I have a self-imposed rule I try to follow when dealing with others. It is to say what I mean, mean what I say and not say it mean. That rule does not apply to my thought balloons, however.
I often can’t help what bubbles up there, but fortunately my brain-to-mouth filtration system has been through numerous upgrades.
Here, then, are some of my recent unfiltered thought balloons:
To the server at a local eatery: “The only thing I hate worse than having a server never fill my coffee cup is one who walks by, doesn’t ask if I want more and just pours it in. Once I have achieved the perfect balance of two Splendas and two of the little containers of half-and-half, I want to drain my cup, then start again with the proper ratios. But you’ve thrown off my delicate balance by thoughtlessly schlooshing coffee in when I was only two-thirds done. I can’t do that kind of math in my head! Just for that, your tip will be a brown button, a blue poker chip and a one year Narcotics Anonymous sobriety medallion I found ironically on the ground in front of CVS pharmacy.”
To Hungarian Inventor Ernő Rubik: “Thanks for the Rubik’s cube, that was a cool puzzle you invented. But why the powers that be chose you to design the parking lot of the Fairfield Post Office and that goofy, unnecessary loop the loop to get from Fairfield to Suisun City, I will never know.”
To my neighbor, Carmine: “I am pretending to talk with my brother Kelvin on the phone as I retrieve my mail so you cannot trap me for a half-hour and tell me that same story about when you almost met Elvis in 1972. It was mildly interesting the first 13 times I heard it. Oh, and there is no danger of my phone ringing and blowing my cover as that is a rookie move. Since I have done this so many times to both protect my sanity and not lose precious irretrievable life minutes, I am now a phony phone call professional.”
To the kid sauntering across the street near Walmart: “Pull your pants up, punk.”
To the lady eyeing me in the produce section : “Yes, lady, I’m pretending to know which method – squeezing or thumping – is best in determining the ripeness of respective fruits and vegetables. Actually, I have no idea, but I am a domesticated male who was once a stay-at-home dad and would hate to be mistaken for some clueless guy who is lost in a supermarket and asks stupid questions such as, ‘Um, excuse me. Where can I find the toast?’ I am even thinking of copyrighting my Harlem Globetrotter Ripeness Test that consists of spinning a cantaloupe on my finger, sliding it down the length of both arms and hurling it into my cart with a behind the back pass. The sound of the thud reveals its freshness.”
To the young mother at Edwards Theater: “Enjoying the previews of coming attractions plus the plot, character development and dialogue of the feature presentation are not why I paid to come here and took out a second mortgage on my house to afford snacks at the concession stand. No, I came to listen to your baby cry.”
To the young kid staring at me at Best Buy: “Hey! Haven’t you ever seen a middle-aged black man wearing an Aerosmith T-shirt before?”
To the guy talking to his girlfriend on his cellphone: “Wow. You are quite the conversationalist. I mean, it is a rare person indeed who can go right from talking about his uncle Cedric’s colonoscopy results to a crude, detailed description of sexual things you plan to do with your partner when you get home while using only the segue word ‘so.’ I am doubly impressed with the resonant timbre of your voice, which calls to mind those Orson Welles commercials where he would say, ‘We will sell no wine before it’s time.’ You approximate that subwoofer tone while using your outside voice. Unfortunately, we are inside. In fact, we are inside the library. Moron!”
Reach Fairfield writer Tony Wade at firstname.lastname@example.org.