Outrage

By Richard Cox

Rants

In a little while I have to go outside and haul six giant lawn bags from my back yard to the street. The bags are full of leaves and some pruned tree branches and they aren’t all that heavy, but that doesn’t make me dread it any less. It’s fairly downhill from my back yard to the street. There is a strip of grass all the way to the curb, so I don’t really have to carry them. I could just drag them down there. Tomorrow morning the bags will be magically whisked away to raked leaf heaven, and still I’d rather complain about having to move them forty feet to the curb than actually do it.

Earlier I went to the grocery store and they were out of local honey. All they had in stock was a slick national brand harvested in a faraway place, and for all I know it’s not even honey but high fructose corn syrup with glue in it, the product of an evil, shadowy agribusiness scientist whose entire purpose on this planet is to genetically engineer foods that are addictive and make me fat when I eat too much of them. As you can tell I’m pissed off about the honey. About the store being stocked full of 3.8 million food items I might want to buy but being out of the kind of honey I definitely want to buy. The nerve.

On the way to the store the streets were packed with cars and trucks and SUVs. There were too many to count. Where the hell are all these people going? There are twenty four hours in a day. We don’t all have to take the same two hours out of every day and jump on the road together, do we? The guy in front of me was driving a giant pickup truck, red and shinier than a brand new Porsche, and it should be clear to anyone who cares that he’s never hauled so much as a screwdriver in the bed of that thing. There is a cover over the bed, for heaven’s sake. How dare he have the opinion that a pickup truck is nice-looking and might be purchased for any reason other than pure utility?

And even when the roads are empty, like late at night or in the middle of nowhere, I’m always too far away from where I want to be. Last year I drove to Wichita Falls on a storm chasing expedition, and when the chase turned out to be a bust, I was five hours from home. Five hours! So on the way back, in the middle of nowhere Oklahoma, I got a bit of a lead foot. Maybe it was my choice to drive all the way to Texas but that doesn’t mean I should have to spend five hours on an empty highway going home. Somewhere between the Red River and Lawton I reached 135 miles an hour before I decided I was being an idiot. What’s the big rush to get home? So I can sit there and sulk about not seeing a tornado?

But I have every right to sulk. When I storm chase I connect my laptop into one of the power outlets in my car and hook it to a GPS receiver that is plugged into the other power outlet. Then I use a wireless card to connect my laptop to the Internet. Software on my computer overlays weather radar with a road map, it tells me how fast the storms are going and how fast I’m going and allows me to plot an intercept course. It tells me if storms are rotating and if they are producing hail. The software does everything but drive me to the damned storms, but then I cross the Red River and that’s when I find out my phone carrier doesn’t offer rural data service in northwest Texas. So I have to actually look for the storms, like out my window, and I have to place a phone call to someone and ask them to look at the radar. I mean I’m in the middle of nowhere and I have this little flatscreen computer phone that makes it possible for me to call anyone in the world, but that’s not enough. There is no data service out here for the love of God.

My car is smart enough to talk to my iPod and pipes all my playlists into a fancy display on the dash, but the menus take too long to navigate. I guess it’s my fault because I had the nerve to load 4,000 songs on there. 4,000 songs that I’m totally bored with. Hundreds of thousands of hours of blood and sweat tears by musicians I’ve never met and I can’t find a single song on the damned iPod that I want to listen to.

And while I’m driving back I can’t decide if I’m hot or cold. I tinker with the interior climate of the car by individual degrees. And the road is too bumpy. I look out on the prairie and I imagine people trying to cross the land on horses or in wagons, with no smooth asphalt, unimaginable discomfort caused by life-threatening conditions in the Old West, and I’m frustrated because the only restaurant on the turnpike is McDonald’s.

This weekend I’ll play golf and probably shoot a pretty good score, but I’ll be upset whenever any shot doesn’t go exactly where I want. I’ve only been playing for twenty-five years. Why haven’t I figured this out yet? It’s not rocket science.

And speaking of rocket science, why haven’t we sent a man to Mars by now? This is 2010. We were supposed to find that big black alien rectangle by Jupiter nine years ago, but the reality is we haven’t even traveled to the closest planet yet. We’re supposed to be flying around in DeLoreans propelled by fusion engines that run on trash, not arguing over where to dig up more fossil fuels. And if you really want to piss me off, ask me why there is no such thing as a real lightsaber.

How come everything isn’t exactly as I want it? Whose fault is this?

I’m outraged!

Aren’t you?

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RICHARD COX is the author of The Boys of Summer, Thomas World, The God Particle, and Rift. He can be reached on Facebook or at his personal web site, www.richardcox.net.

192 responses to “Outrage”

  1. Anon says:

    I have had one cup of tea and no breakfast so, sadly, I cannot muster the energy to be outraged on your behalf. Which, in itself, is somewhat outrageous. I’m able to stir up some grumbling grumpiness, though. And I’m scowling. I’ll try again after I reach hyper-caffeination mode and nuke this omelete.

    • Richard Cox says:

      You don’t have to be outraged on my behalf. Just be outraged about something.

      In fact, tell me exactly what outrages you. Besides running out of Jameson.

      • Anon says:

        I am about to head into my second meeting of the day. I have three and half more fucking hours of them this afternoon. There’s a good place to start. I’m certain I’ll add more in about thirty-three minutes….

        • Anon says:

          This is rather sad. I’ve gone right past “outraged” to “thoroughly disgusted”. It’s like missing your exit. Now I have to drive another goddamned thirty miles to the next exit, get off the turnpike, get back on going the other way and then drive all the way back just to find the Outrage offramp.

          DAMMIT!!!

          Oh, here’s one. I am not a “desk guy” and the whole “selfless, patient, nurturing” thing is utterly unnatural to me. I’m more of a physically active, out-among-the-people, “self-absorbed, charmingly manipulative, do-exactly-what-I-say-and-no-one-gets-hurt” kind of guy. Yet, each day, I sit – completely unproductively – behind a desk I loathe to support a family that adores me and thinks I’m Captain Wonderful, Solver of Everything. What’s to be outraged about, you ask? THEY’RE WONDERFUL!! I have to do all this unnatural, touchy-feely, good guy shit and they utterly negate my potential bitterness!! WTF, man?!? The least they can do is be whiny, bitchy and unappreciative of my self-sacrificing! Totally lame of them….

          Ah, another. I am outraged by the fact that I am rarely believed when I tell the truth, which is just about always (I may spin and often conceal but rarely flat-out lie – there’s just no challenge in it). Apparently, so I am told, I am funny. As though this should make me less credible. I give meeting statuses like “I read email, posted comments on the Web, revised another chapter of my novel and drank espresso all day” or “My plan for the day is to frame Ryan for my complete lack of testing on this project” or “See this pen? When I’m finally diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, my first order of business will be to use it to kill you and you aaannndd… you.” And they laugh. Ha, ha, ha. Because I’m freaking funny. Yeah…. Better hope Funny Man doesn’t start getting mystery migraines.

        • Richard Cox says:

          Now that’s more like it. There’s hardly anything worse than someone being appreciative of a thing you hate to do. The nerve of their sunny dispositions and gratitude for something you find so pointless and beneath you.

          Forgive me for doing this again (second time in the same post…the outrage) but there’s a bit in my upcoming novel you might like about a disaffected office dude.

          “Working in a cubicle at a job you hate has always seemed vaguely bizarre to me. In theory you are providing food and shelter for you and your family, but from moment to moment it sure doesn’t seem that way. It seems more like you are just a cog in a wheel that would roll on with or without you. I sometimes wonder if cavemen ever felt this disaffected. I bet they didn’t. Can you imagine them standing in the trees, debating the merits of hunting for food? Me either.”

          The ironic thing is he does get mystery migraines. I’m not kidding!

        • Anon says:

          Richard, that is very interesting and a little disturbing. Listen, I’m not espousing any theories or anything but… um…. Might you be willing to write as scene in which this fellow buys a Powerball ticket and hits the jackpot? Sole winner, of course. And write it before tomorrow night’s drawing, if you would.

          Just… you know… to check something.

        • Richard Cox says:

          What numbers do you want me to use? 4 8 15 16 23 42?

        • Anon says:

          Hm. You know, mane of hair aside, I’d make a very effective Sawyer. You know, assuming the whole damned family wasn’t on the plane with me at the time. God – how lame would that be for me…?

        • Richard Cox says:

          That’s a bold statement, Anon. Sawyer spends a lot of time with his shirt off and his chest oiled. I used to be outraged by him but his quips eventually sort of won me over. But I still think Kate should end up with me.

          I mean Jack.

        • Jude says:

          Outrage is Sawyer’s middle name…

        • Anon says:

          Sarcastic, obnoxious, good at making up nicknames on the fly, derives pleasure from making people squirm a little, “self-directed” but ends up doing the right thing more often than not – so far, I could do it justice. And I have no qualms about being shirtless in the heat but the oiled-up thing… mmmm, not s’much. Too much Sicilian blood in me, even if the Irish keeps me from having a full-on man pelt. On net, though, I could pull it off.

        • Simon Smithson says:

          Anon: you’re Sicilian and Irish blooded?

          Jesus.

          Your veins must be a war zone.

          (just call me Captain Stereotype)

        • Anon says:

          Yeah, Sicily & Calabria on my father’s side, Belfast and Armagh on my mother’s. I was thinking of getting a tattoo that read, “Born to carbomb” but then learned that predisposition does not equate to predestination.

        • Anon says:

          GAH! More meetings, more outrage. Richard, your character is welcome to use my last outburst: “Gentlemen, I have no use for ‘should’ – it’s too cowardly for ‘will’ and too ingratiating for ‘won’t’. Take a damned position and mean it.”

        • Erika Rae says:

          Born to carbomb. Bwahahaha!

  2. Becky says:

    You chase tornadoes?

    That is seriously the sexiest thing since Erika’s story.

    Fucking RAD.

    My clutch squeaks. And I was forced to stare at the back of a HIDEOUS, uber-mod cubemobile all the way to work. It was being piloted by a preemptive braker. Torture. Firey, firey rage.

    I almost ran my shiny, red F150 right up her dangerously overly-cautious tailpipe.

    The bed of my F150 is currently filled with copper; we take it camping and pull a boat and drive our friends places in blizzards. I am a righteous truck owner.

    • Richard Cox says:

      I’ve heard storm chasing described as many things, but this may be the first time it has been associated with sexy. Awesomeness.

