Dan loses his temper, big time
THE WORLD, AS I SEE IT, MIGHT CHANGE IRREVOCABLY IN THE NEXT SIX HOURS, SO I NEED TO GET THESE WORDS DOWN WHILE I STILL CAN.
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