I won't complain about it, of course. I'll just stand by, trying to be patient, trying to appear genuinely interested in the flyer on the wall advertising the new "Mommy and Me" body sculpting classes for North Shore mothers and their offspring.
When a typical example of Evanston manhood sits on the shoulder press machine, making cell phone calls to his trainer and his broker, I'll force myself to think things like, "Hey, I'm in no hurry, right? I'll just do a few more stretches."
When two tri-Delts just back from winter break spend 15 minutes sitting on adjoining leg machines, discussing the agony of losing the two pounds it will take to get back into their size zero A & F jeans, I will think, "Such dedication, in such young persons!" and smile beatifically.
Or maybe I won't.
Maybe my New Year's Resolution will be to stop being so nice. Maybe 2006 is the year I begin to kick the asses of those who spent 2005 getting up my commodious nose.
By way of example...
Modern Parents and Their Children
Specifically, people who expect the world to maintain a 20-foot zone of space and quiet around their precious children at all times. These are the same parents who teach their kids that the world is their toy box, that their needs are first among those of all people, and that all their demands should be voiced immediately and at full volume no matter where.
These are people like the mother on the bus whose tow-headed darling pointed at me and said, "Mommy, that man looks like a burglar! He has a dark beard and dark skin!" Mommy's equally audible response: "Yes, burglars have dark beards and skin, don't they? But I bet when he robs people he wears a mask."
If you are such a parent, you would do well to keep your children away from me this year. If little Schuyler kicks me in the shins, and you laugh to indicate that I should find this cute, his Baby Gucci boots are getting thrown into traffic. I may or may not take them off his feet first.
I will move on to people who walk really slow. I don't mean people who have to walk slow, whether their mobility issues stem from age or infirmity. I mean dawdlers-by-choice who live in the third largest city in the United States and have never noticed the line of 30,000 people stuck behind them, trying to get to the platform before the train leaves. They wear high-heeled shoes during ice storms in November. They think State Street during lunch hour is a swell place to stop and smell the roses. They like to pause, meditatively, at the bottoms and tops of escalators.
If they notice their fellow citizens at all, it's to ask, "Hey, why the hurry?"
Why the hurry? Because this is a city, you morons. Cities are for people who like to be busy. Cities are for people who are busy. Busy people don't @$!* have time to stroll. You wanna stroll? Go stroll on a dirt road in rural Wisconsin and bother the cows. Because in 2006, if I'm behind you and the train's coming, you're going to get a pointy umbrella in the back of the neck.
The Preacher Outside the Old Navy on State Street
Listen, loudmouth. Every time I walk by you start bellowing about how mine is not the kingdom of heaven if I behave in a "HO-MO-sexshul FASHion."
Well, I happen to disagree. However, you're the one with the bullhorn, so there's no point in trying to out-yell you. So next time I'm just going to walk over and give you a big ol' French kiss. It's high time you made good on your latent fascination with hot men. Pucker up.
Women Who Wear Lingerie as Outerwear
Especially when combined with low-rise jeans. I include the famous ones, like Britney and Christina; and the less-famous, like the Northwestern University Class of 2007. I am tired of being confronted by your boobs and bellies. You look like pork sausages with low morals. I am buying a super-soaker, and I have great aim.
Whether you've rolled into Chicago from near (like Gurnee and Naperville) or far (like Iowa) the next time I hear you say any of the following,
- "This must be the neighborhood with all the queers."
- "I'm sure those homeless people could get jobs if they wanted to."
- "Watch your purse, honey, that black guy was looking at it."
Shut up. Stop it. Go away.
And he knows perfectly well why.