‘The Last Laugh’ from Crass Menagerie (2009)

March 23, 2007

Okay, Big Words fans!  For those of you who are still card carrying members of the exclusive free email newsletter list, here’s your bonus essay for this week’s issue.  It’s a pure psychotic rant in the truest sense of the word that I wrote two months ago minus the humor because I was having that kind of day.  Crass Menagerie is still a long ways off in terms of publication (Slapstick & Superego is up next in the spring of 2008), but you can read one of the excerpts here first!  If you’re not a member, if you can behave yourself, and if you want to be, email bigwordsmailbag@yahoo.com with ‘subscribe’ in the subject heading.  Join the growing army of Waters’ fans, now over 300 members strong!   And don’t forget to pick up The Buffalo News today as my second Club Watch Review (Shogun) is in the Gusto! 

The Last Laugh

If there’s one thing I enjoy, it’s a good old-fashioned grudge, or a vendetta. Feuds are nice but there are too many parties involved and then you have to take the time for conference calls, monthly mailers and power point presentations just to keep everyone in the loop. Give me a grudge any day of the week. I’m an angry man who’s easily offended by nature, so it’s no surprise that I’ve gone years without speaking to people, I’ve made lasting and hurtful comments to people before hanging up on the phone with them, and I’ve gone out of my way to fuck with people where they live. I’m getting better in my old age, but if you mess with me, you better go into witness protection, because I’ll hunt you down and hit you where it hurts. That’s just how I work. I’d rather hurt the other person ten times worse than walk away feeling like someone got the better of me. A lot of people who read my books remark, “Remind me never to fuck with you.’ That’s a great way to put it.

A columnist got on my nerves in my mid-20s and I got about thirty people to email him with insults, death threats and cheap taunts (sorry about that, Lloyd). When I was 17, I ran away from home and didn’t speak to my own parents for over a year. I haven’t talked, seen or run into my little brother in almost three years. And you don’t even wanna get me started on my ex girlfriend. If I can track her down, there’s gonna be trouble. Biblical hellfire and fury type trouble. Her name’s Angela Barrett, and she lives in Ohio now. If I get my hands on that bitch again, her head might wind up in a swamp. Perhaps I’m just being facetious, though. My longtime buddy said something that was way out of line when we were talking on the phone last week and I hung up on him. He’s welcome to call me back, but I have no intention of getting ahold of him anytime soon. My world revolves around vengeance. It fuels my existence.

If there’s one thing I can’t abide by, it’s poor manners. I haven’t been on good terms with the Clarence Bee (a rag of a local and regional paper) in almost five years now because of it. Kevin Hosey, some pud who has an unfortunate day job at the paper, told me to stop nagging his managing editor. God forbid that I make it to a position of power because I will fuck that guy up twenty ways to Sunday. Give me a hint of responsibility and I go on the warpath. Numerous times I’ve gotten steady gigs with newspapers and I’ve used the opportunity to lambast establishments, people, other papers, and anything else that aggravated me. I had a two year grudge with Brennan’s bowery bar and we still haven’t kissed and made up. Michael Calleri, another worthless bastard who works at The Alt (a political rag with a circulation smaller than my block) already rues the day he messed with me. That ankle grabber hasn’t gotten his full comeuppance yet and I’m biding my time and feeding the rage until I find the right moment. That guys gonna be delivering his horrible paper to a location one day and BAM!, paralysis.

There’s no cause for petty insults, poor manners, or embarassment towards other people in public places. If you can avoid all three, we won’t have a problem. My last best friend and I had a falling out about five years ago because I slept with his ex and that was more my fault than his, but what are you gonna do? I make mistakes and you’re not allowed to. Bryan Staebell, this pock faced little shit who lives in Cheektowaga, gave me a hard time when I self published my first book, carbon copied my newsletter list from the email address ‘IHateTomWaters’, and emailed me with veiled threats and pathetic remarks. He better watch what circles he travels in, because if we meet again, I’ll put him flat on his ass without hesitating whether we’re in a church or a place of business. Since then, I blind carbon copy all of my email newsletters, which ensures that it will never happen again. He tried to start a writing career a few years ago with the pseudonym of ‘Poecraft’, which is about as pathetic a nom de plume as I’ve ever heard of. The instant I found out online, I posted on every message board and outed his real name and where he lived. He hasn’t written anything new since and his short stories stunk to high heaven.

When I was 24, I was terminated as a temp from a cell phone company that rhymes with Horizon. I went home, wrote about my experience, and sent it out to every major newspaper in town and carbon copied the letter to the Vice President of the company. He called me on the phone personally to try and smooth things out that day but it was too late. My former boss there still looks a little shaky and she’s been demoted about five times since to some shoebox of a kiosk location in the North Towns. I’m not done with her by a long shot.

There’s a neighbor who stays right next to our estate down at our summer home who knows damn well to steer clear of me for reasons I’d rather not go into. I blast music, drink whiskey and holler off the porch at three in the morning and he doesn’t say peep. The guy’s in his ‘70s and I’ll piss on his grave well before I say two nice things to him ever again. He’s going to die eventually and I’d rather make the time he has left uncomfortable and unpleasant.

Some people are pacifists and others are easy going. I’m neither. I’m an antagonist, and I’ve been at it for a long time. I’m fun to be around as long as I get my own way all the time every time and if it’s anything else, you’re in trouble. Some guy hit on my girlfriend in a bar a year ago and I sat right next to him and dropped a bombshell like “You really don’t want to keep your arm, do you?’ I’m psychotic, and not to be fucked with. I wrote a review on the bar and took them down in flames with him, saying that it was a nice place but until they cleaned up the clientele, I wouldn’t be going back. No one is safe and nothing is sacred.

The world’s too small to be unprofessional, and when I have issues with a newspaper, I’ll draw first blood and make sure they don’t try it again if they know what’s good for them. You’d think I’d run out of good friends but the ones who make the cut end up aiding me in my miniature crusades. I don’t call in the troops often, but if I have a problem, they’re there for me. A lot of them are itching for a good old fashioned fist fight, and all they need is my word to unleash hell. I’ll fuck you up so badly that you’ll never want to look sideways at a stranger again. One look and you’ll wish you were at home under the covers. I’ll find your weak point and rip it wide open.

Somebody parked in my spot once and I parked sideways in front of them blocking them in and called the cops to report that someone was in my designated spot. I am not one to be trifled with. Gangster rappers can talk all the trash they want but they don’t have a clue how to crawl into somebody’s head and destroy everything they hold dear. I’ve watched ‘Pacific Heights’, ‘Rushmore’ and ‘The Game’ dozens of times and I was taking notes. I’ve been playing this game far too long for you to even get close to winning, so give up before you get hurt and don’t even try. I’ve done things for people in high, invisible, powerful places and I’ve still got favors to call in when it counts. People with Italian accents, political positions and large arms. People with influence who only have to flex their muscle to move the earth on its axis.

I’ve mellowed out a great deal in my old age but that doesn’t mean I won’t bring the beast out of his cage when I’m provoked. I pissed my next door neighbors off so badly that they recently moved to the farthest region of the building on the second floor to get away from me. The neighbor before them tried to play tough guy with me when my friends were over and I sent him scurrying back to his apartment with his tail between his legs. I had my little brother locked up in the worst holding center in town for a weekend on a whim and he’s too stupid to have learned from the experience. Life is catching up with him, though, and when he’s in a hospital bed, I’m going to pinch the air hose and break his nose in fifteen places. Revenge is a dish best served as the main course and enjoyed in large quantities. Do not fuck with me.

My silence is worse than my ire,

Tom ‘v for vicious’ Waters

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