Papas don’t let your baby boys grow up to be…indecisive

One of the great transgressions of modern mores which I see fit to punish with 30 lashings and a good dose of tar and feathers is that logjam presented by the indisputably annoying sack who hems and haws for 5 minutes at the counter while they decide exactly which coffee or sandwich or big fucking meal special they want this fine day.

And we wait in line hanging on each confused and unsteady thought which rambles out their mouth as they contemplate all the choices that this godforsaken restaurant’s menu presents to their wavering souls.

Just when it seems they have made a choice and you’re only one step away placing your order quickly and confidently (because you’ve had a good 10 minutes to make up your mind while this ninny was deciding…) and then…he/she decides they need to ask the cashier one more question because they simply cannot choose between the 2 choices it has taken them an eternity to wittle the menue down to. So they ask and you wait.

It it’s a woman, you shrug helplessly. It’s the female curse…that insane inability to make up one’s mind. Cool. Whatever, even. We can tolerate annoying behavior when it’s expected, part of the script. It’s what girls do. If a 4-year-old in-potty-training boy pisses all over my toilet seat…well, frankly it is annoying but it’s no big deal. It’s what you expect.

So if you have a woman lingering and holding up the Starbucks line because she can’t decide between a caramel macchiato and a vanilla latte, it seems business as usual. But when it’s a guy…

Now it’s strangle time. Be a man damnit. A man makes a decision and lives with it. Simple. If you don’t like the coffee you ordered, oh well, life goes on. Next time you can order something different. A man recognizes that life is too large and of such grave concern that agonizing over what kind of ice cream cone to order is indeed a pitiful display of manliness.

Simple law of gender nature: men choose after short introspective deliberation; women choose after extended and drawn-out public consultation.

Problem is, I’m seeing way too many men lapsing into the female netherworld of indecisiveness lately. Too many men now seem overwhelmed by the choices they face; a panic sets in, a loss of self, a loss of direction. The masculine inner compass is rendered directionless here in the topsy turvy world of the 21st Century Male.

Making a decision and facing the consequences is a stoic exercise in maleness.
When did we stop teaching little boys that one stands by their choices and their words?

Burnt L.A. offerings

Where the ragtag L.A. skyline sits nothing but smoke, haze. In the Angeles National Forest, just north of here, a wild-eyed fire rages, or raged…it may be under control now.

During yesterday morning’s weights I thought I smelled burning something and expected to hear sirens blaring nearby, but nothing. My son, more versed in current events, filled me in, told me there were wildfires.

Ah. A hazy picture of downtown up close close and impersonal would convey the “scene” much better, but I was late and not about to pull off the freeway. For a blog photo.

A finger-licking Moment in Time

August 26, 2009
2:00 pm
Kentucky Fried Chicken, Hollywood, California

a Warm Hot lunch walk out the front door of the corporate confines, sterile white precision construction out into the sun-drenched and smoke-drenched hot LA air (for there is a raging brush fire somewhere in the county) and wander down sunset then down gower, and finally down de longpre.

down. walking out at lunch is, Down, a downwards experience, descend on the elevator, descend onto streets, into murky hollywood.
murky and smoky trash strewn experience, hollywood streets oh so filthy and cluttered and worn and Splattered with human waste and refuge and mysterious dried puddles of humanity’s flailing gasps.

dotting sidwalks, dotting walls, ramble Down de longpre, cross the busy and suicidal vine street, into the kfc, where in hollywood, even at this hour, people people people fill the tables, eating late lunches early dinners?

i’ve wandered into this kfc
about 1,648,432 times. that many. a lot. and still
i forget, every goddamned time.
NO CREDIT CARDS
ATM CARDS OK
but you must pay a $0.99 merchant fee. i’m tight and miserly enough that this affects me deeply.
but i have no one to blame. but myself.
but I.
will i let the 99 cents come betweeen
me and fried chicken? why of course not, i relent
and punch in my 4 digit
secure and secret ID
the number, it is XXXX
ha gotcha. gotcha!
like i would say. so i pay for my 2 piece meal with wings and breast, it’s a little more. 7 bucks and change. comes with a drink, 2 sides and a biscuit!

