Things I Just Don’t Fucking Understand: Fuck Trucks

Oh, Fuck Trucks. Dear Reader, what can I possibly say about Fuck Trucks that I haven’t already screamed into the abyss of my own, reasonably-sized vehicle while on the verge of an untimely and very messy death?

As with all TIJDFU, a disclaimer: I don’t give a shit what you do to and for yourself, but for the love of all that is good and holy, what the fuck are some of you fuckos thinking when it comes to the existence of others? Spoiler alert: you’re not!

Husband and I coined the term Fuck Truck after witnessing much, well, truck fuckery while living in Tampa, Florida, USA. (Sidenote: I really wanted to color the letters of USA red, white, and blue, but that doesn’t work on a white background, so please just imagine it that way. Also, please imagine them kind of flapping in the wind like the letters are on a flag. And there’s an eagle there. And also if you could just imagine the rest of this post that would save me a little bit of time (read: actually a surprisingly large amount of time considering the end product).) The abundance of Fuck Trucks in Tampa is overwhelming, but that may be due to the insanely dense population and the explosion of the average size of trucks over the time we lived there. But probably it’s just my keen ability to attract assholes, and the pervasiveness of toxic masculinity. Don’t worry, we’ll get there.

A loose definition of a Fuck Truck is as follows:

Fuck Truck
/fək trək/
noun
noun: Fuck Truck; plural noun: Fuck Trucks

1. any vehicle with an attached bed that is disproportionately sized to the other vehicles on the road, has any number of superfluous embellishments, and has the potential to transport goods but is currently not

You’ve very likely seen one, probably as it came dangerously close to you in some manner. Maybe you admire them, maybe you even own one, or maybe, like me, you marvel at the fact that they exist because what the fuck have we done as a society?

Your standard Fuck Truck is too big, too loud (both visually and audibly), and too pretty to actually do any work. They usually need to be stepped up into (or in my case, a running jump is necessary), have an abundance of chrome accents and stickers/decals depicting the owner’s love of something typically unsavory, a visible underbelly from being “lifted,” and some way to pollute the atmosphere around it even more be that smoke stacks, extra headlights, or a train horn.

Now, if Husband and I see a truck that would otherwise qualify but it is doing work e.g. towing something, carrying tools or other large cargo, or is very dirty from clearly having worked, we don’t give it the Fuck Truck name (as if ANYONE gives a shit what we call their car). These trucks that are actually doing what a truck is intended to do also tend to not get in your way on purpose and threaten your life for fun, which brings me to the larger concept of the Fuck Truck. What doesn’t get conveyed in the above definition is how a Fuck Truck isn’t just a thing, but an attitude, a way of life for many. Fuck Trucks are easy to pick out by sight, but they too often come with very specific behaviors. The oversized rims and seven Punisher decals are a dead giveaway, but the fact the truck is parked diagonally across multiple spaces is unsurprising. When one chooses to change lanes without signaling or regard for the fact you are already in the exact spot they have decided they need to be in is another telltale sign. Or, my favorite, glancing in your rearview mirror to be greeted with the grate of one bearing down on you while you drive in the right-hand lane with two open lanes to your left while you’re already going ten miles per hour over the posted limit. Fuck Trucks are the perfect vehicle for assholes. This isn’t to say every Fuck Truck owner (Fuck Truckers) is an asshole, but the ratio of Fuck Truckers to assholes is very nearly 1:1.

What’s strange, or perhaps not, is how almost all new trucks are potentially Fuck Trucks. The size of them, and really all vehicles, is just increasing so damn much. I even bought an SUV myself (classed as a compact SUV), not to “keep up” but just to “keep alive” because I really like not just being “not dead” but retaining “full use of my limbs and brain.” It’s almost as if people don’t realize that when they get behind the wheel of any vehicle they have strapped themselves into a weapon that they have the potential to hurdle across the country at speeds that will completely obliterate the human body. Humans. Are. Idiots.

