I guess either we are all sinners not worthy of the kingdom, or all of this fortune telling zealotry is bullshit. I’m going with the latter. The former presumes the existence of a magical paradise in space, and as far as I can tell, it is full of smelly terrorists. In 2012 when we find out the Mayans were wrong too, another religion will be debunked. At least they were smart enough to put their end date a few thousand years in the future so they wouldn’t be here to be humiliated. But there will be honks and mindless flailings of “what if” from the gaggles of sweaty tards among us, lurching through the night. Along the same lines, there will be another swine flu-esque epidemic that will kill eleven people worldwide and we will once again refer to it as a pandemic of biblical proportions…

Yes, I know someone reading this lost a cousin to monkeypox two years ago and would like to settle my hash with that little factoid. While I am sorry for your loss, the argument here is not about the lethality of said affliction, but whether something that kills a bakers dozen in a year deserves to be called a national emergency when we are more likely to be killed by the cords hanging from our window treatments.

Can we stop being idiots? Seriously? Let’s just try it for one year. Just to see how it feels. Common sense for one damn year. And if the crypt keeper or whoever that dried-up ballsack of a religious fanatic was who made this latest call of rapture wants to postpone it a few months, let’s see if he really believes it. I would like anyone who makes an end-times prediction to be required to wear a collar with a timer on it. If the world is scheduled to end at noon on October 20th, guess who is getting his head separated from his body at 12:01 pm?

Do you think he would do it? Do you think he really believes what he is saying? Do you think anyone really believes most of the crap they claim? The correct answer is no. It may make them feel good to say it, and that is a very tangible and beneficial thing (for them), but they don’t really believe it. So why do we?

Anyway, the preceding bloviatry was inspired by the very reason I have been so quiet lately. I have been on a pilgrimage of sorts to help others.

Planking. Google it.

But not just planking for wackiness sake. I wanted to make it more meaningful. Why would I plank on my desk at home when there are actual planks missing all over the place. Chasms need spanning right and left, and I started a grassroots movement to plank where planks are needed. To date, over 300 people have joined the effort and filled gaps in boardwalks, balconies, hardwood floors, leaky boats, and stair treads. I’d prove it to you but we don’t take pictures because I’m lying.

I’ve been in training for a new job. Yes, another job. I’m like a highly functioning combination of a con-man, lost soul, homeless dude, and Charles Nelson Riley. Jobs are easy to get, contrary to what the media machine has told you. Just don’t expect to be paid much. I recently got hired to fly for an airline, and I’m just over halfway through training. The skies just got a little more ridiculous, ladies and gentlemen. The part I said about jobs being easy to get may have been a lie too. I started flying in 2003, I think, and I quit my job three years ago to teach people to fly. I spent more on flight training than my college degree, and twice as much time trying to make it into an actual profession. Now I am in a highly effective training program that is designed to make me ready to fly a plane full of people from point A to point whatever. We haven’t gotten that far in class yet.

This is the first time in my life I have shared much about my income with others. Not going to give you the exact number, but I’ll be making between 22,000 and 24,000 a year and dear sweet baby Jesus with bad credit how I wish I was lying about that. Oh, I’ll probably buy a nicer house in the mountains near a stream, but I’ll try to stay the same person I have always been. I hate when money changes people.

There are good sides to it. You know how sometimes you’ll sit in a meeting at whatever company you work for and a half dozen adults will be earnestly discussing something that is clearly a complete fabrication? Everybody there has advanced degrees in various disciplines and gets paid good money to do their job and have presumably never been committed to a mental institution, but they all sit for hours and lie like psychopaths with a straight face. I got reprimanded several times for bringing this point to light at past jobs.

