Lame Adventure 449: It’s the Most Familiar Time of the Year

New Year's Day hangover balloons.

New Year’s Day hangover balloons.

Sixteen hours into January 1, 2015, my holiday season officially entered the ether and the most familiar time of the year resumed. This happened when I encountered my first asshat of the New Year: a chap about my age at my go-to supermarket, Fairway. Fairway is a place where, a few years earlier on another New Year’s Day, the toes of my right foot were nearly severed by a girl not much taller than a walking stick burning rubber on a scooter in the produce section. Apparently, that moppet, with parental approval, was training to compete in the Dakar Rally via the broccoli bin. My market could serve double duty all year round as the Asshat Convention Center of America, or ACCA for short.

Fast forward to the ACCA around 4pm on New Year’s Day 2015. I am patiently waiting my turn in a cue of fellow shoppers to grab a hand basket. The man in front of me takes his hand basket that contains some detritus left behind by previous users of that basket. There is a trashcan nearby at the store’s entrance, but Mr. Asshat upends the trash from his basket into mine.

Me: Was that necessary?

Mr. Asshat looks back at me and cringes, possibly flashbacking on his nagging mother. I swipe out the detritus and dump it in the trashcan he chose to ignore. Sufficiently humiliated, he mumbles an apology before scampering down an aisle in a failed effort to turn invisible. But, I appreciated his civility, unlike the last asshat I encountered in the Old Year: a woman half my age reeking attitude.

She crossed my path on another reliable source of suffering: the New York City subway system. This episode in the series, Meet the Asshat, occurred on my second-to-last train ride before embarking on a two-week hiatus from The Grind.

Ms. Asshat was sitting on the crowded 1 local during the morning rush hour with her legs crossed, determined to give anyone near her the boot.

Shin kicker's boot.

Shin kicker’s boot.

Unlike Mr. Asshat in Fairway, my subway riding survival instinct warned that this was a Code Red Asshat, i.e., someone with the potential to detonate. Don’t provoke her. I got lucky and scored a seat allowing me to escape her foot follies. Everyone else near her came close to getting it in the shin. Her nasty expression screamed f-bomb. Fellow riders shared my cautious vibe and were mute around this volatile asshat. There are times when New Yorkers know to zip the lip.

Days later, I was in mellow mode visiting kith and kin in the San Francisco Bay Area. While in Sausalito with my best friend from college, BatPat, we strolled through a neighborhood of storybook-style houseboats docked on calm waters.

Mini mansions in idyllic Waldo Harbor.

Mini mansions in idyllic Waldo Harbor.

Many of these whimsical vessels belong to artists and writers.

Tim Burton-esqe style houseboat from behind.

Tim Burton-esqe style houseboat from behind.

Tim Burton-esque style boat from the front-ish.

Tim Burton-esque style boat from the front-ish.

I flashed on ditching the steady stream of petty irritations that are such a key ingredient in big city life in exchange for the tranquility of a floating nest and the camaraderie of courteous neighbors with cool cats.

Super cool houseboat cat Bow.

Super cool houseboat cat Bow.

Bow's super cool houseboat home.

Bow’s super cool houseboat home.

But whom am I kidding? Within a month, or an hour, my blunt force trauma temperament would surface and I could be the resident asshat in Shangri-la.

In front of my home, this bombshell might be active.

In front of my home, this bombshell might be active.

I am allergic to cats, I can’t swim and my astrological sign should be Seasick. I can do mellow by the shot glass, but my personality is frantic by the barrel.

Cool in principle but not for me.

The Neversail Ark: cool in principle but not for me.

Shortly after I returned from my California getaway, I was briskly walking down my block on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. It was five in the afternoon, a time of day that looks exactly like ten at night in winter, when I found myself doing a double take on what else? A sweating package identified as fresh chicken.

Re-gift chicken.

Re-gift chicken.

I don’t know what gave me the willies more: knowing that I reside in close proximity to a New York City asshat who re-gifts fowl, or later that evening, when I went out again and saw that there had been a taker. A few years ago, New York City was besieged with a bedbug epidemic. Have we graduated to salmonella sharing in 2015? Meanwhile, a New Year has dawned once again replete with a new crop of New York City asshats. The time of the year may no longer be the most wonderful, but it is certainly back to being the most familiar.

Asshat New Yorker-style Christmas tree disposal.

Asshat New Yorker-style Christmas tree disposal.

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67 responses to “Lame Adventure 449: It’s the Most Familiar Time of the Year

  1. Isn’t amazing how an asshat makes identification so easy?!!! … and any grocery store is like an asshat zoo. … but I love that cat pic in the harbor.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You go to a Fairway. We go to a Fareway. Will wonders never cease?

