"I notice you have your thumb in my soup, any chance you can dip all five fingers in there?" - Phillip Sarc, the inventor of Sarcasm, as portrayed by Kevin Spacey on SNL
"Oh, I'm not being sarcastic, nooooo, this is just a little speech impediment. I can't help it." - Lonely Sarcastic Guy, played by Chris Foley on Kids in the Hall
I really must rein in my sarcasm. It is starting to
be my default mode of communication, which is quite tiring for those
around me. I have always been acerbic, but these days I am turning into a stone-cold bitch. In order to
remedy this, I've identified my three primary modes of sarcasm
delivery, so that I might avoid them:
1. Responding to a question that I think is an obvious one with an ridiculous alternate scenario:
My Brother, holding up a messenger bag inside my car: "Is this your bag?"
it isn't. I stole it from a homeless person that is taking the same classes
as I am and who has the same taste in books."
2. Pretending to not have heard of something that is so prevalent in
American culture that I am either lying about not knowing about it or have been living with my
head up my ass for decades:
Myles, trying to make conversation as we walk through campus, the first time he flew to Texas: "Have you ever heard of Radiohead?"
Me, dumbfounded at the question: "No,
actually I haven't. I was born in the basement of this
building, and emerged only today to meet you at the airport."
Myles: "Have you ever seen American Idol?"
actually, I haven't. These are my first moments of life. It's all so disorienting.
I am seeing with my own eyes for the first time. Quick, I must invent a
vocabulary for these things. I shall call these
subtle gradiations of the light ... 'colors'... yes, that's it... and these touching things 'hands',
Oh, Myles, there's so much I don't know. You must teach me!"
Myles bears the brunt of it, really. Once, he was telling a very
emotional story, and when he had finished my response was: "Nice story. Coulda used a vampire, though." Did I want to hurt him? Of course not. But once I see the opportunity for a joke, I have to take it.
3. Subtle correction, a trick I acquired from my dad.
Observant bystander: "Xxxxx Xxxxx died last night. All the flags are at half-mask."
Me: "They're at half-mast, too."
When I was in high school, my closest friends got together as a group and
told me I was mean. My friends had an intervention to tell me I was an asshole. And they were right. It is easy for me to
brutalize people with what I think is funny and ignore the fact that
I am hurting their feelings.
I will try to be nicer to other people. I will try not to make them
feel stupid. I will try.