But why? Why does anyone need something that big just to go to and from work or the grocery store? It’s not cost efficient, environmentally friendly, typically convenient to maneuver, or above all necessary in any way. I get that when we make purchases, especially very large purchases, we want them to be for things we really like both in the thing’s use and aesthetics. That’s fair. But what drives (ha, get it?) people to desire the biggest, most destructive thing on the road?

I tried to liken it to coloring my hair because that’s the only lens I could see this through: it’s a thing I do that’s totally unnecessary and doesn’t benefit society in any way. I often color my hair wacky, unnatural colors, and people insist this is just for attention. I know better, so I thought perhaps I am being just as close-minded about Fuck Trucks? But the impact of dying one’s hair purple and driving a three-ton, rolling death machine are vastly different. While the cosmetic industry most definitely has a negative impact on the environment, I choose brands that strive for safety and are free of animal cruelty. The automobile industry and the subsequent impact of any individual driving something way bigger than needed is exponentially greater. Also, once my hair is purple, it literally does not affect any other person AT ALL. It doesn’t take up more parking spaces than it’s alloted, it doesn’t run anyone off the road, and frankly it doesn’t inspire me to be a total dickbag to other people. Yes, I feel good about having freshly dyed hair, I feel pretty and happy, but if anything that just makes me nicer to people, not act out like an entitled man-child.

There are, of course, explanations that delve into the deeply damaged psyches of the average American, and to be honest, this might not be a TIJDFU, this might be a TIUATFW (Thing I Understand All Too Fucking Well), but telling a Fuck Trucker these things won’t help them. Asking them might. So what the fuck, fuck truckers? What’s with the truck fuckery?

 

As an aside: I can appreciate the work, art, and passion that goes into these things, and if they’re used for shows, etc. that’s one thing, but the day-to-day use of something this large just seems SO incredibly inconvenient!

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Things I Just Don’t Fucking Understand: Mom’s Memes

My mom has a folder of memes saved on her computer.

If you noticed my absence the last week or two and happened to see my last post, Eulogy, you can probably put two together and figure out my grandma passed away recently. I traveled to New Hampshire for her funeral and to visit with my family. While there’s plenty to ruminate on there, I’d rather focus on something more lighthearted for now. And that brings me to my mom’s laptop and her folder of memes.

It’s here I should clarify a couple things for you, Dear Reader. One is that I am not an enemy of fun. I want people to have a good time and unabashedly love the things they love. As long as you’re not hurting anyone else, you do you. And two, I pronounce it “mem” like in re-mem-ber, not “meem.” It appears I’m wrong, but I wanted to throw that out there to see if anyone else might do this too.

I’m not entirely sure when the concept of the meme changed from a template image, captioned with slightly altered but relatable and reproducible text to basically any picture with writing on it, but it has, and that’s fine, but this expansion mixed with the boom in older adults utilizing more and more social media has produced a plethora of images that I, personally, do not find humorous. But my mom does. By gods, Dear Reader, does she ever.

While I was visiting her, I paid for my room and board with technology lessons. After answering questions that I didn’t really have the answer to, she opened My Photos. Here, you can see a preview of each of the sub folders. Mostly mountains and snow, but there was one folder, quite dissimilar to the others. The image was clearly compressed and not a photo so much as a solid white background, some text in a near illegible font, and a yellow, amorphous blob. Something in my brain seized at that, but she quickly opened a different folder from a hike she did two years ago and lulled me into a false sense of security. Dear Reader, I’ve seen 90% of her photos before. In fact, I’m in at least half of them, but viewing them with her is just another form of currency, and I’m glad to pay it. But then she confirmed my fear and opened it. The meme folder.

So I got up and started making nachos, because that’s the only thing a sane person can do in that situation. She would chuckle in the background. Increasingly loud chuckles. She was baiting me. “Got some memes there, do ya?” I asked, sprinkling Mexican Four Cheese onto a single layer of tortilla chips because that’s how you do it, Dear Reader: single layer of chips, cheese, another single layer of chips, cheese. Fight me.

