Uncle AndrewUncle Andrew
Filed under: @ 11:46 am

This week Margaret and I are burning off a few vacation hours that we would otherwise not have the time to use. We spent all of our travel budget this year on home improvements, so if we want to take a trip to an exotic locale we have to go sit in our new shower. No biggie: while we love going places other than our home, we also love just sitting around enjoying each other’s company, reading books, watching movies, and serving as slow-moving jungle gyms for our new kittens as they carom throughout the house. Anyway, so if posts are kind of thin, it’s because I’m not turning on the computer quite so much this week. Now on to the festivities.

While we were down in Olympia last week Margaret and I stopped in at Bagel Brothers, a quite-respectable bagel joint in the area, for lunch. Bagel Brothers isn’t a hard-core Jewish deli style bagel place—any comestabulary that offers Cheesy Jalapeno bagels is a bit too goy for that—but they also do not offer, in the parlance of my father-in-law, “round bread”. You know; those puffy, fluffy counterfeit bagels you get at the majority of the chain places or at the grocery store. And they’re a local business, which of course we prefer to support.

This particular Bagel Brothers—okay, the only Bagel Brothers—sits next to one of Washington’s state-run liquor stores. The relevance of this will become apparent in a moment.

As we sat munching our lunches—Margaret a roast beef and pesto and me a bagel with a schmear—an older, overweight man with a red face walked through the door. He sauntered over to the soda fountain, grabbed one of the paper cups used for water, filled it with ice from the fountain, and walked back out the door.

It took perhaps thirty seconds for the scenario to truly register with me….right around the time I remembered the flattish, rectangular brown-paper-bag-wrapped package tucked in the crook of his flabby arm.

This human hemorrhoid had just picked up a fifth of some form of liquor at the package store, then walked into the mom ‘n pop eatery next door to steal a cup of ice so he could go enjoy his refreshing beverage on the rocks. After which, no doubt, he would return via car to his job as a Kindergarten bus driver.

I got up and headed out the door, intending to perhaps confront the man, to at least use my phone to take pictures of his license plate and report him to the police. Sadly my logy neurological pathways had kept me in my seat long enough for him to make his getaway, either on foot or in that presumptive motor vehicle that had now become a loaded weapon.

At that moment I truly hated, hated this man. From the callous inconsideration of his petty theft, through the crushing personal and public burden of his obvious addiction, to the potentially life-endangering felony of his driving under the influence, I wanted nothing more than for him to be obliterated, flensed from the Earth. His hopes, his fears, his sicknesses—none of it mattered; excise him whole and cast him into the void like so much infectious waste. Quickly, before he metastasizes, further jeopardizing the health of the whole.

Of course this was as much a statement of my feelings of impotence and inadequacy for failing to react in time as it was anything about him; I’m not blind to that. But the feeling, much reduced but still potent, endures.

In reflecting on it later, I was forced to come to the somewhat exasperating conclusion that the reason I hated him so much was due to his obvious and all-encompassing lack of consideration for his fellow human beings.

Let’s go over that again, shall we? I hated this man for not loving his fellow Man.

Philosophical and epistemological musings on the subject aside, what I really needed was a term for this sort of sentiment. It took a good half a week to come up with one I thought fit the bill, a kind of doubling-up and folding-over of the concept of hatred of hatred: misanthropistpy.

Better still, a person who practices misanthropistpy is….drumroll please….a misanthropistpist.

I’m particularly pleased with that aspect of the neologism, with its double helping of “pist”. Double-pist is exactly how I felt that day.

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