Friday, June 13, 2008

Dinner with Spike

I’m writing from the office again today, and I’m also babysitting my cousin later, so I can really feel like a working man for a change. I’ll probably make more money today than I’ve made in day’s work since 2003.

Last night I had a rather unpleasant dinner out with Spike. He called me up, invited me out for a drink and maybe some pizza, and I wasn’t doing anything, and I haven’t seen him in awhile, and he is supposedly one of my best friends, in theory, so I was happy to oblige. But within minutes of sitting down with him, I was reminded of how boring I find the guy.

So we talked about whatever we could think of that was new. I explained how badly Grandma Loopy was doing with her Alzheimer’s, and how she’s got three pill cocktails a day, and the pills do nothing. My father insists that the memory pill, galantamine, is helping with her memory, but my reaction to that is “what memory? She doesn’t have one anymore. You pull out of her driveway, you’ve just fed her, and she’s immediately on the phone wondering when you’re coming over for dinner.”

I explained to Spike that I’d been researching the pill, and found that it does not, in fact, have any proven positive effect on the memory. It merely provides extra doses of chemicals the brain produces anyway. It also has all kinds of nasty side effects, and when used for other forms of memory loss, it actually increases death rates. So, we’re not exactly winning by using galantamine. In fact, I went so far as to tell Spike there was now known for Alzheimer’s.

So Spike says to me he’s heard of a cure involving marijuana. It sounds like a joke, I know, but as I said, Spike has no sense of humor. So I began pressing him for where he read this, because as I said to him, (and often say to comments this), “hmm… that certainly doesn’t sound true.” He said he hadn’t read it. Someone told him. But he couldn’t remember who. Probably because he smokes too much marijuana. I was content to just drop the subject after that.

Then he dragged me into one of his typical arguments about how the world is a miserable place and that I’m a huge jerk for not wanting to change everything.

It all started with a comment about student debts. One of his roommates had told him earlier he hoped the economy would collapse so he wouldn’t have to pay off his student debts. He was probably kidding, but Spike doesn’t have much of a sense of humor. And so here Spike was, telling me that the economy was bound to collapse, because it’s based on something unsustainable. I said I didn’t think so, and we went into a rather long debate about why I think the economy works, and why he thinks it doesn’t.

For instance, he thought that charging people interest for borrowing money isn’t right, and that it also isn’t right for banks to give interest to their investors. After all, the Muslims don’t do it that way. Spike thinks they should just charge service fees. Spike doesn’t exactly understand business. So I tried to explain that nobody would want to invest in a bank that simply charges them money for the privilege of investing. People with money want to make money. You can’t change this. (No matter how much of a hippy you are.)

Of course, the bottom line here is that we’re both too ignorant to be making an argument here, and in no position to do anything about any of these problems anyway.

“So that’s you attitude? Nothing can be done? The hell with the world?”

“That’s not what I said.”

And finally, on our way back to his place, where I was going to watch some stupid video he found that I would supposedly find humorous, he made it completely clear to me that he simply didn’t understand how to argue properly.

“…because basically you’re just arguing ‘blah, blah, blah,’” he says.

“Are you serious? ‘Blah, blah, blah?’ You can’t even repeat the gist of what I just said?”

“I stopped listening.”

“Really?” I asked. I found it amazing how his brain simply switched off when logic came into play. So at that moment, I made the best decision I’d made all night.

“You know what, I’m going home.” For at least an hour, I’d already been wondering what in the hell I was doing with him anyway.

“Okay, peace,” he says as he heads his separate way, as if to say all was fine between us. All is not fine between us. He’s left a very sour taste in my mouth, and I’m left thinking that he and I have simply grown apart. I don’t like him. I don’t respect him; I think he’s a complete hypocrite because he spends all his time talking about changing the world, but he never actually does anything about it.

Earlier in the evening, he’d told me he wanted to feel he had a positive effect on the world. He seems to think his good deed is to inform everybody of the evils of capitalism. I find it tedious, particularly how condescending, out-of-turn, and frankly rude he is when he argues like that. It doesn’t have a positive effect on anyone. Spike can drain the life from a room – I’ve seen it. It's quite impressive, actually. He’s like a conversational vampire. Or a smart bomb – he can clear a room really quickly.

This general unpleasantness of his has sort of crept up over the years. I keep thinking perhaps that’s what makes it so hard for me to see. The first time N/A met him, she hated his guts. And N/A is a really sweet woman who never hated anybody, with the two exceptions of my Auntie Flo, and Spike. I suppose what she thought of him shouldn’t matter to me now, but really, at this point I feel the same way about him as she does.


Inkpot said...

Hmmm, sounds like a very depressing evening. It is sad that he wants to have a positive effect on the world (or says he does) and has such a negative one. Friendships change all the time and some people are only meant to be in your life for a short while. It sounds like, for your own sanity, it would be best if you don't see Spike again. Conversation vampires - or vampires of any kind (except ones who look like David Boreanaz!) are not good to hang out with.

taste, if you want more take off your pants. said...

I'm not sure where the hell this Spike fellow gets his info, but from what you've related, it's all wrong. Muslims, as well as Jews, have religious guidelines against usury, and not interest. If his roommate friend wants the economy to collapse in a viable manner he should get all his friends and family, and people he meets on the street and basically making cold calls to people telling them all to get as many credit cards as possible and loans and max them out and not pay them. If he got a large enough amount of people it would cause the economy to stop growing, for a while at least. Ironically it would probably be bailed out by taxpayer money.
My ideas on why Spike isn't a fun character: the weed. People who habitually smoke it tend to become, for lack of a better word, stupid. I know this because it happened to me. Weed doesn't cure Alzheimer's either, in fact it gives you memory problems. He was probably thinking that it was a cure for glaucoma and is a remedy for appetite loss caused by nausea, but his memory was too messed up to remember that.

Just a side note on the whole medical marijuana issue: The lynch pin in the argument against it is that those who are pushing for it assume that you should be able to administer it by smoking it. They should make medicinal marijuana legal but in a pill or inhaler form. Smoking the stuff is like using a hammer for amputations: it defeats the purpose.
But anyways: Spike should quit smoking the stuff everyday. Maybe you should push for a mini-intervention. Get some footage of him and show him how much of a douchie he's being.
Do I know Spike anyhow?...

the post-scriptor said...

Forgot to mention that Spike is probably bitchy because of his apathy towards all the things he finds wrong with the world. Those who get worked up the most by problems tend to be the ones who want to do the least to fix them. Maybe the tweed smoking is making him apathetic and getting in the way of him fixing the world?

Malice Blackheart said...

Yeah, friendships change all the time, and I become ore aware that eventually you just have to leave people behind.

"Smoking the stuff is like using a hammer for amputations." Wow, Al. That's quite vivid. I love it. And yeah, you know Spike. Let's see, how do I tell you who he is without giving it away? I might also have called him "Al Bino" or maybe even "Al Wino."

brain chemistry said...

Ah, yes! The black fellow from China! I didn't really know him just knew of him through you and others.

spookygreentea said...

The only cures for Alzheimers that I've heard about recently are this one.

This story just brings up memories of what happened to El Gato in the past and cements my growing distaste of Spike.

He means well... but he just can't seem to do any good. Maybe that's harsh, and maybe I've got no right even saying so since I hardly know him, but that's just the way it is for me.