Friday, September 5, 2008

Life of the Party

I ran into the Buzzkills at a party last weekend. This is not their real name, of course, and I wouldn't dare call them that to their face, but Jim and Lori Buzzkill are a white, affluent, middle-aged couple whose mission in life is to suck all the joy out of every single party they attend. They bait every guest into an argument that highlights their moral superiority, so I always die a little inside when I spot them at various social functions. I can't figure out how the hell they keep getting invitations. They're either world class party crashers, or they're in possession of some seriously damaging photos of somebody.

The Buzzkills are extremely political and contentious. This is not to say that they just argue about politics - lots of people argue about politics, and I don't have a problem with that. My annoyance lies in their abrasive stance as environmental anti-globalization vegan warrior activists. They somehow manage to politicize any topic of conversation, whether it be about a recipe for jerk chicken ("people who kill chickens are the real jerks"), or the cute new shoes you bought on sale this week ("too bad there's no good deals for the starving babies who made those shoes"). I knew I was in for a long night when I arrived late to the party, because the Buzzkills had already managed to turn a pleasant "yay! the kids are going back to school!" conversation into a raging debate about whether or not the government should provide funding to religious schools.

The Buzzkills enjoy "educating people" about the shocking ecoglobonomic consequences of shopping at dollar stores. They also love "sticking it to the Man", even though Jim is an accountant, which makes him a far bigger Man than I'll ever be. But by far, their favourite topic is The Environment. They make sure that everyone knows how green they are, and how many personal sacrifices they make for the sake of future generations. Now, I'm all for recycling and doing my part to control my personal consumption of non-renewable resources, but not at the expense of being a giant asshole and alienating everyone around me.

They actually made a friend of mine cry last year when she brought some homemade brownies to one of their barbeques. Yeah, I don't know what the hell she was thinking, but that thoughtless bitch brought her delicious, shameful dessert in one of those disposable plastic containers, the kind that harm the Earth. This heinous move earned her a ten minute lecture about how she's the reason our planet is dying. Her and her fucking diabolical brownies were ruining it for everyone, even the people who haven't been born yet. Selfish twat.

In case you haven't figured it out yet, I have zero tolerance for the Buzzkills. They talk a whole lot of shit, and I've always found them far too hypocritical and militant to be taken seriously. They rant about oil companies and evil drilling practices, yet they drive a car -- oh, two cars, in fact ! - but hey, they're both Priuses, so they're doing great things for the Earth. When I mentioned that I have never owned a car, and opt for transit, walking or biking instead, Lori actually laughed and said "But you're not doing it for the environment, honey - you just can't afford a car." I really wanted to slap her, but I have to admit she was half right. I really can't afford a car, because I choose to spend that kind of money in Europe for a month out of every year.

Okay, back to the party... Lori gets into it with my buddy JayJay, who is like the Jesus of the hipster doofus crowd in these parts. He's a wise and gentle soul with a vast legion of friends and admirers, and in the ten years I've known him, I've never heard a single unkind word uttered against him, nor have I ever witnessed him talking any shit about anyone else. When JayJay rolls his eyes and shakes his head, you know he's just encountered a real piece of work.

He was sparring with the Buzzkills on the hot button topic of plastic water bottles. Jim says that people who buy bottled water are fucking everything up with their ignorance and arrogance: "a most lethal combination". JayJay was drinking from a bottle of water at the time. The whole situation reminded me of a George Carlin bit I saw recently, where he calls out planet-hugging asshats and says "The earth doesn't share our prejudice towards plastic." It's funny because it's true. So Jim got me all riled up, and I spat back as much of this as I could remember:


Of course, I didn't deliver it as well as he does, but people laughed, the room lightened up, and the Buzzkills got the message loud and clear. Jim was so angry that he grabbed his drunk wife and left the party.

The host called me a couple days later, still laughing and cheering my tirade, and informed me that the Buzzkills think I'm a bitch and do not wish to ever see me again. According to the other guests, The Shunning has made me quite a hero of the people.

I'm forever grateful to you, George - you are missed, and thanks to you, the life has come back to the party.

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