“…so we need to go ahead and create this huge presentation about how we cured AIDS for a tradeshow we are not going to be at and present it to a bunch of customers we don’t have. Our budget is eleventy kapillion dollars.”
*earnest wide-eyed nodding and boot licking comments around the room*
And then Dusty the moodkiller has to pipe up – “Uhhmm. Do…ahh…you guys all know we didn’t cure AIDS, right? We make snack food displays. And if we aren’t going to this show, why are we all working on it? Doesn’t everyone have…I mean…where did we decide that we had a customer base living in a Sea-Monkey(tm) castle at the bottom of lake unicorn?”
Smash cut to me in some dick’s office getting talked down to by an overpaid under qualified management major. “Dusty, you need to understand that comments like that are detrimental to morale and unsubordinate in nature…blah blah synergy…blah group dynamic blahblah fired.” (yes, he said UNsubordinate)

I never got fired for it, but I got tired of it. I grew up thinking that professional adults were generally good and competent people who did meaningful things for a living. The second biggest disappointment of my life was the realization of how insanely wrong I was. The biggest disappointment was my recent realization that professional wrestling may be partly staged. Allegedly.

I’m not any smarter than the next douchebag with a blog, but I do tend to approach things in a thoughtful way and want to be surrounded by others who are like-minded.

So far in my training class, the slowest guy in class (and I’m not sure there even is one unless it is me and I’m not aware) is orders of magnitude sharper and more competent than anyone I have ever shared a cubicle with. Wow, I’m walking a line here at risk of sounding like I think aviators are special or better than other people, which they are not. I’m sure this same environment exists among doctors, soldiers, and pretty much any other job that has consequences greater than hurting someone’s feelings or wasting money. It’s the motivation and pride that I see in almost everyone I am around all day long that makes me want to try harder. The huge difference is being around people whose respect I desire instead of people who I wish had to pay to breathe my air.

It may come as a shock, but I do crack wise in class (within reason). My nickname is Nemo, and my sim partner’s is Doosh (there’s two O’s in doosh).
Nemo came from one of the young dudes in class. He and his buddy are in their early 20’s and we all pick on them because we are so fucking jealous that we didn’t get started 15 years ago. Anyway, he said I looked like Nemo (probably watched it on the little screen in the back of his mom’s headrest on the way to work, snacking on a bag of cheerios). I was in the middle of telling him he was full of shit and he showed me his lunchbox and I was like “No I donnnn…well…okay. You do have a point maybe, but just…yeah. spitting image. Shit.”

Then he told me that he was four when I graduated highschool, and I reminded him that I was having sex when he was four. I left out the part where I was a virgin until last year. We call that a “joke killer”.

“The kids” as we have come to know them, also claim that they are the only smart ones in class, as they are the only ones not married, and then said something about girls being icky. I told them that one day their bodies will change and they will start to grow hair on their faces and their bathing suit areas and believe it or not they might start liking girls.

Double edged sword, that. I like making people laugh, but it would be very easy for people to expect me to not be very smart or not take anything seriously. So maybe it is a defense mechanism, because my fear of being perceived as slacker McJokeypants makes me work my ass off.

Turns out my parents were right all those years – If I really apply myself I can do quite a bit. Enough about the job. If anyone has questions, email me. I don’t want to bore you with the details unless you want me to.

Here’s a subject – THINGS THAT DON’T PISS ME OFF, BUT SHOULD.

Traffic. Given the choice, I’d rather not see another car on the road, but if I get into traffic I usually just sit there and listen to my ipod or make a few phone calls or whatever. This may be a function of my always leaving plenty of time and my disdain for people who are always late. I just don’t mind traffic. If it’s really bad I’ll go another route and see some stuff I don’t usually see.

Aggressive drivers. Not the assholes that ride your bumper and honk at you because they want to get shot, but a good driver who knows where he is going and when to make a move. I don’t care if you cut me off as long as you get moving and plan to kick a little more ass than I do. I have come to understand that, much like the “nature vs. nurture” thing from the 70’s that turned out to be complete and utter bullshit (shockingly, girls like dolls and boys like trucks. It’s hard-wired that way), so goes “defensive driving”. Driving class should be composed of intense lessons on awareness of your surroundings, the best path between two points, and please please please start teaching people how their car works and what it is capable of. Of all of the things I say to other drivers while I am on the road, “just go” is the leader by a wide margin.

