This is one of those weeks I’d like to forget. Seems the folks at North-Worst Disoriented couldn’t manage to get one plane to land in Detroit before any one of three others took off. Thus, I was stuck in one of the top ten murder cities for a night, despite the fact my plane was slated to leave Boston at 4:20 p.m.
When I got home, I had jury duty on the brain. Seems this is the price you pay for trying to make sure we didn’t have four years of Grandpa Cranky and You Betcha running the country. In any case, the first day, I got excused, but the second day, the “Jury Hot Line” told me I’m due. I’ve got a Ph.D., I was a working journalist who covered police and courts, I’ve got no fewer than three immediate family members along with at least a dozen close friends who work or have worked for the PoPo and I can generally tell when I’m being bullshitted. So, I’m going to have to trek my ass down there and be told by two lawyers, “Shit, no, we’re not taking this guy.” (UPDATE: I was right. Gone in less than an hour, and half of that time was watching “the video” that told me how awesome this was gong to be.)
There has been a ton more stuff than that, but that’s not really the point…
Upon Tweeting about my flight experience, I had two decent friends peck back with “If you think you’ve got it bad, look at what happened to these people…” One of them tossed me a link to the story about the 47 people who were trapped on the plane from hell. When I bitched about jury duty, it was the same thing: A friend did the, “If you think you’ve got it bad, I’ve had to go THREE TIMES and to a REAL court where REAL crime happens.”
When people commiserate, I don’t have a problem. I’m not out there trying to tell people I’ve got the worst of something or that I alone have ever had to suffer this level of indignity and woe is me. It’s more of a “Dammit, this sucks. Can I get a witness?” thing. However, why is it people feel the need to go with the one-up thing? Does that make me feel better? No. Does it improve something for them? No. Does it have any value at all? No.
I don’t doubt for one second that there are people out there far worse than me. In fact, if you want to just beat the shit out of me, you can always do the, “Y’know there are kids dying of dysentery in Africa every minute” thing. I’m Catholic. Guilt is biologically etched on all of my chromosomes. Still, I think good friends listen, nod and at least don’t act like general assholes about it by reminding me that I’ve still got my health.
So, if you’d like to tell me you just got a speeding ticket or that you got hit in the head with a shovel or that you were on a flight that crashed into the ocean after sucking a waterfowl into the intake manifold, I’m happy to hear it. Post it below. Know that I’m reading, nodding and I won’t come back with “If you think that’s bad, there was this one time where Richard Gere showed up at my house with three thugs, a 12-pack of gerbils and 500 yards of duct tape…”