Friday, 29 January 2010

The Birth Of The Cynic.......

Being a grumpy cynical bastard is, at most times, incredibly hard work.

You happy-go-lucky folk, you really don’t understand how much of a bind it can actually be to live under this terrible affliction. Nothing is black and white with us cynics. Everything is just a hazy shade of shite.

That smile we got from somebody who just walked by us, well, that was obviously because there is something wrong with our face and they were just laughing at us. Hard.

The lovely surprise cake that our closest friend brought us, well, obviously it contains some form of terrible bomb that will explode the moment we cut it and send flaming nuclear goo directly onto our heads and cause us to run screaming from the room with our hair on fire. That is why we cynics fear cake. It’s a scientific fact.

To us cynics, every good thing that happens always has something horrible that will be waiting just around the corner to go and royally screw it all up, and make us just sit there with a I told you so look plastered across our smug, stupid heads, while we weep tears of frustration onto our cheeks that drip down and stain our shirts with the wetness that only bitterness provides.

I know, I know, you are probably just thinking “Chill out man, cease the cynicism. Just stop every now and then and smell the flowers. It’s all beautiful dude.”  But us cynics know that if we were to stop and smell the flowers, there will definitely be a rabid squirrel with an unhealthy sex addiction lurking within, so the moment we bend over to take a lungful of that fragrant aroma, the little bastard will leap out like a furry ninja to claw out our eyes out with its little rodent claws and hold them triumphantly aloft over its shoulders like little squishy pom poms, whilst simultaneously trying to have vigorous squirrel type sex with our screaming faceholes. This is a fact. This will definitely happen and is in no way the inane ramblings of a man with far too much time on his hands. So there. Deal with it.

They say that our emotional and psychological makeup is created and formed during our teenage years, and I can certainly see some truth in that. You want to know where my cynicism was birthed. Just take a look at my teenage years, they were awful. And this was due to the fact that whatever holy deity that created us decided that he would have some fun with me the moment I hit the age of about 14.

So what did the holy one inflict upon me? Well, firstly he gave me spots. A normal thing amongst teenage boys, this is true, but he gave me the most impressive spots around. I mean, these things were real beauties. If there was some kind of gooey spot award, mine would have taken first, second, and third prize, and possible some kind of special achievement award as well, just for being extra spotty. And these spots had friends and family that they invited to my face for a party and it was many, many years before they left. The stubborn little shits laughed in the face of every form of medication that I threw at them, and this was a lot. Pills, facial washes, creams, all were mocked by my little spotty chums as they cried out from my cratered visage “Come on! Is that all you’ve got?” whilst forming new chums to join in the fiesta.

I remember one form of cream I was issued by my doctors called Quininderm. This stuff was the equivalent of smearing boiling hot magma on my skin. The first night I applied it, I could hear my spots scream “It burns!” in terrible agony. And it did. When I awoke the next morning, the cream was so powerful it had taken out all the dye from my pillow from where I had been lying on it the night before. I could see a perfect replica of my face imprinted on the fabric like the Turin shroud. I rushed to my mirror in hope, thinking that my chums were finally gone, but they weren’t. They were still there. All red and defiant.


So, I had spots. Not so bad, who doesn’t have spots? So what else did Buddha inflict upon me then? He gave me stupid hair, that's what he did. Hair that had a mind of its own and wouldn’t do what I wanted it too. All I wanted was a fashionable haircut so I wouldn’t stand out and be mocked by my peers. Did it happen? Did it bollocks. My hair and I had a six year battle where both of us refused to listen to the other. Curses were made, tears were formed, but no stylish hair was ever found. All I wanted was something to distract everyone from my face. I wanted to swish into a house party and go “Yeah, the face is a mess, but check out this bitching hair!” and people would gasp and then reach over to touch my lovely locks.

Didn’t happen.

Hair went mental.

Another infliction that I had to put up with was an odd sense of humour, something that regular readers of this blog can certainly attest too. My sense of humour was so dry that the moment I attempted to try and say something amusing near a naked flame, the words themselves would catch on fire and disappear in a puff of black smoke. Basically people just never got it. So when I said something dry and sardonic and hilarious, the normal reaction was an odd look, and then a quick excuse, as the listener scuttled sideways to talk to someone a bit more normal.