“This one’s so funny!” she insisted, and then she read it to me.

Dear Reader, under threat of slow and painful death at the yellow-nailed and pigs-blood-covered hands of an inbred, cannibalistic, radiation-blasted family of the undead, I could not recall what the meme was because when I saw it, my brain shut down.

It’s this thing that happens when faced with something that I don’t agree with on a fundamental level, and I can’t muster the fraudulent expression needed to continue the conversation. I just kind of turn off. It’s basically what happens whenever I see one of these fuckos:

pexels-photo-164854.jpeg
Then I am filled with a BLINDING RAGE and cannot be held accountable for my actions.

But I decided instead to try and make something of this. Why did I have such a reaction, and why was it so in contrast to her own? I avoid these things like the plague, she she, my own mother, the loins from which I was born, seeks them out and saves them as if they won’t be eternalized in the infinite cloud that is the Internet. And for her, someone who has tremendous difficulty on a computer, saving an image from the internet is not an easy task. But this, she learned all on her own! I had to teach her how to set up her bank account alone, but this was more meaningful to her! So I asked: What makes a meme worth saving?

She was quiet, the remnants of a good laugh still plastered in a smile on her face as she stared wistfully at the screen. Then came the reply, “I dunno! They’re funny!”

I know. Take a breath.

I tried to dive deeper into this: Was it that she liked the sentiment of the meme? Were they all similar in some way? Or perhaps she cared for the person who sent or posted them, or even the specific situation that person had referenced with the meme? Every time you see that one-eyed, yellow, banana-loving bastard, do you remember a very specific hike into the snowy mountains of New Hampshire?

“Yeah, I guess.”

She guesses, Dear Reader. And that’s a good enough answer, I guess, because really, no one has to justify their actions to anyone else, especially ones so incredibly insignificant, and especially in response to someone who isn’t doing real science, but I still felt perturbed not getting to the heart of the matter. Her inability to enthusiastically or even completely commit to that answer told me it wasn’t true.

So why does she think they’re funny, but I don’t? Why does she insist on showing them to me even when I say they’re not funny? It’s as if I’ve said nothing or, worse, as if I actually laughed, as she keeps offering another to me. “But this one has Garfield in it!” she tells me despite that the words attached to the image have nothing to do with lasagna or Mondays which just further boggles my mind: these memes are almost completely devoid of meaning beyond the images themselves. In no other context (or really even their own context) would they make sense which I thought was the core concept of a meme–that the image was recognizable and offered additional commentary on the text.

I don’t have an answer for these questions, just like I don’t know what that notification is that keeps popping up on your phone but it’s not there right now, so you can’t show me, but it pops up like five times a day and you can’t get it to go away except it’s not there right now. I can come to some conclusions about why I hate these things, and even some hypotheses as to why she loves them, but I fear we’ll never come to an agreement on them. I’ll forever be making nachos and she’ll forever be giggling at Snoopy drinking wine despite that he’s a dog from a children’s show.

 

Things I Just Don’t Fucking Understand: My Own Worst Enemy

I know I probably come off as a pretty angry person due to these posts, and you probably imagine me yelling at people a lot in real life, but, Dear Reader, I promise you, I’m actually pretty chill. Some might even call me nice. Too nice. Nice to the point where I let people walk all over me on occasion. And so nice I will walk all over myself.

Someone was on the phone while in the bathroom at work today. The public restroom. Talking. I really want to not care what people do, but I wish people wouldn’t try to hold phone conversations in echo chambers because I am such a spaz that I insist on being extra quiet so I don’t disturb them. How fucked up is that? The answer is: totally fucked.

And it’s no one’s problem but my own, I acknowledge that wholeheartedly, but this is the person that I am, and if bitching about it on the internet is my only reprieve then just let it be, okay?

