Monday, April 26, 2010

Thank You For Perfecting Me! Now Let's Go Perfect Everybody Else!




Do I need to explain, at this late date, my writing modus operandi? Probably not, but just in case...

I have no internet connection at home, so when I write it is never published immediately. I always have time to ruminate. I write, then I read what I wrote. I say to myself, "Wow! That's excellent!" and then I go to bed. When I wake up, I read it again. I then, more often than not, say, "Hmmmmmm. Maybe this isn't as excellent as I thought it was." Then I either re-write or just totally shitcan what I wrote and write something different.

What follows is a ridiculously overblown reaction to some of your comments. I've read it and re-read it, and I fully realize I should shitcan it, but parts of it still tickles me. In addition, I spent about two hours on it and I don't want to have wasted that time. So, I'm publishing it and letting each of you waste about five minutes on it; much more economical. This first section is sort of an apology in advance. Not a single one of your comments warranted such an extremely snotty reaction. Moreover, you're right and I'm wrong. Still, it's way too much fun being obnoxiously self-righteous, so...

I guess that's enough apology (and way too many ellipses.) If you're one of the people I'm jumping on with both feet, you'll enjoy this more if you pretend you aren't.

****************************************************************

I had no idea. Really, I didn’t. Had I known, I would have joined your ranks long ago. After all, it makes perfect sense.

The response to THIS PIECE, done for my other blog, was certainly instructive. I posted some reasonably focused photographs (a major triumph for someone of my well-known non-ability with a camera) and added commentary which, while not especially brilliant, was nevertheless entertaining enough to move things along to the end without giving you reason to curse me. As an aside, and to add bits of personality and flavor, I mentioned that the piece had its genesis because I smoke.

Well, that was a mistake. And it’s the last one I’ll ever make, so you folks who felt a need to tell me that smoking will kill me (despite my having said so, in the second sentence of the fourth paragraph, thus – I had assumed - obviating the need for YOU to do so) should now be happy. As a result of your having lovingly hectored me, I have decided to become as you are – perfect.

I know what you’re thinking. Considering how much baggage I have to toss off of my train of bad habits, in order to facilitate speeding it along to my final destination of relative godliness, this seems like an impossibility. However, I have your sterling examples to guide me, and if that isn’t enough, then there’s no hope.

You know what’s funny? I was so unrepentantly imperfect before this, I had no idea that so many of you were without fault and thus qualified to hand out advice on how I should live. That’s the way it is with faulty people, of course. We (I still use that term, for grammatical ease, even though I’ll soon not be included) can’t see the path to perfection as readily as we should (probably because it’s strewn with cigarette butts, chicken bones, empty beer cans, and discarded religious tracts, but I’ll clean it as I make my way towards Nirvana, making it easier for those who follow.)

(It’s the least I can do in return for your beneficence. No need to thank me, since needing thanks for doing good deeds is quite obviously a trait of lesser beings.)

Of course, now that I’m going to be perfect like you, it will be my responsibility (nay – my sacred duty!) to tell all imperfect people how they might improve themselves and attain the same state of grace. Even though, at present, I’m only ON THE WAY to perfection, I’ll waste no time getting started on this part of it. After all, I’ll be imparting joy to others, and that’s certainly a worthwhile endeavor to undertake immediately, despite the work left to be done on my own reclamation from perdition.

Of course, I’ll be quitting smoking; that’s obvious. So, from now on, whenever I see someone else smoking, I’ll walk right up to that person and tell him or her how much harm they’re doing to themselves. A person less perfect than you or I might think that everybody with an IQ over 70 is aware of the harm that smoking causes (since it is written on the side of every package of cigarettes, has been common knowledge for forty years or so, is mentioned on television and radio a few hundred times every day, is the subject of numerous laws and proposed laws, is banned from many places because of the well-known ill effects, is the subject of exorbitant taxation in order to recoup the costs of health care expenditures, and would thus seemingly be impossible to claim ignorance about) but we perfect people know better. We understand that, unless we add our two cents, the smoker will think he or she is free from the possibility of deleterious effects, and so if we don’t ruin what little enjoyment they ARE getting from the thing that will kill them, by making them feel even more guilty about it, we will feel guilty about that, so by all means we should make ourselves feel as though we’re accomplishing something, since what’s the use of being perfect if it doesn’t include a sense of accomplishment?

