Been thinking about cruelty lately. It's a funny trait in someone; it's one of the most base emotions there is, one that, as an adult, has to be un-learned, as opposed to learned. Ever observe kids on a playground? They don't need to be taught the finer points of cruelty. Kids work in cruelty like Picasso worked in French mistresses. Often they don't know they're being cruel; sometimes they know and don't care. Either way, kids can be horribly cruel and never feel a single pang of regret.
Adults, though, are usually a different story. Oh, sure, every so often you'll run across a J. R. Ewing type of cat (kids, look it up), who just delights in cruelty, but I submit that when adults are cruel to another it's an aberration; that it's not part of someone's normal personality. Cruelty, one adult to another, usually takes place because of one of two different reasons: one, you're a passive-aggressive sort who chooses to be cruel because of some half-imagined slight to your wonderfulness on the part of the person who you're cruel to, or you said something more by accident than on purpose that, halfway out of your mouth, you realize was cruel but it's too late.
Either way, though, when you do or say something that's cruel, and you don't apologize for it, then you're just one of those people who don't mind being cruel. And that makes you a bad person.
And now, some random cranial events:
* What a beat-down on the Broncos by the Patriots. At the poker game Saturday I made it clear that I thought the Pats would not only win but also cover the 13 1/2 points they were giving up. Belly chick is just too good a game planner to not issue a beatdown to a team that relies on gimmickry that he's seen twice in five weeks.
* If you're hungry and feel like some fast food, but don't want to foist any huge indignity onto your body, go to Dunkin Donuts and get a chicken salad sandwich on a croissant. It's real food, it's always fresh, it's not expensive, and it goes down real good with an iced coffee. And it won't give you the grumbellies like a quarter-pounder with cheese will.
* Lightning and I have been engaging in a mammoth Beatles trivia contest with ultra-hard questions. Sample question that Lightning got right: What splendid gesture did Paul make that was repaid by John crediting Give Peace A Chance to Lennon/McCartney? (Answer: recording Ballad of John and Yoko with John in a single day when George and Ringo were otherwise occupied). Sample question that I got right: What is the significance of the song Not a Second Time? (answer: first song that was recorded without all four Beatles - just John and Ringo, with George Martin providing a piano solo). I still think I'm better at Beatles trivia than he, but Lightning acquitted himself well and proved he's worthy. If anybody else wants in, no problem, as long as you adhere to one rule: Don't look anything up. This is an honor thing. Don't be a douchebag. Email me and I'll concoct some evil witch's brew of questions to test your mettle.
* I have a new friend, Cranky, who is a caregiver to her wife who has MS. I have some up-close experience with MS and what it can do - a really good friend of mine, whom I've known for 25 years, was diagnosed with relapsing-remitting MS in 2000, and his life is a constant struggle against his own body, which fails him with regularity and repays him with more or less constant pain. He's been going through some life crap lately too - he had to put down his dog this past Christmas, which was only minimized by the fact that his sainted mother passed away 24 hours later. So Cranky, whereas I could never truthfully say that I know what you or Skip are going through, I have a shadow of knowledge along those lines. I'm guessing you have a decent support system around you but if it ever gets too heavy, I'm just an email away.
I guess that's all for now. As Shakespeare said, "Prithee, remember the porter."