by the time I was told that this fellow had pronounced her unmarriageably stupid, she’d already made a comment so fucking stupid that she needed to say no more to convince me. We were talking about how we’d handle the logistics for a trip out to the Borgata or something, and she said, half-giggling like a schoolgirl, “Take Uber!”
This comment might have been non-retarded in a normal, adult tone of voice. The way she said it, it was dumber than anything you’d expect a Special Olympian to say about hot dogs, and yes, I once talked to a Special Olympian about hot dogs. This bimbo, being outwardly of normal intelligence and apparently from some money, owed us all a less aggressive, less abjectly privileged sort of stupidity. On the other hand, she functioned as a sort of monster of privilege, in the classic French etymological sense of monster as a sort of object lesson, a demonstration, if you will. I couldn’t help but reimagine her on some antebellum plantation, giggling to her friends, “Have the foreman whip the house negro if he drives too slow! Heehee!” That’s what Uber actually is. It hires freemen, but it conspires to make them as unfree as it legally, or illegally, can. Its business model is to compel surplus labor into electronic bondage.
Jeffersonian hypocrisy about one’s benefiting from this arrangement is embarrassing, even tragic, but it’s a big cut above giggling about how cool gig app slavery is. If hypocrisy is the homage that vice plays to virtue, at least this homage is a minor concession to truth, instead of a subnormal attempt to brightside everyone present because one truly cannot imagine that anyone has ever raised an alarm about Uber’s business practices or that there’s anything ethically shady about giving such an outfit business.
Maybe that bimbo can go hang out with the sunnyside-censorious retired gym teacher from Reno. In Duluth. And stay there. Actually, Florida would work. I’ve flown through Miami twice, and that’s it. Besides, Florida has been so horrifically fucked up for so long that no one would notice the introduction of two additional dipshits with more money than moral sense.
5) This same Atlantic City includes two men who insinuate that they’re self-made but who received from their parents, respectively, a new Mercedes as a graduation gift and a one-year country club membership costing $10,000. Mercedes Dude’s father supposedly wanted to make him work for a living in some application of old-school anthracite country values. The other guy’s parents wanted to help him network with other rich people, I guess. Both of these fellows come from avowedly Christian families, bringing to mind references to the camel and the eye of the needle. Mercedes Sr. is said to have a mid-rise building with a Mitt Romney-style car elevator for his collection of rides, which building he purchased from the local Catholic diocese. I’m sure he does excellent business with the parish bulletins, too, duly noting his spiritual relationship with the one holy catholic and apostolic church.
Muh temporalities. I don’t personally consider it a source of scandal that a diocese got jammed up financially and mixed up in business dealings with the sort of local bigshot who makes a show of forcing his kids to make their own way in the world after buying them cars I would never drive into the sorts of neighborhoods I’m forced to frequent because they’d be targets for theft, burglary, and vandalism. It’s embarrassing, but you have to get pretty deep into parochial life for this ilk to become a real pain in the ass. What’s uncomfortable is the appearance that I’ll have to act like anything about any of this is honorable, even admirable. It is not Christian behavior. It’s crass self-dealing, and there should be no shame in calling it that. The crass we will have with us always, but they should fucking own it.
Instead this breed of social climbers draws everyone into a funhouse life. These guys make a show of eating what they kill, then occasionally drop admissions of dumbfounding levels of behind-the-scenes support from their parents. Meanwhile, I’m financially dependent on my parents to a frightening extent, but I fucking feed this nation. I shoulda been a cowboy, I shoulda learned to rope and ride, or maybe I shoulda been a fruitboy–say, I actually am a fruitboy! I’ve done a bit of work with sheep, too, and they have to be the most annoying barnyard animals on God’s green earth.
These dudes called me the other day, bragging about how they wanted to use the Bluetooth in the Mercedes. The reception sucked, so there was that, plus I just don’t fucking give a shit. Daddy bought your buddy some Veblen goods. Whoopa dee fucking doo. Moisture seeps onto the floormats of my Civic when it rains, so I put my shoes back on, turn the fan vents to full floor mode, and try to get some sleep. At what point do I figure that Bernie isn’t soak-the-rich enough and write in Hugo Chavez?
I have an invitation to hang out with a number of the West Coast crowd from this same company in San Jose next month. If they’re all about old-school values of self-reliance and hard work, maybe they’ll be interested in white boys from Palo Alto who do farm work and complain that there are too many Mexican peasants in the business, not too few.
Kwesi Millington for Antrim County Sheriff: Because White Lives Matter, Too. I’m sure I’ll have more Millington endorsements to report before long. Sometimes it seems like this entire country is run by walking Millington-for-Sheriff endorsements. Jesus will come again in glory before we’re fit for policing by Mark Saunders. We are not worthy that he should enter under our skies, or Kevin Vickers, for that matter, although if either of them does NOT play golf, all I can say is that what a country deserves is rarely what it desperately needs.