Sunday, August 08, 2004

The Punjabi Perspective

An old friend of mine from my first couple years in college flew into town Saturday night to attend a Sunday afternoon wedding just outside San Jose. I picked him up at the airport and within 90 seconds I wanted to open the door and kick him into oncoming traffic. How was I ever good friends with this guy? Let me ellaborate.

His name is Vijay. He came to Berkeley from India by way of Van Nuys and now works as a software programmer for a life insurance company. He lives just off Venice Beach down south and spends the majority of his free time--by his own admission--playing multi-player, first-person shooter computer games over the internet and avoiding anything resembling proper personal hygiene.

I had forgotton--thanks to a 2 1/2 year hiatus--how much Vijay talked and how full of shit he was. The first thing he said when he got in my car at the airport was "Man, great to see you. What a trip, brother. What's it been? 2, 3 years? Wow man, so much has changed. I can't believe I'm back in SF." (He actually said 'brother' and 'SF' in the same breath).

I was thinking to myself "Dude! It's the Bay Area. Nothing's fucking changed. Dude, YOU haven't changed. You're wearing the exact same fucking clothes you were wearing the last time I saw you--TWO FUCKING YEARS AGO--and you have the same long greasy hair and ridiculous Zorro-style facial hair!" Instead, I nodded my head and plaintively grunted assent as I made like I was concentrating on maneuvering through airport traffic.

In case you were wondering, this was the first time I wanted to throw him from my moving car. It would not be the last.

At this point, though, I still wasn't really aware of how miserable my night was going to be. I got my first glimpse about an hour into the visit when Vijay implored me to call all of my friends that he knew because he "wanted to see as many people as possible while he was in town so he could shoot the shit and talk about old times." He said those exact words, I swear. So I called Don--one of my best friends.

N: Don. Hey what's up dude? What are you doing tonight?
D: I don't know yet. It's A.J.s last night in town so we'll probably do something.
N: Sweet.
D: Is anything going on tonight? What are you up to?
N: Well that's kind of why I called. I'm getting off the freeway to Berkeley right now. I just got back from the airport. I picked up Vijay. He's in town for a wedding and we're trying to see what people are up to.
D: Vijay? Vijay who?
N: Vijay. From the co-ops.
N: You guys want to get together a little later for drinks? Shoot the shit. Talk about old times.

After a round of similar calls, Vijay mentioned that he wanted to have dinner with another friend of his named David. This was the second time I wanted to kick him into traffic. David is a short, fat, red-headed computer programmer. He's half Iranian and quite possibly the most annoying person in the 510 are code. He has more hair on his back than on any other part of his body--COMBINED--and has made it clear to everyone he knows that he prefers anal sex to any other sort of sexual contact.

The prospect of dinner with Vijay and David should have had me fleeing the scene like a parole violator in a COPS episode. Instead I said sure and headed with Vijay--WHO STILL HADN'T SHUT THE FUCK UP--to an Indian restaurant. Dinner lasted an unmerciful 90 minutes with Vijay and David volleying computer-programming anecdotes back and forth in an attempt to one-up each other as to who has a tougher job and lives a more stultifyingly boring existence.

They tossed around words like "firewall" and "DLL" and "database management" and "sysadmin" with nerdful giddiness. At one point David actually spit a mouthful of tika masala halfway across the table in a fit of laughter after Vijay told him about somebody at his office patching the wrong something or other during a "standard fix" and then running something or other and bringing the whole system down. As they knowingly laughed the laugh of computer nerds, I seriously contemplated stabbing myself in the leg repeatedly with my curry-stained fork just to prove to myself that I was, in fact, still alive.

After the computer talk stopped, Vijay started holding forth on what it takes to be "successful in the real world." What it takes to "prove to everyone that you can do the 9-5 thing." How he has devised a plan to go to grad school, "be an entrepenuer by the age of 30" because he "can't work like this for much longer." If he's going to work for a company that's not his own, it has to be "by [his] rules." He is looking for a new programming job because he wants to be making twice as much as he is now in 3 years and he wants to "continue to grow professionally because [he's] really stagnating in his current position and not having his skill set being used to its full potential."

That was enough.

