Eight ways to know your life has gone off the rails

December 9, 2015 Originally published on SFGate

Is there a loaded firearm stashed in your vagina right now? Are you unspeakably flustered by the recent sporting news about… curling? Did you just pay $650,000 for a painting you can find in almost any dumpster in any flea market in rural Kentucky on any given Sunday?

It’s possible something is amiss. It’s possible you’ve lost track of fundamental reality, and it might be time to step off the juddering runaway train that is your anguished consciousness, take a deep breath and reevaluate your life choices.

Just saying. Just a thought. Because from the looks of it, it’s only going to get worse – and a bit more terrifying – from here. But don’t take my word for it. Just ask…

1) Dallas Archer! You’re 21. From rural Tennessee. Yeah, you’re the bad seed, the snarling troublemaker hurling down the highway to an early and violent Hell, and you don’t care who knows it. I mean, obviously.

How can we tell? Not from your requisite mug-shot sneer. Not from that dumb traffic bust at 19. No, it’s most definitely the loaded miniature pistol they found stashed in your vagina when they booked you into jail. Good thing you don’t know anything about Kegels! Right? Yes.

2) Did you know there’s not one, but two companies in Canada that manufacture brooms for the “sport” of curling? And that one of them is in hot water for inventing a broom so technologically advanced, it’s considered unfair to the other frustrated curlers who frantically rub said sticks on the ice like ferrets on cocaine for nine seconds every round? Or something?

Wait, you did? My apologies. Perhaps laudanum?

3) Cries for help come in many forms: Facial tattoos. Bacon perfume. Owning multiple cats. Tormenting said cats with cucumbers to make terrible viral videos. Wishing you were a cat in a terrible viral video.

But is there any cry for help louder than the one heard ‘round the world when you willingly spend $658,000 on a painting of… dogs playing poker?

Because that’s is exactly what just happened, at Southeby’s, just recently. Was the buyer the fabulously lumpy, rich-bro cliché you imagine him to be? I.e.; was he an entitled tech dude in the spoiled frat-guy/Evan Spiegel mold, lousy with cash and terrible taste to match, trying to be hipster cool? Impossible to say (Sothebys’ buyers are anonymous).

But one thing’s for certain: Whoever bought this painting: It’s probably time for a moral re-alignment. Do you have $658,000 to spare? How about donating – let’s see now – $658K of that to Planned Parenthood (anonymously), and then scoring the $10 black light version of that absurd painting, for fun, for the man cave? Now that would’ve been cool.

4) Natasha West! You’re 27! You ordered the $4 all-you-can-eat pancake special at Denny’s, recently, in Chicago. Well done, bargain shopper! But then you somehow (stupidly, angrily) assumed this meant you could pile on as many pancakes as you want, and share them with all your friends at the table. Which is just silly. And disrespectful. Don’t you think?

Natasha! No more pancakes.

Natasha! No more pancakes.

And when you were politely reminded of your strange lack of basic decency and etiquette? You fell into a rage, threw lame punches, kicked your way out of the restaurant, without paying.

Natasha! We have news: You are not the bad girl you think you are. You are not all raw and feisty and tough. You are, in fact, quite small, and getting smaller. In fact, at this rate, it’s possible you soon might disappear entirely. Is it too late to save you? It’s never too late, Natasha. But hurry!

5) You find yourself enraged by the news that a 7-year-old boy from Texas just emptied his piggy bank of $20, and gave all of it to a local mosque that had been vandalized. You felt compelled not to praise the kid’s awesome demonstration of human kindness, but rather to join your puny voice with the chorus of racists and bigots who’ve bashed the kids’ parents, and all Muslims, and called the child any number of revolting things.

You are, sadly, sinking fast.

Meanwhile, Muslims worldwide are uniting against terrorism (which affects them the most, by far), even as countless right-wing Christians are choosing to come off almost as quite nearly just as hateful, and as paranoid, as any ISIS radical.

6) You choose to spend more than .001% of your desperately finite lifespan in angry online debate over any the following topics: Starbucks holiday cups, iOS vs. Android, Game of Thrones trivia, Adele, El Niño, Gwyneth Paltrow, hashtags, dog breeds, the “war on Christmas.”
7) Your name is Isis or Phuc Dat Bich and you genuinely – really? – don’t understand how Facebook, which topped 1 billion logins in a single day recently, keeps acting like a stupid monolith that has no idea of its own scale and impact, and keep shutting down your account. Maddening! OMG!

But also, you know, understandable? Amusing, even? Because they’re trying to be decent, and have just no clue? And look! You’re both in the media! You win!
8) You are a Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives. You pretend you do not know – or, even worse, are too dumb to know – the difference between innocent Syrian refugees fleeing unspeakable terrorist violence, and the terrorists themselves, the same radicalized murderers who, also thanks to you and your absurd policies, will encounter zero resistance if they want to buy guns in America. God – and the US Constitution – are deeply ashamed of you. Perhaps a personal reckoning?

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Mark Morford

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