A Gift? Or A Developed Skill? The Art Of Pissing People Off

“What I Do?” This is one of my favorite lines I use, and always spoken with a hard southern Bill Clinton accent, when I ask folks why they are pissed about something I said. I am the type of guy who will ask a question, in response to comments people make. I will respond to comments I here in the grocery line,at work, in a tavern, or at a family Christmas party. Nobody gets a free pass on publicly made comments.

I wish I had kept a journal over the years of my classics, and every so often, not so classic comments. One that comes to mind is a question I posed to a co-worker years ago while I was working retail while attending college. I was fairly good friends with this woman, and on occasions we would have beers after work. It was strictly a platonic relationship(very rare for me in those days!) One morning we were having coffee with a few other workers, and she dropped the ” I am having a baby” blast. So I instantly responded with; “Do you know who the pop is?” Mind you, the reason I asked was because I did not know she was seeing anyone. She responded “yes” and was not offended at all. Well, my buddy sitting next to me, who was an older gent, just turned red, buried his mug in his hands, and stated, ” you idiot, did you really just say that?” Of course I did, inquiring minds wanted to know!

Another Hillbilly gem happened at the grocery store and it involved a clerk, who has known me, and my family for years. She made a comment about Indians. I asked her if it were the ones with the “dots” or the “feathers?” She began to laugh, and some lady behind me made a snide comment about how “crude” I was. Poor dame, she did not know what she just stepped in! I responded by saying “really?” I asked her how she would ask somebody about which “Indians” she were speaking of? She responded ” I would have said ” are the American Indians?” To that I said; ” What, can’t all Indians be American? or do you have something against the ones that sell you a Slurpee and beef jerky? Well, the clerk blew a snot bubble, and the guy who was behind this lady asked me “What nights?, and where do you do stand up?”

Lastly, a current co-worker and I were ranting and raving our ultra conservatives views in the break lounge, he made a comment on illegal immigrants, and a somebody took offense to it. The comment was about how when a person breaks the law, they are a criminal. This “offended” person responded on typical liberal cue, “they just come here for a better life.” Here was a big fat soft ball waiting for me to hit it out of the park. I responded with ” the prisons are full of folks that broke into somebody’s home, or business, illegally, looking to take items that were not theirs, in order to have a better life for themselves! Please tell me the difference?”
There are so many more; lots of on liners,pokes, and jabs, sober, and tipsy, that I will have to concentrate of the next few days to remember more of them. So to answer the title of this post, I am going to say it is a combo of both a gift and a developed skill. I have one brother and 3 sisters, and we all, to this day, keep our skills sharp by targeting all our family members. A cool thing about getting older, is that there is more material to choose from!

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