      I do chase storms. The season is rapidly approaching and it’s only a matter of time before I am speeding toward towering thunderstorms that will likely refuse to deploy a tornado in my presence.

      Preemptive brakers outrage me. The best option is NOT always slower. I could have gone on for hours about outrageously bad drivers but who wants to read a thousand words about that?

      I’m not a big fan of pickups but I see the point when you haul things or pull things. All the men in my family have one but me. However, I suppose people like what they like and it’s not my place to judge.

      Or is it??

      • Becky says:

        Does it matter if it is? Would it stop you? Or any of us?

        I mean, we’re human.

        “I live in Minnesota” is my all-time, infallible truck-driving excuse. Not only is there severe winter weather to contend with, there’s the outdoor culture issue. Boating, camping, and, in my case, horses. I have not yet pulled a horse trailer with this vehicle, but it is likely that I will at some point.

        A lot of people retire their pickups/4wds in the summer. But those are people who can afford two cars in the first place.

        “I live in MN” is also my excuse for calling tornado-chasing sexy. We get some wicked summer storms up here. We are used to and fascinated by severe weather in general. SW Minnesota gets hit hard at least every other year by multiple tornadoes–towns flattened. And then you see a bunch of Scandinavians on the evening news, oddly amused, standing around scratching their heads going, “Boy, I tell ya, dat was somethin’ else. Heh.”

        • Richard Cox says:

          My favorite thing about the pickup truck/4×4 winter weather argument is people who fly down the road at breakneck speeds on ice or in the snow. Four-wheel drive gets you going and keeps you from getting stuck, but it does not stop you much faster, if at all. But many of the people who drive them think they are behind the wheel of a tank.

          I don’t know if tanks have steering wheels. But you know what I mean.

          I may post something about the Wichita Falls April 10, 1979 tornado later in the week. Possibly on April 10. In my opinion that is the most devastating tornado ever to hit a populated area. Although Xenia, Ohio had a pretty bad one and so did Moore, Oklahoma.

          Speaking of Scandinavia, check out this tornado footage in Sweden. It’s a tiny tornado but it still packs a punch, and maybe that guy shouldn’t have his kid in the car.

        • Becky says:

          4wd cannot stop you faster or more safely on its own in snow, but 4wd + a manual transmission can.

          Ice is something totally different than snow. And what do I have to stop for, unless some pansy Beemer is puttering along in MY tank lane? 😉

          But let’s not fight.

          That Swedish guy had no idea what he was doing. I don’t think he meant to do that.

          The thing had JUST passed him and gets out of the car? Get a stick through your skull that way. And Felix: “I did not love that!” No shit, eh kid? It stripped a 4-inch tree, busted it in half, about 10 feet from their car.

          That guy was kind of a jackass.

        • Richard Cox says:

          “I did not love that!” Classic. I hope Felix grows up to be a comedian. Such the deadpan irony.

          One thing I would like to see someday is a snow tornado. Unfortunately the meteorological conditions favorable for supercell development are in fairly direct contrast with snow. There is the occasional exception of convective snows where you hear a rumble of thunder, but the chances of a rotating supercell in conjunction with surface level freezing temperatures are near zero.

          Which is just ridiculous.

        • Becky says:

          I didn’t even know such a thing was possible, but now that I am, I am incensed that I have never seen it. Furious. This is unacceptable.

        • Richard Cox says:

          Oh, I think it’s pretty close to impossible. But not completely. Hence, I understand your fury, and I share it.

        • Becky says:

          Come to think of it, I haven’t even seen a water spout.

          We should really have those here, all things considered.

          We probably do, and I just haven’t seen one.

          BUNK!

        • Matt says:

          I’ve seen a waterspout. It pissed me the hell off.

        • Richard Cox says:

          Wikipedia says “Although rare, waterspouts have been observed in connection with lake-effect snow precipitation bands.”

          That’s almost a snow tornado. Two birds with one stone and all that.

        • Becky says:

          Proof it happens here:

          http://wcco.com/slideshows/leech.lake.waterspout.20.732969.html?rid=1

          Leech is one of our biggest lakes. Looks like there are buds on the trees, so it’s spring and maybe a little chilly, but I would seriously doubt lake-effect snow. You see them in the Gulf of Mexico a lot, too. I don’t think it’s a cold-weather thing.

          Wikipedia LIES! THIS IS AN OUTRAGE!

          Annnnd…I just saw the rocky outcrop in the last photo and recognized it. Sure enough, this was taken from the resort my ex-boyfriend’s parents used to own. Small intertubes world.

      • Irene Zion says:

        We had a tornado in our neighborhood once. We got lucky because another neighborhood was flattened. I woke up and went in the library and asked why it was so bright today? I found out it was because our enormous spruce tree was no longer standing outside the library, but instead across the street in someone else’s yard. Also we lost 2/3 of a huge weeping willow. The lady next door had shingles torn off her roof and they were shoved angled in the lawn in a row, just like they were that way for a joke.

        Did you tell everyone that before a tornado comes the air turns green, if it’s daytime? It does.

        • Richard Cox says:

          Irene, this green sky thing is a hotly debated topic among storm chasers. The common story is as you said, they occur when tornadoes approach. But many chasers claim green skies are caused by light reflections from the hail core of the storm.

          In reality, in studies there have been no causal relationships between the green sky effect and type of severe weather in storms. Check this out from Scientific American:

          “Researchers remain undecided about the exact mechanisms that cause the sky to appear green in certain thunderstorms, but most point to the liquid water content in the air. The moisture particles are so small that they can bend the light and alter its appearance to the observer. These water droplets absorb red light, making the scattered light appear blue. If this blue scattered light is set against an environment heavy in red light—during sunset for instance—and a dark gray thunderstorm cloud, the net effect can make the sky appear faintly green. In fact, green thunderstorms are most commonly reported in the late afternoon and evening, according to Beasley.”

          I’m sorry about the tornado in your neighborhood. It’s terrible when they hit populated areas. Luckily most tornadoes are small and damage only a few structures. Sometimes they are a mile and a half wide and level everything in their paths to the ground. Those storms have the most powerful winds on earth. Almost unimaginable.

        • Irene Zion says:

          Richard,

          We lived in Champaign, Illinois for 23 years. We had tornadoes frequently. Usually they did little damage, thankfully, but every single time it was daylight and there was about to be one in the area, the sky turned green. Scientific American has a good theory. It’s probably true. I’m only telling you that it was a coincidental fact for 23 years of our lives there. Funny.

        • Richard Cox says:

          I’ve seen those skies myself. Last year I saw one that look like emeralds in the sky. Until you’ve seen it, it’s hard to imagine what it looks like.

          None of the storms I saw the green sky with produced a tornado. But they all had hail in them. I thought the hail thing was correct until I read that article. So now I’m confused.

        • Irene Zion says:

          I am totally admitting that there is no science to back me up here.
          I’m just telling you what we saw each time one was around.
          We always thought it was the bellwether of the coming tornado.
          When it got green, we went to the center of the house, since you couldn’t easily have a basement there because of the very high water table.
          The one tornado that actually went through our neighborhood was at night, and I slept through it!

        • Richard Cox says:

          Irene, I would say you should definitely go to the center of your house every time you see the green sky. No sense is taking chances. Probably where you live now there are more storms but less tornadoes. In any case I wouldn’t mess with the green sky, regardless of what the real cause might be.

          Night tornadoes are the worst. You can’t see them. I won’t chase them even with radar in the car.

        • Becky says:

          Irene, I am willing to corroborate the green haze/air/sky thing.

          I don’t know if it’s indicative of a tornado, necessarily, or light refraction (particularly in verdant places like MN and IL, or what, but it’s certainly indicative of one hell of a storm.

          And hell-of-a-storms are where tornadoes usually like to hang out. I always wondered if it had something to do with electricity in the air.

          The greenest haze I ever drove through coincided with my radio cutting to static and me almost biting it at 80 mph around a curve as I tried to get home and to the basement before I was hurled to Oz. Maybe just coincidence, but that kind of sky is ominous, for sure. Clearest recollection: Nothing was moving. NOTHING. Not the air, not the trees…not a single leaf. Creepy as hell.

        • Irene Zion says:

          Becky,

          I didn’t even mention the other-worldly pseudo-tranquility.
          Yes! That was part of the effect.

        • Richard Cox says:

          Irene, this is a bit analogous to our conversation about the differing perspectives at a hospital. The first time I saw the green sky it freaked me out. I’d always thought it was an old wives’ tale, so to be presented with it was unnerving to say the least.

          But now that I chase storms, I see the sky four or five times a year. So the effect of it is somewhat demystified or made less weird because of the regularity with which I see it (and frustratingly don’t see tornadoes.)

          And Becky, if you’re in the path of a tornado, or even a storm close to producing a tornado, the wind dies down ahead of it because you end up in what amounts to an eye of the supercell (thunderstorm).

          In some ways a tornado is a thunderstorm becoming such a powerful area of low pressure that it wraps up on itself. You might think the tornado itself is the center, but the structure of of the thunderstorm produces the unlikely effect you describe. If you have a look at this graphic, just above and to the right of the blue comma is the spot where the wind weakens or dies altogether.

          All kidding aside, if you think a tornado is close, or specifically if you see one, you should only try to outrun it if you are on a highway and are able to drive freely and at a path perpendicular to or away from the tornado. If you’re in traffic, no matter what your brain might tell you, you have to get out of the car and look for a shelter or lie down in a ditch. I know they say this on TV all the time, but if you’re in the car when it hits, you’re toast. At least in a ditch you might avoid most of the flying debris, which is what almost always is the cause of tornado fatalities.

        • Irene Zion says:

          Richard,

          In all these years, we never did see a tornado on the ground. We saw a few in the distance in the sky. It never frightened me; I was just awed by it, but my oldest kid was a basket case and went into total mothering mode and gathered all the kids behind the bar, which was in the center of the house, with loads of pillows and blankets. I’d be outside telling them to relax and enjoy the cool green sky and they’d be screaming at me to come in and huddle with them. I think in this case, my daughter was way smarter than I. We had dust devils, which I always thought were cute little harbingers of doom. We get water spouts out here in Miami Beach, and every once in a blue moon we actually get a tornado. Weird, though, practically never. In Central Illinois the siren was going off all the time.

