This entry was written with a generous amount of "Knock On Wood"-ing. I don't want to jinx my extraordinary good luck. I don't want to find myself getting pummelled in an alley while thinking "jeez, I should have knocked on wood when I said that stuff!"
At least once a year I manage to make a man explode into vicious, incoherent rage. Where does this terrible power come from, and how can it be used for the common good?
Last night I had a typical encounter outside of the Pizza Pizza. A man took great offense to my standing there, and he exploded. Fortunately I was with good pal El Diablo Loki, who -- with all the powers of the metal gods behind him -- challenged the guy to an old fashioned Canadian duel. With Loki's calm, peaceful friend on one side, the guy's horrified girlfriend on the other, and me in the middle trying to mediate, we made a bizarre quartet of clashing ideologies that really wasn't going anywhere.
The exploding man's girlfriend dragged him into the Pizza Pizza, where he apparently spouted potent vitriol about me. And this is where my "exploding man" power becomes a force for good: the people who left the Pizza Pizza -- stereotypical, drunken, post-bar toughs -- apologized to ME for the guy's behaviour and said that somebody should go in there and beat the hell out of him. Which wasn't going to happen because, as we all acknowledged, the exploding man was really big.
But the point is, these young 20-something people were on MY SIDE. Maybe they would always have been on my side, or maybe seeing the repulsive bigotry of another person opened their minds a little bit. As awful as the whole situation was, the fact that fifteen football jocks were prepared to come to my aid was pretty heart-warming.
I made another man explode last year...he stood on my neighbour's balcony for about fifteen minutes, hoarsely yelling strange slurs and accusations at me while his girlfriend sat crying, and all of his 18-year-old buddies came over to apologize and share a drink with me. You see what I mean about the good and bad sides of these situations.
I think I understand the exploding men a little better now. When two or more men decide to get aggressive toward me, they tend to do it in a more smug, low-key way. But when only ONE man gets aggressive, he has to deal with not only his incohate, overpowering rage, but ALSO with the realization that nobody around him approves of his behaviour, not even his girlfriend, not even his best friends. This must drive him crazy, it makes him REALLY explode...he's screaming at me AND at the sudden realization that he has become a pariah. Must be awful, though pardon me if I don't feel bad about it.
So the silver lining? People get a good glimpse of bigotry, they see that I'm far more rational and sensible than the exploding man, and maybe they'll teach their kids some good lessons.
But I can't help wondering...what happens to the exploding men afterwards? Do they go home and feel bad? I doubt it, I bet they grow even more extreme in their beliefs. On one side I might be doing my own small part to make our world a better place, but on the other side I might be making a small number of little Nazis.