Some of you might be expecting the Newton, Conn. shooter to be a Jerk of the Week, but he's way worse than just a jerk. I'd also say something like my thoughts and prayers are with the families, but that's not going to bring the kids back. This is a terrible event that unfortunately just couldn't be prevented; as my editor said, "You can't stop a madman in action unless luck's on your side." And by the way, the scumbags using this tragedy by promoting their short-sighted political agendas on Twitter and Facebook are jerks. I'm looking at you, Jason Whitlock. Kids died, a**holes, so just shut up.
At any rate, on to this week's jerks...
I know it's now mid-December, but I'm going back to Black Friday because there are some jerks I need to mention from that weekend. It all started when I was getting a head start on holiday shopping on Thanksgiving afternoon. I was perusing BestBuy.com because they claimed to have great pre-Black Friday deals. Unfortunately, I couldn't find anything I wanted for myself.
"Don't want it... don't want it... have it... don't want it... don't have time for it... don't want it..." I constantly muttered to myself. After about a half hour, I was about to give up. Shopping for myself can be extremely difficult sometimes. I just never know what I want.
Suddenly, I got a call from my mom. I was guessing she wanted me to bring over something for Thanksgiving dinner that evening, and I was right. Last year, she just wanted me to buy milk. This time, she was demanding a more tedious task.
Mom: Can you bring over two folding chairs - the ones in your basement?
Me: Ugh. Do I have to?
Mom: Don't ugh me. And yes. We're having a lot of people over this year, so we need extra chairs!
Me: Ugh. Who are these extra people?
Mom: Well, the usual, plus pop's friend and his wife.
That was pretty unusual because this particular good friend of my dad's always spends Thanksgiving elsewhere. I didn't give it much thought though. During halftime of the Cowboys-Redskins blowout, I exerted all of my energy loading two of my folding chairs into the trunk of my car and then driving over to my parents' house...
1. Political Fisticuffs
I have to cover all three football games on Thanksgiving, so my family usually sits down and begins dinner without me during the fourth quarter of the Dallas game. The Redskins were destroying the Cowboys early on, so I thought I could join everyone on time, but stupid Dallas had to attempt a comeback that failed.
Dinner was awesome, and thanks to the tryptophan in the turkey, I felt myself slip into a food coma during the third game. Thankfully, the Jets' theatrics, including the epic Mark Sanchez butt fumble, as shown beneath this paragraph, kept me awake.
Eventually, everyone left. My dad, who plopped down in the armchair in front of the TV, told me an amusing story about why his friend was here tonight instead of his usual Thanksgiving locale. Here's what happened, according to my dad...
Dad's Friend: What a terrible election. I'm so disgusted right now.
Thanksgiving Host: What?
Dad's Friend: I can't believe we have to endure four more years with this idiot.
Thanksgiving Host: Idiot? He's not an idiot!
Dad's Friend: Of course he's an idiot. He has bankrupted our country and the economy has barely improved!
Thanksgiving Host: He's not an idiot. You're an idiot!
Dad's Friend: What did you say?
Thanksgiving Host: You're an idiot! Barack Obama is the greatest president since Bill Clinton!
Dad's Friend: Obama sucks!
Thanksgiving Host: No! You suck!
Dad's Friend: I suck? You're a moron if you think this country's going to improve with higher taxes and this idiotic health care plan!
Thanksgiving Host: I'm a moron!? You are a moron and your wife is a moron!!!
The argument kept getting worse, and Thanksgiving Host eventually took a swing at Dad's Friend. Dad's Friend responded with a hook to Thanksgiving Host's jaw. They punched each other for a good minute until someone broke up the skirmish.
I've heard of people getting into political arguments before, but political fistfights?
2. Black Friday Shopper
I finished my recap of the Patriots-Jets game and announced that I was going back to my house. I carried the two foldout chairs, as well as my laptop bag to my car. I reached into my pocket for my car keys, but realized that I forgot them in my parents' house. So, I left everything by my car and jogged back across the street.
I grabbed my car keys and took some Thanksgiving leftovers from my mom, and then I went back outside. I approached my car, but something didn't look right. It took me a couple of seconds, but it suddenly dawned on me that the chairs were missing. I was literally inside my parents' house for three minutes, yet in that time, someone stole my two foldout chairs!