        • Becky says:

          Richard,

          Indeed I am well aware of basic tornado phenomenon, formation, and safety procedures. But this curve was on a traffic-free rural road about 800 or so feet from my driveway. That is, I would have been lying outside in a ditch less than a quarter mile from a much safer basement. And, frankly, I knew I had time. Just no time for dawdling.

          Anyway, no tornado came of it (they rarely do in the specific part of town where my parents live since they are in one of the deeper terraces of a river valley).

        • Becky says:

          Okay “I am well aware” sounded kind of snotty. But severe weather competency is a perverse matter of pride among Minnesotans.

          (Upon approach of first major blizzard last fall/winter, fb feed was full of “BRING IT ON!” and “Let’s see what you’ve got, old man!!!” and other chest-pounding savagery.)

        • Richard Cox says:

          Becky, I figured as much. If Minnesota is anything like Oklahoma and Texas with regard to severe weather, you’re indoctrinated into the severe weather education early in life.

          That being said, you’d be surprised how many people completely ignore the rules when they’re in their cars. And people still crawl underneath highway overpasses. It’s human nature to want to get out of the way.

          Have you ever seen the video of the news crew that was chased down the highway by a tornado? That’s the one that’s widely credited for the overpass protection idea. I still don’t understand why they just didn’t drive faster. Supercells can’t travel any faster than 70 mph or so, and that’s on the extreme side. Maybe a tornado could do 80. Maybe. But any car ought to be able to go faster than that. The road didn’t look that wet. There was no traffic. I’ve never understood it.

        • Becky says:

          We are indoctrinated. But they tell kids weird things, too, in order to explain tornadoes in a way that kids will accept so they will abide by the rules.

          Like, for example, I was told (or allowed to believe) that you hide in a ditch because tornadoes can’t go up or down hills.

          As if a 10ft-wide ditch would be an obstacle for a tornado. I mean, it’s true, in a sense, with hills that are big enough, but it wasn’t until I was older and had actually SEEN a tornado that I realized the logic behind the ditch-diving strategy was fibbed.

          That said, we are well-informed, but cocky. I think I’ve only ACTUALLY ended up in the basement for any amount of time all of 4 times in my life. It was creepy down there; even the dog wouldn’t go down there voluntarily. I don’t think my dad EVER came down. He was like Irene, standing at the open glider, laughing and going “WOW! This is incredible!” as hail’s coming down and trees are bending over and whole branches are blowing across the yard…

          Like I said, our proximity to the river shielded us a bit, as the valley creates disruptive wind patterns, but I maintain that my father is a lunatic. (He’s from Connecticut. He has lived in MN for 40 or so years, but he still seems to consider our weather a novelty.)

        • Richard Cox says:

          A lot of weather scientists will tell you the disruptive wind patterns of a valley are bunk. Tornadogenesis is a product of winds far enough above the ground that the terrain shouldn’t matter. Tornadoes have run up and down mountains, for instance, and there is a fair amount of agreement among meteorologists that most of these anecdotal stories of towns and regions that are “protected” against tornadoes are only one event away from having their myths dispelled.

          That being said, they could be wrong. But historical weather literature is littered with stories about disruptive wind patterns that tornadoes simply ignore when a proper storm forms there.

          There could also be regional differences that are felt at the local level. For instance in Oklahoma, strong tornadoes are more common in the central and western part of the state than here, and Tulsans seem to think they are protected by the Arkansas River. In reality it has to do with where they dry lines typically set up during the course of the day, which is earlier out west, so the atmospheric conditions are more favorable for big storms. I’m talking the storms that deploy EF4 and EF5 tornadoes. But a couple of years ago we had an outbreak in the eastern part of the state, and there were a couple of EF4’s. It’s only a matter of time before one tears through Tulsa, and then people won’t talk about the river anymore.

          I know what you mean about being cocky. People here are like that as well. Although even here most people look at me like I’m crazy when I tell them I storm chase. But honestly, if you know what you’re doing, there’s almost no danger. The only known death of a storm chaser was a traffic accident that wasn’t related to the weather. You’re sitting there looking at the radar, in the countryside, where there is never any traffic. Well, these days there is traffic from all the storm chasers, but it’s really quite easy to stay out of trouble. I’ve never even been hailed on significantly. You can pretty much tell where the hail core is by looking at the radar, and you just drive out of the way. Or at least I do. I only have one car and it’s not an old beat up pickup. And anyway, if you’re in the hail core you don’t have a very good vantage point to see a tornado. The only problem is sometimes you end up on the wrong side of the storm and unless you want to drive 30 miles around it you have to “punch the core.” But I don’t do that because I don’t want to pay the deductible on my insurance.

          Is this boring yet? If not you should bring your dude down here sometime and go chasing with me.

        • Becky says:

          I’m not saying they could never occur in a valley, only that circumstances are less favorable there. It’s a reduced odds kind of thing. As you note, tornadoes are rare enough under entirely favorable circumstances.

          And the regional/local thing, at least as far as the history of our area goes, doesn’t really bear out, since we regularly get touchdowns within 10-15 miles or less of our house, but those are almost always in the higher, larger terraces (the valley itself is many tens of miles wide, in the geographical scheme of things, with terraces getting wider and elevation drop-offs less severe as you get away from the river). North and west of the river–where all the farms and flat land are–is where all the tornadoes we’ve ever had in my lifetime have occurred.

          Mud and rockslides, on the other hand…

  3. Joe Daly says:

    >>We don’t all have to take the same two hours out of every day and jump on the road together, do we? <<

    This could be the most important question of the modern era. The solution to traffic and commuting problems isn’t more lanes and faster highways- it’s simply divvying up people’s work hours. The implications are staggering!

    And yeah, life would be so much more bearable if everyone else would just get out of the way and let me do my own thing. Unless I need their help with something. Then they should put aside everything they’re doing and focus on me.

    • Richard Cox says:

      I’ve spent too much time thinking about this considering no one listens to me. But with the Internets at our disposal, many jobs (including mine) could be accomplished mostly from home. Think of the money and time we waste and the pollution and traffic we cause simply to transplant our computers from one location to another, all so the management staff can feel comfortable when they walk by your desk that you are actually there. They can’t really tell if you’re working since your monitor faces away from them, but just seeing you sitting there comforts them. And they can’t do that if you are diligently working at home.

      • Irene Zion says:

        Victor decided to change car insurance companies.
        We got levied fines from the new company.
        We had to get our cars inspected, but they didn’t tell us.
        So I call the place that inspects cars; it isn’t close.
        I say can I bring my car over now and get it inspected for car insurance?
        He says to come right on over.
        I drive and drive and when I get there the guy says he can’t inspect my car because the forms didn’t come.
        I say
        why not ask them to fax you the forms?
        He says no can do. Forms have carbons.
        I drive and drive and go home.
        Today, the guy calls to say he has the forms.
        I drive and drive, but he says the car is in my name but the insurance is in Victor’s name.
        No can do. Again.
        I call Victor.
        Guy calls Insurance.
        He says okay he can do.
        Wants to know my mileage.
        I show it to him.
        He says that can’t be my mileage.
        I say it is my mileage.
        He says that must be a trip mileage.
        I say I don’t drive much except for volunteering, that is the real mileage.
        He doesn’t believe me.
        I go to the big boss.
        I tell him that is my real mileage and I’ve driven and driven TWICE to get this stupid inspection.
        He says all right already.
        Makes out the form.
        I ask him how much he makes from the insurance company for doing this.
        He says three bucks a car.
        I felt better then.
        He had a worse day than I.

        • Irene Zion says:

          I am outraged.
          I did NOT press comment.
          I was NOT finished my rant.
          It appeared fully published, whilst the comment was
          SIMULTANEOUSLY
          being written down below.
          This is outrageous to the nth degree.
          I protest!

        • Richard Cox says:

          Hahahaha. You have every right to be outraged! So were you able to finish it, or is the above comment only the interrupted thought?

          That round-and-round crap you experienced with the inspector is the worst. It’s the kind of overwhelming absurdity that makes you want to strangle the guy. And then the person on the other side looks at you like you’re the one who is nuts. So outrageous.

  4. Matt says:

    I’m too outraged to articulate a proper comment. Apoplectic, even.

    Gonna go outside now and hurl obscenities at the sky while violently shaking my fist.

  5. Mary says:

    I am super outraged. I would write a complaint letter, but I’m not sure where to send it. God (or whatever he’s calling himself these days) can expect some very angry prayers from me in the days to come.

    • Richard Cox says:

      Just put it in an envelope and address it to God and drop it in the mailbox. See what happens. On the return address, write Margaret instead of Mary and maybe a local television station will come to interview you.

      When the interview begins, look into the camera and say “Hello, God. It’s me, Margaret.” Your name is Mary so you could tell them it’s really Margaret. They’d want to believe you. People are gullible.

  6. I’m not outraged. I’m all for the random storms plopping themselves in front of me from time to time, even when they’re in the shape of a woman.

  7. James D. Irwin says:

    I’m outraged. This post has bumped my post off the front page!

    Life is full of silly, minor frustrations. I try not to be bothered by them, or at least try not to act bothered by them. But lord how I am bothered! Everytime my internet ‘stops responding’ I unleash a torrent of verbal abuse that would make Tony Montana blush…

    • Richard Cox says:

      Don’t you hate that? Being bumped off the front page? One thing that outrages me is when I post something and two seconds later someone posts again. Today I inadvertently did that to David. He’ll probably never speak to me again and I will be outraged by that.

      Oh, and you mention computer unresponsiveness. That makes me want to strangle kittens. And I like kittens, even though many people find that completely outrageous because they prefer dogs.

      • Anon says:

        I’m outraged by your kitten-strangling impulse. It’s unnecessarily cruel and wasteful. A good five-pound hammer to the head would suffice, is reusable (though all these “save the planet” weenies drive me right over the edge… in 4WD) and doesn’t tip them off, avoiding any adrenaline-dumping that might sour the meat.

        Simply outrageous.

        • Richard Cox says:

          Ball-peen or claw hammer?

          Never mind. The idea of hammering kittens is disturbing. I will go on record here and now and tell everyone who reads this that I like cats. Especially when they’re kittens!

          I know, I know. It’s outrageous. I like dogs, too, so fuck off!

        • Anon says:

          I am outraged, sir, at your outrage! It is a sad day, indeed, when a man cannot go online and discuss pussy-hammering with complete strangers without drawing condemnation. This is precisely why teh Intarwebz were designed.

          Outrageous, indeed!

