The Portable Curmudgeon, Pt. 2


Well, this was going to be the turbo rant, the curmudgeon-on-steroids kvetch. I was going to go from all the stuff I think I don’t need to all the stuff I think humanity doesn’t need. I planned rants about department stores and shopping malls, golf courses and professional sports in general, cut flowers, tourist junk, mean people, poseurs, and pretense. However, my spleen vents over night so my jeremiad rant sort of fizzled. Short version…

I did once walk all over a Macy’s trying to spend the gift certificate that someone had given me, and there just wasn’t anything in there I wanted. Re-gifted it. Only yesterday, we were directed to go check out this new fabulous shopping mall in Bengaluru, but I redirected our taxi driver to something less fabulous. And dumping oceans of freshwater on massive lawns so guys in plaid shorts can hit the little ball in the little hole? Lame! I love playing sports and I don’t mind watching Superbowls, World Series, and various Finals, but when you’ve seen a thousand plays, what’s another? Once, invited to a Giants game in ATT park, I noticed the hundreds of bags of trash piled up when it was over and imagined all the games in all the parks in just one season. (BTW, Giants lost.)

Instead of cut flowers, buy living plants. I realize it is Scroogesque to shun flowers for weddings, funerals, lovers, Moms, sick people, and whimsy, but it’s an icky business. Poor folks exposed to chemicals just to ship roses from overseas to wilt in some vase? Maybe it adds some biomass to the plastic in a landfill? In the meantime, grow your own!

About tourist junk, since I’ve already described our difficulties in living out of suitcases you can imagine that we’re not game to buy many souvenirs, but I’m flummoxed at the volumes of vendors hocking schwid (esp. the migrants around Europe trying to sell wicker Harleys?). OK, maybe I was drawn to the leaning tower of salt & Pisa shakers, but only for a split second. In fact, I want to buy some of that crap just to help those poor saps feed their children, but I just can’t do it.

Does that make me mean? Mean people suck, we don’t need to discuss it. But poseurs? That could be anyone wearing fancy clothes, cosmetics, too much bling, etc., and looking nice is respectable (sans the blood diamonds and the designer anything). A subset of this personal ornamentation thing is tattoos. Maybe eventually you can donate blood, but if you like that image so much (especially those you can only see in a mirror), get it framed and put it on a wall. Maybe if you’re turning your moles into art, but even then, natural is sexiest. There’s more on the topic, but I’ll just leave you with this video. Yeah, and pretense? Same as mean people (and if you think any of this was mean, I apologize).

In conclusion, I’ll wrap it up with some curmudgeonly quotes and videos:

“The better I get to know men, the more I find myself loving dogs.” ~Charles de Gaulle

“I like long walks, especially when they’re taken by people who annoy me.” ~Fred Allen

“I’m allergic to stupidity. I break out in sarcasm.” ~Author unknown

Louis C.K. hates cell phones

15 Rants in 4 Minutes

George Carlin – The American Dream

Study Questions:

  1. Make a list of Wants vs. Needs. Explain.
  2. What bugs you? Rant!
  3. What are you grateful for?

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