    I’ve stayed home so much this year that my asshat exposure index is way down. I must admit the asshat population in Iowa is not high. You have to be smart to hunt them down for close encounters. The most likely place to find them is while driving. We have a snow storm coming tonight. Many first time asshat drivers will be out tomorrow. I am staying home…..again.

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    • My thoughts exactly (will wonders never cease?) Staying home a lot reduces the number of asshats to deal with. And yes, let’s stay off the roads AND out of the grocery with several inches of snow coming.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Whoa, I do believe, Jim, that on the basis of our Fareway/Fairway connection, wonders have finally reached their max! I suspect that the closer Iowa comes to caucus-time, your asshat exposure starts to explode. And anyplace in the world where motorists can travel I am sure asshats will follow. This includes my asshat exposure in my formative years: my childhood church parking lot when my father and fellow parishioners would cuss each other out in the midst of the weekly monumental traffic jam. All that swearing resonated much more with me than whatever the priest was yammering about in the sermon.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The cats in Sausalito are a great capture. The grocery store here has the same asshat to human ratio, if that makes you feel any better.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. For the most part, Fort Collins is an Asshat-Free-Zone. I guess living in a large city brings out some kind of primitive territorial protection mode in some, but who knows? I have visited Sausalito and I love those house-boats. If I recall, some of them house wonderful seafood restaurants.

    Happy New Year, V. Maybe New York will somehow be showered in nice-gas, thus creating a nice epidemic!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Feel free to refresh my hole-riddled memory, Cathy, but wasn’t it fairly recently that Fort Collins was voted something like the nicest place to live in the country while New York City was equated with existing in the forth circle of hell? BatPat and I have dined at Scoma’s where we’ve had some very fine seafood. It’s not exactly a houseboat, but it’s on it’s own dock-type-thing, to be perfectly articulate about this.

      Happy New Year to you, too!

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  5. I hope 2015 is asshat-free now that you’ve hit your quota. 🙂

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  6. I can’t believe you turned down free chicken. I mean, it clearly says fresh chicken. What could possibly be wrong with a package left out in the open when its contents are so clearly marked? Hahahahahaha! I must agree with aFrankAngle, the cat pic is my favorite. Here’s to wishing your new year is slightly less Asshat infested as the previous year.

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    • The skeptic in me, who comprises only a mere 99.9% of my being, was taken aback by that re-gift Mrs. Mulkey. Who re-gifts chicken, much less who accepts it?!? I feel a need to wash my eyeballs with bleach again just thinking about that.

      I wish you as Asshat-free a New Year as possible.

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  7. Yikes, the chicken!!!…Yes I remember not picking up any used furniture etc. for fear of bedbugs but now, salmonella is on my mind! Happy New Year !

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  8. I know those house boats! My honey and I go there to pretend we are sea worthy people. But we’re not, of course. The homes are super cool, though, aren’t they?

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  9. Our asshats are bigger here in Texas. After all, we are the state that gave the country Ted Cruz. So there’s that. Happy New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I have an old friend (all my friends are old) who lives in one of those houseboats in Sausalito and loves it.
    And asshat has been added to the vocabulary list. It will come in very handy.

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  11. Thanks for the laughs – picturing you living full time on a houseboat in Sausalito! Love the bombshell picture and caption.

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    • Or, more likely, you’re picturing me hanging off the side losing my Lorna Doone’s. If you hadn’t seen the bombshell, the way you also saw Bow, I very likely would have walked right past that. You can be my eyes and I’ll just try to work my camera’s focus and click the shutter.

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  12. Do the boy scouts pick up the Christmas trees as they do where I live? I absolutely adore that picture with the cat and the statue. That’s really cool. That little seaside town looks tranquil. I hope you relaxed if only in shot glass amounts.

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    • “Do the boy scouts pick up the Christmas trees as they do where I live?” Amy, dear, this is New York City we’re talking about. No, the Boy Scouts are not taking on Gotham City. Hardcore organized labor city sanitation guys do all that heavy lifting out here! Bow posing next to his cat statue pal was very cool indeed. I think he’s a feline rock star who knew exactly what he was doing. It’s possible that he’s the reincarnation of Jimi Hendrix. Yes, I was very relaxed, but ever since I’ve been back in the Apple, that’s been fading fast and my usual angst is surfacing fast and furious.

