When Will People Stop Being So Ridiculous?


I’m the first to admit that I’m hard on people. I judge. I’m a judger! I can’t help it though. I’m a writer. It’s my job to make judgements, formulate funny sentences about them, and relay it to you readers. Writers should always have an eyebrow raised at all times. If they don’t, they’re not doing their job.

“People are ridiculous!” is something I say almost daily because it’s true. They are. And you know where the most ridiculous of the bunch go to congregate and bask in their mutual ridiculousness? Los Angeles, duh! I’ve been here for almost three weeks because of the holidays and for other reasons that aren’t even that clear to me. I don’t mind it too much though because it means I get front row tickets to the Douchebag Show every day. It’s like the surreal gift that keeps on giving.

If Los Angeles is a Douchebag Show, then Malibu is essentially the stage where all the action goes down. I know this because that’s where my father, my stepmom, and little brother have lived for the past ten years. I grew up in the blue collar beach town of Ventura, California (sup meth and surfboards!) but when I was fifteen, my dad remarried a lovely woman who happened to live in Malibu and moved there shortly after getting hitched. For a few minutes, I entertained the idea of going to Malibu High but quickly decided against it because I wanted to avoid freebasing and Marc by Marc Jacobs at such an early age. (Well, maybe not Marc by Marc.) My little ten-year-old brother, however, has been born and raised in the ‘bu and even though he is as delightful as a ten-year-old can be, he’s still very much a product of his bizarre surroundings.

Last summer, I accompanied he and his eight-year-old friend on a play date and got to be witness to a few hilarious gems. The first one occurred on the car ride over to Hollywood where my brother’s friend told me, in his pipsqueak voice, “I’m fat. I used to be 94 pounds but now I’m 98.” I looked back at him and thought two things: 1. You’re gay, so have fun experiencing that revelation in the shower a few years from now and 2. ????!!!! I mean, I know people are body conscious here but to be complaining about your weight when you are actually just skin and bones is terrifying.

After I washed away that disturbing moment with a swig of my iced tea (California has the best iced tea, you guys. It’s basically the only thing keeping me here), we arrived at a taping of my stepmom’s television show. The experience was fun and largely occurred without incident. As members of the audience, we laughed on cue and heard funny jokes and stuff. What transpired afterwards, however, was on a Shia LeBeouf level of Disturbia. After prancing around on set, my brother’s body dysmorphic friend approached my stepmom in her office and, like a professional, handed her his headshots and gave her his agent’s information. “Let me know if a part on your show ever comes up. I would love to work with you.” My stepmom excused herself for a moment to pull her jaw up from the floor and then said, “Thanks! I’ll let you know!”

My brother’s others friends are just as strange. Two of them are actually named Lestat and Basquiat. Can you even deal with that? No. With names like that, your only career option is to become a psychic, an artist with a drug problem, a vampire, or a professional YouTube performer.

Outside of Malibu, things can be just as weird. Just the other day I was at my “office,” which is also known as Buzz Coffee, when a woman came in looking stressed but sedated.

Girl #1: OMG, hey babe. So good seeing you here.

Girl # 2: You too! What’s up.

Girl # 1: NM. Just going to rehab tomorrow…

Girl # 2: Really?

Girl # 1: Yeah, I’ve just been spiraling lately. I’m going to Cirgue Lodge in Utah — the one the Olsen Twins go to.

Girl # 2: Sounds great! (Let it be noted that this friend doesn’t feign any concern for her friend. She treats this information as normal and expected.)

Girl # 1: Yeah. But it’s the poorer one, like down the mountain, but it should be nice. I’m super excited to do Equestrian Therapy. (This is just like horseback riding……)

Girl # 2: Sounds really restorative.

Girl # 1: It will be. There’s no internet though!

Girl # 2: Are you kidding? (This is the most shocked this friend ever got.)

Girl # 1: No, and I’m like ADDICTED to the Internet.

Girl # 2: I know.

Um, so is she going to rehab for an Internet addiction? Unclear. What was clear, however, was that her friend didn’t bat an eyelash at the mention of rehab. If one of my friends — even a casual one — told me they were going into treatment, I would freak out and ask them a million questions. Not this dynamic duo though. Rehab is basically just a really expensive vacay.

So, yeah, don’t these people make you want to barf? Me too. I hate them but I’m also kind of obsessed with them because they’re just so delusional. When people do ridiculous things, it makes me lose faith in humanity but it also has the ability to make me laugh really hard, so whatever? Whatever.

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image – David Shankbone