So someone’s in the disabled stall on their phone having their conversation, and I’m being extra dainty in my stall, not that anything I’m doing would make that much noise, mind you, since I don’t shit at work. But I’m being delicate and quiet nonetheless.

It’s also the first day of my period, so I’ve got a tampon in my pocket. I pull it out extra quietly, and I open the wrapper even more quietly than I would normally because gods forbid the other women in the restroom know what you’re doing in the privacy of your own stall which happens to also be the only fucking place you could possibly change a tampon anyway.

So in taking extra care to be quiet, I inexplicable also am very soft-handed, barely gripping the plastic applicator. Don’t interrupt the woman speaking very loudly about her child to someone who is not doing a very good job watching them, I hiss at myself, disposing of the wrapper. And then, tragedy. A perfectly good tampon slips out of my hands and onto the disgusting public restroom floor.

I binned it, of course, and since it’s day one I had to create a makeshift toilet paper pad and waddle back to my desk where I decided to wait it out til I had to pee again which was inevitably less an hour later.

It ended up being totally fine because whatever, that’s life, right? But I’m really amazed at myself here. Amazed at the idiocy. Why did I let that happen? Why can my grip be so easily influenced by some stranger who I know, logically, would not care if they heard me fiddling with sanitary products and even if they did care THAT’S RIDICULOUS AND NOT MY PROBLEM? Why is this who I am?

I pondered this for way too long today. It even depressed me a little. But then, THEN, there was a tub of chocolates left out for our department and honestly, it mattered so very little after that. I almost stopped asking myself why I do this to myself.

IMG_20171114_142213169

 

Things I Don’t Fucking Understand: Lysol Aerosol Spray

Most of us have probably used it at some point in our lives with varying degrees of satisfaction. Personally, I feel like a spritz or two of any scented Lysol on shoes or bedsheets is quite enough. It has come to my attention, however, this feeling isn’t universal.

Some people appear to love Lysol Aerosol Spray in Crisp Linen scent with an intensity I have never experienced for, frankly, anything. They love it so much they want not just to bathe in it themselves, but they want to overzealously coat the world in its miasma. They love it so much they want to build it its own shelf. Don’t worry, I’ll elaborate.

There are two things I thought I knew about life: 1) The older you get, the worse your olfactory sense gets, and 2) Women don’t shit at work.

Only one of those turned out to be true. Guess which.

I work in a regular building for a regular company that does regular things. I actually love my job, but the specifics aren’t important here. What is important is that we have a pretty high ratio of women to men. Like probably two or even three to one. But we have an equal number of restrooms, which isn’t ideal, but this is how buildings are built. I rarely have to wait for the restroom though, the issue actually revolves around the fact that these people seem to wait until they get to work to take their twice-daily dumps. Too few toilets swallowing too many turds. The plumbing is legit a mess.

Maybe this is normal behavior? I have a pretty good diet, and I can shit twice a day (Blog Idea: Facts About Me No One Needs To Know). I, however, do not know many people who can say they dependably take one whole shit every single day. The Standard American Diet is just not fibrous enough. But despite knowing otherwise (I see the lunches), you’d think I work at a vegan co-op based on the frequency with which the people in this building shit.

Shit-shaming aside, the people I work with have a second problem: they love Lysol. And these Lysol-lovers are menaces. Another fact you should know about me is that I drink a LOT of water, upwards of 80 to 100 ounces a day, so I take an hourly, but incredibly fast, trip to the bathroom. I am intimately acquainted with bathroom issues like the sink that constantly leaks or the toilet that’s attached to the men’s room that we all refer to as a “ride” to use. But the Lysol use takes the cake. Let me describe to you the Worst Case Scenario:

You’ve just entered the stall and seated yourself (because in this scenario you are a woman and you sit to pee–deal with it). Someone enters the stall beside you. Fine, there are only two anyway. But then you hear it. That familiar sound of can scraping ever so delicately against metal. Your bathroom partner hasn’t even undone their pants yet and they’re ALREADY PREPARED TO SPRAY. You panic. A quick exit is your only hope to survive the coming onslaught, but there’s no way you’ll make it. Your fate was sealed before your cheeks ever hit the waxy, blotting paper cover.