        • Becky says:

          What are cats for? They leech off your resources, don’t even like you half the time, their best trick is shitting in a box, and you can forget about them ever doing anything useful.

          Cats cause me acute perturbation. Cats are outrageous. I would like to lodge a complaint against the very notion of cats.

          I can get you a dog, same size, just as cute, who will like you, do as it’s told, and potentially even fetch your slippers for you, all without giving you hives or a bunch of shitty attitude.

          Fucking cats.

          Fuck you, cats.

        • Richard Cox says:

          Nice wolf, cat woman.

        • Becky says:

          It’s true that I don’t like cats, though.

          In addition to aforementioned grievances, I’m emphatically allergic. To most house cats, anyway. I’ve never tried snuggling a big cat. I’d be willing to try.

      • James D. Irwin says:

        not only have I been bumped off, but I’m not even in the subsection! This is the very definition of outrage!

        It happens to me every time. The last post actually three people posted immediately after I did. It was Sunday for fuck sake!

        • Richard Cox says:

          I saw that. The fucking nerve of those other posters. Don’t they know Sunday is reserved for people who want their titles to enjoy sole possession of the top spot for at least a couple of hours?

          I’m probably not supposed to tell you this, but WordPress has a function whereby posts written by James Irwin set off a trigger that emails all the other contributors of TNB. Anyone who has a piece ready to go is compelled to immediately post it. So it’s no wonder that happens to you all the time.

          If it were me, James, I would be outraged by this.

        • James D. Irwin says:

          Back on the old version of the site the ideal time to post was a Tuesday morning— traffic tended to be slow on fridays, mondays and over the weekend.

          I knew it was a conspiracy! I knew it! But if the X-Files is anything to go by it’ll only be a matter of hours before you’ll have ‘vanished’ and this comment will be burned down by the government…

          And I’ll be back to square one…

      • Tawni says:

        Richard: you were at 100% with me, but you just magically moved up to 110% for confessing that you like cats. I looooove the kitties. Love them. I think they’re awesome. There’s some weird thing I’ve sometimes encountered in the Midwest where guys feel like they have to dislike cats to be cool or tough (or something) that totally freaks me out. Like my husband’s entire family hates cats for no apparent reason. It pisses me off at family gatherings when they talk about hurting cats, even jokingly. WTF? None of them has ever even HAD a cat, they just hate them because I guess that’s what you do? Sigh.

        I also like dogs, and never understand why people have to be a dog person or a cat person. The best cats I’ve had have been really friendly, affectionate and outgoing cats. I’m good at choosing them. Maine Coons and orange tabbies often have this personality, in my experience. When we move up to a bigger house someday, my husband has promised to let me get a cat (and a dog). I’m already excited.

        • Becky says:

          According to my sister, the reason people split so cleanly, or fall to one side or the other on the dog/cat issue, is that all people are either dog or cat people.

          This is her theory.

          Not in the sense that they like dogs or cats, but in the sense that they ARE LIKE dogs or cats.

          According to her, I am a cat person (despite preferring dogs) because my behavior, attitude, personality, social style, etc, are cat-like.

          Also according to her, the fact that I prefer dogs is related to, potentially, at least three things, in order: 1) I am in denial about my true, essential cat-nature 2) Cat people and dog people tend to seek out their opposites as a means to balance and 3) I’m allergic to cats.

          This goes beyond preference for animals, though. Many (though not all…no theory is perfect), apparently successful married couples are dog/cat pairings. My husband is definitely a dog person. Laid back, playful, unbothered, etc.

        • Anon says:

          I don’t actually hate cats at all but I don’t care to own one, mostly, because it’s a size thing (shut up!). Seriously. I like pets that I can rough-house with without fear of hurting them, which usually translates to medium-to-large dogs. Except for the fact that they would eat me, I would gladly be a “cat person” if big cats were an option – cougars, tigers, lions….

        • Becky says:

          I don’t actually hate them either. In fact, I like kittens.

          But at the end of the day, I need a buddy. I’m a hang-out-with-your-pet type, and I don’t hang out in the house.

          It needs to go places. Be social. Roll in dead fish. Enjoy my company. Be enthusiastic about life.

          One bitchy apathist in the house is plenty.

        • Matt says:

          I like cats just fine, and usually get along with other people’s cats swimmingly. But every cat I’ve (read: girlfriend or sister) owned has been a total asshole. The kind that jumps on your face while you’re sleeping.

          I’m down with dogs, all the way.

          Though every time someone mentions the cat v. dogs debate, I think of that quote of Winston Churchill’s: “A dog looks up to you, a cat looks down on you, but a pig will look you right in the eye.”

          He was probably drunk. But the man had a point.

        • Tawni says:

          @Becky: Your sister’s theory is interesting. I have a solid cat-like personality and my husband is as doggy as they come. We totally fit. I tend to prefer cats because I am like a cat: I get tired of a dog being needy and constantly following me around. And the jumping and the slobbering. I like big, calm dogs. Cat dogs. Buuuuut… now that I have a child, it’s kind of too late to avoid needy following, jumping and slobbering, so I have decided to just embrace my new lifestyle and get a dog too. (:

          @Anon: It’s always a size thing, isn’t it? Haha. I love big dogs too. I don’t understand the little dogs thing at all, at least not the excessively yappy little dogs thing. (I suppose having a quiet, small dog would be kind of like having a very friendly, high-maintenance cat.) When I get a dog someday, I want a big one. There is a German shepherd rescue here that I’ll be keeping my eye on in the future. I’m a really jumpy person and a light sleeper, and I think a medium-to-big dog would also offer the bonus of making me feel more safe.

          @Matt: In my life thus far, I’ve been blessed with three amazing cats. One was also a Maine Coon. He was huge and fluffy, with cute furry lynx-like tufts on his ears. He would bravely defend the house if someone tried to bring a dog over; I saw him puff up and charge a dog more than once. He was unbelievably friendly and outgoing. Every night when I went to bed, I’d pull open the covers, and he’d crawl in and turn around facing away from me so I could hug him like a stuffed animal, with his face on my pillow. He stayed there until I fell asleep every single night. I pick good cats. You’d love my cats.

        • Anon says:

          In fairness, yappy dogs make good alarms. Hardly a deterrent or protector but they have better hearing than humans and revel in their Napoleanic challenging (ruh-roh – size again :D). Of course, I have some rural friends who swear by domesticated geese for the same reason – very territorial and damned loud – but they don’t exactly blend in more urban settings.

          Your GSD reference has made me a little sad, though. I lost my ten-year-old big guy to cancer just before St. Patrick’s Day. Great dogs, all around, and we’ll get another… eventually.

        • Richard Cox says:

          Thanks, Tawni. I don’t get what hating cats has to do with manliness, either. But for that matter, I don’t know how manliness has to do with driving pickups or preferring beer to wine or liking one color over another.

          I mean the truest measure of manliness is how many sperm you produce, I guess? Or how powerfully your genes assert themselves, or how much stronger you are and can protect your fair maiden from marauders?

          I can drive a golf ball 300 yards on average and once hit it 460 yards. Does that make me manly? Lucky? A freak of nature?

          If I bench press a certain amount, does that make me manly?

          All I know is I like cats. And dogs. I’m neither a cat nor a dog person.

          What’s the theory on that?

        • Becky says:

          Richard, I haven’t met you, so it’s tough for me to say, but I have only met a very small handful of people who didn’t fit clearly into one category or another. There is a sliding scale involved, but the center is not very densely populated.

          My immediate guess is that you’re a dog person(ality)–you’re not particularly volatile, you’re friendly, fairly diplomatic and polite. While cats sometimes end up being “polite,” it’s usually because they are actually being aloof and trying to keep people at arm’s length, which is something else entirely.

          If you are a dog personality, then it is not too surprising at all that you like both cats and dogs. Generally speaking, dogs like most everybody.

          Palani is an example of an exception to this, since he is a dog person who HATES cats (way more than me), but I think he picked up that prejudice from me, or in retaliation for the negative effects cats have on me (allergies), in which case it would be very dog-like, as it would be a prejudice that is protective of his companion.

        • Tawni says:

          @Anon: I’m sorry you lost your big guy to cancer. That just sucks. 🙁

          I’ve heard of the geese working as farm alarms too. Geese have terrified me since I tried to feed one as a kid. Ouch.

          My dream dog is an all-black German shepherd. The breed seems consistently calm and protective, which is my ideal dog personality. If I’m taking on the care and poo-cleaning duties involved with adopting a dog-child, I want a pack member who is going to protect our house and defend my four-year-old from bad guys, not just yip at them in a mildly annoying manner. (:

        • Becky says:

          And Anon, that is the big downside to larger dogs–shorter life expectancy. Though cancer doesn’t seem to discriminate. My 14 year-old, 30-lb Lab/Sheltie mix is a two-time cancer survivor. A bit of a miracle dog in that regard. Two of the worst periods in my life were when she was “sick” (though she was never gravely ill), trying to decide what to do and what not to do about it. The first time, she was 8, so we went with the surgery and they took a huge chunk of skin off her rump. The second time, she was 11, so we had the tumor removed, since it was obstructing her vision, but opted not to let them take the whole eye. We basically decided to make her comfortable and let it go at that. Very much against the odds, removing the tumor only (with no broader margins) seems to have done the trick. Of course, now she’s almost totally deaf, going blind and somewhat senile, so the question lingers whether or not we did the right thing, but as long as she isn’t in pain, I’m at peace with it.

          Anyway, I know that terrible situation and the decisions that accompany it too well, so I’m so so sorry about your “big guy.” My close friends have two wonderful GSDs, and I know what incredible, loyal companions they can be.

          Palani and I are, absolutely, herding dog enthusiasts, though we tend to prefer medium-sized breeds. We’re looking into local Border Collie and Australian Shepherd rescues more and more these days. After I’m done with school, I’m thinking of taking up frisbee or agility or something. Just looks like too much fun to be going on without me.

        • Anon says:

          Interesting – some cancers do seem to discriminate. He died of hemangiosarcoma, which can affect all dogs but, from what I’ve read since, appears in GSDs at triple the frequency of any other breed. It’s a mean bastard, too – usually no symptoms present until it’s in advanced stages and sudden death is frequently the first (and last) indicator. My guy went from healthy on Friday to lethargic on Saturday to back to normal on Sunday morning to dying in my arms Tuesday morning.