"DUDE! Vijay. You are so full of shit. Do you hear yourself? You have no idea what you're talking about. Where'd you come up with this shit. I feel like I'm listening to someone audition for the role of Gordon Gecko in a high-school production of Wall Street: The Musical. "REAL WORLD?!" What do you call the last 26 years of your life? FUCKING CANDYLAND?! Dude, you talk about how awesome L.A. is and how happy you are, but all you've done tonight is talk about Venice Beach girls you would never talk to because you're a fucking chicken shit and because you spend all day playing fucking computer games. You love your work but you are quitting and trolling your friends for job opportunities. You love your social life and the free-wheeling nature of L.A. women, but you couldn't name a single great club in the Basin and you haven't been laid since your whore of a girlfriend broke up with you--DURING THE CLINTON ADMINISTRATION! DUDE, you're a nice guy and you mean well, but you need to get fucking real. Give me a call when you wake up, get a clue and cut the fucking bullshit."

I slid out of the booth, threw back the rest of a now-flat bottle of Taj Mahal beer, and left. After I bailed, I made my way to a party at my old house intent on getting those three hours of my life back. At the party, Vijay's words started to worm their way into my brain. I should be writing full time. I shouldn't be wiling away my mid-20s busting my ass doing mindless work for a bunch of fucking attorneys. As I got drunker some of Vijay's words started ringing truer. I refused to let this happen. I started thinking about friends I went to school with and I broached the subject with friends at the party:

N: Anthony, do you feel like you're not going anywhere?
A: Yeah.
N: Really? Why?
A: Well Sara took my car keys before I left the house. Bong rip?
N: No dude, not like that. I mean like with your life. Do you think you're not going anywhere?
A: <pause> Bong rip?
N: No, dude. I don't smoke.
A: Nothing? Not even pot?
N: Nope.
A: Ever?
N: Ever.
A: Really?
N: Yeah dude. Answer my question. What are you doing for work now? Are you still looking?
A: Nilsio man, I am dating a HOT Iranian girl who loves me and my cock. I'm playing in a band that I'm writing the lyrics for, and I'm driving a car that I won off my brother in a Euro Cup bet.
N: Nilsio?
A: Yeah dude, it's your new name.
N: I have enough names. So what about work? I mean you've broken up and rejoined your band once already . What about work?
A: I'm working at a butcher shop.
N: A butcher shop?
A: Yeah dude, it's good honest work.
N: Like Brady Bunch Sam the Butcher, butcher shop?
A: Yeah dude, it's awesome. I sliced bacon yesterday. I work like 3 blocks from my house. I go home for lunch everyday, smoke a j, jerk off, listen to some music, eat a bowl of cereal, and walk back to work.
N: Dude, that's sweet.
A: I know man, that's my I'm not trippin about "purpose" or "career path" or shit like that. Bong rip?
N: No dude, I don't smoke.
A: Oh yeah.

Then I thought about my buddy Dave. I would have called him but it was a Saturday night--his day off from the field camp he's attending in Montana as part of his requirements for graduating Berkeley with a degree in Geology. I remember he was planning on going fly-fishing that day. Dave's on the 9-year plan. He got to Cal in '95. I don't think he's done more than two semesters in a row. But, he's lived in Austin, Portugal, Antibes, Sevilla, and Tucson. He's been engaged twice, he parties like he invented it and, in talking to him in the past, it is clear that he has zero regrets.

Finally at 12:30am, completely drunk, I called my buddy CV. In Portugal. He runs a bar in Lagos and spends the entire summer either behind the bar or on the beach. Surprisingly, he answered:

N: CV, what's up man?
CV: I just got in. Got e-tarded at Bahia Bar.
N: How's life?
CV: Dude, I'm a bartender in a Portuguese tourist town.
N: Dumb question
CV: Yeah.
N: Tell me something, I had dinner with Vijay tonight. He got to tal--
CV: Vijay? Vijay from Cloyne?
N: Yeah.
N: He got to talking--
N: Shut the fuck up. So do you feel like you've got purpose in your life? Do you feel like you're wasting valuable time in your life? Like wasting your youth?
CV: Wasting my youth? I RUN A BAR IN A PORTUGUESE BEACH TOWN. Dude are you serious? Did you call me at 8:30 in the morning to ask me that?
N: Well yeah. I mean, what about graduating? The future?
CV: Nils, since I left Berkeley a couple years ago my penis has had so many different women visit it, I should start stamping their passports.
N: But what about your future? I mean after Portgual.
CV: You better be drunk.
N: Well...
CV: <click>

Now I remember why these guys are my friends. I'm such a fag.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I prefer Kingfisher over Taj Mahal.

August 8, 2004 at 5:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your blog is sharp, intelligent and funny; a must-read throughout my more tedious office hours. -Stephanie

August 8, 2004 at 7:23 PM  
Blogger dusty said...

what's the o/u on your quitting life as you know it and doing what you really want? if that is what you want..

