It’s All Just Differences

I’ve been thinking recently how anything that is annoying is really just a difference between two people. Ground-breaking.

But it extends from annoying to ridiculousness to stupidity to rudeness to infinity. When you start to try and frame everything as a type of difference, things like ‘dumb decisions’ disappear and whatever was hidden beneath the label can be seen for what it is.

Real self help shit right here muthafuckers.

I have a blinking orange light on my coffee machine. It is new. For all of my schooling (both books and hard knocks) I still don’t know how to translate a blinking orange light on a coffee machine into some action. It’s like a crying baby to me, I don’t know what the fuck it wants; someone else will sort it out. Let it die for all I care. Rot in hell you un-christened screaming piece of…

Focus Dirk, focus. Fix the orange light.

To the internet!


Interlude: I just clicked “I’m feeling lucky” on Google and it sent me to a casino webpage.


After some searching, I found that the exact model I have (the 525-718-M-Dynamic) never actually existed.  Luckily the 525-718-L-Dynamic, which has a similar set of buttons, seems quite popular. There is no manual, but the good folk that make my coffee machine have a forum.

A forum. Because the internet needs more places where people can comment.

Within these comments, on a thread about the blinking orange light, I learnt that the orange light represented the fact that the coffee machine should be de-scaled. The scales, I assume, are on the inside.

I must buy a bottle of de-scaling liquid and go through a process. I do not read what the process is. I do not want to do the process, and will run whatever health gauntlet I must to not have to buy a bottle of de-scaling liquid and go through the process.

I read on, wondering if I can not just get the light to stop flashing. Others in the thread were also coming to the conclusion that this would be a nice, though scaly, way to progress. It was here in the thread that I read the comment that the orange light was “fuking stupid”.

Now, I’ve spent quite some time with my orange light over the last few weeks. I found it shy, a little reclusive (intermittently), but I would think it’s a little bit harsh to call it stupid.

So while at first I agreed with the learned commenter, my thoughts got to a wanderin’ and I thought about how it got to be that the light was flicking and could not be turned off. And it’s flabbergastingly uninteresting: someone wrote a line of logic somewhere that said if the coffee machine needs de-scaling, flash the orange light, if it doesn’t need de-scaling, don’t. They don’t hate me, they don’t want to rape my face off, they aren’t a blithering fool (necessarily), they just made a decision. A decision that I would not have made.

It seems almost incongruous: “someone made a decision that I would not have made, but that’s OK”. It doesn’t even have to be OK, it just is.

This is feeling very anti-climactic; there’s only a few paragraphs left (I’m from the future) and I’m not sure exactly what my point is.

Since then, everything that has annoyed me I have tried to boil down to the one person that made the one decision that I would not have made. When I picture that person making that decision that I would not have made, I shrug my shoulders and move on with my life.


Something else: my spell checker knows that the ‘M’ edition of my coffee machine never existed. That’s pretty fucking weird.

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Update

The flashing orange light broke me. I murdered my neighbour’s fish. And, since you can’t tell from the letters alone, I will tell you: multiple fish. She had, like, 14 fish. Killed em all. Fucking stupid orange light.

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Walk-Into-Wednesday

Well well, another walk-into-Wednesday is nearly upon us. For those that aren’t aware, the idea of walk-int0-Wednesday is to spread awareness of the plight of people walking while looking at their phone, rather than where they are walking.

There’s fun for everyone, humanity to improve and even a nifty points system. Here’s how it works…


Base Points

Walk into someone that is looking at their phone, not where they are walking: 100 points

Spot someone coming toward you (looking at their phone, not where they are walking). Stop walking, and let them walk into you: 200 points per metre

In the reflection of an oblique shop window, spot someone tailgating you (looking at their phone, not where they are walking), stop walking and let them walk into the back of you: 1,000 points

Identify someone tailgating you, (looking at their phone, not where they are walking). Also spot someone coming toward you (looking at their phone, not where they are walking). Hold a steady course, and at the last moment jump out of the way and have the two people walk into each other: 6,000 points


Bonus multipliers

The person apologises to you: 1.5x

The person yells at you: 1.5x

The phone makes contact with the person’s forehead: 1.7x

It was an iPad: 2x

The phone gets dropped: 2x

The phone gets dropped and appears to be beyond repair: 3x

The person cries and/or shreiks: 2x

The person falls to the ground: 3x

The person falls to the ground and apologises, from the ground: 4x

The person, one way or another, is killed during the exchange: 1.5x


So happy bumping people, get out there and help make the world a place where people look where they are walking, not at their phone.