          Ironically, we have a Black Lab mix that was diagnosed with bone cancer in the ball of her femur back in 2007 when she was six. The only hope they could offer was, if we amputated the leg and took part of the hip as well, a maximum of ten months before the cancer metastasized to the lungs. We elected not to cut, gave her a single dose of radiation… and she’s perfectly fine now. We x-ray annually and had it done this past Tuesday – no cancer. Guess only one miracle dog per household is the rule. :/

        • Anon says:

          And Tawni, Becky – thanks. It’s early and I’ve forgotten my manners.

        • Richard Cox says:

          Hey Anon,

          I didn’t tell you last night, but I’m sorry to hear about your dog. It’s terrible that he was taken from you so suddenly. Cancer is a bitch. I hate it.

          I had a wildly outrageous day yesterday and didn’t have a chance to comment much, and then when I did I was drunk (I earned it, by God).

          So anyway, sorry for missing the chance to say that yesterday.

          Glad you still have the miracle dog, though!

        • Anon says:

          Thank you kindly, sir.

          It is outrageous that your day should have been so stressful. The indignity of being driven to drink rather than choosing to take a leisurely and scenic stroll to the same destination is intolerable! Harumph, sir! Harumph, indeed!

  8. reno says:

    ‘I reached 135 miles an hour before I decided I was being an idiot.’

    richard this was hilarious. so many great lines. i totally dig on rants like this. well, if this is considered a rant. whatever it is, i like the tone, the self-effacing stuff. my ex-father-in-law lives in okemah and i have spend many a OK night drinking whiskey and staring into the plains. OK has always been good to me. take care, sir. again: great, punch-in-the-eye write. good way to start off the morning.

    • Richard Cox says:

      Thank you, Reno. You always leave kind comments. I can’t find anything to be outraged where that is concerned, despite my best efforts.

      This is definitely a rant. A rant against myself disguised as a rant against the world. People are always getting mad at the dumbest stuff, including me. We shouldn’t do that, at least not so often.

      I still need to read “58.” I always love reading your posts, even you write lies about how the Dallas Cowboys didn’t win the Super Bowl. Don’t you know Dallas wins it every year? The nerve of you to suggest otherwise!

      • Richard Cox says:

        P.S. If you want to know the truth, part of the reason I didn’t read “58” yet was because you said you wouldn’t be back online until Tuesday. And I’m nothing if not a procrastinator. But then you showed up early. Why I oughta…

        • dallas reno says:

          heh. hey, this NFC East is going to be fucking interesting. oh, mr. mcnabb a redskin? shit. really? could you imagine when his ass strolls into philly? are they gonna throw batteries at his ass? their games against the cowboys should be very interesting. if i remember correctly, the redskins had them on the ropes in one game, perhaps two. i love that division. regardless, of the record of any given team, when they line up against each other it’s so on. but you know this already.

          okay, man. these are YOUR boards and i’m filling it up. take care. have a great golf game. don’t get pissed. just get drunk.

  9. Ronlyn Domingue says:

    Okay, about the leaves. Next time you have to buy a new mower, get one with a mulching blade. It’ll chop the leaves to little bits, which will decay and build the topsoil of your lawn. The trees will thank you, too. As for the branches, well, we save ours for kindling or put them in a part of our yard we’re coaxing into a woodland. Wren heaven.

    Traffic is OUTRAGEOUS. Everywhere. Really, where are people going? Do not even get me started on the lack of turn signal usage….or en route cell phone blither.

    Storm chasing. Dang. You must have a high tolerance for adrenaline.

    • Richard Cox says:

      Thanks, Ronlyn. You know I thought about saving those branches. But it was just a few that would have been good for starting one or two fires, and so despair set in and I just bagged them with the leaves.

      I did use a bunch of the leaves when I amended the soil in my tie wall flowerbed. The soil in there was, as I told someone else already, like glue mixed with dog shit. It’s outrageous that when I want to plant potatoes, there isn’t automatically fertile, well-drained soil for me to work with.

      People who don’t use turn signals make me want to scream. It’s outrageously rude. I would shoot Sidewinder missiles at them if my car had come with that option.

      • Ronlyn Domingue says:

        Now that’s an image of soil that I never thought I’d get. Gross. Our soil is heavy clay. Horrible. Forget planting FOOD here. This year might be the first that the vegetable garden has enough amendments (mulched decayed leaves and cow manure, which we shoveled ourselves and drove home) to grow something.

        A native plant expert told us to keep piling leaves wherever we want plants and trees. In fall and spring, we drive around the neighborhood picking up what others have bagged. Two years and several hundred bags later, there is a real layer of rich soil feeding the baby trees and shrubs in our growing woodland.

        • Richard Cox says:

          See there? Another great reason to be outraged. Two YEARS and SEVERAL HUNDRED BAGS later? I amended my soil for two afternoons and used three bags of leaves.

          If I see one potato or onion grow out of the ground I will be amazed.

          We have heavy clay as well. It’s terrible.

          So will you try planting food now that you have awesome soil?

        • Anon says:

          Richard, I am outraged at your lack of food production. Have you considered raised-bed and/or square-foot gardening? Much easier to control the soil quality that way.

          I tried potatoes for the first time last year and utterly screwed up by planting about, oh, six times the number of plants suitable for the space (wasn’t counting on all of them coming up). Ended up with very tiny spuds since there was no freaking room in the box but the vines grew like gangbusters. Instead of growing them down, you wait until they’re 8″ tall, then bury the first 6″. It forces them to grow upwards. Best method is using stacked tires but that looked too ghetto so I built 2’x2′ boxes and stacked them. This year, I’ll do more boxes but far fewer plants per.

          We also have a raised 8’x4′ garden – got 9lbs of snow peas and 11lbs of bush beans before the season ended. OH! More outrage!! Said season ended early because of an attack by those vile, damnable garden slugs!!

          Damn you, garden slugs!!!

        • Richard Cox says:

          This is my first ever foray into gardening. Prior to this I hated gardening because of the forced labor camp my dad ran, and I was only inspired to give it a try by this post by Gloria.

          My backyard is dominated by a large hill that is kept from sliding into my house by a tie wall. The first level of this tie wall has what amounts to a flowerbed or planter that is maybe 50′ long and 30″ deep. It’s filled with nasty heavy clay soil. To make matters worse, when it rains really hard, water pours down this hill like Niagara. I divided the planting area into two sections, one which is an herb garden with four 30″ or so wide plots that I dug out all the clay to a depth of 20″ or so and replaced completely with topsoil and potting soil. There I planted rosemary and sage and basil and thyme. I surrounded it all with bricks and stones and hopefully I can keep the soil from washing away when it rains hard. But I don’t know. Then I turned another 30′ or so of the length of the flowerbed and mixed in some topsoil and leaves potting soil to try to amend it a bit. When it’s time to bury the first 6″ I’m going to pour more topsoil in the trench and mix it with some of my poorly amended soil and see if the potatoes will grow in that. I spaced the potatoes at 12″ and the onions at 6″. I sure ran out of room fast. 🙁

          Anyway, you probably didn’t care about any of that but I had fun writing it. Thanks to Gloria and Tawni for their inspiration. In the summer if there are no potatoes, I’m going to dig up the entire garden and replace it with outrage.

        • Ronlyn Domingue says:

          Re: your question. There are veggie plants in the ground right now that I bought, and I successfully direct-sowed squash, zucchini, and cherry tomato seeds. I’m hoping for enough homegrown veggies this year so that we have to go to the farmer’s market only once or twice a month to supplement. We don’t have the arable land, practice, or time to go self-sufficient!

          Oh…something else….I learned a lot from this book: Gaia’s Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture by Toby Hemenway.

          Good luck with those potatoes.

        • Richard Cox says:

          Thank you. Good luck with your vegetables! I would never dream of going self-sufficient, but the other reason I decided to try this is last year my dad grew a variety of vegetables and they were unreasonably good. Local produce is obviously great, too, but there is something tasty about the vegetables you grow yourself. Or so I hope to find out.

          When I first read the book suggestion sentence I swore it said Ernest Hemingway, and I was thinking, okay, didn’t know he wrote a gardening book. Hahaha.

      • Tawni says:

        I planted gladioli bulbs in the glue and dog shit today. I griped to my son that it was like taking a pottery class, trying to plant a tiny patch of flowers in the backyard. I hate our soil. Grrrrrr.

        People that don’t use turn signals or who make lazy turns into the wrong lane get me angry. And the cars that clog the fast lane driving ten under, refusing to move over to the right to let me pass. I want Sidewinder missiles too.

        The trees here are pissing me off right now. I can’t breathe and I feel like I want to puke all of the time. Stupid allergies.

        I saw a man driving a truck the other day who had straw in the back of his pickup truck. I got absurdly excited to see what he looked like, if he was a real cowboy, because most of the “cowboys” around here spend more time and money on their appearance than a teenage girl. When I pulled next to him at the light, I peeked, and he was! He was the real deal! He was leathery, with a faded shirt and old, dusty cowboy hat. His truck was actually bought to serve a purpose other than compensation for a small penis. Amazing.

        • Richard Cox says:

          AND the people who get in the left turn lane and THEN turn on their blinker, as if by then we don’t know they are going to turn left. Idiots! The whole point is to tell someone what you’re GOING to do, not confirm you ALREADY did it.

          The outrage!!!!1111

          P.S. Good luck with your gladioli bulbs.

  10. I’m outraged because I just went through the drive-thru at Dairy Queen and the manager poked his head out of the window and told me, as he handed me my debit card, that Bleu Cheese dressing is going to be discontinued in the near future.

    • Richard Cox says:

      Now that made me laugh out loud. How dare Dairy Queen discontinue Bleu Cheese dressing?

      Jeffro, you have touched on one of life’s biggest outrages: When companies stop carrying the products I like to buy. Every time I find some tasty pre-packaged product I really like, the store stops carrying it. This has happened more times than I can count. And if they haven’t stopped carrying it, they’re always out of stock. If everyone is buying the Lactaid 1% calcium-fortified milk in half-gallon containers, order more of it! Why just let that one shelf run out all the time when the other variations are always in stock? Jerks.

      • I couldn’t agree more Richard. I read your post as I ate my salad with, what may be, one of the last containers of Bleu Cheese dressing ever served at Dairy Queen.

