Fear and Loathing in F19 (Part I)

I lost my buddy Ian last week. [Okay, actually months ago.  That’s the magic of procrastination!] He went on missionary work.  Everyone’s sad that we lost a great asset.  I’m just partly jealous; missionary work?  What do you do in that?  I’m guessing that not only would you need a religion, but you probably have to honestly believe it too.  That disqualifies me on both counts.

I’m quite good at lying, err… masterfully misrepresenting to get a job, but I don’t think I’m that good.  So it’s a job that I’ll never know if I’d be any good at. 

Everyone’s worried about losing a great worker. Willfully ignoring the reality that our biggest loss will be in terms of music.  Who am I going to make mix tapes for now?  Our missionary actually wanted to listen to my proposed ‘all male falsetto’ mix!  I think he actually enjoyed my post-punk, ‘Let’s Party Like It’s 2002 Again!’ mix.  Some parts of it at least.

Sure there were laughs when he’d stop by the office when I was talking with the other team leads and mention:

‘Hey, Tim, I just got some more sick Pagan metal.  Do you want a mix?’

‘Does the Pope shit in the woods?  Of course!’

My peers couldn’t imagine what Pagan metal sounded like, let alone Pagan/Folk/Metal.  As if I knew what it sounded like.  All I knew is that I wanted to know. The fact I didn’t is why I agreed to take a copy.  (I actually had heard of Finn-Troll before, but had never actually heard them.)  Turns out Pagan/Folk/Metal sounds like a choir of non-believing angels.  Heavy angels.

I had originally been mortified when I was first scheduled to work side-by-side with Ian for a week setting planograms.  I already knew him; I had trained him when he started.  I had no problems with him.  The challenge was: could I find enough topics to talk about with him for a week? Readers of this blog probably know I don’t share much with the world by way of references.

We both ride bicycles a lot.  So that’ll cover day one.

It turns out Ian is really into progressive rock.  He complained about missing Queensryche the last time they were in town.  I told him the story about how when I was growing up my brother had two singles cassettes.  One was Queensryche, the other Public Enemy.  I tried listening to the Queensryche one once, but after hearing Chuck D boom, ‘I got a letter from the government the other day/I opened and read it, it said they were suckers,’ there was no going back. 
 
So, as a compromise, I instead told him about the time I saw Battles in Tampa; and how I was in a exhaustion fueled daze throughout the show. 

We then settled on a mutual love for Opeth.

I don’t know how it happens that I’m always the one stuck in these situations.  Here it turned out well.  He worried about talking about music too much.  I laughed and told him if he stopped there’d be silence ‘cuz I have nothing else to talk about.

It doesn’t always turn out so nice.  When I worked pest control I also pulled training duty way too often.  It was tougher there in that you’d literally be locked in a truck with another person for four or five hours a day, all week long.  No matter what your social skill level there’s seriously only so much you can talk about before you hit the famed touble spots: politics and/or religion.

Politics is fine because I’ll take any side just to keep the arguments lively.  Playing ‘devil’s advocate’ is easy for me ‘cuz Satan and I have been tight since high school.

I remember one afternoon getting into it with someone whom my brother later discerned as a ‘libertarian.’  Which sounds way more official than what I was calling him, ‘fucking moron.’  This guy applauded putting more cops on the streets.  He was totally cool with that.  Yet he’d also talk about how he hated obeying speed limits. 

Please reread that.  There’s an obvious contradiction there in the preceding lines.  Can you find it?

He was all for more laws, as long as they didn’t pertain to him.

This argument had been brought on by my mocking of the Christian at the light in front of us.  Who had pro-life bumper stickers holding her car together, yet was speeding through a residential area. 

I merely asked aloud if their god turned his eyes away from potentially dangerous behavior like this.

(By the way, if you’re training for a job where you’ll be given a fleet vehicle to drive – don’t brag about how much you hate speed limits.  That’s a bigger problem than his logic inconsistencies.)

That might’ve been the longest week of my life.

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