Saturday, April 20, 2019

Life Is Unfair

If you're new here, this is a weekly column consisting of letters written to my (eventual) grandchildren (who exist) and my great-grandchildren (who don't yet, aka the Stickies) to haunt them after they become grups and/or I'm dead.

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                                  Who The Hell Is This Guy?

Irregularly Appearing Imaginary Guest Stars 
Marie-Louise -- My beautiful muse  
Iggy -- My imaginary Sticky
Dana -- My imaginary Gentlereader

"There is always inequality in life. Some men are killed in a war and some men are wounded and some men never leave the country. Life is unfair."  -JFK

Dear (eventual) Grandstickies & Great-Grandstickies (& Gentlereaders),

I once had this friend, for about a half a minute, whose name was Bob. Bob and I were sorta kinda supervisors (it is, or rather was, as they say, complicated) who worked for a guy that owned a fleet of ice cream trucks in Austin, Texas a very long time ago.

Whenever Bob was confronted with a situation in which it appeared the fix was in, or that justice was not being served, or that life was unfair, or that although he would admit to having been injudicious in his spending habits it wasn't his fault because she... well never mind, but now he was going to have to work an idle ice cream truck for a day or two because the payment on his Z28 was due and he was woefully short of funds -- or the like -- he would utter, in an exasperated and world-weary tone, "It's all a con, man."

"It's a conspiracy, what it is," I would always reply, slowly nodding my head, looking grave. I'd occasionally insert an F-bomb between a and conspiracy if the situation seemed to call for it. Remember, cussing is much more powerful and self-satisfying when exercised carefully and infrequently.

I was not only commiserating with my friend I was subtly expressing my admiration for the... wordplay? double entendre? invoked by the phrase con, man. Bob, by the way, also taught me the words foodage and meatage and the proper way to use them. Respect, Bob.

[For Petra's sake! Where's this crap going? Four paragraphs in and...]

Petra, Dana?

[It's a new world, old man, try and keep up. I repeat, what does any of this...]

...Artful prose have to do with the title of this missive? Well, Bob as it turned out, was a man who was accidentally ahead of his time, or these times, simply because he never joined the cult of victimhood. If it wasn't completely politically incorrect to say so I'd say he chose to be a man.

Life isn't fair. Everyone (well, almost everyone, but that's another letter) eventually figures this out. H. sapiens being H. sapiens, we want to know why. When you logically think it through, it follows that any given random act of unfairness was either just that, completely random, or, some nefarious someone or something must be the reason.

If I'm struck and killed by a meteor while walking out to Casa de Chaos's latest mobile global warming generator to drive a couple of my grandstickies to da'mall, that's just random bad luck -- unless you believe that God or the Devil, or a god or a devil, has it in for me. Personally, I wouldn't take it personally.

Alternatively, if our new(ish) stoved-in, sexed-up station wagon (SUV) -- Messy Momma's decided that she's working hard enough to have earned the right to deserve something other than yet another minivan -- had four slashed tires, obviously me and/or one of mine must have seriously ticked someone off.

Bottom line, life ain't fair. Sometimes it's just randomly crappy, sometimes there's an ascertainable reason, mostly it's a complex mixture of the two and you're never going to untangle the mystery.

Don't see yourself as a victim, Bob didn't, it doesn't help.

After he uttered, in an exasperated and world-weary tone, "It's all a con, man," Bob would sit down, light a cigarette (you should probably skip that part) and wait for his frustration or anger to pass. Once it did, he'd do whatever he needed to do. He'd just deal with it.

Life is unfair, deal with it. Don't whine, choose to be the grownup in the room and just like that you'll change the world for the better. Poppa loves you.

Have an OK day. 
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©2019 Mark Mehlmauer As long as you agree to supply my name and URL and only minimally edit my content (scroll all the way up or down for Creative Commons License) you may republish this anywhere you please.


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