The Worst Thing Ever: LoveBookOnline

As I have been contributing to this little writing project of mine for the past year and a half I have also been thinking about the name, Soapbox Stories. Admittedly I had named this project as such as I thought it had a nice ring to it and never thought much about the implications. Soapbox Stories implies an outcry, a message that must be heard with a hint of self-righteousness. While my poetry has plenty of that, I feel that it would be fun to increase my writing output (and self-righteousness) with an occasional opinion piece.

This is why I am proud to present “The Worst Thing Ever”, in which I will finally get on my soapbox and rant about the things in life that irk me, annoy me, and that I generally see asininity or pointlessness in. Be advised that these are my personal opinions and that I will NOT be covering anything on politics and religion. Facebook is basically all people who have no idea what they’re talking about getting mad about politics and religion, I suggest that you go there if you want to see that.

That being said, it should come as no surprise that the first source of my documented contempt comes from that soulless website of normies and relatives that you are the only kind of lukewarm about. As I was scrolling through the wasteland one day, I stumbled across this ad. Usually, I can shrug off personalized ads well enough but this one insulted my intelligence and basic human dignity with such a vengeance that it has permanently burnt into my psyche. Naturally, I must pass this assault of decency, courtesy of LoveBookOnline, on to you:

asininebook
Romance is real, ladies.

Now, I know what you’re thinking, imaginary person who I think is actually reading this. You’re thinking, “This doesn’t seem that bad. What’s the big deal?” Let’s begin with the major sticking point in this atrocity, look at the writing on the book to the left. “P.S. Can you please read this book if we ever get it in a fight? That way, you will remember exactly how I feel about you and hopefully, forgive me more quickly :-).” Am I the only person who can see what a sneaky and manipulative move that this is? It’s not even like it’s a sneaky move that takes a lot of effort such siphoning her funds through small increments. That is sleazy, sure, but at least that takes much more effort and intelligence than this shit. This tripe that LoveBookOnline actually sells for real, human money is about as romantic and likely to end in sex as pulling out a Diva Cup. The laziness on both the creator and buyer’s part of this is on par with the loveless, 50-second missionary sex that will ensue while she’s thinking about what flavor of yogurt she’ll be bringing to lunch the next day.

To reiterate, if I get into my fight with my fiancée here are my options:

a)  Try to understand why she is upset and apologize. Then grow as a person and act less selfishly to change the ways that I act that upset her.

b) Go out to get a jug of milk and a pack of cigarettes.

c) Buy a personalized book with a transparent cop-out so I don’t have to do any of the work mentioned in a).

Let’s push aside the stupidity and obvious toxicity of that quote alone for a moment and concentrate on the concept itself, again. When I was six or seven years old my aunt and uncle bought me a personalized book about a boy that had to team up with a bunch of farm animals to find a rooster. While I appreciated the gift, even at that age I could tell that it was cheesy. Could you imagine gifting an adult person that you pay bills together with something on that same level? A person who seriously believes that this is an appropriate gift for someone who’s presumably seen their genitals has to be the kind of person that throws dishes away because they don’t want to clean them. Like who is the target audience?

Look, there’s nothing wrong with treating your significant other with gifts and gestures that are corny. There is nothing wrong with writing them a cheesy poem every now and then, getting them a dumb stuffed animal because you were thinking about them or even doing the chore you know that they hate (for the love of God though, don’t make them an IOU coupon book). If you love your partner, then why pay some asshole to tell your story for you? If you were dead-set on making you partner a little personal book to remind them of why you care for them so much, wouldn’t it be a lot more intimate and special if it was something that you made completely from the heart? It won’t matter if you can draw well or not, as if the cheap drawings would be hard to top, something that you wrote by yourself would be far more meaningful than this shit. This pandering, lazy and phony faux-romantic gesture is both an insult to corny romance writing and to romance itself. At least you can write your own message in a Hallmark card. An evening of watching your boyfriend scratch his balls and sniff them after every time while he plays Call of Duty would be more romantic than this. R. Kelly’s cell is more romantic than this. I have a higher standard for my love life than something that you can cut-and-paste, and I hope that you do, too. This is why this is the Worst Thing Ever.

I Just Need A Day

I just need a day,
I always say,
As another one passes by,
And my deadlines become nigh.

I just need another hour,
I’ll do it after I cook something and maybe take a shower.
As another one passes by,
And my anxieties become high.

Just gimme a minute,
I say not realizing my time is finite
As another one passes by,
My girlfriend and the universe sighs.

Can you just gimme a second?
Time is infinite and yet there is none.
As another one passes by,
The hopes of completion surely die.

Can I have a moment?
I need to relax, I have too much stress. I need a chance to unwind, to get unbent.
As another one passes by,
So I take out another high-interest loan on borrowed time.

