Renaissance Column

JULY 1999 | VOL. 3, NO. 7



New parents need to think twice before sending out unflattering baby pictures


James L. Iannone
Anthony Marciano
Kevin Ridolfi

CRIS COHEN is a staff humor columnist for Renaissance Magazine. His work is also published weekly in three California newspapers and four online humor magazines.


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Let's All Think Happy Thoughts


Is it really wrong to hope that a particular person gets hit by a bus? After all, I'm just talking about hoping. I'm not even buying stock in Greyhound. But can you get in trouble for just wishful thinking like that? Sure people always say that it's the thought that counts, but that's usually only when they've received something really cheap. No one ever says that after they've been given a Porsche.

"Look! Dan just gave me a Leer jet!"

"Well, it's the thought that counts."

"What are you stupid?"

The problem is that one of my wife's best friends married an idiot. I'm not kidding. The guy medalled in the activity. He's been verbally abusive to my wife, continually attempts to dominate his own wife, is cruel to her parents...a real charmer. "Bachelor number one enjoys fishing and believes that a woman's place is in the home underneath something heavy." So what's really wrong with casually thinking about a day when he might be something they have to separate from a front fender?

And I don't even want anything to happen to the bus. Just a love tap really - a love tap done at around forty-seven miles an hour. It wouldn't even have to be a Greyhound. It could be a charter bus. Those things are usually doing seventy-five in residential neighborhoods anyway. Why not have the guy be smacked by one hauling members of the Kiwanis Club? It could even be on their route to a convention so they wouldn't have to go out of their way. And think how much it would give the passengers to talk about?

"How was your trip in?"

"We hit an idiot!"

It would definitely top everyone else's stories.

"And then we separated him from the front fender. So how was your trip?"

"The driver stopped once to let us relieve ourselves at an Arby's."

The thing is, there's nothing really that you can do to penalize someone for being a jerk. You can't really sue the guy because that's just frivolous and then you're no better than that woman who sued McDonalds because their coffee was hot. Okay, so maybe some of their beverages could burn through granite, but if you're dumb enough to drive with it between your legs like that woman did, then maybe you shouldn't be allowed to buy liquids without some sort of supervision. And maybe the whole incident was a sign from above, a not-so-subtle reminder that your groin area is not a safe deposit box.

"Hey, Alice, here is that collection of steak knives. Do you want me to put them in the trunk?"

"No, I'll just straddle them between my thighs."

Society has no built-in recourse though for those who are victims of the truly pinheaded. The moron in question drives, votes, buys alcohol, has children, and handles firearms on a regular basis. Heck, society hasn't even revoked his video rental card. As long as you don't do anything illegal, you are allowed to be a complete jerk. Thus, all that's left is hope - the hope that someday he'll be impaled by the 7:15 headed for Phoenix.

The strange thing is that pretty much everyone has these kind of hopes. Think of the sweetest, most innocent person you've ever met. The odds are pretty good that that person has at least once rooted for someone to receive punishment by mass transportation, even if it was just having their nemesis glance off the luggage rack. People who give to charity, contribute to bake sales, volunteer at the hospital - they've all prayed for the big bus of justice at one time or another.

Some people of course say we shouldn't even think such thoughts, that we should turn the other cheek. Which is fine with me. I'm quite happy to forget about the bus and start hoping that this guy one day drives down a road with sharp turns while holding hot coffee between his legs.

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