Lately people have been sending me what I would call “rants.” These are often writings found on social media. They are usually written by angry folks who are upset about random hot-button topics, which I won’t mention here because I don’t want anyone throwing a brick through my window.
The writers of internet rants always end things by stating something corny like: “Just my two cents.” But when you consider that they’ve just written at least six pages of text, it comes to more like $12.50.
The thing is, people read these things. Then, they get mad enough to sit down and write their own social-media rants. Once these rants have traveled to the outer reaches of cyber universe, my aunt Eulah sends them to me.
I don’t know why I read these things, but I do. Ever since the coronavirus epidemic started, I have been sucked into well-written tirades penned by people who probably mean well, but who are too mad to do well.
I just finished reading one rant that was about surgical masks. The author was furious about the issue. The thing must have been one hundred paragraphs long. And the scary thing is: I actually took the time to read it.
So I’ve decided to write one, too.
Hey, why not? Everyone deserves to express their own disgust. Besides, complaining has become fashionable. Some people are so incredibly good at griping that they have become famous for it.
So the first thing I would like to complain about is children.
That’s right. I’m not holding back. It’s every man for himself. I’m complaining that childhood doesn’t last long enough. And this really frosts my shorts.
Do you remember being a kid? It was great. The world was ten times bigger, flowers were more fragrant, and time seemed to last infinitely longer.
Here’s a fact: A single year in Kid World actually lasts for about two decades. This is especially true when your mother drags you through JCPenney looking at formal outfits for her cousin’s wedding.
So it’s not fair that kids experience the greatest period of their lives—ice-cream trucks, swingsets, birthday cake, tag, roller-skating, Cheez-Its—and then one day they’re forced to make monthly payments on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage.
Another thing that’s been chapping my hide is music. Have you ever stopped to think how much good music is out there that we never hear? Well, there is a lot.
There is so much music in the world that if you listened to all the collected melodies non-stop until age 409, you wouldn’t even scratch the surface. Besides, by that ripe age you’d still only be halfway through Don McLean’s “American Pie.”
A few weeks ago, someone gave me an album containing the complete works of Johann Sebastian Bach. I listened for two hours before realizing that this album goes on for 12 days.
There are 1,128 Bach works preserved today. And that’s just from one cherished composer. Imagine how many thousands of other baroque melodies exist. And that’s not even taking into account the music from other musical periods like the Renaissance, Classical, Romantic, Post-War, Modern, jazz, and George Strait.
I would also like to complain about a particular brand of tomatoes my wife buys in the grocery store.
Now, normally I would tell you that I hate store-brand tomatoes. Because I do. For most of my life, the only tomatoes you could get from a grocery store were pinkish atrocities that tasted like wadded up Kleenex. Until now.
My wife found some tomatoes in the supermarket that actually taste semi-homegrown. They are sweet, plump, and filled with juice.
I don’t know what these babies are called, but they have changed my world. And I’m complaining because I never knew they existed.
I also want to take a moment to cuss the weather. Especially the weather we’ve been having lately. How many beautiful blue skies can one guy take? It’s ridiculous.
Look, I love sunshine as much as the next John Doe. But do you know how difficult it is to compose a well-formed rant on social media when you’re sitting outside, listening to Bach preludes, eating a tomato, and looking at an incredible sky?
Microwaves. How come they cook food so fast and evenly? How come they’re so dadgum wonderful? I’m ticked, and I want answers.
A long time ago, our microwaves were the size of commercial generators. They were unsafe, made loud noises, and could cook things from across the room. Today we have supercomputers with buttons that say: “reheat coffee.”
Wildflowers. We have way too many of them. There are acres of flowers growing near my house and it’s getting out of hand.
I’m complaining about it because when I go for walks in the evenings, I get so overcome by the majesty of it all that I have to stop and think to myself: “Does it get any prettier than this?”
No. It doesn’t. And if I’m being perfectly honest, this world is full of colorful things that I seldom notice. Big things, musical things, little things, and flowery things that are worth every ounce of my attention.
This morning, for example, I sat on a little concrete bridge overlooking a marsh near my home. The sun beat upon my head. I tossed rocks into the water. I stared at a mile’s worth of lily pads, white blossoms, and swollen cypresses. And I wondered to myself: How on God’s green earth could anyone write one hundred paragraphs about something they hate?
When there is so much here to love.
Just my two cents.