Advertising

Curse you, relentless salesmen
You marketers of young and old
Who hound me to buy, to consume products sold
Again, again, and again

For now, it is the way, we cannot go a day
Without one million voices telling us
We are too ugly, too fat, too grey
We have no value without a sale of value
Our only hope and dreams lie with what we buy and dare not to discuss
We want more sex, we buy more drugs
But God forbid, that we dare discuss
Sex and drugs

Don’t let it cause you stress
Chill, let us sell you a pill
Reality is overrated, reality is a mess
I’m the Dr. here. Now, get the fuck out of my office. I have plenty more Xanax to shill

Watch TV, go on Facebook and Twitter to ease your mind
Our prospects of sales
Are very close behind
Here we are again, you cannot hide
Here we are again, without fail

Be your own boss!
Work your own hours!
But you have to have profits, no room for loss
Be aggressive in sales, do not let financially weak friends cower

We will return after a message from our sponsors
Was the way of the old
Like, follow, and subscribe
For new content every week
Is the way of the new

Advertise to your children
To find inspiration within
For wherever they look
They will only see a sales pitch, a marketing hook
A deal most fair
A Toxic world that’s 50% off if they buy in bulk
A Bud Light Monster Energy Deluxe White Trash Nightmare
A pseudo-entrepreneurial snake, a sales-machine, a marketing-Hulk

They will convince our flesh and blood
As they have convinced us
That it is is better to be brand
“I AM MY OWN BRAND”
Than it is to be human
They have convinced us
It is better to define ourselves with a logo- to forget our soul, forget pride and shame
But onwards we go
Glady we advertise- we peddle cheap, placebo shit for the Instagram fame
“I AM BUILDING MY OWN BUSINESS”
We say as we give our loyal customers a 20% discount to a supplement sponsor
As we purchase retweets and answers
We have convinced ourselves it is better to live as a brand,
Than it is to define ourselves, to live on our own values
To live as a man.

 

The Life of An Adult-Baby Daddy

I took the last drag of my cigarette and slowly exhaled the cancerous, delicious tar. The poisonous mist danced gracefully away and disappeared into the hot summer air. My eyes gazed up towards the streetlights and stars wistfully. I wanted to light another one to prolong the peace of the summer night and the beautiful sky. I knew deep down that I had to go back inside.

That I had to go back inside to her.

I creaked the door and entered my house slowly, with the caution of an experienced burglar. I slunk over to fridge to grab a Miller High Life and plopped down on the couch to crack it open, pulling the tab ever-so-delicately as to make as little noise as possible. A pop and a small hiss escaped the cylinder. After the break in the failed to alert any attention, I turned on the hockey game and watched mindlessly. It’s all I wanted to do after my 10-hour shift. I needed this. Maybe tonight I could finally get some normality. That’s when I heard bare feet pattering towards me on the hardwood floor.

“Honey, we need to talk.”

Maybe not.

“Okay, what is it?” I asked.

I didn’t need to ask, I knew exactly what was coming. I knew I had to choose my words carefully. I knew that my life will never know peace.

“I’ve had a rough day today, and my anxiety is really bad. I’m going to revert tonight. Once it happens I’ll need a diapy change.”

The word “diapy” pierced the core of my soul.

“Alright, well, look, this is a playoff game. The Jets haven’t been this close to the Cup in a long time and there’s only 10 minutes left in the third period. Just let me watch it and-”

“No!” She shrieked. “Baby need diapy change and stowy-time now!”

I sighed deeply, but not loud enough for her to hear, and turned off the TV. I held her hand and walked her to our bedroom. I sleep in a bedroom with over 200 stuffed animals.

As I placed a pacifier into an adult woman’s mouth I thought back to when Melissa and I had first met at a La Dispute show in 2015. We hung out that night after the show and partied until dawn. She even told me she was into some weird roleplaying stuff when we had breakfast together the following morning. I just assumed that she meant she liked to pretend she was a school teacher, or a cop or something during sex. I never imagined it would be anything like this. She was cute, fun, and seemingly cool when I met her. I was a young, desperate fool who just had to have a girlfriend. I was too desperate and too impatient. Now here I am, reading “Green Eggs and Ham” to a 22-year-old with a septum piercing, a pacifier, and sparrow tattoos.

 

My life is a cruel joke. I drive to work and back every day in complete silence. No radio, no podcasts. Nothing. I do it because it’s the only solitude I get in a day and I cherish it dearly. My friends belittle me mercilessly, family does not take me seriously. I must adhere to all of her rules and follow Melissa’s vegan diet, I haven’t had friends over for a BBQ or even grilled a steak in years, I’m not even sure I can anymore. I’m not sure I can do any of this anymore.