THINGS THAT SHOULD PISS MORE PEOPLE OFF

Nose blowers at restaurants. Do I need to explain this? I have to take off my hat or I’ll be asked to leave, but the guy at the next table is having a mucous orgy in his napkin. A WWII-style salvo of boogers slamming into tissue at subsonic velocity, and then he does the wipe, (nice clear band of snot connecting the napkin to his nose) annnd then the unfold and look move. Why in gods name do I feel like the only person in the world who puts that on a par with just masturbating into your soup? Gross is gross.

Foot flushers. We all know the urinal handle isn’t something you’d want to suck on or be stabbed with. But you are standing in a pool of urine and pubes. Now you hike up your foot and kick the handle so those of us who choose to flush like we weren’t raised in a badger den are going to get a nice slathering of foamy hairy urine on our hands. Thanks.

No smoking rules. Even if you hate smoking, tobacco, smokers, tobacco companies, and lung cancer with every fiber of your being, is it really anyones place in a free country to tell a restaurant owner that he or she cannot allow smoking? I don’t like bars with loud music or naked men. So I don’t go to those bars. If you don’t like people smoking around you, then don’t go to those places. If there is no place left to go, then maybe you should stop whining and/or open your own restaurant and see how that goes. I’ve seen places actually get shut down because they were no longer allowed to let people smoke. Who is benefiting? Does anyone really think that a life was saved? If I put an explosive collar around your neck and asked you again, would you change your answer? Do you think the 400 smokers who used to go there went home and threw away all of their cigarettes and took up triathlons? Or do you think perhaps (and this is common sense here, so I’m sure someone will have a problem with it) that where there was once a bar with employees, there is now an empty building, 18 more people looking for work, and 400 people smoking somewhere else?

THINGS THAT SORT OF PISS ME OFF, BUT SHOULDN’T

Sneezing. For some reason when I am in the middle of a conversation with someone and they go into one of those sneezing fits, a small part of me wants to push their doubled-over body into the nearest garbage can. I have no idea why. I sneeze too. I am a single sneezer, so maybe I don’t understand the nine sneeze marathon or the complete spastic loss of self-control. Maybe it’s the interruption of me telling them something that is immensely profound and insightful. Dunno.

“Bless you”. Fuck you. I don’t understand this custom, care where it came from, or ever want to hear it again. I just sneezed in a public setting. It was loud and sort of painful and slightly embarrassing in the same way it is embarrassing when you choke on some water and cough like a crazy person. I want said episode to be over as soon as the sound stops reverberating off the walls and forgotten about forever. But it can’t be. Because someone somewhere always has to be all “Hey, you sneezed and I heard it so I’m saying something to acknowledge it and by the way I expect a thank you because I just blessed you which is normally Jesus’s job.”

Coffee people. I like a hot cup in the morning if I think about it. I, however am fully able to function with or without it. For some reason I get aggravated by people who can think of nothing but coffee. “Can’t do shit till I have my coffee.” You poor ineffective thing. Not just in the morning, but at weird times like after dinner and at lunch. “You have any coffee? I need a cuppacoffee. Cuppacoffee” I don’t have any idea why this irritates me, but it does on a sort of low-level. I used to fly with a guy who always had a cup of fucking coffee when we got in the plane to go somewhere. We have plenty to do just not forgetting anything or pissing off the passengers, but now we have to negotiate around his damn coffee cup and not spilling it all over the place. He’d spill it in the plane about once a week and I’d always say the same thing. “…you know, you could drink it before you get here…or not drink it.” Cuppacoffe. Say that word enough and you’ll feel the same.

No Smoking Signs. OKAY. We know no one is allowed to smoke anywhere ever. Pretty sure no one is going to light up at a preschool and try to use the “I didn’t see any signs” defense. Can we change them to something useful, like “please think for a second before you do whatever you are about to do” signs?

Well, that was fun. I suppose I’ll go learn some more. Don’t forget to listen to Blackskyradio.com on Tuesdays at 5pm eastern, even though I haven’t been able to call in for a few weeks. I’m trying to figure that out and will try my best to be there on Tuesday.

39 Responses to “Having survived the rapture…”

  1. on 29 May 2011 at 11:29 am Your Wife

    If you loud sneeze one more time while I’m talking, I will knock your block off.

