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Gotta Be Kidding Me by Ray Printer Friendly

Today did not go as I had planned. At all.

I have a nine-hour drive back to my home town tomorrow, and I was supposed to spend today doing laundry and packing. I was supposed to wake up first thing tomorrow, lug a couple of bags out to the car, and go. Instead, I sit here at my desk, un-showered, un-shaven, and drinking whiskey and some sort of energy drink. The energy drink is because I still have much to do before succumbing to sleep. The whiskey is because this day has totally sucked nuts.

The energy drink tastes awful, and it smells like natural gas for some reason. I’m using it as a chaser, which is ridiculous, really, considering how much better the whiskey tastes.

Part of the reason that today was so rough is because I took on a Christmas project that was much larger in scope than I had originally planned. It was supposed to be done early yesterday, but instead, I finished it about five minutes ago. The other reason that today has been so rough is because nothing at all has worked out for me.

Well, I did get a cake. And I finished up this project. And I didn't get bit in the balls by a big dog. But aside from that, pretty much everything else has gone the exact opposite of according to plan.

I have a lot of digital shit to deal with this vacation, and I really wanted to spend some time making sure I had it all. No big thing, really, but I’m working on like four stories right now, and I wanted to make sure I had all my drafts. Plus, there are a bunch of pictures and things that I wanted to take with me. It’s not complicated, but I tend to misplace digital baggage much more often than physical stuff.

When you’re backing your bags, you can see, right? “Here’s my ten pair of underwear, my two shirts, a pair of pants, two pair of socks, and the safety helmet the doctor says I should wear at all times.” Check, check, and check. It’s right there on the bed, you can easily see it, and once you make sure you have everything, you toss it into your bag.

With digital stuff, it’s all spread out over my computer, and when I try to put it all in one place, I inevitably end up deleting something.

But whatever.

I had to go buy a cake today. I went to Costco, because they have rockin’ cakes, and my sister told me to bring one home when I came to visit. I figured it was the least I could do, seeing as how we’ll be staying with her when we go visit tomorrow…and I forgot to tell her when we were coming.

“So when are you guys coming?”

“Oh…I thought I told you. Tomorrow.”

“Tomorrow? Are you serious?”


“Holy crap. Were you gonna tell me?”

Guess not. Good thing she asked.

“Well, I should probably go. I need to clean house, since I’m apparently having guests tomorrow.”

So, yeah, cake. The thing about Costco cakes is that they’re humongous. You don’t get a cake like this unless you’re taking it to an event of some kind. As you might know, I am not exactly a social butterfly, so I don’t have much use for a huge cake.

While I was in Costco, a kid got lost. Before you get all worried, no I didn’t take it. And yes, they found the little bastard. The thing about people losing their kids is, it’s hilarious.

In the past week, I have seen people lose their kids five times. Twice just this weekend. And you know what? These parents who lose their kids, they deserve it. I’m not saying they deserve to find their kid crushed in the parking lot or whatever, but they deserve the fear when they realize the kid is missing.

Because these assholes don’t even watch their kids. The other day, I was in a store, this lady had an infant strapped in the cart. Like the baby was attached to its baby seat, and the seat was sitting in the grocery cart, right?

This lady sees that they’re giving out free samples, she just lets go of her cart. It’s still rolling, the infant’s still in there, and she just turns around and walks back to the sample table. The cart rolls for about three feet before it bumps into a table full of books and comes to a stop. Meanwhile, the lady is over chatting it up at the sample table, about ten feet away, her back to her baby.

“The real injustice,” I told my princess, “Is that if I took that kid, just grabbed it and walked out of the store, away from the dizzy bitch who ignored it for a free cookie, I’d be considered the asshole. I guaran-fucking-tee you that I would raise it better, but I’d still be considered the villain, even if I went to court and explained how I got the kid.”

She just told me to quit talking about stealing babies. “You don’t even like kids.”

And she’s right. The guy who lost his kid in Target yesterday, you know where his kid was? Bugging the shit out of me.

And that’s what it really boils down to, you see. I don’t care if you’re so completely negligent that your kid wanders out into the busy parking lot (that’s where they found the kid who got lost at Costco today—roaming around in traffic, trying to find the family SUV). It doesn’t matter to me if your kid gets nabbed by some fiend for reasons too horrendous to imagine. That happens, it’s your fault for being such an asshole, and your kid’s fault for not running away a long time ago.

But most of the time, that kind of thing doesn’t happen. Most of the time, your kid finds me. It doesn’t matter if I’m on the toy aisle or if I’m over looking at paper plates and adult diapers—your kid will track me down and start bothering me.

At the very least, the little bastard will come over and sneeze on me. Usually, though, there’s conversation involved. The thing is, I’m just so insanely polite. That’s my biggest problem, really. Your little shit starts talking to me, I feel obligated to talk back. Me talking to a child rarely works out for the best.

While I’m on the subject, what the hell is going on in their little bean heads? I’m sitting there the other day, looking for a mop, this little kid walks up and starts telling me all about how him and his friend were watching DVDs in the car.

“That…doesn’t really pertain to my life,” I explained.

“Do you like Wall-E?”

“I like zombie movies.”

“Do you like that part where he, he, he, he goes to the rings, and he, and he, and-“

“I’m not your dad.”

He laughs. “I know that!”

“Oh. Because for a second, you were talking to me like I was.”

“My dad likes Wall-E.”

“You should go find him, then. The two of you could discuss it.”

“What’s your favorite movie?”

I held up two sponges I had been examining. “Which one of these you think I should get?”

“Green one.”

“Cool. I’m leaving now—don’t follow me.”


“Thanks. Thanks for that.”

A strange kid sneezes on you, you aren’t even allowed to wipe his spit on his shirt—that’s considered molestation—so you have to walk through the store with all kinds of nasty shit on your hands until you can get to the bathroom to wash it off.

So later, after I’ve washed up, when I hear someone scream out, “Robby!” his voice full of fear, I don’t even have to wonder who his kid is. I follow him around, though, just to see if I’m right. And sure enough, when the dude finally tracks down his little germ-bot, it’s the Wall-E kid.

This happens more than you would believe.

The moral of the story is, keep track of your fucking kids. Because not everyone is as nice as I am.

posted 12/22/08


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