        I understand completely where you’re coming from regarding honey and/or Lactaid 1% calcium-fortified milk in half-gallon containers. A few weeks ago I went to the grocery store up the hill and went down the soft drink aisle to pick up two 12-pack cases of Canada Dry Green Tea Ginger Ale (if you haven’t tried it, it’s awesome. Combines two of my favorite beverages in life: Green Tea, and you guessed it, Ginger Ale) and its usual spot on the shelf was non-existent. I thought maybe they were out so I marched up to the front of the store and asked if they had any in stock I could snag.

        The only soft drink I really drink is Canada Dry Green Tea Ginger Ale (and the occasional Coca-Cola). The manager told me they quit selling it because it wasn’t a hot item. I stood there dumbfounded, trying to comprehend her words. I nicely requested they order more on my behalf because it was a hot item for me and I buy two cases every week.

        I felt the need to speak up, let my voice be heard. I remember when the same thing happened to Black Jack, Beemans, and Clove Gum when I was a kid. I bought Black Jack, Beemans, and Clove Gum every week and then one day I walk into my local store and it’s gone and it never returned. I didn’t speak up then and those three gums went the way of the dodo bird. I couldn’t let the same thing happen to Canada Dry Green Tea Ginger Ale.

        And if anyone is interested, Black Jack, Beemans, and Clove Gum does still exist and you can buy it here. Each comes in a 5-stick pack in a box of 20 for $12.99. A steal. http://www.oldtimecandy.com/black-jack-beemans-clove-gum.htm

        • Richard Cox says:

          This comment is so amazing that my outrage has been temporarily suspended. Canada Dry Green Tea Ginger Ale. Now that is a niche product if I’ve heard one. Which means you know the pain of being cut off from the crack cocaine you so religiously buy.

          Know what I drink? Diet Code Red Mountain Dew. Two cases a week, easily. The other day I went to three different stores before I found one where it was in stock. To me this is an ominous sign. I know I’ve made a mistake becoming so attached to a niche product because it’s only a matter of time before they stop selling it.

          I’m thinking of contact Pepsi and asking them to transfer the recipe patent to me if they stop producing it. I’ve certainly purchased enough cans to have earned it. I have always been a Coke guy but now that I drink diet drinks I’ve had to rethink my strategy. I suppose I could live with Cherry Coke Zero if I absolutely had to, but I wouldn’t be happy about it.

  11. Kip Tobin says:

    Not too long I mused on the fact that not enough people use the word outrage, unless it’s some sort of report on national network news. In fact, in the news sphere, someone, somewhere, is always outraged. And that comforts me, somehow. I personally don’t see enough outward display of outrage in my daily life. I can’t even remember the last time I saw it.

    So reading your rambling (and deftly so) verbal outrage, quelled my inner chase for the outrage.

    Thanks.

    Loved that you’re bored with 4,000 songs on your Ipod, and were a pissed-off-at-the-storms stormchaser, and the like. We’re definitely getting to that point in history where most things seem possible, yet we are increasingly less satisfied–and sometimes outraged–by life.

    • Richard Cox says:

      I think there should definitely be more outrage in general, but personally I’d rather see less on the news. If everything is outrageous then nothing is. Wait…on second thought…

      You’re totally right about life being easier and constantly giving us new things but us finding it less rewarding. I’m sure it must have something to do with our essential nature. Our essential nature is outrageous.

      I mean for the love of God, how can one be bored with all 4,000 songs? Or mind-numbingly flip through 300 channels of television?

      This is why I got rid of cable. Which everyone I know except for two people thinks is outrageous. How can you not have cable??

  12. Gloria says:

    Dude. I’m telling you: testosterone.

    The iPod thing was hilarious. I kind of think that any time I read a book I don’t love. This son of a bitch wrote this book and it didn’t thrill me! The nerve! Yet, I’ve written a grand total of .3 of a book. The nerve.

    🙂

  13. Slade Ham says:

    I have about 15 entries I need to respond to, including James who got bumped, and Erika’s sexy post, and Simon’s list. And I have a new one in the hopper… I think I’ve been AWOL for too long.

    This reminded me of a bit by Louis CK. The gist of it was that everything is wonderful and nobody’s happy. I loved the theme here; it reminds me very much of myself, especially in the car. I hate rush hour, especially in Houston around my house, but I seldom stop to remember that 100 years ago I would probably have been making the journey on a horse.

    More access to information, instant access, and I still find a way to complain about the things I don’t know… And you know where I sit on the music thing. 25 K songs, and even I can’t find anything to listen to. I do still have cable, but that’s only because my roommate wants it. I haven’t watched TV in months. I do download a lot of TV though. Cable is irrelevant.

    Stormchasing sounds like a total rush, btw. I love shit like that. Staring down a tornado. Hell yeah.

    And I’m with you on lightsabers. And hoverboards.

    • Matt says:

      Dude, you live in Texas. You could make your commute on a horse any time you wanted to. And you’d be applauded as a ‘Real American’ for doing it.

      • Slade Ham says:

        That’s true. I’m getting a horse goddammit. I don’t need no sissy auto-mobile.

        Wait… summer is approaching. Maybe in the Fall? When it’s cooler? I’d still be a badass, right?

    • Richard Cox says:

      Slade, everyone on this site is outraged at your embarrassing paucity of comments lately. I mean really. You’ve got a lot of nerve, buddy, what with having other things to do and whatever.

      The reason it reminds you of Louis CK is because his “cell phones talking to space” and “sitting in a chair, flying through the air” bit was going through my head as I wrote it. I tried to steer as far clear of him as I could, but there is no doubt some inspiration I drew from that bit. He’s probably going to be outraged if he ever reads this piece, which he won’t, which means I in turn should be outraged.

      But mainly I was thinking of all the complaining I hear all the time, from everyone, including myself. Everyone takes umbrage to everything. And other than the lack of lightsabers and hoverboards, why are they so angry?

  14. Lorna says:

    Yeah, what’s up with those cell phone carriers anyway. Like, I guess my cell phone didn’t speak Spanish while in Mexico because I couldn’t send a text or check my facebook half of the time! For the love of God! 🙂

    Storm chasing is too cool dude!

    • Richard Cox says:

      Lorna, what is it with the phones? You think they could teach them Spanish. I mean they put it on Babelfish. It can’t be that hard.

      Why on earth should we be expected to go without SMS or Facebook for even a few hours? Seriously. What the hell is the world coming to?

  15. Zara Potts says:

    I’m outraged that there are only 56 comments on this piece.
    Disgraceful.
    And I’m so totally fucked off that EVERY road I drive on there are road works which bank the traffic up, so that even though I leave for work by half past six every morning, I am still sitting in gridlock an hour later.
    AND I’m outraged that my car is so dirty and full of empty coffee cups and junk in the back seat that I haven’t bothered to throw out and WHY can’t someone just GIVE me a new car as a present because I fucking well deserve it because I’m so nice all the time and speaking of that, I’m outraged that karma doesn’t seem to bite those who really deserve it.
    AND I HATE IT WHEN I BREAK A BLOODY NAIL. (Which I just did.)

    • Becky says:

      I have this one friend called Brad who can’t stand a dirty automobile, so whenever I need the coffee cups and water bottles and pop cans and so on cleaned out of my car, I ask him to go do something with me or give him a ride somewhere or loan him my truck for something.

      With him in the truck, I stop “for smokes” (or something) and while I am inside the store, he will clean everything out.

      Without fail. Works like a dream.

      You need a friend like Brad. I would loan you mine, but you are too far away.

    • Richard Cox says:

      Zara Potts, I’m outraged to learn that New Zealand has roads with cars on them, and construction, and gridlock. This ruins my fantasy that the entire country is populated with hobbits and ancient looking forests. And you’re probably outraged that I would think such a thing, but I was hoping your country wouldn’t be cursed with these outrageous things.

      How did you break your nail? Can’t you just press a fake one on there??

  16. Zara Potts says:

    Oh and another thing Richrob – I’m outraged at your gravatar. You don’t look outraged at all. That is false advertising.

    • Anon says:

      And I am outraged at this whole “Richrob” thing. I’ve been lurking and commenting for months and am still utterly clueless as to the back story of this moniker. It is unthinkable and unconscionable that I should be kept in the dark so!!

      • Richard Cox says:

        Well, I can’t stand to be the source of your continued outrage, Anon.

        A long time ago, in a TNB post far, far away, Zara Potts accidentally referred to me as Rob. She had been reading a piece about Rob Lowe and wrote about mine, “Nice, thoughtful piece, Rob.”

        A few days later there was a long haiku exchange between Duke, ZP, and me about cats that eventually evolved into haiku a la Rob Lowe.

        Soon afterward, ZP began referring to me as RichRob as a compromise. And hence the moniker was birthed.

        Or so I hear.

        • Anon says:

          Thank you kindly for illuminating me, Richard. My outrage has been sated and doubtless the combo of Lost and the scotch I’m eyeballing will mellow me further. It was a good day to be outraged….

        • Zara Potts says:

          Dear Richrob,
          Your deft and thorough explanation of how you came to be called Richrob is superb.
          I would like to congratulate you on your comment.
          Zara Potts

        • Richard Cox says:

          ZaraPotts,

          There’s nothing more attractive than begging for compliments about describing how one’s on TNB nickname was derived.

          Clearly, someone should be outraged here.

          Sincerely,
          Richrob

        • Zara Potts says:

          Dearest Richrob,

          I was trying to hide my outrage by showering you with compliments to put you off the scent.

          However, you have seen through my trick.

          I compliment you again. (but am secretly outraged)

          Always,
          ZaraPotts (Angry of Auckland)

        • Richard Cox says:

          Dearest Angry Zara,

          I always see through your tricks. Hence, you should be outraged.

          Nevermore,
          Richrob, Seer of Tulsa

        • Zara Potts says:

          Dear Richrob, Seer of Tulsa
          As you are all seeing and all knowing – please could you advise what the next thing I am likely to be outraged by is? That way I can avoid surprises.
          Thanking you in advance,
          ZaraPotts, Curious of Auckland.

        • Anon says:

          I’d suggest fortune’s slings and arrows. They can be quite outrageous.

        • Richard Cox says:

          Dear ZaraPotts, Curious of Auckland,

          I predict you will next be outraged by Anon’s refusal to attend the June TNBLE or even meet you for coffee during your cross country adventure. He is quite slippery that way.

          Clairvoyantly yours,
          Richrob, Seer of Tulsa

        • Anon says:

          For Zara and Simon, I would risk exposure. Not, like, that way, Becky’s “key party” and Jessica’s “just sleep with him” comments notwithstanding.

