Tag Archives: Steve Jobs

Illness: An exposition on gas stations, lawn care, and cute babysitters

I don’t know about you guys, but I hate being sick.  Not because I sit around and wonder if and when I’m just going to die of this plague-like illness.  Not because I contemplate whether or not I should take a nap instead of a shower.  Not even because I’m forced to come to the realization that I might have to curb my nicotine consumption in order to make a speedy recovery.  No, none of those are the reason I hate being sick.  Rather, it’s because you become an asshole, even if you don’t mean to be.

You see, every time you get sick, everything becomes a hassle.  Everything becomes annoying.  Even the slightest inconvenience becomes the harshest tragedy (I need an appointment for you to tell me to hold down the fucking option button when I restart my computer in order to fix it? (Your boss is dead, start thinking for yourself, you pretentious ass)).

Have you ever driven somewhere when you were sick?  It’s probably the worst possible thing you could do.  God forbid that the lights don’t change just because you are the only one at the intersection. And that son-of-a-bitch at the gas station who took the pump that you normally take (not to mention that he’s facing the wrong way), and all but one of the other pumps there are taken so you have to go to the one right in front of the one you normally use, but it’s on the inside part of the pump stations, and the idiot across the center area between the pumps parked really far away from his pump, and there is a car waiting immediately behind the car that took your pump, so there is absolutely no way in hell that guy can possibly even get out of the gas station until you or the person who parked really far away from the pump gets done, but that lady who parked really far away from the pump has three kids that she needs to make sure don’t pee themselves, or accidentally blow up the gas station, or ask why that huge man washing the windshield of his car has such big lady breasts, and you need cigarettes and you’re sick, so tough shit for that guy.  Maybe he shouldn’t have taken my spot.  And don’t even get me started on those fucking do-gooders who give up their right of way so that I can go in front of them, making me look like the asshole as I end up doing the whole kind-of idle my way up through the intersection, but also slamming on the brakes a couple of times because I can’t figure out if they are going or not because whenever I go, they go type of things.  I don’t think you understand how much Robitussin I’ve taken today, so I’m pretty sure you don’t want me making difficult decisions with a hurtling, two-ton rolling chunk of metal.  Just take your goddamn right of way.

Or have you ever had a conversation with someone while sick?  It’s like every single conversation you have with everyone is the same.  It’s like every time someone talks to a person who is sick they just get dumb.  Take, for example, this excerpt of a conversation I had with my mom when I was sick, as I was laying on the couch, covered in a couple of blankets and a box of tissues within arms reach.  My mom walks in and asks, “How are you feeling?”  To which I reply, “Like shit,” as if my general appearance were not enough for her to realize that I was not quite at 100%.  Almost every question anyone asks you when you’re sick seems completely absurd, and is always met with the same bitterness and ugly rhetoric.  “Is there anything I can do for you?”  “Sure, you can go die in a hole.”  “I’m heading out, are you going to be OK here by yourself?”  “No, of course not, I’m fucking 22 years old and can’t handle a cold without someone holding my hand all the way through.”  “Are you going to do anything today?”  “Besides being worthless and dying alone on this uncomfortable couch covered in cat hair?  No.”

But perhaps the worst thing that anyone can do when you are sick is lawn care.  Not necessarily all lawn care, but the kind my neighbor Chad does (I have no problem with the old ladies with hand-held sheers snipping away at elongated stems and branches of their favorite shrubs).  You see, Chad is the kind of guy who has a tool for every occasion.  He’s also the kind of guy who spares no expense.  He does the normal mowing of his lawn, but he does it with what has got to be this, like, 65 horsepower beast that has no business doing nothing but cutting grass.  And then he trims all the edges of the lawn with some massive gas-powered not-so-much-trimmer-as-it-is-chain-saw.  And of course he can’t just leave all the grass and leaves on his lawn, but he gets out his leaf blower and will not stop until every possible loose remnant of organic material is halfway across the street.  And what for?  So his son Landon can run around on it until his older sister pushes him down and he starts to cry like the little five-year-old boy that he is?  So he can fulfill his earthly duty to do manly things?  No.  It’s so he can say, “Look at my beautiful house and property.  Look at what I’ve gotten for my family.”  Please, Chad.  Look at what you’re doing to me.  You are destroying the few precious hours of consciousness today by revving up your motherfucking lawn toys.  You are single-handedly overcoming 4 Advil to give me a headache.  You are making me regret taking Mucinex because now my nose isn’t fully clogged and I can smell the fresh scent of your gasoline fumes and sweat-covered, doughy body.

But I would gladly put my foot in my mouth if what he was doing was for something greater.  If what he was doing wasn’t going to be all for naught in a week.  Because, you see, all lawn care is like what glass ultimately is:  temporary.  He’s just going to have to break out the mower, the chain-saw-like trimmer, and the leaf blower again in a week.  And on top of that, winter will come around.  All the grass is going to die.  And next spring it will start to grow back and he will do all of this shit all over again.  And I will eventually get sick again and get pissed off at him again.  But maybe I won’t.  Maybe I’ll get a real job and move out of this shit-hole city I grew up it.  Maybe someone famous will read my blog and realize that I have talents that need to be brought up to the big leagues.  Maybe Chad will bring back that really cute babysitter from this last summer and maybe I’ll just happen to be doing yard work myself when she is outside playing with the kids.  But then again, screw doing yard work.  And screw being sick.

Take it easy and stay healthy,

-Panda