  2. on 29 May 2011 at 11:38 am John

    If there was ever anyone I thought should be an airline pilot, it’s you. I’m sure you’ll get there.

  3. on 29 May 2011 at 12:27 pm Cuppacoffe

    Every time I’ve heard someone use the word synergy, they’ve always been full of shit.

  4. on 29 May 2011 at 12:38 pm Nightmare

    I plan on suing you for plagiarism as soon as I can figure out how you are reading my mind. so get a fucking lawyer tough guy and cash in those war bonds that Grandpa left you, cause I’m taking everything! And Yes even your sad collection of celebrity booger filled kleenexes.

  5. on 29 May 2011 at 1:41 pm Ken JP Stuczynski

    Great to see you writing. Question, though … ever think of eeking it out over several pre-dated entries that will go BAM! every couple weeks? We’re like AngelDusty addicts that have to repeatedly go through withdrawl and then brought to the point of near overdose. This could have made a good fix … I mean “series” of posts. Just sayin’

  6. on 29 May 2011 at 3:44 pm Eric

    Keep up the great posts Dusty! I know there’s more to say but I have not had my coffee yet. Toots!

  7. on 29 May 2011 at 8:10 pm Jeanie

    I do think your blog posts are most entertaining, Dusty, but, excuse me (please?) for saying:
    I am NOT a morning person, and I seriously need my coffee when I awake. I’m a night person, I have difficulty going to sleep before midnight, and often before 2 am. Society, perversely, insists that I should begin functioning by 8 or 9 am, when I am usually unconscious. Caffeine, in this situation, is my ally.
    And, you are such a very real and cool person, that even if you just can’t see your way to accepting those of us who are AM-impaired, I am OK with that. After all, you were decent enough to introduce me to your friend who’d been through a divorce…and hey, bro, how is he doing? I hope he is well. Since I am a bit (exaggeration: prolly “way”) too old for him, there is no reason for that to be a “creepy” question, I hope (and, I have since found a man nearer my own age that makes me very happy).
    Oh, um, where was I? Oh, yeah. Again, you are a blogger extraordinaire, and I bow to your talents. I tend to agree with much you express. But, not the coffee thing. Sorry, it’s a BFD to some of us. Just sayin’.
    Smoochies and hugs,
    Jeanie

  8. on 29 May 2011 at 9:07 pm GaZoonTight

    There you go again, using common sense. I didn’t check, but you probably used the “R” word somewhere in the blog too. The PC Police have been notified. They will investigate you and find you no longer suitable for gummit aid.

  9. on 29 May 2011 at 9:42 pm CuppaWeeHole

    That cuppacoffee… you like?

    Yeah, I just weed in it.

  10. on 29 May 2011 at 11:24 pm Jake

    “Raised in a badger den” laughed my ass off! I havent laughed like that since the finger in the chair

  11. on 29 May 2011 at 11:50 pm Matt J

    Us competently aggressive drivers appreciate your perspective. Seriously, I don’t give you the finger for your driving style, so leave me the fuck alone. If you change lanes in front of me, that is my fault — I dont expect you to realize I’m driving 25 MPH faster than traffic — I’ll adjust to you; but for the love of whatever it is you hold holy, do not try to play traffic vigilante by attempting to force me to slow down. That is just going to make you look silly and isn’t going to affect my decisions one bit.

  12. on 30 May 2011 at 1:16 am Rene

    “eleventy kapillion dollars”? Now I know you’re lying. No-one would give you that kind of budget…

  13. on 30 May 2011 at 1:31 am Rene

    Dusty the airline pilot? Well, it could actualy work. But only because I’ve seen the Monty Python’s airline practical joke clip. Look it up on YouTube.

  14. on 30 May 2011 at 5:11 am Jonn

    Non smoking establishments mean that other, non-smokers don’t have to be pissed off by secondhand smoke. Which is, y’know, actually harmful. We’re not talking about inconvenience here, this is an actual public health issue.

    What I find odd is how self-righteous people get about their smoking. Anyone who uses the term “nanny state” with a straight face probably hasn’t realized that it means that they are a child.

    It’s kinda hard to be sympathetic to smokers when I live in England. I’m lucky to walk out my front door without getting a lungful of cancer stick. Literally, as I live in a dorm.

