Beers with Beatrice

Sometimes people bring snacks or sweet-somethings to work, put ‘em on a counter and everyone shares. Once or twice a month Jennifer bakes cookies. Darla occasionally buys a box of donuts. Peter brought nachos last week. 

I tend to eat more than my share of such snackage, so I bring something too, sometimes. This morning I brought a jumbo-size bucket of prunes. Help yourself. Just about everyone at work is full of shit — I certainly am — so it can’t hurt and might help.

♦ ♦ ♦

The office smelled both mildewy and chemically, because they applied something to the carpet overnight. Neither stink was overpowering, though, and I got to sit in my soft chair again, nice and dry, instead of resting my rear on hard metal.

And then nothing interesting happened all day. The closest to interesting was, while inputting price changes for a long list of panty hose UPCs, I decided to change a line of data from ‘color:flesh’ to ‘color:caucasian’. Dragging the company into the late 1960s, against their will.

♦ ♦ ♦

After work, Beatrice and I finally got together for that long-threatened beer, which was also not interesting. We talked about the election (she cares) and about work (neither of us care), and we had a few light laughs like people are supposed to do, or so I’ve heard. 

It’s hard for me to judge whether it went well, me and her at a bar after work, working at being friends. With minimal social life, I can only compare it to my recent evenings with Kallie, but sorry, Beatrice, but there’s no comparison. With Kallie I'm not nervous, and she seems relaxed, too. I like Beatrice at work, but tonight we were never quite relaxed, always unsure what to say next. Same as with people everywhere, in any social situation, we had nothing much to say. Now I have nothing much to say about having nothing much to say.

I always tip, and tip more than I can afford, but I didn’t tip the bartender when we left. The guy had been nowhere to be found, even though the bar was barely busy, and I had to ask for glasses when we ordered the beer. Like he expected we’d sip it out of the bottle? 

Tell me if my standards are too high. I don’t drink beer much or often, and when I do it’s always straight from the bottle or can. Beatrice is a lady, though, and we were in a bar, not a dive bar but a place with napkins and ashtrays and “Girl from Ipanema” music. Other customers had their booze in glasses. And the biggest clue is, I was dressed — if I’m drinking beer from a bottle, I should be in my underwear and a t-shirt, max.

♦ ♦ ♦ 

The beer did seem to reduce my ongoing mouth pain, though, so after saying good night to Beatrice, I bought four six-packs on my walk home.

♦ ♦ ♦ 

It’s election day, and the polls closed at 8PM, so I had plenty of time to vote, but I didn’t. I never vote. Gave up on that some years back. There is no-one running in this election, or in my lifetime, who’s worth the bother of ten minutes’ effort on a Tuesday night.

Elections are decided by millions, thousands, or occasionally hundreds of votes, but one vote doesn’t matter. It’s like one pebble at the beach. The outcome won't be determined by whether one fat slob sits in his chair picking his nose or walks to the polling place and back.

Anyway, elections are a tragedy, on endless auto-repeat. People who might be able to solve society’s problems don’t run, or if they do, they’re eliminated long before election day. It's always a choice between a dullard possessing 2/3 of a single solitary clue and someone completely clueless. This idiot, or that idiot.

Today's top election is between California's Governor Pete Wilson and his ‘challenger’ Kathleen Brown, but I hate 'em both. Wilson is a millionaire, went to Yale, has been a politician for 25 years and accomplished nothing worth accomplishing. Brown is a high-power attorney, her father and brother were both Governors already, but I don't think the job should be inherited, and she hasn't said anything that convinces me she knows anything.

Is there a clump of kitty litter's difference between Brown and Wilson? They'd both lock me up for the disapproved vegetation in my cigarette. If it’s my “third strike,” they'd both agree I should be locked away for life. Wilson, being a Republican, would keep me in prison an extra ten years after I’m dead and call it 'punitive damages', but that difference isn't worth the small hassle of casting a ballot.

Screw ‘em both. Screw the elections, and screw everything that's wrong with America that nobody running for office intends to fix. I try not to give this country, or this world, a moment’s thought, but when I do I want to cry, more than I want to vote.

From Pathetic Life #6
Tuesday, November 8, 1994

This is an entry retyped from an on-paper zine I wrote many years ago, called Pathetic Life. The opinions stated were my opinions then, but might not be my opinions now. Also, I said and did some disgusting things, so parental guidance is advised. 

Addendum, 2021: My feelings about voting haven't changed, really. My marvelous wife always voted, though, and usually I accompanied her, so when we became a couple I began voting again. I've voted in every election, big or small, since 1997.

I vote not because it matters, but because it’s fun voting against Republicans. And because my wife wanted me to.

Pathetic Life 

← PREVIOUS          NEXT →


← PREVIOUS          NEXT →


  1. I voted in my first one or two possible presidentials, 92 and maybe 96. Then nothing for the same reasons as you until Shawna basically demanded that I vote for Obama / against the repug candidate. Now, I can't fucking imagine not voting. I fairly happily voted for Obama in 2008, less happily in 2012. I held my nose and voted for Clinton and Biden. I vote in the locals, though it's useless, as my county is 75-80% Red.

    1. Maybe I was more 'whipped than you. Steph never demanded that I vote, and she only suggested it once. Now it's my habit again, same as you, and I'll keep doing it until I'm not able to do it any more.


The site's software sometimes swallows comments. For less frustration, send an email and I'll post it as a comment.