and like a cascading slap of disappointing reality, the 99 cents. total bill is $9.21. $9.21!!!!! too too fucking much money for chicken. and green beans and potato wedges. too much money for greasy
heart clogging fat, too much money for death accelerant. but i bound
out of my chair when my number is called, # 41! And behold my golden crispy chicken and side morsels and
run to my table, the high one with stools where i can tower over other diners but which conversely exposes me to stranger’s scrutiny as i lick my fingers oh so clean.

and the moment; the Moment:
In the brief span of
5 or 7 oily and fried minutes.
in walks an old gent. a very thin old gent wearing his best 1975 leisure wear. strange white ricardo montalban slacks and some strange Mafioso grandfather velvet-y gold-colored polo shirt. it strikes me…these are not only the clothes of an old man now, they were even the clothes of an old man during the U.S. bicentennial. fitting very snug but when you’ve got the geriatric emaciated
package it’s all good. and he insists on talking to the one of the workers about something and his voice. loud and sharp and Chihuahuaishly overbearing. and that bag…a plastic bag with seemingly
pharmaceutical items sitting in it. which waves dangerously with each
frantic gesticulation.

and then an elderly asian (Filipino) couple and the husband(?) wearing
thick horn-rimmed glasses and not only a sunken chest but a sunken belly, skinny skinny why do all these really skinny people eat the fried glories of KFC how can it
be so?
and
because the crowd has been so uncharacteristically and misleadingly frail in comes the obligatory fat social miscreant. fresh off his Honda motorcycle cruiser goldwing thingY. he stands amidst the thin, his belly
hovering sullenly over his useless belt, a tshirted chap with hands that don’t look have taken too kindly to soap for a while.
he glances at his thin surrounders. and speaks “this is the end of the line right? i don’t want to skip in front of anybody. i don’t want people to get mad at me.” the words, the voice, the spoken package, the affect of someone who may have
spent more time
chatting at walls and racoons
than humans.
as if the old asian couple that weighs a combined 180 pounds
is any match for Honda bubba.
old geriatric dude in velvet-Y polo skips out, tired of talking, did he take food didn’t notice. he drives off in a buick. so very old of him!
Honda bubba meanwhile…discovers a coupon flier that is laying
around.
and during this time
the music, piping in, over KFC’s PA
“I Wear My Sunglasses At Night” … one of the very sickest and head-bashing hits of the 1980s and that
is the theme of the hour here in hollywood KFC. olden eras, the distant past
regurgitated here in the temple of Poultry.

and
Honda bubba
what does he do with the coupons?
apparently, interested in the discounted offerings
he pulls out a menacing pocket-knife which easily borders
on the illegal
and begins to cut out special offers
what did you expect, scissors?

Perish the noble pursuit

 

Now if I were to say this is a noble pursuit.
Would you laugh?
Sneer cynically?
Ignore me?

 

Noble pursuits.

 

Is there room for such a thing anymore? Do we live in ignoble times?
I believe you can get a sense of a society’s harshness by taking a measure of its sense of cynicism.

 

I can’t imagine that anyone claiming to undertake a noble pursuit in this day and age would be viewed as anything less than a quack or a scam artist, or even a self-deluded sap.

 

 

downtown

 

 

Increase the scorn tenfold…and that is the fate of the Noble Pursuit in the City of the Angels. Such is the state of urban living in the land of celebrities and celebrity worship where ideas are shunned in favor of the cult of hollow gratification that the only self-described “noble” pursuits involve plastic or metal (or maybe even a good dose of silicon).

 

For if the “noble” idea perplexes the common comprehension of the time, the concept of noble pursuits doubly loses meaning and relevance.