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  13. Those houseboats in Sausalito look really cool. Your photos reminded me of an article I’d read about them in the Smithsonian Magazine a few years ago. I loved reading about the houseboat community of neighbors who look out for one another. I’m guessing they don’t regift chicken.

    http://www.smithsonianmag.com/people-places/livin-on-the-dock-of-the-bay-171787735/?no-ist

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for sharing that article! Those houseboats were so cool, and we saw the one called the Owl. It’s in one of my shots. I would not be surprised to see a few live chickens strutting their stuff around those boats. Many of the residents have created lovely and quirky gardens with potted plants outside their houseboats. Visiting Waldo Point Harbor was almost more interesting to me that hanging out at MoMA, and a helluva lot more creative than much of the art on display on the fourth floor, the floor Milton calls “the joke floor”.

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      • Oh, Milton. 🙂 A few years back I went to a modern art museum. One room showcased a single bare light bulb with a red string tied across the ceiling. Those were the only items in the room. I have no idea what I was supposed to take away from that. Besides how much skill is required by the artist to do that?

        I now have Sausalito on my list of placed to visit.

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        • I would not be surprised if that single bare light bulb with a red string tied across the ceiling was on loan from MoMA’s joke floor. I’m sure you’d dig Sausalito. It’s very picturesque.

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  14. Asshat come out in any weather out there, huh? Figured the cold would keep them housebound. But that cross-legger on the train duuuuuuude I might have gone 12 rounds with her…that totally burns me out … Like that poor Christmas tree sleeping it off on the sidewalk there.

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    • About you taking on the cross-legger, I would be urging you sotto voce through gritted teeth, Guat, “Don’t say anything! She’ll go psycho!”

      On my way home from The Grind this evening, I saw dozens of siblings of “that poor Christmas tree sleeping it off on the sidewalk”. I’m grateful that I didn’t trip over any of them.

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  15. Bow is a very fitting name for a cat living in a houseboat.

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  16. I’ve always heard that NYC was the epicenter for asshats. Thankfully, we don’t have many here. The ones we do have are mostly immigrants from major metro areas. Personally, I find them more offensive than those coming over the southern border to seek a better life for their families. At least when they curse you it’s in another language.

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  17. The Bay Area portion of this story was definitely more my speed. New York makes me antsy just reading about it.

    The bow cat was indeed cool.

    Also, I think you’re being too hard on the asshat who apologized. I try not to, but every now and then I find myself doing something asinine that pisses somebody off. In those instances, when I’m truly in the wrong, I feel TERRIBLE, and usually (usually!–I’m far from perfect) don’t repeat the mistake.

    Sometimes, and these are the ones I really regret, a person will call me on a particular behavior, and I’ll respond poorly–only to realize a few minutes later (long after the other person is gone) that I was a complete ass. I’ve actually hunted people down in a store to apologize.

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    • That’s very stand up of you, Smak! That’s almost Time Magazine Person of the Year-worthy. You sound like my bro-in-law, Herb (with a silent h) about New York City. One visit was enough for him for a lifetime, but he did enjoy the shows he saw on Broadway. Phew!

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  18. Happy New Year, sugar! I think I mentioned once before that I lived in San Francisco, so your “Tales of the City” (did you ever read those in The Chronicle?) always make me smile. We always tell people who are going to visit to make sure they go to Scoma’s. *Cheers*

    (Drop by again when you can. I finally put pics up from my birthday!)

    Like

    • Happy New Year back at you Savannah! I was thinking about you the other day! I don’t remember why, probably because I’m middle age and have a hole in my head as big as Yankee Stadium. I do recall when the Comical published Tales of the City! But did I read them? No. I watched the series on PBS — and this semi-illiterate enjoyed it immensely. I’ll try to come around your site later in the week! (If only you were on WordPress, this would be SO much easier … I know: gripe, gripe, gripe.)

      Liked by 1 person

  19. You described why I make a point of staying at home all New Year’s Day and sipping sacrificial drinks to the new year. Call me the Ground Hog of January.

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    • New Year’s Day is such a dreadful holiday to me, too, Rebecca! But at least this year, I still had a nice stretch off before returning to The Grind.

      All the best,
      Your Fellow January Ground Hog

      Like

  20. The asshats of life. What does one do but deal? Personally, I don’t think NY has any more than anywhere else but I’ve not been living just enough for the cit-tay as you have, V. I’ve probably been one myself. I just try to ignore and at least you did get an apology. Now, San Fran and those cool,hip, artsy houseboats — I think I’d love that.

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    • You’re a cool, Southern Belle writer, Brig, so I’m sure you’d have zero problem adapting to life aboard an eclectic floating nest in idyllic Sausalito. In fact, you’d likely blend there. Instead of photographing cats like Bow, I’d be snapping gotcha! shots of your hounds.

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  21. Oh, asshats. Why do they never leave side dishes with their curbside entrees?

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  22. The world is full of asshats, you seem to have asshat radar. It is likely a very good thing, this will keep you safe whether on subways or trying to determine whether dinner is safe.

    Like

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