I was riding to work today as I always do at 8am.
Today was unusual in that I decided for a change in my normal music routine. Usually I’ll blast some Metallica or something exciting, loud, and fast. It gets me going and most of the time I’m fighting a nasty head-wind.
For some reason Cat Stevens popped into my head this am. I cued up his best-of and let it rip.
I always forget that Cat Stevens is like 30mg of Valium snorted on an empty stomach. He’s so mellow that even when he’s screaming it sounds soft and timid.
For some reason I went to Father and Son which is one of the saddest tunes ever written. It’s a son basically telling his dad to sit on it (like the Fonz!) and that he’s going off to score some strange and find himself. But the dad completely understands. And you feel empathy for both. It’s a huge, beautiful bummer.
Being that I have a ten mile ride in that’s tough, listening to Peace Train and If You Want To Sing Out, Sing Out doesn’t exactly get the adrenaline pumping. In fact I believe the songs may have instructed my body to produce estrogen because I was immediately craving bon-bons.
I went into a deep alpha-like trance and the world dissolved into itself. It’s like when you realize you’ve been driving and texting for ten minutes but you can’t remember the last time you looked at the road. Oh yeah, don’t text and drive. Bark texts at your wife in the passenger seat who will be more than happy to send your messages out.
I must have been close to the bike lane divider line because some asshole in the full loser bike gear yelled at me as he’s passing me.
“Move to the LEFT!!!! Jesus!!!”
Look, skinny weirdo bike dick – there’s six feet on either side of me and nobody around. If you’re going to pass me just shut up and do it. By the way, your skin tight spandex shirt is not exactly a lady panty-melter. This is part of the reason you haven’t been laid this millennium.
That entire line shot through my head milliseconds after he yelled at me. But here’s what came out instead.
The best way to evisercate and destroy someone’s well being is to laugh at them. To them. When it’s just you and them alone. Nothing is more dehumanizing.
Now the trick to successfully killing someone’s spirit by laughing is very simple – in that moment, you must hate them so much that yelling would be a waste of your time. That they’re not even worth arguing with. They’re that insignificant.
Is this cruel? Oh yeah. But, if you don’t want to laugh at them, you have another option. Fight back – which definitely works since bullies stand down if you can find your balls and hold your ground. I didn’t have a stick to throw in this guy’s wheel spokes and we were traveling at 20 mph. So I laughed at him. It was awesome.
Try this next time you’re dealing with a bully/predator. Simply look them dead in the eye. Well, look through them into their soul where fear and anxiety hide. Laughing will cause them to relive some horrible shame trauma from grade school. Like the time they sharted during ceramics class and everyone laughed.
I also recommend getting the hell out of there as you’re laughing. After looking into their eyes and laughing you must walk away. It’s all part of the dehumanization. Plus, you never know if they’re going to throw a haymaker. Some people are jerks like that.
You want to be a jerk, too, but a jerk out of harm’s way.
If you haven’t laughed at somebody in a long time, put it on your to-do list. Try to position yourself in front of a few dickheads this week. You’ll be amazed how good you feel laughing at someone who deserves it.
Oh, and then make sure to forgive yourself. Guilt and remorse have no place in laughing at someone. Steer clear of any bad feelings by telling yourself that they made you do it. Then, move on. Drop an extra nickel in the church plate if you can’t sleep at night.
God’s totally cool with absolution. It’s his deal.