Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Thanks for Nothing

I came home at 4:00pm yesterday to find a notice taped above the mailboxes here at the apartment complex that read:

“The water in the building will be shut off tomorrow from 11am to 5pm. Thank you for your cooperation.”

Which makes me wonder; how do I sign up to be uncooperative?

Really. I mean it. I understand that someone - somewhere - needs to have our water turned off (I’m pretty sure it’s the house next door that they’re tearing down in order to build a hideous condo complex that will block out the sun and obliterate the air-flow in our non-air-conditioned, overpriced apartment). But I don’t think that there was enough notice given. Plus, I don’t think that they should turn our water off. And, personally, I could give a flying rat’s rectum if they ever tear down the house next door and build their stupid condos.

But I don’t have a say in the matter. I’m a renter. Which means that no one cares what I think.

But they thanked me for my cooperation nonetheless.

An insult to injury actually. What am I supposed to do now? Say “you’re welcome,” smile and act like they’re doing me a favor by being polite? Should I tell them to go copulate with themselves? Would it matter?


“You’re welcome” and “go screw yourself” are pretty much the same when it comes to this. The people who run things around here won’t hear either one. Their “thank you” is strictly rhetorical ornamentation. It’s put there to make us feel like we are a part of the process, as if we’ve given some kind of consent. Which we haven’t.

And we see this all the time now. It’s everywhere. Millions of “thank yous” placed here and there to make dictatorial rules seem less like regulations and more like give-and-take.

“Thank you for not smoking.”

My personal favorite. First of all, it starts with the “thank you.”

“Thank me? How nice! I wonder what selfless act I perpetrated to be thanked in such a public way. Thank me for what?”

“Oh, thank me for not smoking. I see. Well. I had actually planned on smoking, but evidently, on some past occasion, I agreed not to. Funny, that doesn’t sound like something I’d agree to. But if they’re thanking me, I must have.”

Look, I’m all for rules and regulations. If you don’t want someone to smoke in your establishment then simply put up a sign that says “No Smoking.” There’s no pretense. Sure, it’s little harsh, but hey, if you’re the type of person who’s worried about offending others with your rules, then you shouldn’t be going around putting up signs, I say.

I know that this seems like a stupid thing to get worked up about – and it is. Thank you for not pointing out my idiocy. But thanking people has become hollow. It’s an insincere gesture now. When we go around thanking people for compulsory behavior, then something that used to be polite becomes a mockery.

Let’s save “thank you!”

We’ve already destroyed “I’m sorry.”

Fun Fact: Just yesterday, just a little ways up the road here, Lindsay Lohan got into another car accident. She claims that the paparazzi were attacking her, which is probably true. But I got to tell you, I almost get into an accident every time I drive that strip of Robertson Blvd. There’s always some jerk-ass darting into traffic or backing up to get a parking spot (it’s a small street, only one lane at that point) or just tear-assing it down the road at 90 mph.

And now, it appears that Lindsay Lohan is just another one of those jerk-asses (although I suspect that the girl just can’t drive).

You know, Beverly Hills would be a nice place if it weren’t for all the rich people.

That’s a fact.

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