        • Simon Smithson says:

          Ghostbusters 2:

          Louis Tully: ‘That’s right! That blue thing I got from her! You’re asking my clients to expose themselves!’
          Venkman: ‘And you don’t want us exposing ourselves.’

          I didn’t get that joke until I was about 22.

        • Zara Potts says:

          Oh Anon – You’d risk exposure for us???
          I’m so bringing you an awesome kiwi gift.

        • Anon says:

          Entirely unnecessary, dear. Besides, you are an awesome kiwi gift.

        • Zara Potts says:

          Well thank you!
          But seeing as I can’t give you a real gift right now -here’s something you might enjoy.
          http://www.break.com/index/scarface-school-play.html

          Plus.. It fits well with Richrobs ‘outraged’ piece….

        • Anon says:

          Ha! Whoops – I have a personal policy of no video at at the office… just in case. I raise enough eyebrows here on a regular basis as it is. (:

          I will certainly view it tonight, though. Thank you.

        • Richard Cox says:

          Baaaaaaahahahahahahahahahaha.

          Hahahahahahaha.

          Hahahahaha.

          Hahaha.

          Ha.

          Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.

          ZaraPotts, I didn’t have a very good day today, but you just made it A-OK. That’s one of the best videos I’ve ever seen.

          Hahahahahahahahahahahaha.

        • Zara Potts says:

          Richrob,
          I have been laughing all day at that…
          ‘I’m leaving you, you motherfudger.’

        • Zara Potts says:

          That kid was pure genius. ‘Okay.. Sosa.. you wanna fudge with me…’
          Brilliant!

    • Richard Cox says:

      Oh, Zara Potts, I forgot to tell you: Go to my author page and see the 151 image I chose for this piece. That guy is a little more outraged than my Gravatar.

      • Zara Potts says:

        Richrob, I did as you asked (despite my being outraged at you) and you are right! Much better! I shall withdraw my false advertising complaint henceforth. Or forthwith. Or something.

        • Richard Cox says:

          I should have changed my Gravatar to that guy for the day yesterday. The effect would have been better. You should have suggested it sooner. Thanks a lot, Zara Potts!

        • Zara Potts says:

          Please accept my humblest apologies Richrob. BUT you should have read my comment sooner!!!!

        • Richard Cox says:

          I should have, to be sure.

          But why haven’t you commented on my deft explanation of the origin of “Richrob” which is located just above this thread? Hmm??

  17. Simon Smithson says:

    RC, you storm chase?

    Of course you do.

    That’s awesome.

    And frankly, it pisses me off.

    We don’t get tornadoes and shit over here in this goddamn low-rent excuse for a sandy backyard of a country, so where’s my sexy Cary-Elwes-in-Twister action? Nowhere, that’s fucking where, and it angries up my blood.

    • Richard Cox says:

      June is on the outside edge of tornado season around here, Simon. But if you’re in the region and the Guy sees fit to bless us with storms, you and ZP are welcome to join me on a chase.

      It’s unlikely, but it could happen. If it doesn’t we should all be outraged.

  18. Dude! This?

    Outrage-ous!

    ZOMG ha!

    No, but really, I loved this. Made my day. I think I might have needed it, too, so thanks!

    • Richard Cox says:

      Dude, thanks for finding this piece outrageous. There are real reasons to be outraged and there are those that are not so real, and I think sometimes we tend to get confused on which is which. At least I know I do.

  19. Angela Tung says:

    i’m outraged that the girls at the next table in this cafe are wearing so much perfume that i can smell them from here.

    loved your piece though!

    • Richard Cox says:

      The nerve of those girls! Who do they think they are? Thank for being outraged at them and liking this post. I’m a little less outraged than I was just a moment ago.

  20. Haha, you write like I talk. I’m always either outraged or pretending to be outraged.

    I liked the bit about the iPod and getting bored… I get bored of stuff so quickly that I’m exactly the same – thousands of hours of songs that I don’t care about anymore.

    • Richard Cox says:

      Thanks, David. It’s funny to be outraged as long as you take it with a grain of salt. It’s also kind of funny and morbid to think of all the work put in by those musicians and we just blow it off. “I’m bored.” Haha.

  21. jmblaine says:

    Exactly.

    I could write a book bigger
    than the Stand & It
    pressed together
    from just a week of outrage.

    This is why I am an
    Existential
    Evangelical
    Absurdist

    Pray for me.

    • Richard Cox says:

      I will pray for you, JMB. Maybe you should take a road trip to see Mother Abigail. She’ll steer you right.

  22. Don Mitchell says:

    Richard, I’d chase storms with you any day, to see what that’s like. In Colden we have lake-effect snow, which can be impressive, and we have snow-thunder storms, which are interesting — flash of lightning, crash of thunder but . . . it’s snowing!

    In 2004 I drove into the little town of Hoisington KS, on the track of my father’s youth. On approach, it was like any small town. But on main street I noticed something odd. One side was recognizably traditional old-ish prairie houses, but the other was new suburban-style. Very odd. When I got to the City Manager’s office I mentioned it and he said, Oh, maybe you heard about our Cat5 tornado? Came down main street. Talk about surgical precision (devoid of intent, of course). I was impressed. Only one person died.

    Oh, here’s the helicopter again. It was busy last afternoon until dark. When I see the County rescue chopper at my eye level, through the trees between my house and the river valley, I know that someone’s been lost in the Wailuku River. A quick look at the online papers tells me that a young man, crew member on a cruise ship, went swimming where any local person would have known not to go when the river’s up, but he did, and was swept away in the worst, most dangerous part of the river. Where he went in, it’s not at all clear that if you make one mistake you’ll be swept into some vicious water you can’t even see.

    He went in at 19-41-55.35N, 155-07-52.12W, if you want to look at it with Google Earth. I’m at 19-42-59.71N, 155-07-21.67, and the chopper’s hovering near me. So his body’s probably in the open-flowing area. Damn.

    I mention this because, although I didn’t notice any literal mention of it, local knowledge is so important, whether it’s local roads, thunderstorm tracks, tornado tracks . . .

    Sorry for the off-topic. Stay safe, everybody. When you’re exploring, don’t be afraid to ask local folks if you should do something or not. And believe them.

    • Richard Cox says:

      I have never seen true, outrageous lake effect snow. I would like to. The hardest I’ve ever seen it snow is maybe 3″ an hour, which is heavy but I think it can snow four times that hard in a real lake effect doozy.

      That sucks about the swimmer! I don’t like swimming in any river I don’t know. Which pretty much means any river.

      Storm chasing is a lot of driving and is 90% boring, but when you get there it can be intense. When you drive and drive and pick a position, it’s a rush to figure out if you chose correctly and to watch the radar and match it up to the cloud features you’re seeing and have cameras going and everything. And not get struck by lightning (just kidding, although I do avoid high risk areas to be safe). It helps to have a partner. Come on over!

      And I love talking to locals. My best trip last year was to Kansas, and though I didn’t see a tornado there I met a farmer I talked to for about a half hour. That was great.

  23. Irene Zion says:

    Richard,

    Get this one for today.
    (I am outraged!)
    We paid ahead of time, (Victor paid, I’m a pay after you do your job type of person,) for white glass to be put up on the walls of the laundry room, where I also make a big mess when I make my bread. This way we only have to wipe the walls down and everything is sparkling clean again, see?
    Well, they were supposed to install the glass today.
    (Incidentally, installation was also prepaid.)
    When we called them, OOPS! the phone was disconnected.
    HUMN. I thought.
    I drove down to the glass place to see what gives.
    Well, guess what?
    They are going bankrupt.
    All the workers except one poor guy in the front, who is quitting at the end of the day, have quit since they have not been paid for over a month.
    I asked if I could have my pieces of glass.
    He said okay.
    So the guy stacks sheets of glass on top of each other in the back of my car.
    There was no padding around.
    One small sheet of glass dangled off of the passenger seat.
    I drove home r e a l l y s l o w l y.
    Unfortunately, you still have to stop for red lights.
    Every time I stopped, the glass slid forward.
    Every time I started again, the glass slid back again.
    The guy couldn’t give me the magic special glass adhesive that is the only thing you can use and takes a professional.
    Now we have sheets of white glass in the garage.
    I’m sure it will be safe there.

    • Anon says:

      Hm. Since you went today and the only “employee” is unpaid, disgruntled and leaving in a few hours, this may still work. Is there anything (or combination of things) in the building worth what you paid for the installation and compact enough to fit into your car? I wouldn’t call it stealing, mind you, simply “negotiation of an alternative refund method”.

    • Becky says:

      The husband and I have of a policy of never, EVER prepaying in full for contract services unless we know the people–personally–who are going to do it, AND they really need the money, AND we’re feeling charitable.

      If anyone tries to get more than half from you up front, they deserve serious, serious scrutiny and skepticism. And potentially a “In your fuckin’ dreams, buddy.”

      SO many contracting scams out there.

      Unless city ordinances SAY you need a professional, usually a competent friend will do. I don’t know if that glue was made of enriched uranium or what, but if not, it’s glue. I don’t believe the guy about needing a professional.

      I’m not sure what his motivation would be for refusing you the glue otherwise, but still.

    • Richard Cox says:

      Irene, that is outrageous! I’m sorry. “Unfortunately you still have to stop at red lights.” That was funny and outrageous all at the same time.

      Those guys are assholes. You should follow Anon’s advice.

      We had an outrageous situation like that in Tulsa a year or so ago. The doctor who did my LASIK surgery went bankrupt, and though I’d already had mine a while back, plenty of patients had paid for theirs up front but hadn’t had their appointments yet. Or were still going to their follow-ups. Talk about outrageous!

  24. Lawrence says:

    poor little b*tch.

  25. Irene Zion says:

    @ Anon: Victor would NEVER let me do that. He’d become apoplectic! I personally think it’s a great idea!

    @ Becky: Victor has the word MARK on his forehead. He trusts anyone who is not in his family. (He doesn’t trust any of us one iota.) I would NEVER have paid this creep.

    @ Richard: You try driving in Miami Beach traffic with a stack of expensive glass stacked up in the back and the front. It’s the only time I wished I had a hang tag to point to. People driving around me were not pleased with my s l o w d r i v i n g.

    @ Lawrence: That’s not nice.

