Call Me Irresponsible

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Ithink we can all agree that the world would be a much happier place if:

1) Everyone behaved a little bit more responsibly, and
2) Temecula were to be wiped off the face of the earth by means of nuclear explosive devices.

I have had a lot of experience with Temecula and irresponsibility lately. The first time was back in February, on Dead Presidents’ Day. I was sitting at the newspaper office, attempting to write a column, when I was asked if I would like to deliver a camera to the Temecula office. Needless to state, I nearly wet my pants at the chance to drive to TEMECULA (!), which was recently named “Most Hell-like City in Riverside County,” narrowly beating out Hemet.

So I went, but first I called up my friend Aaron, whom I was sure had nothing better to do than go to Temecula with me. He said he would like nothing better than to go, but first he had to ask HIS PARENTS, who eventually said yes.

(Here, I would like to parenthetically point out the first instance of my irresponsibility, as explained by HIS PARENTS to him and eventually to me. One day after school I took Aaron home and was invited in so that I could waste time and be sufficiently late for work. While I was hanging around his house, I happened to notice that his parents had a collection of I would say 118,000 Cabbage Patch Persons, all of them strewn about the house in various poses and settings. They obviously cared for them more deeply than they did their real children, but I did not recognize that at the time. Instead, I decided to be funny — I am a Trained Humor Professional, after all — and turn three of four of them upside down and return them to their original locations, thinking that no one would ever notice.

I thought nothing of it until a few days later, when Aaron informed me that his parents had noticed (they apparently come home each night and say “hello” to each individual Cabbage Patch Person) and that they were — I want you to pay close attention here — ANGRY about it. The fact that I had turned a few of their Persons upside down had actually upset them. I’d be willing to bet that if I were to turn Aaron upside down, his parents wouldn’t give it a second thought, but when it comes to a $45 bunch of rags tied to an ugly plastic head, well, THAT’S where they draw the line.

I was informed that Aaron’s parents now thought I was irresponsible.)

But back to the story, the point of which I have now forgotten. Oh, yeah. Temecula. Aaron and I went to Temecula and, after delivering the camera, we went to the record store and then to Burger King, where we experienced the second example of my irresponsibility. Aaron ordered and paid for his — for want of a better word — “food,” and I had just ordered mine, when I realized that I had spend every last cent I owned at the record store. Fortunately, there was a check cashing place nearby, and I just happened to have a check that someone had written to me for my book.

So I went to the check cashing place, which had a sign outside proclaiming the fact that no I.D. was required. This led me to believe that no I.D. was required and that the whole process would be relatively simple. This, however, is not the case. The woman — I swear this is true — asked me what the check was for. I didn’t think she’d believe me if I told her I’d written a book, much less sold a copy, so instead I told her the check was for heroin. She laughed and gave me the money and called the police.

There are, of course, other examples of my irresponsibility, such as the time I ran into a chain-link fence with my car, sustaining $318 worth of damage, but that’s another story, and quite frankly, I’m tired of telling stories.

This column was originally supposed to appear on April 10, until I realized that Aaron and I were both going to be gone on a school trip that week, and we felt we should be in town when the column ran in order to intercept the newspaper and prevent his parents from reading it. This column doesn't present them in a very good light, after all, and they were still mad at me over the incident in question. We successfully kept the column from them, and they got over being mad at me, and now I think they're divorced. Which isn't exactly relevant, but it doesn't really surprise me, you know? Because I could always tell they hated each other.

In publication, most of the Burger King/check-cashing story was omitted due to space limitations.


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