There’s a song by Winger called “Seventeen” that has always been one of my guilty pleasures. Only it used to be a guilty pleasure because it was by one of those one-hit wonder hair bands from the 80s. Named “Winger.” But now I feel guilty for a much dirtier reason with possible legal implications. The flagship line in the song goes “She’s only sevvvennn-teeeeeeeen… Daddy says she’s too young, but she’s old enough for me.” When the time comes, I will belt that line out from the depths of my diaphragm. This was starting to get weird when I was still singing this in my late 20s (Ed note: Please do not use late 20s Dustin as your moral compass. The needle always points the same way). But now I’m 35. I have a lot of friends with daughters. None of them can even see seventeen from their stroller just yet, but they exist and will likely be seventeen someday. My question is severalfold. First, am I allowed to secretly enjoy that song knowing these children amidst their rapid ascent to seventeenhood? And if so, do I need to stop liking it? And when? Additionally, is it already bad that I know all the words to it and I’m 35? And does it help or hurt that I can sing “It’s Rainin Men” with surprising accuracy and pitch? (Ed note: That never helps. Stop asking)
I should start off by saying that I’m glad that I’m not homeless, because you may get confused later. I pass a lot of homeless people in Baltimore on my way to and from work every day. It’s easy to feel sorry for them, especially the ones that are out there day after day. I felt a certain guilt avoiding eye contact on MLK like most chick bartenders do to me every weekend. I even once had to change my CD player off of Man in the Mirror at a stop light because I felt like a hypocrite. But I’ve seen enough episodes of The Wire to know that they’re probably just going to blow it on booze and drugs. So I decided then that if I do give money to the homeless, it will be through a charity (Ed note: total money given to charity so far: $0).
One day, I was on my way back home with a Subway cookie leftover from lunch. I was looking forward to it, but it wasn’t going to break me. There was a beggar wandering down my aisle (Ed note 2: It says something about how many beggars Baltimore has when people call the spaces between cars “aisles”) and I figured this was going to be the day. I’d give him my cookie. And I was going to feel great inside. I had before toyed with the idea of baking this shitty pizza Jen and I hated but had three more of because they were only a buck each, which is probably why they sucked. But that required a lot of foresight and effort. This was easy. And so here he came. I gave him the cookie, still in the bag, completely indiscernible at the time of exchange. And he took it like he was a marathon runner and it was a bottle of water. I didn’t necessarily expect a thank you note or a song of praise, but I think acknowledgement is at least a bare minimum, no matter how down on your luck you may be. And away he went.
I was pissed. Offended, really. I wanted my cookie back from that ungrateful begging fuck. He violated the code. And his sign sucked. And he wasn’t even a regular. Just the right place at the right time to get my awesome cookie. I know they’re not all the same and he shouldn’t be the ambassador of the homeless community to me, but it’s just easier to assume they’re all one organism. Like that group of trees in Utah. And so this one guy with the shitty sign who probably minutes later was trying to sell a chocolate cookie for cocaine, ruined it for everybody. Sorry, skinny lady in the wheelchair. Sorry white dude with the four daughters. I’m baking those pizzas and mailing them to the trees in Utah. I’m more likely to get a thank you note from them. And they probably won’t sell them for coke either.
As I pulled away, I had a thought. I’m probably close to 30 times more in debt than I have possessions. Like if I died and the state sold all my shit and gave that money to Sallie Mae, I’d still need another 29 of all of that crap to split between them and the Bank of America. And that’s a lot of crap. So who the hell do these bums think they are? These people are better off than me. Sure I have a college education, a job and a support unit that would put me up and buy me cocaine so I didn’t have to beg for it. But 30 times? That’s a lot of times the stuff I have. I’m jealous of what these homeless people don’t have. They don’t know how good they don’t have it. I could also probably come up with a much better marketing scheme than those amateurs out there. And it’s their job. If I prepared properly, I’m confident I could make at least more than they do in an average week. Probably more than I do too, if my math is correct. And that’s the money I could give to charity. Our Lady of Saint Sallie, Patron Saint of Unpaid Student Loans.
I took a CPR class last week, which caused me to go instantaneously from not being allowed to intervene in a life or death situation to being legally bound to intervene. All it really means is that I will feel more guilty about my inability to jump start someone’s heart from scratch. But in the interest of CYA, I’ll jump through your little hoops, Red Cross.
We were talking about how there is a lot of intimate contact with a CPR victim and Nick, our resident expert, asked of ways that you might be able to protect yourself from disease…
Quote of the Day 3/29/10
“Wear a condom.”
- Clifton Brown
It’s possible he misunderstood the question, but just in case, he’s still on the list of people not allowed to administer CPR to me.
Finally, after years of petitioning, picketing and writing letters (Ed note: the most he ever did was whine publicly about the subject on his facebook page), the NFL has changed its stance on overtime. The Dustin Fisher “Be the change you want to see in the NFL overtime rule” campaign finally paid off. But I’m not entirely to thank. I believe Gandhi deserves at least a shout-out. Woot to the Zen master!
So the rule used to be 100% complete “sudden death.” Or “golden goal,” if you’re not into all the negative energy surrounding picking on the losing team. The problem with that is that a lot of teams would run the kickoff back to the 40, get two first downs and kick a 40-yard field goal to win the game, without the other team ever touching the ball. This sucked for the team and the fans of the game that don’t believe that field goals should count after the 3rd quarter. Sure, there were arguments made that defense is also a facet of the game and you had 60 minutes to break the tie the first time around and a whole lot of other crap that didn’t make any sense at all. But it was really anti-climactic to see a great game decided without one team even getting to see the ball at all.
So it’s good to see that the Competition Committee decided to get rid of the sudden death aspect of the game. Except during the regular season. Or if you score a touchdown. Well, it’s a start at least, albeit a needlessly complicated one. But it’s good to see the fruits of my efforts did not go in vain. Next up: getting a top put on the goalposts. I’ll let you know when I come up with a catchy slogan title for that. I never honestly thought I’d get this far. Thanks to the Competition Committee, headed by Jeff… wait for it… FISHER. Coincidence? Unlikely.
I started taking my behind-the-counter medication today. This was to be my savior and I feel like just buying it should make me better, especially since I don’t have a prescription plan apparently. I need to pay more attention to stuff. Anyway, I got a cough suppressant and antibiotics. My understanding is that antibiotics are supposed to kill bacteria. After some rudimentary research of bronchitis on Wikipedia, I discovered that less than 10% of bronchitis cases are caused by bacteria. Which means that they may as well be sugar tablets. Or gold stars. I also found that bronchitis has nothing to do with coughing for 14 days straight. I guess I should probably stop going to see a doctor working out of the back of a Chuck E Cheese. So either my doctor is lying to me or Wikipedia is wrong. Or I misunderstood something. And honestly, it’s pretty even money.
My sister says that I should eat some yogurt after taking the antibiotics. This is because antibiotics kill all bacteria and some bacteria is good bacteria, necessary to digest food. Yogurt apparently slows down the killing of the good bacteria or contains some supplemental good bacteria in it or something that helps with the adverse effects of antibiotics. This made a lot of sense because I didn’t understand it. Read that again because it’s written how I meant it. This is the same approach I use to cars and women. So I did that. And I took the magic beans. It shouldn’t be long before I am completely cured, right? Well, last night was my worst yet as far as uncontrollable coughing fits are concerned. It probably wouldn’t be so bad if I didn’t have to breathe the entire night. I think that’s the approach I’m going to implement tonight. Wish me luck.