Dan loses his tem­per, big time

GQ (Australia) - - GQ & A - DAN ROOK­WOOD


My wife loves me just the way I am. But she would love me even more if I were a bet­ter ver­sion of me, if my op­er­at­ing sys­tem was up­graded to fx some bugs. So that’s what’s hap­pen­ing this af­ter­noon. We saw an in­fu­ri­at­ingly atro­cious flm the other night called The An­gri­est Man in Brook­lyn. Ap­pro­pri­ate be­cause we were watch­ing it in Brook­lyn and it was such a sloppy mess of cin­e­matic dog work that it made me re­ally an­gry. Turns out my snide re­marks, de­risory phlegm gar­gling and re­mote-con­trol throw­ing failed to en­hance the sur­round sound ex­pe­ri­ence. “The ti­tle of this flm sums you up – it could be your biopic,” said Sam. I was about to re­tal­i­ate when I re­alised that would re­in­force her point. So I shut up. Usu­ally, dear reader, I am all sweet­ness and light, as I’m sure you can imag­ine. But I have a dark side. I can lose my cool in an in­stant and be­come a ter­ri­ble hu­man, only to fip back to Nice Dan as abruptly, as if noth­ing hap­pened. Sam says I get frus­trated quickly and have no pa­tience and blah blah blah… she doesn’t half bang on. Nasty Dan comes out most pre­dictably when I am on the phone to an im­be­cile at a call cen­tre, es­pe­cially at my bank where they ex­clu­sively em­ploy the stag­ger­ingly in­ept. When they ask if they can put me on hold my re­fex re­sponse is, “No, you can­not”. Tinny muzak trig­gers the re­lease of what­ever hor­mones are re­spon­si­ble for turn­ing some­one into a caus­tic, sar­cas­tic bully. It’s not big and it’s not clever (ever). Hav­ing sapped me of the will to live, these sim­ple­tons al­ways have the lack of self-aware­ness to fnish with the scripted ques­tion, “Is there any­thing else I can do for you to­day?” to which I re­ply, “I sin­cerely doubt it.” “Why do you have to be so rude to peo­ple?” says Sam. It’s a fair ques­tion. Why am I? I could con­ve­niently blame my split per­sona on be­ing a Gemini as this, I’m told, is one of the key char­ac­ter­is­tics of my star sign. But that would be disin­gen­u­ous be­cause I con­sider horo­scopes to be writ­ten for the cretinous and cred­u­lous. And that’s another thing: I am highly scep­ti­cal and sar­donic and for some­one who has such a closed mind, I’m not half shy about speak­ing it. All of which means I’ve sur­prised ev­ery­one, most of all my­self, by agree­ing to at­tend a course on tran­scen­den­tal med­i­ta­tion, start­ing to­day. I know, I know. Un­til re­cently I’d have sooner cro­quet-mal­leted a knit­ting nee­dle into my left eye­ball than sit in some semi-veg­e­ta­tive state hum­ming a repet­i­tively mind­less mantra. Like the id­iots at my bank’s call cen­tre. The rea­sons I’ve signed up are the stuff of a fu­ture col­umn but it’s mainly be­cause I want to try to be less of a dick – some­one who tuts and sighs and rolls their eyes less. But be­fore I un­dergo an anger lo­bot­omy and turn into a blissed-out, Bs-talk­ing hippy, I’d like to have one lengthy vit­ri­olic rant – be­cause it’s good for the soul to oc­ca­sion­ally let it all out. So here, in no par­tic­u­lar or­der, is a list of the stuff that gets right on my man-tits. Start­ing with... the spin­ning beach ball of death cur­rently on my com­puter screen. Slo­gan T-shirts. Cara Delev­ingne’s face-pulling. Geo­met­ric fa­cial hair. Wire coat hang­ers. Cof­fee shop chains. Rat’s tails. Au­to­mated “We apol­o­gise for any in­con­ve­nience caused” an­nounce­ments which put the an­noy in Tan­noy. Justin Bieber. Mus­cle T-shirts. The choke­hold of West­feld shop­ping malls on lo­cal and in­de­pen­dent stores. Selfe sticks. Obese peo­ple binge-eat­ing junk food. Click­bait head­lines (‘43 Dog Turds That Look Like Rus­sell Brand’; ‘You Won’t Be­lieve What This Baby Says To Her Filipino Nanny’). ATM ser­vice fees. The fact a cup of English Break­fast costs the same as a fat white when it’s JUST A TEABAG IN HOT WA­TER. Night­club bounc­ers. Kyle Sandi­lands. White peo­ple with corn­rows. Driz­zle. Mis­used apos­tro­phes. Ooh, this feels good. There’s more: Wind­sor tie knots. Chi­nese sym­bol tat­toos (I hope they all trans­late as some­thing like ‘look at this flthy tramp stamp’). Ap­ple chang­ing its charger ports thus blithely ren­der­ing ex­pen­sive ipod speak­ers ob­so­lete overnight. Yappy dogs – specif­cally the one that lives op­po­site, who is in par­lous dan­ger of be­ing fed a lax­a­tive-laced steak through the let­ter­box. (Just kid­ding, RSPCA. It’ll ac­tu­ally have a lethal seda­tive wedged in it.) Ev­ery episode of Sex and the City. Crocs. Ring­tones – specif­cally ‘Marimba’, which is my alarm clock and thus the au­di­tory def­ni­tion of a killjoy. The an­thro­po­mor­phism of inan­i­mate ob­jects. Those trumped-up pedants in fuoro vests who hand out park­ing tick­ets for a liv­ing. Mosquitoes – they suck, lit­er­ally and metaphor­i­cally. Which brings me on to peo­ple who use port­man­teaux like ‘chillax’ in­stead of say­ing, ‘chill out and re­lax’. Se­ri­ously, guys. Don’t. And what about those who say ‘hash­tag’ and do the sym­bol with their fngers? They’ll be sec­ond against the wall when the revo­lu­tion comes – af­ter peo­ple who pop­u­late texts with emo­jis. What’s wrong with ac­tual words? At this rate, I could keep go­ing all day. I won­der if they’ll mind at the tran­scen­den­tal med­i­ta­tion class? n

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