M. Giant's
Throwing stuff at the internet to see what sticks

Monday, August 05, 2002  

The regular readers of this blog know that when I tell stories about people I know, I generally give them pseudonyms. This story is about a guy I'll call Steve, because a) it's his real name, and b) I hate him.

You know a guy like Steve, or at least you used to. He's an asshole. We met him because Trash used to work with his then-fiancée. Everyone at their workplace liked the fiancée, but then they met Steve, and they would all say to each other, "Wow, she should not marry that asshole." But these were work friends, not close friends, and they thought it inappropriate for them to say, "hey, don't marry that asshole." That was a job for her close friends. The work friends (including Trash) didn't realize they were the close friends until they got to the wedding reception and there were no other friends there, by which time she had of course already married said asshole, and nobody had ever told her not to. Oops.

Anyway, about this time, Steve and his wife move into a new house. They throw a housewarming party. We go to the party. I complain like the whiny bitch that I am the whole way there, because I don't know if I mentioned this, but Steve is an asshole.

We get there. We're among the first people there. Some other people show up. We get introduced. Nobody cares.

At some point, Steve rounds up the guys for a tour of the new house. Just the guys, because Steve is a guy's guy. Not the way you're thinking. He's one of those guys for whom men are men and women are pets. And, you know, if he spends any time with women, people might start to think he is one. Yeah, you know the type.

So anyway, he drags us all on this interminable tour of the house, from top to bottom, pointing out all of its remarkable features and its infinitely more numerous unremarkable ones. Eventually we get to the basement. The very last stop on the tour is the water heater.

I don't know, I think Steve is enjoying this tour guide thing to an unhealthy extent. Maybe it gives him some kind of control buzz. Anyway, he doesn't seem to want the tour to end. So he starts rambling on about the water heater, and how his grandpa told him that every once in a while, you need to drain the water out of the bottom because it gets dirty. I've never heard this pearl of wisdom before or since, but I and the rest of Steve's all-but-captive audience watch as he gets an empty bucket, sticks it under a valve on the heater, and opens the valve.

"Uh, yeah," someone (not me) observes politely. "That water's pretty black.” We all nod in agreement.

Steve, reveling in his vindication, shuts the valve. Except the water keeps coming out.

Nobody says a word.

Keep in mind, I think I'm an outsider here. I assume all of the other guys know each other. I won't find out until later that the only other guy each of them knows is Steve. Who is starting to lose his cool in a big way. Not that that’s hard, because his “cool” was a very small thing to begin with. Steve gets another bucket. He gets a hose, so he can direct the flow of water out through the basement window.

"Boy, do I ever not need to be here for this," I say to myself, and I head up to the kitchen, where life is much better because the kitchen contains spinach dip and my wife. I tuck in, grinning fiercely and not saying a word about what's going on downstairs.

"Is the tour over?" Mrs. Steve asks me.

"Pretty much," I tell her gleefully.

She's in the process of preparing a meal for a houseful of people. Which sort of hits a snag when she goes to turn on the water in the sink and there isn't any.

"What's going on with the water?" she asks the room in general.

"This is really good spinach dip," I say.

After about ten minutes, guys start trickling up from the basement, one by one. While they didn't abandon their host to his fate as readily as I did, they make up for it in their lack of discretion. Our hostess asks each of them what's going on as they come up the stairs, and she eventually puts together what's going on.

I've never enjoyed just sitting and eating spinach dip so much in my entire life.

Since cooking in her kitchen is obviously over for the day, our hostess calls her mom to try to arrange some sort of backup for providing food. While she's working out the details, Steve brings up the rear of the upstairs caravan. "Get off the phone," he all but yells at her. Because how dare she try to cover their ass after he's idiotically disabled their indoor plumbing? His only option in this situation is to be unconscionably rude to his wife in front of everyone they know. Except the opposite of that.

Clearly, this was the worst housewarming party ever, as a bunch of people who didn't know each other milled around upstairs, while the "host" cursed a blue streak that encroached on his neighbors' property, stomping up and down the stairs with his dad and his dad's plumber friend.

The best part is that we later learned that that night, Steve and his wife had the following exchange:

Steve: Do you think people thought it was weird what happened today?

Mrs. Steve: Uh--yeah.

Steve: Well, it wasn't.

Mrs. Steve: What?

Steve: It wasn't weird.

Mrs. Steve: Okay, whatever.

We don't so much hang out with these people any more. Not just because Steve was an asshole. Also because his wife did what so many other women do after they marry assholes: she became an asshole as well. The moral?

Ladies, don't marry assholes.

posted by M. Giant 3:18 PM 0 comments


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