I snapped out of my cruel past and back into my cruel present. I had to get Melissa ready for her “beddy-time”. I carefully played my part in her routine of singing “Mary Had A Little Lamb” to her, putting on her jammies, and tucking her into her crib. The crib that I had spent my Christmas bonus on last year.

“I wuv you, daddy.” She said in her faux sleepy voice as she nestled her nose into my chest. It’s a good thing I had died inside long ago, or else that would have sent me into the brink of insanity.

“I- I wuv you too.”

I sat back down on the sofa after Melissa’s “beddy-time” was over. I downed my Miller in one thirsty swallow and immediately cracked another. In total tranquillity and darkness, I stayed, staring into the void. The late-night infomercial salesmen were far more comforting than they could ever know. I had thought that I could finally be free for the night. Melissa’s piercing cry molested the moment over the baby monitor. I thought about setting myself free forever. But instead, I finished my beer in one efficient, numb-seeking slurp. It’s time to be “Daddy” again.

My mother always wanted me to have a baby, and now I do. Do not live like me, for I am dead.

 

The Immigrant Poem

THEY’RE TRYIN’ TO TAKE AWAY OUR CULTURE!
Says the man whose grandfather came to Canada, and was given an English name
Who does not know his original last name
Who does not speak French
And has no desire to learn
Who had no desire to speak it with his father
English is the best language anyway, why should he bother?
It’s all he needs to watch American television
He knows it all about his culture. He loves Bud Light and supports the troops.
Our culture is the best culture,
But he probably couldn’t tell you much
About the Sixties Scoop

THEY’RE TRYIN’ TO FORCE THEIR RELIGION ON US!
Says the woman who goes to church twice per year on Christmas and Easter
Says the woman who worships her reflection
Who never takes time to truly reflect
Who would never take the tired, the poor, the huddled masses
Those people are on their own, I’m not giving them a handout
Handouts include my important time,
That I will not volunteer
But when tragedy strikes far or near
She takes the matter very dear
She knows the cross is hers to bear
And gets on Facebook with a “Thoughts and Prayers”

THEY’RE TAKIN’ OUR JOBS!
Says the man, not at all meek.
Even though he came to work hungover
The third time this week
The man who lost that job
Not because of his lacklustre habits, or his love of the wine
He lost that job so that the board of directors
Could protect their bottom line

THEY’RE A HATEFUL PEOPLE!
Says the woman, so full of vitriol
The woman who has not talked to her own son in 10 years
The woman who will not hear a word he has to say
For Jesus despises him, and God’s ears are deaf when he prays
For he made the fatal choice, of living as a gay

 

The Hunt for Phil Begins

“You know the Council of Nine isn’t going to go for this, right?” Mr. Claus had mumbled with apathetic caution. He drew a hot cherry of his wooden pipe, the rich tobacco adding a fitting haze to his humid, humble Havana office. The sweet stench of heat, wood and rum still overpowered the smoke.

“My balls are already in a vice with them as it is. It doesn’t help that my work overshadows the bosses’ birthday. That puts me on thin ice already, you know. Now you’re here to put this shit on me? I don’t need this.”

I stared through his steel grey eyes. They had a cold quality; as if they had seen countless lifetimes. Maybe they had. I wasn’t sure. All I knew was I actually was quite fond of this man, but I was desperate. My despair formed rage and it slammed my fist on the thick wood of his desk. It hurt like a motherfucker.

“Now you listen to me- you fat, sorry excuse for a demigod! I don’t give a hot, sweet fuck with Eleanor goddamn Roosevelt that you got issues with the Council of Nine. We all do- they’re dicks. That does not change the fact that one of your miniature servants is out there, making life Hell for me and all mankind! Will you do nothing? Or fight, like a man!?”

Mr. Claus drew again from his oak pipe. His face was cherry red; the sweat from the heat and the anger now almost a vapour. His eyes pierced my soul, smoke now smouldering from his nose. Despite his anger, he knew that I was right. He sighed remorsefully.

“I created all of the Elves with powerful magic borrowed from the Council. I don’t even fully understand it. Phil is no exception. His lust for power and weaponry grow; malevolence in his tiny black heart. The Council isn’t going to like it, but it is true, my creation and my mistake must be destroyed. It is of the Fallen.”

The silence was deafening. I rose from my leather chair with the pace of a Redwood tree’s growth. I picked up a burlap bag from from his floor and a hammer from his workbench. We gave an unspoken nod of agreement as I walked out into the blistering Caribbean heat. We both knew what must be done.

You can’t ask Snap, Crackle or Pop how damn good I am at my job, because I did it well on them. Oprah Winfrey, your TV career, nor a fake doctorate can save you, I’m comin’ for you Phil. Cash me outside.