On to other things. I’ve noticed that none of you eat anything that could possibly be bad for your health, so I’ll stop doing that, too. No more red meat, milk, donuts, mallomars, butter, white bread, cheese, fried chicken, ice cream, Oreos, coffee, sugar, corn syrup, cream, cookies, cake, pickles, salt, trans fats, refined flour, peanuts, Chinese food, unfiltered water, vegetable oils, pancakes, waffles, muffins, torts, jam, jelly, marmalade, crackers, syrups, chutney, gravy, Worcestershire sauce, canned vegetables, processed soups, mercury-laden tuna (and/or dolphin), Froot Loops, lard, pizza, fried fish, here’s where, i throw, in something, that all of, the skimmers, will not see, so they’ll, wonder why, i tell them, to fuck off, in the comments, when they get, self-righteous, and pork. Since none of you eat these things, you’ll never die, of course, and I think that’s something I might like. We’ll have many years to tell the fat people to lay off of them, and then THEY’LL never die, just like us! And we’ll all have eternity together to enjoy eating mealy worms or whatever is left.

Obviously, if one has devoted such attention to not polluting their lungs or guts, the same care should be taken with the brain. After all, without a fully-functioning brain, how can one be expected to become holier-than-thou? I’ll stop drinking beer, immediately. Whiskey, vodka, gin, wine, tequila, absinthe, rum, and all other alcoholic beverages will also be verboten. They kill brain cells!

(Maybe they kill bad brain cells as well as good ones, and the trade is worth it? No, that’s the sort of thinking characteristic of a disordered mind that spends too much time considering improbables; one befouled by reality-altering substances. How silly.)

No drugs of any kind, of course, prescription or otherwise. Sure, some of them alleviate pain, whether physical or mental, but we perfect beings don’t need such crutches. And we’ll be damned if we’ll let any other one-legged spiritual sons of bitches use them, either! We know what’s good for the bastards, and they’ll learn to live with their pain and be better for it! It builds character!

One thing I found especially amazing was the amount of time you devote to exercise. I guess, what with the not smoking, the not eating, the not drinking, the not doing drugs, and the not having sex – I’m just assuming - you have scads of free time to run nowhere in particular. It’s a good thing, I suppose, since running will more quickly get us to all of those people who desperately need our advice. And when they see such visions of untainted unrepentant unbelievably inhuman unworldliness, such as ourselves, jogging towards their smoky, fat, drunk, clogged artery, vile selves, what choice will they have but to listen? Heck, they certainly won’t be able to outrun us. If they’ve attained less perfection than we have, and are less polite, they might try to shoot us, but I’m sure we have a plan to handle such an eventuality. We wouldn’t be perfect otherwise.

About the only thing I don’t understand is how we can justify such an obviously bad for us activity as sitting on our asses in front of a computer. It’s no good for the eyes, contributes to obesity, has a tendency to cause actual physical harm via such things as carpal tunnel syndrome, and sucks for the environment. I’ll figure it out once I become as fantastic as the rest of you, no doubt, but for the present it baffles me.

***************************************************************

My friends – and I call you that because you may still be, despite all of the crap above – I know that smoking is bad for me, and I know that you mean well in telling me so. But – and I say this with all possible love – shut the fuck up about it. The painfully obvious point is that we all do something or other that is unhealthy – physically, morally, spiritually, legally – and, in most instances, we already know we’re doing something ridiculous and ultimately harmful. If a person is doing himself harm and is unaware of that harm, sure, maybe you should offer some advice. But, folks, smoking is damned sure not one of those instances. Everybody who smokes knows full well that a hideous disease and unbearable pain may lie just around the corner from their ashtray. All you’re doing by reminding them of that fact is making their present less enjoyable. You are making yourselves feel good, via the mistaken notion that you’re doing an act of love by offering advice and/or admonition, but it does absolutely nothing for the person you’re advising or admonishing other than to make him or her more miserable. Their future will be nasty enough. Leave them be to enjoy the now, and trust to the fact that they already know.

