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Not Prince Hamlet

"Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse."

NPH Has Moved

Thursday, April 08, 2010

To www.notprincehamlet.com.

Click here to be directed . . .
posted by Not Prince Hamlet, 12:08 AM | link | 0 comments |

The Scorn of The Conscientious Class

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

I'm smiling politely at the Trader Joe's checker, who has just recounted to her colleague that they got a "bad batch of bags." I require the paper bags today because I forgot our reusable ones. Because I came almost straight from daycare. Because I've been out of town for a week and returned home to a bare fridge. And because I use the paper bags--to collect my recycling.

Yet these are perilously flawed. One good tug, one corner caught on a door handle, and my oatmeal would have been covered in egg.

Nice catch, checker. You do the Joe proud. I am happy to be shopping here with my two year-old daughter on a sunny Tuesday afternoon in April.

I am not happy with the smarmy-smug commentary coming from behind me:

"All the more reason people should bring their own."


The guy behind me in line has just answered my noble checker's act of collegiality with a kick to the human shin. I turn to look at my accuser. He's tall, young, and has a perfectly crafted hairdo resting atop his chiseled-jaw-and-high-cheekbone head. He is positively Grecian. He's beautiful. I hate him.

If I am to be fingered as an environmental menace at the local crunchy grocery chain, must it be by such a specimen of mainstream success? Could I not be accosted by the 75 year-0ld retiree with his cans of soup and cat food? Where, on this judgment day, is the patchouli-scented protester with her mattes of unwashed hair?

And he smiles. He grins at me (I hate you I hate you I hate you!) as if the two of us are sharing a condemnation of a third party, THAT guy, who we both know is going home to take a 57 minute shower with every light on in the house. But we're not.

I'm the guilty party here. Bad citizen. Bad dad. Bad hair.

I stop at 7-11 on the way home, just so I can buy a pack of cigarettes, smoke one in the car, and toss the butt out the window. If the scorn of the conscientious class is to be my diet, let me first work up an appetite.
posted by Not Prince Hamlet, 11:58 PM | link | 0 comments |

I Was A Dumb Kid (4)

Monday, February 15, 2010

When I was a teenager and in college, I went with my parents and a girl I sought to impress to a lake in New Mexico. The drive from Denver took us over Wolf Creek Pass.

At the top of the pass, I made the decision (from behind the wheel of the girl's dad's car, mind you) that coasting down in neutral would be a good way to save gas. So into neutral the car went, and I rode the brakes all the way down the pass's 10,000 feet.

The burning smell at the bottom was unmistakable.

I was a dumb kid.


posted by Not Prince Hamlet, 11:15 AM | link | 1 comments |

I Was A Dumb Kid (3)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Being home for a few days has reminded me of this:

When I was a teenager I drove my 1982 Datsun 200sx from downtown Denver home to the suburbs. It began to overheat very early into the drive, but I estimated the driving time to be short, and since it was January, it was cold outside, so that should have helped. Still on the interstate and miles from home, a loud knocking noise starting issuing from the engine as smoke billowed from under the hood. I took the next exit, and the car died before it reached the bottom.

I trudged through the snow to an office park about 100 yards off the exit and asked the people inside to call my parents to come pick me up. A mechanic who was a friend of the family had the car towed to his garage the next day and reported to my dad with a mix of amazement and amusement that the engine had literally been burned up. The sending unit had literally melted.

As the engine melted, all I could think was, "Just get me home. Just get me home."

Dumb. Kid.

For posterity's sake, below is the ad for that car, God Rest It's Soul.


posted by Not Prince Hamlet, 4:43 PM | link | 0 comments |

I Was A Dumb Kid (2)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

When I was a teenager playing baseball in the park with my friends, a carload of older kids pulled up and started to bully us around. When the leader of the bullies demanded the aluminum bat I was holding, I . . . gave . . . it . . . to . . . him.



posted by Not Prince Hamlet, 9:50 PM | link | 0 comments |

I Was A Dumb Kid

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Mark Oestreicher tells a story in a recent book about wrecking his dad's car on a traffic island in a completely vacated mall parking lot when he was 16. It got me thinking of the stupid stuff I did when I was a teenager.

For example, when I was a teenager I stood an extension ladder on end by itself in front of a window. Of course, it crashed through the window.

When I was a teenager I filled the power steering fluid reservoir of my new Ford Maverick with motor oil.

When I was a teenager I broke the frame of said Maverick by making a sharp left turn on snow and doing a perfect parallel slide into the opposite curb. Then I drove the car for two more days.

When I was a teenager I made an early exit from a McDonald's drive-thru by driving directly over the top of the traffic island. I wanted breakfast, and they had stopped serving breakfast. What was I supposed to do?

When I was a teenager I backed straight into a concrete-embedded light pole at 20 miles per hour in an empty parking lot.

When I was a teenager I at a whole plate of marinated onions on a dare.

When I was a teenager I stood on the hood of my friend's parents' car, putting two very noticeable dents in it.

When I was a teenager I tried to give my girlfriend a running piggy-back ride down the middle of the street. I stumbled and fell, and she had her face drug across four feet of asphalt.

That's only the tip of the iceberg.

Man, I was a dumb kid.


posted by Not Prince Hamlet, 9:04 PM | link | 2 comments |

Corporations as Uber-Citizens

Friday, January 22, 2010

posted by Not Prince Hamlet, 9:20 AM | link | 0 comments |