Outside of the In-Crowd – Things Assholes Like: The first in a series

Courtney Enlow

Courtney Enlow

Last year was all about various Ebolas. But I’ve pledged in 2009 to be more upbeat, more optimistic. To see the good in things. And that is why “Things Assholes Like” will pop up from time to time over here.

Perhaps for this inaugural submission, I should discuss what exactly constitutes an “asshole.” Because there are people in this world who are good and kind and happen to like shitty things. Like the somewhat clueless guy strolling around in the Ed Hardy t-shirt he got as a gift, or the girl who bought one of the Shopaholic books at an airport because she forgot to bring something to read and found herself enjoying it [sheepishly raises hand]. No, these people are not assholes. An asshole is someone who refuses to see beyond their horrible taste or to see things for what they are, and force their own terrible enjoyment upon others. “You didn’t read Twilight? You don’t want to? You stupid whore!” * runs away crying to get her third Robert Pattinson tattoo *

For example, assholes like to post unnecessary and mean Internet comments. Go to any YouTube video or article on Digg (or my column from last week, for that matter) and you’ll see some fucker who daddy never hugged ranting about how stupid what they’re reading is, what a FAGG!!1! the author is or how much Liberals are ruining this country.

But those people bum me out. Plus I understand that you are not supposed to feed the troll. So I thought I’d start this rolling with a subject close to home and rather specific.

Assholes like to play Wii loudly at 3 a.m.

Possibly under the influence of cocaine, but then that would take away from the assholiness of the inner-asshole. And no one likes a faker.

Like many people who live in apartment buildings, I have an upstairs neighbor. This neighbor was not a problem until roughly December 15, 2008. For that was the night it began.

Every night since then, I’ve been pummeled out of a deep sleep by the sounds upstairs. The sound starts soft, then becomes so loud as to shake the items in my bedroom, then repeats in military fashion for two hours, like a horrible waltz. Bum-bum-bum-BUM-bum-bum. My light fixture shakes, my heart races and the urge to kill rises. Initially, I hoped that it would just go away. I was leaving for vacation for two weeks, perhaps by then it wouldn’t happen anymore. But it only worsened. Of course the obvious solution would be to go upstairs and talk to this person. Which I attempted, and quickly stood down.

When I went to confront this foul creature, I soon realized via a trail to their door that they were the culprits behind the vomit incident that had plagued our hallways for the better part of a week. Also, it was 2 a.m. and this person was blasting some kind of hipster shitrock, like Interpol and ICP had a really ugly baby. I decided that A (Wii/DDR/jazzercise sounds – I haven’t yet truly decided which it is, but I’m leading towards Wii) plus B (loud 2 a.m. music) plus C (vommy grossness) equaled massive amounts of cocaine and booze, and I being a smallish woman who lives alone would probably be murdered by his bare hands (note: I had that night been suckered into visiting rotten.com, which is probably why my mind was working this way). I opted instead to leave a note. This did about as much good as one would imagine.

After the un-success of the note, I was starting to really lose it. I have often imagined that hell is an eternity of being constantly awoken from a nice sleep, and there I was in my own personal hell.

I began picturing myself using the telekinesis I’ve long wished to have to blow up whatever device was causing this person to do this to me. I was like a nerd un-friendly Carrie. I would become some kind of superhero, going from tenement building to tenement building, erupting devices of neighborly annoyance into flames, their owners on their knees begging for forgiveness.

But I don’t have firepowers. What I did have was the arm of my elliptical machine. So I removed it and began banging on the ceiling with it.

I don’t understand this person. What kind of human being is so callous and rude that they spend their nights doing the most obnoxious and loud things possible? I mean, parties and music and general shenanigans, I get. I understand that. I’m not a perfect neighbor myself. I get way too fancy with my attempts at cooking and end up with the fire alarm going off at least once a month. I sing loudly to songs like Michelle Branch’s “Goodbye to You” and various Jewel songs (complete with impression, which sounds more like Kermit than anything else). But I tell you this – I attempt to at least keep it within my own walls. I become embarrassed at the mere thought of bothering another person. The instant someone complained about the volume of my Core Rhythms DVDs, as advertised by one Mary Murphy, you can bet I’d take it to heart and really try to keep it down.

But then there’s this asshole. This guy just won’t stop.

This past weekend was the final straw. A Saturday night-in apparently, doing what he does best. 2 a.m. – it starts. I feel my eyeballs bulging out of my head in rage. At any moment, they will no doubt burst from my head and through the ceiling and smack him in the head like he deserves. So I grab my trusty elliptical arm (which of course means unscrewing it from its holder, never to be correctly placed ever again) and bang twice on the ceiling, which is Morse Code for “shut the fucking fuck up.”

He proceeds to stomp on the ground like a toddler facing punishment, then to spend the following hour doing his little kick routine or whatever it is at twice the volume.

I hate him. And he, like his asshole brethren, must be destroyed. And that is what I intend to do.

One could say that there are bigger issues in this world to face, and one would be correct. But I believe that the complete and utter eradication of assholes will do more good for this world than you know (also, acid rain and the rain forest just kind of petered out, maybe assholes will too).

Courtney Enlow is a writer living in Chicago and working as a corporate shill to pay the bills. You can contact her at courtney@hobotrashcan.com.

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