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Rant #309
(published December 21, 2006)
Born-Again Bathers
by Matt St. Amand
With Mel Gibson only recently in the news about his anti-semiticism and now Michael Richards on the cultural griddle for his rapid-fire use of the "n"-word, it's time that I confess my own life-long prejudice.

I absolutely fucking hate stupid people.

If I saw a guy flailing for his life in the Detroit River and he was somehow able to tell me that he jumped in because he saw a gum wrapper floating on a wave and thought the gum was still in it, I wouldn't throw him a life preserver. I'd say, "You should dive down as fast as you can — the gum's probably still sinking to the bottom. Get it before it lands in the empty eye-socket of a drowned corpse."

Water is featured in that analogy because water factored into an outrage that occurred this past weekend:

The born-again bathers next door were at it again in their urinal font jacuzzi.

To recap for any new joiners, the born-again bathers are my next door neighbors who, ever so considerately, installed a hot-tub along the side of their house, virtually beneath my bedroom windows. And so every time they go out there — never earlier than nine p.m. — my wife and I are privy to their conversations, parties, and arguments. Luckily, no connubial concertos have made their way through my windows or walls.

But just being assailed by their poinsonously banal gibbering is punishment enough. And their arguments! Christ in a paisley handcart! The girl is a spoiled child who never progressed beyond the age of thirteen and will seemingly say anything so long as she does not have to discuss the subject at hand. And the guy, with his humorless barking laugh and factory-floor voice, saying one night during an argument, "You have a prideful mind!" Then barking that flat laugh that sounds like two boards being slapped together. "You have a prideful mind!"

Well, at least he gave her credit for having a mind. More than I give her credit for.

So, Saturday night my wife and I literally dropped into bed and were fast asleep around ten p.m. Around midnight we were wakened from a sound sleep by screaming and laughter and voices coming from the Almighty Goddamned Tidy Bowl next door.

I rolled out of bed like Jake Lamotta way past his prime, bed-head sticking up off me, my eyes stinging in the dark. I cranked open my window and bellowed, "Does your clock say the same time as mine?" No reply; just those damnable voices. So, I upped the ante: "Then does 'Shut the fuck up!' mean anything to you?" A few moments later, from the center of the bedlam, came the meek man's voice, "Sorry."


So, I called the cops — at the very least just to get my complaint on the books somewhere (they didn't come around in time to catch the noise-making). Then I called my neighbors who didn't seem to have their phone outside with them. When their voice mail picked up, I said, "You are a pair of inconsiderate assholes!" And proceeded to remind them of the geographical proximity of their douche pool to my bedroom windows.

In all fairness, I'll say for the born-again bathers — they stay in the tub for one cycle of the jets (about twenty minutes) and then they're done. Harassed as I feel by their contemptible noise and even more contemptible inconsideration, I must admit that they are never out there hour upon hour carrying on.

After all of that, I wasn't fit for sleep, so I watched about five reruns of The Trailer Park Boys. I drew much relief from the character, Bubbles, saying rhetorically to one character, when asked if he was serious about something, "Does the Tin Man have a sheet metal cock?"

The next morning I woke, rankled and still pissed off by the disturbance the night before. I rolled out of bed around quarter to eight and wrote a letter for the neighbors. Then I put on my gravy-colored jeans, my blue-slate-colored Alaska fleece sweatshirt, and my Southern Comfort baseball cap. By then it was ten minutes past eight a.m. I went next door and rang the doorbell. I had to ring the fucking bell three more times before those degenerate born-again Christians woke up.

Sure as shit, when the man opened the door, he and his wife were standing there wearing white robes! No doubt in prelude to the white gowns they'll surely don in the Kingdom of Heaven when one of those dumb shits drops their fucking radio into their Two Thousand Flushes Tub, electrocuting the both of them.

Much as this tale would be enhanced by a description of how I grabbed the man by the throat while hurling epithets at his granite-brained bride, I did neither of those things. When confronting ardent Christians the only tack to take is that of parody and condescension. So, upon entering their home, I said, "I didn't wake you up, did I?" To which the girl revved up with all the considerable self-righteousness she could muster in her flustered state to tell me just how horrible it was of me to waken them as I had. Not the least flicker of irony or realization passed across her face.

She then informed me, shouting down her foyer stairs at me like Josette on the Mount:

And god help her, she moved from inanity to inanity with such seriousness — such indignation — that you might have thought she was delivering closing arguments in the Hague against Pontius Pilate.

I had heard the two of them argue in their tub enough times to know that her hundred-word vocabulary would soon fail. When it did, I turned to the man and said that I preferred to speak only to him. The wife loved that.

"We are one!" she declared.

And they surely are. Whatever brains reside in that house, they are shared by the two of them like a bong filled with bay leaves.

When the wife had exhausted herself, I said that I simply wanted to talk things over. I told them that I was sure their hot-tub met all the codes of our township, but I knew there was one code it did not meet: that of consideration for others. I told them their decision to position the tub at the side of their house was absolutely idiotic—

At which point, the wife regained enough of her equivalibrium to say, "It's not at the side of our house!"

I raised my eyebrows. It is at the side of the house. I mean, it's located at the side of their house — right next to the side of my house.

It was my turn to be utterly mystified. "Uh, your hot-tub is at the side of your house," I said, feeling a weird, uneasy surreal sense that the room was filling with the sarin gas of insanity. I pointed to the back of her house and said, "Back," then pointed to the front, and said, "Front," then motioned toward each side of the house and said, "Side... Side."

She shook her head and pointed at the front of the house. "That's not the front. That's the side."

She was not joking. I shit you not — she was not joking. She was taking her hundred-word vocab to its limits; she was swinging for a grandslam. "Our hot-tub is in the backyard." There is no way in this bright wide universe that anyone can say there is such a thing as "intelligent design" in face of such abject ignorance, stupidity, and imbecilic dunderheadedness.

All the while the simpleton husband stood there with his tousled hair, GQ eyeglasses and his white robe conveying the hilarious image of confused benevolence; tongue-tied righteousness; Christianity reduced to crushed Christmas tree bulbs. He was as bewildered by what his wife was saying as I was.

Looking uneasily from his wife to me and back again, he said, "Well, we agree that we woke Matt and his wife last night."

"Yeah, but he's saying..." the wife muttered, then lost her train of thought. I guess the man had held on too tightly to the bong-brain and left her sputtering. But that didn't stop her from suddenly suggesting that she and her husband erect a sound-proof barrier around the hot-tub area. Man, she was going for broke; she probably had to lie down the rest of the day after that decathalon of brain/mouth tag-team wrestling.

"Well, since the problem centers on human beings being noisy," I said, feeling as though I was speaking into Nietzsche's abyss. "You know, maybe the human beings could be, you know, sorta, a little more, like, quieter." Words often escape me when it comes to expounding upon the bleeding obvious.

After I had said all I went there to say, I moved to leave. The born-agains seemed relieved. But then I was suddenly alarmed, remembering something I knew about the explosively stupid wife: she's pregnant. If that's not monkey-inspired roll-of-the-dice evolution at work, I don't know what is. No "intelligence" would own up to the design of that stupid biblical bimbo being on her way to hatching a mewling waterhead.

Stepping out the front/side door of their house, the wife's fucked-up geography lesson settled on me like a hex. I stumbled down their front walk, suddenly disoriented...

I was later found wandering around in the onion field outside of the sub-division, muttering, "I can't wait for the Rapture. I can't wait for the Rapture."

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