It ain’t easy being mean



I am sometimes truly wicked, I suppose. I do horrible things casually, and I can justify them to myself somehow.



But then there are the little mean things I do.



Apollonia was telling some long-winded story the other day about being in the produce department and squeezing all of the canteloupes, because she wanted one that was perfect. “And I didn’t want to drop them,” she said.



I snorted. “Roll them on the floor,” I said. “That’s what I do. Who cares? I throw ’em in every direction when I’m done with them.”



She looked at me incredulously, but with some appreciation. I suspect the managers in Apollonia’s local market are in for some trouble soon.



Also I have difficulty with fools. Recently a very nice young woman in my department arranged an ice-cream social: free Popsicles, free ice-cream sandwiches. She sat at a little table and very graciously handed them out. I was a good boy and had only one of each. But then some nasty-looking people from another building came over and helped themselves. “Hey, Loren!” the ringleader challenged me. “What’s your riddle?”



“Excuse me?” I said.



“On your Popsicle stick!” she said.



I looked down, and sure enough, there was a riddle on my Popsicle stick. “’What bird is the rudest bird?’” I read aloud.



Nasty-Looking Person From Another Department looked befuddled. “I don’t know. What?”



I glanced at her briefly, then threw the stick in the trash. “Who cares?” I said.



(Naturally I enjoyed the look of utter confusion on her face. I love doing that to people.)



Well, that was mean, I know. Not, probably, a mortal sin. But unpleasant and unneighborly.



But, as I said:



Who cares?



About Loren Williams
Gay, partnered, living in Providence, working at a local university. Loves: books, movies, TV. Comments and recriminations can be sent to

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