August 8, 2004 at 11:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your posts are great. You are an excellent writer, and a very interesting person.

Please continue writing.

August 9, 2004 at 12:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, you could quit your job in the world of law, start a website where you recant your adventures in debauchery, and do nothing but write and hook up with women. It would be so original and new...

August 9, 2004 at 12:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

dude, this shit is running rampant. i am going to quit my job very soon. the morning after going out in SF with you, brother, i got a job offer from Yahoo doing the same shit i do now for 104k a year. i am thinking about not even taking it. it seems every time i hang out with anyone i deem intelligent we always have 10-20 ideas about how to make a million dollars on our own, but never do anything about it.

i went to LA for the weekend and WROTE AN ENTIRE FUCKING MOVIE WHILE I WAS THERE. working with funny talented people opened up my mind in ways that corporate droning not only never could, but worked against.

i want to be a comedic writer... a creative assistant type of writer. basically i want someone to give me a situation and i'll add the funny, or they give me the funny and i add the scientifical PRIME funny. smart funny is so fucking easy. i took a hilarious plot line and added in a fucking monkey that not only tied the entire movie together, but tripled the opportunity for funny. god damn, i'm awesome.

this was the choice quote from the weekend after we had a movie done, and 3 websites with complete business plans...

"dude, if i was unemployed, i would totally be a millionaire 10 times over".

bong rip?

-madd scientist

August 9, 2004 at 1:21 AM  
Blogger NP said...

I'm not quitting. I can write and work at the same time. Shit, I spend half my days in the office writing.

In talking to my friends, it became abundantly clear that it doesn't matter what you do for work as long as you don't define yourself by it and, in turn, are happy with the way(s) you DO define yourself. I am definitely in the latter camp on that one. I've always known that, but getting drunk after spending an evening with a person who makes you wish for a quick and painless end to it all does not help with clarity of the mind.

August 9, 2004 at 7:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's because he pushed a button. You want to believe there is more but you tell yourself everyday that you are doing all you can with your life. You work, you play, you sleep. 'What more is there?' you ask yourself. He pushed THAT button. Get over it, fag.

I love your writing. Huge fan.

August 9, 2004 at 8:38 AM  
Blogger Halmustdie said...

A famous singing douche once referred to this as a "quaterlife crisis". Just about everyone I know is going through roughly the same thing.

Personally, I think its much better to get a late start in professional life, then to wake up a 50 with hair plugs, a corvette, and a gold-digging 20yr old mistress, and wondering what might have been.

Just don't go back to school. Trust me on this. It feels like your "pitting in" during the second lap of a car race.

August 9, 2004 at 11:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

**angst** ahhhh, the dull pain of not having a life has finally gotten the better of you. at least you have a good group of friends (highly unlikely) and you have told someone who cares (internet). you win at life.

August 10, 2004 at 6:16 AM  
Blogger NP said...

there's no angst. In fact, I was making light of the fact that I let someone who is so obviously full of shit affect my mindset for even part of an evening. But I guess I can't make excuses for your lack of reading comprehension.

And if you find this objectionable or annoying, then why are you reading the musings of someone you've never met? Interesting dilemna, huh?

I love smart people.

August 10, 2004 at 10:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Last night Tucker blew me off. Again.

I went insane. I cut off all my hair with kitchen scissors like Frida Khalo. Today I examined the fallout (actually quite cute and flippy. I am good at everything). I also thought, "Bunny... there is something terribly awry. Why are you so angry? Why have you become a bitter and horrible person since you met Tucker?"

Today, while I'm working, Tucker is hovering over me asking me the same question.

I have decided to make an itemized list of reasons why I might want to cut off all my hair like a rape victim.

[Note: This is truly humiliating. If anyone were to make a medicine to cure low self-esteem, I'd take it in spades; I'd do the 10k walk for closet self-loathers, and wear the empty wine bottle lapel pin. I wish to God these FACTS were fabricated or embellished, but the awful truth is that they are not. I only hope this helps the other girls who don't like themselves].

What it is like to date Tucker Max…

-You will get fried chicken for your birthday. Later that night when you both go to a bar, you will want a diet coke, but won’t get one because that is one less beer that he can drink.

-He will hang up on your favorite aunt, and be stunned when you get upset that he referred to your mother as “that fucking bitch” because she called you at a late hour.

-He will scream at you because you don’t like the instant coffee he bought you.

-He will never kiss you, and barely fuck you, even if you beg him to for months. You are now the Virgin Mary. He will still try to coerce crazy whores into coming to Chicago to fuck him. He will kiss them because they are whores, and don’t you know that you’re only supposed to give good passionate sex to women that you don’t know or give a shit about? I didn’t know that either.

