Monday, November 13, 2006

Raging Jew

Ok, Ok, I give……

If you have been perusing the lovely and talented Earl’s blog recently (and really, why would you?), you know that our esteemed ex-Slydesblogger has been trying to coax me into posting about some of our old exploits.

Truth be told, I had thought about it already, but the honest answer is, some of these stories are pretty damn embarrassing, and I can’t think of ONE of them that puts either me or Earl in a favorable light.

But the masses have spoken, so here is one such tale from years gone past….

I first met Earl back in the early 90’s. When I first met him, I thought he was an obnoxious prick (still do, really), but at some point shortly afterwards, we struck up a friendship when we learned that we each suffered from the unfortunate malady that is known as comic book collecting.

So, we started to hang out on the weekends, going to shows and conventions and the like. Even though I was hanging with him pretty regularly, I really didn’t know him that well yet. I didn’t know anything about his family, or where he lived, and for some reason, I thought he was Jewish.

I guess the point I am trying to make is, I didn’t know too much about him yet, and certainly didn’t know him well enough for him to pull the shit on me that he did this one day…..

We were driving back from a comic book store on one of the main roadways here on Long Island.

It was a beautiful fall day. The sun was out. The birds were singing. We had the windows open while some good music was playing on the radio as Earl drove. I remember just feeling fine that day, feeling good about myself and the world. I don’t get into moods like that too often, so I try to cherish them when I can….

Anyway, we come to a stop at a red light, when a car pulls up next to us on our right side, also stopping at the red light.

Casually glancing over, I notice that the man driving the car is an Orthodox Jew. He is decked out in full religious attire: Black outfit, black Yamika, hair in the long curly pigtails, the Full Monty, as it were. His windows are also down, by the way (this will be important!).

I took this in as a matter of no significance whatsoever. Long Island is comprised of about a 40% Italian, 40% Jewish mix, so it’s certainly not unusual to see someone dressed this way.

Not giving him another thought, I glance back towards the road, listening to the cool tunes emanating from the radio.

This is where it gets ugly…..

I guess, in his young, 20-something brain, Earl thought this would be funny, but he turned to me and, referencing the man idling next to us, says “Nice fucking hat…..”.

I will stress at this time that Earl is NOT an Anti-Semite in ANY WAY. He said it to be a smartass, as young’uns often do, and to try to make me laugh. Plus, Earl claims that the guy was giving us dirty looks, although I, deep in my Happy Place at the time, cannot attest to this.

The problem is, between the radio, and my own wool-gathering, I didn’t hear him say it.
But our friend in the car next to us did….

A few seconds go by, and I happen to glance again at our Orthodox friend. He is looking at me intently.

I decide to be a good, friendly citizen and offer him a warm greeting….

“Hello!”, I say in my cheeriest tone.

I'm greeted back with, “Why don’t you go Fuck Yourself!” from the obviously irate driver next to us.

Dumbfounded, I think to myself, “I did not just hear this rabbi tell me to go fuck myself. I’m sure he was replying to my greeting, or asking me a question that I didn’t quite hear correctly. That MUST be it.”

“Excuse me?”, I say, still smiling my dumb, good-to-be-alive smile.

“You heard me! Go fuck yourself, and go to Hell you dumb son of a bitch!”.

Now this is the part where it gets worse….

I am a pretty peaceful guy by nature. One could even say, a pushover. Up until a point. But, since I was a child, it has been true that if you found a way to push my buttons, I go postal. There is no buildup-phase of aggression with me. I just ‘pop’. You do not get to collect $200 when you pass Go. If you get under my skin, I just ‘erupt’.

I held out an olive branch for this stranger, and he just took it and wiped his ass with it. It pretty much pushed every button I had. Defcon 5 to Defcon 0 in just under 5 seconds.

The light went green, and the man began to accelerate, still looking hatefully at me.
Raging against this stranger who just slighted me for no reason, I scream over at him.

“Why don’t I fuck myself? Fuck you, you Fucking asshole!”

Still glaring at me as we drive side by side, he yells back “You are a worthless schmuck. You’re a piece of shit!”.

Now I am over the edge. I mean gone. I am yelling at Earl to keep pace with him, head out the car window, screaming all the way….

“I’m a piece of shit? You’re a piece of shit! Pull your fucking car over right now!”

“Pull the fuck over, Fatboy! I am going to fucking rip you in half!”.

“Let’s see how tough you are OUT of your fucking car! Pull over RIGHT THE FUCK now!”.



I could continue, but you get the point. Let’s just say that it is NOT one of my proudest moments. I DON’T plan on putting it on my resume, either…..

This verbal barrage continued for a minute or 2. At some point, our new friend must have realized that I was literally about to jump out of the car and rip him out of his vehicle. He punched his accelerator, ran a red light, and sped away at Mach 5.

It wasn’t until I popped my head back into the car, red-faced and near homicidal, that I happened to take a look at Earl, who surprised me, since he had tears in his eyes….

Tears of fucking laughter.

He was barely able to continue driving under the high state of hysterical laughter he was in the midst of.

The next time you wonder why I hate you so much Earl, let’s just agree to reference this incident as “Exhibit A”.

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