Somebody asked me in an email, and I’m talking one of them chain mail kind that goes around every so often like a flu epidemic, so when I say somebody, God only knows, but that’s besides the point. Somebody asked me to try and remember the names of the ten richest people in the world.
I said, “Shit!”
I ain’t what they call a good test subject. I signed up for one of them Get Rich Taking Surveys At Home things and it felt like I was back in third grade again. “Just shut up and answer the damn question, Vanessa, or else go sit in the hall! Can you say ADHD?”
Right. Like they even knew how to spell ADHD when I was a kid. That’s what you call creative license on my part. My middle name is Ana, btw. That’s short for anachronism. BTW is short for Butt the Fuck out of my World, if you don’t like my big words. And anachronistic is just another way of saying my memory ain’t what it used to be and so I make shit up. That’s called fiction, in case you’re lacking a clue.
Where the fuck was I?
Oh. So I flunked out of get rich quick school, and this email begin to look like another one of them, except there wasn’t anyplace to put your credit card number, so I went on ahead and answered what I could. Top ten richest people in the world.
I put down Donald Trump, of course, and that’s as far as I got.
Next, they wanted to know the top ten quarterbacks to win the World Series, and all I know is Tom Brady, Tom Brady, Tom Brady. I used to live up there in Massachusetts, in case you didn’t know. I come back home, though, like a bad penny. Oh, and Peyton Manning. He’s the other one.
It went on like that. Top ten Oscars for Best Actor and what all. I said what about if I sent out my own goddamn test with questions that a person can fucking answer? Computer just looked at me like, Don’t be retarded, Vanessa. So I scrolled down to find out about how the world is supposed to end if I didn’t forward it to my top ten best enemies, and what caught my eye was the last question. It said, name ten people who have changed the course of your life.
I said, one, my dad, because he up and took off before I was born and didn’t get the chance to fuck me up as totally as he did my mom.
And two, her, because she died and left me to number three.
My grandma, for wandering off down in the canyon and slicing her wrists in the middle of a hailstorm.
I won’t say my half-sister, Sheila, because it wasn’t entirely her fault, except for marrying that son of a bitch that raped me, or tried to. So Leon, I hope you got plenty of marshmallows where you’re going.
And Patterson Price. What are we up to, five? Talk about changing the course of a girl’s life! That’s how I come to move up there to New England, because he convinced me I just had to run away with him and get knocked up and then everything else in life would magically work itself out, like how to keep his daddy from finding out about me and minor details like that.
So six. Whoever that was that Daddy Price hired to steal my baby, because if I ever see her face again, you can bet your ass, the course of my life will change all over afuckingain. I’ve been locked up before, and I would gladly take what comes.
What? Did you think this was supposed to be uplifting? Like I was going to end up with, last but not least, Jesus Christ for dying on the cross? Because let me tell you something. Nobody. But nobody. Ever done me a favor by dying.
I mean, consider the number of people been put to death and then they said, “Ooops!” All DNA means is Don’t Nobody Answer for it, anyway. Dead is dead, and each and every one of them died for somebody else’s sins. I ain’t seen a single church built and named after one of them. Never mind an entire religion. And what about the ones that got off? You and I both know the majority of them ain’t signed up yet for Rapists and Murderers Anonymous and got their hearts right with God just because somebody else got zapped on their behalf. Seriously?
If you asked me, human sacrifice ain’t exactly worked out the way it was supposed to, but Christianity sure-God is the best system anyone ever devised for the promulgation of evil. But hold your horses for just one minute, because I see where they are now cloning sheep with fifteen percent human genes for the purpose of organ harvesting, and I’ve got an idea for you.
Why not scramble up a team of geniuses to figure out which fifty-plus percent of the human genome is responsible for things like Hitler and Son of Sam and Jim Jones and my brother-in-law and splice that shit up with Mary Had a Little Lamb?
Then we can get clear about whether we’re living in Old Testament times or New.
Thank you very much, btw.
That was very theragoddamnpeutic!
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