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Pre-Dating

Much of what is wrong with the world today is caused by bad relationships. Someone somewhere is sitting in a chair in a room with a big red button with WAR written on it, and they may well be thinking about what a bitch their wife, or bastard their husband is. That makes me nervous. I want the dude with the WAR button to be happy. I don’t want my bus driver (a woman this morning, who knew!) to be fuming about an inconsiderate husband. He’s not in that Hi-Ace love, back it off a little. People everywhere are making decisions whilst in this state of not-adoring their partner.

If we fix the relationships, we fix the world. And I know how to do it.

Pre-Dating.

Before you go on a first date with a potential significant other, first you must sit two cubicles away from them in a large office space for two weeks. For two weeks you will be subjected to hour upon hour of mindless, pointless, desperately vacuous drivel.

Because this is the shit you’ll get when the honeymoon is over, my friend. Seven years in there’s no more witty sallies, no more happy banter. No, you’re hearing about what a cunt Sally from accounts is for 35 minutes straight, piled on top of yesterday’s 20 minutes, and what seems like decades the day before. Then you’re in for what seems like a straight-up eternity of a discussion about a cooking show that was on last night with … fucking Sally from accounts!

Relationship: avoided.

World: better place.

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Gays

I’ve always had a somewhat … strained relationship with the gays*. I’m not sure why this is so. I think a part of me is always a bit pissed off when a gay isn’t sexually interested in me. Ya know? I have feelings, I have needs.

Am I not pretty enough for you?

I recall one of the first gay folk I met, I was maybe 20, I said something-something-chicks-are-great, he said he was gay, I said oh dear lord I’m so sorry.

He asked why (to be comprehensive, he asked why I was such a cunt). I said two reasons: firstly, people hate gays. Not everyone, but enough that it must suck to be one. And also, the penis in the bottom thing. It’s just a dumb idea. It’s right up there with chopsticks. Dumb.

And this gay sage taught me something I’ll never forget (well, probably). That being straight sucks. “Guys like sex, right?” he asked. “Yes,” I nodded (although it was dawning on me that I was at some sort of gay sex party and all my friends had left). “So, as a gay guy, I can go up to another gay guy, and he will probably want to fuck. I will ask if he wants to fuck and we will go fuck. Easy. But you, you poor straight bastard, have to spend all your time trying to convince women to get into bed with you! Dates and dinners and movies just to get one away, I could think of nothing worse than having to do all that shit.”

It was just the right amount of eye opening.

As an aside, 10 years later I learned that women don’t actually hate sex, they just pretend to because that’s what their mums taught them to do. And once they hit 30 they realise that their mums only told them that so that they’d have less sex. Then it’s on like donkey kong.

Back to the gays and our awkward relationship. Another face of the problem may well be that I like juvenile gay jokes. So if I am talking to a gay chap and the topic of fudge, back doors or ottomans come up in conversation I can’t hold back. I’m sorry, it’s not a choice. I have the gay-joke gene.

So a message to all the gays. Would it kill you to say something nice about my hair? And stop being jerks.


*When I say gay (as a noun) I mean male gay. There is no such thing as a female gay, only lesbians. A lesbian that refers to herself as a gay is only trying to start an argument.

Also, ‘terse’ is my current favourite word to type just with my left hand.

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Ocean View

On a clear day, if I stand on my balcony and squint, I can see the ocean.

