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All Over the Place by Ray Printer Friendly

So I’m back…again.

I’ve been pretty much living out of my suitcase since I packed it two weeks ago. I made my trip from tip to tip of this great state, and although it wasn’t too bad, it’s nothing I want to be doing again in the near future.

I’m sitting here in front of my computer once again, thinking about how it seems like it’s been forever since I last posted. I wrote some stuff while I was visiting my home town, but it was all crap (yes, even I sometimes decide something’s too shitty to post), so you won’t be seeing that.

I don’t have any exciting stories from home, in case you were wondering. All my old drinking buddies have either moved away or ceased drinking or ceased being friends. I’m sure it’s possible to have an exciting story without any drinking being involved, but who wants that?

We got back to Austin last night, hauled our suitcases in, and went to bed. This entire vacation, I’ve been sleeping until at least nine pretty much every morning. This morning, my eyes opened at six. I forced them closed, and slept until a little after seven. By this time, there were all sorts of thoughts going through my head, and most of them involved getting my ass out of bed and getting things done.

So I guess my lousy brain decided that vacation is over. My Christmas lights were taken down and put into storage by nine thirty this morning, and the suitcases unpacked shortly after that. Truth be told, most of this activity is due to my princess. She was up even before I was, ready to get her life organized, ready to get things in order, all that. I staggered along behind her for a while, hoping to at least fool her into thinking I was trying to get back in gear as well. After a few hours, though, I was ready to quit. I have my whole life to get things in order, you know? Why should I try to get it done before the new year?

But whatever. She’s on fire, cleaning, organizing, making herself a better person. I’m fine being the jerkoff that I am. Although it looks like I may soon have to get serious about the weight loss thing. Wedding date looming, if you can believe it.

Which reminds me: when I was at home, I was talking to some old friends. One of them insisted that I had lost my edge since quitting my job. The other kept telling me how wonderful it was that I was finally domesticated. I’m not sure if these things were meant as insults, but any red-blooded American male will tell you that that’s exactly what they were. Nobody wants to be domesticated, no matter how nice a spin you put on it. And no one wants to lose their edge.

I had a good nine-hour drive to think about those things while I made the return trip, and what I came up with is this: I guess I don’t really give a damn what people think, friends or not.

When I was younger, I used to try to live to impress others, and I used to write with an audience in mind. One wonderful thing about being a nobody on the ephemeral tide of internet anonymity is that you can say pretty much whatever you want. Chances are, nobody’s going to read your shit anyways, and if they do, there’s a good chance that they won’t care about what you write. Sure, there are some friends and family members that will shake their collective heads, and wonder where they went wrong, but if they don’t realize what a screw-up I am at this point, there probably ain’t too many working lights flashin’ on the tree anyways.

When I tried to live for others, I was constantly screwin’ shit up. When I wrote with an end-audience in mind, my writing sucked dirty balls.

So, yeah, I guess that maybe I’ve lost my edge since escaping from customer service, and there’s no ignoring the fact that I have become house-broken. But whatever I write, whatever I post, it’s all real, you know? It’s all me. I know that that doesn’t really matter much to the world at large, or even the small percentage of that world that has happened upon this site. But I guess it matters to me. So I have a little integrity, I guess…who knew?

But enough of that nonsense. Where did this soapbox come from, right? Sweet fucking shit.

My nephew has learned how to read now, did I tell you that? It’s fantastic to watch his seven-month pregnant mother throw herself in front of the computer monitor to keep him from reading The Strangelands. I swear, man, they should have pregnant Olympics, she’d kick everybody’s ass. Just put her little boy at the end of the course, he’s all, “Mom, what’s a scrotum, and why does Uncle Ray keep referring to this old lady as one?” BANG! She’s there, the monitor’s off, and the judge is trying to award her the gold. Of course, she’s probably already on her way to the bathroom at this point, either to pee or vomit, so the judge is just standing there with the medal in his hand, looking like a chump.

Ah, motherhood—it’s a grand thing…if you hate yourself.

I can’t imagine, man. And the thing is, she already has two kids. Like she’s been through all this shit twice before, and she still voluntarily did it again. And my family says that I’m the crazy one.

But that’s not my point. My point is, she’s an amazing mother. And I’m not just kissing ass here. She knew that her son didn’t need to be reading the shit I write on this site, so she kept him away from it. And you would not believe how impressed I was with that.

You always hear adults walking around mumbling shit about “kids today.” Yeah, kids today, all right. Kids today got a bunch of shitheads for parents. All the time, parents are blaming other people for the well-being of their children. “I think we need ratings on TV so that my kid can’t watch that!” “I think that video games should have warning stickers!” “I think we need to ban violence in games, music, movies, blah blah blah.”

Shut…the…hell…up. Whining bastards. I hate you so much. If you don’t want your kid playing violent games, then here’s what you do: you parent! Believe it or not, that word can actually be used as a verb. And it doesn’t mean that you should write some weepy letter to your congressman because a school got shot up or a bank got robbed by a bunch of kids. It means that you should get your lazy ass off the couch, or your stupid ass home from work, and pay attention to your children.

I’m not saying that it will be easy. My sister has two kids, owns and works at her own business, and her husband works all day at his job. She’s got a six year old and a three year old, and she’s working on brewing up yet another. Her life is far from what you would call easy. But watch this:

Fuck fuck fuck.

My nephew won’t read that. I’m almost positive. Unless some dickhead prints it out and gives it to him at his school.

And you know what would happen then? He would ask his mother about it. And she would explain that sometimes Uncle Ray uses words that aren’t nice, and she would further explain that little kids shouldn’t use words like that. And do you think he would run around using the “F” word after that? No, he wouldn’t. And why?

Good parenting.

You can’t protect your child from everything, I’ll give you that. But it’s your job to give them the strength of character that when something gets to them, they have the intelligence and the preparation to make the right decision.

So don’t blame video games when your kid tries to shoot everyone at his school, or rob a bank, or kill himself. Don’t blame movies or TV or even rap music. Blame yourself, you stupid loser asshole, because you should have done a better job raising him.

So, yeah, I guess that’s my rant for tonight. Thanks for coming.


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