[I went on in this vein for another seven paragraphs. About the only thing you have to be truly thankful for in all of this is that I've deleted the rest of it.]

As I said at the beginning, though - you're right. I should quit smoking. I'm seriously considering it. And I'll continue to seriously consider it until one of you, in the comments to this piece, tells me again that I should do it. Then, being the contrarian prick that I am, I'll light up another smoke even if I don't especially want one at the moment.

Soon, with more better stuff (if I don't come down with six different kinds of cancer tomorrow, since God seems to take a special delight in making us become what we have readily mocked.)


43 comments:

Sniffles and Smiles said...

You made me smile, Jim...how many of us have felt this way at some time or another...I personally must admit to having a contrary streak as well...

But I'm afraid you forgot something on your list of foods to avoid...(LOL) Bill Cosby once said that He would not eat cottage cheese because, well, he noticed that only overweight people eat it...;-)

As for the running, I laughed...because as I read this, I immediately recalled Forrest Gump...running, with his huge entourage! :-)

You are a wonderful and accepting soul, my friend...we love you just as you are. Hugs, Janine

P.S. Btw, all your attention to revision shows! Your writing seems effortless! You work so that your reader's don't have to...terrific!

TechnoBabe said...

Don't hold back, Suldog. Vent. Hahahaha. This is one of the very good things about blogging. We say what we want in a post and people who read say what they want in a comment. We then get to delete a comment if we don't want it on our blog. Kinda goes around and around. For me, your smoking or not is none of my business. I enjoy your writing, sometimes snarky and always some big real words thrown in!! As opposed to real big words.

Sniffles and Smiles said...

Ooops...that should be readers...no apostrophe...LOL...I should take a lesson in proofreading from you...but then, I guess we all can't be perfect ;-) LOL... ~J.

Bonnie, Original Art Studio said...

A beautifully written tirade - I loved it! Sometimes there is just a bit too much sucking up, sweetness and political correctness in this virtual world. I adore it when someone says what they really feel and think. Of course, it helps to have a gift with words when we let it rip!

Quirkyloon said...

I say eat all the donuts you want, but mallomars?

Really?

Matt Conlon said...

Hey Jim, you should stop smoking, did you know it's bad?

Haha, I don't care if you smoke, just so long as you don't start to burn. You might catch my blog on fire.

...What the hell is a tort?

slommler said...

Now I want you to tell me how you really feel??
I did enjoy your on the mountain top sermon...good stuff there. On the mountain that is.
And I have no idea what the hell I am talking about.
May the clouds of disaster miss you completely!
Hugs
SueAnn

Buck said...

Well. I AM admonished. ;-)

wv: cophaw (Srsly). No further comment.

Expat From Hell said...

I would write more, dear Suldog, but I keep dropping my Flamin' Hot Chee-tos into the keyboard. Keep 'em coming. I need to step outside for a moment....EFH

Craig said...

See, I have my own 'favored vice', but it does tend to be self-correcting (or at least, how shall I say it - the time-horizon for the pain of it is a tad shorter than that for smoking)

Yes. . . I confess. . . I like sex. A LOT. Eight-kids-a-lot. And so now, I've got to live with the consequences of my own lack of self-control. Feed them, clothe them, put braces on their teeth, buy them heavy-metal CDs. . .

And, lemme tell ya, there's no shortage of folks in the world who are willing to wag their finger at me and my wife over that, too. And I bet most of 'em are having sex of their own. . .

So, in the immortal words of Dr. Kevorkian, go ahead and smoke, what the hell. . .

;)

GreenJello said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
GreenJello said...

Recent studies are finding out that lard is actually not bad for you. Go figure.

