Rob Knight

Open letter to a not-so-smart individual

February 24, 2006

Dear Mr. Brown sweatshirt, tan pants, and bad breath,

Thank you for demonstrating your chimp-like ability to tear down green-colored paper outside my apartment last night. Most chimps would have stopped at one or two fliers and begun playing throwing their own excrement. But you showed amazing opposable-thumb skills and ripped down nearly ten! I’ll get on the horn with the zoo and let them know we have a new champ!

I know the stress of school can get to you, with dad working 80 hour weeks to pay for you to live on campus and get high every night and mom calling the housing office twice a week to make sure someone changes your sheets and wipes your ass. Life is tough. I’m sure the biggest adjustment was the lack of a nanny to continue to raise you. Given our interaction, it seems it was hard for you to mature past age 8. Unfortunately, here in the real world, the minimum age is 18, and it looks like you may come up a decade short. That means mommy and daddy will probably have to “intervene” when you don’t get the job you want or maybe they will simply have to join you on job interviews. That always looks good.

So anyway, because of your equally chimp-like ability to lie, when I confronted you, the best answer you could give for why you had performed your simian display of dominance over stapled paper was “A friend told me to.” Here’s where you goofed up my friend. Although I was in fact born yesterday, the human ability to smell a gigantic, steaming pile of bull shit is innate (oops, big word alert. innate means a born ability).

After my shock wore off that you might have actually had more than your right hand as a friend, I sought to inquire more details from you, such as, do any of your friends jump from bridges? But alas, you could only turn around and run away like pathetic coward, unable to take responsibility for such a proud accomplishment as removing paper from a wall.

And you thought you had gotten away, huh? I imagine the conversation you had with yourself. “Glad I ditched that guy, what a dick. I’m going to go celebrate with my hand.”

But, unfortunately, after throwing the ripped papers onto the ground in a pile, you did get caught. I thought I’d never catch you, but after a whole 60 seconds of looking, you were caught. However, feeding off the strength of your first idiotic display of quick thinking (“A friend told me to”), you decided that you would set a new record for bullshit that emerges from a cranial orifice. It went something like this:

Adult: Why did you tear the flier down? That is vandalism.
Idiot (played by you): The fliers are vandalism!
Adult: Do you know who put them up?
Idiot (played by you): No! Do you?
Adult: Yes. Why did you tear them down?
Idiot (played by you): I didn’t know who put them up!
Adult: So you decide what fliers should go up and down?
Idiot (played by you): I didn’t know! I threw them away.
Adult: No you didn’t, I just found them in the hall by the office.
Idiot (played by you): I threw mine away, those aren’t mine.
Adult: Do you have an army working for you that tears paper off walls?

Note: While I cannot be positive, I’m pretty sure you actually told the truth here.

Idiot (played by you): No.
Adult: What is your name?
Idiot (played by you): Ummm, …
Adult: And your last name?
Idiot (played by you): Ummmmm, …

At this point I was nearly overcome by the smell of bullshit, so I let you go. But here’s the problem…it’s one of many problems in your life, but I’ve covered that above. WE FUCKING LIVE IN THE SAME PLACE!

Maybe that was too harsh, I’ll explain it in terms an 8 year old can understand:

I know where your sandbox is, because my sandbox is in the same place.

You did something that, while completely asinine, probably had few consequences. I’d have probably forgotten your face within 25 minutes if you had just stayed there and answered my first question truthfully. It’s true, I’m almost 30, that’s really old for you. We old folks can’t remember shit.

But you just lied, and you continued to lie. And they were really bad lies. I’ve done a lot of work with children and I’ve heard better lies from 4 year olds. So now your face is etched into my brain for the better part of my life. Your lying face may just flash before my eyes in the final moments of my life, when I’m 96. I’ll be dying and there you’ll be and I’ll say god, that dude was a terrible liar. I’ll think I forgot your lying face but it’ll be up there in my brain, like a Bon Jovi song lyric. You gave lying, a bad name.

You know what is great though? I’ll remember the shocked look when you saw that I had caught you. You weren’t expecting that and your face was great. A little bit of “duh” mixed with a pinch of “oh shit.”

And since we live in the same place, I’m sure I’ll bump into you again, because you’re dumb like that. I’m benign though, so I’ll just laugh and point, maybe call you Michael or your real name, which I now know.

So, enjoy the rest of your school year, I’ll be seeing you. But I want to leave you with some advice, because I’m old and old people do that.

Hopefully this next paragraph will make more sense in the years to come when mommy and daddy stop paying your monthly credit card bill, and rent, and food money and for your “sleeping pills.”

When someone asks you for your name, and you fucking stutter before your first and your last name, it’s kind of obvious. You probably don’t want to try that with the cops when you get caught with the prostitute.

Love, Rob