-You will beg him to take a shower, which he will not do. But he will shave his face to have long make-out sessions with any random girl.

-You will read every piece of writing he has ever done and be supportive of all his creative outlets. When you then ask him to read your own novel he will drop it after chapter one because it’s a waste of his time. He’s not good at editing.

-You will give him the greatest head of his life on a regular basis. He will still suck in bed.

-He will make sure you know that you aren’t very hot, only sort of cute, and that your head is too big for the rest of your body. You also have unattractive dark circles under your eyes and your tits are too small. He will never compliment you.

-You will be bi-sexual and okay with him sleeping with other women, but this will not be enough. He needs freedom.

-If he is an insensitive asshole to you, it is only because you are selfish. You should understand that his parents sucked and now you have to pay for this. How this is logical, I’m not really sure.

-When he has major surgery you will not leave his side. You will spend day night waiting on him hand and foot, making sure he is comfortable and well cared for. You will even wipe his ass when he takes a shit. Later he will tell you that it was all unnecessary. He didn’t need or want you to be there.

-When he is supposed to pick you up and take you to a party, he will get black-out drunk and fuck some girl instead of showing up.

-He will tell you he loves you and wants to have children with you. When you then get pregnant, he will say that he has about two to four more years of drinking and whoring left to do, so a baby isn’t in the cards. He will coerce you into an abortion by threatening to give away your dog if you try to have the child. Then he will be evasive so that you will be forced to dump him and he can get off scot-free.

-When you get upset about this, he will tell you that you are over-emotional. When you try to explain how this hurts, he will ignore you till you find yourself screaming and breaking things. He will explain these outbursts to his drinking buddies as so: “Yeah she’s fucking crazy. She flips out on me like every third day.”

-When you go to stay with your parents (read: bawl day and night) for two weeks, he will fuck other women in your bed. The night you return he will try to go out with a whore he’s just met and wonder why you’re upset about that. He needs his freedom.

-When you are at your parents, he won’t take your calls. Instead he will spend his time e-mailing some whore. Later, he will not stop e-mailing this same whore, because all whores come before your feelings even if the whores are half as attractive and barely capable of forming cogent sentences.

-When his ex-girlfriend dies and then comes back to life, you will nurse him through the depression. You will even be fine with her coming to stay at your own fucking apartment so that he can decide which of you he wants. This is so that you can be fair to both of them because you are a good person… unlike them.

-Later on you will catch him telling this covert bitch who pretended to be nice to you that he is only keeping you around because you are willing to support him financially. They will laugh at you behind your back for being “over-emotional.” Oh how silly you are!

-When Tucker bounces back from his depression you will not be needed anymore. You will just hand over the keys to his car and not say a word when he drives it all over Chicagoland while black-out drunk.

-When girls come to the apartment, he will become “Cooooool Tucker Max.” He will dress and act differently. He will be an asshole to you. Why are you upset? Don’t you know “this is the Tucker Max show?” This pathetic statement is his actual quote.

-And finally (though I could write pages and pages of this horrible shit): When you’ve been stood up by the very first date you’ve planned in a year, you will call Tucker and ask to hang out with him. He will not come pick you up in YOUR OWN FUCKING CAR, because HE lost your license the night before and you won’t be able to get into the club he's going to. When you ask if it’s possible to go anywhere else he will refuse because there are free drinks and whores in said club. Whores are very special. Much more special than the woman that did all the above things out of unconditional love FOR A FUCKING YEAR!

posted by The Bunny at 4:22 PM
HeadDr said...

This post has been removed by the author.
5:12 PM
HeadDr said...

PS Bunny, tell me, if any, of the following sounds familiar:
Tucker is intriguing because he is an asshole, because he is smart, because he represents a challenge, because he represents something sexually exciting, a fantasy fulfillment where anyting goes, because he is a risk & an experience to be conquered?
Do you feel (or has he conveyed) that you are the only one that can truly reach him to understand and quell his boyish insecurities.

Is he self-motivated career wise? Does his careers success necessitate a social charisma?

Are you nurturing with him? Are you classified as cute because, in essence he could never consider his mother anything more, meaning not seductive or hot (that would fuel Freud (if you buy into that shit) more than his cocaine habit).

And quintessentially, does he exhibit a boyish intimate approach to you (again read: mommy issues). Does he exploit women that show weakness? (refer to above aside).

6:19 PM
boobilicious said...


I want to hug The Bunny.

August 11, 2004 at 6:33 PM  

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