Hilary said...

:-X

Sorry.. ish.

And no, I did not skim that list.

:)

Jazz said...

Damn, I missed that post. Course probably because my computer was buried under empty wine bottles.

Ya know Sully, from what I heard of your voice (you did post a bit of that at one point, didn't you? Or was that just a wine induced hallucination?), the smoking is real good for that voice of yours.

Cause dude, you give GOOD voice.

Suldog said...

Janine - Thanks so much for getting here first. I was kind of worried about the response to this, despite my apologies, but you set my mind at ease immediately. I appreciate it.

TechnoBabe - Thanks for the altruistic verbiage. Have no fears or trepidations! You'll always learn something here whether you want to or not.

Bonnie - Thank you. I enjoy reading a good rant, so I also enjoy knocking one off once in a while. I sometimes worry about the response, but so far so good...

Quirky - Yes, Mallomars. I ate a whole package of them Saturday. It was mostly while writing this, as a matter of fact. I enjoyed them immensely while I was eating them. After ward, not as much...

Matt - A tort is an act that injures someone in some way and for which the injured party may sue for damages. What I meant to say was "torte". D'Oh!

Sue Ann - Thanks for the kind words, as well as the kind wishes! Have a raspberry torte!

Buck - You saw my private correspondence, so you know I love you.

Expat, Craig - Is it possible to eat flaming Cheetos while having sex? Sounds like a reasonable substitute for smoking.

Green Jello - Mmmmmmmmm. Lard. If it really is good for you, maybe I'll just eat it straight from the can while I'm going through nicotine withdrawal. Yum!

Hilary - I knew damn well YOU wouldn't skim the list :-)

Jazz - Thank you very much. However, I was blessed with my voice before I began smoking. Smoking, while it has not yet ruined it, is not doing it any favors.

Michelle H. said...

Um... you're welcome?

Sorry, don't know what else to say about it except that I'll focus more on my own bad vices than take the preacher's podium to bad-mouth yours.

And... you forgot to put in Zero Bars on that list ;-)

word verification: feastop. Who knew?

Crazed Mom said...

Do I sense a tad bit of sarcasm? (smirk)

Eric said...

I'll join Michelle in a hearty um...you're welcome!

Did I know I was being selfish when I adminished you for smoking? Hell yeah. I'm a pain in the butt that way. I'm extremely self-centered and that's just how I roll.

Now that you've vacated the podium (for at least two seconds), can we please get the number thingy working so we can all take a number? I got plenty to say, dag nabit. And get off my lawn!

jinksy said...

Far from moaning at you, I thought I'd complimented you on the lovely composition of one of your photos? Did I dream this? :)

Elaine said...

Shut the fuck up and have a cigarette. Here...have one of mine. In fact, go on, have two.


Huggies, big man. x

The Good Cook said...

Suldog - I don't trust people who don't have vices. I mean, what the hell do they do all day?

Jeni said...

Want me to re-rile your readers up and tell you "OH please, Jim! Don't give up smoking cause then I'll be the only blogger left still indulging in this yucky habit?"
I can empathize with your predicament as stated in the post way more than you think, Buddy-boy! Can I ever!
But anyway, if ever I do stop smoking and am left then with my "only" other vice (cursing) then I might take a pot shot at you for being imperfect, but when donkeys fly, is when I figure any or all of us will ever be able to cast that last stone, ya know.
Translated all that simply means is keep on keeping on and doing what you do best -writing stuff that is you, through and through!
Peace.

Brian Miller said...

sweet. see not that is the kinda thumpin i need...smiles. glad you are considering quitting smoking though...and i will eat red meat with you...

Ivan Toblog said...

I saw this picture of Heather Graham and immediately was reminded of you?

Chris@Knucklehead! said...

Forget it, smoke all you want to, Jim. I ain't givin' up my Oreos.

I'm Jane said...

And I will NOT give up pickles. So there!

Daryl said...

I didnt skim either ....

Joan said...