    • Anon says:

      Madam, would it be outrageous of me to use the phrase “Your husband never has to know….”? Or is that sexy. Seriously, this comment cross-pollination is getting a bit outrageous.

      • Richard Cox says:

        Back on MySpace (remember that?) the cross blog comment jokes were a source of pride and commendation, particularly the further back in time or more obscure they were. And you probably know you could also award someone “kudos” for their blogs.

        So my friend Mandy came up with a special award for great cross comment jokes. It was called “Cross Over Comment Kudos.”

        There was an acronym for it, too, though I can’t for the life of me remember what it was.

  26. Irene Zion says:

    Yeah, Anon, he’d know, cause it’s almost time for me to make dinner and he’d notice if it weren’t on time, believe me. One of the things that happens when you retire, is that you cannot be a moment late with the feedings.
    Is this Erika Rae’s story, or Richard’s, or David Wills’? I’m confused. Storms and outrage and sexy talk. Maybe they wrote this together.

    • Anon says:

      Ha. While neither sexy nor outrageous, you reminded me of my parents’ relationship. Once they retired and “settled in”, my father became the Mealtime Martinet. Dinner was served at six, precisely, whether my mother was hungry or not. And interference with his preparations was neither welcome or wise.

      Which, of course, is why I would always call around 5:15…. (:

  27. Irene Zion says:

    Your parents ate late!
    We sometimes eat at 4:30 or 5:00 now.
    Shortens the day some, but I’ve been getting up between 2 and 3 AM for the past few months, so I’m already tired.
    (I always knew you were the trouble-making sort!)

    • Richard Cox says:

      My grandpa would be up at 4 every morning, make himself breakfast, and relax on the front porch whilst he waited an hour for the morning paper to arrive. Lunch at 11, nap from 2 – 4. Have dinner at five, begin to watch the six o’clock news and fall asleep at 6:20, just after the weather.

      He performed this routine seemingly every morning that I knew him until one morning he went out onto the porch and a rattlesnake was waiting for him in the dark. He recovered from the bite, but was not the same after.

      Further instilling in me the belief that one should NEVER go outside before the sun rises. Or even wake up before the sun rises. Or even get out of bed until two hours after it has risen.

  28. Irene Zion says:

    Richard,

    Trust me, I understand how you feel. I felt that way when I was as young as you are now. When you lose the ability to sleep, when you are older, you change your mind about things. Things look different to you. You become another person, even if there might be a rattlesnake waiting for you in the dark.

  29. Erika Rae says:

    Outrage is sexy.

    I’ve been so busy today, I’m late to this post, which is probably not sexy, but definitely outrageous.

    Big, shiny red pickups piss me the hell off, too.

    I once saw a spinning whorl of clouds at 14,000 ft. It was sideways and looked just like a Chinese yo-yo on its side. Weirdest, freakiest thing ever – especially considering there was not a tree in sight and no where to run to, baby – no where to hide. Death by spinning Chinese yo-yo. Again, not sexy. Very outrage-ous.

    I am outraged there is no teleportation option in elevators or in the entryway of my house. Actually, especially in the entryway to my house. Right now all of the snow is melting and everything is muddy. If I could just teleport from the entryway (and back again), then I wouldn’t have to sweep every single damn day. I’m sick of sweeping. And don’t get me started in on the state of my house with 3 kiddos running circles around me. I’ve got laundry enough to clothe an entire Ewok village downstairs waiting for my attention and I’ve barely got time to wipe the crumbs off the counter. I was supposed to have a maid by now. I’m 36. I have gray hairs sneaking in to the crop. Arthritis is just around the corner and I fucking need a maid. AND a nanny. I need a maid-nanny. And that’s just for me. My kids need at least one of those, too.

    Shit.

    I’m just going to sit here and strike a sexy pose and let it all swirl around me.

    • Richard Cox says:

      Ewok villages are outrageously hairy so be sure to keep theirs and your children’s clothing separate.

      The spinning whorl of clouds would have been extremely exciting for a weather nut to see, or anyone, I suppose. Wind has a tendency to spin itself into circles, as is easily seen in dust devils, snow devils, whirlwinds on your patio, hurricanes, the Great Red Spot on Jupiter, and of course tornadoes. It often spins parallel to the ground, as it sounds like your whorl did. Lately the wind here has blown sustained at 25-30 mph for a week now and it feels like I live on Mars. You can’t do anything without being blown over, which I find completely and utterly outrageous.

      That you don’t have a maid is also unreasonably outrageous. And a nanny. I have a friend who is 25 and has two kids and was born into family money. She has a maid and a nanny and she still finds her life overwhelming. I find this disparity with the rest of the world fairly outrageous.

      Go ahead and strike a pose. There’s nothing to it.

      • Erika Rae says:

        I have two dogs in addition to three children, so the clothes often come out looking startlingly as if they had, at least at one time, been part of an Ewok’s wardrobe.

        Oklahoma wind is something I know well. I lived there 8 unsexy years, you may recall. Springtime is brutal here too, though. Much wind involved in the high country.

        I love that you’re a storm chaser.

        Your friend IS outrageous. I shall spend the duration of the evening striking outrageously sexy poses to overcome this unfairness.

  30. Alison Aucoin says:

    Sorry to be a little late to the party but I have to say, in my opinion, pristine white pick up trucks are a sign of the coming apocalypse. And yes, ditto to all the things that piss you off, except the storm chasing ones. They don’t apply to my life. But if they did, they’d piss me off too.

  31. Judy Prince says:

    “out of local honey”?!! Bastards!! Wait—it might’ve been the bees….a bad flower-slurping day, a fly-down strike, the Queen choosing another Main Squeeze,,,,you just never know.

    Richard, you did an exceptional thing here: forced us to totally sympathise and agree with your every selfish step, thus forcing us to recognise we’re little selfish beings—–then forcing us to hoot at our pettiness, letting us know we’re ok, that it’s the only way to act and feel in this strange patched-together techno-weird world we’ve inherited and which we don’t entirely grasp or like.

    Congrats on the fine write. I love that you continue to experiment in your writings.

    BTW, wha’sup with all the TNB writings? I overcome my addiction to TNB for a week, get on with Real Life, then come back to find TNB’s a fecund petri dish, the writings running all up and down the main page, dripping into subsections, dropping off the bottom edge, growing, rolling on, hour after hour…..YAWK! Bottom line: TNB writers and commenters ROCK!!

    • Richard Cox says:

      Hi Judy,

      Thanks for your comment. The way you described my piece is exactly the way I intended it, which is always something that makes a writer happy, or any of us: to be understood.

      Also I haven’t had honey in a week now and I’m starting to get antsy. Hahaha. Better go back to the store and see if they have it now.

      Thanks for commenting. There are definitely a lot of posts up and I’m glad you had a look at mine.

      • Judy Prince says:

        “antsy”….. 😉

        Working my way thru recently-delivered TNB authors’ books, I’m in the 3rd chpt of your _The God Particle_, and you’ve caught me with your earnestness, your many truly poetic metaphors/similes, and your clear, smooth prose. I’m with your characters totally as if they, like you in this “Outrage” piece, were me and/or EveryPerson. This gift of yours is not a trick nor a one-trick-pony, and it’s a reader’s delight to experience.

  32. D.R. Haney says:

    “4,000 songs that I’m totally bored with. Hundreds of thousands of hours of blood and sweat tears by musicians I’ve never met and I can’t find a single song on the damned iPod that I want to listen to.”

    This is exactly why I resist getting an iPod — or that and finances. I see this kind of boredom, or anyway impatience, in everyone who owns an iPod (and that would be, of course, everyone), and I relate it to the demise of rock & roll, just as I see the widespread lack of outrage as related to the demise of rock & roll, at least of the kind I like. You can’t rock when you’re bored and feel no anger.

    I’m fascinated that you chase storms. I was very interested in tornadoes as a child, and won first place in an art show when I was eleven, beating out adults, for a painting I did of a tornado. I was always hoping to see one, and once a funnel cloud was spotted on the outskirts of my hometown, but the storm never really took off. Still, I remember going outside when I heard there was a tornado watch in effect and watching black clouds suddenly roll over the tranquil sky like smoke, very quickly. It was awesome — and I don’t mean that word as people now use it sloppily, applying it even to those things that aren’t awesome.

    Thus concludes my very late comment, with apologies for its tardiness.

  33. Greg Olear says:

    I secretly broke my fast and read this last week, but I couldn’t think of something interesting to say. And that’s what outrages me…when I read a piece and I want to comment but can’t think of what to say!

    Also, on an unrelated topic: I’m kinda surprised Tiger didn’t win.

  34. Carl D'Agostino says:

    It seems you are unaware of recent scientific research on the green phenomena. Out in Buck County, for instance, it was documented that the green came from light reflected off of Ted Perry’s green truck which was one of the objects being transported by the tornado. A study from the APA(American Psychiatric Association) postulates that since green is a color that suggests serenity to the brain, the tornado is trying to trick you into a false state of danger denial so you won’t run for the cellar and be sucked up with Mr. Perry’s truck.

    Now I live in Miami and I am 60 now and let me tell you about hurrycanes( No that is not misspelled. We use that spelling to remind us that the stupid jerks on Channel 5 tell you it’s still far away when it’s RIGHT OVER YOUR HOUSE and you gotta “hurry” to prepare at first mention because the coast of Venezuela is much closer than maps indicate).

    Now when I was a little shorty, I experienced Betsy, Cleo and Donna. I don’t remember which was first, but all through the night the house was bombarded with what seemed like cannon balls. I thought of Francis Scott Key at Ft McHenry and began to write lyrics and “by the dawn’s early light our house was still there!” The cannon balls were from the two(now bare) grapefruit trees in the backyard. I have tried to get the story about the cannonball phenomena(which I think is much more dramatic than your silly green tornado thing) published for 48 years now without success. I wrote to the science mags, the meteorology mags, the weather stations and to the United Nations in an effort to alleviate the terrifying fear when you have grapefruit trees out back when the hurrycane comes. I found a congressman out in Oregon named Rainwater and even wrote him thinking he would be sympathetic but he never answered. I can’t get a publisher. Will anyone out there please help me? I want to have lthis scientific treatise published before I get killed by a green truck or a yellow cannonball.

  35. […] Angry man who should be working for the State Department. […]

  36. […] January 2006. His posts have started many interesting conversations, including some about magic, rage, and even being human. Recently I sat down with Richard (I can’t even call him that…his […]

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