Anything left? Oh yeah, what about this? I was socially awkward. Socially awkward around whom, I hear you ask?




Those mysterious and wondrous creatures that were like goddesses to my hormonally imbalanced brain. But with the combination of my spotty face, mental hair, and the odd sense of humour, I felt like I was so introverted around them that I would end up looking so hard inside myself that I would come around in a complete circle and end up staring at my own startled face, and no one wanted to do that. Not with the spots/hair combo.

So I would remain mute around the ladies, maybe throwing in the odd (and I mean, odd) comment here or there that would stop a conversation dead, make everyone stare at me for a few minutes, and then carry on like I had never said anything at all.

So quite often I ended up saying nothing. I felt it was the best thing to do. To fade into the background until it felt like I was made out of wallpaper and could blend into anywhere.

Wasn’t very nice, but what could I do?

I remember vividly being in a pub once with a friend called Steve when I was about 17. Steve was a loud, confident bloke, who could quite easily converse with any female he came across. During this particular time he was holding court with two girls at a table that he had just got chatting too. He was being loud, and in his own mind, witty. He was also being a tit. I was perched at the end of the table like a spotty mute with weird hair, listening to him babble complete shit to these two girls, and for some reason they were lapping it up and looking at him like he was some flash god with gold plated nipples. Across the floor on another table were two older women who were watching us.

For some reason, Steve got up with the two girls and left me alone at the table. Well, I was never alone really. I had my spots, my weird hair, and an almost crushing sensation of self loathing.

I always had that.

Suddenly one of the older women spoke to me from their table.

“You’re too quiet, do you know that?”

“Sorry?” I squeaked back, shocked that somebody had noticed me and had actually used their mouth to say words towards me.

“You’re letting that idiot do all the talking. You can talk as well you know, girls don’t bite.”

I didn’t really know how to reply.

“Steve is just like that. He’s very confident. I’m not like that at all.”

“He’s a wanker.” the woman said with a little shake of her head.

Well, yeah, I had to agree with that.

“Look, you’re not bad looking, just talk to them. It’s easy. Girls like it when you’re just straightforward and honest. The wrong kind of girls like pricks like your friend Steve. Just be yourself, if a girl doesn’t like that, then they ain’t worth knowing, are they?”

I could feel the redness creep over my face over this strangers sudden interest in my wellbeing and I hurriedly made my excuses to leave. But something made me pause halfway across the pub, and I turned around and went back to them, causing them to stop talking and look back up at me.

“Thank you.” I said.

And I meant it.

I’d like to say that from the moment of my mysterious older lady intervention, my social awkwardness disappeared and I became a walking Casanova (with mental hair), but it was a lot more gradual than that. But eventually I guess I blossomed a little, gained more confidence, and grew into the adult that I am today. The cool, hip slinging motherfunker whose skin has cleared up, who made some kind of peaceful truce with the mental hair, and who has honed the sense of humour into something more socially accepting, and can also make the ladies melt with one arched eyebrow (Okay, I may have lied about the last one. Actually, sod it, I may have lied about them all, but this is my tale and I will tell it anyway I want too). And I would like to think that my path to self acceptance was started by a few kind words from a complete stranger.

So I may be a helpless cynic that was given a painful birth because of my terrible teenage years, but maybe, just maybe, I will try and ease up on it a little bit and actually stop once in awhile and smell the flowers. But rest assured, I will be carrying a baseball bat as well, just in case that squirrel is nestled within them.

If he tries to hump my face I will twat the little fucker.


Eva Gallant said...

The story you tell is typical of many teenagers. What a great lady it was who spoke to you that night and built your confidence up a little!

jules said...

Don't even get me started on squirrels. Trust me. Just don't.

Oh the spots! Love that yours had true personality though.

I didnt speak to boys until I was 18.

Jean said...

It's the spotty faced, mental haired, socially awkward youths that have staying power when they grow up. Not to mention the "nerdy" thing can be very attractive! The good looking confident kids are the ones who grow up to be cocks :)


mapstew said...

Can I be in your gang?

Kim Ayres said...

Now I'm 43, grown up, happily married and completely out of the market, I get it - I understand what women like and how to create and sustain their interest.

