Yeah, this is another one of my bitch/gripe updates. How do I keep up this challenging pace? It’s not easy but I work at it. I try to find something negative in everything I see and do. And it works for me.
Just yesterday I awoke to a blue sky and warm temps, but I quickly dispensed with that happy scenario. I wiped the smile off my face and went outside to bend down and feel the grass. The coarse fakeness of our commercially produced part-polystyrene-part plasticine Green No Grow never fails to put me in the gloomies. It’s everything the manufacturer promised. It never smells like fresh-cut grass or bends in the wind, and it sucks up the urine and poop our five dogs churn out daily. It’s disgusting!
One thing in particular pumps up the bitching index: Our Green No Grow sometimes allows real grass to insinuate its way in between the plastic stalks. Our fake lawn fairly reeks with patches of real grass. Someone is going to have to come over and kill that stuff with poison. Or pull it out. If it’s real, I squeal.
And I can yell with the best of them. Neighbors tell me they can hear me screaming over the barking of our dogs (which are in the triple-digit-decibel noise range), the ringing of fire alarms, and my hateful reactions to newspaper headlines. So what if another telecommunications satellite was safely launched into outer space. Is it going to help me mop the floors and clean the toilets? Will a new record Wall Street high help me lose 20 pounds and make me into a Beyonce? I don’t think so.
I throw the duvet over the bed linen after taking my magnifying glass for a close-up of the dust mites glomming in the wrinkles and folds of my 750-thread cotton percale bedding. I just changed the linens yesterday, but right on schedule, the dust mites had taken over. There is hardly any room for me to spread out when you consider the layers of ugly hideous-shaped insects flitting from one thread to another.
Looking at them through a magnifying glass was a stroke of genius. Otherwise I never would have found out how disgusting they are with their wings tucked under their legs and their feces trailing behind them. It’s added a depth and resonance to my bitching that no one in my household ever produced. I’m the envy of Negativo, the club that expert bitchers like me claim is the Bergdorf Goodman of Misery.
Next on the agenda, I really get into a terrific bitch after eating half a dozen mushy prunes to assuage my constipation. Their consistency is borderline putrid–like pureed food you’d feed Old Farts. Then I knocked the bowl of Wheaties on the floor and railed about that for ten minutes until the dog started whining sympathetically.
Of course I had to sweep up the cereal, which gave me another thing to bitch at because the broom was molting straw. Every time I stabbed at a wheatie with the broom, I loosened a straw piece. Then I had even more to sweep up. Oh, it was a horror show and I was into having an orgasm of bitching when the telephone rang.
Wouldn’t you know it, it was my cousin Sylvia. She has the most grating voice and since she also smokes, her voice has gotten gravelly too. She went to an Alabama college for only six months, but she came back with a Southern drawl so thick you could make mud pies from it. I couldn’t stand listening to her critique of Netflix’s latest forensic thriller, especially since I hate those blood and guts movies. She almost had me puking up my Wheaties when she described the famous Y incision in the corpse and how the intestines were gathered up and put in jars. But nothing stops Sylvia from blathering on about dead bodies. She loves it as much as I love bitching, so we put up with each other.
The highlight of my day was going to the supermarket. Not only did I have to ride around the parking lot twice to find a parking place, but I also was forced to look at the homeless guy panhandling at the entrance. He smelled a mile away and his long, greasy hair made me look for sebaceous cysts on my own body. Unfortunately I didn’t find any, but I did find a possible melanoma under my eye. Why didn’t that lousy dermatologist find it last week when I saw her? Shit! Another thing to add to the bitch column. As if I didn’t have enough what with complaining to the supermarket management every time I see that Homeless Freak. And just because he uses a skateboard to get around on what remains of his arms and legs, that’s supposed to make me feel compassionate?
Maybe the management disregards me because I bag my own groceries. I notice evil looks from those eco-crazy baggers when I stuff my sacks and I think they consider me a weirdo. They’re just obtuse slaves for upper management, but they don’t know it.
But omigod, there it is again. That awful smell on the road. I don’t know where it comes from, but there are garbage containers all up and down this drag. If I had my way, they’d be collected twice a day, especially in the summer. But no, when I went to that Citizens Coalition Meeting at the community center, they laughed at my suggestion. Told me it was prohibitive. The expense they meant. But really what’s intolerable is the smell. I can’t help it that I have a very sensitive nose, and anyway if they want to attract a better class of people to this area and sell more of those pricey homes, they’re going to have to blunt that smell. It could be from that disgusting dog park nearby. No one picks up after their dog so the feces accumulate and the smell is sickening. I brought that up to the citizens group, and though they didn’t laugh, they did drop that big hint about wouldn’t it be great to contribute funds to support an environmentally sustainable program. Like I’m really going to empty my pockets for these stupid eco-green pollyannas.
Why am I dawdling, going 25 mph in this fucking school zone, when I have to pick up Gretchen at the high school? The drop-off/pickup area is so crowded you can hardly find your teen. Thank goodness I told Gretchen to use that bird whistle when she sees the car. Smartest thing I’ve done in years. Two minutes after she gives it a short blast, she’s in the car and ready to go. I can’t be bothered by the detractors. The principal told me one driver actually shit in his pants after Gretchen did her little toot, and another driver thought the school was on fire. I can’t help it if these retards are content to wait in their cars quietly until their kids find them. At least I can finally do something about the situation.
I bought the whistle and rehearsed Gretchen. Now we have it down to a science and Gretchen can locate me lickety-split. I think it’s a nice touch that I answer her toot with my own car horn. The security team doesn’t like it—they call it “blaring”–but they’re soft on crime too. I remember how they let those graffiti kids off practically scot free. No one should get a free pass for dirty words and pictures of penises and vaginas on the park benches. Oh here come the Krazy Kops now—they couldn’t chase a gun-wielding teen down if their life depended on it.
Hurry up Gretchen.I think those Kops want to give me a citation or something. I just knew they were looking for trouble what with leaving that note the other week about noise pollution. Noise pollution, my ass. The only ones stirring up a storm are the Kops.
Believe it or not the other day I heard on the radio that I was a top bitcher in my neighborhood (the call-in person didn’t quite put it that way) and I was really, really proud of it. The moderator didn’t know what to say, so he hemmed and hawed a bit and asked me what my latest bitch was about. I told him that I was driving home and some car backed out of a driveway and didn’t even look to see if there were other cars coming. He gassed it and he was darn lucky that I’m a bitcher because another person wouldn’t have tolerated someone like that messing up their day. But me, I expect negative stuff and add it to my bitch tally for the day, week or month. I watched a few other drivers give him the finger, but I’ll stick to bitching. It improves my verbal facility and I’ve got to be tops in that or else I’d be bitching about that.
Janice Arenofsky runs The Dysfunctional Family blog on Facebook. Their work has been published in The Haven and Muddyum on Medium, HumorOutcasts, Defenestration, and other magazines.