I actually had intentions for Hate Week. They were simple, but achievable.
Find things to hate for inspiration.
Write something clever in support of Hate Week.
Do not lose bet to Ray.
You see, Ray has been my friend long enough to know that when I say something like “I’m for sure writing something for Hate Week this year” what I’m actually saying is “I’ll most definitely give Hate Week a passing thought at some point this month, but there’s no guarantee that the thought will actually occur during Hate Week, and the odds of me actually sitting down to write something in honor of Hate Week are basically nonexistent.”
So even though I followed this up with a “No seriously, I PROMISE to write something for Hate Week this year,” Ray was not to be pacified too easily—and rightfully so. For him to take this statement at face value would have proven not only his gullibility but his stupidity as well. And had he taken that statement at face value, I would have been extremely disappointed—and to be quite honest, more than a little hurt.
But he rose to the occasion and did what any respectable friend would do: he challenged me to a bet. I won’t go into the details of the bet in this post, because the whole point of the bet was for me to suffer great humiliation if I failed to post something during Hate Week, and if I went into the details, it wouldn’t save me from all that much humiliation.
So I intended for this post to be witty and clever and wonderfully hateful. However, I’m not sure it’s going to be any of that—except maybe a bit hateful.
And I think that hate is being aimed at Ray.
You see, I hate August. I mean, I fucking HATE August. There are few things in this world more detestable to me than August. I hate the way the word sounds when it leaves someone’s mouth. I hate that it serves as an extended dead zone between the fun of summer and the excitement of fall. I hate that it seems be some kind of fucked up key that opens up the vents of hell and brings the heat blasting across the earth. And I really hate that this pathetic and vicious excuse of a month falls into order at number 8.
I think numbers play a pretty big role in life, and my all-time favorite number is 8. So the fact that August is the 8th month just pisses me off even more.
So I was all geared up for Hate Week. I’m generally in a much bitchier mood throughout at least the first half of the month anyway, and I was fully prepared for August to start playing its dirty and vindictive little tricks on me. Only this time, I was going to capture them on paper and post them for the whole of The Strangelands to see. I braced myself when going to sleep on July 31 for the inevitable horrors sure to ensue the next morning.
Only here’s the thing: nothing happened. At least, nothing bad happened. In fact several things began happening, but they were all pretty fucking cool. The air conditioner in my vehicle had quit working in the early part of July before I went on vacation, and since returning I hadn’t had a chance to have it looked at. So I finally make an appointment to have someone look at it on August 11, knowing full well that whatever was wrong with the air conditioner couldn’t possibly cost less than one million dollars.
But sometime during the first week in August, it started working again—all by itself. It was an August miracle—if such a thing exists.
This was just the first in a string of events that were turning out to be quite fortunate.
Then late one night, 8/8/08 to be exact, I was talking to Ray on the phone and I discovered that his life was proving to be one horrible event after another. And as I’m listening to him describe the unfortunate antics taking place in his life, I began having to literally bite my lip to keep from laughing—which didn’t work at all. He somehow picked up on my non-sympathy.
I couldn’t help it. For once, things in August were actually going pretty good for me. I couldn’t think of a single thing happening in my life that I was hating at all during Hate Week. In fact, I was quite pleased with everything in general.
So of course Ray insisted that I was stealing all of his good luck and taking it into my life while his life was rapidly going downhill.
He also insisted that I give it back right now.
I almost had him convinced that I deserved to keep any kind of August luck I could get—even if I had to steal it from him. Hell, I almost had myself convinced that I actually did possess some kind of luck in August. That was my downfall.
The next morning, my air conditioner went out again in my vehicle. And things have gotten progressively worse in nearly every other area of my life.
And while part of this might be Karma paying me back for my string of fortunate events, or it could be payback for my intense hatred of August, or it might just be the way life rolls regardless of the month or the week, I’m going to go ahead and blame Ray for his part in all of this.
You see, maybe if I hadn’t promised to participate in Hate Week (which, let’s face it, can’t be good for anyone’s Karma), I could have just kept the string of good August luck. And while it’s not Ray’s fault that I made a promise, I do blame him for having the foresight to devise a scheme for making me stick to that promise. Because now, August is back to ruining the world, making people miserable, and fucking with my mental health in general. And I don’t appreciate it.
So Ray, here’s to you and your stupid fucking Hate Week for helping to ruin a perfectly pleasant August.
Thanks so much, Buddy.