At 17 I was completely clueless and I look back with utter horror at my understanding of women and the world.

Of course all my present knowledge and understanding is completely useless as I have a wife I'm very happily married to so will never need those skills.

If only I could pass that info back to my adolescent self.

Unfortunately I can't even pass it on to my son as any conversation like that he finds just a bit too embarrasing to be having with his Dad

Alice in Wonderland said...

Oh Dan, don't get me started today!
I'm already depressed enough as it is. Why is it that some days are just yuk, and you just want to stay in bed?
Make the world go away, I don't want to know it anymore.
From my experience, the spotty oiks that I went to school with, turned out to be the best looking guys when they were older, yet the good looking ones were the one's who were fat and balding by the age of 30!

JenJen said...

Oh Danny Boy you are sweet as pie.
I think girls are like this too.
My hair is STILL not bitchin'
The spots have turned into crevases in my face right around my mouth and eyes.

fucking squirrels.

hope said...

Shall I step up on the "Me too!" platform or is it too crowded? :)

I had spots...but mine were freckles. Still have them and some days people treat me as if I have the IQ of a 12 year old. I was painfully shy, had hair I would still like to give back since thin, silky hair locks belong on a 2 year old and frankly, until I was 16, I thought most boys were idiots. The proof? The day my best guy pal informed heart broken me that, "There are girls you date and girls you marry. You're the type we marry."

My lady like retort was, "Then what the hell am I suppose to do until then?!"

The ladies here are right: most of the nerdy, facially/folically challenge guys in my class grew up classy and attractive.

I bet your "older woman" guardian angel would be thrilled to realize who you grew up to be. Personally, I love your sense of humor. I'm betting your face is handsome [unless you're doing that bowel cleansing thing] and your hair HAS to be better than mine. ;)

Anonymous said...

What a great lady who took you aside and told you the truth. It amazes me how much a kind word can change someone's life. We should all try it more often.

Nikonda said...

Older women have a lot of wisdom. Trust me ... I'm an older woman.

I bet you grew into a beautiful swan!

We're all the same as teenagers though - it must be heartening for you to read so many comments from people who felt just as you did. I went to an all-girls school (they had them back in those days) so it took me years to realise that boys were just people and not really scary at all.

Sharon McPherson: AUTHOR / ARTIST said...

Hey, you got there in the end Mr Cool Hip Motherfunker

(See, I'm a glass half full kinda person and notice how I honed in on the positive you not the spotty you, just like those women in the pub did. lol)

No one ever gave me a surprise cake ...

Love the photo - that you as a kid? :)

Kitty Moore said...

I love your blog Dan! Especially when you go off on a (very eloquent and funny) rant!

Kitty x

scarlethue said...

I wonder if they know what kind of impact they had on your life? Weird how something so small can also be so big.

livesbythewoods said...

NEVER trust squirrels. That's when they do most damage, when you drop your guard.

You've done ok, you're not a mutant, you're funny, you have mates and a lady and a job. Hurrah for you!

I plan to start advising shy young men in pubs how to behave, it sounds like it could be fun. And might even be helpful.

Kate said...

I love your cynism it is part of what makes you and the blog so great to read. I love that that random woman gave you advice :)

As for teenage years I prefer to try and forget!

Kate xx

aladdinsane12 said...

"he's a wanker" i started to laught so hard when i read that! i love feisty old women!

and they are SO right- any normal person prefers an awkward but genuine guy to "mr. cheeseball confidence" anytime!

Miss OverThinker said...

I was laughing so hard when I read this..there's a reason you made it on my happy blogger list - and you never disappoint... I didn't have mental hair or broken skin or problem talking to guys (no, I am not trying to rub it in) so I guess I have no excuse for being a cynic... ps the baby in the pic - too darn cute

UberGrumpy said...


I had that Quinoderm. Try rubbing it in your hair; it's much better than gel.

Also, girls do bite. I've got the teethmarks to prove it.

Millions Of Atoms Man said...

Cynicism is underrated, in my worthless (oh who is even reading this anyway) stupid opinion. See?

Anyway, I could tell pages and pages of giggly stupid girl fawning over meatheaded buffoon stories until the cows came home. Even after they come home.

