Everything is wrong with me
Wednesday, June 29, 2005
random hurtful emails
If my friends and I have one thing in common, it's that we love to hurt each other's feelings. I've thought long and hard about this, but the intentional ball busting is definitely the least common denominator among us. Some of us like sports, but not all; some of us like music, but not all; one of us once got arrested at an amusement park for taking a shit in a brown paper bag on a dare (Joe Zadlo I'm looking in your direction), but not all.

But we all love to break each other's stones. The good news is that most of us are self-deprecating and can handle it well. And for those who aren't self-deprecating, well, we deprecate for those guys.

I think this is partially a product of where I'm from. Where I grew up, breaking balls was a way of life, a true art form, a necessary survival skill. We're not talking "snaps" like "Your momma's so fat she had to get baptized at Sea World" or "Your momma's like a bowling ball: she gets picked up, fingered, thrown in the gutter, and comes back for more". It's nothing that, um, organized, but generally if there's anything I can do or say to you to make you look bad in front of people, then I'm going to do it. And I expect you to do the same.

But I believe I've taken this to a new level recently with the inception of something I like to call the Random Hurtful Email. Perhaps the best way to explain this is to give an example.

When he was younger, my buddy Bob's house burned down. It was a very traumatic experience for him. In the middle of the night, he was awoken from his sleep, had to escape the house, and then watched it burn. He then lived in a trailer park for two months while the house was getting fixed. He has confided in us, his close friends, that this was the worst time of his life.

On Monday morning, I sent an email to Bob and five of our friends. The subject of the email was "Fire". The text of the email went:

Hey Bob,

Remember when your house burned down and you lost everything and had to live in a trailer park? That fucking sucked.

Thus the Random Hurtful Email. A lot of things make me happy: getting drunk and falling off a boat, killing an animal with my bare hands (or a pipe or sharp rock), getting high and hanging around a cemetery, watching children in a swimming pool, getting a blowjob from that junkie who hangs out 7th & Ritner for only $3 and a pack of Juicy Fruit because she's absolutely feening for a hit, etc. But there's nothing quite like the satisfaction of knowing you just forced a friend to relive the most painful experience of his life - and it came out of nowhere. Jackpot!

Of course, my friends are ruthless and pounced on this, chiming in with, "Yeah, that did stink when you watched your home burn before your eyes" and "Living in a trailer park must have been embarrassing." Good stuff.

Another example. When he was eleven or so, two men broke into my friend Mike's house. His dad wasn't home at the time (he was away on business), so he and his two brothers hid in his mother's bedroom with her, door barricaded, listening to these two guys go through their home, crying their eyes out, unsure if they were their only to rob or to rob and hurt them. Eventually, after what seemed like an eternity, they left. To this day, Mike shakes when he tells the story.

Yesterday, I emailed Mike, cc'ing a few of our friends who know the story. The subject was "fear".


Dude, do you remember when those guys broke into your home and you hid with your brothers and mom in her room, hoping they wouldn't kill you? I imagine being the victim of a home invasion is pretty bad. Is it?

Me: 1, Mike: 0.

This afternoon I'm sending one to my friend Jim. I'll call it "your parents' broken marriage" and I think it'll go something like:


Do you remember when your mom had to divorce your dad because he couldn't keep his dick out of women that weren't her?

So anytime you need a self-esteem boost, I recommend you try the Random Hurtful Email. If life has taught me anything, it's that the only true way to feel better about yourself is by making those around you feel worse about themselves. Or something like that. I don't even know anymore.

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