||[Apr. 20th, 2006|12:44 am]
Somewhere in Antigua
He is a very big man. Huge. And he's angry.
We're sitting in my Echo, and I'm driving fast, unconsciously trying to speed away from him, even though he's in the same car. (I do funky shit like that. Once, Deborah was whispering something in my car, and I tried to make her louder by turning up the volume on my stereo.)
He has a large red and black can of Sobe No Fear. It is empty. As he's talking, he gets angrier. The angrier he gets, the more his large fists clench the empty drink. His words are punctuated by staccato shrieks of abused metal. By the time I drop him off, the round can will have become square.
"That Jennifer," he hisses, "she's a snake. High maintenance, don't get me wrong. Women that age don't be turning up their noses like that. Makes me want to hit her in the face."
"Sorry, sorry. You know what I mean? I never hit women, but I'm just saying. She's a snake."
I make a non-committal sound while unconsciously moving from 77 to 80 mph. I'm not afraid of Al, but he annoys the fuck out of me. Normally, I wouldn't put up with his shit.
You see, Al and I carpool the forty-five minutes to and from work every morning. With gas prices as ri-goddamn-diculous as they are, we're talking $100 per month savings. (HA. YOU THOUGHT I WAS A WHORE. ADMIT IT.)
However, Al is a very negative man. He's a vet, has seven grown-up and estranged children, lives with his chronic-pain suffering wife, and is really an artist. He makes about the same as I do, but he's a union draftsman. He hates his job. HATES. But he loves CSI: Crime Scene Investigator and Survivor: Exile Island. LOVES. (I'm pretty much sure he also watches American Idol, but just won't talk about it.)
When he drives, he turns into the mean Goofy from that one Disney cartoon where the nice Goofy turns into the mean Goofy behind the wheel. He likes to "fake-clap" at cars when they pass us. The drivers are usually too scared to give us the bird.
But his worst offense is the constant ranting. You see, Al is a hater. He makes high-pitched, ironic voices and gestures crazily with his hands. Spittle often collects at the corners of his lips. Sometimes, he'll pound the dashboard with hate-zeal. When this last part happens, I pretend that I didn't just bite off and swallow my entire lower lip. (Remember, it is around 6:00am, and the good lord knows that I don't wake up 'til around 10:00am. Hate-zealous dashboard pounding should be strictly prohibited any time before this.)
His favorite topics include: How the Man is Fucking Him in the Ass; They Should Pay Him More; He Wants to Live on a Farm and Fire Pottery, Especially Ocarinas, Because They Are Awesome (<--WHICH MAKES ME THINK LINK: OCARINA OF TIME AND I GIGGLE)--and my personal favorite--Man, That Bitch Is A Snake.
I've never had to share close proximity with a true Hater before, especially one who hates women as much as he does. It is actually more interesting than not, purely because he apparently does not consider me a woman. In fact, I'm pretty sure that he doesn't consider me a person. Given my non-human status, Big Angry Al feels free to rant at length about every single person in our company who has ever scorned or belittled him. These activities must be quite popular, is all I'm saying.
"That Sarah," he hisses, "She's a ssssssnake."
So, while I appreciate the $100/month savings, I'm seriously reconsidering this whole carpooling thing. Sure, the views have been interesting. And I do like mulling over a good CSI or two (shut up). But also, I value peace, or at least the pretense thereof.
Mostly though, I'm tripping that I've run into a bona fide, genuine stereo-type. I almost want to keep him. But like, in a bottle. Far far away. In a cave. With all the other hater troglodytes.
What are your experiences with stereotypical people?