I have noticed a worrying pattern in my feelings: occasions which mark some public joyful event are filling me with intense annoyance bordering on hulk-like rage. I am simmering in a barely suppressed state of fury at events in which other people seem to be wallowing delightfully.
THE BLUENOSE MARATHON
By Sunday, 19 May, I was puking in my mouth at the mention of the Bluenose Marathon, and not just because of the inane repetition of its stupid, smurfish name. Look, if you want to run, go run. If you want to donate to charity, go donate to charity. What is this posing about in the streets pretending to run, holding up traffic of ordinary good citizens- what is this insane chatter about fund-raising, what is all this self-promotion and holier-than-thou see-what-wonderful-people-we-are chatter? We get it- you people are sporty, you’re charitable, you’re marvellous, let’s pat you on the back one more time. Now get off the freaking streets. If anyone didn’t know better, honestly they’d think the Bluenose Marathon was the second coming of christ or mehdi or some such fabled event, the amount of fuss and hullaboo it generates.
THE SCHOOL CONCERT
I hate it. Let me say it plain and loud, I fucking hate dragging my sorry self in the evening to a stinky, sweaty public school gym, forced to sit on uncomfortable chairs for TWO HOURS, listening to masses of children -my own blurred and hazy amongst them- forced to stand up and creak out bad music.
Look, I value musical education- I pay good hard cash, close to $150 monthly, for various music tutors for my kids. Just sitting here, now, I can see three musical instruments and masses of music sheets lying around my living room. And I have nothing against teaching kids how to perform in public- except I don’t want to be in the audience.
For the kids, the school event is another reason to drag them to school in the evening, where they spend an unholy amount of time cooped up the classroom, the poor public school teachers on unpaid babysitting duty, until it is their turn to march up on stage and croak out some infantile nauseating tune about cows mooing and the sun shining in Nova Scotia. I see the spark of crazy in the eyes of teachers as they run up and down school corridors, sweating, attempting to impose order on the masses of squirming children. The parents, on the other hand, seem drunk with delight – waving ipads and cameras in the air madly. What is wrong with them? Why are they acting as if their child singing is a future Pavarotti? Why can’t we go home? What are we doing here? The universe spins off into an eternity of high child voices singing unintelligibly, parents chattering, babies crying. My son tugs at my hand. “Never talk about the song we had to sing” he tells me. “It’s too embarrassing”. “Maybe next year you could sing the theme song to Mortal Kombat” I reply. His eyes shine crazily at the thought of reciting the names of the Mortal Kombat warriors from the school podium.
It’s me. My psyche is out of sync with the universe around me, I know. School concerts are good, bluenose marathons are good, I am bad. Take me to church, sharpen your knife.