Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Who'll stop the rain?

I always tend to feel a bit like Goldilocks when I’m away from home. All the different beds. Some too soft. Some too hard. Sometimes, the elusive “just right.”

Spooney and I started out our tour of the East Coast having a pretty good time. Sure, United demonstrated that they really don’t understand the “confirmed” part of confirmed seat assignments, and they seem to be of the opinion that eight rows away is really close enough to sit to my boyfriend on a six hour flight, but we managed a trade and the flight attendant skated us some free drinks and an apology. I love the flight attendants and the cockpit personnel on United. Everyone else who works for that airline can go fuck themselves as far as I’m concerned, especially those completely useless twats on their reservation line. United used to have great phone reps, but they’ve recently outsourced to someplace where poorly enunciated English, and the ability to read words off a screen, seem to be their only marketable skills.

So it was great seeing relatives in New Jersey, and my dear friend Kate in NYC, but once we got to Boston, the wheels started to come off. Yes, we had some great dinners with old friends at first, and everything seemed to be going swell, but then we hit a real losing streak near the end. First, due to my own dumb error, we showed up one night too late for our much-anticipated Red Sox game, and then, after I shelled out additional dollars to a scalper for 2 more tickets, the game got rained out after five crappily played innings.

Then, the seas were so stormy and rough during our whale watch that not only did we not see any whales, but half the passengers were freely spewing chunks. It was a five hour lesson in endurance and self-control. Forget waterboarding, man, if you want to torture a detainee, put them on the Boston Aquarium Whale Watch Cruise with six foot swells and a poop deck full of barfing schoolchildren.

On the morning of our 6 a.m. flight home, we got lost trying to find the car rental return. And then, just to up the anxiety ante, we got pulled over by a cop in Revere, because at 3 a.m., it is apparently difficult to distinguish the way lost people drive from the way drunk people drive. The cop berated us for our infraction, wondered aloud (and definitely rhetorically) as to whether we might be humans of the moron variety, gave us some very rapidly and impatiently delivered directions to our destination, and then walked away without saying a word of farewell, shaking his head in disgust.

And then United lost my luggage.

I was so relieved to be home at that point that I didn’t mind the thought of going to work the next day with my au naturale curly poodle bangs. What I did mind, is that I knew I would have to spend the day telling people that they no longer had a job.

Yeah, I found out right before I left what I was going to be doing the day I got back. And I’m ashamed to admit that it hung over me like a thundercloud the entire time I was gone. No matter how many times I told Spooney that I was definitely not thinking about it the whole time…I was definitely thinking about it the whole time. I was lying awake nights and stewing, constantly stewing and fretting.

I’m even more ashamed to admit that after a day of laying off talented and dedicated employees, I feel sorry for myself, and it’s not because I know that the clock has started ticking on my own job. It’s because it shouldn’t be this way. I shouldn’t be here, doing this bullshit thing. This incredible company, with its brilliant technology, should survive. It’s the new economy! So why does it feel so much like the 1980s?

Actually, now that I think about it, it feels like Carter’s first term. If you were alive and coherent in the ‘70s, you might remember that Carter tried to turn this country around during the fuel crisis. He proposed a plan for energy independence, practically invented industry and consumer conservation, funded alternative power sources, and even put solar panels on the White House.

Then came Reagan, who proceeded to, in one of his first acts as president, very publicly remove those solar panels. His second act was to take all the money for solar and other fuel technologies, and give it to the oil companies so that they could find more freakin oil. They did, they got richer, the price of gas went down, and Americans promptly forgot why they cared about fuel efficiency in the first place. They decided that Saint Ronnie knew best, and if he told us that the man standing behind us with his cock in our ass was Big Government, and not Big Oil, then by god that was good enough for us.

What kills me, is that if we had followed through on Carter’s plan, we’d be energy independent today. Yes, it would’ve been a major expenditure. Solar power is expensive, but you know what? It goddamn works. So does wind power. Think about it - we’d be off the Mideast grid by now, motherfuckers. I mean, can you imagine where we’d be right now, if we didn’t need OPEC? 5000 American veterans and millions of civilians from both Gulf Wars would be alive. There’d be less oil money to support Islamic terrorism all over the world. Also, with no need for a U.S. presence in Saudi Arabia, we’d miss being branded as the Great Satan by Osama bin Laden. 3000 people get to go home to their families at the end of the day on September 11, 2001. The war in Afghanistan never happens, but it’s okay because without the US meddling in the Mideast, the USSR never invades Afghanistan, the US never funds the Afghani warlords, and the Taliban never takes hold. So the next time someone is droning on and on about what a terrible president Jimmy Carter was, shove that in their pipe and tell them to fucking choke on it.

And while you’re at it, tell them to shut the fuck up about socialism and the stimulus bill and their fucking goddamn tea parties. In case you haven’t noticed, American capitalist ingenuity ain’t shit right now, people. The profit for the technologies that will save our lives will always be too far away for those greedy fucks and their stupid, stupid short-sighted goddamn Wall Street crybaby investors. The only place where real innovation is taking place around the world is in places where the government is biting the bullet and funding it. Wake the fuck up. Wake the fuck up, people, and join me. Because I tell you, lately, I cannot sleep at all.


Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

Thank goodness you're back. I've missed you so.

Liberality said...

Thank you for verbalizing what I feel deeply inside. I am not as elegant as you for sure and I am not being sarcastic. Okay, maybe a little. You do have a potty mouth there but I can understand why--the rage at our stupidity and immobility, our inertia, does make me fret and scream in frustration. I get it--I've gotten it for a long time now. Why can't everyone else, especially those republican dickswads? You can't keep shitting in your bed and expect to stay healthy and not smell. We've got to stop raping this planet like greedy wipes and take care of life on this planet. It's the only planet we've got!

Jess said...

Great post, Vikki!

SkylersDad said...

All of this was just great Vikki, and you have been missed.

But I have to comment particularly on the terrible task that you have to perform today, telling people they are no longer employed. Why can't companies do an across the board pay cut? Everyone I talk to would be willing to get by on less just to keep their job, it seems too simple. I must be missing something.

GETkristiLOVE said...

Shit, it is such an ordeal for you two to be able to leave town and enjoy some vacation together, I wish it would have been more enjoyable for you.

It was great to see you guys in Jersey though. I can't believe that Joel is so big now. I am still finding Buddy hair on my clothes too.

Spooney said...

Don't forget that right after we got home I had to go to the hardware & buy a part to fix the toilet. (Eva, if you're reading this - it wasn't anything you did it just stopped working right after we got home)

Dad E said...

Your profane eloquence has reach another peak and your segues are atonishing.

Anonymous said...

You're not the only one who got lost trying to return a rental in Boston. I drove around and around, until I finally gave up and pulled to the white curb to wait for the Avis shuttle. Then, I stuck to that bastard like glue until he led me to the return lot. Oh, and you're absolutely right about Carter's plan for oil independence. It's hell, imagining what could have been.

Lisa said...

I'm sorry it went downhill after Cuchi's.

Maybe it was the banana bread.

dguzman said...

Thanks for coming back after your vacation and hitting another fucking homerun, Vik. I needed that.

...despite the fact that the Carter "what if" section made me want to throw up/cry.

Spooney said...

Reagan taking down the solar panels - what a dick move. Fuck these pricks that idolize him.

Zoe Wiseman said...

Mother Fuckers!

I'll be sure not to get on any type of whaling boat in Boston in a few days either. Skip!