The Sickness of StupidityPosted: September 23, 2011
I’ve decided to pass along some of the odd encounters I remember from the chop shop. Like flickers of memory, the small moments between all the big ones tend to shed the most beautiful light. So here is the first of my mini-anecdotes from mortgage hell:
“Hypocrite cocksuckers!” someone yelled. It came from the waiting room.
“What’s that?” I though out loud, poking my head around the corner to see whom the offender was, hoping I had misheard him. There were clients being shuttled from office to office, all within earshot.
“Cocksuckers!” he said again, this time in a slightly hushed voice. The man looked to be in his mid-thirties. He wore a suit that expressed a willingness to look good and yet an inability to afford that very same thing. He pawed at his slicked back hair, and licked his lips like how a great dane might.
“Who’s the retard?” asked Billy the Vet, my office-mate and chronic porn watcher. He and I had been standing at the mailboxes, pretending to be busy for the benefit of our boss, Glenn.
“Not sure,” I said.
“Probably schizo,” he said with certainty.
“What’s that?” said Bradley, who had the great misfortune of not only being the office boozehound but also the office moron (the latter title, of course, unbeknownst to him).
“Schizo,” Billy said. “You know, like you say shit out loud that doesn’t make any sense.”
“Kind of like you,” I said. “But it’s Tourette’s, dumbass, not schizophrenia.”
“Cooocksuckers!” the guy said again, building up to an emphasis on the suckers part.
“You know, a guy in my unit has a brother with that disease,” Billy said. Billy was a Marine until he quit on everyone one week prior to his Iraq deployment.
“It’s not a disease,” Bradley said. “It’s a mental illness.”
“Really, Doctor Doolittle?” Billy said. “What’s the fucking difference?”
“Well, for one thing,” Bradley started, seemingly unsure of where he was going with this but willing to continue anyway, “a disease is something you get from someone else. Like herpes. A mental illness is just bad luck. Some people just have it.”
“So, what’s cancer?” I asked. “I mean, you don’t get it from someone else—”
“No, you can,” Bradley interrupted. “Second hand smoke, dude. Disease. See?”
“He kind of has a point,” Billy says. “It’s fucked up logic, but it kind of makes sense.”
“Then being fucking stupid must be a disease, too,” I said.
“How so?” Bradley asked.
“Because you obviously got that from each other,” I said.