Failing tests you don’t even know you’re takingOctober 8, 2010
“Hey, is it all right to think less of someone if they really like those Twilight books?” says Ninja Vicki.
“You’re looking at a man who won’t listen to someone if they’re wearing sandals or flip-flops,” I say.
“I’m not asking if it’s all right to be judgmental in general,” says Ninja Vicki. “I’m asking if it’s okay to be judgmental in this narrow area where the Twilight Saga resides.”
“Let me think…” I say. “Four books and three movies of pathetic Mormon-tinted author wish fulfillment featuring a protagonist that does nothing through four books yet is inexplicably fawned over by everyone and whose only ambition is to become a vampire and marry her sparkly vampire man… yeah, you are totally allowed to think less of someone if they really like the Twilight Saga.”
“Good, because I was already doing that,” says Ninja Vicki.
“It’s like the Voight-Kampff test from Blade Runner,” I say. “But instead of finding out if someone is a replicant, you use the Twilight Test to find out if they have severe issues regarding what they perceive as a healthy relationship.”
“Sort of like if you go on a dinner date with a guy and he treats the waitstaff poorly,” says Ninja Vicki. “That’s a sign that he’s not going to treat you so well either. But in the Twilight case it’s a sign that this woman is going to have a warped sense of expectations regarding your relationship.”
“Yeah, there are all sorts of little tests we all run the people we meet through,” I say. “For example, tell someone about that story in rural Tennessee where a guy’s home was on fire and the fire department watched it burn to the ground and kill his pets because the guy forgot to pay the $75 town fire protection fee and then only put the fire out when it spread to his neighbor’s property. Now if that person’s first instinct is to say ‘Fuck that guy, he should have paid his 75 bucks,’ then that person is a fucking asshole and you have every right to drop them to the lowest level in your personal caste system.”
“My first thought hearing that story is why is a basic public service like firefighting treated like getting a premium cable channel like HBO or Showtime?” says Ninja Vicki. “I hope that they don’t do that with the police force.”
“For 75 bucks a year if your wife gets murdered we’ll investigate and find the killer,” I say. “But if our records show you haven’t paid then you’re on your own, Encyclopedia Brown.”
“This is why we pay taxes, so this basic shit gets is taken care of,” says Ninja Vicki. “Life is hard enough without having to wonder whether you paid your subscription to Better Non-Burning Homes and Gardens.”
“Wait, you don’t pay taxes,” I say. “You’re a ninja. You steal everything.”
“Well, duh, that’s what ninjas do,” says Ninja Vicki. “We steal stuff and murder people.”
“But you wear shoes and hate Twilight so you’re all right in my book,” I say.
Some tests are more important than others.