Draw the Longbow

by Crom

There’s one in every crowd. There’s one in every class. You know the kind of person I mean. The pretentious, blowhard that invariably picks the seat behind YOU, as his place to nest and spawn his pathetic attempts at humour. He’s that guy that answers the rhetorical questions that a teacher asks; he’s the guy that always has the better story (you know the one where he fought ninja’s in order to save the world), he’s the guy that manages to discover the most annoying turn of phrase in the world and use it at least once every time he draws breath. He’s the guy that gives you advice you don’t want or need, he’s the guy that has the answer to everything, He’s the asshole in our midst. Everyone has met this guy, at least once in their lives. I for one want to know from what hell-hole these fools are spawned from. Is there some kind of town in mid-western Canada that they are raised in, and then sent forth into the world to make our lives miserable? I knew Saskatoon had some drawbacks, but Jesus.

Mostly I can’t understand the motivating factors involved with the stupendous (and often just stupid) lies that these people spew. And, by some twisted stroke of luck, I’ve been forced to contend with more then my fair share of these kinds of people. The first I met in Junior High. What is it exactly that makes someone tell some unbelievable, and often times easily verified, lie? What I want and need to find out is what their parents did to them, to make them this sloth to the truth. This person, who I will refer to as “Homer #1” (if you don’t get it too bad) was a prime example of the strange act weaving lies around them in order to gain attention and praise. You see I think they all follow a basic psych profile. They’re loners; they have very few friends and for the most part lack the intelligence to judge their audience. Homer #1 would always boast about some girl he’d met, or how he got wasted during lunch (which impressed us a whole lot in grade 8), and then back it up with the saddest of details. His lies were so obvious that most of us began to think of them as mere fictional writings, an outlet for his creative side. He always maintained that this was the height of veracity, and that no one else had done the things he’d done, so how would they know? Of course the first step in knowing is not being an idiot, but that’s beside the point.

The next one I met (Homer #2) was in high school, he wasn’t an extreme case, like #1, but he had his moments. Once again I observed the lifestyle and social interaction. Basically there was none. It follows the same path the entire time: lack of popularity, commonplace education and poor social skills. I suppose that poor social skills could be considered an effect rather then a cause, but that’s the evidence I observed. Let me rewind for 2 seconds here and address one thing, when I say “commonplace education” I’m not concocting a euphemism for stupidity, rather the person in question doesn’t seem to have interests. EXCEPT, one. That’s right, one thing that they involve themselves in completely. Unfortunately their tendencies to prevaricate and hyperbolize crept into this as well. So when confronted by someone of superior knowledge and skill, they once again seem foolish. But, every one of them has something that they adore and cherish. However, by limiting themselves to this one thing, they lack the necessary knowledge and social reference base that most people have, and once again they seem stupid. This makes them react in a fashion that only makes the problem worse; they become introspective and cut off the outside world. And, they fall deeper, until they become like #3.

I only met #3 about a month ago, but hoo boy, he made up for the gap in my “homer” interaction. He promptly told me about his computer business that makes hundreds of thousands of dollars each year, and that the Canada Customs and Revenue agency was currently trying to bust him for tax evasion, so his operation was moving to Germany. So, he’ll have to sell his furnished apartment (which cost him 32 grand) and suck up the taxation. Oh, I forgot to mention that in spite of this palatial apartment, he lives at home. In a passing conversation about playboy magazine he informed me, rather nonchalantly that he possessed the first ever issue printed… I promptly told him that once he found it he should come to my house and see my issue #1 of Superman.

I don’t know what it is; it can’t be the fault of them, although they are not without some blame. The parents though, they are the ones to look at and wonder. What hadn’t they done? Had they sent him to the TV one too many times, because they were busy? Had they not played catch? Not fed him right? Were there too many nights where they lay in their beds hearing the heated fights between their parents echoing in their heads, and the nightmares that followed; the ones that woke them so frightened that they had to read a children’s book in the bathroom until they stopped crying? Or the times when all they could ask for was a reprieve from the shouting, from the blame passing and hurt feelings. When their parents kept dishing out more and more anger, trying to atone for the pain they felt, trying to get even. All the while they would just cry, hoping that the wracking sobs would eventually subside. I refuse to pity them, the Homers; because to pity them would be the worst thing you could do for them. Perhaps, instead, we could learn the lesson. We could do them a final justice, a final favor. We could make damn sure our own children are never left to cry alone, we could make sure that the problems don’t escalate so far into the sky that only a horrible crash could possibly bring them down. We could show them our love, and make sure they know they’re important. We could… but we won’t.

  • Draw the Longbow
  • by Crom
  • Published on August 1st, 2001

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