Why I’m So Cynical

Well, I don’t really know why. But I can share with you a few examples of how I’m cynical.

A friend an I were talking about looking at the stars, and I made a joke about it not mattering if there are clouds or not, because the telescope sort of puts you out past the clouds. You’re looking at stuff much further away than the clouds, you see.

I know, it’s a rolleyes for me too. But you’d be surprised at how many people won’t laugh at that joke. But rather say, “Uh, what’s the joke, Spacey?”

So it reminded me of a time in third grade when we were watching some film in the cafeteria. They were projecting it on the white paint of the cinderblock cafeteria wall. And when the lights came up, the teacher in charge says, “Okay, so I want to ask a question. Does the sound come from the picture on the wall, or the projector? I want to see a show of hands. How many think it comes from the wall?”

At this point I’d already formed my own question in my head, because I was confused by the question. Not in how to answer it, you see, but in wondering if there was some trick or something. Was this a joke? So I was making a sour face when I turned around toward the teacher. She saw my messy frown and says, “Space, you know the answer?” but I didn’t really hear her. I was so focused on my own question, that – now in being given the floor, so to speak – all I could think to answer with was asking my own question. So I blurted it out, totally not thinking about the platform upon which I was speaking. Which was a third grade cafeteria, to a third grade audience. But yeah, I was already cynical at nine years old.

“what the hell kind of idiot would think it comes from the wall?”

There erupted a sort of embarrassed laughter, I think mostly from the fifty or so percent of those who already had their hands up. Yeah you read that right. Half of the students thought it came from the wall. But I was invited to pose my question in an all together more personal setting, to the principal himself.

He was a cool guy, this principal. He had a serious mustache too. But I saw him covering his mouth with a finger. You know how people do that? They sort of form a mustache with their finger while the rest of the fingers kind of curl around the chin… Yeah, he was holding back laughter himself. He had to put forth some sort of disciplinary action to show he couldn’t sit back and tolerate cursing third-graders. But he clearly didn’t want to, and was actually of the mind to applaud me for not tolerating idiocy.

This is the same guy who let me walk scott-free when I bit a chunk out of a guy’s arm when he put me in a headlock. Guy had to get stitches and grafts and shit, and has a permanent reminder not to expect a free ride. So yeah, this principal is clearly more a pragmatist than a punisher himself.

I think I should swing by his house and have a beer with him sometime.


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