Some thoughts on this:
1. Thank God the thief didn't take my laptop bag. Not only could my e-mails be accessed, but someone would have all of my Web site files. It would all be gone. Thankfully, people who are petty thieves tend to be idiots, so they valued two foldout chairs more than a laptop.
2. What a**hole steals two foldout chairs? Like seriously, good job with that. You now have two foldout chairs! You could've spent $20 each for them, but no, you just had to nab some by a car. I hope the trashy person who stole those chairs is really happy with them - until he or she karmically develops chronic hemorrhoids.
I can almost imagine the conversation in that trailer-park household that night:
Trashy Mom: What's you gots for Blacks Friday? Any good dealses?
Trashy Kid: Yo moms, I couldn'ts affords nothins in the Best Buy but I gots these two fine foldout chairs on the sides of dem roads.
Trashy Mom: Ooooooohhh we goin' be sittin' perty this year!
3. I wouldn't have left two chairs - let alone a laptop bag - on the side of the street in a bad neighborhood, but my parents live in a suburban-like area on the very edge of Northeast Philadelphia. In fact, the next street over is a suburb of Philadelphia. So don't call me stupid for being so careless.
4. I assumed the chair thief was almost definitely a passerby who didn't live in my parents' neighborhood. But what if it was someone we knew? I began racking my brain, trying to figure out who would steal two foldout chairs. It suddenly dawned on me that my No. 1 suspect was my former evil Vietnamese neighbors.
It was so obvious. Their master plan is the destruction of America. That's why they don't pay any taxes and wreck innocent fire hydrants. What better way to ruin this great country than to steal two foldout chairs in front of a car?
I was so pissed by this whole situation that I got into my car and began driving around like a lunatic. I checked every street to see if I could find someone stealing stuff in front of people's houses. I even considered following a car that I deemed suspicious in my deranged state of mind.
I actually started to turn where that car was going when I suddenly realized that I was angry about two freaking foldout chairs. Like, who cares? They can easily be replaced, while the person who stole those chairs will likely cherish them forever because his or her life is so pathetic.
I now no longer wish for the chair thief to develop chronic hemorrhoids. Maybe just a minor case would be acceptable.
3. Angry Black Girl
I thought about going to a mall or a Best Buy that night for Black Friday. Not that I would've purchased anything for myself; I would have gone just to find jerks to write about. However, I decided against this because I was so worn out from being angry at the a**hole who stole my two foldout chairs. I think I'll go next year, assuming no one else nabs something of mine.
The following night, I was getting ready to go to a bar for my cousin's birthday. I went to put on a shirt when I heard my phone ring from my office. The phone stopped ringing by the time I got back. I looked to see who dialed my number, and it was my sister. I called her back right away, but didn't get an answer. I thought nothing of it, so I went back to my bedroom and continued to prepare to go out.
I was waiting for my ride to arrive when my phone rang a second time. It was my sister again. I answered the phone, but instead of hearing her voice, an angry black girl responded.
Angry Black Girl: Who dis?
Me: Umm... who are you?
Angry Black Girl: Who dis speakin'?
Me: Is my sister there? Why do you have her phone?
Angry Black Girl: Why you keep callin' my boyfriend numba?
Angry Black Girl: Who dis? Why you keep callin' my boyfriend numba?
Me: What? Why do you have this phone?
Angry Black Girl: Tell me why you keep callin' my boyfriend numba.
Angry Black Girl: Tell me how long dis been goin' on.
At this point, I considered two possibilities: One, some idiot stole my sister's phone, or two, this was a prank call of sorts by one of my sister's friends. I decided to play along.
Angry Black Girl: Tell me how long dis been goin' on.
Me: To tell you the truth...
Angry Black Girl: To tell me the troof? You goin' tell me the troof?
Me: Yeah. To tell you the truth, this has been going on for quite some time now.
Angry Black Girl: Whatchu say?
Me: It's been going for a long time now. Months. Actually, half a year.
Angry Black Girl: ...
Me: I love your boyfriend. We have passionate man sex all the time, especially on warm, sunny afternoons.
Angry Black Girl: ...
Me: You there?
I looked at my phone and noticed that Angry Black Girl hung up. I texted my sister's number, "Some black girl called me from your phone." My sister then called me an hour later, completely confused by the situation. She assured me that no one took her phone; she was just having dinner with her boyfriend that night.
So, it wasn't a prank call, and my sister had her phone this whole time, so how did this happen? How did someone call me from my sister's number? I mean, perhaps a line got crossed somewhere, but the odds are absolutely astronomical that I would get a call from my sister's exact number.