I agree, agree, and agree.

Tim King said...

Funny! Of course, I wasn't one of those telling you not to smoke. (I wasn't, was I?) -TimK

IT said...

I quit drinkin' [alcohol]
I quit smokin' [anything]
Damned if I'm gonna give up Oreos and butter. No, I don't put butter on Oreos. I put butter on Triscuits and bagel chips.

Ananda girl said...

Ha! Thank you! I have always been a careful smoker... in that I have always asked if my smoke would bother anyone near me. I am also uncomfortable around non-smokers who tell me that it does not bother them, with a cigarette in my hand and generally feel so guilty that I put it out after a few puffs.

My view of this issue is that for heaven's sake, I am 55 years old and can make those choices myself.
We are all "works in progress" until the day we die.

The one thing that I know for absolute certain in regards to smoking and quitting (I quit for 17 years before restarting... yes, very stupid... so this is an experience quitter speaking) is that NO ONE SUCCESSFULLY QUITS SMOKING UNTIL THEY, THEMSELVES, TRULY WANT TO STOP.

You cannot guilt someone into quitting, you cannot love them into quitting.

Besides, if you gave up all that stuff Suldog, you might be boring.
;-)

Thumbelina said...

First of all, you made me go to the Talkback Butt(on) and read another load of rubbish you wrote. Thanks.
Second, I hear the plea of a man desperate to be left alone. I'll leave you alone then. ;0)

Third, whatcha go get perfect for? Where we gonna get posts like this?
Imperfect yourself IMMEDIATELY! I demand it.
Great rant.

Stu said...

Dude, smoke as much as you like. If it keeps you sane and prevents you from killing people with a ball peen hammer, I fully endorse the habit.

And not for nothin', but my wife has been a 3/4 pack a day smoker since forever, and she's as healthy as a person in pretty good health. And both her parents are life-long smokers and they're both approaching 80 and are in fine health.

Avoid nothing, embrace everything, live out loud.

Chuck said...

I do tend to be overly militant on the tobacco bandwagon, having lost my father and an uncle to smoking-related diseases. However, I promise to not mention it again. I have to admit, if someone tells me I need to lose weight, it does piss me off because I know it already...so I can definitely see where you're coming from.

Eva Gallant said...

I stand chastened! It was thoughtless of me, but done out of love.
You're so right; it was none of my business. I feel like a jerk. But I still love you, Suldog!

Melinda said...

Damn, I'm glad I'm not blogging anymore! I have a deep and profound resistance to perfection. So people trying to make me perfect are generally greeted with a stubborn look or possibly a middle finger (I'm not as classy as you), even though I'm sure they are well-meaning in their advice.

That being said, you are (and have always been) flawless in your imperfection Sully. Cigarettes or no, please never change :)

Hap said...

Personally, I can't write if I don't smoke (at least that's my excuse). If it's the same for you, I'm sending you a nice carton of smokes to keep myself entertained.

Great blog!

lime said...

as long as yer not blowin' smoke up my skirt or directly in my face i promise not to hassle you about it. ;)

excuse me while i go inhale an order of deep fried raviolis followed by a hot fudge sundae with peanut butter ripple ice cream and big mound of whipped cream on top.

Moannie said...

Thank you for writing the post I did not have the courage to write...I just wish the filthy habit wasn't so expensive.

As for Oreos, if we could get them here there is no way I would give them up.

Karen said...

Gee, I guess I pretty much agree with most of your list of bad stuff, but wine... really?

Shrinky said...

Ah, such eloquence - thank you, Jim - we smokers of this world salute you!

Reasons said...

Think I must have missed something. You don't smoke do you Suldog? Don't you know it's bad for you? Skim. Me? Never!

;-) x

Jenn said...

You know something, you had me cheering and thinking 'gee, maybe I could become perfect too' until you told me I couldn't eat self rightiousness. So tell me to fuck off if you like but I'm going to stay a tarnished and imperfect, beer drinking, red meat eating smoker as long as I like too. Yeah! :-P