  15. on 30 May 2011 at 6:44 am Jay

    Wasn’t the rapture only supposed to take somewhere in the neighborhood of 150,000 people? So, how do we know it DIDN’T happen. I for one say that it did just so that I can tell Christians that the rapture already happened and Jesus doesn’t love them. =)

  16. on 30 May 2011 at 7:34 am eric

    its really only a health risk if there is a documented case of secondhand smoke causing death or injury. which there is not. at least not in the united states.

  17. on 30 May 2011 at 9:07 am Jason

    Congrats on the new job….I can already hear your statement to address the passengers…

    “Good morning Tsunami airline passengers…
    We’re currently climbing to our cruising altitude of eleventy kabillion feet, just flying over the redneck mountains. If there are any retards about to light up a smoke, please keep your cancer to yourself and wait until we reach the airport. For those douchebags looking to join the mile high club, please ask the flight attendants first, they are handing out free cherry flavored condoms. We at Tsunami airlines want your flight to be safe. So sit back, enjoy your coffee, and your vegan/organic/responsibly grown/recyclable peanuts. We’ll be reaching point whatever sometime in the next 5-10 hours.”

    BIG fan of your blog…keep it comin’ (that’s what she said)

  18. on 30 May 2011 at 12:42 pm Cassandra D

    Should I ever board a plane and hear Captain Dusty’s voice over the speakers, I fully expect a tour of the cockpit and some wings. Non-negotiable.

  19. on 30 May 2011 at 2:34 pm GGG

    Here’s another job idea:
    Someone needs to start crankin’ out the WWJP bracelets.

    Where Would Jesus Plank?

    Not sure what color should be used…

  20. on 30 May 2011 at 6:19 pm Dusty

    It’d be weird if Jesus planked and someone got nailed to him. Irrrrrronik.

  21. on 31 May 2011 at 12:42 am Gin

    Congrats on the job, Dusty.

    I think you just managed to express everything that I’ve ever gotten ticked off with the world about in this one post. And, in a funnier way than I could have.

    By the by, I know lots of funny people. I actually picked my husband based on his wit. I consider humor to be a huge indicator of intelligence. Whenever I meet someone who is particularly funny, I always take them seriously. People who think that funny people shouldn’t be taken seriously are often the people who shouldn’t be.

  22. on 31 May 2011 at 9:46 am Smokarama

    I agree with you on the smoking in restaurants. When DC went non-smoking I found that I liked going home not smelling like an ashtray. However, there are some dives that just should not be non-smoking. Turns out the smoke covered up the ass smell. I think owners should, for a price, be able to designate themselves a 100% all-smoke-all-the-time establishment. That goes for the servers too.

    I have found, in spite of myself, that I like the no smoking rule and it hasn’t affected where I go. But I still think the business owners should be able to decide. Maybe make them pay a fee for it.

    Flying airplanes, making gorgeous furniture AND planking? Leave some talent for the rest of us, bub.

  23. on 31 May 2011 at 4:00 pm SeaD

    Dusty, I could not make it past “raised in a badger den” because I was crying laughy tears. Thank you so much for this post. I know you’re busy, but your humor is missed ova here!

  24. on 01 Jun 2011 at 12:30 pm Sconnie Lori

    Some people here in Madison did apparently ascend in the Rapture – butt naked, even: http://www.nbc15.com/home/headlines/Prank_or_Rapture__122671659.html

  25. on 01 Jun 2011 at 2:51 pm KC

    Dusty,

    The no smoking laws around here actually created lots of new jobs… building nice decks and patios outside clubs for all the cool kids to hang out and smoke. And apparently erecting a tent and orchard heater is ok but just don’t put up walls and a safe heat source because then it becomes a building you can’t smoke in… wtf. It’s ok for you to die in a horrible alcohol and canvas fueled inferno but can’t have you making the choice to risk lung cancer.

  26. on 02 Jun 2011 at 6:03 am Cole

    People still follow this blog? After 3 months of inactivity I didn’t think it was possible to even get 2 comments in 2 days, let alone 25. Must be all the people who forgot that they signed up for the update notification function.