The better question is, who was that lunatic? Why was she so convinced that her boyfriend was cheating on her? I mean, maybe she took her boyfriend's phone and saw lots of incoming calls from a certain number, but upon hearing my voice, wouldn't she be assured that her boyfriend was just speaking to one of his guy friends? Why'd she think he was cheating on her with another man?
I'm so confused by this situation. Unfortunately, I haven't heard from Angry Black Girl since. Perhaps it was such an extremely fluky crossed line. Or maybe she stabbed her boyfriend to death upon learning that he was cheating on her with some white guy, and then proceeded to take her own life. That would be horrible - but only because she wouldn't be able to provide me with more Jerks of the Week material.
4. Line Dancing
My Asian friend, Not Asian Guy, arrived just as Angry Black Girl hung up on me. We then left to go to this bar that was about a 15-minute ride from my house. I don't know why my cousin wanted to go there, but it was his birthday, so I suppose it was only right to let him pick where he wanted to go for a change.
I didn't like the bar very much. It had too big of a dance floor, and there weren't any pool tables or dart boards. Plus, the music was too loud; I couldn't talk very much without yelling "WHAT!?" several times. So, I couldn't talk, play pool or throw darts. What the hell was I supposed to do there?
Not Asian Guy, meanwhile, was a fan. While he lamented the lack of a pool table, he noted that there were many hot girls there for him to game. One such girl, who happened to be Russian, sat down at our table. She introduced herself to us, and Not Asian Guy announced himself as "Sven." His real name is the furthest thing from Sven, but I went along with it and kept calling him Sven until we went up to the bar by ourselves to get drinks.
Me: Sven? Your name is Sven tonight?
Not Asian Guy: Yeah, nice job playing along.
Me: Well, no problem, but why are you calling yourself Sven?
Not Asian Guy: Because that chick is Russian. If I can convince her that I'm Russian too, I'll have a chance.
Me: But you're not Russian. You're Asian!
Not Asian Guy: So? I think my Sven name is going to fool her.
Me: But Sven isn't even a Russian name!
Not Asian Guy: Oh, it isn't? Damn it!
The Russian girl spent most of the time talking to my cousin anyway, so "Sven" pursued some of the girls on the dance floor. He hilariously continued to introduce himself as Sven, but no one gave him a perplexed look or anything. Perhaps everyone he talked to was drunk enough to believe that Sven was a common Asian name, or something. Because I'm sure if you look in a Chinese phone book, you'll see lots of Sven Chens and Sven Changs.
So, "Sven" danced the night away, while I sat at the table with a couple of people. The other dancers in our group were my friend Val and my other cousin Polina. They constantly asked me why I wasn't dancing, much like those at the wedding I attended recently.
I explained my frustration with dancing to Val - how it's confusing because there is too much geometry and physics involved. I told her that I'd rather go to the dentist than dance, and she looked at me like I was some idiot. Damn right, I'm an idiot. If I were smart and could calculate the geometry and physics of dancing in my head, I'd be on the dance floor all night.
Then, something strange happened. Some song I wasn't familiar with came on, and everyone on the dance floor started doing the same thing. It was so weird.
Val: Come on, Walt, come on the dance floor and do a lion dance!
Me: Lion dance? What the hell's a lion dance?
Val: I said line dance!
Me: Line dance? What the hell's a line dance?
Val: You don't know what a line dance is? It's when everyone does a specific dance to a song.
Me: But I thought it was a line dance. They're not dancing in a line.
Val: No, there are different types of line dances. Like the Macarena. That was a line dance. This is another type of line dance.
Me: But how do you know which line dance to do then?
Val: There's just a specific dance to a specific song.
Me: Specific dance? Bah. I don't know any of the moves, and I don't have a calculator or a sheet of scrap paper with me to figure everything out.
Val: You don't need that! Just go do it!
Me: No! It's impossible!
Val: Walt. Just go out to the dance floor and have fun. Look at how much fun everyone is having!
Me: Fun? Fun!? They don't look like they're having fun. They look like they're in agony. I would be too if I had to do all of that geometry and physics in my head.
Val gave up and went to the dance floor. I would have wished her good luck, but she's the one who forced herself to do all of those tedious mental mathematical calculations. If she, Sven and the others want to torture themselves by figuring out equations in their head all night, that's their problem. I'll just sit back, relax, drink my beer and be an idiot.