Friday, 21 June 2013

Being Less Affected by the Self-Absorbed Sociopaths All Around Me

The other day, Kate and I were stopped at a red light and the teenager in the car next to us had his gangsta rap turned up to bone-and-teeth-rattling.  I sat there stewing, as I always do when I hear this (really, what is this doing to your hearing, kid, and why inflict your poor taste in music on the rest of us?) when I hear a thin tinny "Excuse me, excuse me" from the elderly lady two lanes over who is also flapping her hand, trying to get the miscreant's attention.  When he finally notices her, she says, with genuine sweetness, "would you mind turning that down, please?" and he says "Sure, no problem." and turns it off and looks out the windshield with what seems a genuine smile.  I think to myself, man I just stewed in a boiling cauldron of hate for the past 30 seconds only to witness this little lovefest that resolved the problem and seemed to make everyone happy.  Could this approach actually be healthier than me marinating in my own bile?

This reminded me of another case a couple of years ago.  My niece, who attends McGill University in Montreal and was then playing for the women's soccer team, was in town to play the University of Ottawa team in a pre-season friendly.  So, the family and I headed down to the campus to watch the game and parked in one of the pay-and-display garages just as a young chick got into her car a couple of spots down and turned on her techno-dance crap to ear-bleeding loudness, which, of course, got me ranting to my girls about today's self-absorbed and oblivious youth.  I got out of the car, still grumbling, when, barely audible over the thumping bass I hear, "excuse me, excuse me."  I turn to see said young chick walking towards me saying that she had paid for overnight parking, but wouldn't be needing it after all and would I like to have her receipt to display?  What a fine young woman!  And another 30 seconds of my life that was mis-spent.

This all raises two issues for me.  First, being a big flaming ball of hate is taxing (no wonder I am nearly completely incapacitated by depression) and maybe I should approach these situations with a greater degree of positivity, or at least indifference.  Second, do any of today's kids listen to good music?  I never hear rock, blues, jazz or, God forbid, classical music thudding from their cars.

Your More Mellow Correspondent signing off.


  1. Now, now....just because it's not what you like to hear, doesn't mean it isn't good. Just not your taste. From you gangsta rap loving bass pounding cousin (when the kids aren't in the car of course )

    1. Funny, the thought of you riding home pounding music about capping some guy in the ass and then making one of those beautiful, sweet, luscious cakes is an interesting contrast...

  2. Love it..... you sure have talent in writing.