In my life there’s been 3 fantastic burns against me that I can recall with absolute clarity. Two of them were jokes setup over time that needed to ferment before their verbal barbs were prepped for absolute potency and hilarity. The last one was a gift from you and was done in about 15 seconds and will forever remain my perfect example of the ultimate slam.
Not sure if you remember, but this perfection of verbal onslaught happened about 8 years ago when I was working with you on your first day at the helliest hell hole ever, Enterprise Rent a Car (ERAC). As I’m sure you recall there are certain employees at ERAC that only have the task of washing the cars and driving them between stores. That was you. You were a Porter for my store.
As you’re no doubt well aware, porters are generally made up of retired men from the many steel mills in the area. They’re generally guys that, like you, got bored of retirement and want an easy job to kill time.
On your first day at my store I remember thinking that you seemed like a nice guy with a good sense of humor. You were recently retired from US Steel and around 65 years of age. Your genius, as I would soon find out, was that you simply didn’t give a damn and your burn on me is a prime example of a person’s ability to destroy by barely lifting a finger. I’m still reeling from it almost a decade later.
Our store was always busy. Not only did we have to service the customers, but we needed to keep everything up to date and legal with the cars. This included putting new registration stickers on the license plates of our fleet.
Our manager had instructed you to put new stickers on a handful of cars and asked me to get you the stickers for the plates. Happily, I showed you where all of this stuff was and peeled off a couple for you and handed them over. Trying to be cute, I said, “Now be careful, Don. Those go in the upper right hand corner of the plates.”
You took a second to consider this and casually asked me, “What did you say your name was again?”
“Nate,” I replied.
Then you gave me the hammer, “Oh, I thought you said it was Fuckface!”
I stood there motionless and slack jawed and your eyes never left mine. Still staring, I said, “Wow.” Then you turned and left.
I stood there replaying this verbal destruction in my head over and over. As a person that prides himself on his wit and humor I was in absolute awe of how beautifully and quickly I was destroyed. Nothing could be said to combat what had been done to me. I’d been eviscerated.
Your delivery was both gentle and extremely over the top. Your eyes bored holes into my head. Your emphasis on the word “fuckface” was said with lethal doses of venom and tectonic plate shifting forces of earth shattering smackdownness.
I’d been crushed by you, a man I’d just met, in only a few seconds. You taught me a valuable lesson that day and I still believe it to be the master class of insult hurling and I hope to eventually be at your level.
I look forward to the day when I’m older and wiser and set some young kid on fire like you did to me, but until that day, thanks for the lesson, Don. I’ll never forget you or the impression your insult left on me. I’m a better man because of it.
I hope this letter has found you well.