Your panic has stopped you up momentarily. Your urethra has dammed and so are you. You take a deep breath, your last for your bathroom duration, then break free. The force with which you evacuate your bladder would alert your stall-mate to call for medical attention if they could hear the fire-hose-like stream assailing the bowl. But they can’t hear it. Because they’re spraying. And spraying. AND SPRAYING. Dear god they’ve been spraying for a full 30 seconds. And you’re still peeing so hard you’re practically levitating, but it’s no use. Crisp Linen scent has already reached you, enveloping you in its disinfectant haze. Everything goes fuzzy and you nearly pass out trying to hold your breath against it as you fumble for the toilet paper, aim for your nethers, then realize it doesn’t matter if you get a UTI if you’re already dead from asphyxiation, and burst forth from the stall like a pig escaping slaughter.

People do this, I presume, because they are under the impression there’s all kinds of ass bacteria already on the seat that they’re magically spraying away before they sit, or they know they’re going to unleash liquid hell from their bowels and are pregaming the bowl for what is to come. Either way, the only thing it succeeds in doing is shortening everyone within 50 feet’s lifespan via aerosol-induced lung cancer. And there are NO EXCUSES for this behavior. Alas, my coworkers are some of the worst offenders.

Every damn stall in our building has its own can of Lysol which in and of itself is ridiculous, plus an extra two cans on the sink counters, and the frequency of use of the spray is criminal at best, but this–ALL OF THIS–is not even what pisses me off the most. It’s the Lysol Shelf™.

No, there isn’t an actual shelf built for Lysol–that, at this point, I would support. No. There is actually a tiny metal garbage can attached to the wall for the disposal of feminine hygiene products with a little lid that happens to be the perfect width on which to place a can of Lysol. If you’re not familiar with pads and tampons, they’re typically removed inside the stall and need to be disposed of inside the stall but cannot be flushed. Most women’s restrooms have lovely condescending signs reminding you of this fact, very frequently on little metal plaques with quotation marks around the wording as if it’s some sort of incredibly deep historical quote. Someday I’ll have enough forethought to print out labels so I can stick “ – Eleanor Roosevelt” to one of them.

condescending
Why the fuck is it in quotes?

So thankfully there are these little receptacles in the stalls of women’s restrooms for just this sort of thing, and they’re typically located right at toilet paper height, and, without a hitch, in my workplace they are used for storing the Lysol. No matter how many fucking times I remove the can to place it anywhere else in the stall, it always magically ends up right back in exactly the place where it doesn’t belong: holding down a lid that only needs to be lifted when the user has exactly no hands to remove the can because they’re holding onto A BLOODY FUCKING TAMPON. And no, that’s not fake-Brit speak. We are talking about actual blood. From the vagina.

There’s no way to non-passively-aggressively address this issue. The only response I can think of is to write a note and tape it to the lid that reads:

“This is not the place for Lysol, but if you insist on putting it back here, please know that we’re both touching the same can, but I’m doing so with bloody hands.”

thefuckingshelf
The bane of my existence.

I could get more aggressive and remind them that just because some of their periods stopped with the end of the Bush era doesn’t mean the rest of us ceased menstruating as well, but truly I don’t know what age demographic is doing this. It could be inconsiderate Millennials, but we’re pretty obsessed with periods, so I doubt it.

The point is, I don’t understand why there are so many cans of Lysol in the bathroom at all, I don’t understand the need to saturate the very air so thickly that you’d kill a whole flock of canaries were they with you, and I don’t understand the obsession with Lysol Aerosol Spray in Crisp Linen scent’s own person shelf that is not a shelf at all.

I just don’t fucking understand.