8/24/2005

A man of easy virtue

I wanted to be a good man. In fact, I wanted to be a Man’s Man, and not in the queer way, either. I mean a man of virtue. So I set myself to a regimen of self-improvement.

For instance, I tried to take pride in my work. I wanted to believe in my heart that any job worth doing was worth doing well. I wanted to work for work’s sake. I wanted to work hard until the day was done. And at the end of the day, my reward would be knowing that I did a good job. I loaded myself up with all that malarkey and gave it a try. But I couldn’t make the sale. I couldn’t bullshit myself for very long. They say “a job well-done is its own reward.” Try telling that to the bill collectors! “I don‘t have everything I owe you this month, but I did a damn fine job painting the garage this weekend.” You can debate the value of a job well-done. But everybody agrees on the value of a buck.

Working hard and doing a good job are both monumental pains in the ass. Plus, you usually have to stay sober. And you have to give a damn what the boss wants. Needless to say, my resolve to do a good job waned quickly. Now I want to do as little as possible -- for the most compensation, of course. I want to minimize my work/pay ratio. It’s the rational hedonist in me. I’d rather make $9/hr and sit on my ass than six-figures and have to do something productive. In fact, I mean to check into this “welfare” thing I keep hearing so much about. Sounds like a sweetheart deal! And if it ever runs out, I’ll seek employment in the federal government.

I also tried to respect women. Scouts’ honor! I wanted to live down the reputation men have as selfish, sex-fueled brutes with no consideration beyond their own appetites. I paid attention in class when the teachers taught us that women are equal in every respect. I didn’t buy it. But by God, I was going to force myself. I was going to be a feminists’ wet dream. I was going to listen to all the words coming out of girls’ mouths and process them into intelligible thoughts. Then, I was going to find those thoughts informative and insightful; women don't nag -- they're just trying to help me!

Oh, and I was never going to look at women as sex objects, despite 5 million years of evolution encouraging that very thing. I don’t need to tell you how that plan turned out.

In fact, I wanted to be politically correct in every way. I wanted to purge myself of racial, ethnic or sexual prejudices. I wanted to look at somebody with a different skin color than mine and not think, “You (insert epithet here) bastard!”

I tried so hard to muster the correct attitudes. I even tried to change my diet. I would tell myself how “delicious” healthful foods were while forcing them down my gullet. I told myself I preferred fruit to those nasty, processed junk-foods. Fruit has this delicious, natural sweetness to it that junk food just can’t deliver. And how I “loved” those whole grains. They were so much better-tasting than the refined, white flour you find in pastries, Frosted Flakes and the other processed junk pumping out of factories. I’d much rather eat whole-oat rice cakes than a Pop Tart a la mode. My body thrives on natural foods.

Bullshit!

I was going to think innocently and justly of other people. Then I started following politics.

I was going to save and invest my money. Then I saw how much they take in taxes and at the gas pump. And they don’t just give those Velvet Elvis paintings away.

I was going to go on a diet. Then I discovered the Klondike Bar.

I was going to elevate my taste in entertainment. Then the new Dukes of Hazard Movie came out.

I was going to give each waking hour to industry. But I started blogging.

I tried to get my mind right, to have the right attitude, to think positively and be a good person. I applied little mental coercions to implant the right beliefs. But at some point, my Bullshit Detector always sounds the alarm: “Your job sucks and they pay you a pittance.” “This health food is nasty; send down a candy bar.” “Well, Mr. Nice Guy, you tried being nice. Now it’s time to exact revenge.”

Things haven’t gone well with my quest for self-improvement. Dr. Phil can go fist himself!

1 comment:

Nölff said...

I've discovered midget strippers...

Here's a pep talk:

Together
Everyone
Achieves
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