And I think your hair and my hair are brothers. At least distant cousins.

Anonymous said...

Fuck, who'd go through the teens again? Not me. No way. All hormones and self loathing and angst. No thank you.

With me it was boobs. I was quite boobalicious compared to my little flat chested girlfriends in my mid teens. They were all flat and braless and I was already a C cup wearing bras with like 2 or 3 hooks in the back. And I was a tomboy so I didn't want those lumpy things at all. And I thought I was SO FAT. I look at photos and I laugh because I was a skinny bitch with tiny waist. Teens dwell on the negative.

It took a while till my maturity level matched my rack. :)

Some say it still doesn't. Eff those people, Danny boy. You and your crazy hair should stand proud and declare "I am fucking awesome!" You know, as you're threatening that squirrel and it's face fucking tendencies, with a tire iron. Or tyre iron if you're you.

Anonymous said...

Can I point out that I hate when I misspell "its". Because I am a grammar nazi. Thank you.

Tony Spunk said...

I was sort of on the hirsute side as a teen. It's the Mexican part of my family showing through my pores. I think I had to shave approximately once every hour in high school or end up looking like Grizzly Adams. Now I accept nature and allow myself a lush, splendid, gleaming mustache although I do have a tiny Vietnamese lady yank off all my back hair once a month. I'm a vain bastard what can I say.

Embrace your wild hair though bro'. In my experience the ladies dig a wild mane. Look at Fabio. Or rather, don't, if you're eating.

Jacque said...

oh my, Dan! Your stories always make me laugh (not that I find your painful experiences funny. Just your clever commentary!) Poor teenage Dan! He really had a rough time! Although I wish that your teenage self knew that most girls are more interested in a man's personality and their appearance comes second. And I have had so many guy friends tell me that their hair is mental, but their hair never turns out to be unattractive. I'm sure that is the case with your hair too!!

JennyMac said...

You are awesome Dan..cynical rants might be your forte. And the last sentence is the cherry on top. have a gang?

Jenny said...

Oh how I love this rant, Dan! In a peculiar way, it made my day :) The teenage years are so odd...I tried to forget about mine a long time ago. And those damn "spots"...I didn't have then in my teen years. I have them now for some reason. My blue pillow case is now stark white! I feel ya :)

Dan said...

Eva- Teenage years suck, don't they? And she was great, god bless her.

Jules- Never would have thought that about you? The things you learn, eh?


Mapstew- Membership accepted.

Kim- But you try though, which makes you a great parent mate. And I'm sure your son will understand this.....when he is about 30.

Alice- That’s what I keep telling myself every morning when I look in the mirror. Cheers Alice! X

JenJen- Nice to know it’s just not the boys who suffer with this. You still rule, anyway.

hope- I see that word “Nerd" is used again. I was, and never will be a nerd. Slightly geeky, yes, nerd no. I am waaaaaaay to cool for that.

Sharon- Wish I could thank her again to be honest.

Nikonda- It is. It’s nice to see that so many folk’s teenage years were just as awful as mine. Boys are still scary though Matthews mum.

Sharon- Sadly no. I wasn't that cheerful.

Kitty- I'm throwing that love straight back at you in blog form.

Scarlethue- Sad thing is they will never know. Shame really, what they said resonated really deep.

Livesbythewoods- Yep. Life is pretty sweet right now. Hair can still have its moments though.

Kate- With the amount of alcohol you consume, shouldn't be too hard, right? *Runs out of room*

aladdinsane12- Glad you are on the team bud.

MissOT- Well, whatever you are, I like you. So that counts for everything these days.

UG- Seriously, you had it? Stings, doesn't it?

MOAM- Somehow I knew you would understand out of all people. Is that worrying for you?

Veggie Ninja- *Snigger* Boobalicious. But I will take your advice my stealthy vegetable chum.

Mr Spunk- It wasn't long and wild, just unwieldy. And I can tell you are proud of your tash. Just as you should be.

Jacque- You are quite possibly the nicest person I have ever met Jacque. Thank you.

JM- Apparently so. Want to become a member?

Jenny- I feel for you sis. Those little bastards. They will sod off eventually matey. Promise.

Nishant said...

Weird how something so small can also be so big.

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