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May 6, 2008

The buck of the collective state of insanity stops... there. Way over there.

I don't want to generalize or anything, because generalizing is wrong (yet so convenient!), but it seems like every human being on the planet is cranky and combative these days. I am rounding up of course, since I have not met every human.

Perhaps it's a widespread low-level depression, or a collective free-floating anxiety. Maybe it is a combination of financial stresses from an economy that is currently at a terror threat level of "Industrial Concrete Grey" -- that is the color they paint the inside of debtor's prison. People at the gas stations all across America are mad, people at gas stations in other countries are mad at Americans for being mad, and people in grocery stores everywhere are downright pissy.

This is because stuff is expensive. I am not so good at math, but I estimate everything at the store to be one gazillion times more expensive than this time last year. Give or take ten dollars.

Or maybe people are overwhelmed from the constant blaring news headlines yelling at us emphatically about how something new is going to kill you, maim you or rob you blind... tune in at ten for more details. (I always want to know... if something is THAT important, shouldn't you tell me now instead of making me tune in at ten p.m.? What if I get killed, maimed or robbed blind between now and ten? Where is your commitment to my well-being?)

People also seem poised to argue any point at any time no matter if that point has any bearing on anything at all. It is kind of like being in high school debate class when you got SO MAD about that thing that time ... and you can't really remember what it was but you were still SO RIGHT. For example, if you say, "Hey I saw a cute movie pre-teen girls might like..." people say, "You're an jerk who is perpetuating stereotypes about the differences between boys and girls!" If you say, "What can I use in this smoothie besides a banana?" someone writes you an email demanding to know what you have against nature's finest fruit. "How dare you malign the poor banana? People in other countries DIE to produce your banana!" And you are left to wonder A) when bananas became so dangerous and B) who has time to sit around scolding strangers about their smoothie contents.

What I am saying here is that everyone is batshit crazy right now and I believe it is global. It cannot possibly be limited to Encino-Adjacent and one block of downtown Los Angeles.

In full disclosure and with a nod to the observer effect on scientific research, I admit that I myself am not immune from the global beserkedness. No, I truly do believe that much like charity, true crazy starts at home. Case in point: last week I passively aggressively confronted the Coffee Pot Bandit. I saw him leave the coffee pot at work dry TWO DAYS IN A ROW and I lost my damn mind. Over a coffee pot. First (on Day One) I just stood in shock that he drained the coffee pot before my very eyes and sauntered off with nary a nod to a coffee filter. When I returned to my senses, I did the only thing I could -- I made faces at his retreating back as I held my empty coffee cup of rage. Later I tried to get my Deepak on and lower my blood pressure by imagining that Coffee Pot Bandit was actually working on a proposal to cure cancer so I cut him some slack and made a fresh pot of coffee and called it a day. Breathe in, breathe out, etc. But then when he repeated his performance the following day, I remembered OH YEAH, I WORK AT A BANK so he was totally NOT CURING CANCER! Then I was mad and confrontational! Later I told a joke about cameltoe. No one laughed. My whole day was just not right.

I would also like to mention I outweigh Coffee Pot Bandit by about forty pounds and he better not meet me in a dark alley. NOT THAT I AM HOLDING A GRUDGE OR ANYTHING.

It just seems like any old thing will set someone off these days ... even though coffee, in my defense, is more expensive per gallon than premium unleaded. (Or at least I think it is, it was a few days ago when I was formulating this hypothesis ... I haven't filled up my Jeep today and I could be wrong.) In just the past week I have seen a man on the bus yell at a woman for talking on her phone, I have witnessed two people get in a fight over a parking space at a grocery store, and I have seen a crazy person confront a poor unsuspecting coworker about leaving the coffee pot dry.

In my scientific reasoning brain, the one I use for making up statistics and also fooling people into thinking I am smart, I have surmised from my serious research of the topic that 97.3% of the population of Earth is collectively disgruntled and we need a vacation.

That is pretty much the end of my research. Because as you know, it's really expensive to fly anywhere or drive anywhere and people are really irritable when they travel. I am thinking a vacation alone in the bathtub might be nice.

I do not know what the solution is... prozac dispensers in the hallways? Rum in the water supply? Gnomes who turn into male dancers named Fox? I do not know, I don't posit solutions I merely observe for science. But we should all agree right now to leave the coffee pot full at all times because until they invent a hybrid version of me that runs on part electric, part caffeine I really need at least that particular cup to runneth over.

Finally, in conclusion, ad nauseum, ipsum lorem dolar, I am certain there are people who will argue this hypothesis of mine. They will say, "But you're wrong! I'm not cranky or argumentative! I'm great! I feel happy and joyful!" and there is an explanation for this anomaly: these people are aliens. Because science doesn't lie.

Also if you know about any gnomes that turn into hot male dancers named Fox... do not hesitate to share this data with me. I will research the matter and report back to you. In the name of science.

Posted by laurie at May 6, 2008 8:09 AM