Now hold it, I know what you’re thinking: “who is this big shot Dirk? I don’t know that I can align myself with his otherwise-flawless value system now that I know he is a fancy-pants ocean-viewer.”

I forgive you for those thoughts. But I have something to tell you, and anyone that doesn’t have an ocean view. Like Mormons or the Swiss.

The ocean is, literally, the least interesting thing you could have a view of. It is a large piece of dark blue. There is nothing in this world that does less than the ocean. What’s more, and somewhat paradoxically (and also ironically, I couldn’t work out how to get those two words into a sentence nicely), the ocean is incredibly interesting on its under-side. Its the same as hanging the Mona Lisa in your lounge room with her face against the wall. You’re looking at a slab of poplar wondering what the fuck you just stole the Mona Lisa for.

Back to the ocean. Underside: interesting. From above: water. And it’s horizontal but curved, which annoys me in ways you wouldn’t believe. Horizontal. And Curved. Fuck you ocean. Fuck you.

So by all means, pay your millions for a glimpse of what you can have in your sink for free. But don’t come crying to me when you’ve got buyer’s remorse and it’s been three days and you haven’t looked at the ocean and then when you do you realise it’s the same as what it was three days ago.

Seriously, don’t come crying to me, I’m a sympathetic crier and I cry really loudly.

 

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The Worst Thing About Racism

If you ever drop your phone in water, you should leave it overnight in a container of rice. The rice will attract Asians who will fix your phone for you.

The worst thing about racism is that it takes what really is a funny thing and makes you feel guilty about finding it funny. If there was no such thing as racism then we could make fun of our differences and enjoy it. Asians are, on average, better with electronics than the Good People of Tajikistan. I have nothing against the Good People of Tajikistan, but if 8% of your country’s GDP is dried apricots, you can get your sticky hands off my phone, thank you very much.

But no, we think finding a vaguely racist joke funny is a slippery slope. Maybe if I laugh at a racial stereotype today, tomorrow I will be whipping niggers for not picking enough cotton on my farm. (I’m allowed to say ‘nigger’ because I just watched 12 Years a Slave.)

And so we must whisper our racist jokes and feel dirty, like the hands of a Tajikistanie apricot farmer. It’s a real shame.


 

For the record:

  • Tajikistan’s dried apricot industry is actually 8% of exports, not GDP. But still.
  • A person from Tajikistan is a Tajikistani, but adding an ‘e’ at the end gives it a little pizazz.
  • The whole way through 12 Years a Slave I was hoping Django would show up, sans chains, both for retribution and to make the movie interesting.
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Pyjamas

I bought pyjamas recently. I like those ones that are like a flannel suit, but couldn’t find anything I could imagine myself smoking a pipe in. After much browsing and deliberation (there are seriously about 60 designs of pyjamas. This is why we need communism) I picked the silkiest ones there that weren’t silk. I’m not wearing silk.

On account of my personality I sleep alone, so I don’t need to impress anyone, hence the grey and black ensemble was my get-up of choice. At the checkout, the posh checkout dude (why do I always feel inferior to the posh-department-store checkout people?) stroked the material and said “Mmm, so soft.”

“OK, sorry I’m just going to go get another pair.”

He looked shocked. “Sir, I can assure you my hands are clean.”

“Well, first of all, I don’t believe you. Second, you’ve touched them and said ‘mmm’. I can’t sleep in these.”

And so on.

Anyhoo, the pant component of my new PJs has pockets. Why? Maybe they’re the ‘trek’ edition. “For the man that likes to take stuff to bed.”

I don’t know how long I keep pyjamas for. Will I need new ones in a year? Two years? Half a year? It makes me sad that I’ll buy more pyjamas at some point in the future and nothing will have changed.

Is this why people have children, so that they can see some passing of time? So that when they buy replacement pyjamas they can look back and feel proud that their offspring are larger than they were last time. That it’s not all exactly the same.

That’s it. I’ll move to Montreal. Maybe Sydney, NS. Before my honey runs out.

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