    I’d like to take the opportunity to make some sort of smartass comment about your little annoyance of sneezing, but it’s 5am and I just can’t think of anything pithy without a cuppacoffee.

  27. on 02 Jun 2011 at 6:08 am Cole

    I tried to plank the gap between your two last updates.

    Failed…

    See what a shot of espresso does for one?

  28. on 02 Jun 2011 at 12:54 pm Lesa Wagner

    Sweetheart,

    This one deserved more than one post. I have to have a coffee, lunch and martini break to finish it, otherwise my face, head and stomach will all be cramping in “biblical proportions” from the pain of endless laughter.

  29. on 03 Jun 2011 at 7:00 pm Linda

    I know I said before that you should talk more, but what I should have said is you should talk more OFTEN. If I didn’t subscribe to your RSS feed, I would have given up checking your site. This post was hilarious and spot-on in 12 ways …. and it could have been 12 posts. I’d like a sort of regular “dialog” …. not a drive-by core-dump a couple of times a year. I mean this as a compliment — I really enjoy your writing style and the way you share my wierd-ass take on life and its ridiculousnesses (you could totally score with that one in Scrabble). You don’t take directions from we hairballs out here in reader-land, but I assume you want to blog and be good at it, or else you wouldn’t do it since you do stuff well. Regular, tasty snacks are more enjoyable than long periods of starvation followed by a heavy meals.

  30. on 03 Jun 2011 at 10:19 pm Scott

    I want more details about your career flying. I wrote to you about a year ago because I was learning to fly. I am now inches from finishing my certificate so am intensely interested in your path.
    I love your blog and writing and appreciate your time.
    Scott

  31. on 04 Jun 2011 at 12:19 am Smoking Nazi

    Here in the upper armpit of Indiana they had a great idea to ban smoking in bars…they know whats best for us..they banned it in the Berlin city limits and guess what???poof!!bars go out of business that had been open for generations…Now the bars on the outside of the Berlin city limits are thriving…remodeling….kicking ass because the Berlin residents who enjoy paying 10 dollars for a pack of fags and turning their lungs grey and pickling their livers at the same time now all go to those bars out in Lung Cancer County..See as an ex smoker…I don’t give a rats pink lung if you smoke…that’s your business..and the business of the bar owner…But again…the gestapo knows whats best for you…Next we need to ban cuppacoffee’s in Starbucks..

  32. on 04 Jun 2011 at 1:25 pm Bingoguy

    I laughed, I cried. I’ll be all shocked as hell you actually read this far down in the comments.

  33. on 05 Jun 2011 at 3:30 pm Tatiana

    I just read someone the riot act about complaining about how many teenage girls smoke in France, in that head shaking, sanctimonious kind of way. Public health issue? Stay the hell at home, public. You’ve pushed all the smokers out of buildings, what’s next the city limits? I inhale more carcinogens on my morning commute from your cars then you would on the average Friday night at a pub. That is now closed.

  34. on 06 Jun 2011 at 5:06 pm LJWitch

    Oh Dusty, how I love reading your posts. I do have one thing I did wanna point out though.

    The Mayans still exist. 🙂 And, some of them are even still practicing their native religion.

    That’s all. Waiting for more posts! Cheers!

  35. on 06 Jun 2011 at 8:27 pm Chalupa

    Dusty, I didn’t have a nose blower at a restaurant; instead, this woman decided to CLIP HER FINGERNAILS at the table only feet. The only way it could have been worse was if she had continued and moved on to her toenails.

  36. on 06 Jun 2011 at 8:28 pm Chalupa

    *only feet away from my table.

  37. on 07 Jun 2011 at 12:49 am Ouch

    Sign seen in our city limits 6 months after the no smoking ban in bars:

    Bar now closed………WHERE WERE YOU NON-SMOKERS?WE WERE COUNTING ON YOU!

  38. on 07 Jun 2011 at 8:16 pm Mary

    You make my face wet!

  39. on 04 Aug 2011 at 7:21 pm Gavin

    you think you have problems. I get in a rage when someone refers to a simile as a metaphor!

    GRRRRRRRRRRRR!