You know those days when you look and feel like sh*t on a Triscuit, the unjust application of gravity causes breakable objects to spiral from your useless grasp like whirligigs, and basic social interactions make you feel like a rabid honey badger in a hole, ready to saw off errant human limbs with your razor-sharp incisors? Yeah...so today was one of those.
My brother and I used to call this Being Foul.
It started the year we did summer theater in the far flung village of Walhalla, ND. Night-owls by nature, we would stay up until 4 a.m. watching VHS tapes of old Tony Awards shows and scaring each other by pointing out the window and screaming (you know, like you do...). This would have been a perfectly fine Friday night activity if we didn't have to be on the road by sunrise to make our curtain call.
One particular Saturday we hit the highway on less sleep than usual, feeling like the love children of The Machinist and Yosemite Sam, and we were so surly that we couldn't even converse...we just made guttural noises and gnashed our teeth like pissed-off wolverines. Now mind you, we were on our way to a place called FrostFire Mountain to dance and sing for busloads of elderly Canadian tourists, nice Manitoban couples who forked over handfuls of Loonies to see us whirl and grin like jazz-handed freaks...so we needed a remedy, and fast. But what (non-chemical) salve could there be for a night of poor choices and a prickly bleary rage for which we only had ourselves to blame? WHAT WOULD SAVE BIG RIVER, THE MUSICAL FROM TURNING INTO AN IMPROMPTU SWEENEY TODD?
Eminem. That's right: the real Slim Shady. I mean, duh. Listen...Eminem knows foul. He lives it. He's a white-trash hornet buzzing in the ear of good taste and reason. I am hardly a Marshall Mathers apologist, but to everything there is a season, and the season for "Kill You" is seven a.m. in a Ford Focus with miles of highway ahead of you and three hours of sleep behind you. No matter how bad things seem, Shady understands, and not only does he understand, but he'll sample some Dido beneath your trembling angst and spin some fly rhymes about it, throw in a few f*cks and sh*ts for good measure, and offend everyone you have ever known or ever will know, just for playing! Instant catharsis!
Applying this this line of reasoning to my current situation, I listened to the Office Space soundtrack (the only gangsta rap on my iPod...I save it for special occasions), followed by a chaser of the Replacements' "Goddamn Job" and a little Rage Against the Machine "Bombtrack"...and you know what? I didn't experience a complete bad mood turnaround, but it helped. So in a (very) roundabout way, Eminem just did a nice thing for the ladies and the gays--i.e., my coworkers who have to deal with it when I go all snarling honey badger--for I came back from my lunch break transformed into something far less threatening: say, a mildly inconvenienced raccoon. Metaphorically speaking.
Isn't life a mystery?